Henry E. Hildebrand
90 Texas L. Rev. See Also 1
In this Response, Chapter 13 Trustee Henry Hildebrand addresses whether the results of Professor Katherine Porter’s study warrant the conclusion that Chapter 13 is merely a pretend solution. According to Hildebrand, the fact that debtors who failed to complete their Chapter 13 plans did not achieve the goals that they sought to accomplish when they filed for Chapter 13 is not evidence of the systemic failure of either Chapter 13 or the consumer bankruptcy system. Hildebrand argues that Porter’s study is too myopic, focusing only on the experiences of “failed” Chapter 13 debtors while ignoring the positive results that Chapter 13 has achieved for debtors who were able to complete their plans. He also posits alternative explanations for Porter’s results, including the tendency of overconfident debtors to draft unrealistic repayment plans and the failure of Chapter 13 debtors to seeks post-confirmation judicial modification of their plans. Although he acknowledges that Porter raises valid points about the complexity of the Chapter 13 system and participants’ unrealistic expectations of future financial stability, he argues that these issues apply equally to Chapter 7 debtors and concludes that, absent more probative evidence of systemic failure, they are better solved by providing debtors with increased judicial oversight and legal assistance than by conversion to a single-chapter bankruptcy system.
Christopher R. Leslie
90 Texas L. Rev. See Also 171
Professor Christopher R. Leslie responds to Stephen Fraser’s argument that the Department of Justice should use antitrust amnesty as a model for the creation of FCPA self-reporting incentives.
William C. Whitford
90 Texas L. Rev. See Also 9
Professor William Whitford responds to Professor Porter’s article by concurring with Porter’s conclusion that the current consumer bankruptcy system should be converted into a single-chapter system in order to eliminate the complexity and choice that currently prevents filers from reaching discharge. Concerned, however, that legislative roadblocks might substantially delay the wholesale reform of the bankruptcy system, and conscious of the importance of making bankruptcy discharge more readily available, Whitford proposes a “small ball” solution that can begin mitigating Chapter 13’s potential for harm without the need to wait for an act of Congress. Citing evidence of geographic trends in Chapter 13 filing practices, in terms of both the percentage of consumer bankruptcy cases that are Chapter 13 cases as well as the nature of the Chapter 13 plans that are confirmed, Whitford argues that debtors’ bankruptcy decisions are largely influenced by the legal culture that exists in the judicial district in which they file their cases. Because the incentives created by this legal culture cause attorneys, judges, and bankruptcy trustees to steer debtors into certain bankruptcy plans regardless of needs and preferences of individual debtors, Whitford asserts that local legal culture is a contributing cause of many debtors’ inability to navigate the bankruptcy system to discharge. He concludes by outlining how local legal influences can be identified and eliminated, thereby ensuring that debtors will be steered to Chapter 13 and into certain payout plans only under appropriate circumstances—where the chosen path is that most likely to enable the debtor to obtain discharge.
Robert C. Ellickson
90 Texas L. Rev. See Also 247
Professor Ellickson responds to David Fagundes’s discussion of the extralegal IP norms used to protect the pseudonyms adopted by roller derby participants.
Charles A. Sullivan
90 Texas L. Rev. See Also 157
Professor Charles A. Sullivan responds to Professor Widiss’s article on Congressional override of judicial interpretation of statutory law.