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Too Broke for Bankruptcy

How Bankruptcy Fails Those Who Need It Most

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Have You Seriously Considered Filing for Bankruptcy?

If you’ve really thought about filing for bankruptcy, ProPublica wants to hear from you — even if you ultimately decided against it.

How the Bankruptcy System Is Failing Black Americans

Black people struggling with debts are far less likely than their white peers to gain lasting relief from bankruptcy, according to a ProPublica analysis. Primarily to blame is a style of bankruptcy practiced by lawyers in the South.

Other Entries

Chicago Begins To Rethink How Bankruptcy Lawyers Get Paid

Judges are demanding that lawyers tell their clients that their other debts might not get paid, but their lawyers will.

When You Can’t Afford to Go Bankrupt

There’s ample evidence many people don’t file for bankruptcy simply because they can’t pay an attorney. It’s a fixable problem.

Cómo se cometen estafas de bancarrotas con impunidad en Los Ángeles

En la principal ciudad de California, estafadores se aprovechan de propietarios que arriesgan perder sus hogares. Los latinos son uno de los grupos más afectados.

How to Get Away With Bankruptcy Fraud

Los Angeles is the nation’s hub for bankruptcy crime. Scammers prey on struggling homeowners with little fear of getting caught, because criminal enforcement of bankruptcy laws is rare.

‘This Is Unacceptable’: ProPublica Story on Bankruptcy in Memphis Prompts City Council Soul-Searching

The story detailed how the city’s poor black residents are steered into bankruptcy plans they are doomed to fail. Two City Council members are looking at a series of solutions to address the underlying problems.

Without Fanfare, Equifax Makes Bankruptcy Change That Affects Hundreds of Thousands

For years, an Equifax policy has treated some Chapter 13 filers differently than the other two major credit rating agencies. After ProPublica asked about it, the company said it would change the policy.

Chicago’s Bankruptcy Boom

ProPublica’s analysis of racial disparities in bankruptcy revealed a skyrocketing number of filings in Chicago’s black neighborhoods. But most of the cases will fall apart before the debts are wiped away.

Bankruptcy: What’s the Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?

Key differences between the chapters make choosing the right one critical for success. Using our analysis, we explain how they work and how people fare under each.

In the South, Bankruptcy Is Different, Especially for Black Debtors

Only in the South is Chapter 13 the predominant form of bankruptcy. We mapped Chapter 13’s usage to show that it breaks not only along regional, but also racial lines.

Data Analysis: Bankruptcy and Race in America

An in-depth discussion of racial patterns in bankruptcy filings and outcomes

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