Get in Line: Chapter 11 Restructuring in Crowded Bankruptcy Courts

Benjamin Charles Iverson

Research output: Working paper

2 Scopus citations


This paper tests whether Chapter 11 restructuring outcomes are affected by time constraints in busy bankruptcy courts. Using the passage of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act as an exogenous shock to caseloads, I find that commercial banks report lower charge-offs on business lending when court caseloads decline, suggesting that the costs of financial distress are lower in less congested courts. Further, court caseload affects how restructuring takes place. Less-busy bankruptcy judges liquidate fewer small firms, but more large firms. When caseload declines, large firms spend less time in court and firms that are dismissed from court are less likely to re-file for bankruptcy. In addition, firms are less likely to sell assets or obtain debtor-in-possession financing in less-busy courts.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages57
StatePublished - Dec 2015


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