Using a plausibly exogenous policy change that required debtors to increase repayment to creditors, we document that debtors manipulated data to avoid higher repayment. Consistent with deliberate fraud, data manipulators traveled farther to find more lenient insolvency professionals who, historically, approved more potentially fraudulent filings. Finally, we find that those debtors who misreported income had a lower probability of default on their debt repayment plans, consistent with having access to hidden income.View the Full Working Paper
Debtor Fraud in Consumer Debt Renegotiation
WP 22-35 – We study how forcing financially distressed consumer debtors to repay a larger fraction of debt can lead them to misreport data fraudulently.