A previous version of this paper was originally published as Debtor Fraud in Consumer Debt Renegotiation in October 2022.

Exploiting a policy change that required insolvent debtors to increase debt repayments at an arbitrary income cutoff, we document that some debtors reduce reported income to just below this cutoff to avoid the higher repayment. Those debtors who manipulate income have a lower probability of default on their repayment plans, consistent with having access to hidden income. We estimate this strategic manipulation costs creditors 12% to 36% of their total payout per filing.

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