Thursday, November 8, 2012: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Salon D (Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Organizers: J. Michael Collins, University of Wisconsin
Chairs: Katie Fitzpatrick, Seattle University
Rising consumer and mortgage debt in the early 2000s, followed in the late 2000s by the contraction of credit markets and the boom in foreclosures and credit defaults, have illuminated the problems that arise when households cannot sustain debt. A number of natural experiments have arisen in recent years as states, local governments, and firms have piloted strategies such as debt forgiveness and moratoria. Meanwhile, the main tool consumers have for relief of consumer debt—bankruptcy—was considerably revised just before the onset of the Great Recession. The papers in this panel will explore some of these policy changes and how they may affect household welfare in the future, with a focus on implications for federal, state, and local policy.