Readers Respond on Medical Bankruptcy


Warren's 2007 data shows $33,882 with N=2371. The sec'd debt median was $35,000. The 2001 amount (in 07 $$) was $23,594, based on N=1233, w/ Sec'd median=$28,970. So, your recollection is better than mine, but I seriously question their results.

Notwithstanding statistical equivalence of the samples (adequately demonstrated to my barely-trained eye), I am skeptical of a doubling of N out of a smaller cohort of filers. Indeed, the explanation for their presumed equivalence is:

"Our prior studies were not random national samples but random samples drawn from five judicial districts. We have no reason to believe this affects the comparisons we make to these earlier cohorts of bankruptcy filers."

Yeah, right. Because one doesn't care to think about it, does not equal no basis for doubt.

Another, unrelated, absurdity in the Study article (fn 63)

"The authors believe that the higher proportion of legal service clients in Philadelphia drove down the average homeownership rates in that district unrepresentatively"

Uh, no, the lower HOMEOWNERSHIP RATE of Philly residents, across (almost) all income levels, drove down the homeownership rate of petitioners in Philly. This is soo simple, I have a hard time taking their conclusions seriously.