Paper: Racial Disparities in Debt Collection

Jessica LaVoice and Domonkos F. Vamossy, both of the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Economics, have written Racial Disparities in Debt Collection. Here is the abstract:

A distinct set of disadvantages experienced by black Americans increases their likelihood of experiencing negative financial shocks, decreases their ability to mitigate the impact of such shocks, and ultimately results in debt collection cases being far more common in black neighborhoods than in non-black neighborhoods. In this paper, we create a novel data-set that links debt collection court cases with information from credit reports to document the disparity in debt collection judgments across black and non-black neighborhoods and to explore potential mechanisms that could be driving this judgment gap. We find that majority black neighborhoods experience approximately 40% more judgments than non-black neighborhoods, even after controlling for differences in median incomes, median credit scores, and default rates. The racial disparity in judgments cannot be explained by differences in debt characteristics across black and non-black neighborhoods, nor can it be explained by differences in attorney representation, the share of contested judgments, or differences in neighborhood lending institutions.

0 thoughts on “Paper: Racial Disparities in Debt Collection

  1. DavidAcer4 says:

    do young black consumers have more bills than others. of course if someone earns less money then debt is easier to acquire. it becomes harder to pay off creditors because you are strapped for cash. more cash in the bank means less stress. the bills gets paid on time, problem solved. i would not assume all young black people are poor or have money problems. poverty is a common problem in the ghetto & can affect anyone. i also believe the “poor” are more vulnerable to thieves, predators and scams. the better educated you are in financial matters the more you can fight back to stop fraud.

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