Skip to content

Robert M. Lawless, Angela K. Littwin, Kathrine M. Porter, John A.E. Pottow, Deborah K. Thorne & Elizabeth Warren, Interpreting Data: A Reply to Professor Pardo, 83 Am. Bankr. L.J. 47 (2009).

Abstract: Professor Pardo has published a pointed critique to our Report, raising three major complaints. First, he claims that we make two predicating assumptions in our study that are flawed. Second, he contends that we misunderstand the means test and fail to appreciate with sufficient "nuance" its "operative effect." Third, he maintains that our Report suffers from methodological problems. We can address the two impugned assumptions quickly. The first one - that BAPCPA's means test is the sole causal agent driving 800,000 putative filers from the bankruptcy courts - is not one we make. The second - regarding the income profiles of the missing 800,000 bankruptcy filers - is actually somewhat consistent with predictions Professor Pardo himself makes elsewhere in his critique. The thrust of Professor Pardo's commentary, however, is his second point - that we simply "don't get" the means test - and so we begin our response by addressing this contention. We then discuss our methodology, which we believe is quite robust, before finally elaborating on why we are sanguine in dismissing his complaints with the two assumptions he claims we make.