Selected characteristics of personal bankruptcy petitioners in Portland, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/fj236550f

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  • Concern regarding the large numbers of personal bankruptcies in Oregon prompted this study. Although information was available from a few studies in other parts of the United States, none was available for Oregon. Very little data has been collected on personal and family characteristics of people filing bankruptcy and less has been collected through personal interviews with the petitioners. The two major objectives of this study were (1) to obtain data about certain personal and family characteristics of a sample of Oregon personal bankruptcy petitioners through the use of an interview questionnaire and to attempt to determine if they were related to financial characteristics obtained from official bankruptcy petitions and (2) to compare selected socioeconomic characteristics of the sample with Oregon and United States general population characteristics. An interview questionnaire was administered to 50 personal bankruptcy petitioners immediately following the first creditor hearing for each case in the bankruptcy court in Portland, Oregon in February 1966. Other data were secured from the bankruptcy petitions. The study required cooperation of the Federal Referees in Bankruptcy, attorneys handling each case and the petitioners themselves. Personal and family information obtained from the petitioner questionnaire included: sex; age class; occupation classification; employment status; marital status; length of time married; length of time divorced or separated; number of times petitioner had married; age class of spouse; family size; number of children; stage in family life cycle; employment status of spouse; bankruptcy history; petitioner and spouse education; social class; incidence of threatened and/or actual garnishment; number and type of solutions to financial problems sought before petitioning for bankruptcy; period of highest debt level; reason for highest debt level; number and type of primary reasons for filing bankruptcy petition; type of area in which petitioner lived during first 14 years of life; degree of expressed marital happiness; degree of influence of financial problems on marital happiness; responsibility for bill payment; and degree of expressed husband-wife agreement regarding expenditures. Financial information obtained from bankruptcy petitions filed with the court included income for last available year, total amount of debt, amount and percentage of secured, unsecured and assigned debt and number and percentage of secured, unsecured and assigned creditors. Debts were classified into 23 creditor classifications according to purpose of the debt. Statistical description included frequency distributions, ranges, means and medians. A t-test of significance was run for petitioner characteristics with mean debt and mean income. A multiple correlation using age class, family size, stage in family life cycle, mean income and mean debt was calculated. Results of the study indicated a significant correlation (P = .01) between mean debt and mean income. Among other findings are the following median personal, family and financial characteristics of the petitioners: male, 28 years old, married, two children, child bearing stage of family life cycle, twelfth grade education, semiskilled employee, income for last available year of $4,950 and total debt of $4,831 owed 16.5 creditors. Over 75 percent of the petitioners owed medical and automobile expenses. Findings regarding degree of expressed marital happiness, degree of influence of financial problems on marital happiness and degree of expressed husband-wife agreement regarding expenditures, although not conclusive, suggest trends which indicate the need for further research. Care must be taken not to generalize from the results since reliability and validity have not been established. Suggestions for further research regarding bankruptcy include expansion of interview technique and total sample size, study of financial management practices of bankrupts following bankruptcy release, study of creditor orientation to bankruptcy, a longitudinal study of family structure and personal traits as they relate to financial management.
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  • description.provenance : Rejected by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu), reason: Replace on 2014-04-29T16:18:52Z (GMT)
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