Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Traffic tickets lead to huge spike in black Chapter 13 filings
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Traffic tickets lead to huge spike in black Chapter 13 filings

Thursday, Sep 28, 2017

* Chapter 13 filings per 1,000 residents - black census tracts vs. white census tracts in Chicago

* Pro Publica looked into what’s going on

Because of a boom in Chapter 13 filings, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which includes Chicago, had more consumer filings in 2015 than any other district in the country.

Almost exclusively fueling this rise are residents of the district’s black communities, where the rate of filings has doubled since 2009. This racial disparity isn’t unique to the Chicago area, but there’s hardly anywhere else in the country where the gap is quite so wide. Even controlling for income, the odds of a black debtor in the Northern District of Illinois choosing Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7 were about four times as high as those of a white debtor. And, as we found nationally, black debtors were less likely to successfully complete their Chapter 13 plans and have their debts discharged.

Why this is happening can be traced to the sort of run-of-the-mill financial hit many Americans face: traffic-related tickets. In Chicago, the failure to pay such tickets can result in a suspended driver’s license or impounded car, crucial lifelines to many low-income families.

In our analysis, we note that the rise in Chapter 13 filings has mainly been driven by black, low-income debtors unable to pay tickets owed to the City of Chicago. By filing under Chapter 13, these people are trying to keep their cars or licenses. Chapter 13 stops seizures and suspensions as long as debtors can keep up payments, but the data shows that most can’t. We also found that the Semrad Law Firm, also known as DebtStoppers, played an outsized role. The firm’s clients are largely black and overwhelmingly file under Chapter 13. From 2012 through 2015, DebtStoppers accounted for about 40 percent of Chapter 13 filings by debtors who lived in mostly black areas.


And if you click here for the whole study, you’ll see that Chapter 13 discharge rates are lower for black debtors than for whites. So, they’re staying in debt.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - walker - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:15 pm:

    Nightmarish scenario.

  2. - Fax Machine - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:19 pm:

    Same day that Alderman Ray Lopez called fot the City to hire 50 “Super Ticket Writers”

  3. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    ==- Real - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:28 pm:==

    Not unlike Ferguson and many other places.

  4. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:33 pm:

    This only the latest in a long series of studies showing how the deck continues to be stacked against black people. And yet, when someone stands up (or takes a knee) to draw attention to the long list of barriers put in front of black people, they are called (reverse) racists or disrespectful.

    We have the data, we know where the bias is, when will we do something to turn this around?

  5. - PatchAdams - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:34 pm:

    i got three cell phone tickets in a month during a particularly busy time in late 2014. the court dates were never mailed to me and a few months later i got letters in the mail saying i owed over $600 per ticket ($1800 total!) (500 and change per plus interest) from the city of chicago. i paid, it sucked. they threatened to take away my license if i didn’t pay. the next AG or the feds should look into this. or maybe Lisa can now that she is a lameduck

  6. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:35 pm:

    Anyone who has seen an episode of “Parking Wars” shouldn’t be surprised by this.

  7. - OneMan - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:40 pm:

    nor be surprised if you watch the ads on afternoon judge shows, one of the firms even mentions tickets specifically.

  8. - Real - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:40 pm:

    This is one of the main reasons I am planning on moving out of Chicago. I have no moving traffic tickets, only parking tickets here that are close to $2,000. The city of Chicago is not flexible at all in it’s payment plans. It’s as if the system is set up for you to fail. I have had my car booted twice in the past 2 years over parking tickets. If I was laid off of work or anything the city of Chicago would own my car.

    The city of Chicago is more aggressive than my car finance company. I have had no problems with Chrysler Capital if I pay a few days late. If you pay the city of Chicago a few days late on a payment plan they are ready to boot and tow your car.

  9. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:40 pm:

    I think we should go Scandinavian. Speeders and traffic tickets should be based on income. If you want to use red light cameras and tickets as a money maker let the guy driving a Mercedes pay 5% of the value of the car for a ticket. Same for the guy driving a beater. The guy driving the beater probably needs his/her car more.

  10. - Lobo - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:52 pm:

    From the study the article was based upon…

    “The bankruptcy statute gives two reasons
    why Chapter 13 is attractive for these consumers: First, traffic and parking tickets and
    other fines can be discharged in Chapter 13, but not in Chapter 7. Second, the Chapter
    13 process triggers an automatic stay that prevents the state or city government from
    suspending the consumer’s driver’s license or seizing or disabling the consumer’s vehicle
    (and the government must return licenses or vehicles that have been seized or disabled).
    In Illinois, a driver’s license can be suspended if the driver has accumulated ten or more
    unpaid parking tickets, or at least unpaid tickets for certain moving violations. The
    median fine is $60.
    Among consumers with tickets or other fines, the average consumer
    has over $4,000 in such debt (the median consumer has over $2,700).”

  11. - Amalia - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:15 pm:

    also 46% with Utility debts re the study. that’s pretty big. and concentration of lawyers. and choice of bankruptcy filing. both of which affect outcome. a deeper dive into the details on debts seems necessary. with the rate of filing doubled since 2009, the odds of looking at one cause changes. correlation but not causation perhaps. perhaps more an issue, what do we do? the implications from the one correlation seem kind of ridiculous.

  12. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:21 pm:

    Dupage - What if Bruce runs a red light while driving his VW Eurovan?

  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    I am a disabled Irish cop and my Father has lots of clout and I can relate closely to this post. For whatever reasons I have no health insurance and been slammed in the papers and disabled and no income for 2 years and my Dad controls my whole life right now. I am white and relate.

  14. - DuPage - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:25 pm:

    Why are so many going for ch 13 instead of ch 7? I see TV commercials saying “eliminate your debts with chapter 7″.

  15. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    Citizen Zen. Vehicle code would be amended. Governors and mayors that violate automatic 30 days in county jail

  16. - pskila - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:57 pm:

    no surprises, economic exploitation of the poor and disenfranchised is the norm in the city of Chicago.

  17. - Rocky Rosi - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 4:02 pm:

    Same ol story. It’s sad. The system doesn’t work and this is not fair. Unless you walk in the shoes of the disenfranchised you will never understand. Pray.

  18. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 4:24 pm:

    The idea that traffic tickets or parking violations of any sort could possibly lead to a process that suspends anyone’s driver’s license is totally based in a Middle Ages feudal view of “law” that is at odds with the Constitution.

    On the bright side, all this revenue helps arm the paramilitary police state with Army surplus Hummers and fully automatic weapons, plus set up multi-jurisdictional task forces. All for your own good, and to “keep us safe” of course.

  19. - Mrs. O'Leary's Pig - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 4:45 pm:

    How about we have free parking in Chicago and everyone pays for their own abortions?

  20. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 4:53 pm:

    –In our analysis, we note that the rise in Chapter 13 filings has mainly been driven by black, low-income debtors unable to pay tickets owed to the City of Chicago.–

    This is just sick. People filing bankruptcy to protect their houses over parking tickets?

    What the heck, Democratic politicians? Push yourselves away from the trough and fix this.

    Great work by Pro Publica.

    Maybe that new alleged working-class newspaper in Chicago wants to pick up on this despicable attack on citizens over something so stupid.

    You know the other one won’t, what with the arithmetic and neighborhoods involved.

  21. - cdog - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 9:15 pm:

    I feel badly for the people that are struggling with this.

    I have to ask, though, why not follow the parking rules, the speed limits, etc?

    Seems obvious. No tickets, no bankruptcy issues.

  22. - Sands - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 9:44 pm:

    Pot calling kettle, I have been put off by the kneeling in the NFL, but I must say, you are spot on. This is sad, and seemingly easy to remedy. Just no real will to do so.

  23. - proudstatetrooper - Friday, Sep 29, 17 @ 9:07 am:

    Cops aren’t writing the tickets. They could care less about the revenue for the Mayor and Alderpersons. They are not going to waste their time for a parker when it will only end up with a public altercation in the community while being on camera and berated. Do away with all parkers and minor traffic then. See where that gets you. More of the same in the city of Chicago.

  24. - Ron - Friday, Sep 29, 17 @ 9:14 am:

    cdog, yep. Stop speedingm, problem solved

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Because... Rauner and Trump!
* A few pension ideas to chew on
* Redacting data, not requiring change
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Campaign news and other stuff
* Because... Madigan!
* The new gilded age
* Sabato moves Illinois governor's race to "Likely Democratic"
* More government, education jobs drive up payroll numbers
* Question of the day
* Rauner to receive lifetime achievement award from National Black Chamber of Commerce, gets shout-out in new Chance single
* AFSCME claims for every worker who dropped membership, 10 have become full members
* Rauner launches another anti-Madigan TV ad
* Despite Rauner praise, Illinois hasn't sent any data to Crosscheck since last year
* There are upsides to having your own billionaire
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...






* Gov. Rauner's DC allergy successfully treat.....
* Gov. Rauner receives Fletcher Award..
* Why Your Pension Is Doomed..
* Moody's gives Illinois finances a 'stab.....
* Illinois gets some breathing room from Moody's..
* Moody's has some good news on Illinois credit..
* Village recommends tax incentive for Elk Grove .....
* Gun rights advocate see Pritzker as a committed.....
* As rents soar, Democrats push new policies on a.....
* Because… Rauner and Trump!..

* Judge: Religious nonprofit exempt from unemployment taxes
* Judge in court as a defendant in misdemeanor gun case
* Report: Lake oil spill in Michigan would cost nearly $2B
* Police: Parents claimed girl possessed, kept her in basement
* 2 Illinois IHOP franchises settle harassment suit for $975K
* IHOP franchises to $975,000 settlement for harassment
* Illinois nursing home fined $50K in resident’s death
* Waukegan to use loan in $8.6M payment in wrongful conviction
* Lincoln nursing home fined $50K in resident’s death
* Peoria officer fatally shoots 19-year-old after traffic stop

* Marginal amounts of legionella detected in Stratton Building
* Moody's gives Illinois finances a 'stable' outlook
* Illinois Army National Guard soldiers return home
* Marginal amouts of legionella detected in Stratton Building
* Under the Dome Podcast: Gun bills, Quincy, Trump-Putin reaction
* Incumbents hold big fundraising leads in central Illinois legislative races
* Springfield man wins Illinois State Police logo contest
* Rauner 'deeply troubled' by Trump's Helsinki comments
* Rauner signs bill to ease physician assistant hiring
* Bill taking Illinois out of voter registration system vetoed

* Northwestern cuts back amid budget shortfalls
* FTD shakes up leadership as it mulls sale
* China sinks money into U.S. hyperloop startups
* FDA plans to ease OTC approvals for some prescription drugs
* Hospitals are flirting with Medicare for All

* EXCLUSIVE: Aldermen demand inspections of facilities holding immigrant children
* EDITORIAL: We need answers about the NRA and the alleged Kremlin agent
* EDITORIAL: Enter stage left, Barack and Michelle
* Tornado hits factory in Iowa; some injuries reported
* DC Universe digital subscription plan will set you back $75
* State bond rating worst in nation — but at least maybe we bottomed out
* Gov. Rauner’s DC allergy successfully treated: Here for award, Trump tariff talk
* Nevada’s path forward unclear after twice-delayed execution
* The Beatles’ ‘All You Need Is Love’ adapted for picture book
* Judge unhappy with pace of DCFS investigation 11 days after boy, 3, dies in fire

* Father of girl allegedly held captive in Waukegan basement claimed he was Jesus, acquaintance says
* Chance the Rapper announces purchase of Chicagoist website in newly released song
* With velocity down, Cubs' Brandon Morrow put on 10-day disabled list
* Callers criticize board that regulates how much water Lake Superior discharges into Lake Michigan
* Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson ‘100 percent,’ ready to trust his knee again
* Dolphins could suspend players who protest during national anthem up to four games
* Mom of aspiring restaurateur after man convicted in son's 2012 murder: 'Every day of my life. I’m completely changed'
* Roquan Smith absent as Bears report to training camp: 'We’re optimistic he’s here soon'
* Officials don't think massive fire at Prospect Heights residential complex was intentionally set
* Chris Chelios leaving Red Wings, moving back to Chicago

» Berwyn Homeowners Squeezed By School District Miscalculation
» How Conservatism Won In Wisconsin; Illinois Election Security; Special Olympics 50th Anniversary
» Illinois Prison Officials Accused of Abusing Transgender Inmate
» Money Machines: Billionaires Rain Cash — With Strings Attached?
» July 18, 2018 - Full Show
» Fast Food ‘No Poaching’ Clauses; Trade Wars & Farmers; Small Town ‘Brain Gain’
» 'Carnaval’ Festival To Highlight Latinx Stories In Theater
» The Cook County Sheriff Is Launching A Podcast On Opioid Addiction
» July 17, 2018 - Full Show
» Rauner Vetos 'Crosscheck' Ban — Illinois' Participation Already On Hold

* Marginal amounts of legionella detected in Stratton Building
* Moody's gives Illinois finances a 'stable' outlook
* Illinois Army National Guard soldiers return home
* Marginal amouts of legionella detected in Stratton Building
* Under the Dome Podcast: Gun bills, Quincy, Trump-Putin reaction
* Bernard Schoenburg: Bourne, Clark clash over missed votes
* Our View: Access to Narcan key to combating addiction
* Our View: Dorsey right choice to lead SIU
* Incumbents hold big fundraising leads in central Illinois legislative races
* Springfield man wins Illinois State Police logo contest

* Shiloh mayor on meeting Vice President Mike Pence
* Abbey Ridge Brewery owners open restaurant in downtown Cobden
* Health department: West Nile virus detected in Jackson County mosquitoes
* Chad Dyson tapped as new Davenport Parks and Rec Director
* Swimmer drowns in Cleveland quarry
* Odenkirk brothers may fill famous shoes
* Pence defends Trump during visit to Metro East, is met by protesters at Bost fundraiser
* Tardy passenger shares complaint with airport director, board
* Davenport biz launches way to walk in Nelson Mandela's footsteps — in virtual realty
* Work begins on site of new PAWS facility in Anna

* Parking lot problems to force one-day closure of Fremont Public Library
* Residents fear 'irreplaceable losses' after devastating fire
* Schaumburg man charged with child pornography
* APNewsBreak: Dolphins anthem punishment includes suspensions
* How to best help Prospect Heights fire victims right now

* Desperate for a Midterm Election Strategy,...
* House Democrats bet on 'For the People...
* Two Illinois lawmakers named to Farm Bill ...
* 'For the People' Unveiled as House...
* House Democrats Pivot Away From 'Bette...
* MESSAGE MIX-UP: Democrats DITCH 2018 Campa...
* Democrats roll out their newest midterms s...
* House Dems unveil new midterm campaign slogan
* Expanded Job Training for Vets, GI Bill Ch...
* FIBRA Prologis Announces Second Quarter 20...

* Gov. Rauner's DC allergy successfully ......
* No, The Failed Ninth Circuit Court Nominat......
* The Senate Feels Need to Oppose Turning Ov......
* Anti-money laundering reform needs more Re......
* The Senate delivered a rare, unified rebuk......

* Sen. Tammy Duckworth on breast-feed......
* Landscapers advocate for H-2B during Legis......
* The Real Link Between the White House and ......
* She's back: Sen. Tammy Duckworth
Duckworth Announces $1.6 Million for the N......

* Do You Recognize This (Alleged) Package Thief? (Updated)
* Who or what is that on the Reader’s Pitchfork cover this year? Here are your answers.
* Cook County efiling: An incomplete review
* Chance the Rapper owns Chicagoist—now what?
* EXTRA: A 'rap' about the news?
* Chicago soul singer Christian JaLon wants you to know what love means to her
* Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. Episode #74. Nate Marshall. Jennifer Klonsky. Alderman Ricardo Muñoz.
* Congressman Rodney Davis. Social justice is the litmus test.
* Thorner/Nelson: Conservatives to gather in St. Louis September 16-18
* How The Fight Against Affirmative Action At Harvard Threatens Wealthy Whites

* Summit for Success: IDOT providing tools, opportunity for disadvantaged businesses
* Illinois Payrolls Jump +18,100
* Liquor Control Commission Underage Compliance Report for Cook County
* Gov. Rauner receives Fletcher Award from National Black Chamber of Commerce
* Nursing Home Violations for Second Quarter 2018

* Sony announces limited edition ‘Amazing Red’ PlayStation Pro bundle
* Instagram Gains Status Dots to Let You Know When Friends Are Online
* SoftBank and Leica invest $121 million in Light, smartphone coming by year's end
* Prime exclusive Moto G6 Play / Z3 Play are an Amazon power user’s dream
* ​J.D. Power declares Verizon to be the top carrier
* Hawaiki subsea cable goes live
* Huawei working on smartphone with a display hole for the camera instead of a notch

* Scouting report: White Sox vs. Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field
* Showing so far bodes well for Astros' road to repeat
* Seattle Mariners vs. Chicago White Sox - 7/20/18 MLB Pick, O...
* Don Cooper expects success, asks for patience in White Sox r...
* Super Stats Pack: Minors
* Super Stats Pack: Minors
* Chicago White Sox TV Ratings Suffer During Rebuilding Season

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller