According to a new study by Robert Lawless and Jennifer Robbennolt (summarized in the Wall Street Journal), Judges are more likely to approve a Chapter 13 plan that includes an apology. From the Wall Street Journal article:
In the 29-page study, Lawless and colleague Jennifer Robbennolt said they told participating judges about the Millers, a fictional family of four with a $180,000 home, $25,500 in credit card debt and a $26,000 Ford Explorer SUV. Their credit card debt ranged from $9,000 for the husband’s medical expenses to $270 per month spent on their two daughters, ages 10 and 13, for gymnastics.
At the end of their Chapter 13 payment plan, which paid unsecured creditors 18% of their debt over three years, the Millers wrote, “We have no way of keeping up with our bills and repaying everything. It is all we can do to pay the mortgage and keep food on the table. We know that we are responsible for the mess we are in. We are truly sorry.”