- (812) 855-1257
- Baier Hall 311C
- New York University B.S. 2004
- Harvard University J.D. 2008
- Expert on bankruptcy, commercial, and consumer law
- Current research centers on consumer and business bankruptcy, including cases filed by non-profit entities
- Co-Investigator on the Consumer Bankruptcy Project
- Contributor to the legal blog Credit Slips
- Clerked for Hon. Thomas L. Ambro, Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and Hon. Peter J. Walsh, Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware
Professor Pamela Foohey’s research centers on bankruptcy, commercial law, and consumer law. Her work primarily involves empirical studies of bankruptcy and related parts of the legal system, combining quantitative and qualitative, interview-based research. Her work in business bankruptcy focuses on non-profit entities, with a particular emphasis on how churches and other religious organizations use bankruptcy. The results of this research have been featured in media outlets such as the New York Times, Bloomberg, CBS News Moneywatch, and Reveal. Professor Foohey also is a co-investigator on the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, a long-term research project studying persons who file bankruptcy which has been the leading empirical study of consumer bankruptcy for the past 35 years. The results of this research likewise have been featured in top media outlets, including the New York Times, NPR, U.S. News & World Report, and the Washington Post.
Professor Foohey joined the IU Maurer School of Law faculty in 2014 after two years as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Law. She currently serves as chair of the Center for Law, Society & Culture’s advisory board. In 2017, she received the Gavel Award for outstanding contribution to the graduating class; in 2018, she received the IU Trustees' Teaching Award for excellence in teaching; and in 2019, she received the Leon H. Wallace Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor given to IU Maurer School of Law faculty.
Professor Foohey is the current chair-elect of the Law and the Social Sciences' Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), and is a past chair of the AALS Section on Commercial and Consumer Law and of the AALS Section on Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights. She also is a current member of the executive committee of the AALS Section on Real Estate Transactions, and a co-chair of the Law and Society Association’s Household Finance Collaborative Research Network. Professor Foohey currently serves on the editorial advisory board of the American Bankruptcy Law Journal, which is a peer-reviewed academic law review published by the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. In 2019, the American Bankruptcy Institute named her a “40 Under 40” Emerging Leader in Insolvency Practice.
Prior to teaching, she clerked for the Honorable Thomas L. Ambro of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, worked as an associate in the Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Group of Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Minneapolis, and clerked for the Honorable Peter J. Walsh of the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Professor Foohey received a Bachelor of Science degree Summa cum Laude from New York University’s undergraduate Stern School of Business, where she majored in economics and finance, and a J.D. cum Laude from Harvard Law School, from which she also received a post-graduate research fellowship.
In The Media
- Mentioned in "Education Dept. shows limits of pandemic relief by fighting borrowers in bankruptcy," The Seattle Times ( 07-17-2021 )
- Co-wrote an op-ed titled "Regulators must get ahead of the coming wave of loan defaults," The Hill ( 06-28-2021 )
- Quoted in "Black people are more likely to file for personal bankruptcy, choose repayment option," The Wall Street Journal ( 06-07-2021 )
- Quoted in "Debt collectors continue filing lawsuits during pandemic," Indiana Public Media ( 04-02-2021 )
- Quoted in "NRA is 'out of ammo' as it faces a legal mess of its own making, many experts say," ABC News ( 02-22-2021 )
- Quoted in "Older Americans are sinking into debt--reversing the trend won't be easy," MarketWatch ( 01-20-2021 )
- Quoted in "Boy Scouts must settle 95,000 abuse claims by next summer -- or risk running out of cash," The Washington Post ( 11-19-2020 )
- Co-wrote an op-ed titled "How government rules prevent poor Americans from saving," Politico ( 09-03-2020 )
- Quoted in "Appeals court weakens bankruptcy protections for private student loans," The Wall Street Journal ( 09-01-2020 )
- Quoted in "IU football: Resolution of canceled games could become murky," The Indianapolis Star ( 07-11-2020 )
- Quoted in "Resolution of canceled game contracts hard to know, legal experts say," The Herald TImes (sub. reqd.) ( 07-11-2020 )
- Quoted in "Resolution of canceled games a murky proposition, legal experts say," Hoosier Sports Reports ( 07-11-2020 )
- Co-authored an op-ed titled "Bankruptcy courts ill-prepared for pandemic tsunami," Minnesota Lawyer ( 05-20-2020 )
- Quoted in "Sexually abused gymnasts have ally in fight for accountability from US Olympic leader," USA Today ( 03-01-2020 )
- Quoted in "By filing for bankruptcy, the Boy Scouts may compensate more survivors of sexual abuse," The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.) ( 02-24-2020 )
- Quoted in "Boy Scouts' bankruptcy plan follows similar path as USA Gymnastics and Catholic diocese," KTVZ (Bend, Ore.) ( 02-20-2020 )
- Quoted in "Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy amid wave of potential lawsuits," The Washington Post ( 02-18-2020 )
- Quoted in "Boy Scouts bankruptcy is 'imminent' amid sexual abuse scandals," New York Post ( 02-01-2020 )
- Quoted in "Wall Street could make $1billion off PG&E bankruptcy and rate-payers are on the hook," KQED ( 12-16-2019 )
- Reducing the Wealth Gap Through Fintech “Advances” in Consumer Banking and Lending, 2021 U ILL. L. REV. __ (forthcoming 2021) (with Nathalie Martin).
- The Debt Collection Pandemic, 101 CAL. L. REV. ONLINE __ (forthcoming 2020) (with Dalié Jiménez and Christopher K. Odinet).
- The Folly of Credit As Pandemic Relief, 68 UCLA L. REV. DISC. __ (forthcoming 2020) (with Dalié Jiménez and Christopher K. Odinet).
- CARES Act Gimmicks: How Not to Give People Money During a Pandemic and What to Do Instead, 2020 U. ILL. L. REV. ONLINE 81 (with Dalié Jiménez and Christopher K. Odinet)
- Driven to Bankruptcy, 55 WAKE FOREST L. REV. __ (forthcoming 2020) (with Robert M. Lawless and Deborah Thorne).
- A New Deal for Debtors: Providing Procedural Justice in Consumer Bankruptcy, 60 B.C. L. REV. ___ (2019).
- Graying of U.S. Bankruptcy: Fallout from Life in a Risk Society, __ SOCIOLOGICAL INQUIRY __ (2019) (with Deborah Thorne, Robert M. Lawless, and Katherine Porter).
- Medical Bankruptcy: Still Common Despite Affordable Care Act, 109 AJPH 431 (2019) (with David U. Himmelstein, Robert M. Lawless, Deborah Thorne, and Steffie Woolhandler)
- Life in the Sweatbox, 94 NOTRE DAME L. REV. 219 (2018) (with Robert M. Lawless, Katherine Porter, and Deborah Thorne).
- Access to Consumer Bankruptcy, 34 EMORY BANKR. DEV. J. 341 (2018)
- “No Money Down” Bankruptcy, 90 S. CAL. L. REV. 1055 (2017) (with Robert M. Lawless, Katherine Porter, and Deborah Thorne).
- Calling on the CFPB for Help: Telling Stories and Consumer Protection, 80 LAW & CONTEMP. PROBS. 177 (2017).
- Lender Discrimination, Black Churches, and Bankruptcy, 50 HOUS. L. REV. 101 (2017).
- When Faith Falls Short: Bankruptcy Decisions of Churches, 76 OHIO ST. L.J. 1319 (2015).
- When Churches Reorganize, 88 AM. BANKR. L.J. 277 (2014).
- Bankrupting the Faith, 78 MO. L. REV. 719 (2013).
Areas of Expertise
- Consumer protection law
- Corporate law