Chapter 7

News & Analysis as of

Valuing a Secured Creditors Collateral: A Time Frame

Section 506(a)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code provides common-sense instruction that the allowed amount of a secured claim is equal to the value of the collateral securing the claim and that a claim is unsecured to the extent the...more

In re Brown: Replacement Value Applies Even When Debtor Surrenders Property

The recent Eleventh Circuit case of In re Brown, 746 F.3d 1236 (2014) held that 11 U.S.C. § 506(a)(2)'s replacement value standard applies even when a Chapter 7 or 13 debtor surrenders collateral under 11 U.S.C. §...more

How much money can I keep in my checking account when filing bankruptcy?

I'll soon be filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. How much money can I keep in my checking account without losing it? Here's the deal. The trustee assigned to your bankruptcy gets to take your property, including money, for the...more

The totem pole in Bankruptcy. Who gets paid first?

Chapter 7 bankruptcies have a hierarchy of creditor claims that is the result of the legislative process. The totem pole was carved with an attempt at fairness and common sense, but naturally has politics painted on it. ...more

Are Inherited IRAs Exempt Property in California Bankruptcy?

The law says that retirement funds are exempt property in bankruptcy, but the Supreme Court has held that this exemption doesn’t apply to inherited IRAs. End of story? Not quite....more

Polsinelli Podcasts - Supreme Court Closes Gap on Bankruptcy Issue [Video]

The United States Supreme Court decided in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison that while bankruptcy courts do not have the power to make final decisions on so-called “Stern claims,” they can try or “hear” those...more

Bankruptcy Beat: The US Supreme Court Clarifies the Role of the Bankruptcy Court in Stern v. Marshall-Type Proceedings

On June 19, 2014 the Supreme Court of the United States in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison, 134 S. Ct. 2165 (2014) affirmed and clarified its prior decision in Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011) which...more

Bankruptcy Beat: Credibility of the Parties is Key Component In Objection To Discharge Proceedings

On June 6, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut affirmed the Bankruptcy Court’s (Weil, J.) decision overruling a pro se creditor’s objections to the debtor’s discharge under 11 U.S.C....more

The Jewel Unfinished Business Doctrine Loses its Luster

On November 15 and December 2, 2013, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in In re Thelen LLP and In re Coudert Brothers LLP, certified to the New York Court of Appeals the question of whether a client matter, billed on an...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Procedure for Deciding Stern Claims in Bankruptcy Courts, But Leaves Big Questions Unresolved

Bankruptcy courts have jurisdiction over "core" and "non-core" proceedings. See 28 U.S.C. § 157. In "core" proceedings, bankruptcy courts can enter final judgments. See 28 U.S.C. § 157(b). In "non-core" proceedings, however,...more

Eleventh Circuit Doubles Down on Lien Stripping

When the Fourth Circuit handed down its opinion in the case of In re Davis, which permitted lien stripping in “Chapter 20” proceedings, the stage was set for the Eleventh Circuit to expand debtor’s ability to escape from...more

Bankruptcy Protection for Inherited IRA

The already complicated subject of how to handle Individual Retirement Accounts following the death of an IRA holder just got a little more complicated with the recent Supreme Court decision in Clark v. Rameker. The issue in...more

Commercial Restructuring & Bankruptcy Newsletter - June 2014

In this issue: - Are Breakup Fees at Risk? - Credit Bidding Rights Limited, Capped by Debt Purchase Amount - Court Upholds Creditor’s Security Interest Despite Post-Petition Lapse of Financing Statement...more

Hold That ReFi! A Reason to Think Twice Before Entering Post-Petition Agreements with Discharged Debtors

After months of phone calls, loan modifications and discussions with borrowers, one finally receives the dreaded bankruptcy notice in the mail. A chapter 7, no-asset case, with the loan listed on the bankruptcy schedules as a...more

Supreme Court Holds Inherited IRAs Not Exempt from Bankruptcy Estate

The Bankruptcy Code permits an individual in bankruptcy to exempt from the bankrupt estate “retirement funds” in an individual retirement account (“IRA”) or certain other tax-advantaged vehicles. In a recent case, the U.S....more

Stern Revisited: Big Questions Remain Unresolved

In its recent decision, Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison (In re Bellingham Insurance Agency, Inc.), the Supreme Court reiterated and expanded on the reasoning in Stern v. Marshall and made clear that a...more

The Thing that Wouldn’t Leave. Non-dischargeable Debts in Bankruptcy

One of my favorite old Saturday Night Live sketches was a preview of a mock-horror movie starring John Belushi as an unwanted house guest who was sticking around too long. The name of the movie was The Thing That Wouldn’t...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction (Somewhat)

In 2011, the Supreme Court decided Stern v. Marshall, 564 U.S. ___, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011), which gave voice to the Court’s grave concerns about the constitutional limits of bankruptcy court jurisdiction and raised several...more

Supreme Court Rules Inherited IRAs Available to Creditors in Bankruptcy

On June 12, 2014 the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Clark v. Rameker, 13-299, ruling that inherited IRA accounts are available to creditors in bankruptcy. At issue was a Bankruptcy Code provision that...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Inherited IRAs are Available to Pay Creditors

On June 12, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Clark v. Rameker[1], opening up another source of recovery for creditors and Chapter 7 trustees in bankruptcy proceedings. In Clark, a Chapter 7 debtor inherited...more

Supreme Court Permits Bankruptcy Court to Hear Adversary Proceeding; Bypasses Issues Regarding Party Consent

On June 9, the Supreme Court held that a bankruptcy judge may submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law for review by a federal district court in otherwise “core” adversary proceedings where a non-debtor party...more

Supreme Court Ruling in Bellingham Offers Comfort but Little Clarity

A unanimous Supreme Court, in Executive Benefits Ins. Agency, Inc. v. Arkinson (In re Bellingham Ins. Agency, Inc.), 573 U.S. ___ (2014), confirmed a bankruptcy court’s power to submit proposed findings of fact and...more

Lenders Across North Carolina Can Breathe Sigh of Relief - NC Supreme Court reverses decision in significant banking litigation

In a case that has implications for all banks in North Carolina, the North Carolina Supreme Court removed a cloud of uncertainty that has remained over the North Carolina banking industry for more than 18 months. The Supreme...more

Anna Nicole Smith Revisited: Supreme Court Closes Gap on "Stern claims;" Declines to Clarify Jurisdiction for Certain Bankruptcy...

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court decided in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison that while bankruptcy courts do not have the power to make final decisions on so-called "Stern claims," they can try or...more

The “Law’s” Limits On The Bankruptcy Court’s Ability To Impose Sanctions For Debtor Misconduct

In the first six months of 2014 the Supreme Court has already issued two opinions concerning the authority of the bankruptcy courts. The first opinion, Law v. Siegel, 134 S. Ct. 1188 (2014), was issued in March. In Law,...more

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