Consumer Bankruptcy

Consumer bankruptcy is a process to reduce or eliminate personal as opposed to business debts. Consumer bankruptcies can be filed under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code.  Debtors are... more +
Consumer bankruptcy is a process to reduce or eliminate personal as opposed to business debts. Consumer bankruptcies can be filed under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code.  Debtors are eligible for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 depending on the nature of their debts and assets. less -
News & Analysis as of

Chapter 13 Debtors Choosing to Retain Residential Property and Not Claim Homestead Are Not Entitled to Wildcard Exemption

In Florida, it is well settled that a Chapter 7 debtor who does not claim or receive the benefit of the homestead exemption on his bankruptcy schedules is entitled to claim the “wildcard” exemption pursuant to Fla. Stat. §...more

The Seventh Circuit Interprets Wisconsin Exemption Law on College Savings Accounts and Retirement Annuities, but Did It Have...

As we explained in a post yesterday, the Seventh Circuit in In re Bronk (Cirilli v. Bronk), No. 13-1123 (7th Cir. Jan. 5, 2015), made some new law on Wisconsin’s college savings account (Edvest) and annuity exemptions for...more

Denial of Plan Confirmation and Finality - Supreme Court's Resolution of Circuit Split May Apply to Chapter 11

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Bullard v. Hyde Park Savings Bank (In re Bullard), U.S., No. 14-116 (cert. granted 12/12/14). The Court's decision in this case will resolve a circuit split with regard to whether an order...more

The Seventh Circuit Interprets Wisconsin Exemption Law on College Savings Accounts and Retirement Annuities, but Did It Have...

In re Bronk (Cirilli v. Bronk), No. 13-1123 (7th Cir. Jan. 5, 2015), resolved a couple of “questions of first impression,” slip op. at 1, under Wisconsin’s exemption statute in a case where a bankruptcy trustee sought to...more

Bankruptcy would take everything I own. Wrong!

I keep hearing this despite writing about it several times before So lets take another look at this myth....more

FDCPA – Your Consumer Bill of Rights

Debt collection phone calls…this is one of the top reasons people file for bankruptcy – so that they can avoid having to deal with debt collectors and all the garbage that goes with it. The thing is, you shouldn’t have to...more

UCC Collateral Description: More May Not Be Better

Ring v. First Niagara Bank, N.A. (In re Sterling United, Inc.), 519 B.R. 586 (Bankr. W.D.N.Y. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to recover as preferences payments made by the debtor to a lender and proceeds of...more

Ms. McNeal Goes to Washington

For those of you who have followed our blog since its inception, you will know that one of our most discussed opinions is that of In re McNeal, in which the Eleventh Circuit held that a debtor may strip a wholly unsecured...more

Prepetition Stay Waivers: Which Way Is The Wind Blowing?

In re Triple A & R Inv., Inc., 519 B.R. 581 (Bankr. D. P.R. 2014) – A mortgagee moved for relief from the automatic stay based on the debtor’s prepetition consent to stay relief.  The debtor argued that a prepetition waiver...more

Delinquent Property Tax Collection: Dancing Around the Automatic Stay

In re Killmer, 513 B.R. 41 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2014) – After reopening a bankruptcy case, a mortgagee moved for a determination that a post-petition delinquent property tax sale was void because it was held in violation of the...more

Bankruptcy will ruin my credit for 10 years. Wrong!

Why am I writing about this again? Because I still hear it so often it seems like the word just isn't getting out there. What's the reality of filing bankruptcy and your credit rating?...more

Top 5 Consumer Articles in 2014!

Each year on New Year’s Eve I like to take a look back at the articles I published and which ones helped the most people. During 2014 over 85,000 people from 146 countries read the articles on my blog! It always amazes the...more

The Bankruptcy Discharge, Debt Buyers, and Credit Reporting: Recent Developments

Recent news stories by The New York Times and NPR have brought much attention to a question that many creditors likely face on a regular basis: When a debt is sold to a debt buyer prior to the debtor entering bankruptcy, what...more

Credit Card Debt, Christmas, and What it Can Mean for Your Bankruptcy Case

The reality of it is, as much as we try to avoid it, there is a lot of pressure during the Christmas season, particularly on parents, to buy their kids their Christmas wishes – even if it means charging up the credit card...more

Rent-Stabilization Lease A “Public Benefit” For Exemption Purposes

Faced with bankruptcy, one of the foremost thoughts on an individual debtor’s mind is whether or not, upon exiting bankruptcy, the individual will retain any property he or she possessed prior to bankruptcy. Addressing this...more

Mortgage Recording: What Happens When There Is An Extra “E”?

Weiss v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (In re Thibault), 518 B.R. 635 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a mortgage using his “strong-arm” powers on the basis that it was not properly recorded...more

Mortgage Recording Requirements: Tiny Technical Defect Strikes Again

Rogan v. U.S. Bank, N.A. (In re Partin), 517 B.R. 770 (Bankr. E.D. Ky. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid mortgages on three properties using his “strong arm” powers, arguing that they were improperly recorded...more

Creditor's Willful Violation of Automatic Stay Results in Fee Award

In Snowden v. Check Into Cash of Washington Inc. (In re Snowden), 2014 DJDAR 12677, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided a bankruptcy case involving the award of attorney fees....more

Recorded Documents: Who Loses When A Document Is Not Properly Indexed?

Agin v. Dookhan (In re Hultin), 516 B.R. 190 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a transfer of the debtor’s real property using his “strong arm” powers based on an argument that the deed...more

Bankruptcy Beat: Connecticut District Court Affirms the Bankruptcy Court’s Dismissal of an Individual Chapter 11 Case For The...

Countless individual debtors file for bankruptcy to save their homes from foreclosure, but some of them abuse the bankruptcy court system in the process. Vega v. United States Trustee, 2014 WL 4843698 (D. Conn. 2014)...more

Leases: Avoid Unnecessary Headaches With Precise Drafting

Charter v. Kearney (In re Colen), 516 B.R. 618 (Bankr. D. Or. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sued the tenants’ landlord to recover payment of a fee that he contended was illegal under state law. The issue turned on...more

Possible Tax Consequences of Debt Settlement

People want to pay their debts. If there is one thing I have learned over the last 11 years of practicing law is that people generally want to pay the debts that they have incurred. People usually hire me when they simply...more

Points & Authorities - Fall 2014

In This Issue: - Legal Considerations for Web Based Start-Ups - California’s Water Anxiety Prompts Landmark Groundwater Legislation - Points from the President - Factor Beware: A Judgment Lien...more

Banks Beware! Parol Evidence May Not Correct Drafting Errors When Enforcing Security Agreements

Secured transactions typically include two key documents, which are often executed simultaneously: a promissory note memorializing loan and repayment terms executed by the borrower in favor of the lender and a security...more

7th Circuit Provides (No) Clarity on Compulsory Counterclaims

Federal procedure requires a defendant to plead all counterclaims that arise out of the same transaction or occurrence as the plaintiff’s claim, or his claim may be barred in a later suit. Fed. R. Civ. P. 13(a). Although the...more

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