Consumer Bankruptcy Chapter 7

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

How Long Is Too Long To Reopen A Bankruptcy Case?

In a per curiam opinion that is not precedential but of interest to lenders who take mortgages as security, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided that the Debtor’s effort to reopen her bankruptcy case was too...more

New Case Poses Threat to Mortgage Servicers in Bankruptcies

A new decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit poses a serious threat to mortgage companies that service mortgages of chapter 13 debtors. Mortgage servicers should be aware of the case's implications and...more

Mortgage Acknowledgements: Can A Boo-Boo Be Fixed?

Bank of America, N.A. v. Casey, 517 B.R. 1 (D. Mass. 2015) – A Chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a mortgage using “strong-arm” powers based on a defect in the acknowledgement. The mortgagee contended that the defect was...more

Joint Tenancy: What Happens When a Joint Tenant’s Interest Becomes Part of the Bankruptcy Estate?

Peet v. Checkett (In re Peet), 529 B.R. 718 (8th Cir. BAP 2015) – A chapter 7 trustee proposed to sell real and personal property that was owned by the chapter 7 debtors as joint tenants with parents of one of the...more

Property Surrender: Surrender Means Surrender – Really

In re Failla, 529 B.R. 786 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2014) – Individual chapter 7 debtors filed a statement of intention electing to surrender their real estate. The mortgagee contended that they had failed to do so and filed a...more

A Debtor May Forfeit Right to a Chapter 7 Discharge By Refusing to Lower Standard Of Living

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently determined that a chapter 7 bankruptcy case can be dismissed if the debtor “avoids repayment of debt without an adequate reason.” In re Schwartz, No. 15-1416 (7th Cir. August 24,...more

Bankruptcy Basics – “Will I Lose My House in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?”

Almost daily I meet with families that have avoided filing for bankruptcy because they fear they will lose their home as part of the process. In this article I will discuss how you can know if your house will be put at risk...more

New Administrative Orders Amend Procedures for Creditors in Consumer Bankruptcy Cases Pending in the Middle District of Florida

Prior to September 1, 2015, procedures in consumer chapter 13 bankruptcy cases varied greatly across the divisions of the Middle District of Florida, creating vastly different workflows for creditors and attorneys with cases...more

Strong Arm Powers: Does Sovereign Immunity Trump a Claim Based on State Law?

Kohut v. Wayne County Treasurer (In re Lewiston), 528 B.R. 387 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2015) – The debtor made property tax payments on behalf of several real estate projects.  The chapter 7 trustee sought to recover those...more

Settlement Proceeds: When Does Cash Become Quasi Real Estate?

Farmer v. Citizens Nat’l Bank of Athens (In re Davis), 528 B.R. 757 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2015) – A chapter 7 trustee sought a court determination that the trustee had a superior claim to settlement proceeds arising from...more

Debtors May Want To Take It All Off, But The Supreme Court Says Junior Liens Can’t Be Stripped

It’s not an uncommon sight, especially in light of the burst of the housing bubble in recent years: a debtor in bankruptcy has two mortgages on a property with a fair market value of less than the amount of the senior...more

What General Counsel Should Know When a Company's Tenant Files for Bankruptcy

Your tenant files for bankruptcy-what’s your move? Debtors who are lessees under real property leases have certain rights regarding their lease under § 365 of the Bankruptcy Code. Essentially, the debtor has two options: 1)...more

New York Appellate Court Confers Standing on Assignee of Note Previously Discharged in Bankruptcy

A mortgage lender has standing to foreclose even when it obtains assignment of the underlying promissory note after the note has been discharged in bankruptcy, a New York appellate court has ruled. The case arose after the...more

Reversing the Trend: Will Congress Act to Except College Tuition Payments from Clawback in Bankruptcy? - Congress Weighs...

A trend emerging in consumer bankruptcy cases around the U.S. is causing concern for many parents, students and undergraduate schools. As was reported by The Wall Street Journal in an article published on May 5, 2015, an...more

Florida Court Rules Borrowers Who Surrender Property in Bankruptcy Can't Later Take it Back

Thanks to several recent United States Bankruptcy Court decisions in Florida, mortgage servicers should now expect borrowers who surrender their real property in bankruptcy to not contest foreclosure later. Since the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Resolves Uncertainty Regarding Junior Mortgage Liens in Chapter 7 Proceedings

A recent U.S. Supreme Court case resolves uncertainty as to whether Bankruptcy Code Section 506(d) allows Chapter 7 Bankruptcy debtors to "strip off" (void) junior mortgage liens that are wholly underwater. That uncertainty...more

US Supreme Court Decision in Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett

In a 9-0 decision released on June 1, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled, in Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett, 135 S. Ct. 1995 (2015), that a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may not void a junior mortgage lien...more

Bankruptcy Beat: Bankruptcy Court Finds Debt To Third Party To Be A Non-Dischargable Debt Incurred In Connection With a Divorce

Bankruptcy Judge Albert Dabrowski was faced with a unique set of circumstances arising as a result of the intersection of a state court divorce action and a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. In the matter of Corrine Sawyer v. Scott...more

Debt Free in 2016? Now is the Time to File Your Bankruptcy

It is hard to believe we are getting ready to head into the July 4th weekend! 2015 is almost half-way over and I have started to plan out the remainder of the year andit is crazy to think if you are thinking of filing...more

Recent Unanimous Supreme Court Decision Holds That Underwater Mortgages in a Chapter 7 Cannot be “Stripped off"

The Issue and Background - Debtors David Caulkett and Edelmiro Toledo-Cardona (“Debtors”) each filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief with “underwater” junior mortgages held by Bank of America, N.A. (“Bank”). In other...more

Becoming a Creditor in a Bankruptcy Case Triggers a Duty to Preserve Documents

A litigator in bankruptcy court is challenged with mastery of a trial lawyer’s skills as well as the developing substantive law, jurisdictional and otherwise, governed by the Bankruptcy Code. Who hasn’t heard of Stern v....more

Bankruptcy Beat: Former NFL Player Defeats Fraud Allegations Which Results In Discharge Of Debt

On March 31, 2015, the Honorable Albert S. Dabrowski issued a decision in Hamrah v. Coulette (In re Coulette), Adv. Pro. No. 13-2039, concerning the issue of whether an obligation created by a failed business investment gives...more

"Strip, Strip Hooray!" - Supreme Court Settles Chapter 7 Lien-Stripping Debate

Twenty-three years after initially visiting the issue, the United States Supreme Court has recently settled what some would call “the single most important unresolved issue in consumer bankruptcy” - whether Chapter 7 permits...more

4 Reasons Bankruptcy Might Be a Very Bad Idea

For some filing for bankruptcy will not only bring a lot of much needed relief it is actually a smart financial step. Bankruptcy can clear away a lot of debt and truly provide a fresh start. However there are situations where...more

Supreme Court Reaffirms a Chapter 7 Debtor's Inability to Strip a Lien Against Real Property

Reaffirming its 1992 decision in Dewsnup v. Timm, on June 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court in Bank of America v. Caulkett, No. 13-1421, once again ruled that a chapter 7 debtor may not void a junior lien under Bankruptcy Code...more

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