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

Abandonment: When Property Drops Out of the Bankruptcy Estate

In re Rich, 510 B.R. 366 (Bankr. D. Utah 2014) – In a case that was converted from a chapter 11 reorganization to a chapter 7 liquidation, the debtor sought an order directing the trustee to abandon certain real...more

How Prior Bankruptcy Filings Can Impact Your Current Bankruptcy

If you have read much at all on my bankruptcy blog you will no doubt be familiar with my mantra – “no one wants to file for bankruptcy”. And while I believe that to be true, some people find themselves in a situation where...more

Improperly Indexed Mortgage: How Far Does Your Record Review Need to Go to Be Safe?

Albert v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC (In re El Erian), 512 B.R. 391 (Bankr. D. D.C. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid the lien of a recorded deed of trust because (1) it contained both correct and incorrect...more

Ninth Circuit: Banks Can Freeze Chapter 7 Debtors’ Accounts

Banks have long taken comfort in knowing that if one of their customers files for bankruptcy, the bank can freeze the debtor’s account to preserve the bank’s ability to assert a setoff against the account where the bank has a...more

Property Tax Foreclosure: Tax Authority May Have to Pay for Equity in Property

A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a property tax foreclosure as a fraudulent transfer and then to recover damages from the foreclosing county. The bankruptcy court agreed that the transfer was a fraudulent conveyance, but...more

The “B” Word – Asserting Your Claim in the Wake of a Bankruptcy Filing: Proof of Claim Basics

The word “bankruptcy” often strikes dread in the hearts of creditors. To some, when they hear that someone who owes them money has filed bankruptcy, they envision writing off the debt and never receiving a cent. However,...more

Affiliate Transfer: Fraudulent Conveyance or Unwinding Resulting Trust?

A chapter 7 trustee sought to set aside as a debtor’s transfer of her interest in property held jointly with her husband to her husband’s corporation as a constructive fraudulent conveyance. The bankruptcy court agreed that...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

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

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

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

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 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

Fresh Starts in Chapter 7 and Finishing the Race in Chapter 13: Bankruptcy Positives

Many years ago I read an article in the Los Angeles Times that cited a statistic to the effect that nearly all people who filed Bankruptcy, regretted it. Something like 90 percent. I am not sure how that figure was...more

Is the Means Test a mean test? Flunking Chapter 7

Hard to believe that we are closing in on ten years since Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA). The most significant impact on consumer bankruptcies was the creation of the...more

Retirement Plans Are Your Saving Grace in Bankruptcy

Why do I say retirement plans are your saving grace in bankruptcy? Because you can (almost always) keep all of the money in them if you file bankruptcy, not losing it to your creditors. Let's look as what that means for you....more

Bad Faith Constitutes "Cause" For Dismissal Under Section 707(a)

Until recently, the creditor of a chapter 7 debtor whose debts were not primarily consumer in nature was unable to rely on Eleventh Circuit precedent to support its position that its debtor's chapter 7 bankruptcy case should...more

Supreme Court Issues Decision in Law v. Siegel, Eliminating Ability to Impose Surcharge on Exempt Property Unless Explicitly...

On March 4, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Law v. Seigel, Case No. 12-5196, 571 U.S. ___ (2014) holding that the bankruptcy court used its equitable powers in contravention of Bankruptcy Code section...more

U.S. Supreme Court Reins in Bankruptcy Court Authority Under § 105(a)

On March 4, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Law v. Siegel, 571 U.S. __ (Mar. 4, 2014) and held that the bankruptcy court exceeded its authority under section 105(a) of the Bankruptcy Code and its...more

Can I File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Even if I Qualify for Chapter 7?

Some individuals pass the means test for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Yet they also have income that might allow them to repay their creditors under more favorable terms. This option might be preferable to individuals who wish to...more

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