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April 21, 2014
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anderson

Critical Case Comment

By Kevin R. Anderson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Utah
Pliler v. Stearns (In re Pliler): Joining the Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, the Fourth Circuit held that above-median debtors, even with zero or negative disposable income on Form 22C, must remain in Chapter 13 for 60 months to ensure they repay creditors the maximum they can afford.
nacba

Another shout out to the NACBA folks!The Academy sponsored two drawings during the NACBA conference:

  • Winner of a free Academy membership – Robert Colliersmith practices exclusively consumer bankruptcy law with his law partner and wife, Carol A. Colliersmith in Marietta, GA.
  • Winner of a Starbucks gift card – Jess T. Schwidde of Glinka & Schwidde in Rutland, VT. Jess practices in various areas of the law including business and bankruptcy law, both debtor and creditor rights.

rothschild Apology: Last week, The Academy made an error in misnaming the law firm of Rothschild & Ausbrooks. Both Edgar Rothschild and Mary Beth Ausbrooks are Board Certified Specialist in Consumer Bankruptcy. ausobrooks Their partnership is devoted 100% to representation of debtors in consumer bankruptcy in Middle Tennessee with offices in Nashville. Mr. Rothschild was a member of NACBA prior to its inception! He has been an associate member of the NACTT since 1983. Ms. Ausbrooks has just completed her tenure on the NACBA Board of Directors and currently serves as State Chair. Each are active NACTT members as well as members and supporters of The Academy. We appreciate their sponsorship and regret our error.

Our humblest apologies to Mr. Rothschild, Ms. Ausbrooks and Ms. Salas for the error.

gustafson

Post-Petition Causes of Action, Inheritances and Windfalls are Property of the Estate and Must Be Reported to the Trustee – Part 3 of 6

By The Honorable John P. Gustafson, Northern District of Ohio
Part 3 of Judge Gustafson’s “Windfalls” outline continues looking at The Duty To Disclose Post-Petition Causes Of Action, specifically Consequences For The Debtor Where A Cause Of Action Is Not Disclosed.Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 2
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Automatic Stay

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week, Judge Brown looks at 3 cases pertaining to the automatic stay:

  • No stay relief to pursue dischargeable claim.
  • Debtor wife bound by in rem relief in husband’s prior case.
  • Creditor entitled to reopen case to determine if tax sale void.
gustafson

Gustafson Takes Oath

Favorite Academy author John P. Gustafson was appointed as United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Ohio. He took the oath of office on Tuesday, April 8. John served as Chapter 13 Trustee for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division for almost 7 years. Prior to being appointed Trustee, he served as Staff Attorney to Trustee Anthony B. DiSalle for 4 years. As regular ConsiderChapter13.org readers know, he is a prolific author. He has been an active member of the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees and serves on the Board of Directors of The Academy. He enjoys kayaking, running, bicycling, gardening and juggling – even though he says he does none of them well. He and his wife, Annette, are school-year empty-nesters this year as their son, Matthew, completes his first year of college at Ohio State University, where he is majoring in water polo and some school stuff. CONGRATULATIONS John, um, Judge!
djacobs

Discharge of Debt Does Not, Necessarily, Remove Secured Lien

By Douglas B. Jacobs, Jacobs, Anderson, Potter & Chaplin, LLP (Chico, CA)
In February, the Academy re-published (with permission) Attorney Jacobs’ Bankruptcy Law Network article The Debt and the Lien: Two Completely Different Problems as a client hand-out. The article was so popular, we asked Mr. Jacobs to re-write, as a piece for the Academy’s Toolbox. Discharge of Debt Does Not, Necessarily, Remove Secured Lien is now a permanent resource under Definitions in The Toolbox.
irs

We’re From the Government and We’re Here to Help (Not password protected)

April 14, 2014
Archives
nacba
Hey to all the NACBA folks! CONGRATULATIONS for another great annual conference. New York City is always the best. Welcome new Academy members. The Academy specifically thanks Rothschild & Ausbrooks and The Law Offices of James Flexer (both of Nashville, TN) for their generous sponsorship of the Academy’s attendance.
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee
“Replacement value” standard of § 506(a)(2) applies when a Chapter 13 debtor surrenders a vehicle under § 1325(a)(5)(C).
gustafson

Post-Petition Causes of Action, Inheritances and Windfalls are Property of the Estate and Must Be Reported to the Trustee – Part 2 of 6

By The Honorable John P. Gustafson*, Northern District of Ohio
Part 2 of Judge Gustafson’s “Windfalls” outline looks at The Duty to Disclose Post-Petition Causes of Action

*On Tuesday, April 8th, ‘our’ Trustee Gustafson took the oath becoming a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Ohio. CONGRATULATIONS Judge! John served as the Chapter 13 Trustee for 7 years. Mr. Gustafson is a prolific author and avid outdoorsman.

wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Two Issues: Reopening Cases and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week, Judge Brown looks at two separate issues:

  • Reopening Cases – Appeal of denial of reopening dismissed for lack of standing.
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – FDCPA claim may arise from communication to debtor.
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected.)
April 7, 2014
Archives
gustafson

Post-Petition Causes of Action, Inheritances and Windfalls are Property of the Estate and Must Be Reported to the Trustee – Part 1 of 6

By John Gustafson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division
Enjoy Part 1 of Trustee Gustafson’s latest outline. His look at post-petition causes of action, inheritances and windfalls begins with a section called: Property Acquired After The Filing of The Chapter 13 Case: The Different Approaches.
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Dismissal and Conversion

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week, Judge Brown focuses on Attorney Fees and Issues:

  • Out of state firm, and local counsel, representing debtors failed to provide adequate representation.
  • Plan paying debtor’s attorney before mortgage not confirmable.
sensenich

The Hottest Item From Last Week . . . In case you missed it.

May Trustees Who Happen To Be Lawyers Communicate Directly With Debtors?

By Jan Sensenich, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Vermont
From time to time the question arises as to whether a bankruptcy trustee, who happens to also be a lawyer, is ethically prohibited from directly communicating with debtors regarding issues in their bankruptcy. Trustee Sensenich adds this ‘go-to’ answer to the Academy’s Toolbox.
March 31, 2014
Archives
sensenich

May Trustees Who Happen To Be Lawyers Communicate Directly With Debtors?

By Jan Sensenich, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Vermont
From time to time the question arises as to whether a bankruptcy trustee, who happens to also be a lawyer, is ethically prohibited from directly communicating with debtors regarding issues in their bankruptcy. Trustee Sensenich adds this ‘go-to’ answer to the Academy’s Toolbox.
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Dismissal and Conversion

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week, Judge Brown focuses on Dismissal and Conversion:

  • Failure to disclose personal injury lawsuits grounds for conversion.
  • Failure to file required documents and tax returns supported dismissal.
  • Credit counseling received on date of petition was timely and dismissal denied.
March 24, 2014
Archives
hotlanta

Shout out to the SBLI attendees in Hot’lanta. As usual, it was a great conference. Welcome New Members: Rex Yancey (Lynchburg, VA); Galen Pierce (Murfreesboro, TN); Orson Woodall (Valdosta, GA); and Marc Levy (Louisville, KY)

siomos

In re Rogers and the Discharge of In Personam Liability on Long Term Debts: Why the Conventional Wisdom is Right

By Kenneth Siomos, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee John H. Germeraad, Petersburg, IL
“Looking just to the plain language of Sections 1322(b)(5) and 1328, and throwing out pre-conceived notions of what is permitted, it looks like the Rogers court got this right.”
gustafson

Protecting Trustees From Liability – Part V of V

By John Gustafson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division
Trustee Gustafson’s outline on the protection of trustees concludes with miscellaneous, rarities and exceptions – from the Noerr-Pennington Doctrine to privity defenses for staff attorneys. Click here for Part V . . .Click here for Part I. . .
Click here for Part II . . .
Click here for Part III . . .
Click here for Part IV . . .
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Property of Estate and Exemptions

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week, Judge Brown focuses on Property of Estate and Exemptions:

  • Profit-sharing plan was not exempt.
  • Section 1306(a) extends timeline for inclusion in properly of estate.
  • Section 522(o) applied to lien.
goering

Chapter 13 Under The Bankruptcy Act And Chandler Amendments

By Robert Goering, Sr., Esq., Cincinnati, Ohio
In 2009, Attorney Goering wrote a historical perspective on Chapter 13. It is just as interesting today as it was then. Click here for a look at the origins of the Bankruptcy Code.
irs

We’re From the Government and We’re Here to Help  (Not password protected)

March 17, 2014
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
“All of us know that emails are discoverable under most circumstances, and yet, you’d be surprised by how many lawyers (and, yes, law professors) put the most damning things in emails.”At some point in their career, you can be certain that each of the indicted Dewey & LeBeouf attorneys said, ‘Oh, I’ll never make that mistake’ but they did. Click here for Ms. Ps & Qs’ March article on ethics and sound decision making.
gustafson

Protecting Trustees From Liability – Part IV of V

By John Gustafson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division
Part 4 of Trustee Gustafson’s outline looks at situations where trustees may lack the legal protections they normally enjoy.   Click here for Part IV . . .
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Avoidance Actions

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week, Judge Brown focuses on Avoidance Actions:

  • Trustee may avoid entire charitable contribution, if it exceeds 15% of gross annual income.
  • Chapter 13 debtor lacked derivative standing.
  • Trustees had constructive record notice of mortgages.
  • Trustee could defensively assert avoidance power after expiration of statutory time to file complaint.
iwata

Are You Correctly Classifying Workers as Independent Contractors?

By Andrew Iwata, Tran Law Firm LLP, Houston, TX
“It is very important for a company to know whether its workers are employees or independent contractors.” This article could apply to you as a small business owner or to your clients.
irs

We’re From the Government and We’re Here to Help

hildebrand

In case you missed it…Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee
In re Knorr. Child care expenses may only be permitted as reasonable and necessary expenses if they are necessary to provide for a taxpayer’s health and welfare or the production of income; court can permit debtor a year to come into compliance with the IRM’s obligation to trim unnecessary expenses.
March 10, 2014
Archives
supremecourt

SUPREME COURT CORNER (Not password protected)

Surcharge of Exemption Violated § 522(k)

By William Houston Brown, Adviser/Editor, Academy for Consumer Bankruptcy Education
wbrownAlthough a Chapter 7 case, the holding and reasoning of the Court is important for Chapter 13 cases . . . opinion contains significant reminders about the limits of the bankruptcy court’s authority, as well as lessons about how the bad result might be avoided in future cases.
mortgagemed

Florida Bankruptcy Courts Mortgage Modification Summit

By Tammy Branson, Certified Bankruptcy Assistant, Senior Paralegal at Branson Law PLLC, Orlando, FL
Exciting things are happening in the mortgage modification mediation arena. February brought a first-ever statewide summit. Florida is setting precedents and having great success mediating mortgage modifications through the bankruptcy courts. We should all take note. Click here for more . . .
If you haven’t already, mark your calendar NOW to attend the NACTT annual conference in Chicago July 17-19. We have a very special session planned on making mortgage modification mediation work in your district. See you in Chicago!
gustafson

Protecting Trustees From Liability – Part III of V

By John Gustafson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division
Part 3 of Trustee Gustafson’s outstanding outline on the legal doctrines that protect bankruptcy trustees.  This week’s installment looks at the legal defense which provides the primary protection that all bankruptcy trustees rely upon in doing their jobs: Quasi-Judicial Immunity.   Click here for Part III . . .
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Claims

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week, Judge Brown focuses on 3 cases involving claims issues:

  • Chapter 7 debtor lacked standing to appeal from order finding no standing to seek claim disallowance
  • Interest rate on tax lien certificate determined under state law
  • Attorney fees for debtor’s children qualified as domestic support obligation
anderson

In case you missed it last week . . . Critical Case CommentCopeland

By Kevin R. Anderson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Utah
How does a case about late filed tax returns have an impact on student loan debts? Click here for a ‘must read’ from Trustee Anderson. Copeland v. Fink (In re Moore) has a lot to say.
March 3, 2014
Archives

A Texas Sized Shout Out to the TexasBarCLE Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Course in Houston

This was the Academy’s first time at this conference. Thank you Eddie Rodriguez for the invitation. SchmidtThe panelists were the cream of the crop and the attendees were delightfully interesting and interested. A bonus, and highlight, was a reception for The Honorable Richard S. Schmidt for 26-1/2 years on the bench! Congratulations Judge Schmidt.

Regina Sanchez

won a one-year free membership to the Academy. Congratulations!! Ms. Sanchez practices in Houston, Texas, as an associate with Swindell & Associates, P.C., where she specializes in bankruptcy matters for consumer cases.

Welcome new Texas members!

anderson

Critical Case Comment

By Kevin R. Anderson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Utah
How does a case about late filed tax returns have an impact on student loan debts? Click here for a ‘must read’ from Trustee Anderson. Copeland v. Fink (In re Moore) has a lot to say.
gustafson

Protecting Trustees From Liability – Part II of V

By John Gustafson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division
The continuation of Trustee Gustafson’s outstanding outline on the Barton Doctrine. This week’s installation covers: How To Use The Barton Doctrine To Defend A Trustee and When The Plaintiff Actually Seeks Leave Of The Bankruptcy Court To Sue.
eisenberg

Grandfather of Empirical Legal Studies Dies

wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Postconfirmation Modification

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week, Judge Brown focuses on two cases involving postconfirmation modification:

  • Decline in value did not permit modification and stripping of junior lien
  • No categorical bar to postconfirmation surrender and reclassification, but lack of good faith prevented modification.
iphone

Ya Gotta Get This App

DkT — Access PACER Via iPad or iPhone (Not password protected)

PACER lets you select a mobile option but the experience isn’t ideal – can’t save username, password, difficult to enter case numbers, and the cost – oy vey. Matthew Zorn, an attorney at a large New York law firm, decided to do something about that. He wrote a useful and beautifully designed app that he calls DkT – free and can access PACER for federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts. DkT (pronounced Docket) allows split screen view and batch downloading.
fedreserve

A popular item you may have missed last week, plus a new article on same topic:

This Could Be The Reason Filings Are Down . . . For Now. (Not password protected)

February 24, 2014
Archives
gustafson

Protecting Trustees From Liability – Part I of V

By John Gustafson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division
“The policy behind the Barton Doctrine has been described in various ways. Most simply, the Barton Doctrine allows bankruptcy courts to retain greater control over administration of the estate.” Click here for Part I.
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee
In re Knorr: Child care expenses may only be permitted as reasonable and necessary expenses if they are necessary to provide for a taxpayer’s health and welfare or the production of income; court can permit debtor a year to come into compliance with the IRM’s obligation to trim unnecessary expenses.
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Classification

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
Judge Brown looks at one case in which separate classification of student loan debt did not unfairly discriminate.

IRS Tax Help ‘en Español’

IRS offers many free and easy-to-use products for taxpayers who speak Spanish. Get answers 24/7 at IRS.gov/espanol which has a wealth of tax information for individuals and businesses. You can check the status of your tax refund through the online tool “¿Dónde está mi reembolso?” Use the Asistente EITC tool to check if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. The credit is available to many people who earned less than $51,567 in 2013.
wbrown

In Case You Missed It . . .

Rules of Statutory Re-Construction: BAPCPA and the Supreme Court’s Refinement of the “Plain Meaning” Doctrine

By The Honorable Kevin R. Huennekens and Aaron M. Bachmann
Bachmann PhotoThis article explores the ways in which the Supreme Court Justices have used bankruptcy cases as a battleground for fighting out philosophical differences. Bankruptcy courts and practitioners have struggled with how to apply the Lanning and Ransom cases, in particular. Judge Huennekens’ nuanced explanation of these cases should be of great interest to Academy’s members. Though this was written in 2011, it remains timely as we all hold our breath and await the Supreme Court’s next pronouncement on bankruptcy in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency, Inc. v. Arkison.
February 17, 2014
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
“Let’s talk a little bit about persuasive arguments. . . . With respect to the appearance of impropriety issue, the Court bench-slapped . . . attorney . . .” Click here for more. . .Have a question for Ms. Ps & Qs? Click here (You may remain anonymous if you prefer.)
hayes

Predictions on Bellingham – An Eyewitness Account

By M. Jonathan Hayes, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist (Northridge, CA)
supremecourt“I attended oral argument a few weeks ago at the Supreme Court . . . . We got to see Law v. Siegel and . . . EBIA v. Arkinson (In re Bellingham Insurance Agency, Inc.). We sat in the second row where I could almost reach up and shake hands with Justice Sonia Sotomayor.”
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Property of Estate and Exemptions

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Judge Brown looks at 2 cases under the category: Property of Estate and Exemptions

  • Chapter 7 trustee’s authority to sell residence
  • Determination of when causes of action become property of estate
lifland
fired

Business Aids

See also, Terminating An Employee (Password removed for 1 week only.)
February 10, 2014
Archives
waldron

Easily Available Electronic Information (EAEI) and Ethics – Part II of II

By The Honorable Thomas F. Waldron (retired)
The conclusion to Judge Waldron’s original article.Click here for Part I . . .
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Automatic Stay

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
Judge Brown looks at 3 cases regarding the automatic stay.
February 3, 2014
Archives
waldron

Easily Available Electronic Information (EAEI) and Ethics – Part I of II

By The Honorable Thomas F. Waldron (retired)
The Academy is pleased to publish an original article by the Academy’s inaugural Editor and Advisor, the Honorable Thomas F. Waldron.“. . . the ease and efficiency of EAEI . . . increases, rather than decreases, the opportunities for violations of various provisions of the Code of Professional Conduct by incompetent, indifferent or merely negligent attorneys and requires constant vigilance even by competent, concerned and attentive attorneys to assure that all aspects of bankruptcy practice are consistent with applicable legal and ethical requirements.”
djacobs

The Debt and the Lien: Two Completely Different Problems

By Douglas Jacobs
From the Bankruptcy Law Network, Attorney Jacobs gives debtor attorneys an excellent hand-out for clients with a mortgage. (Not password protected.)
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Jurisdiction and Authority of Bankruptcy Court

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
“Bankruptcy court had constitutional authority to determine fees but lacked authority to enter final judgment on debtor’s counterclaim under Deceptive Trade Practices Act.”
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected.)
Cumings_Color_2012

Hottest Item From Last Week

Post-Marrama: Allowing Chapter 13 Trustees to Unwind a Debtor’s Conversion to Chapter 7

By Brian T. Cumings, Graves, Dougherty, Hearon and Moody (Austin, TX)
“For Chapter 13 trustees, the “notice conversion” permitted under Bankruptcy Rule 1017(f) can be frustrating. . . . Since Marrama was handed down, at least two circuit courts have dealt with its impact on application of § 1307(b), …”Another excellent case dissection from Attorney Cumings. Click here . . .
January 27, 2014
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee
Carroll v. Logan: A post-petition inheritance received by a Chapter 13 debtor more than 180-days after the filing of the petition constitutes property of the estate and can be committed to fund a modified Chapter 13 plan.See also: When Chapter 13 Debtors Receive Windfalls
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Attorney Fees and Issues

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week, Judge Brown looks at 2 cases involving attorney fees:

  • Requiring attorney to return properties to estate not sustained under § 329
  • Postpetition retainer and out-of-court settlement improper
nclc

From the NCLC: Tax-Time Consumer Troubles

Preparer Fraud, High Fees, and Tax-Time Financial Products Plague Consumers
Click here to read this very informative report from the National Consumer Law Center . . . “A free or inexpensive alternative for low-income taxpayers are free tax preparation sites, including VITA sites . . . and AARP . . .”
January 20, 2014
Archives

When Silence Does Not Equal Consent: Implied Consent, Espinosa, and the Chapter 13 Trustee

By Phil Lamos, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee Craig Shopneck, Cleveland, OH
Attorney Lamos adds another excellent ‘definition’ piece to the Academy’s growing Toolbox. “Section 1325(a)(5)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code states that a plan shall be confirmed if, among many other conditions, the secured creditors have “accepted” the plan. But how does a secured creditor “accept” a plan?”See also: Critical Case Comment – United Student Aid Funds, Inc. v. Espinosa
Cumings_Color_2012

Weeding Out Marijuana From Bankruptcy Proceedings: The Intersection Between State Laws Legalizing Marijuana and Federal Bankruptcy Law

By Brian T. Cumings, Graves, Dougherty, Hearon and Moody (Austin, TX)
The Academy first published this article back in September. With January 1 bringing legalized marijuana use in Colorado, we felt it prudent to re-run. Although the case law is miniscule, Attorney Cumings addresses this state vs. federal issue.If you have anecdotal or case law experience in this arena, the Academy would like to hear from you. Please send comments to MemberAccounts@ConsiderChapter13.org or leave your comments in the ‘Comments’ section at the end of the article.
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
From the Editor’s Desk is back. This week Judge Brown focuses on a case showing that an FDCPA claim may arise from communication to debtor.
January 13, 2014
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
“I should have waited for a scary tale until right before Halloween, but this case just came out, and you should know about it.” A must-read from Ms. Ps & Qs . . . local rules are RULES . . . not suggestions.Have a question for Ms. Ps & Qs? Click here (You may remain anonymous.)
burden

Quick Reference Guide to Selling Property in Chapter 13

By Beverly Burden, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
During the course of a chapter 13, it is not unusual for a debtor to sell property. Perhaps the debtor is relocating or maybe the debtor has an old car with no liens that s/he wants to sell to a family member. Can the chapter 13 debtor sell property? Who needs to get notice of the proposed sale? Is an order of the Bankruptcy Court required?Check out the “Quick Reference Guide to Selling Property While in Chapter 13,” which is housed in The Toolbox/Debtor Attorney. This Guide gives practitioners a quick overview of the requirements, summarizes all relevant statutes and rules, and includes a few sample forms.
gustafson

Should We Be Playing It Close To The Vest?

By John Gustafson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division
A pair of recent bankruptcy decisions make strange bedfellows, while still managing to cause bankruptcy attorneys some sleepless nights. But what do the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Kimberlin, and the Rosa decision out of Hawaii have in common?
cfpb

This Week at the CFPB

In Case You Missed It Last Week . . . We’re there . . .  “The CFPB issued the 2013 RESPA and TILA Final Rules in January 2013 and they take effect on January 10, 2014.“ In addition to the Academy’s archived webinar Oy Vey, More Rule Changes: The CFPB and Regulations X & Z, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers assistance in weeding through this voluminous material. Click here for a table of all the mortgage rules. Note that within this table are links to short summary videos which you may find informative.
. . . And note your calendar for a special session on this topic at the NACTT Annual Conference in Chicago . . . July 17-19.
supremecourt

4TH Circuit to Beneficiaries in Chapter 13: Pay Up

By Mark C. Leffler, Boleman Law Firm, P.C., Richmond, Hampton, and Va. Beach, VA
FOLLOW-UP . . . While we generally do not run an article 3 weeks in a row, Mr. Leffler has included follow-up in answering the question: “How do the vesting provisions of 1327(b) impact this issue.”  Click here and scroll to the bottom of the article for the latest info.
January 6, 2014
Archives
waters

The Affordable Care Act: Effects on Small Business

By Julie Waters, PHR, Human Resources/Operations Manager for the Office of the Chapter 13 Trustee for the Eastern District of Washington, Spokane
“What else do you need to know? Be sure to read your plan document thoroughly, especially the subrogation and indemnification clauses.” Ms. Waters’ article offers much needed insight and advice for choosing an insurance plan under Obamacare.
williamson

Practice Pointers for Lawyers

By The Honorable Michael G. Williamson, United States Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida
Although written for practitioners in his court, Judge Williamson proposes excellent practice pointers for attorneys nationwide. (This item is not password protected.)
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected.)
ffiec

FFIEC Social Media Guidelines

FFIEC published Guidance to address the applicability of federal consumer protection and compliance laws, regulations, and policies to activities conducted via social media by banks, savings associations, and credit unions, as well as by nonbank entities supervised by the CFPB.
December 30, 2013
Archives
supremecourt

4TH Circuit to Beneficiaries in Chapter 13: Pay Up

By Mark C. Leffler, Boleman Law Firm, P.C., Richmond, Hampton, and Va. Beach, VA
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals recently provided answers to many questions regarding windfalls in Carroll v. Logan. Click here for the latest info.
jdavis

The Mortgage-Follows-the-Note Rule – Part IV of IV

By James M. Davis, Staff Attorney Office of the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee (Nashville, TN)
In the conclusion of this four part series, Staff Attorney Davis gets into the real ‘meat’ of separation of notes and mortgages – MERS, ramifications, and potential ramifications.
Click here for Part I

Click here for Part II
Click here for Part III
cfpb

This Week at the CFPB

caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected.)
  • Old Republic National Title Ins. Co. v. Levasseur – On Appeal, U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock (Massachusetts) affirmed the Bankruptcy Court’s order that pre-petition judgment was not dischargeable due to false pretenses, fraud, or willful and malicious behavior.
nclc

From the NCLC (Not password protected)

December 23, 2013
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee
After a brief absence, Hildebrand is back with a very important Critical Case Comment . . . In re Rogers – Mortgage obligation treated in a debtors’ plan as current and paid directly by the debtors is nonetheless discharged pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 1328(a) and mortgage creditor cannot pursue deficiency. Click here to see what this case means to debtors, creditors, trustees.
supremecourt

Post Confirmation Issues In Chapter 13 Cases

(Used with permission. Originally prepared for State Bar of Texas Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Seminar)

By Eduardo V. Rodriguez, Malaise Law Firm, Brownsville, Texas
Attorney Rodriguez outlines duties and responsibilities of debtor and debtor’s counsel after the case is confirmed. “Don’t fall asleep at the wheel of your chapter 13 cases.”
jdavis

The Mortgage-Follows-the-Note Rule – Part III of IV

By James M. Davis, Staff Attorney Office of the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee (Nashville, TN)
Part three of four in a series by Staff Attorney Davis offers a brief look at the limitations on the mortgage-follows-the-note rule from state real property law.Click here for Part IClick here for Part II
cfpb

This Week at the CFPB

December 16, 2013
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
Essentially, 2013 is gone. In this month’s article, Ms. Ps & Qs points us toward 10 excellent new year’s resolutions. From technology to bullies, Ms. Ps & Qs has her finger on the pulse of the everyday lawyer. Click here for her great tips for 2014.
jdavis

The Mortgage-Follows-the-Note Rule – Part II of IV

By James M. Davis, Staff Attorney Office of the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee (Nashville, TN)
Part two of a four part series by Staff Attorney Davis concentrates on applying the mortgage-follows-the-note rule in light of the distinction between ownership and entitlement to enforce notes.Click here for Part I
erodriguez

DSOs Anyone?

By Eduardo V. Rodriguez
An interesting issue was presented to the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas which changes the way Chapter 13 plans are proposed when it comes to DSOs.This item also adds a brief to the Academy’s ever growing Brief Bank.   Click here for Debtor’s Memorandum of Law in Support of Plan Confirmation.
cfpb

This Week at the CFPB

caution

From the IRS

All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes – Legally-married same-sex couples generally must file their 2013 federal income tax return using either the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status.
ssrn

Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison

A report analyzing one of the issues before the Supreme Court: Does Party Consent Render Bankruptcy Court Adjudication Constitutionally Valid? By Elizabeth Gibson (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – School of Law) and Jonathan M. Landers (Scarola Malone & Zubatov LLP) (This item is not password protected.)
December 9, 2013
Archives
anderson

The Mortgage-Follows-the-Note Rule – Part I of IV

By James M. Davis, Staff Attorney Office of the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee (Nashville, TN)
In this, the first of a four part series, Attorney Davis concentrates on the Common Law and Article 9 aspects of this all-important, controversial topic.
mwiliamson

The 3-3-3 Rule

By The Honorable Michael G. Williamson, United States Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida
Although written in a light-hearted style, Judge Williamson provides stellar guidance for attorneys. “Avoid Legalese. Plain language is easier to understand. As Justice Scalia once said, ‘A good test is, if you use the word at a cocktail party, will people look at you funny?’”
mgardner

Mortgage Servicing Abuses – Max’s Nifty Fifty

By O. Max Gardner III, Shelby NC
Although known to most of you, Max Gardner is new as an Academy contributor. This is the author’s, a debtor practitioner, checklist of potential issues to investigate.
savinghomes

Saving Homes and Stripping Liens: Recent Exemption Developments

(Prepared to accompany webinar)

By William Houston Brown and Lawrence R. Ahern, III
Although prepared as a handout for the webinar, this article also stands alone and serves as a tremendous ‘cheat sheet.’
December 2, 2013
Archives
Fessenden

A Modest Proposal for the Care & Fee’ding of Debtor’s Counsel

By Peter C. Fessenden, Chapter 13 Trustee – District of Maine
“I have a good idea how the case will go just by knowing who is representing the debtor.”
mccallister

Ninth Circuit Overturns Kagenveama

By Kathleen McCallister, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Idaho
An en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Appellate Court overturned Maney v. Kagenveama in Danielson v Flores (In re Flores).
gustafson

Cases That Caught My Eye

By John Gustafson, Chapter 13 Trustee
Proving again that sequels stink, Cases That Caught My Eye is back with even worse jokes and more than your recommended daily allowance of shamelessly bad puns.
November 25, 2013
Archives
anderson

Critical Case Comment – 4th Circuit Limits Lien Stripping

By Kevin R. Anderson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Utah
Alvarez v. HSBC Bank USA. When spouses own real property as tenants by the entirety, the bankruptcy filing of one spouse does not sever the unity of the tenancy, and the interest of the non-filing spouse does not become property of the estate. Therefore, the bankruptcy court is without jurisdiction to modify a lienholder’s rights as to the non-debtor’s interest in the real property.
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Discharge Reprise

By Wm Houston Brown and John Gustafson
On November 11th, Judge Brown wrote about In re Rogers wherein a claim for personal liability for post-discharge deficiency was discharged. What started out as a brief comment to Judge Brown’s synopsis, turned into a detailed article. Click here for Trustee Gustafson’s thoughts. Hint: Beware the typo in the opinion.
iskin

Cash Collateral, the Hanging Paragraph, and Trustee Liability

By Katherine Iskin, Staff Attorney for Debra Miller, South Bend and Fort Wayne, IN
“Assuming that Chapter 13 Debtors total their cars at the same rate as the rest of the population, each case where a vehicle is being valued through the Plan has a 2% chance of the collateral being totaled each year of the Plan.” Click here for more . . .
waters

The Importance of Social Media in the Job Search

By Julie Waters, PHR, Human Resources/Operations Manager for the Office of the Chapter 13 Trustee, Eastern District of Washington
For Debtor Attorneys – Ever have a client in need of a job? This article is a perfect handout for individuals who may be having a difficult time landing a good-paying job. It teaches, in a non-condemning way, proper social media etiquette and more. Download now for future use.
cfpb
November 18, 2013
Archives
burden

Disposable Income and 100% Plans: A Different Perspective

By Beverly M. Burden, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Trustee Burden takes a detailed look at how a 100% plan may not be enough to satisfy the Code.
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Disposable Income

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
This week, Judge Brown looks at 3 disposable income issues: retirement plan contributions, social security income of non-filing spouse, and secured payments on second mortgage. Click here for details . . .

Outline and Forms of Chapter 13 Practice and Procedures

By Charles Maglieri, Bloomfield, CT

Nationally recognized, veteran debtor attorney Charles Maglieri shares an excellent aid, primarily for newer attorneys but useful for all, which includes:

  • a master case checklist including items such as
    • “Other Thorny Issues?—-Illogic of Sec. 506 Inapplicability in General”
    • “Convincing the Trustee that you are right!”
    • “Anticipate Need for Modification After Confirmation”
  • a sample plan with multiple contingencies and options
  • a form for calculating DMI
  • 341 case summary checklist
  • helpful definitions
  • and much much more
sba

SBA: Did You Know

Based on the definition of The Small Business Administration, many of you operate a ‘small business.’ The SBA defines a small business concern as one that is independently owned and operated, is organized for profit, and is not dominant in its field. . . . Attorneys would fall into the Services category. . . .The Small Business Administration is not only a resource for your clients but potentially a resource for you. Click here for more information.
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected.)
November 11, 2013
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps and Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
” . . . thinking about you and your firms: do you have a social media policy in place? For all sorts of good reasons, you need to figure out what your policy should be.” Think you’ve heard it all regarding “social” media? What about “professional” media? Click here for cutting edge thoughts on various media formats.
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Eligibility, Best Interests Test, and Discharge

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
This week, Judge Brown looks at three separate issues dealt with in three separate cases. (1) Eligibility and In re Scovis; (2) Best Interests Test and In re Engle; and (3) Discharge and In re Rogers. Click here for details . . .
aepg

Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits Requires a Strategy

(Article and links are not password protected.)

Key Points to Know:

  • How much are you (or your clients) leaving behind?
  • Social Security Techniques – ‘Show me the money’
  • Are you familiar with ‘File and Suspend’ and ‘Claim now Claim more later?

Additional Article of Interest: How Social Security Keeps Divorcées and Widows in the Dark About Their Benefits

caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected.)

November 4, 2013
Archives
gooding

Terminating An Employee

By Jack Gooding, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas

Chapter 13 Trustee Jack Gooding brings members another in our series of business aids. Terminating an employee is never pleasant but it is a business decision that sometimes has to be made. Click here for a resource you will want to share with your Human Resources or Office Management.”Evaluations are a two edged sword. They can be a valuable tool, but only if you are willing to be honest and potentially hurt some feelings.”Additional Resources:

burden

Perceptions, Reality, and a Debtor’s Desire to Change Venue

By Beverly M. Burden, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Eastern District of Kentucky
At first glance, this article appears to be a ‘nice little story about a pro se debtor.’ In fact, it is an excellent, serious, well written, ethical resource.”‘In matters of ethics, appearance and reality often converge as one.” After all, we have to strive to avoid the ‘appearance’ of impropriety; the ‘potential’ conflict of interest. ‘Justice must satisfy the appearance of justice.’”
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Conversion and Dismissal

This week, Judge Brown looks at two cases. (1) Debtor did not have absolute right to dismiss; and (2) When case dismissed prior to confirmation, trustee must return payments to debtor. Click here for details . . .