August 13, 2018
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
Dear Readers:I just finished reading a disgorgement . . . Although D’Arata is a chapter 7 case, you might be interested in the Court’s take on appearance counsel.

ahern_larry

No Room for Error? Determining Whether Your “Secured” Creditor Has a Fatally Deficient UCC-1 – Part 2 of 2

By Lawrence R. Ahern III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN)
Trustees and debtors’ counsel may often think they cannot win in a contest over the secured status of a creditor. Prompted by recent bankruptcy and district court decisions, Larry Ahern reviewed in Part I some rules governing the preparation and filing of financing statements (UCC-1s) and explained how a UCC-1 might be fatally deficient. Now, in Part II, he reviews four recent decisions that illustrate the strictness of the rules governing naming of debtors on UCC-1s.Click here for Part 1

newstudy

New Study

(Not password protected)

Graying of U.S. Bankruptcy: Fallout from Life in a Risk Society

“Using data from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, we find more than a two-fold increase in the rate at which older Americans (age 65 and over) file for bankruptcy and an almost five-fold increase in the percentage of older persons in the U.S. bankruptcy system.”See also:

foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
tax
In Case You Missed It . . .

Discharged or Not? Post-Petition Interest on Pre-Petition Priority Taxes

By Academy Staff
“The Chapter 13 Debtor who completes the Plan and obtains a discharge is relieved of any further liability associated with the priority tax debt. Interest and penalties continue to accrue during the pendency of the Chapter 13 case and if the case is either dismissed or converted to a proceeding under Chapter 7, the suspension of the accrual of interest and penalties terminates and is excepted from the Chapter 7 discharge.”
August 6, 2018
Archives
ahern_larry

No Room for Error? Determining Whether Your “Secured” Creditor Has a Fatally Deficient UCC-1 – Part 1 of 2

By Lawrence R. Ahern III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN)
Trustees and debtors’ counsel may often think they cannot win in a contest over the secured status of a creditor. Prompted by recent bankruptcy and district court decisions, Larry Ahern reviews some rules governing the preparation and filing of financing statements (UCC-1s) and explains how a UCC-1 might be fatally deficient.In Part II, he will review four recent decisions that illustrate the strictness of the rules governing naming of debtors on UCC-1s.

Discharged or Not? Post-Petition Interest on Pre-Petition Priority Taxes

By Academy Staff
“The Chapter 13 Debtor who completes the Plan and obtains a discharge is relieved of any further liability associated with the priority tax debt. Interest and penalties continue to accrue during the pendency of the Chapter 13 case and if the case is either dismissed or converted to a proceeding under Chapter 7, the suspension of the accrual of interest and penalties terminates and is excepted from the Chapter 7 discharge.”
irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)

IRS Offers Guidance on Recent 529 Education Savings Plan Changes

On 7/30/18 the IRS and Department of the Treasury announced their intent to issue regulations on three recent tax law changes affecting popular 529 education savings plans.
irs
hildebrand
In Case You Missed It . . .

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee (Nashville, TN)
A discharge under § 1328(a) will discharge an obligation of the debtor to a condominium association where the condominium was purchased pre-petition and owned by the debtor post-petition.Click here for Opinion

July 30, 2018
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee (Nashville, TN)
A discharge under § 1328(a) will discharge an obligation of the debtor to a condominium association where the condominium was purchased pre-petition and owned by the debtor post-petition.Click here for Opinion

oklahoma

From the Courts

(Not password protected)
foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
ahern_larry
In Case You Missed It . . .

Who Gets Paid When? A Short Primer on the Order of Distribution in the Era of National and Local Plans

By Lawrence R. Ahern III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN)
The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and Official Forms were amended last year in ways that significantly affected Chapter 13 Trustees and practitioners in many ways. Below, Mr. Ahern follows his 2017 series with Beverly Burden by discussing an important unanswered question for trustees, debtors and creditors: How is the order of distribution to creditors determined?
July 23, 2018
Archives

WINNER: Cawthon Custer of Albany and Columbus, Georgia, is the NACTT 2018 conference winner of a one-year free subscription to ConsiderChapter13.org

Congratulations Cawthon Custer!!!

ahern_larry

Who Gets Paid When? A Short Primer on the Order of Distribution in the Era of National and Local Plans

By Lawrence R. Ahern III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN)
The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and Official Forms were amended last year in ways that significantly affected Chapter 13 Trustees and practitioners in many ways. Below, Mr. Ahern follows his 2017 series with Beverly Burden by discussing an important unanswered question for trustees, debtors and creditors: How is the order of distribution to creditors determined?
cmoran

Rule 3002.1 and the Tangled Web of HOA Assessments

By Cathy Moran, Mt. View, CA
“Secured creditors relying on the precept that a secured claim passes through bankruptcy unaffected (absent a proceeding focused on the lien) take note.”
irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)

Here’s How the IRS Contacts Taxpayers

Everyone should know how the IRS contacts taxpayers
queenan

Retired Bankruptcy Judge Passes Away

(Not password protected)
Judge James F. Queenan
hildebrand
In Case You Missed It . . .

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee (Nashville, TN)
Although a secured creditor with a purchase money security interest in personal property is entitled to adequate protection payments under § 1326(a)(1), the trustee is not obligated to make the payments without a motion, hearing, or court order.
July 16, 2018
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee (Nashville, TN)
Although a secured creditor with a purchase money security interest in personal property is entitled to adequate protection payments under § 1326(a)(1), the trustee is not obligated to make the payments without a motion, hearing, or court order.
apartment

From the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Opinion: Goudelock v. Sixty-01 Association of Apartment Owners“The panel reversed the district court’s decision affirming the bankruptcy court’s summary judgment in favor of a condominium association, which sought in an adversary proceeding to determine the dischargeability of a debtor’s personal obligation to pay condominium association assessments that accrued between the date the debtor filed her Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and the date the condominium unit was foreclosed upon.”See also: Post-Petition Condo Fees Dischargeable
irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)
Spread the Word . . . this could be a significant amount of money for veterans.

Veterans Owed Refunds for Overpayments Attributable to Disability Severance Payments Should File Amended Returns to Claim Tax Refunds

  • $1,750 for tax years 1991 – 2005
  • $2,400 for tax years 2006 – 2010
  • $3,200 for tax years 2011 – 2016
ahern_larry

District Authority to Opt Out of the “National” Chapter 13 Plan: Does Your Local Plan Improperly Restrict Plan Provisions?

By Lawrence R. Ahern III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN)
The Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure were amended last year in ways that significantly affected Chapter 13 Trustees and practitioners in many ways. In a series of articles, Beverly Burden and Larry Ahern explained many of these changes.This week, Mr. Ahern follows that series with an issue that tests the interplay of the national rules with local practice, rules, and judicial rulings.
cfpb

On the CFPB

(Not password protected)
  • CFPB Acting Director Mulvaney announced he has selected Brian Johnson, who currently serves as Principal Policy Director at the Bureau, to assume the responsibilities of Acting Deputy Director. “Brian Johnson is the first person I hired at the Bureau and has been an indispensable advisor,” said Acting Director Mulvaney. “Brian knows the Bureau like the back of his hand. He approaches his role as a public servant with humility and unsurpassed dedication. His steady character, work ethic, and commitment to free markets and consumer choice make him exactly what our country needs at this agency.”
takethesurvey

NACTT Miami – Evaluation Time

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IF YOU ATTENDED THE SEMINAR, we value your opinion. Please take a few moments to complete this evaluation. Your feedback is important to us and will assist in planning the 2019 Indianapolis Seminar. We look forward to seeing you there.Mark Your Calendar NOW – NACTT 2019 Indianapolis – July 17-19 – Yep, WEDNESDAY – FRIDAY (Pre-mtgs will be on Tuesday the 16th)
kavanaugh

From Our Friends at Credit Slips

(Not password protected)
uscourts1

In Case You Missed It . . .

Permitted Changes to Official Bankruptcy Forms

(Not password protected)
The use of Official Bankruptcy Forms is required with certain exceptions, and the ability to modify Official Forms is limited. However, there are exceptions. Click here for an analysis done by the AO of permitted changes to official bankruptcy formsSee also: Director’s Forms and Their Use by Phil Lamos
July 9, 2018
Archives
markleffler

The FDCPA and Bankruptcy One Year After Midland v. Johnson, Part IV Bankruptcy Court Interpretations

By Mark C. Leffler, Boleman Law Firm, P.C. (Richmond, VA)

The conclusion to the Midland v. Johnson ‘epic’. . . “In Midland v. Johnson, the Supreme Court put an end to FDCPA lawsuits over proofs of claims for stale debts, at least where the claimant tells the truth about the date of last payment. Since the Midland ruling in May of 2017, there have been few decisions from bankruptcy courts on complaints under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).”

Click here for Part I
Click here for Part II
Click here for Part III

ahern_larry

District Authority to Opt Out of the “National” Chapter 13 Plan: Does Your Local Plan Improperly Restrict Plan Provisions?

By Lawrence R. Ahern III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN)

The Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure were amended last year in ways that significantly affected Chapter 13 Trustees and practitioners in many ways. In a series of articles, Beverly Burden and Larry Ahern explained many of these changes.

This week, Mr. Ahern follows that series with an issue that tests the interplay of the national rules with local practice, rules, and judicial rulings.

uscourts1

Permitted Changes to Official Bankruptcy Forms

(Not password protected)

The use of Official Bankruptcy Forms is required with certain exceptions, and the ability to modify Official Forms is limited. However, there are exceptions. Click here for an analysis done by the AO of permitted changes to official bankruptcy forms

See also: Director’s Forms and Their Use by Phil Lamos

takethesurvey

NACTT Miami – Evaluation Time

(Not password protected)

IF YOU ATTENDED THE SEMINAR, we value your opinion. Please take a few moments to complete this evaluation. Your feedback is important to us and will assist in planning the 2019 Indianapolis Seminar. We look forward to seeing you there.

Mark Your Calendar NOW – NACTT 2019 Indianapolis – July 17-19 – Yep, WEDNESDAY – FRIDAY (Pre-mtgs will be on Tuesday the 16th)

foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
creditreport

From Our Friends at Credit Clips

(Not password protected)
July 2, 2018
Archives

independenceday

Due to the NACTT Annual Conference, this week’s update will be brief and primarily a ‘Greatest Hits’ edition.

Bill-Brown

Impact of Supreme Court’s Decision on § 523(a)(2)(B)

By William H. Brown, Brown and Ahern (Nashville, TN)
“The opinion suggests that a statement respecting the debtor’s financial condition, whether a single-asset or overall condition statement, must meet all the requirements of subsection 523(a)(2)(B) to be nondischargeable. Otherwise, even though the statement is false, the debt is dischargeable, notwithstanding subsection 523(a)(2)(A).”
RICHPARKER

Not Born in the USA? The Perils of Bankruptcy Filings by Undocumented Persons

By Richard J. Parker, Parker, Butte & Lane, P.C. (Portland, OR)
An excellent article exploring answers to can and should an undocumented person file for bankruptcy protection in America??
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)

From Our Friends at Credit Slips

(Not password protected)
June 25, 2018
Archives
markleffler

The FDCPA and Bankruptcy One Year After Midland v. Johnson, Part III  Does the Bankruptcy Code Implicitly Repeal the FDCPA?

By Mark C. Leffler, Boleman Law Firm, P.C. (Richmond, VA)
“Given the ease with which time-barred claims may be disallowed, what could explain a debt buyer’s decision to invest in the expensive systems and personnel necessary to file these time-barred proofs of claim in bulk?”

Click here

for Part I
Click here for Part II

Bill-Brown

Impact of Supreme Court’s Decision on § 523(a)(2)(B)

By William H. Brown, Brown and Ahern (Nashville, TN)
“The opinion suggests that a statement respecting the debtor’s financial condition, whether a single-asset or overall condition statement, must meet all the requirements of subsection 523(a)(2)(B) to be nondischargeable. Otherwise, even though the statement is false, the debt is dischargeable, notwithstanding subsection 523(a)(2)(A).”
cmoran

The Real Truth About Communication Between Bankruptcy Lawyers & Clients

By Cathy Moran, Esq., Moran Law Group (Mountain View, CA)
“’Creditors,’ for debtors, means those folks who send a monthly bill, and who call if you are late.‘Creditors,’ for bankruptcy lawyers, means everyone who has a claim of any kind against the client.”
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
cfpb

On the CFPB

(Not password protected)
bobbranson

In Case You Missed It . . .

The Death of MFDRA

By Robert B. Branson and Tammy Branson, Branson Law PLLC (Orlando, FL)
tammybranson“IRS’s Publication 4681 is a very helpful tool to explore the different ways taxpayers can exclude mortgage indebtedness and other types of 1099 forgiveness.”
June 18, 2018
Archives
markleffler

FDCPA and Bankruptcy: One Year After Midland v. Johnson Part II

By Mark C. Leffler, Boleman Law Firm, P.C. (Richmond, VA)

“Now, one year after Midland v. Johnson, this multi-part article will seek an understanding of what that decision tells us about the future of FDCPA litigation in bankruptcy cases.”Click here for Part I

* * * * * *

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO MAKE YOUR PLANS TO ATTEND THE NACTT ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN MIAMI.

Attorney Leffler, along with an esteemed panel will discuss Remedies When Proof of Claim Compliance Fails.

View the whole program

And here’s another Miami “Of Interest” article:

bobbranson

The Death of MFDRA

By Robert B. Branson and Tammy Branson, Branson Law PLLC (Orlando, FL)
tammybranson“IRS’s Publication 4681 is a very helpful tool to explore the different ways taxpayers can exclude mortgage indebtedness and other types of 1099 forgiveness.”
creditcards

Credit Cards in the News

(Not password protected)
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
debt

Student Loan Chronicles

(Not password protected)
drivethru

From Our Friends at Credit Slips on the CFPB

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cfpb

On the CFPB

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DannLaw Launches “Scoundrels, Scams and Cheats” Database to Ensure Public Access to CFPB Consumer Complaint Reports“ . . . , the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau told a group . . . that he would soon hide the Bureau’s consumer complaint database from the American people and the media. . . . Marc Dann outlined his law firm’s plan . . . . “I am pleased to announce that DannLaw has downloaded all the information in the CFPB database and uploaded it into one that will remain accessible to the public and the media once Mulvaney carries out his threat,”

* * * * * *

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO MAKE YOUR PLANS TO ATTEND THE NACTT ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN MIAMI.

Experts Ryan Williams, John Rao, and Micheal Freeman will discuss What’s Left of Consumer Protection

View the whole program

socialsecurity

In Case You Missed It . . .

Social Security and Chapter 13 – Can’t We All Just Get Along?

By Academy Staff
More than 12 years after its enactment, BAPCPA continues to confuse and confound. Could § 362(c)(3) be any more convoluted? Why did Congress define “disposable income” yet continue to require payment of “projected disposable income”? Who thought that hanging paragraphs were a good idea?
June 11, 2018
Archives

Welcome New Members: Clifford Gramer, Albuquerque, NM

markleffler

FDCPA and Bankruptcy: One Year After Midland v. Johnson

By Mark C. Leffler, Boleman Law Firm, P.C. (Richmond, VA)

“Now, one year after Midland v. Johnson, this multi-part article will seek an understanding of what that decision tells us about the future of FDCPA litigation in bankruptcy cases.”

* * * * * *

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO MAKE YOUR PLANS TO ATTEND THE NACTT ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN MIAMI.

Attorney Leffler, along with an esteemed panel, will discuss Remedies When Proof of Claim Compliance Fails.

View the whole program

socialsecurity

Social Security and Chapter 13 – Can’t We All Just Get Along?

By Academy Staff
More than 12 years after its enactment, BAPCPA continues to confuse and confound. Could § 362(c)(3) be any more convoluted? Why did Congress define “disposable income” yet continue to require payment of “projected disposable income”? Who thought that hanging paragraphs were a good idea?
morgan-king

When Does the Statute of Limitations Commence

By Morgan King, The Morgan King Company (Dublin, CA)
Does the statute of limitations for suing a debt collector for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act commences on the date the violation occurred, or the date the consumer discovered the violation?
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
debt

Student Loan Chronicles

(Not password protected)

On the CFPB

(Not password protected)

* * * * * *

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO MAKE YOUR PLANS TO ATTEND THE NACTT ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN MIAMI.

Experts Ryan Williams, John Rao, and Micheal Freeman will discuss What’s Left of Consumer Protection

View the whole program

ahern_larry

In Case You Missed It . . .

The Law of Unintended Consequences

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Objections, Revisited: Lee v. Field

By William Houston Brown, Editor/Advisor to The NACTT Academy, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Memphis (Retired) and Lawrence R. Ahern, III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN)
Bill-BrownRecent decisions of the Eleventh and Ninth Circuits have prompted us to ask the meaning of the word “objections” as they may be required by the Code or Rules.In an earlier, two-part comment, Larry Ahern reviewed the opinion of the Eleventh Circuit in Title Max v. Northington, and some consequences of that decision, which may not have been intended by the majority.This week, he joins Judge Brown in a look at the more recent Ninth Circuit opinion in Lee v. Field.This is part of a series of comments on statutes and decisions that have consequences beyond the contemplation of the legislators and judges involved. If you have suggestions for future analyses, please send them to Mr. Ahern.Click here for We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Objections Part 1
Click here for We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Objections Part 2
June 4, 2018
Archives

Welcome New Members: Sheldon Singer, Kansas City, MO; Michael M. Custer, Albany, GA; and Carol Cross Stone, Longview, TX

ahern_larry

The Law of Unintended Consequences

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Objections, Revisited: Lee v. Field

By William Houston Brown, Editor/Advisor to The NACTT Academy, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Memphis (Retired) and Lawrence R. Ahern, III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN)
Bill-BrownRecent decisions of the Eleventh and Ninth Circuits have prompted us to ask the meaning of the word “objections” as they may be required by the Code or Rules.In an earlier, two-part comment, Larry Ahern reviewed the opinion of the Eleventh Circuit in Title Max v. Northington, and some consequences of that decision, which may not have been intended by the majority.This week, he joins Judge Brown in a look at the more recent Ninth Circuit opinion in Lee v. Field.This is part of a series of comments on statutes and decisions that have consequences beyond the contemplation of the legislators and judges involved. If you have suggestions for future analyses, please send them to Mr. Ahern.Click here for We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Objections Part 1
Click here for We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Objections Part 2
scott

Warning: The “Grant Scam” Is Real

By Scott F. Waterman, Waterman & Mayer (Philadelphia, PA)
(Used with expressed permission. First published at Waterman & Mayer)
“Recently one of clients received a message from someone who appeared to be a coworker, telling our client about a grant the coworker recently received. Intrigued and looking for ways to pay upcoming tuition bills, our client was put in touch with the co-worker’s “grant agent” . . .”
irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)

Law Change Affects Moving, Mileage and Travel Expenses; Higher Depreciation Limits

  • No deduction for moving expenses
  • No miscellaneous deductions for un-reimbursed employee expenses (uniforms, union dues and the deduction for business-related meals, entertainment and travel)
  • 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven, a 1 cent increase from 2017
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical purposes, a 1 cent increase from 2017
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations, which is set by statute and remains unchanged
  • Depreciation maximum standard automobile cost may not exceed $50,000 for passenger automobiles, trucks and vans placed in service after Dec. 31, 2017. Previously, the maximum standard automobile cost was $27,300 for passenger automobiles and $31,000 for trucks and vans
ordertorepossesss

From Our Friends at Credit Slips

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OCC Payday Lending Bulletin

Also from the CFPB: Acting Director Mick Mulvaney issued the following statement in response to bulletin from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency regarding short-term, small-dollar credit:“I applaud Comptroller Otting’s move to encourage national banks and federal savings associations to offer short-term, small-dollar installment loans. Millions of Americans desperately need access to short-term, small-dollar credit. We cannot simply wish away that need. In any market, robust competition is a win for consumers. The Bureau will strive to expand consumer choice, and I look forward to working with the OCC and other partners on efforts to promote access and innovation in the consumer credit marketplace.”
car

There’s Always a Car

(Not password protected)

$523 Monthly Payment is New Standard for Car Buyers

malware
foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
criminaldebt

More Criminalization of Private Debt

(Not password protected)
hildebrand

In Case You Missed It . . .

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III
An attorney violates § 526(a)(4) if the attorney instructs a client to pay the bankruptcy related legal fees using a credit card.“It is without question that the complexities of the bankruptcy system . . .requires some sophistication and, . . . the assistance of a professional. To preclude any realistic way to pay these fees and costs is ridiculous.”
May 28, 2018
Archives

memorialday

In memory of the men and women who gave their lives for our Country, there will be no weekly update.

If you are looking for something to read, we recommend scrolling back through previous updates (below) and catch up on anything you might have missed.

Some suggestions include:

May 21, 2018
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III
An attorney violates § 526(a)(4) if the attorney instructs a client to pay the bankruptcy related legal fees using a credit card.“It is without question that the complexities of the bankruptcy system . . .requires some sophistication and, . . . the assistance of a professional. To preclude any realistic way to pay these fees and costs is ridiculous.”
Bill-Brown

From the Editor

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
  • Dismissal – Employer’s housing loan was not consumer debt for purposes of § 707b)(1)
  • Reopening Closed Case – Cause did not exist to reopen case to allow extension to file certificate of financial management course
irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)

Tax Reform: Changes to Depreciation Affect Businesses Now

IRS reminds businesses that passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may affect their depreciation deductions and taxes.Attention Debtor Attorneys: While you may need this information to properly advise your clients, you will certainly want to glance at it for your own business taxes.
ordertorepossesss

From Our Friends at Credit Slips

(Not password protected)

Illegal Repo Practices

“ . . . of particular note is the end of the article, wherein the repo man profiled says that he will return ransom the defaulted borrower’s personal goods found in the car back to the buyer for a $50 flat fee (with child car seats given back for free).”
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
nclc

NCLC Seeks Nominations for Vern Countryman Award 2018

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The National Consumer Law Center encourages your nominations for a deserving defender of consumer rights to receive the 2018 Countryman Award, which will be presented at the annual Consumer Rights Litigation Conference. Deadline for receipt of nominations is June 29th.Click here for a list of previous winners.
criminaldebt

The Criminalization of Private Debt

(Not password protected)
ncbr

From the National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center

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rapoport

In Case You Missed It . . .

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
“I’ve heard it said . . . that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. . . . So what do you get when you hire an embezzler, fire him, and rehire him?”
May 14, 2018
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
“I’ve heard it said . . . that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. . . . So what do you get when you hire an embezzler, fire him, and rehire him?”
selwyn

The Gig Economy – Classifying Independent Contractors

By Selwyn D. Whitehead, Esq. (Oakland, CA)
“The issue at hand is how to properly classify a worker who performs discrete services for a company: Is that worker a company employee or an independent contractor?”
timeforchange

Register NOW for This Friday’s Webinar:

Periodic Mortgage Statements – What You Need to Know

(Not password protected)
May 18 at 2:00 eastern/1:00 central/12:00 mtn/11:00 pacificLEARN FROM THE BEST: Chapter 13 Trustees Debra Miller and Russell Simon will be joined by John Rao of the National Consumer Law Center
Discussion topics will include, not only the new mortgage statements (rule effective April 19th), but also new RESPA party in interest issues, pointers as to what to do when the statements bear no resemblance to the trustee’s records, and reasons for mortgage coding. This webinar is advanced level and directed specifically toward Trustees and Trustees’ staff; however, mortgage creditors/servicers and debtor attorneys will also benefit from this presentation.
supremecourt

PHH Gives Up Challenge to CFPB Constitutionality – Will not pursue case to Supreme Court

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nclc

NCLC Seeks Nominations for Vern Countryman Award 2018

(Not password protected)
The National Consumer Law Center encourages your nominations for a deserving defender of consumer rights to receive the 2018 Countryman Award, which will be presented at the annual Consumer Rights Litigation Conference. Deadline for receipt of nominations is June 29th.Click here for a list of previous winners.
ncbr

From the National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center

(Not password protected)
foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
AlexSchmidt

In Case You Missed It . . .

Should the Stay Stay or Should It Go: Successive Filings and the Termination of the Automatic Stay

By Alexander Schmidt and The Honorable John P. Gustafson, United States Bankruptcy Court
Northern District of Ohio, Western Division (Toledo, OH)
gustafson“The complexity is multiplied by a split of authority in the case law about what actually happens when the automatic stay is terminated under §362(c)(3).”
May 7, 2018
Archives
AlexSchmidt

Should the Stay Stay or Should It Go: Successive Filings and the Termination of the Automatic Stay

By Alexander Schmidt and The Honorable John P. Gustafson, United States Bankruptcy Court
Northern District of Ohio, Western Division (Toledo, OH)
gustafson“The complexity is multiplied by a split of authority in the case law about what actually happens when the automatic stay is terminated under §362(c)(3).”
ahern_larry

Recent Developments in Chapter 12: Summary of December 1, 2017 Rules Changes – Part 2

By Lawrence R. Ahern III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN)
Before last December’s amendment of the Bankruptcy Rules (discussed in Part I of this series), the Bankruptcy Code itself was amended and likely will have a more significant effect on Chapter 12 plans. Knowing that many Chapter 13 trustees also serve as their districts’ Chapter 12 trustees, Larry Ahern follows his analysis of the amended Rules in Part I with an analysis of that 2017 amendment of Chapter 12.Part III of this series is expected to provide new forms for plan provisions affected by these changes.
Sigler

Meet the New GA Judge

By Academy Staff
Honorable Sage M. Sigler was appointed as a Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Georgia on March 28, 2018.
nclc

NCLC Seeks Nominations for Vern Countryman Award 2018

(Not password protected)
The National Consumer Law Center encourages your nominations for a deserving defender of consumer rights to receive the 2018 Countryman Award, which will be presented at the annual Consumer Rights Litigation Conference.Click here for a list of previous winners.
openposition

Position Openings

(Not password protected)
Term Law Clerk-Chambers
Judge: Sage Sigler
United States Bankruptcy Court, Atlanta, GA
Applications Due Date: May 31, 2018U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
Eastern District of Michigan
Application Due Date: May 31, 2018Chapter 7 Trusteeship
Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk and Newport News Divisions
Application Due Date: May 11, 2018
congratulations

Disbarment and Back: Attorney James Brewer’s Road From Despair

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The road to redemption is long and bumpy but can be accomplished. Congratulations Attorney Brewer

Retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dies in Little Rock at 80

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“He was a classy guy with more friends than anybody I’ve ever met,” said Hodges, who for years practiced law down the hall from Fussell on the 17th floor of the downtown Little Rock skyscraper now known as the Regions Bank Building, until Fussell became a bankruptcy judge in 1983.
foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
Here’s How Much Borrowers Pay on Loans After a Bankruptcy – It’s more, of course, but you can lessen the blow by improving your credit score.
Kellner

In Case You Missed It . . .

Student Loans and Chapter 13 – Federal Student Loan Debt in Bankruptcy: Recent Movement Towards Income-Driven Repayment Plans in Chapter 13

By Jeff Kellner, Chapter 13 Trustee (Dayton, OH)
“This article is one you need to read as student loans and bankruptcy is the next battle and possible solution for Chapter 13 debtors with student loans.”
April 30, 2018
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III
Where a student loan creditor and servicer do not comply with a provision of the confirmation order requiring the student loan creditor to properly apply payments and to permit the debtor to participate in the Income Driven Repayment plan or Public Service Forgiveness plan, attorney’s fees are appropriate and can be awarded against the servicer of the student loan. (Waites)
Kellner

Student Loans and Chapter 13 – Federal Student Loan Debt in Bankruptcy: Recent Movement Towards Income-Driven Repayment Plans in Chapter 13

By Jeff Kellner, Chapter 13 Trustee (Dayton, OH)
“This article is one you need to read as student loans and bankruptcy is the next battle and possible solution for Chapter 13 debtors with student loans.”
dantesinferno

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My! A Feature Article

It’s NOT Your Money

By Academy Staff
Ya’ know how sometimes you are tempted to borrow cash from your kid’s piggy bank for a birthday card, or a tip, or Girl Scout cookies, or any number of other things that you either didn’t plan for or snuck up on you? Even if you borrow the money, you KNOW it is not YOUR money!Apparently, attorneys sometimes forget this rule. Not only are you forbidden from taking clients’ money, you can’t even borrow it.
openposition

Position Openings

(Not password protected)
Term Law Clerk-Chambers
Judge: Sage Sigler
United States Bankruptcy Court, Atlanta, GA
Applications Due Date: May 31, 2018U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
Eastern District of Michigan
Western District of Wisconsin
Application Due Date: May 8, 2018Two Openings for Chapter 7 Trusteeships
Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk and Newport News Divisions
Application Due Date: May 11, 2018
congratulations

The road to redemption is long and bumpy but can be accomplished. Congratulations Attorney Brewer

Disbarment and Back: Attorney James Brewer’s Road From Despair

(Not password protected)
foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)

IRS Warns of New Twist on Phone Scam

Crooks Direct Taxpayers to IRS.gov to “Verify” Calls
rapoport

In Case You Missed It . . .

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
Attorneys can’t be complicit in knowing that their client’s testimony is wrong and not doing anything about it; however, client perjury is a slippery slope.
April 23, 2018
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
Attorneys can’t be complicit in knowing that their client’s testimony is wrong and not doing anything about it; however, client perjury is a slippery slope.
actugly

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My! A Feature Article

It Makes No Sense to Act Ugly to the People Charged with Your Safety

By Academy Staff

The Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of VA, imposed sanctions against a veteran attorney by barring him from practicing law before that court for six months. He is also banned from even entering the Courthouse.

Click here for Memorandum Opinion

supremecourt

SCOTUS Blog

(Not password protected)

Argument Analysis: When Neither Baseball Nor Vermeer Analogies Persuade Court

Continuing the less-than-truthful theme from Ms. Ps & Qs, the Supreme Court heard argument:
“This case is about whether a debtor’s false statement about a single asset can be a statement ‘respecting the debtor’s … financial condition.’”
supremecourt

From mediatbankry.com

(Not password protected)

Appeal Deadline in Consolidated Bankruptcy Cases: Supreme Court Adopts Minority View (Hall v. Hall)

This is an excellently written analysis of an important case regarding ‘immediate’ appeal.
ncbrc

From Our Friends at NCBRC

(Not password protected)
signatures

Credit Cards and Signatures

(Not password protected)

A continuation of last week’s links regarding signatures . . . From our friends at Credit Slips . . .

car

There’s Always a Car

(Not password protected)

Senate Repeals Auto-Loan Guidance in Precedent-Shattering Vote

hildebrand

In Case You Missed It . . .

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee (Nashville, TN)
Chapter 13 debtor may void a valueless lien even where the creditor does not file a proof of claim.“Although the Court ignored the appearance of the word “allowed” in § 506(a), this is a common sense result. To require the claim to be allowed before it could be valued would have enabled wholly unsecured “lienholders” to simply refuse to file a claim in order to attempt to preserve their liens, which in turn would have forced debtor’s attorneys to file proofs of claims on behalf of these creditors for the sole purpose of having the liens voided.” Commentary by Chapter 13 Trustee Jody Bledsoe, Eastern District of North Carolina.
April 16, 2018
Archives

Welcome New Members: Bradley Tamm, Honolulu, HI, and Pamela Stewart, Houston, TX

hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee (Nashville, TN)
Chapter 13 debtor may void a valueless lien even where the creditor does not file a proof of claim.“Although the Court ignored the appearance of the word “allowed” in § 506(a), this is a common sense result. To require the claim to be allowed before it could be valued would have enabled wholly unsecured “lienholders” to simply refuse to file a claim in order to attempt to preserve their liens, which in turn would have forced debtor’s attorneys to file proofs of claims on behalf of these creditors for the sole purpose of having the liens voided.” Commentary by Chapter 13 Trustee Jody Bledsoe, Eastern District of North Carolina.
ahern_larry

Recent Developments in Chapter 12: Summary of December 1, 2017 Rules Changes – Part I

By Lawrence R. Ahern III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN)
Last December’s amendment of the Bankruptcy Rules significantly affected Chapter 13 practice, but those changes also had an impact on Chapter 12 practice. Knowing that many Chapter 13 trustees also serve as their districts’ Chapter 12 trustees, Larry Ahern highlights the changes that apply to Chapter 12 and provides a cross-reference to a series of earlier articles, which provide more in-depth analyses in the context of Chapter 13, written with Beverly Burden, Standing Trustee for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)
If you have clients in the military, this is important – you need to read . . . Could mean a significant amount of cash in their pockets . . .

Combat Zone Tax Benefits Now Available to Armed Forces Members Who Served in the Sinai Peninsula; IRS Accepting Retroactive Tax Refund Claims Back to 2015

openposition

(Not password protected)
New New U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
Eastern District of MichiganChapter 13 Trusteeship Opening
Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi
Application Due Date: April 23, 2018Systems Engineer/Courtroom Technology Administrator
Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Virginia
Application Due Date: April 19, 2018Term Law Clerk
United States Bankruptcy Court, McAllen, TX
Application Due Date: Sep 1, 2018Term Law Clerk
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Joseph Meier
Boise, ID
Application Due Date: May, 27, 2018
ncbrc

From Our Friends at NCBRC

(Not password protected)
signatures

Credit Cards and Signatures

(Not password protected)
foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
lawyers

Just For Fun

(Not password protected)
Remember the days when lawyers were actually civil?Letter Exchange Between Law Firm and Cleveland Browns
cmoran

In Case You Missed It . . .

Don’t Skimp on Service When Your Client’s House Is on the Line

By Cathy Moran, Esq., Moran Law Group (Mountain View, CA)
“The issue stood out when, for reasons that are yet inexplicable, the trustee and my office each filed a Notice of Final Cure Payment with respect to the same loan on the same day.”
April 9, 2018
Archives

Welcome New Members: Michael Graml of Erie, PA, and Lawrence Young of York, PA.

cmoran

Don’t Skimp on Service When Your Client’s House Is on the Line

By Cathy Moran, Esq., Moran Law Group (Mountain View, CA)
“The issue stood out when, for reasons that are yet inexplicable, the trustee and my office each filed a Notice of Final Cure Payment with respect to the same loan on the same day.”
Ricky-Hutchens

Response to ProPublica Article Discussing Racial Patterns in Bankruptcy Filings and Outcomes – Part 3 of 3

By Ricky Hutchens, Law Clerk to The Honorable David S. Kennedy, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Tennessee (Memphis)
Part 3 of Attorney Hutchens detailed response looks at the possibilities of changing the Bankruptcy Code and ways to reduce the cost of filing bankruptcy.Click here for Part 1 of 3
Click here for Part 2 of 3New This Week: ProPublica’s ‘Too Broke for Bankruptcy’ Wins ASNE Award – The series showed that the bankruptcy system routinely fails those it is meant to aid.
irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)

Taxpayers Should Report Name Changes Before Filing Taxes

openposition

(Not password protected)
New U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
Eastern District of MichiganChapter 13 Trusteeship Opening
Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi
Application Due Date: April 23, 2018Systems Engineer/Courtroom Technology Administrator
Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Virginia
Application Due Date: April 19, 2018Term Law Clerk
United States Bankruptcy Court, McAllen, TX
Application Due Date: Sep 1, 2018Term Law Clerk
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Joseph Meier
Boise, ID
Application Due Date: May, 27, 2018Chapter 7 Trusteeship Opening
Middle District of Georgia, Albany Division
Application Due Date: April 16, 2018
car

There’s Always a Car

(Not password protected)
ncbrc

From Our Friends at NCBRC

(Not password protected)
cfpb

From the CFPB

(Not password protected)
  • Mortgage Servicing FAQs – The questions and answers pertain to compliance with Regulation X and Regulation Z, effective April 19, 2018.
foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
siomos

In Case You Missed It . . .

IRS Claims in Cases Converted from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 – Technically Not Allowed? (Spoiler: They Are Allowed)

By Ken Siomos, Staff Attorney to Chapter 13 Trustee John H. Germeraad (Springfield, IL)
Have you noticed a drop in claims from the IRS in converted cases? MORE IRS issues . . . read this then check your computer software.The article titled Crushing Tax Change For Injured Consumers By William J. Purdy, III, Simmons & Purdy (Soquel, CA) could have been titled IRS Double Dipping . . . Again. If you missed this article, you need to read it!
April 2, 2018
Archives

NACTT 2018-banner-miami5

If you haven’t registered for NACTT Miami yet, why not?

Think it’s too hot? After the winter we’ve had, SUNSHINE sounds awesome.

Think the discounted deadline has passed? Think again . . .  DISCOUNTED REGISTRATION EXTENDED THROUGH THIS FRIDAY (April 6th)

Think it’s too expensive? Think again . . .

Miami Cheap – Suggestions for Your Per Diem Dining Pleasure

By Academy Staff
The Fontainbleau Miami Beach Hotel has many excellent restaurants, and if you have a car, Miami is a foodie’s dream. This article is not about either of those options.This is about some of the less expensive food options that are within walking distance of the hotel.
siomos

IRS Claims in Cases Converted from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 – Technically Not Allowed? (Spoiler: They Are Allowed)

By Ken Siomos, Staff Attorney to Chapter 13 Trustee John H. Germeraad (Springfield, IL)
Have you noticed a drop in claims from the IRS in converted cases? MORE IRS issues . . . read this then check your computer software.Last week’s article titled Crushing Tax Change For Injured Consumers By William J. Purdy, III, Simmons & Purdy (Soquel, CA) could have been titled IRS Double Dipping . . . Again. If you missed this article, you need to read it!
Ricky-Hutchens

Response to ProPublica Article Discussing Racial Patterns in Bankruptcy Filings and Outcomes – Part 2 of 3

By Ricky Hutchens, Law Clerk to The Honorable David S. Kennedy, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Tennessee (Memphis)
Part 2 of Attorney Hutchens response to ProPublica’s articles discussing racial patterns in bankruptcy filings focuses on ProPublica’s methodology and the fact that socio-economic conditions are the largest contributors to the disparities found by ProPublica, Not race. Click here for Part 1 of 3
openposition

 Position Openings

(Not password protected)
Chapter 13 Trusteeship Opening
Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi
Application Due Date: April 23, 2018
Systems Engineer/Courtroom Technology Administrator
Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Virginia
Application Due Date: April 19, 2018

Term Law Clerk
United States Bankruptcy Court, McAllen, TX
Application Due Date: Sep 1, 2018

Term Law Clerk
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Joseph Meier
Boise, ID
Application Due Date: May, 27, 2018

Chapter 7 Trusteeship Opening
Middle District of Georgia, Albany Division
Application Due Date: April 16, 2018

cfpb

From the CFPB

(Not password protected)
  • Mortgage Servicing FAQs – The questions and answers pertain to compliance with Regulation X and Regulation Z, effective April 19, 2018.
  • RFIs – Each week since the end of January, the CFPB has (and will continue to) issued RFIs (Request for Information). ConsiderChapter13.org has not spotlighted these RFIs; however, if you are interested click here and scroll down for a listing of the RFI’s.
debt

Student Loan Chronicles

(Not password protected)
foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)

In Case You Missed It . . .

ABI Commission on Student Loans

(Not password protected)
March 26, 2018
Archives

atlanta
Shout Out to the folks in Hot’lanta. The Academy is just back from the Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute. SBLI is a great regional conference with super fun attendees. ALEXA MARTINI from the Sellers Law Firm, LLC is the winner of a free subscription to ConsiderChapter13.org.

The Academy welcomes new members Vance Truman of Medina, OH; Dean Sutton of New Jersey; and Louise Harrell of Jackson, MS.

Ricky-Hutchens

Response to ProPublica Article Discussing Racial Patterns in Bankruptcy Filings and Outcomes – Part 1 of 3

By Ricky Hutchens, Law Clerk to The Honorable David S. Kennedy, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Tennessee (Memphis)

Back in September, ProPublica published two articles discussing racial patterns in bankruptcy filings. Their analysis considered statistics from across the country, but they focused on one judicial district in particular: the Western District of Tennessee. In this three part series, Law Clerk Ricky Hutchens examines, point by point, the reporters conclusions.

“Beyond all the legal and strategic reasons to choose Chapter 13 over Chapter 7, there is the debtor himself. Debtors are, after all, people.”

purdy-bill

Crushing Tax Change For Injured Consumers

By William J. Purdy, III, Simmons & Purdy (Soquel, CA)

(Used with permission, originally published by BankruptcyMastery.com 2018)

“ . . . the vast bulk of all other legal recoveries ARE taxable under IRS Section 104. However, in the past, one could deduct the costs to obtain the award under the miscellaneous expense deduction.” But no more.

stormydaniels

From Our Friends at Credit Slips

(Not password protected)
morgan-king

Morgan King Live Event – San Francisco – May 4-6

(Not password protected)

Discharging IRS & State Taxes in Consumer & Small Business Cases

REGISTER NOW

In partnership with The Academy, Morgan King is offering a $200 discount to Academy members.

Please email Regina for the discount code. Register now to receive the conference hotel rate at the Marriott at Fisherman’s Wharf.

medicalbills

Varying Views of the Same Issue

(Not password protected)
  • February 2018 Study: American Economic Association: The Economic Consequences of Hospital Admissions
foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
schlotter

In Case You Missed It . . .

CFPB Issues Final Rule Amendment Regarding Timing for Transition to Modified or Unmodified Periodic Statements

By John Schlotter, McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce, LLC (Roswell, GA)
We are pleased to provide a synopsis of this final rule.Click here for Press Release (Not password protected)Click here for Final Rule Effective Date April 19, 2018 (Not password protected)
March 19, 2018
Archives
langehennig

Section 105 and Lack of Good Faith

By Debbie Langehennig, Chapter 13 Trustee (Austin, TX)
Trustee Langehennig takes a look at cases post Marrama.
schlotter

CFPB Issues Final Rule Amendment Regarding Timing for Transition to Modified or Unmodified Periodic Statements

By John Schlotter, McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce, LLC (Roswell, GA)

We are pleased to provide of synopsis of this final rule.

Click here for Press Release (Not password protected)

Click here for Final Rule Effective Date April 19, 2018 (Not password protected)

morgan-king

Morgan King Live Event – San Francisco – May 4-6

(Not password protected)

Discharging IRS & State Taxes in Consumer & Small Business Cases

Some of What You Will Learn:

  • Which transcripts to get, understanding tax transcripts, transcript red flags
  • What is a “tax return”?
  • Tax evasion & fraud
  • How to interview the clientand communicate with the IRS
  • The problems of using automated online tax discharge analysis
  • Marketing & building your tax solution practice
  • Stripping tax liens
  • Litigating tax issues in bankruptcy court
  • Non-bankruptcy solutions (OIC, CDPA)

In partnership with The Academy, Morgan King is offering a $200 discount to Academy members.

Please email Regina for the discount code. Register now to receive the conference hotel rate at the Marriott at Fisherman’s Wharf.

whatstheplan

From the Academy Archives

(Not password protected)

Planning for Attorney Disability or Death

Back in ‘09, now retired Judge Pat E. Morgenstern-Clarren (N.D. Ohio) brought Academy members a great reminder that the only certainty in life is that there are no certainties.This article on planning for your future is still just as relevant today.

Do you have a plan for your practice if you become disabled? What will happen to your clients if you suddenly pass away?

TAKE THE TIME NOW – MAKE A PLAN.

uscourts

From the U.S. Courts

(Not password protected)

U.S. Bankruptcy Courts – Judicial Business 2017

Nationwide, debtors filed 790,830 bankruptcy petitions in 2017, 2% fewer than in 2016. Lowest total since 2007, which was the first full fiscal year after BAPCPA.
Dimmick

Women’s History Month

(Not password protected)

Senior Judge Carolyn Dimmick (U.S. District Court, W.D. of WA) earned her law degree in 1957 when female lawyers and their opportunities were rare.In honor of Women’s History Month, a new video profile explores the highlights and challenges of Judge Dimmick’s groundbreaking and highly distinguished career.

Watch the video.

uscourts

From the U.S. Courts

(Not password protected)
Judicial Conference Receives Status Report on Workplace Conduct Review – Nearly 20 reforms and improvements have been implemented or are under development to help address workplace conduct concerns in the federal judiciary.
Flatley

Academy Members Inducted into American College of Bankruptcy – Congratulations to Judges Flatley and Waites

irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)
Winter Storm Extension: Many Businesses Have Extra Time To Request A 6-Month Extension – 3/13/18 IRS granted businesses affected by severe winter storms additional time to request six-month extension to file their 2017 federal income tax returns.
foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)

If you haven’t warned your readers about IRS/tax scams, please do so. This is happening in every community. Below are a few links you may be interested in sharing.

ahern_larry

In Case You Missed It . . .

The Law of Unintended Consequences

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Objections Part 2 of 2

By Lawrence R. Ahern, III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN)
A recent decision struggles with the effect on Chapter 13 on the special protections given to “title pawn” creditors by state law. The purpose of this commentary is to analyze the case and identify some unintended consequences of the decision. In Part I, Larry Ahern reviewed the majority’s opinion. This week, in Part II, he discusses some consequences of the decision, which may not have been intended by the majority.Click here for Part 1
March 12, 2018
Archives
ahern_larry

The Law of Unintended Consequences

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Objections Part 2 of 2

By Lawrence R. Ahern, III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN)

A recent decision struggles with the effect on Chapter 13 on the special protections given to “title pawn” creditors by state law. The purpose of this commentary is to analyze the case and identify some unintended consequences of the decision. In Part I, Larry Ahern reviewed the majority’s opinion. This week, in Part II, he discusses some consequences of the decision, which may not have been intended by the majority. Click here for Part 1

cmoran

IRS Caught Double Dipping

By Cathleen Cooper Moran, Moran Law Group (Mountain View, CA)

eyeopenerApparently, Attorney Moran’s article was an eye opener. This article has broken all previous ConsiderChapter13.org unique open records.YOU NEED TO SEE THIS ONE . . .Not an Academy member, JOIN NOW – Use the form attached and receive THREE months completely free.

If you read the article last week, be sure to check out the comments at the bottom of the page. Ms. Moran has added information regarding a related case.The Academy has also heard from Academy member Jeanne E. Hovenden of Chesterfield, Virginia, who reports catching the same issue in a case!

Let us know if you have seen this same issue.

cfpb

From the CFPB

(Not password protected)

CFPB Giving Servicers “More Latitude” in Dealing with Borrowers in Bankruptcy – Issues Final Rule on Communication with Certain Borrowers

Click here for Press Release
Click here for Final Rule

Effective Date April 19, 2018

uscourts

From the U.S. Courts

(Not password protected)

Just the Facts: Consumer Bankruptcy Filings, 2006-2017

In the 12-year span from October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2017, about 12.8 million consumer bankruptcy petitions were filed in the federal courts. Of those, 8.7 million–68 percent–were filed under Chapter 7, and 4.1 million– 32 percent–were filed under Chapter 13 (see Table 1).
sweatbox

Life in the Sweatbox

(Not password protected)
Professors Foohey, Lawless, Porter, and Thorne are at it again. Their latest study has just been released.The study looks at “The time before a person files bankruptcy is sometimes called the financial “sweatbox.” Using original data from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, we find that people are living longer in the sweatbox before filing bankruptcy than they have in the past. We also describe the depletion of wealth and well-being that defines people’s time in the sweatbox.”
nclc

From the NCLC

(Not password protected)

The National Consumer Law Center has made some really cool info available . . . free: Consumer Protection in the States: A 50-State Evaluation of Unfair and Deceptive Practices Laws

Appendix C is a State-By-State Summary of State Unfair and Deceptive Practices Statutes

parkingticket

How Chicago Ticket Debt Sends Black Motorists into Bankruptcy

(Not password protected)

NEW ON THIS ISSUE THIS WEEK

foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
March 5, 2018
Archives
cmoran

IRS Caught Double Dipping

By Cathleen Cooper Moran, Moran Law Group (Mountain View, CA)
Let us know if you have seen this same issue.
scottstout

Special Counsel and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

By Scott G. Stout, Staff Attorney, and Wayne P. Novick (Dayton, OH)
novick“So, you think the Bankruptcy Code does not impact your practice.”NOT PASSWORD PROTECTED. This a great resource to share with your non-bankruptcy colleagues about how the Bankruptcy Code intertwines with their area of the law.
raymullins

Mullins Retires

(Not password protected)
sweatbox

Life in the Sweatbox

(Not password protected)
Professors Foohey, Lawless, Porter, and Thorne are at it again. Their latest study has just been released.The study looks at “The time before a person files bankruptcy is sometimes called the financial “sweatbox.” Using original data from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, we find that people are living longer in the sweatbox before filing bankruptcy than they have in the past. We also describe the depletion of wealth and well-being that defines people’s time in the sweatbox.”
vacancy

Vacant Judgeship

(Not password protected)
debt

Big News from the Department of Education on Student Loans

(Not password protected)
wisenberg

In Case You Missed It . . .

How Different Are Millennials from Their Parents and Grandparents? TransUnion Report Decodes Millennials’ Financial Health

By Julia Wisenberg, Contributing Author
A recent TransUnion report evaluated Millennials as consumers, focusing on their credit participation and performance, ability to manage debt and expenses, and financial planning trends. Ms. Wisenberg summaries this 25-page study.
February 26, 2018
Archives
ahern_larry

The Law of Unintended Consequences

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Objections

By Lawrence R. Ahern, III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN)
A recent decision of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals struggles with the effect on Chapter 13 of the special protection given to “title pawn” creditors. Prompted by this decision, the purpose of this article is to analyze the case and identify some unintended consequences of the decision. This week, in Part I, Larry Ahern reviews the majority’s opinion in Title Max v. Northington. In Part II, he will discuss some consequences of the decision for Chapter 13 practice, which may not have been intended by the majority.This is one in a series of comments on statutes and decisions that have consequences beyond the contemplation of the legislators and judges involved. If you have suggestions for future comments, please send them to the author by clicking here.
wisenberg

How Different Are Millennials from Their Parents and Grandparents? TransUnion Report Decodes Millennials’ Financial Health

By Julia Wisenberg, Contributing Author
A recent TransUnion report evaluated Millennials as consumers, focusing on their credit participation and performance, ability to manage debt and expenses, and financial planning trends. Ms. Wisenberg summaries this 25-page study.
webinar

Register NOW FOR WEBINAR THIS WEDNESDAY

Title: In re Crawford – How Far Can a Court Go in Placing Conditions on Confirmation of a Plan?
When: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 – 2:00 eastern/1:00 central/12:00 mtn/11:00 pacific
Description: Mary K. Viegelahn, Trustee will moderate a discussion with Debbie Langehennig, Trustee and Todd Malaise, Debtors’ Attorney on the issue involving excess disposable income beyond the amount necessary to pay all creditors in full and how far can a court go to place conditions on confirmation of a plan, including a discussion on how other courts have ruled on this issue.
meier

Welcome New Judge

(Not password protected)
hiring

Vacant Judgeship

(Not password protected)
debt

Big News from the Department of Education on Student Loans

(Not password protected)
foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)

Do your clients know about this???

“Potentially the most popular one is aimed at millions of people who pay mortgage-insurance premiums on conventional, FHA and VA loans. Roughly 4.1 million owners took write-offs averaging more than $1,500 during 2015 . . . Mortgage-insurance industry officials predict that at least that many will be able claim the benefit on their 2017 tax returns — provided they learn that the deduction has been revived for the year.” [emphasis added]

debtorsprison

Debtors’ Prison is Back

(Not password protected)
emily-connor-kennedy

In Case You Missed It . . .

Discharges and the DoD: The Interplay between Bankruptcy & Security Clearances

By Emily Connor Kennedy, Esq., Boleman Law Firm, P.C. (Richmond, VA)
For those who practice in bankruptcy law, the “whole person” concept is similar to the broad “totality of the circumstances” analysis that is found throughout bankruptcy opinions.
February 19, 2018
Archives

presidentsday

Holly upgrade

Website Upgrade

The Academy has been hard at work making much needed upgrades to the infrastructure of ConsiderChapter13.orgEven if you don’t normally have to log into your account, you may have to log in today. Be sure to click the ‘Remember Me’ button and in most* circumstances you should only have to log in when your cookies are cleared or when you click the log out feature.

*Some of you have very strict firewalls which do not allow individual computers to remember logins.

If you experience problems accessing the site or in viewing individual posts, please let us know.

emily-connor-kennedy

Discharges and the DoD: The Interplay between Bankruptcy & Security Clearances

By Emily Connor Kennedy, Esq., Boleman Law Firm, P.C. (Richmond, VA)
For those who practice in bankruptcy law, the “whole person” concept is similar to the broad “totality of the circumstances” analysis that is found throughout bankruptcy opinions.
Bill-Brown

From the Editor

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
  • Dismissal of CaseDebtor’s attorney’s failure to file timely appeal of dismissal was not excusable neglect
webinar

Register NOW for the Academy’s Next Free Webinar

Title: In re Crawford – How Far Can a Court Go in Placing Conditions on Confirmation of a Plan?

When: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 – 2:00 eastern/1:00 central/12:00 mtn/11:00 pacific

Description: Mary K. Viegelahn, Trustee will moderate a discussion with Debbie Langehennig, Trustee and Todd Malaise, Debtors’ Attorney on the issue involving excess disposable income beyond the amount necessary to pay all creditors in full and how far can a court go to place conditions on confirmation of a plan, including a discussion on how other courts have ruled on this issue.

loanmodification

Webinar Recording Now Available

The Current Loan Modification Arena

On 1/31/18 Attorney Brent Meyer moderated an excellent one-hour discussion on new and existing loan modification programs throughout the country. Experts Robert Branson and Tammy Branson updated attendees on options available to clients right now and how to navigate the loan modification application process and how to get paid! This is a moderate to advanced level webinar directed primarily to attorneys who represent debtors. Access to webinar recordings is part of your Academy subscription. Not a member? Join NOW!

bobbranson

Need Help With Loan Modifications?

(Not password protected)

tammybransonDuring The Current Loan Modification Arena webinar, the Bransons mentioned their proprietary software which makes loan modification calculations a breeze. Click here to check out how you can purchase this software. Additionally, the Bransons offer educational programs and materials to help you set up your own loan medication program. Click here for more information.

foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
Laila-Gonzalez

In Case You Missed It . . .

Do Voluntary Retirement Contributions Made During a Chapter 13 Constitute Disposable Income?

By Laila Gonzalez, Freire & Gonzalez, P.A. (Miami, FL)
“There are three lines of cases regarding the Debtor’s ability to contribute to a voluntary retirement plan post-petition.”
February 12, 2018
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee (Nashville, TN)
Precedent setting: Nothing requires a court to dismiss a Chapter 13 case filed by a debtor whose unsecured debts exceed the debt limits of § 109 where the excess debt derives from student loans.
Laila-Gonzalez

Do Voluntary Retirement Contributions Made During a Chapter 13 Constitute Disposable Income?

By Laila Gonzalez, Freire & Gonzalez, P.A. (Miami, FL)
“There are three lines of cases regarding the Debtor’s ability to contribute to a voluntary retirement plan post-petition.”
webinar

Register NOW for the Academy’s Next Free Webinar

Title: In re Crawford – How Far Can a Court Go in Placing Conditions on Confirmation of a Plan?
When: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 – 2:00 eastern/1:00 central/12:00 mtn/11:00 pacific
Description: Mary K. Viegelahn, Trustee will moderate a discussion with Debbie Langehennig, Trustee and Todd Malaise, Debtors’ Attorney on the issue involving excess disposable income beyond the amount necessary to pay all creditors in full and how far can a court go to place conditions on confirmation of a plan, including a discussion on how other courts have ruled on this issue.
loanmodification

Webinar Recording Now Available

The Current Loan Modification Arena

On 1/31/18 Attorney Brent Meyer moderated an excellent one-hour discussion on new and existing loan modification programs throughout the country. Experts Robert Branson and Tammy Branson updated attendees on options available to clients right now and how to navigate the loan modification application process and how to get paid! This is a moderate to advanced level webinar directed primarily to attorneys who represent debtors.Access to webinar recordings is part of your Academy subscription. Not a member? Join NOW!
bobbranson

Need Help With Loan Modifications?

(Not password protected)
tammybransonDuring The Current Loan Modification Arena webinar, the Bransons mentioned their proprietary software which makes loan modification calculations a breeze. Click here to check out how you can purchase this software. Additionally, the Bransons offer educational programs and materials to help you set up your own loan medication program. Click here for more information.
didyouknow

Did You Know?

(Not password protected)
foryourblog

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
Holly Davala

In Case You Missed It . . .

Forced Vesting – Take It. Please.

By Holly Davala, Staff Attorney for Chapter 13 Trustee Lauren Helbling (Cleveland, OH)

“The debtors soon realize the lienholders are never going to start the foreclosure proceedings.”Other Academy resources on vesting:

February 5, 2018
Archives
amyx

Stay It Isn’t So! Is the Automatic Stay Eroding in the Tenth Circuit?

By Karin N. Amyx, Staff Attorney to the Trustee Carl Davis (Wichita, KS)
“Does the automatic stay require action when inaction would otherwise affect estate property?”
Holly Davala

Forced Vesting – Take It. Please.

By Holly Davala, Staff Attorney for Chapter 13 Trustee Lauren Helbling (Cleveland, OH)

“The debtors soon realize the lienholders are never going to start the foreclosure proceedings.”Other Academy resources on vesting:

webinar

Register NOW for the Academy’s Next Free Webinar

Title: In re Crawford – How Far Can a Court Go in Placing Conditions on Confirmation of a Plan?
When: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 – 2:00 eastern/1:00 central/12:00 mtn/11:00 pacific
Description: Mary K. Viegelahn, Trustee will moderate a discussion with Debbie Langehennig, Trustee and Todd Malaise, Debtors’ Attorney on the issue involving excess disposable income beyond the amount necessary to pay all creditors in full and how far can a court go to place conditions on confirmation of a plan, including a discussion on how other courts have ruled on this issue.
irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)
(Many IRS items could also be used in your blog.)

How Taxpayers Across the Country Can Have their Taxes Prepared for Free

Millions get their taxes done free through two programs sponsored by the IRS. These help people with lower and moderate incomes:

  • The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance: This program is also known as VITA. It offers free tax return preparation to eligible taxpayers who generally earn $54,000 or less.
  • Tax Counseling for the Elderly: TCE is mainly for people age 60 or older, but offers service to all taxpayers. The program focuses on tax issues unique to seniors. AARP participates in the TCE program through AARP Tax-Aide.
nclc

From the NCLC on the CFPB

(Not password protected)

A Letter from Rich Dubois, Executive Director, NCLC

“ . . . the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled yesterday that the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is constitutional . . .”
loanmodification

Webinar Recording Now Available

The Current Loan Modification Arena

On 1/31/18 Attorney Brent Meyer moderated an excellent one-hour discussion on new and existing loan modification programs throughout the country. Experts Robert Branson and Tammy Branson updated attendees on options available to clients right now and how to navigate the loan modification application process and how to get paid! This is a moderate to advanced level webinar directed primarily to attorneys who represent debtors. Access to webinar recordings is part of your Academy subscription. Not a member? Join NOW!
irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)

Updated 2018 Withholding Tables Now Available; Taxpayers Could See Paycheck Changes by February

Did You Know?

(Not password protected)
creditcards

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
debt

Student Loan Chronicles

(Not password protected)
Kellner

In Case You Missed It . . .

Separate Classification and Unfair Discrimination – Co-obligors Debts

By Jeffrey M. Kellner, Chapter 13 Trustee (Dayton, OH)
As a Chapter 13 Trustee faced with numerous proposed plans which discriminate in the payments to non-priority unsecured claims, it does not happen often when the plan proposes to pay the unsecured claims of co-obligors less than the 100% dividend proposed to non-priority unsecured claims.
January 29, 2018
Archives
Kellner

Separate Classification and Unfair Discrimination – Co-obligors Debts

By Jeffrey M. Kellner, Chapter 13 Trustee (Dayton, OH)
As a Chapter 13 Trustee faced with numerous proposed plans which discriminate in the payments to non-priority unsecured claims, it does not happen often when the plan proposes to pay the unsecured claims of co-obligors less than the 100% dividend proposed to non-priority unsecured claims.
webinar

Register NOW for the First Free Academy Webinar of 2018

Title: The Current Loan Modification Arena
When: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 – 2:00 eastern/1:00 central/12:00 mtn/11:00 pacific
Description: Attorney Brent Meyer will moderate a one-hour discussion on new and existing loan modification programs. Experts Robert Branson and Tammy Branson will update attendees on options available to clients . . . and there ARE options. This is a moderate to advanced level webinar directed primarily to attorneys who represent debtors.
farmers

Farmers in Crisis

(Not password protected)
irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)

Updated 2018 Withholding Tables Now Available; Taxpayers Could See Paycheck Changes by February

wonderemoji

In Case You Missed It . . .

“Cure and Maintain” in Chapter 20? Not in Canton, You Don’t!

By Academy Staff
“Judge Kendig’s conclusion flows from a faulty premise.”
January 22, 2018
Archives
morgan-king

Was It a Return?

By Morgan King, The Morgan King Company (Dublin, CA)
“The standard for determining whether a document is a return consists of a four-part analysis known as the Beard test.”
frostberries

“Cure and Maintain” in Chapter 20? Not in Canton, You Don’t!

By Academy Staff
“Judge Kendig’s conclusion flows from a faulty premise.”
cfpb

From the CFPB

(Not password protected)
irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)

Updated 2018 Withholding Tables Now Available; Taxpayers Could See Paycheck Changes by February

creditcards

Finally, Some Good News. Well, for the Consumer Bankruptcy Industry

(Not password protected)
caution

FAR BEYOND Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
hildebrand

In Case You Missed It . . .

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)
“While it is possible for a Chapter 13 debtor to have two bankruptcy cases at the same time, a debtor is precluded from having two reorganization bankruptcy cases at the same time.”
January 15, 2018
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)
“While it is possible for a Chapter 13 debtor to have two bankruptcy cases at the same time, a debtor is precluded from having two reorganization bankruptcy cases at the same time.”
Bill-Brown

From the Editor – Automatic Stay

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Back by popular demand, Judge Brown is at it again. This week he brings Academy subscribers three cases, all regarding the automatic stay.

caution

CLOSE TO HOME Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)

Counterfeit Check Cashing Scheme Lands Newark Man in Jail for 6 Years

Although there was no loss, Trustee Greenberg in Fairfield, New Jersey, was directly affected by this counterfeit operation. NJ State Police requested that she make a victim’s impact statement.Do you think six years is a long enough sentence? Click here and let us know your thoughts.
justice

From the Supreme Court

(Not password protected)
irs

From the IRS EXTRA

(Not password protected)

New Mailing Address for Forms 8809 — Faxes No Longer Accepted

All Forms 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns,filed on paper are now processed by the Internal Revenue Service Center in Ogden, Utah. These paper forms must be mailed. Faxes will not be accepted.The mailing address is:

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Ogden, UT 84201-0209

The IRS will only grant extensions for very specific reasons. For example, records were lost in a disaster or someone responsible for filing the company’s returns has an unavoidable absence.

nclc

From the National Consumer Law Center

(Not password protected)

Private IRS Collectors Waste Taxpayer Money While Squeezing Low-Income Families

Program costs three times the amount collected from financially-strapped taxpayers
401k

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
judgehumphrey

In Case You Missed It . . .

A Primer on Drafting Adversary Complaints, Counterclaims, Cross-Claims, and Third-Party Complaints

By the Honorable Guy R. Humphrey, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Southern District of Ohio
Click here for “. . . a framework for drafting complaints that will avoid unnecessary procedural motions and issues for the court and which will aid in the claimant’s obtaining the relief which is sought.”Judge Humphrey provides Academy members an excellent tool which can be found under The Toolbox tab in both the Definitions and Debtor Attorney categories.
January 8, 2018
Archives
judgehumphrey

A Primer on Drafting Adversary Complaints, Counterclaims, Cross-Claims, and Third-Party Complaints

By the Honorable Guy R. Humphrey, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Southern District of Ohio
Click here for “. . . a framework for drafting complaints that will avoid unnecessary procedural motions and issues for the court and which will aid in the claimant’s obtaining the relief which is sought.”Judge Humphrey provides Academy members an excellent tool which can be found under The Toolbox tab in both the Definitions and Debtor Attorney categories.
scottstout

Why Can’t I Get My Chapter 13 Plan Confirmed? (Or Simple Keys on How I Can Satisfy the Trustee So I Can Get Paid)

By Scott G. Stout, Staff Attorney for Chapter 13 Standing Trustee Jeffrey M. Kellner (Dayton, OH)
Attorney Stout describes three easy ways to pave the way for plan confirmation and, hopefully, get paid along the way.
cpuflaw

In the Tech Department

(Not password protected)
creditcheck

Credit Check Shake-Up

(Not password protected)
401k

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
debt

Student Loan Chronicles

(Not password protected)
rapoport

In Case You Missed It . . .

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
“ . . . an opinion is going to involve some juicy facts when this is the first sentence: “This Motion to Expunge an attorneys’ fee lien asserted by the debtors’ former attorney involves an important tool in the judicial toolbox for addressing the dilemma of counsel who incompetently represent debtors who have a meritorious case.”
January 1, 2018
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
“ . . . an opinion is going to involve some juicy facts when this is the first sentence: “This Motion to Expunge an attorneys’ fee lien asserted by the debtors’ former attorney involves an important tool in the judicial toolbox for addressing the dilemma of counsel who incompetently represent debtors who have a meritorious case.”
ridethrough

Sorry Folks, There is No “Riding Through” This Town!

By Academy Staff

“ . . . Faced with these equally undesirable alternatives, clever attorneys came up with a fourth option – the ‘ride through’. This alternative, not found anywhere in the Code, could be used where Debtor was not in default under the loan agreement.”

This is one you definitely want to read!

cfpb

CFPB Releases Report on State of Credit Card Market

(Not password protected)
Click here for highlights
Click here for entire report
scotusmale

Regarding the Supreme Court

(Not password protected)
taxreform

From Our Friends at Credit Slips

(Not password protected)
paidinfull

For Your Blog

(Not password protected – this category offers suggestions for trustee or debtor attorneys’ blogs)
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
  • How to Get Away with Bankruptcy Fraud – Los Angeles is the nation’s hub for bankruptcy crime. Scammers prey on struggling homeowners with little fear of getting caught, because criminal enforcement of bankruptcy laws is rare.