June 1, 2015
Archives
supremecourt

Welp, Wellness is Decided . . . A HUGE Victory For The Bankruptcy System

Parties may consent to bankruptcy court hearing Stern claims. There was likely a collective sigh of relief by many bankruptcy attorneys and judges as a result of the majority decision of the Supreme Court in Wellness International Network, Ltd. v. Sharif, decided May 26. In an opinion by Justice Sotomayor, the majority held that Article III permits a bankruptcy judge to adjudicate Stern-type claims, provided the parties knowingly and voluntarily consent. Moreover, the consent does not necessarily have to be express, but implied consent must meet the knowing and voluntary standard.The opinion may be accessed by clicking here. (Not password protected)

See Also:

joelee

Long-Time Bankruptcy Judge Passes Away

The Honorable Joe Lee United States Bankruptcy Judge, 89, pioneer for bankruptcy reform, died May 21, 2015.See also: United States Bankruptcy Judge Joe Lee, Who Presided Over Calumet Farm Case, Dies At 89

fromthecourts

From the Courts

(Not password protected)

New Judge Named

cfpb

From the CFPB

(Not password protected)

CFPB And Florida Attorney General Obtain $27.7 Million Judgment Against Foreclosure Relief Scam Companies – Court Enters Judgment Against Hoffman Law Group and Affiliates for Deceiving Consumers and Collecting Illegal Advance Fees; Individuals Involved to Auction Jewelry, Watches to Pay Redress

REGISTER NOW FOR NACTT SALT LAKE CITY and get the Early Bird price of $800. DEADLINE FOR DISCOUNT IS June 8th!

cfpbCFPB expert Joann Needleman, leader of Clark Hill’s Consumer Financial Services Regulatory & Compliance Group, will speak on WHY you need to know about the CFPB and how it affects your practice. DON’T MISS IT.

nugent

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Surrender and Vesting: Shedding the Underwater House

By The Honorable Robert E. Nugent, Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge, District of Kansas (Wichita)
“A Rose is not a Rosa – Two Opposing Views on Surrender, §1325(a)(5)(C). Two cases with similar names but different outcomes illustrate the debate.”
May 25, 2015
Archives

memorialdaybannner
nugent

Surrender and Vesting: Shedding the Underwater House

By The Honorable Robert E. Nugent, Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge, District of Kansas (Wichita)
“A Rose is not a Rosa – Two Opposing Views on Surrender, §1325(a)(5)(C). Two cases with similar names but different outcomes illustrate the debate.”

Meet Another New Trustee

John M. Hauber was appointed as the Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division on April 1, 2015. He replaces the retired Bob Brothers.
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
viegelahn

Supreme Court Decides Harris v. Viegelahn

(Not password protected)
Supreme Court holds that debtor gets the undistributed money on conversion.REGISTER NOW for NACTT Salt Lake City and meet Trustee Mary Viegelahn in person. Trustee Viegelahn will be moderating a panel on Domestic Support Obligations, Priority Claims, and Other Domestic Relations Issues. She will be joined by The Honorable Robert D. Berger, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Kansas and DSO expert John J. Johnston of Dixon & Johnston Law Office in Belleville, IL.

Also from the Supremes

(Not password protected)

High Court Ruling Adds Protections for Investors in 401(k) Plans

Supreme Court rules plan administrators must continue ‘to monitor trust investments and remove imprudent ones’
plessy

From The Courts: A Historical Look

(Not password protected)
cfpb

From the CFPB

(Not password protected)
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)

Small Business Retirement Plan Penalty Relief Expires Soon

“You still have time to file retirement plan tax returns for your small business.”
rapoport

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
“Dear Readers: I’m assuming that, by now, you’ve heard about (and, I hope, read) the Court’s opinion in In re CLTI, LLC: Memorandum Opinion on Jeremy Alcede’s Emergency Motion Objecting to Proposed Order Regarding Social Media Accounts . . . If you haven’t, then this case falls into the world of You Can’t Make These Things Up.The issue in this case was whether the debtor’s social media accounts can ever be considered property of the estate. (Spoiler alert: yes, at least when it’s a business debtor and the social media accounts are business accounts.) But I don’t write a ‘here’s a new case’ column. I write an ethics column. So let’s read the opinion for some hints about potential ethics issues . . . “
May 18, 2015
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
“Dear Readers:  I’m assuming that, by now, you’ve heard about (and, I hope, read) the Court’s opinion in In re CLTI, LLC: Memorandum Opinion on Jeremy Alcede’s Emergency Motion Objecting to Proposed Order Regarding Social Media Accounts . . . If you haven’t, then this case falls into the world of You Can’t Make These Things Up.  The issue in this case was whether the debtor’s social media accounts can ever be considered property of the estate. (Spoiler alert: yes, at least when it’s a business debtor and the social media accounts are business accounts.) But I don’t write a ‘here’s a new case’ column. I write an ethics column. So let’s read the opinion for some hints about potential ethics issues . . .”

Demystifying the Discharge of Tax Debts

By Larry Heinkel, Esq., TaxProblemLaw.com
Recently, The Academy presented a wonderful webinar on the discharge of income taxes, by experts Al Russo and Morgan King.
As a follow-up, tax and bankruptcy attorney Larry Heinkel (the creator of www.TaxDischargeDeterminator.com), brings us, in laymen’s terms, what a practitioner needs to know to help him or her avoid malpractice and even, perhaps, make money in the art of discharging taxes in bankruptcy.
eduardorodriguez

From the Courts

(Not password protected)

NACTT Salt Lake City Speaker Newly Appointed Judge

pattonEduardo V. Rodriguez has been appointed as the United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Texas.  Rodriguez will have big shoes to fill as he steps into the judgeship vacated by retiring Judge Richard S. Schmidt.  In Salt Lake City Rodriguez will be speaking with Trustee Russell Simon, Mike Bates and John Crane of Aldridge Connors on Mortgage Servicing Issues, Including Proofs of Claim.REGISTER NOW
nclc

From NCLC

(Not password protected)
U.S. House Bill Would Suspend a Homeowner’s Right to Enforce Accurate Mortgage Pricing – Advocates Oppose Bill that Would Let Lenders Off the Hook
Click Here for the NCLC report.
cfpb

From the CFPB

(Not password protected)
irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)
Find Out How ACA Affects Employers With Fewer Than 50 Employees (Note: the last 2 paragraphs might be of interest to you)
kevinanderson

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Critical Case Comment

By Kevin R. Anderson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Utah
Trustee Anderson brings a Critical Case Comment that could also be published in the Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My! Department.Whether motivated by altruism or greed, the surreptitious use of post-dated checks by debtors’ counsel to pay Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 attorney’s fees violated the mandatory bankruptcy disclosure requirements and merited sanctions of $61,534 and the disgorgement of $127,971 in fees earned in 300 cases over two years.
May 11, 2015
Archives
kevinanderson

Critical Case Comment

By Kevin R. Anderson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Utah
Trustee Anderson brings a Critical Case Comment that could also be published in the Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My! Department.Whether motivated by altruism or greed, the surreptitious use of post-dated checks by debtors’ counsel to pay Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 attorney’s fees violated the mandatory bankruptcy disclosure requirements and merited sanctions of $61,534 and the disgorgement of $127,971 in fees earned in 300 cases over two years.
supremecourt

Supreme Court Decides Bullard v. Blue Hills Bank

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court affirmed the First Circuit’s decision that denial of confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan is not a final order that the debtor can appeal. In contrast to a confirmation order, which has preclusive effect, denial of confirmation leaves the rights and obligations of the parties unsettled, with the debtor able to propose another plan.Click here for The Court’s decision (no password required).If you are an Academy member, for more background see: Supreme Court to Review Whether Denial of a Chapter 13 Plan is a Final Order and Thus Appealable by M. Jonathan HayesStill not a member? Click here and join now.See also (not password protected):

nactt

NACTT Big Announcement

The NACTT is pleased to extend the deadline for discounted “early” registration ($800) for the NACTT Annual Seminar until June 1st.The conference date is fast approaching and it will be a great event. Register now and secure your $100 discount.Click here for the complete Program.
wbrown

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

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act grabbed Judge Brown’s attention this week. Check out these 3 case synopses:

davidhowe

Tragedy Hits Chapter 13 Community

It is with great sadness that we say good-bye to Chapter 13 Trustee David Howe. Trustee Howe served as a Chapter 13 Trustee for the Western District of Washington in Tacoma since 1990. He was an outstanding human being and will be greatly missed.Click here for more.
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)

The following two stories are related. They are not regarding a Chapter 13 case, however, the way the money was hidden is interesting: cashier’s checks, given to family members to hold.

nclc

NCLC Nationwide Survey Finds Major Problems with Mortgage Servicers

(Not password protected)
The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) conducted a nationwide survey from February 24 to March 3, 2015, of more than 100 attorneys and housing counselors representing homeowners. The survey’s results show significant ongoing problems with mortgage servicing. While the CFPB’s mortgage servicing regulations have made important progress in standardizing industry practices, enhancing procedural transparency, and improving servicer accountability, many challenges remain.
hildebrand

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)
A debtor’s filing of an untimely 1040 tax return form, filed after the Internal Revenue Service has already assessed a tax liability, is not a tax return for purposes of § 523(a)(1).
May 4, 2015
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)
A debtor’s filing of an untimely 1040 tax return form, filed after the Internal Revenue Service has already assessed a tax liability, is not a tax return for purposes of § 523(a)(1).
pardo

The Undue Hardship Thicket: On Access to Justice, Procedural Noncompliance, and Pollutive Litigation in Bankruptcy

Rafael I. Pardo, Robert T. Thompson Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, GA (Used With Permission and Not password protected)
“This Article offers new insights into understanding the complexities and costs of the litigation burden that Congress has imposed on debtors who seek a fresh start in bankruptcy. . . .”
gustafson

Bankruptcy-Life Pro Tips

(Not password protected)

Science Says Sitting Is Killing Us – So It’s IT To The Rescue

By The Honorable John P. Gustafson, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio

“If you are like me, news like this makes you want to do something. . . . But not something as radical as getting a stand up desk, or even more unthinkable, a treadmill desk. (Now, when they come out with the hamster wheel desk, maybe I’ll consider it.)”

irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)
cmoran

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Attorneys Fees and The “Law” of Averages

By Cathy Moran, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist, Mountain View, CA
flipcoin“The law of averages doesn’t work on numbers this small, I was told.”See also currently in the news: Bankruptcy Court Rules “One-Size-Fits-All” Is Wrong Approach For Evaluating Request For Payment of Attorney’s Fees NEW THIS WEEK ***** Not Chapter 13 but may be of interest . . . Citing Plain Language of Bankruptcy Code and Split With Other Circuits, Fifth Circuit Overturns Pro-Snax Decision *****
April 27, 2015
Archives
cmoran

Attorneys Fees and The “Law” of Averages

By Cathy Moran, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist, Mountain View, CA

flipcoin“The law of averages doesn’t work on numbers this small, I was told.”

See also currently in the news: Bankruptcy Court Rules “One-Size-Fits-All” Is Wrong Approach For Evaluating Request For Payment of Attorney’s Fees

fayeenglish

Meet Faye English

(Not password protected)
Continuing the series introducing new (and newish) Chapter 13 Standing Trustees, meet Faye English, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Southern District of Ohio maintaining her office on Columbus.
wbrown

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

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

With great dedication while on his way out the door for a much deserved vacation, Judge Brown sends us 4 cases relating to property of the estate and exemptions:

irs

It’s Tax Time . . . From the IRS

(Not password protected)
morganking

Emerging Tax Issues: Tolling the 2-year Period, What’s Up With McCoy & More

alrussoJoin tax expert Morgan King and Chapter 13 Trustee Al Russo for a 65 minute discussion on changes in how taxes are dealt with in some bankruptcy cases.

With almost 300 attendees, the Emerging Tax Issues webinar was a huge success. If you missed it, click here to view at your convenience.

Not an Academy member*, we offer a pay per view option.

*Click here to join now.

hike

NACTT 50TH Anniversary Seminar – REGISTER NOW

Six Hikes Within 30 Minutes

(Not password protected)
Salt Lake City is a tremendous family vacation destination. The Grand America, a Five-Diamond hotel, sits majestically in a valley surrounded by the Wasatch Mountains. Click here for more information.
rapoport

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport

bumblebeeDear Readers:

Spring cleaning is underway – not in our home, but probably in other locations – and that gives rise to some ideas about organizing or reorganizing your work. Click Here for some musings from Ms. Ps & Qs.

April 20, 2015
Attention Members, if you experience difficulty with your login, please notify Ms. Logsdon at Regina.Logsdon@ConsiderChapter13.org
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
bumblebeeDear Readers:Spring cleaning is underway – not in our home, but probably in other locations – and that gives rise to some ideas about organizing or reorganizing your work. Click Here for some musings from Ms. Ps & Qs.
siomos

UPDATE

In re Traverse and the Chapter 7 Trustee’s Power to Sell Property

By Kenneth Siomos, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee John H. Germeraad, Petersburg, IL
. . . “Hopefully, courts will continue rejecting the Traverse decision and will follow the law as written.”
morganking

Emerging Tax Issues: Tolling the 2-year Period, What’s Up With McCoy & More

alrussoJoin tax expert Morgan King and Chapter 13 Trustee Al Russo for a 65 minute discussion on changes in how taxes are dealt with in some bankruptcy cases.With almost 300 attendees, the Emerging Tax Issues webinar was a huge success. If you missed it, click here to view at your convenience.Not an Academy member*, we offer a pay per view option.

*Click here to join now.

dabrowski

Conn. Bankruptcy Judge Retires After 22 Years on Bench (Accessing this link requires free registry)

(Not password protected)
Albert Dabrowski retires after a very interesting career.
markleffler

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Notes from the Post-Confirmation Department

When Things Don’t Go According to (the) Plan: Getting Out From Under Under-Funding

By Mark C. Leffler, The Boleman Lawfirm, Richmond, VA
Academy Board Member Mark Leffler kicks off a new series on post-confirmation issues.“Experienced practitioners and trustees know that underfunding is common, often because debtors frequently underestimate the true extent of their debt.”
April 13, 2015
Archives
markleffler

Notes from the Post-Confirmation Department

When Things Don’t Go According to (the) Plan: Getting Out From Under Under-Funding

By Mark C. Leffler, The Boleman Lawfirm, Richmond, VA
Academy Board Member Mark Leffler kicks off a new series on post-confirmation issues.“Experienced practitioners and trustees know that underfunding is common, often because debtors frequently underestimate the true extent of their debt.”
amranecohen

A Study of Creditor Responses To Notice of Mortgage Cure Under Bankruptcy Rule 3002.1

By Amrane Cohen, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Santa Ana Division of the Central District in California
Trustee Cohen brings us the results of an interesting study conducted by his office. Are you experiencing similar results? Click here and tell us about it.Click here for an exclusive list of conduit/non-conduit trustees.
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Priority Claims

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
kevinanderson

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Critical Case Comment

By Kevin R. Anderson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Utah
“In performing the hypothetical liquidation analysis of 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(4), Chapter 13 attorney’s fees are deducted as a priority claim before estimating the return to non-priority unsecured creditors.”
April 6, 2015
Archives
kevinanderson

Critical Case Comment

By Kevin R. Anderson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Utah
“In performing the hypothetical liquidation analysis of 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(4), Chapter 13 attorney’s fees are deducted as a priority claim before estimating the return to non-priority unsecured creditors.”
tonycoy

Bankruptcy 101: Suggestions for Efficiently Handling Chapter 13s and Increasing Profitability – Part 3 of 3

By Tony Coy, Staff Attorney to Chapter 13 Standing Trustee Camille Hope, Macon, GA

Finalizing Mr. Coy’s checklist of what trustees’ offices look for from debtors’ counsel.Although titled “Bankruptcy 101” this series is hardly for the novice. This week, Attorney Coy looks at 341s, Proofs of Claim, Service and more . . .Click here for a PDF of Debtor Intake Forms

eatdrink

Eat, Drink and Be Merry . . . . For Tomorrow You May Be in Utah

By Jill Olsen, The Olsen Law Firm, Kansas City, MO (former Salt Lake Cityian)
This snarky little saying by those who live in and around Salt Lake City used to be all too true. However, Salt Lake has had a revitalization in recent years and is now an energetic, vibrant town with great restaurants, beautiful mountain vistas and, yes, plenty of places to have fun and enjoy a drink or two. Contrary to the long-held belief, you can get alcohol in restaurants and bars in Utah, just as you do in other states. There are plenty of things to see and do, both in Salt Lake City and in the surrounding areas, such as Park City, Snowbird and Brighton, which have plenty of outdoor summer activities for the whole family. For ideas on places to eat and things to see, check out www.downtownslc.org
judgecook

From the Bench

(Not password protected)
irs

It’s Tax Time . . . From the IRS

(Not password protected)
hildebrand

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)
Confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan constitutes a final order with res judicata effect, precluding litigation related to claims filed prior to confirmation.
March 30, 2015
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)
Confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan constitutes a final order with res judicata effect, precluding litigation related to claims filed prior to confirmation.
tonycoy

Bankruptcy 101: Suggestions for Efficiently Handling Chapter 13s and Increasing Profitability – Part 2 of 3

By Tony Coy, Staff Attorney to Chapter 13 Standing Trustee Camille Hope, Macon, GA
Continuing Mr. Coy’s checklist of what trustees’ offices look for from debtors’ counsel. A look at preparing the documents, taxes and student loans.Although titled “Bankruptcy 101” this series is hardly for the novice.
sbli

Shout-out to Attendees and Speakers of the SBLI Conference in Atlanta, GA.

billbrownAtlanta ROCKS.  The SBLI staff and Board of Directors were all very welcoming to the Academy.  Attendees were friendly and open to new ideas.  Welcome new member Chris Rampley and new newsletter subscribers.
fessenden

Fessenden Inducted Into ACB

Peter C. Fessenden was inducted into the American College of Bankruptcy on March 14th as part of Class 26. Click here for more . . .
jbledsoe

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Under § 1329 the ‘Disposable Income Test’ Applies In A Post-Confirmation Plan Modification – Doesn’t It?

By Joseph A. Bledsoe, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Eastern District of North Carolina
“. . . I know this topic is old news for most of you, and that courts have been considering this issue since before I got my law license, but please stay with me. . . .”After reading Trustee Bledsoe’s article, please feel free to leave a comment in the newly formatted Comment Section at the bottom of each article. No sign-up, no logging in, no password – type your comment and hit ‘Submit Comment’ – easy easy.   NEW THIS WEEK – Be sure to note the comments added to this article by your colleagues.
March 23, 2015
Archives
jbledsoe

Under § 1329 the ‘Disposable Income Test’ Applies In A Post-Confirmation Plan Modification – Doesn’t It?

By Joseph A. Bledsoe, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Eastern District of North Carolina
“. . . I know this topic is old news for most of you, and that courts have been considering this issue since before I got my law license, but please stay with me. . . .”After reading Trustee Bledsoe’s article, please feel free to leave a comment in the newly formatted Comment Section at the bottom of each article. No sign-up, no logging in, no password – type your comment and hit ‘Submit Comment’ – easy easy.
tonycoy

Bankruptcy 101: Suggestions for Efficiently Handling Chapter 13s and Increasing Profitability – Part 1 of 3

By Tony Coy, Staff Attorney to Chapter 13 Standing Trustee Camille Hope, Macon, GA
“Individuals may disagree about what constitutes a successful Chapter 13 case; however, this discussion is about efficiently handling a case.”Although titled “Bankruptcy 101” this series is hardly for the novice. Rather, it serves as a checklist to debtors’ counsel.
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Eligibility and Debtor’s Standing

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
hildebrand

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)
“Modification of a confirmed Chapter 13 plan under § 1329 can only be effected based upon changes in the debtor’s circumstances which were not known or not virtually certain; when a plan is modified, the “best interest of creditors test” is applicable as of the date of the modified plan.”
March 16, 2015
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)
“Modification of a confirmed Chapter 13 plan under § 1329 can only be effected based upon changes in the debtor’s circumstances which were not known or not virtually certain; when a plan is modified, the “best interest of creditors test” is applicable as of the date of the modified plan.”
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
$200,000 Sanctions Order for Vexatious Litigation Gets Affirmed . . . and that’s real money! And it happened in a bankruptcy case.
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Plan Modification

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
jbledsoe

Meet Another New Trustee

(Not password protected)
“Joseph A. Bledsoe, III (“Jody”) was appointed as a Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Eastern District of North Carolina on April 4, 2014, where he is the Trustee for the New Bern and Fayetteville Divisions. He replaces retiring Interim Trustee Robert R. Browning, and Standing Trustee Trawick H. “Buzzy” Stubbs.” Click here for more . . .
creditrpt

Equifax, Experian and TransUnion Honing Focus On Enhanced Dispute Resolution and More

(Not password protected)
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
siomos

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

The Marital Deduction: Returning to Common Sense and Eliminating the “Contractual Liability” Test under § 101(10A)(B)

By Kenneth Siomos, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee John H. Germeraad, Petersburg, IL
“Common sense would seem to dictate that the cost of maintaining the roof over your head is a ‘household expense’ even if you are not the one paying for it.”
March 9, 2015
Archives
siomos

The Marital Deduction: Returning to Common Sense and Eliminating the “Contractual Liability” Test under § 101(10A)(B)

By Kenneth Siomos, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee John H. Germeraad, Petersburg, IL
“Common sense would seem to dictate that the cost of maintaining the roof over your head is a ‘household expense’ even if you are not the one paying for it.”
hayes

The Supreme Court and Stripping Liens, Part 1

By M. Jonathan Hayes, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist with Simon Resnik Hayes LLP (Sherman Oaks, CA)
“The resolution of the issue depends, in part, on whether Congress can ever take away a lien (and give it to the debtor essentially) without compensation. That issue is discussed in Radford and Wright . . . .”
wbrown

Supreme Court’s Certiorari

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
Judge Brown has prepared a quick synopsis of the six cases quickly headed to the Supreme Court.
wiles

New York’s Bankruptcy Bench Is Expanding Again

(Not password protected)
Michael Wiles is newest New York Bankruptcy Judge . . .
webinar

Save the Date – Friday, April 10th – Free Webinar

Emerging Tax Issues: Tolling the 2-year Period and What’s Up With McCoy 
Join expert Morgan King and Chapter 13 Trustee Al Russo for a 60 minute discussion of changes in how taxes are dealt with in some bankruptcy cases.
Click here for an advanced sneak peak at the Tolling outline.
davidpeake

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

An Alternative to One Size Fits All

By David Peake, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Southern District of Texas (Houston)
“There was an interesting development recently in the ongoing topic of the wisdom of adopting a mandatory national form plan (Official Form 113). . . .”Click here for Letter Supporting Compromise
Click here for Draft of Form Compromise
Click here for Transcript of 1/23/15 Hearing
March 2, 2015
Archives
davidpeake

An Alternative to One Size Fits All

By David Peake, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Southern District of Texas (Houston)
“There was an interesting development recently in the ongoing topic of the wisdom of adopting a mandatory national form plan (Official Form 113). . . .”
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Attorney Actions

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week Judge Brown takes a look at two cases involving actions taken (or not) by attorneys representing debtors.

lauracorcoran

Getting Started With Google Scholar

By Laura Corcoran, Staff Attorney for Chapter 13 Trustee Dianne Kerns, Tucson AZ
Google Scholar is a fast and easy way to access case law and articles for free. There are many features available if you are willing to create an account, including email alerts and storage for documents of interest.
karawest

Meet the New Trustee

(Not password protected)STILL1
At a mere 37 years old, Kara Luana West was appointed Chapter 13 and Chapter 12 Standing Trustee for the Southern Division of the Eastern District of Tennessee on January 1, 2015. Ms. West has very large shoes to fill as she is replacing long-standing, retiring Trustee C. Kenneth Still.

 

amazon

The Academy Needs Your Help

moneycartoonAs you may or may not be aware, the Academy is a non-profit in every sense of the word. The Academy operates on a shoe-string budget so every little bit of income helps.Through Amazon, there are 2 ways you can help:

  • Register as an Academy supporter. Click here and set up an account. Each time you make an Amazon purchase, Amazon will automatically donate .5% of your purchase price. (No extra cost to you.)
  • Access Amazon by clicking through any Amazon ad found in the right-hand column of this page. Once you are on Amazon’s site, you can maneuver to whatever product you want (your purchase does not have to be the advertised product). By accessing Amazon via ConsiderChapter13.org, Amazon will pay the Academy a commission of between 2-6% on every purchase. (Again, no extra cost to you.)
changeahead

New Archived Webinar

Means Test Forms B22C 1 & 2: What’s Changed?  The Academy’s latest webinar is now available – free to members or pay per view for non-members. This 60 minute presentation on the changes to the bifurcated form was attended by over 380 bankruptcy professionals and/or staff. Comments include:

  • “Thank you for the seminar! It was very helpful to myself and my staff.”
  • “The material and presentation were very helpful to us. Thank you for providing the webinar!!”
  • “The seminar was presented very well. It was practical and informative.”
keyboard

Be Smart About Abbreviations

(Not password protected)
The over-40-set in the legal world are accustomed to using acronyms – lots of them. Today’s acronyms don’t mean the same things. Learning the new lingo is like learning a new language. For example, to anyone in the bankruptcy world DIP is a common term – Debtor in Possession, of course. Today, DIP means leave.

Click here

for a tutorial on other writing style changes you may want to consider.And click here (password protected) for a helpful article on writing . . . and not the way your English professor taught you.

karinbruce

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Current Monthly Income, Applicable Commitment Period and Business Expenses

By Karin M. Bruce, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee Jan P. Johnson (Sacramento, CA)
. . . “Form 22C or the Means Test, is an Official Bankruptcy Form. It is designed to determine whether a debtor’s plan must provide for payments over a period of three years or five years (the applicable commitment period) and the minimum amount that must be paid to general unsecured creditors.”
February 23, 2015
Archives
berger

Bankruptcy, Divorce and the Former Spouse: A Marriage of Inconvenience Part 2 of 2

By Honorable Robert D. Berger, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Kansas

“It is prudent for a bankruptcy attorney to review a marital settlement agreement and a proposed decree of divorce prior to effectuation by the client and entry by the divorce court.”

Click here for Part I

See also: Who Wins: A Chapter 13 Trustee or an Unrecorded Divorce Decree?

wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Eligibility

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Judge Brown’s focus this week is eligibility. Click below for two synopsis of important eligibility cases.

karinbruce

Current Monthly Income, Applicable Commitment Period and Business Expenses

By Karin M. Bruce, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee Jan P. Johnson (Sacramento, CA)
. . . “Form 22C or the Means Test, is an Official Bankruptcy Form. It is designed to determine whether a debtor’s plan must provide for payments over a period of three years or five years (the applicable commitment period) and the minimum amount that must be paid to general unsecured creditors.”
judge_patton_cropped

Shout-Out to the Attendees and Speakers of the 30th Annual Advanced

Consumer Bankruptcy Course in Houston

Lots of great speakers including Academy members Kristina Gonzales, The Honorable Richard Schmidt (a/k/a General George S. Patton), Dinorah Gonzalez, David Peake, Stuart Cox, Mary Viegelahn, Ray Hendren and Eddie Rodriguez.
changeahead

REGISTER . . . NOW

* * * February 25th * * *

2 p.m. eastern

Free Webinar: B22C 1 & 2: What’s Changed?

NalikoMarkel

eugeneoregonDistrict of Oregon Welcomes New Trustee

(Not password protected)
rapoport

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport

You do realize that this is a Federal court, right? We use the Federal Rules of Evidence.

— Pretty much every Bankruptcy Judge, everywhere, at least once, whether or not the judge is using his or her “outside the head” voice.

February 16, 2015
Archives
presidentsday
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport

You do realize that this is a Federal court, right? We use the Federal Rules of Evidence.

— Pretty much every Bankruptcy Judge, everywhere, at least once, whether or not the judge is using his or her “outside the head” voice.

berger

Bankruptcy, Divorce and the Former Spouse: A Marriage of Inconvenience Part 1 of 2

By Honorable Robert D. Berger, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Kansas
“Bankruptcy frequently intersects with other areas of the law, and one of the most prominent areas is family law. Of course, family law frequently includes divorce proceedings. In this article, we focus on debts for a domestic support obligation (“DSO”)—i.e., debts arising from divorce proceedings that are in the nature of support—which are not dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5).”See also: Who Wins: A Chapter 13 Trustee or an Unrecorded Divorce Decree?
wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Conversion and Dismissal

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
nclc

New Award from NCLC!

(Not password protected)
Nominate a Rising Star Today! Click here for details.
hehtalking

Big Shout-Out to Attendees of the Northern California
14th Annual Bankruptcy Conference in Sacramento

Lots of great speakers including Academy favorites Hank Hildebrand and Nancy Rapoport. Welcome new member Harold Comanse.

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changeahead

REGISTER . . . NOW * * * February 25th * * *
2 eastern/1 central/12 mtn/11 pacific
Free Webinar: B22C 1 & 2: What’s Different

rebeccagarcia

Welcome New Trustee

(Not password protected)
Garcia-KingEastern District of Wisconsin welcomes new trustee, replacing retiring Tom King.
kevinanderson

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Critical Case Comment

By Kevin R. Anderson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Utah (Salt Lake City)
hazard“First, it is never a good idea to send your bankruptcy trustee a letter alleging a “Hazmat” threat. Second, a criminal conviction for perjury arising from testimony at a 341 Meeting requires: (1) near absolute clarity from the questioner; and (2) evidence as to how the debtor understood the question at the time it was answered.”
February 9, 2015
Archives
kevinanderson

Critical Case Comment

By Kevin R. Anderson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Utah (Salt Lake City)
hazard“First, it is never a good idea to send your bankruptcy trustee a letter alleging a ‘Hazmat’ threat. Second, a criminal conviction for perjury arising from testimony at a 341 Meeting requires: (1) near absolute clarity from the questioner; and (2) evidence as to how the debtor understood the question at the time it was answered.”
officesecurity

Office Security

Trustee Anderson’s analysis of the Hale case brings to mind the issue of security procedures in the workplace.The NACTT, in partnership with the Academy, offers a series of staff training tools.

In one, Trustees Deb Miller and Debbie Langehennig present a 42 minute training designed for the entire office – both professionals and support staff.  This webinar teaches the importance of having office procedures in place for all types of breach in security such as intruders, workplace violence and receipt of suspicious packages.

sdart

Chapter 13 Community Suffers Loss

Janna Countryman 7/18/62-2/1/15 – A Very Special Trustee Remembered
megancraig

Academy Writing Contest Winners

The Academy sponsored its first law student writing contest in 2014. The contest is an annual event so please share this information with any law student, professor, or law school you come in contact with. Spread the word!

Our 3rd place winner is from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. Megan E. Craig is a 3L with a true passion for bankruptcy law. Her strong work ethic has earned her academic achievements as a dean’s merit scholar and externships with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Central District Rules Committee and former Chief Judge Vincent P. Zurzolo.

Is the Chapter 13 “Super Discharge” Still Super?

By Megan E. Craig, Southwestern Law School, J.D. Candidate 2015

“Indeed, the super discharge still has some life left despite the passage of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Consumer Protection Act that narrowed its scope.”

wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Administrative Expenses

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

From the Editor’s Desk is back.  This week Judge Brown brings two cases regarding administrative expenses:

February 2, 2015
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)
Above-median debtor is only entitled to deduct from Current Monthly Income the lesser of actual home and vehicle payments or the corresponding standards promulgated by the IRS.

Sadly, this week’s Critical Case Comment analyzes a case decided by Judge Doub shortly before his untimely passing.  Please see below.

cmoran

Content Marketing: Sharing – Part 5 of 5

By Cathy Moran, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist, Mountain View, CA

shareYour content is now created, embellished and published. Now What? The final installment of this 5 part series offers step by step instructions on how to get the most from your efforts.Thank you to Ms. Moran for sharing this series with us. During this time while filings are down for most of the country, marketing is more important than ever. Following the steps in this Content Marketing series, can give your practice a much needed booster shot!

garettfranklyn

Academy Writing Contest Winners

In the Fall of 2014, the Academy was honored to sponsor its first law student writing contest. The contest is an annual event so please share this information with any law student, professor, or school you come in contact with. Spread the word!Placing a very close second, Garett Franklyn, is a 2nd year law student at the University of Tennessee (Go Vols). Mr. Franklyn currently serves as a second year editor of the Tennessee Law Review. The summer of 2014 was spent in a clerkship for Honorable David M. Bragg in Tennessee’s 16th Judicial District.

Due Course for Undue Hardship? How Chapter 13 Could Alleviate a Possible Student Debt Crisis

By Garett Franklyn, 2016 J.D. Candidate

Mr. Franklyn takes a look at the hardship of proving hardship: “Courts generally rely on four key tests to determine undue hardship.”

briefbank

Brief Bank Additions

The Academy maintains a small, but growing, library of briefs for reference by Academy members.Here, we add two briefs regarding, in the most simplistic of terms, “Who Gets the Money.”

  • Click here for Petition for Writ of Certiorari (Harris)
  • Click here for Brief in Opposition (Harris)

If you have a brief or briefs to share, please send them here.

gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 18 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
The Academy hopes you have enjoyed this series directed to attorneys who represent Chapter 13 Trustees. A fitting end to this 18 part series: Bankruptcy and Death.
socialsecurity

No Social Security Number???

SS # May Be Mark of the Beast But That Will Not Save Your Job

  • Click here for the Sixth Circuit’s decision in favor of employer – not directly on point for bankruptcy, but may still be helpful.
doud

Greenville-Based Bankruptcy Judge Passes Away

“As good a judge and leader as Judge Doub proved to be, he was an even better man of character, loving and devoted husband and father, a steadfast, loyal friend, and an engaged and involved member of his community and his church. He was kind, compassionate, and caring to all, and worked diligently to improve himself and the world around him every single day. He’s the only judge who ever visited our office, and he made it a point to talk with everyone here. Every year he wrote a personal letter thanking everyone here for their hard work and dedication. He will be sorely missed.” John Logan, Chapter 13 Trustee.
lap

Chemerinsky: It’s shaping up to be a momentous term for SCOTUS

From the Academy – A Must Have Supreme Court ResourceDean and Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California’s Irvine School of Law, Erwin Chemerinsky, offered a clear and precise tutorial on the Supreme Court at the 2014 NACTT Conference in Chicago. Comments included:

  • “very knowledgeable and engaging speaker”
  • “gave me a better understanding of the ideology of the Supreme Court”
  • “very in depth and relevant”
  • “made me think carefully about how our laws are amended by individual judges w/individual biases”
  • “one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard”

lapYour choice of CD or DVD $29.99.