Home - Archived (Dec-31-2012 - Apr-27-2015)

October 26, 2015
Archives
plamos

You’ll Get Nothing And Like It: Using § 363 to (Possibly) Force a Lender to Accept a Short Sale

Phil Lamos, Chief Legal Counsel for Craig Shopneck, Cleveland’s Chapter 13 Trustee
“Section 363(f) . . . allows a debtor to sell property free and clear of liens under certain limited circumstances. It’s a long shot, but under the right set of facts it just might work.” Did you know that the Academy has an entire category under The Toolbox called 363 Sales??
Judge Berger crop

Bankruptcy Weapons to Terminate a Zombie Mortgage – Part 5 of 6

By Professor Andrea Boyack and Judge Robert Berger (Used with permission. First published: Washburn Law Journal)
boyackPart 5 of this popular series continues by taking a look at a § 363 approach to zombie mortgages.
ansleyowens

More Schooling to Come on Student Debt Relief?

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)
“A petition for the Supreme Court to weigh in on this issue is currently before the Justices following a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals opinion.”
courts

From the Courts

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From the CFPB

debmiller

REGISTER NOW – FREE WEBINAR

Getting Ready for the New POC Forms

Michael_McCormickThis Wednesday – October 28th – 2:00-3:30 EasternYOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS WEBINAR – Block out 90 full minutes – there is THAT much info!Join experts Trustee Debra Miller and Attorney Michael McCormick for a discussion on what’s new (and what isn’t) regarding the new proofs of claim form. This presentation will have an emphasis on mortgage proofs of claim. This webinar is advanced and directed toward attorneys, trustees, and senior level staff. Speakers will address escrow deficiencies, unapplied funds, projected escrow shortage, all the hard stuff!
hildebrand

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville, TN
A Chapter 13 debtor need not receive a discharge in order to effect a lien avoidance; when the court has disallowed a secured claim, 506(d) permits the stripping of any lien asserted to support that claim.
October 19, 2015
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville, TN
A Chapter 13 debtor need not receive a discharge in order to effect a lien avoidance; when the court has disallowed a secured claim, 506(d) permits the stripping of any lien asserted to support that claim.
Judge Berger crop

Bankruptcy Weapons to Terminate a Zombie Mortgage – Part 4 of 6

By Professor Andrea Boyack and Judge Robert Berger (Used with permission. First published: Washburn Law Journal)
boyackPart 4 of a very popular series continues, taking a look at attempts to disclose, control, and resolve the zombie mortgage problem both in and outside of bankruptcy.
wbrown

From the Editor

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Judge Brown looks at two cases involving a topic we’ve never looked at – Discharge Injunctions:

debt

The Next Big Thing

(Not password protected)
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
debmiller

REGISTER NOW – FREE WEBINAR

Getting Ready for the New POC Forms

Michael_McCormickWednesday – October 28th
2:00-3:30 Eastern
Join experts Trustee Debra Miller and Attorney Michael McCormick for a discussion on what’s new (and what isn’t) regarding the new proofs of claim form. This presentation will have an emphasis on mortgage proofs of claim. This webinar is advanced and directed toward attorneys, trustees, and senior level staff.
ansleyowens

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Chapter 13 Debtor Wins Attorney’s Fees as a Party “Prevailing on a Contract”

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)
“The Ninth Circuit saw nothing in § 1717 or any California authority to preclude an attorney’s fee award to a party who successfully limits the enforcement of its contract solely on the basis on bankruptcy law.”
October 12, 2015
Archives
boyack

Bankruptcy Weapons to Terminate a Zombie Mortgage – Part 3 of 6

By Professor Andrea Boyack and Judge Robert Berger (Used with permission. First published: Washburn Law Journal)
Judge Berger cropPart 3 of 6 continues the series, taking a look at why lenders delay foreclosure.
ansleyowens

Chapter 13 Debtor Wins Attorney’s Fees as a Party “Prevailing on a Contract”

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)
“The Ninth Circuit saw nothing in § 1717 or any California authority to preclude an attorney’s fee award to a party who successfully limits the enforcement of its contract solely on the basis on bankruptcy law.”
wbrown

From the Editor

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
mckinney

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Surrender in Bankruptcy

By Sabrina L. McKinney, Senior Staff Attorney for Chapter 13 Trustee Cleve Reding, Montgomery, AL
“So what is ‘surrender’ in bankruptcy and what does a debtor have to do to surrender collateral?”Attorney McKinney gives us the most recent addition to The Toolbox category: Definitions.
October 5, 2015
Archives
boyack

Bankruptcy Weapons to Terminate a Zombie Mortgage – Part 2 of 6

By Professor Andrea Boyack and Judge Robert Berger (Used with permission. First published: Washburn Law Journal)
Judge Berger cropThe Academy is pleased to present Part 2 of this 6 part series outlining your weapons of choice for obliterating a zombie mortgage.
chapt20

Hamilton (of Hamilton v. Lanning fame) Receives Award

By Jan Hamilton, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the District of Kansas

As the summer vacation season wanes, the Academy is pleased to bring members a side-splitting look at one bankruptcy attorney’s idea of a dream vacation.The Kansas CLE Commission is pleased to announce Jan Hamilton of Topeka, Kansas, as the recipient of the 2015 Robert L. Gernon Award for Outstanding Service to Continuing Legal Education in Kansas.

Trustee Hamilton is a long-time friend of the Academy and has authored several articles for ConsiderChapter13.org. CONGRATULATIONS JAN!!!!!!!

Surrender in Bankruptcy

By Sabrina L. McKinney, Senior Staff Attorney for Chapter 13 Trustee Cleve Reding, Montgomery, AL

“So what is ‘surrender’ in bankruptcy and what does a debtor have to do to surrender collateral?”

Attorney McKinney gives us the most recent addition to The Toolbox category: Definitions.

cfpb

From the CFPB

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From the IRS

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ansleyowens

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

The Blunt Realities of State Legalization and the Bankruptcy Privilege

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)

Tenth Circuit BAP affirms decision that denied relief to a Colorado couple who ran a marijuana growing and dispensing business.

Other Academy resources on topic:

September 28, 2015
Archives
boyack

Bankruptcy Weapons to Terminate a Zombie Mortgage – Part 1 of 6

By Professor Andrea Boyack and Judge Robert Berger (Used with permission. First published: Washburn Law Journal)
Judge Berger cropZombie Mortgages: An appropriate moniker, as a debtor’s attorney fighting one of these beasts may dream of engaging the assistance of Rick Grimes or Michonne from AMC’s The Walking Dead.The Academy is pleased to present a six part series which lays out your weapons of choice for obliterating a zombie mortgage.
ansleyowens

The Blunt Realities of State Legalization and the Bankruptcy Privilege

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)
Tenth Circuit BAP affirms decision that denied relief to a Colorado couple who ran a marijuana growing and dispensing business.
chapter11

Important Chapter 11 Decision

(Not password protected)
hildebrand

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee
Failure of mortgage creditor to file proof of claim in a Chapter 13 case will preclude that creditor from receiving distributions under a confirmed plan but will not result in the reduction of any debt during the pendency of the case nor will it affect the lien rights of the creditor which will survive the bankruptcy.
September 21, 2015
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee
Failure of mortgage creditor to file proof of claim in a Chapter 13 case will preclude that creditor from receiving distributions under a confirmed plan but will not result in the reduction of any debt during the pendency of the case nor will it affect the lien rights of the creditor which will survive the bankruptcy.
leffler

New Academy President Elected

Mark C. Leffler succeeds M. Regina Thomas as President of the Academy.
ansleyowens

Actual Fraud Under § 523(a)(2)(A): Circuits Split Over the Necessity of a Misrepresentation.

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)
Two pending petitions for certiorari request clarity to the question of what constitutes actual fraud, and whether a misrepresentation is necessary to render a debt non-dischargeable under § 523(a)(2)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code. The petitions are in response to recent decisions handed down by the Fifth and First Circuit.Click here to read more . . .
courtscales

From the Courts

(Not password protected)
leffler

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…When Things Don’t Go According to (the) Plan

What Happens in the Plan Stays in the Plan – Part 2

By Mark C. Leffler, Boleman Law Firm (Virginia) (Editor Emily Connor Fort, Esquire)
“The fact is, every Chapter 13 debtor who proposes to pay his or her mortgage directly during the 36 to 60 month term of the case, rather than proposing conduit payments through the trustee, is rolling the dice and betting his or her discharge.”Click here for more . . .Click here for Part 1
September 14, 2015
Archives
leffler

When Things Don’t Go According to (the) Plan

What Happens in the Plan Stays in the Plan – Part 2

By Mark C. Leffler, Boleman Law Firm (Virginia) (Editor Emily Connor Fort, Esquire)
“The fact is, every Chapter 13 debtor who proposes to pay his or her mortgage directly during the 36 to 60 month term of the case, rather than proposing conduit payments through the trustee, is rolling the dice and betting his or her discharge.”Click here for more . . .Click here for Part 1 or see below
lanceolsen

Proofs of Claim, the Statute of Limitations and the FDCPA

By Lance E. Olsen, Managing Partner Northwest, McCarthy Holthus LLP (Seattle, WA)
This article addresses the potential consequences of filing a claim for a debt that is time barred as well as discusses potential options available to home loan servicers.
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
“Sometimes, a judge writes an opinion so beautifully that it deserves special attention. In re The Crosby National Golf Club, LLC, is just such an opinion.”A beautifully written article about a beautifully written opinion.Click here for more . . .
kevinanderson

New Federal Bankruptcy Judge Appointed To Utah Bench

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On September 4th, Academy Director, Kevin Anderson, was appointed as Judge, United States Bankruptcy Court District of Utah
courtscales

From the Courts

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leffler

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…When Things Don’t Go According to (the) Plan

What Happens in the Plan Stays in the Plan – Part I

By Mark C. Leffler (Editor Emily Connor Fort, Esquire)
“Gambling with a Chapter 13 discharge is a risky proposition” – the ominous opening line of a recent Colorado Bankruptcy Court decision that ended in dismissal due to a material default in plan payments. . . . So, what’s the big deal? What makes this case noteworthy?Continuing with the new Academy article category – When Things Don’t Go According to (the) Plan – Attorney Leffler looks at a seemingly run-of-the-mill case . . . until it, well, wasn’t.
September 7, 2015
Archives

laborday

Who is the Founder of Labor Day?

pampepper

Evidence

In 2011, The Honorable Pam Pepper, now Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, allowed the Academy to publish an excellent – 8 part – tutorial with detailed hypotheticals on various evidence issues. These lessons are just as timely now as they were in 2011.

ATTENTION NON-MEMBERS: As a Labor Day gift to you, The Academy is offering Part I NOT password protected. This article is a sample of what membership with the Academy has to offer year round.Not an Academy member, JOIN NOW!!

G. Michael Fenner

Evidentiary Problems Associated With The Introduction Of Web-Based Evidence

By G. Michael Fenner, James L. Koley ’54 Professor of Law at Creighton University School of Law
Prof. Fenner, author of THE HEARSAY RULE (3d ed.), begins this excellent article:  “It seems appropriate to publish this piece on the introduction of web-based evidence in a web-based journal.”
Although first published in 2010, this item is still timely today.
searchman

Enhanced Search Feature

ConsiderChapter13.org announces its newly updated search feature. More concise, useable results.One word searches work best – a keyword or author’s last name are recommended.
If you’ve never noticed the search feature, look for the search box to the far right in the blue menu bar (immediate right of ‘Contact Us’).

webinarblocksSave These Dates

Free Upcoming Academy Webinars

September 30Discharging Taxes in Bankruptcy and Avoiding Malpractice in the Process
October 28New Proofs of Claim Forms with An Emphasis on Mortgage Proofs of Claim
Each at 2:00 eastern/1:00 central/12:00 mountain/11:00 pacific
August 31, 2015
Archives
leffler

When Things Don’t Go According to (the) Plan

What Happens in the Plan Stays in the Plan – Part I

By Mark C. Leffler (Editor Emily Connor Fort, Esquire)
“Gambling with a Chapter 13 discharge is a risky proposition” – the ominous opening line of a recent Colorado Bankruptcy Court decision that ended in dismissal due to a material default in plan payments. . . . So, what’s the big deal? What makes this case noteworthy?Continuing with the new Academy article category – When Things Don’t Go According to (the) Plan – Attorney Leffler looks at a seemingly run-of-the-mill case . . . until it, well, wasn’t.Click here for more . . .
ansleyowens

Post-Confirmation Inheritance Included in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Estate

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)
“Suppose a Chapter 13 Debtor inherited 50% of a property in 2013 that will sell with escrow tomorrow. Of the $200,000 he would realize from the sale, the debtor will get $140,000 after accounting for capital gains of 30%. The Chapter 13 Debtor’s current, confirmed plan stripped off a $75,000 second mortgage and another $8,000 in general unsecured debts.”Clear cut answer? Well, not so much . . . Click here for more . . .
deluttri

Archived Academy Webinar Now Available

moran_cathyOn August 21, the Academy was pleased to host Carmen Dellutri and Cathy Moran in a webinar free to all. This fast-paced, 60 minute conversation entitled: Are You a Lawyer OR a Marketer? How to be Both! packed a big punch in useable information every debtor attorney needs to appropriately market themselves and their practice.
The Academy offers all live webinars completely free. These webinars are recorded and archived as a benefit of Academy membership. However, we also offer a pay per view option to non-members.
siomos

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

The Expanding Potential Benefits of Remaining Silent on Secured Debts

By Ken Siomos, Staff Attorney to Chapter 13 Trustee John H. Germeraad, Springfield, IL
“The purpose of this article is to discuss the possible benefits of silence being allowed with respect to secured debts, as opposed to the validity of the theory itself.” Atty Siomos looks at a case in which the IRS filed an unsecured priority claim despite a tax lien which appeared to fully secured the debt.Click here to read more . . .
August 24, 2015
Archives
siomos

The Expanding Potential Benefits of Remaining Silent on Secured Debts

By Ken Siomos, Staff Attorney to Chapter 13 Trustee John H. Germeraad, Springfield, IL
“The purpose of this article is to discuss the possible benefits of silence being allowed with respect to secured debts, as opposed to the validity of the theory itself.” Atty Siomos looks at a case in which the IRS filed an unsecured priority claim despite a tax lien which appeared to fully secured the debt.Click here to read more . . .
wbrown

From the Editor – Automatic Stay

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
orwoll

“The Truth, Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth”: Identifying Liars and Encouraging Truth Through Verbal Cues

By Andrea Orwoll, 2d Yr, William S. Boyd School of Law
“Care must be taken when learning to distinguish the linguistic markers of lying.”In conjunction with a recent Ask Ms. Ps & Qs where Ms. Ps looked at what to do with a lying client, Ms. Orwoll looks closely at the science of detecting a liar.

Are You Owed Money From a Decades-Old Bankruptcy Case?

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goldrushCourt officials offer a tool for connecting leftover money with its owner: an easy-to-use online search.

Bankruptcy Judge Approves Debtor’s Plan to Pay Legal Fees

. . . this is not quite what you are expecting . . . The Honorable Michael Kaplan does indeed approve a plan which includes legal fees but they aren’t for filing the bankruptcy and they are, um, rather large.
(Not password protected)
cfpb

From the CFPB

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ansleyowens

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Vesting Property in Disinclined Creditors

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)
A Chapter 13 plan may permit a debtor to transfer title of the property securing a claim to its secured creditor despite the creditor’s objection.
August 17, 2015
Archives
kevinanderson

Critical Case Comment

By Kevin R. Anderson, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the District of Utah
Filing a claim in a Chapter 13 case for a previously discharged debt violates § 524(a)(2) when the objective effect of such filing places pressure on the debtor to repay the debt through the plan.Click here to read more . . .
wbrown

From the Editor – FDCPA

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
Academy Editor, Wm. Houston Brown, is once again right on track with Critical Case Comment author Kevin Anderson. Judge Brown also looks at the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.
ansleyowens

Vesting Property in Disinclined Creditors

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)
A Chapter 13 plan may permit a debtor to transfer title of the property securing a claim to its secured creditor despite the creditor’s objection.
deluttri

Learning How to Sell Yourself (Not password protected)

By Carmen Dellutri, Esq., Dellutri Law Group, Fort Myers, FL

Some people are born great salespeople. Those people are charismatic and upbeat, and they have the ability to entice us to want to part with our hard earned dollars for the product or service they are selling. But most of us aren’t born with the natural ability to sell. Yet, selling yourself is a massive part of business success. Why? If you can’t sell yourself and your services, why should anyone pay you for your services? Click here to read more . . .Caremen Dellutri and Cathy Moran are well-known debtor attorneys. Each has spent years marketing and growing their firm. Join them this Friday for an hour of tried and tested tips on how to better market yourself and your law firm.


webinar

Academy Webinar . . . REGISTER NOW and Mark Your Calendar

When: August 21/2:00 Eastern
Who: Carmen Dellutri and Cathy Moran
Title: Are you a Lawyer OR a Marketer? How to be Both!
moran_cathy

Content Marketing

Earlier this year Cathy Moran provided Academy members with a step by step outline of how to develop your website and more effectively market yourself through it.Click here for Part 1 of 5
ansleyowens

Two Cents on 50 Cent’s Bankruptcy

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)

“It is implausible that 50 filed his bankruptcy for any purpose other than to halt the civil trial in New York City.”Other Business Bankruptcies

plamos

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

If A Purpose Would Be Served: The Trustee’s Role In Objecting To Claims

By Phil Lamos, Chief Legal Counsel, Office of the Chapter 13 Trustee, Craig Shopneck, Cleveland, Ohio
§ 1302 of the Code says the Trustee shall object to “improper” proofs of claim, “if a purpose would be served.” But how can the Trustee make the determination that a proof of claim is improper? And when would objecting to a proof of claim serve a purpose?Attorney Lamos tackles these tough questions. Click here to read more . . .
August 10, 2015
Archives
plamos

If A Purpose Would Be Served: The Trustee’s Role In Objecting To Claims

By Phil Lamos, Chief Legal Counsel, Office of the Chapter 13 Trustee, Craig Shopneck, Cleveland, Ohio
§ 1302 of the Code says the Trustee shall object to “improper” proofs of claim, “if a purpose would be served.” But how can the Trustee make the determination that a proof of claim is improper? And when would objecting to a proof of claim serve a purpose?Attorney Lamos tackles these tough questions. Click here to read more . . .
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)
While filing of a proof of claim in a Chapter 13 case is not automatically a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when the underlying debt cannot be collected because of an applicable statute of limitations, filing such a “stale” proof of claim is not necessarily protected from the FDCPA merely because it arises in a bankruptcy.
wbrown

From the Editor – Proofs of Claim

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Academy Editor, Wm. Houston Brown, continues this week’s theme and dissects 2 cases regarding proofs of claim:

webinar

Academy Webinar . . . REGISTER NOW and Mark Your Calendar

When: August 21/2:00 Eastern
Who: Carmen Dellutri and Cathy Moran
Title: Are you a Lawyer OR a Marketer? How to be Both!
ansleyowens

Potential Ninth Circuit Decision in the Making: Where do Voluntary Contributions to Retirement Fit in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plans?

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for The Academy (Nashville, TN)
Trustees and debtors should keep an eye on the Ninth Circuit and the nine states it covers regarding the treatment of voluntary contributions to retirement plans.
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
debt

The Next Big Thing

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ansleyowens

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

A Proposal to Slay ‘Zombie’ Debts

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)
A new proposal to bankruptcy law seeks to protect and empower consumers whose debts endure despite their legal dissolution in bankruptcy proceedings.
August 3, 2015
Archives
hmorris

More – On Debtor Math

By Helen M. Morris, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia
“Debtors aren’t the only one with visions of magical manipulations.” Trustee Morris takes a light-hearted look at debtor . . . and, sometimes, creditor math.
Click here for the ‘original’ On Debtor Math
webinar

Next Academy Webinar . . . Mark Your Calendar Now

When: August 21/2:00 Eastern
Who: Carmen Dellutri and Cathy Moran
Title: Are you a Lawyer OR a Marketer? How to be Both!
Register Now: Click Here
chapt20

What Does A Bankruptcy Lawyer Do For A Real Vacation?

By Jan Hamilton, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the District of Kansas
As the summer vacation season wanes, the Academy is pleased to bring members a side-splitting look at one bankruptcy attorney’s idea of a dream vacation.
wbrown

From the Editor – Priority Claims, Confirmation and Effect

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
ansleyowens

A Proposal to Slay ‘Zombie’ Debts

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)
A new proposal to bankruptcy law seeks to protect and empower consumers whose debts endure despite their legal dissolution in bankruptcy proceedings.
cfpb

From the CFPB

(Not password protected)
Consumer Financial Protection Clinic Position – Per Credit Slips “Here’s an opportunity to supervise a consumer financial protection clinic that has done some great work – information on the position and how to apply here.”
ansleyowens

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Foreclosure Attorney Arrested for Contempt (Not password protected)

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)
A heated dispute between a judge and foreclosure attorney ended with the 70-year-old attorney handcuffed, charged with two felonies, and incarcerated overnight.
July 27, 2015
Archives
deluttri

Knowing Your Team: An Essential Element for Success!

By Carmen Dellutri, Esq., Dellutri Law Group, Fort Myers, FL
Carmen Dellutri brings Academy readers another article, this one focused on your team – know your team member’s strengths and weaknesses. Click here for a quick inventory on how to best utilize your and your team’s skills.See also, Target Market Clarity & How to Speak to YOUR Market!!! By Attorney Dellutri
webinar

Next Academy Webinar . . . Mark Your Calendar Now

When: August 21/2:00 Eastern
Who: Carmen Dellutri and Cathy Moran
Title: Are you a Lawyer OR a Marketer? How to be Both!
chapt20

Whose Hands are Dirtier? A Look at the Unclean Hands Doctrine

By David J. Rashé, Summer Law Clerk for Martha G. Bronitsky, Chapter 13 Trustee in the Northern District of California (Oakland)
In an opinion issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the unclean hands doctrine did not apply to allow the debtor to discharge a debt owed to a California marijuana dispensary. Rather, the debt could not be discharged and the debtor would have to address the debt through bankruptcy.
ansleyowens

Foreclosure Attorney Arrested for Contempt (Not password protected)

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)
A heated dispute between a judge and foreclosure attorney ended with the 70-year-old attorney handcuffed, charged with two felonies, and incarcerated overnight.
rapoport

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport

Ms. Ps & Qs gives readers a July bonus in answering not one but two relevant ethics questions:

  • Must a bankruptcy lawyer disclose to a client before a case is filed that the bankruptcy lawyer is not evaluating the matter to determine whether the client has causes of action against creditors and that filing Chapter 13 may, if the plan gets confirmed, have the effect of waiving such causes of action?
  • Can a bankruptcy lawyer pay another lawyer $250 in “referral fees” for referring a Chapter 13 client to him?
July 20, 2015
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport

Ms. Ps & Qs gives readers a July bonus in answering not one but two relevant ethics questions:

  • Must a bankruptcy lawyer disclose to a client before a case is filed that the bankruptcy lawyer is not evaluating the matter to determine whether the client has causes of action against creditors and that filing Chapter 13 may, if the plan gets confirmed, have the effect of waiving such causes of action?
  • Can a bankruptcy lawyer pay another lawyer $250 in “referral fees” for referring a Chapter 13 client to him?
hildebrand

The Serendipitous Side Effects of Chapter 13

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee
Who knew chapter 13 helps you live longer?
ansleyowens

No More Until Debts Do Us Part: Supreme Court Grants Married Same-Sex Couples the Same Joint Bankruptcy Protections as Opposite-Sex Couples

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for The Academy (Nashville, TN)
The Academy welcomes upcoming 3rd year law student, Ansley Owens, as its first intern. You will see several by-lines from Ms. Owens over the next few months.In her first article, she dives straight into the deep end and analyzes state vs. federal exemptions as related to same-sex married couples.
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

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irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)

National Taxpayer Advocate Reviews Filing Season and Identifies Priority Areas and Challenges in Mid Year Report to Congress

Summary: “Don’t call us, and even if you do, we won’t answer.”

  • the IRS processed 126.1 million individual tax returns
  • the average refund amount was $2,711
  • the IRS answered only 37% of taxpayer calls routed to customer service
  • the IRS answered only 39% of calls from taxpayers seeking assistance from TAS on the National Taxpayer Advocate toll-free hotline
  • the IRS answered only 17% of calls from taxpayers who called after being notified their tax returns were blocked by the Taxpayer Protection Program on suspicion of identity theft
  • the IRS answered only 45% of calls from practitioners who called on the Practitioner Priority Service line, and hold times averaged 45 minutes
  • the number of “courtesy disconnects” received by taxpayers skyrocketed from about 544,000 in 2014 to about 8.8 million, an increase of more than 1,500%. The term “courtesy disconnect” is used when the IRS essentially hangs up on a taxpayer because its switchboard is overloaded and cannot handle additional calls

(But other than this, they did a great job.)

chapt20

Chapter 20 Debtors Can “Strip Off” a Wholly Unsecured Junior Lien on Debtor’s Primary Residence—Regardless of Debtors’ Eligibility for Discharge

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for The Academy (Nashville, TN)
A quick synopsis of Boukatch out of the Ninth Circuit BAP.
rsimon

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK . . . In case you missed it . . .

A Note from the Mortgage Committee of the NACTT

By Russell C. Simon, Chapter 13 Trustee in the Southern District of Illinois and Co-Chair of the NACTT Mortgage Committee

As a follow-up to the Mortgage Servicing Issues session at the NACTT Annual Seminar in Salt Lake City, the NACTT Mortgage Committee shares the following information:

  • Effective December 1, 2015, numerous new forms will go into effect
  • Of particular note to Form 410A

Click here for a list of Conduit Trustees (please note the date of last revisions, there have been changes to this list)

July 13, 2015
Archives
rsimon

A Note from the Mortgage Committee of the NACTT

By Russell C. Simon, Chapter 13 Trustee in the Southern District of Illinois and Co-Chair of the NACTT Mortgage Committee

As a follow-up to the Mortgage Servicing Issues session at the NACTT Annual Seminar in Salt Lake City, the NACTT Mortgage Committee shares the following information:

  • Effective December 1, 2015, numerous new forms will go into effect
  • Of particular note to Form 410A

Click here for a list of Conduit Trustees (please note the date of last revisions, there have been changes to this list)

djacobs

Beware Overtime Pay In A Chapter 13!

By Douglas B. Jacobs, Jacobs, Anderson, Potter & Chaplin, LLP (Chico, CA)
Attorney Jacobs addresses the ‘well, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news’ involved in overtime pay for active debtors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
manning

A Failing Grade For the Post-BAPCPA Credit Counseling and Bankruptcy Education Industry? (PDF)

By Anita C. Butera, PhD, JD and Robert D. Manning, PhD
Persistent conflicts of interest, rise of outsourced Filipino credit counselors, and questionable nonprofit service providers are issues explored in this detailed, informative article.
bingo

Getting Priorities Right

(Not password protected)
hildebrand

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

SPECIAL EDITION Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)

A debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may not void a junior mortgage lien when the debt owed on the senior mortgage exceeds the value of the collateral.

See Also: Supreme Court Corner

July 6, 2015
Archives

seminar
Regina Logsdon and Mark Leffler

Shout out to all the attendees and speakers of the
NACTT 50th Anniversary Seminar

Fantastic Seminar All The Way Around

Due to the seminar, we are pleased to bring you the
following Greatest Hits

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.” (From March 2015)
siomos

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.” (From April 2015)Click here for the original article.
bruce

Vesting and Property of the Estate

By Karin M. Bruce, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee Jan P. Johnson (Sacramento, CA)
Vesting, re-vesting, at confirmation, if not at confirmation then when??? Attorney Bruce looks at case law showing the importance of vesting timing. (From May 2014)
June 29, 2015
Archives
4th of July

HAPPY BIRTHDAY,
AMERICA!!

hildebrand

SPECIAL EDITION Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)

A debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may not void a junior mortgage lien when the debt owed on the senior mortgage exceeds the value of the collateral.

See Also: Supreme Court Corner

rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport

Dear Readers:

As any Eagles fan knows, “you can’t hide your lyin’ eyes.” But how can you tell if your client is lying, and what should you do about it? Click here to find out!

HAVE A QUESTION FOR OUR ETHICS EXPERT? Click here. Your identity will remain anonymous.

hmorris

I Can Explain

By Helen M. Morris, Standing Chapter 13 Trustee for the Northern and Southern Districts of
West Virginia
icanexplain“The perfect t-shirt for Chapter 13 trustees is now available. It says: “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.” It only comes in one color. Too bad ‘cause I need a week’s worth and think different colors would be nice. Let me share some of my recent experiences which have made this shirt so desirable.”
June 22, 2015
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)
Rule 3002(c) is applicable to secured claims in Chapter 13 cases and secured creditors must file a timely proof of claim in order to participate in a Chapter 13 plan.
leffler

When Things Don’t Go According to (the) Plan

§1307(b) Voluntary Dismissals: Be Careful What You Ask For – Part 3 of 3

By Mark C. Leffler, Esq., The Boleman Law Firm (Richmond, VA) (Special thanks to Editor Emily Connor Fort, Esq.)

Part 1 explored the use by bad faith Chapter 13 debtors of § 1307(b) to seemingly escape the consequences of their bad faith. Part 2 looks at Law v. Siegel and the absolute right to dismiss. Now the conclusion to this 3 part series looks at bad faith and the existence of an escape hatch; or is it actually a trap door?

Click here for Part 3

hayes

Supreme Court Corner

By M. Jonathan Hayes, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist, Simon Resnik Hayes LLP (Sherman Oaks, CA)

Bank of America v. Caulkett, — U.S. —-, 134 S.Ct. —– (June 1, 2015)

Issue: May a chapter 7 debtor strip off a wholly unsecured secured claim pursuant to §506(d)?

Holding: No based on the previous ruling in Dewsnup.

Justice Thomas for 9-0 court

In other Supreme Court news:

(Not password protected)
cfpb

From the CFPB

(Not password protected)
CFPB Takes Action Against Servicemember Auto Lender For Aggressive Debt Collection TacticsAuto Loan Company Misled Servicemembers About Consequences of Nonpayment
errorpc

Just For Fun

(Not password protected)
June 15, 2015
Archives
markleffler

When Things Don’t Go According to (the) Plan

§1307(b) Voluntary Dismissals: Be Careful What You Ask For – Park 2 of 3

By Mark C. Leffler, Esq., The Boleman Law Firm (Richmond, VA) (Special thanks to Editor Emily Connor Fort, Esq.)

Part 1 explored the use by bad faith Chapter 13 debtors of § 1307(b) to seemingly escape the consequences of their bad faith. For years, the majority opinion was that § 1307(b) gave Chapter 13 debtors an absolute right to dismiss their bankruptcy cases. However, after the Supreme Court’s 2007 Marrama decision, which held that bad faith is a basis for denying Chapter 7 debtors the right to convert to Chapter 13, the tide suddenly turned. Decision after decision began to hold that § 105(a) gave bankruptcy courts the ability to deny §1307(b) dismissals to Chapter 13 debtors who had acted in bad faith.Click here for Part 2

IT’S NOT TO LATE: REGISTER NOW FOR NACTT SALT LAKE CITY
DON’T MISS IT!

sensenich

Exactly What Is A Chapter 13 Trustee, Anyway? Some ruminations on a strange and unique position. Part 2 of 2

By Jan Sensenich, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Vermont (Special thanks to Editor Joyce Babin, Chapter 13 Trustee, Little Rock, Arkansas)
A continuation of Trustee Sensenich’s look at the many hats of a Chapter 13 Trustee: Litigator, Mediator, Fiduciary, CEO, Educator and more.
deluttri

Target Market Clarity & How to Speak to YOUR Market!!!

By Carmen Dellutri, Esq., Dellutri Law Group, Fort Myers, FL

In the Academy’s continued efforts to bring you marketing ideas and expertise, we bring you the first in a 4 month series of articles from Carmen Dellutri. Carmen has built a highly profitable practice through cleaver and innovative marketing techniques.In addition to the article series, mark your calendar now for an August 21st webinar. Carmen Dellutri and Cathy Moran will present: If You Market, They WILL Come: How Bankruptcy Attorneys Must Also Be “Market-preneurs”

June 8, 2015
Archives
markleffler

When Things Don’t Go According to (the) Plan

§1307(b) Voluntary Dismissals: Be Careful What You Ask For

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

New from Attorney Leffler, the second installment in the series – When Things Don’t Go According to The Plan.In the first of this 3 part series, Leffler looks at § 1307(b) voluntary dismissals.REGISTER NOW FOR NACTT SALT LAKE CITY and get the Early Bird price of $800. DEADLINE FOR DISCOUNTED REGISTRATION IS TODAY – June 8th!

Mark Leffler joins Trustee Martha Bronitsky and creditor attorney Michael McCormick taking a look at the ethical issues involved in limited-scope representation and withdrawal from representation.

DON’T MISS IT!

sensenich

Exactly What Is A Chapter 13 Trustee, Anyway? Some ruminations on a strange and unique position. Part 1 of 2

By Jan Sensenich, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Vermont (Special thanks to Editor Joyce Babin, Chapter 13 Trustee, Little Rock, Arkansas)

This may, at first, seem an odd title for an article appearing in a publication which is largely addressed to Chapter 13 Trustees. One would hope that we would know what we are. However, what is your response when you are asked, “So, what do you do?”


Next week’s conclusion looks at Chapter 13 Trustees as: Litigator, Mediator, Fiduciary, CEO, Educator and more.

supremecourt

The Supremes Decide Another One . . .

The Supreme Court decided the case of Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett. The Court held, unanimously (except for a caustic footnote related to Dewsnup) that a debtor in a chapter 7 cannot void a junior mortgage lien pursuant to Section 506(d) when there is inadequate equity to support the junior lien because a senior mortgage exceeds the value. SCOTUS reinforced Dewsnup in holding that where, as here, the junior lien claims are secured by a lien and allowed under Section 502, that claim cannot be voided under the definition given to the term “allowed secured claim” that was given in Dewsnup. The Court emphasized that when you add the effect of Section 1322(b)(2), the results might well be different, as they were in Nobleman.Click here for the OpinionSee also:

wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Claims

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
supremecourt

HOTTEST ITEM FROM LAST WEEK

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:

NEW THIS WEEK: Update on the Supreme Court’s Decision in Wellness: Seriously Inferior Courts

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.

photo

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.

January 26, 2015
Archives
sdart

A Brief Guide to Analyzing the Fairness of Student Loan Discrimination

By Samuel Dart, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee David M. Howe, Tacoma, Washington
“Other articles aptly explain the mechanics of classification but how does one know if the proposed treatment will pass this test? This article discusses a few principles to guide the determination of whether a proposed classification is indeed “unfair.”
cmoran

Content Marketing: How To Embellish Your Content to Catch Attention – Part 4 of 5

By Cathy Moran, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist, Mountain View, CA
spiderIf you aren’t following Specialist Moran’s series on marketing via your website, you are missing out. This entire series is a fantastic tutorial. And now is the time to employ her suggestions.Part 4 is a little more ‘techie’ and gets into the nitty-gritty of how to make sure your content gets picked up by a web search. A MUST read.
msullivan

Academy Writing Contest Winners

In the Fall of 2014, the Academy was honored to have sponsored its first law student writing contest. The contest is an annual event. Please share the 2015 information with any law student, professor, or school you come in contact with. Spread the word!Our first place contest winner, Michael Sullivan, is a 3rd year law student at the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs). Mr. Sullivan currently serves as the Senior Managing Editor of the Georgia Law Review and will be clerking for the Honorable Wendy Hagenau.

The Effect of Surrender of Collateral on Valuation Under 11 U.S.C. § 506(a)(2) after Santander Consumer USA v. Brown

By Michael Sullivan, 2015 J.D. Candidate

“The Eleventh Circuit’s recent decision in Santander Consumer USA v. Brown challenges this approach with respect to personal property, and invites a reconsideration of how secured claims should be treated in Chapter 13 plans.”

See also, Critical Case Comment by Hildebrand

gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 17 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Two more parts to go . . . Post-Petition Causes of Action, Inheritances and Windfalls Are Property of the Estate and Must Be Reported to the Trustee.
saltlake

Plan Your Family Vacation NOW – Salt Lake City – Family Fun for Everyone

Check with your significant other and mark your calendar NOW for a family vacation during the NACTT annual conference in Salt Lake City, July 1-4.
nclc

From the NCLC

(Not password protected)

TAX PREP SERVICES: BUYER BEWAREConsumer Advocates Warn of Risks from Incompetent and Unscrupulous Tax PreparersTax prep services . . . don’t use them and advise your clients not to use them.Free or inexpensive alternative for low-income taxpayers:

Choosing a VITA or AARP Tax-Aide site saves eligible taxpayers the cost of a tax preparation fee. Many VITA sites can also help taxpayers open a bank account or get a low-cost prepaid card, which enables taxpayers to get fast refunds without paying a fee.

rapoport

In Case You Missed It . . .

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
Expert Prof. Nancy Rapoport provides Academy members with a monthly dose of ethics. These articles are wise yet very practical and address issues you have, will or are currently facing. “. . . this month’s topic is our use of technology.”
January 19, 2015
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
Ethics expert Prof. Nancy Rapoport provides Academy members a monthly dose of wise yet practical ethical advice. She addresses issues you have, will or are currently facing. “. . . this month’s topic is our use of technology.”
cmoran

Content Marketing: How to Write Content For Online Use – Part 3 of 5

By Cathy Moran, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist, Mountain View, CA
Now we know why to market on the web. And we know where to find ideas for content.This week’s article on marketing via the web offers a step by step instruction sheet on how to create content intended for your website.
greenburg

Loan Modifications And Foreclosure Statistics – Are Loan Modifications An Exit Strategy For Foreclosures Or Band Aids Applied To A More Serious Wound?

By Marie-Ann Greenberg, Chapter 13 Trustee District of New Jersey (Fairfield)
The final installment of Trustee Greenberg’s series on loan modifications. “A properly constructed plan can often result in a very positive outcome for both the lender and the debtor.”
gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 16 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Continuing Gustafson’s series developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees. This week’s installment is for EVERYONE in the Chapter 13 community. It is a quick read on criminal referrals.
bentz

Bankruptcy Community Suffers Loss

(Not password protected)
Judge Warren Bentz, who passed away on December 31st, was remembered as ‘hard working and practical’.
bankrisks

Banks Take A Risk

(Not password protected)
Freezing Debtor’s Account During Chapter 7 Proceedings
sixthcircuit

Sixth Circuit Rules Against Collection Agency

Court reverses district court decision in Buchanan holding that an offer to settle a stale debt may misleadingly imply a threat of litigation in violation of the FDCPA.See also: Crawford Critical Case Comment
January 12, 2015
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)
In re Rosa: Totally unsecured second mortgage, discharged in a prior Chapter 7 case, does not create an unsecured claim in a subsequent Chapter 13 even where the debtor is not entitled to a discharge.
cmoran

Content Marketing: What to Write – Part 2 of 5

By Cathy Moran, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist, Mountain View, CA
Continuing Attorney Moran’s series on utilizing your website to promote your business, she discusses what to write about.If filings are down in your area, now is the perfect season to spend time updating your website and adding content that will bring in business.
knapp

One District’s Response To The Influx Of Loan Modifications In Bankruptcy Cases: District Of New Jersey

By Brian Knapp, Attorney Representing the Chapter 13 Trustee District of New Jersey (Fairfield)
Continuing the series started by Trustee Greenberg, Staff Attorney Brian Knapp continues with a look at how New Jersey is dealing with the onslaught of mortgage modifications.
gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 15 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Continuing the very popular series developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees. This week’s installment is for EVERYONE in the Chapter 13 community.Part 15 is entitled The Top Thirteen Supreme Court Decisions (Plus Six New Ones!) That Every Chapter 13 Practitioner Should Know By Name.
ethics

Ethics and Betrayal

(Not password protected)

The following links deal with an interesting ethical issue raised in a new law related novel:

irs

Trustee Burks Named Co-Chair

(Not password protected)
The Consumer Bankruptcy Committee of the ABI is pleased to welcome Margaret A. Burks as a Co-Chair! Marge is a chapter 13 trustee for the Southern District of Ohio in Cincinnati, appointed in July 1992. Marge has served in other roles within the committee, most recently as Education Director. She joins current Co-Chairs, Caralyce Lassner and Richard Thomson.
January 5, 2015
Archives
cmoran

Marketing Via Content – Part 1 of 5

By Cathy Moran, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist, Mountain View, CA
“Say what? Why create content for the web to market your bankruptcy law practice? It won’t make you rich, famous or thin. But it will make you friends, clients, referral sources, and better at what you do.”During this time when filings are down for most of the country, marketing is more important than ever. Veteran consumer attorney, Cathy Moran, shares with us a five part series on marketing your practice in a classy yet very inexpensive way.
siomos

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
“The First Circuit decision has practical implications for many cases because it does not just apply to a debtor’s personal residence or exempt property.”
gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 14 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Continuing the very popular series developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees.Part 14: A Few Words About Expense Issues
confusion

Denman Creates Confusion

(Not password protected)
Not in every case but sometimes LLC issues crop up in Chapter 13 cases. Denman, a Chapter 13 case, addresses several issues involving LLCs.
circuitct

En Banc Rehearing of Debtor’s Award of Fees

(Not password protected)

The 9th Circuit called for an en banc rehearing Friday of the attorneys’ fees that a bankruptcy court awarded against a creditor that appealed after it was found to have violated an automatic stay.

irs

From the IRS

The IRS will begin accepting tax returns electronically on January 20th. Paper tax returns will begin processing at the same time.
December 29, 2014
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville)
Failure of a creditor to comply with the requirements of Rule 3002.1 can state a cause of action under a state’s Unfair Competition Law, common law claim for negligence, and a state Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
hayes

Supreme Court Corner

SCOTUS granted cert in not one but two bankruptcy cases. See below for a synopsis of each case.

 

Final Order and Thus Appealable or Not So Much

By M. Jonathan Hayes, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist, Northridge, CA
The Supreme Court will review whether or not denial of a Chapter 13 Plan is a final order and thus appealable.

 

Who Gets the Money?

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
Bill-Brown-colorPresumably, we will once and for all know the appropriate distribution process for funds on hand with the trustee at conversion or dismissal.
gustafson

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

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Continuing the very popular series developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees.Part 13: Exemptions vs. Income – A Caged Death Match
bluebond

From the Ninth Circuit

(Not password protected)
cfpb

News From the CFPB

(Not password protected)
December 15, 2014
Archives
tree

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
rapoport“. . . on the theory that the “Twelve Days” song is being played incessantly in every store in the U.S., I’m going to steal that theme for this month’s column. In 2015, let’s all hope that bankruptcy law gives us . . .”
greenburg

Impact of Loan Modifications On A Chapter 13 Case: A Trustee’s Perspective

By Marie-Ann Greenberg, Chapter 13 Trustee District of New Jersey (Fairfield)
In a follow-up to the very popular What Is A Chapter 13 Trustee’s Responsibility In Reviewing Motions To Approve A Loan Modification? Trustee Greenberg looks at loan modifications from the perspective of the trusteeship.
gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 12 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Continuing the very popular series developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees.Part 12: Income. Gustafson looks at what it is, what it’s not and how to verify.
ncis

NCIS, e-Cigarettes and Malware

(Not password protected)

NCIS fans will remember the season opener and the great lengths Abby went to in guarding against potential hazards from inserting a drive (recovered from a dead body!) into the NCIS computer system.We should all take a lesson from this. Be aware of ANYTHING you insert into your computer’s drive(s) including chargers:

cfpb

News From the CFPB

(Not password protected)
December 8, 2014
Archives
greenburg

What Is A Chapter 13 Trustee’s Responsibility In Reviewing Motions To Approve A Loan Modification?

By Marie Ann Greenberg

“ . . . as trustees, do we object if it will negatively impact the creditors in the case or if it will negatively impact the debtor, whether during the pendency of the bankruptcy or years later? Do we object across the board or give it our blessing across the board?” Trustee Greenberg gives us a go-to, step-by-step resource for reviewing loan modifications.See other loan modification resources:

waldron

Attorney For Debtor Fees In Consumer Cases: How To Not Get Paid

By Hon. Thomas F. Waldron, Bankr. S.D. Ohio (Retired)
This article from Academy favorite Tom Waldron, reviews published decisions discussing attorney for debtor fees in consumer bankruptcy cases, in a variety of circumstances – all with negative results for the attorney.
badhire

14 Ways to Identify a Toxic Employee During the Interview

  • Click here for an Academy resource on terminating an employee.
gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 11 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Continuing the very popular series developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees.
gavel

Otte Hanging Up His Gavel

“After 28 years of service as a United States Bankruptcy Judge, including two years in recall status, and a 48 year career in the law, the Honorable Frank J. Otte will retire on December 31, 2014.”
jamesdavis

New Bankruptcy Forms: 22C-1 AND 22C-2 – EFFECTIVE AS OF DECEMBER 1ST

By James M. Davis, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Nashville, TN

In this article, Attorney Davis has done an outstanding job of outlining the changes to Form 22C which is now two forms. Use of these forms is effective December 1st. For ease of printing, click here for a PDF of this article. This article is an excellent resource for para professionals who work with this, now these, forms every day.

December 1, 2014
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee, Nashville, TN
Where the grace period to redeem pawned property expired prior to the filing of the Chapter 13 petition, the property was not property of the estate and the debtor could not treat this claim as a secured claim.
hayes

Supreme Court Corner

By M. Jonathan Hayes, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist, Northridge, CA
supremecourtA second look at cases headed to the Supremes from Academy Supreme Court expert Jonathan Hayes.
gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 10 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Continuing the series developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees.Part 10 entitled The Lightning Round is a collection of totally random concepts, terms, laws and doctrines! Included are simple definitions of complicated concepts heard regularly in a bankruptcy context and some broader explanations on stays.
kilborn

Some Bibles Are More Exemptable Than Others

(Not password protected)
Click here for an interesting Credit Slips post by Jason Kilborn. Sometimes a Bible is more than a Bible.
November 24, 2014
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
“You and I understand that affidavits are a way to provide written testimony and that swearing to an affidavit puts a person’s reputation for veracity on the line. But non-law-trained people might not understand that point.”
kiskin

I’m So Much Cooler Online: Using Social Media In Bankruptcy

By Katherine Iskin, Staff Attorney to Debra Miller, Trustee for South Bend and Fort Wayne, IN

A gem you will want to have for future reference. Attorney Iskin, expertly and concisely, outlines benefits and potential pitfalls in utilizing social media in your practice.

foyle

Supreme Court Grants Cert

By Larry Foyle, Kass Shuler, P.A., Tampa, Florida
supremecourt“The 11th Circuit determined . . . that because Dewsnup v. Timm only prohibited a Chapter 7 lien strip down situation and did not expressly involve a Chapter 7 lien strip off situation, that the 11th Circuit was not bound by the Supreme Court’s reasoning used in Dewsnup v. Timm . . .”Although a Chapter 7 issue, there are sexy chapter 20 lien strip implications.
gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 9 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Continuing the series developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees.Part 9 is entitled: Update On Some Hot §109(e) Debt Limit Issues
training

Staff Training

Staff training and development is an ongoing issue faced by law and trustee offices alike. Click here for an article recently run by Monster.com you may want to share with your staff – People You Shouldn’t Get Close To At Work.The Academy also offers staff development resources in its Staff Training Webinar Library. Topics for every office such as:

caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
jamesdavis

New Bankruptcy Forms: 22C-1 AND 22C-2

By James M. Davis, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Nashville, TN

In this article, Attorney Davis has done an outstanding job of outlining the changes to Form 22C which is now two forms. Use of these forms is effective December 1st. For ease of printing, click here for a PDF of this article. This article is an excellent resource for para professionals who work with this, now these, forms every day.

November 17, 2014
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee

Trustee Hildebrand has outdone himself – this week we have a duo of CCCs. Two cases, same issue, two outcomes.

Case No. 1: A Chapter 13 trustee is entitled to calculate her commission based on receipts which include payments made toward the trustee’s own commission; the Chapter 13 trustee is entitled to the percentage fee commission on all receipts even when the case is subsequently dismissed.

Case No. 2: A Chapter 13 trustee is not entitled to collect a percentage fee on funds deposited with the trustee where the case is not confirmed and funds are returned to the debtor.

gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 8 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Continuing the series developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees. Part 8 is entitled: If You Think You May Be Appealing, Or Appealed….
wbrown

From the Editor – Reopening Closed Case

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week Judge Brown explores another new topic not previously covered here: Reopening Closed Cases. He looks at one Chapter 7 case and one Chapter 13 Case:

caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(Not password protected)
jamesdavis

New Bankruptcy Forms: 22C-1 AND 22C-2

By James M. Davis, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Nashville, TN

In this article, Attorney Davis has done an outstanding job of outlining the changes to Form 22C which is now two forms. Use of these forms is effective December 1st. For ease of printing, click here for a PDF of this article. This article is an excellent resource for para professionals who work with this, now these, forms every day.

November 10, 2014
Archives

gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 7 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Continuing a bankruptcy primer series developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees. Although developed for staff attorneys, this outline serves as a valuable resource for anyone entering the bankruptcy environment or those exposed on a limited basis.Part 7 is entitled: In Chapter 13, Pioneer is Dead of Dysentery.
ted

The Language of Lying

by Noah Zadan for TEDEd
This five and a half minute YouTube video is well worth your time. Mr. Zadan offers a quick overview of behaviors indicative of lying.
socialsecurity

From the Social Security Administration

(Not password protected)
numbers

The Numbers, They Are a Changin’ . . . EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1st

The U.S. Trustee Program has updated the Census Bureau’s Median Family Income Data and will apply the updated data to cases filed on or after Nov. 1. Click here for Data Required for Completing Form 22A and Form 22C.
November 3, 2014
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee
dollarsignAnother offering from the ‘King of Critical Case Comments’ . . . The Federal government’s power to enforce the collection of fines and restitution trumps the statutory protections found in the automatic stay as to both the debtor’s property and property of the estate.
gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 6 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Continuing a bankruptcy primer series developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees. Although developed for staff attorneys, this outline serves as a valuable resource for anyone entering the bankruptcy environment or those exposed on a limited basis.Another self-explanatory section title, Part 6 is OH NO! NOT A SECTION ON ETHICS! BLEH! But the good news is that it is only 10 pages!!
wbrown

From the Editor – Lien Stripping

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Lien stripping caught Judge Brown’s attention this week. He reviews 2 cases – one from the Sixth Circuit and one from the Eighth:

socialsecurity

From the Social Security Administration

(Not password protected)
October 27, 2014
gueck

Nevada Supreme Court Shakes Things Up

By Danielle N. Gueck-Townsend, Staff Attorney for Chapter 13 Trustee, Kathleen A. Leavitt, Las Vegas, NV

In a 4-3 decision, the Nevada Supreme Court held: (1) That the superpriority portion of an HOA lien enjoys true superpriority status so as to extinguish the first deed of trust upon foreclosure; & (2) An HOA may utilize non-judicial foreclosure.

Other States that should find this case of particular interest: Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, West Virginia

See also:

gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 5 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Continuing the series which brings you, section by section, a bankruptcy primer developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees. Although developed for staff attorneys, this outline serves as a valuable resource for anyone entering the bankruptcy environment or those who are only exposed to bankruptcy on a limited basis.

Another self-explanatory section title, Part 5 is Conducting an Effective 341 Meeting.

wbrown

From the Editor – Conversion and Dismissal

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
cfpb

News From the CFPB

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caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

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socialsecurity

From the Social Security Administration

(Not password protected)
October 20, 2014
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee
In re ASARCO. Fees incurred by a law firm representing a debtor, incurred in connection with defending a fee award, are not compensable as an administrative expense from the debtor’s bankruptcy estate.  Click here to see what a $7 billion fraudulent transfer judgment in a Chapter 11 case means to you as a consumer practitioner.
gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 4 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment

Continuing the series which brings you, section by section, a bankruptcy primer developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees. Although developed for staff attorneys, this outline serves as a valuable resource for anyone entering the bankruptcy environment or those who are only exposed to bankruptcy on a limited basis.The title of Part 4 – Basics of Lien Stripping in Bankruptcy – is self-explanatory. Along with the elucidation, a list of lien stripping cases is included.

rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
blownoseFor October, Ms. Ps & Qs shares her top ten list of pet peeves. See how her list compares to yours. We’d luv to hear from u! Tell us your peeves. Perhaps adding nose blowing in public to #8 would complete your list.
wbrown

From the Editor – Classification and Cure of Defaults

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Back from his travels to NCBJ in Chicago and refocused, Judge Brown looks at 3 cases, 1 on classification and 2 on cure of defaults:

cfpb

News From the CFPB

(Not password protected)

In a report released 10/16, the CFPB recommends changes to the Bankruptcy Code. The Executive Summary states: “Policymakers . . . may wish to consider the impact of certain public policies . . . when evaluating steps to improve options for borrowers in distress, including whether changes to the treatment of private student loans in bankruptcy proceedings are reducing incentives for lenders and servicers to help borrowers avoid default.”Beginning on page 28 of the report, the CFPB spells out its recommendations.Click here for the full report.See also:

In other CFPB matters:

Stair Retires

October 13, 2014
sarahsmith

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones But Words Will Never Hurt Me . . . Or Do They?

By Sarah E. Smith, Esq., Senior Staff Attorney to Kathleen A. Leavitt, Chapter 13 Trustee Las Vegas, NV
“Are the words we use to describe the individuals who have chosen to file bankruptcy harmful to our industry? Think about it . . . in a moment of frustration or superficial wit, have you ever thought to yourself “this is why they are debtors!” or even uttered under your breath “Debtors are so stupid!”? . . . ”
gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 3 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment
Continuing the series, which brings you, section by section, a bankruptcy primer developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees. Not a staff attorney? WAIT, although developed for staff attorneys, this outline serves as a valuable resource for anyone entering the bankruptcy environment. Or those who are only exposed to bankruptcy on a limited basis.Part 3, titled Time Limits For Chapter 13 And Chapter 7 Debtors Receiving A Discharge, includes § 1328(f), § 727(a)(9), § 727(a)(8), § 707(b), § 362(c)(3) and more.
wbrown

From the Editor – Property of Estate and Exemptions

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Although Judge Brown was attending the annual NCBJ conference, he penned two case synopsis regarding property of the estate and exemptions:

sdart

Welcome New Academy Member

It’s a small world. Although Samuel J. Dart will be working for Chapter 13 Trustee David Howe, prior to his employment, he found and joined the Academy via word of mouth. Click here to read Sam’s story. Sam, Welcome to the Academy!
October 6, 2014
conversion

The Case is Converted. Now What?

By Jeremy Gugino, Chapter 7 Trustee, Boise, ID

Chapter 7 Trustee Gugino provides the Academy with a detailed look at cases converted to Chapter 7. As a future resource, this document will be housed in The Toolbox.

Although a great reference tool, the article does not address the issue of whether the debtor or creditors receive money held by the Chapter 13 trustee at post-confirmation conversion since this is an issue not directly involving the Chapter 7 trustee. However, click below to see what two circuits, split on the issue, have held.

gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 2 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson Prior to Judicial Appointment

Beginning last week and continuing for the next 17 weeks, the Academy will bring you, section by section, a bankruptcy primer developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees. Not a staff attorney? WAIT, although developed for staff attorneys, this outline serves as a valuable resource for anyone entering the bankruptcy environment. Or those who are only exposed to bankruptcy on a limited basis.

Part 2, titled Bankruptcy Law and Rules, includes jurisdiction, venue, an overview and structure of the Code and Rules, adversary proceedings, discovery, preferences, fraudulent transfers, strong-arm powers, discharge and dischargeability.

September 29, 2014
gustafson

The Toolbox 2.1 – Basics For Chapter 13 Staff Attorneys – Part 1 of 18

Developed by John Gustafson prior to Judicial Appointment

For the next 18 weeks (yep, 18) the Academy will bring you, section by section, a bankruptcy primer developed for attorneys who represent Chapter 13 trustees. Not a staff attorney? WAIT, although developed for staff attorneys, this outline serves as a valuable resource for anyone entering the bankruptcy environment. Or those who are only exposed to bankruptcy on a limited basis.Thank you, now Judge Gustafson, for sharing another invaluable resource.
jnorman

FROM THE COURTS

 

 

statistics

STATISTICS (Not password protected)

Amount of Bankruptcy Cases Goes Down, While Filing Fees Rise

  • Click here for the 2014 Bankruptcy Filings Through June 30th
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected)
September 22, 2014
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee
In re Stewart: When a below-median income debtor establishes good cause permitting the extension of a Chapter 13 plan beyond 36 months, the debtor must commit all projected disposable income to the plan for the entire term of the plan.
americanflag

Judicial Conference Receives Budget Update, Forwards Rules Package to Supreme Court

(Not password protected)
Click here for the Proposed Rules
Click here for the Proposed Plan Form
Click here to order the 90 minute discussion presented during the NACTT 2014 Annual Seminar
glitches

Glitches, Complaints Plague Ocwen, Other Mortgage Servicers

This article describes continued procedural problems – i.e. homeowner’s escrowed insurance premiums not forwarded to insurance company. (Not password protected)
Guy Cole

Former Bankruptcy Judge R. Guy Cole Now Chief Judge of Sixth Circuit

Just for Fun: Judge Cole is involved with a foundation called Just The Beginning. As part of the foundation’s website, there are some really interesting documents:

September 15, 2014
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
“Let’s spend this month talking about planning . . . the times, they are a’changing . . .”Have a question for Ms. Ps & Qs? Click here to submit your question – you may remain anonymous.
wbrown

Questioning Brunner’s Validity

By William H. Brown, Adviser, Academy for Consumer Bankruptcy Education
Judge Brown takes a hard look at Brunner – then and now.
September 8, 2014
wbrown

Some Questions After Clark v. Rameker

By William H. Brown, Adviser, Academy for Consumer Bankruptcy Education
Judge Brown looks at the effect of Clark on state law exemptions, state law restrictions on exemptions of retirement funds, transfers to spouses under divorce decree or QDRO, and much much more.
Ken Siomos Photo

Can Negative Projected Disposable Income Offset Positive Projected Disposable Income?

By Kenneth Siomos, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee John H. Germeraad, Petersburg, IL
. . . “But still outstanding is the question of what § 1325(b) requires a debtor to pay to general unsecured creditors when, due to a Hamilton v. Lanning change, their applicable commitment period features months of negative projected disposable income followed by months of positive projected disposable income. . . .”
wbrown

From the Editor – Two Specific Issues

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week Judge Brown is thinking about two issues:

September 1, 2014
morris

Thirteen Rules to Win the Heart and Mind of a Chapter 13 Trustee

By Helen M. Morris, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia
As a gift to our non-member readers, Trustee Morris adds a unique resource to the Debtor Attorney category of The Toolbox. This article is not password protected and we encourage everyone to take a look. If you find yourself continually at odds with the trustee’s office, memorize these Thirteen Rules. If you find that more often than not your cases get dismissed, memorize these Thirteen Rules.
sensenich

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

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

Discharge of Debt Does Not, Necessarily, Remove Secured Lien

By Douglas B. Jacobs, Jacobs, Anderson, Potter & Chaplin, LLP (Chico, CA)
From April 20, 2014 . . . In February, the Academy re-published (with permission) Attorney Jacobs’ Bankruptcy Law Network article The Debt and the Lien: Two Completely Different Problems as a client hand-out. The article was so popular, we asked Mr. Jacobs to re-write, as a piece for the Academy’s Toolbox. Discharge of Debt Does Not, Necessarily, Remove Secured Lien is now a permanent resource under Definitions in The Toolbox.
phillamos

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

By Phil Lamos, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee Craig Shopneck, Cleveland, OH
From January of this year . . . Attorney Lamos adds another excellent ‘definition’ piece to the Academy’s growing Toolbox. “Section 1325(a)(5)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code states that a plan shall be confirmed if, among many other conditions, the secured creditors have “accepted” the plan. But how does a secured creditor “accept” a plan?”
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Nashville, TN
Lee v. Walro:  “To determine what portion of a tax refund, payable jointly to a debtor and a debtor’s non-filing spouse, is property of a Chapter 7 estate, the Court must apply the ‘separate filings rule’ and analyze what each taxpayer would have received had they filed separate tax returns.” Click here for more . . .
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected)
August 25, 2014
davala

Watch Your Language

By Holly Davala, Staff Attorney for Chapter 13 Trustee Craig Shopneck
“This case was initiated as a class action suit in district court not bankruptcy court. However, debtors’ counsel could still potentially use this case involving correspondence sent to their clients.” Click here for more on this FDCPA case.
sutton

An Inherited IRA is Not a ‘Retirement Fund?’ Not a Problem, ‘Trust’ Me

By Kristi R. Sutton, J.D. Candidate, Class of 2015, Penn State The Dickinson School of Law
Where bankruptcy, estate planning and probate meet . . . “In this article, I hope to familiarize bankruptcy practitioners with an option likely to become common advice for those clients who have substantial retirement funds.”For more on Clark, click here.
wbrown

From the Editor – Property of Estate and Exemptions

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
judgewhite

Judge Harold F. White Remembered

(Not password protected.)
Judge White, 94, died Tuesday, August 5, 2014. Click here for obituary . . .
August 18, 2014
hayes

Supreme Court Accepts Cert in Wellness Int’l Net-Work, Ltd v. Sharif

By M. Jonathan Hayes, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist (Northridge, CA)

The Wellness case will likely be known, at least informally, as Bellingham II as it deals with the issue of consent of parties where the Bankruptcy Court has no proper authority to issue a final judgment. Oral argument will likely be in December this year. Click here for more . . .

See also:

rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport

HEY!* You really need to read this article. ‘Exceptional’ is the best word to describe both the article and the opinion referenced.

“How many times have you wanted to reach across the table at a deposition and strangle the opposing counsel? You know that you can’t, in part because strangulation violates the ethics rule that says you can’t commit criminal acts, and in part because there’s no good way to bill your client for the time you’ll spend dealing with the criminal justice system.”

*See Endnote #9

For more on this case see:

wbrown

From the Editor – Avoidance

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

On the mind of Judge Brown this week are two cases regarding avoidance:

hildebrand

Critical Case Comment Follow-Up

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee

It appears that Crawford v. LVNV Funding has created quite a buzz. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the article for an interchange of interesting comments. (You will want to read from the last comment on the page, then UP.)

Description for original Critical Case Comment first published 8/4/14: “Filing of a proof of claim in a Chapter 13 case to collect a debt that is stale under the state’s statute of limitations violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and subjects the claimant to sanctions.”

August 11, 2014
lbayer

Argentina is Not Dancing With the Stars, and Other Tales of Insolvency

A favorite Academy author brings readers a light-hearted explanation of the continued financial woes of Argentina. This feature is NOT password protected.”That’s because Argentina has defaulted on her debts, again. According to The Economist, this marks the eighth time Argentina has tried to dance her way out of debt.”

irs

From the IRS

(Not password protected)
August 4, 2014
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee
Crawford v. LVNV Funding – Filing of a proof of claim in a Chapter 13 case to collect a debt that is stale under the state’s statute of limitations violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and subjects the claimant to sanctions.
cfpb

News from the CFPB

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irs

From the IRS

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Next IRS Nationwide Tax Forum Is Set for National Harbor – Click here for more info . . .
July 28, 2014
wbrown
stjohn

Fifth Circuit Finds Legal Basis To Void Allowed Exemption

By Johnie Patterson, Walker & Patterson, P.C., Houston, TX
“The Bankruptcy Court held that because Frost did not reinvest the $23,000.00 in proceeds which were spent on medical bills and a vehicle, he had re-characterized the proceeds as nonexempt property – required to be paid into Frost’s Chapter 13 plan. The Fifth Circuit affirmed this holding.”
cfpb

News from the CFPB

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rhodes

Just For Fun

(Not password protected)
Detroit Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes’ Rock Band The Indubitable Equivalents Prepares For Vermont Gig
July 21, 2014
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport

“Dear Readers: This month, let’s talk about fees.” Another great offering from Ms. Ps & Qs.

Don’t forget, if you have a question for Ms. Ps & Qs, send it to us by utilizing the Contact Us feature in the toolbar above.

waldron

Did You Think About Everything in the Final Decree? Did You Think About the Bankruptcy Trustee? Part 1 of 2

By Judge Thomas F. Waldron, Retired, Bankr. S.D. Ohio

Judge Waldron is back with another must read . . . “This article acknowledges that parties in family law proceedings terminating a marriage do consider debt in their universe of concerns.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Did You Think About Everything in the Final Decree? Did You Think About the Bankruptcy Trustee? Part 2 of 2

By Judge Thomas F. Waldron, Retired, Bankr. S.D. Ohio
This week, the conclusion to Judge Waldron’s look at marital dissolution intertwined with bankruptcy.
nscott

A Dual Perspective Look at Student Loans

Misconceptions & Muddied Waters: Are Student Loan Discharge Standards Any Clearer? – Good Enough To Rerun

By Natalie Scott, The Scott Law Group
Ms. Scott looks at 2 recent Ninth Circuit decisions. “Both decisions allowed debtors to discharge student loan debt.”

 

Student Loan Victims – “Let ’em Eat Cake”

rparker

By Richard J. Parker, Parker, Butte & Lane, P.C., Portland, Oregon
“While there have been many recent articles in multiple bankruptcy publications, . . . , this is not such an endeavor. Rather, this will examine how we got here and some of the political and economic issues related to what has rightly been called the student loan crisis.”

See also:

July 14, 2014
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee, Nashville, TN
“Undistributed funds held by a Chapter 13 trustee at the time a debtor converts to a Chapter 7 should thereafter be distributed to creditors in accordance with the plan in place at the time the funds were received.”
waldron

Did You Think About Everything in the Final Decree? Did You Think About the Bankruptcy Trustee? Part 2 of 2

By Judge Thomas F. Waldron, Retired, Bankr. S.D. Ohio
This week, the conclusion to Judge Waldron’s look at marital dissolution intertwined with bankruptcy.
burden

Take Note: Tools For Annotating PDF Seminar Materials

By Beverly M. Burden, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Eastern District of Kentucky
In perfect timing for this week’s NACTT annual conference in Chicago, Trustee Burden brings us a practical tool we can all benefit from. A ‘how to’ on taking notes with smart devices.
kbaker

California’s Ken Baker Passes Away

(Not password protected)
Chico, California’s Ken Baker succumbed to kidney failure – Memorial Service July 11th
cfpb

News from the CFPB

(Not password protected)
July 7, 2014
sutton

Separate Classification of Student Loans – Fair or Foul?

By Kristi R. Sutton, J.D. Candidate, Class of 2015, Penn State – The Dickinson School of Law

“This kind of multi-factored test is quite common and rarely results in consistency; these tests are incredibly subjective and vague. This is the problem with the Code’s drafting.”See also articles on student loans in the news:

wbrown

From the Editor – Discharge and Dischargeability

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Discharge and Dischargeability is Judge Brown’s topic this week:

June 30, 2014
foyle

11th Circuit Holds Debtor, Ineligible For Discharge, Can Strip Junior Liens On Property Worth Less Than Senior Lien

By Larry Foyle, Kass Shuler, P.A., Tampa, Florida
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Scantling . . . Court answered the Chapter 20 lien strip question that had previously vexed the lower courts, and had created division and district splits. . .”
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee, Nashville, TN
Where debtors have made all payments to the trustee as required by their plan but failed to maintain “conduit” payments to the mortgage creditor, the debtors did not make all payments under their plan and their case should be dismissed.
irs

From the IRS – Voluntary Program To Focus On Continuing Education For Unenrolled Preparers

“This voluntary program will be a step to help protect taxpayers during the 2015 filing season,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
June 23, 2014
wbrown

Inherited IRA Not Exempt

By William H. Brown, Editor/Adviser to Academy for Consumer Bankruptcy Education
Another SCOTUS decision . . . “The Supreme Court focused on the meaning of ‘retirement funds;’ therefore, the reach of the Clark opinion to state exemptions that use that term is open to question.”
gardner

Forgive Us Our Debts as We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and the Bible

By O. Max Gardner, Esq., Shelbyville, North Carolina
. . . “having lost its value, money may no longer be the root of all evil; credit having taken its place.”
wbrown

From the Editor – Discrimination

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Discrimination is Judge Brown’s topic this week:

caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected.)
briefbank

New Addition to the Brief Bank

Are proceeds of post-confirmation stay violations property of estate? Brief of Appellee – Crouser v. BAC Home Loans – Court affirmed in an unpublished opinion.
June 16, 2014
hayes

Bellingham: And the Supreme Court Punts

By M. Jonathan Hayes
“The Supreme Court made one thing perfectly clear in its 9-0 ruling on In re Bellingham. It doesn’t always reverse the Ninth Circuit.”Click here for the Opinion . . .
supremecourt

In case you missed Hank Hildebrand’s comments on Bellingham in the ‘Special Report’ sent last week . . .

hildebrandCritical Case Comment

Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison (In re Bellingham) 2014 WL 2560461 (S.Ct. June 9, 2014) (Thomas)”When a bankruptcy court is called upon to adjudicate a “core” matter, as defined by the statute, as to which the bankruptcy court is not given Constitutional authority to decide per Stern v. Marshall, 564 U.S. ______, 131 S.Ct. 2594 (2011), the statute will be construed to treat such matters as “non-core” subject to de novo review by an Article III court.”See also Credit Slips: Stern II, now time for Stern III While Prof. Pottow’s comments are minimal, the blogged comments under the article are worth the glance.
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

a/k/a Nancy Rapoport, Gordon Silver Professor of Law
Lest Ms. Ps & Qs gets overshadowed by SCOTUS, click here, for an ethics article which speaks to ALL of us. Ms. Ps & Qs has outdone herself, again, with a thoughtful and well-researched look at stress and its relation to ethical conduct.
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected.)
June 9, 2014
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Trustee, Nashville, TN
“To determine what portion of a tax refund, payable jointly to a debtor and a debtor’s non-filing spouse, is property of a Chapter 7 estate, the Court must apply the ‘separate filings rule’ and analyze what each taxpayer would have received had they filed separate tax returns.” Click here for more . . .
hayes

A Little Background on the Current Supreme Court

By M. Jonathan Hayes
“. . . That got me thinking about the judicial experience of the other Justices.” . . . Click here for more.
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected.)

http://considerchapter13.org/draft-home-updates/

June 2, 2014
nclc

Supreme Court Decision Strikes Blow against Tribal Online Payday Lenders

“Although the decision in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community was a victory for the tribe (which was resisting a state lawsuit over the tribe’s illegal casino), the Court’s reasoning demonstrates that tribal-affiliated payday lenders are not above the law.”  (Not password protected.)
vaughan

Former Staff Attorney Appointed Standing Chapter 13 Trustee

(Not password protected)

Elizabeth Vaughan is back in the news. We first met Ms. Vaughan last year . . .Click here for more.
May 26, 2014
marker

A Bankruptcy Case in Old England, and a Meeting of Creditors Held in a Tavern

bayerIn this holiday week edition, we bring you an abbreviated but very special update. For the geekiest of Academy bankruptcy geeks, we bring a fun historical piece from Los Angeles attorney Leon Bayer and it is not password protected. 

“Dated February 12, 1771, it is a memorandum signed by the creditors who attended the meeting of creditors at the Turk’s Head Tavern. (Unlike old English indentures, this document is short and easy to read.)

caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(NOT password protected.)
cfpb

This Week at the CFPB

(NOT password protected.)
May 19, 2014
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
Ms. Ps & Qs brings us practical advice for behavior both in and out of the courtroom and if you’re thinking you don’t need to read it, yes, YOU do! “If one mantra in bankruptcy is ‘disclose, disclose, disclose,’ another one is ‘tone, tone, tone.’ . . . Your stress level will decrease if you start with the assumption that the other side is neither stupid nor evil.”
leffler

Questions Generated From Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: Why You Should Consider Chapter 13 Webinar

By Honorable John P. Gustafson* and Mark C. Leffler, Esq.
As a result of the webinar Why Your Clients Should Consider Chapter 13, more questions were submitted than could be answered in a single webinar. Our panelists are diligently working to answer these questions. Here, they answer two more questions generated from the webinar: (1) Is it 7 years from filing or from discharge? (2) Are people finding they can get around the 910 day restriction by saying car titled to the debtor was bought for another person’s use, not the debtor’s use.*Responses were prepared prior to Gustafson’s judicial appointment.
wbrown

From the Editor – Chapter 7 Issues

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
This week’s installation From the Editor includes one case on a spouse’s income being considered for abuse purposes and a plethora of cases on discharge – all Chapter 7 issues.
cfpb

Holly Petraeus Statement on DOJ, FDIC Enforcement Actions Against Sallie Mae

cfpbU.S. Department of Justice announced an enforcement action against Sallie Mae, the largest servicer of federal and private student loans, which was found to be systematically violating the legal rights of U.S. servicemembers.
May 12, 2014
bruce

Vesting and Property of the Estate

By Karin M. Bruce, Attorney Representing Chapter 13 Trustee Jan P. Johnson (Sacramento, CA)
Vesting, re-vesting, at confirmation, if not at confirmation then when??? Attorney Bruce looks at case law showing the importance of vesting timing.
ford

Michael Ford Named Trustee  (Not password protected)

The Staff Attorney to former Chapter 13 Trustee Philip A. Geddes was appointed as the Standing Chapter 13 Trustee for the Northern Division of the Northern District of Alabama on April 16, 2014. Congratulations Mike! Click here for more . . .
gustafson

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

By The Honorable John P. Gustafson, Northern District of Ohio*
The conclusion of Judge Gustafson’s “Windfalls” outline addresses The Tyler Decision. We hope you have enjoyed this extensive outlineClick here for Part 1
Click here for Part 2
Click here for Part 3
Click here for Part 4
Click here for Part 5*This outline was written and submitted prior to Gustafson’s judicial appointment.
manning

Does Outsourcing BK Ed Counselors Increase Client Risk and Attorney Liability?

By Robert D. Manning, PhD, President, DebtorWise Foundation, www.debtorwise.org
“These call center data security issues in the Philippines are most worrisome. They raise serious questions regarding the potential liability of U.S. bankruptcy attorneys for possible damages sustained by their clients who may suffer from identity fraud and telephone ‘scams’ as a result of recommending a low-cost BK Ed provider that outsources its credit counseling and business support services to a call center in the Philippines.”
cfpb

This Week at the CFPB  (Not password protected)

May 5, 2014
leffler

Questions Generated From Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: Why You Should Consider Chapter 13 Webinar

By Honorable John P. Gustafson* and Mark C. Leffler, Esq.
As a result of Why Your Clients Should Consider Chapter 13, more questions were submitted than could be answered in a single webinar. Our panelists are diligently working to answer all of your questions. Here, we begin publishing the first in a series of answers. This week, student loan issues are addressed.  As a gift from the authors, this article is NOT password protected.
*Answers were prepared prior to Gustafson’s judicial appointment.
burden

Toolbox Additions

Academy Board Member and Chapter 13 Standing Trustee Beverly Burden provides members with two new additions to the Academy Toolbox, sub-heading Debtor Attorney:

gustafson

Post-Petition Causes of Action, Inheritances and Windfalls are Property of the Estate and Must Be Reported to the Trustee – Part 5 of 6

By The Honorable John P. Gustafson, Northern District of Ohio
Only two parts left . . . Part 5 of Judge Gustafson’s “Windfalls” outline continues by ‘Talking Turkey About The Chapter 13 Trustee’s Dilemma With Post-Petition Windfalls – Conversion, Dismissal, Early Payoffs, Etc.’
*This outline was written and submitted prior to Gustafson’s judicial appointment.
irs

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

April 28, 2014
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport
Ms. Ps & Qs brings another fascinating case all should be aware of. “You all know about the importance of ‘wet’ signatures, right? . . . Lessons? Wet signatures are important. Following local rules are important. And blaming others for your mistakes? Not a great idea.”
drummond

No “$200.00 Old Car” Deduction When Calculating Disposable Income

By Robert G. Drummond, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Montana

9th Circuit BAP Reverses Bankruptcy Court in Drummond v. Luedtke (In re Luedtke).


Academy’s Growing Brief Bank

Drummond v. Luedtke (In re Luedtke) provides additions to the Academy’s Brief Bank:

gustafson

Post-Petition Causes of Action, Inheritances and Windfalls are Property of the Estate and Must Be Reported to the Trustee – Part 4 of 6

By The Honorable John P. Gustafson, Northern District of Ohio

Part 4 of Judge Gustafson’s “Windfalls” outline continues by answering the questions:

  • What About Other Substantial Assets Acquired Post-Petition?
  • If The Debtor Is Judicially Estopped – Is The Chapter 13 Trustee?

Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 2
Click here for Part 3

*This outline was written and submitted prior to Gustafson’s judicial appointment.

ssrn

Just Punch My Bankruptcy Ticket (Not password protected)

A Qualitative Study of Mandatory Debtor Financial Education by Assistant University of Denver Sturm College of Law Professor Michael D. Sousa
rosen

Leonard M. Rosen Remembered (Not password protected)

April 21, 2014
anderson

Critical Case Comment

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

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

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

From the Editor’s Desk – Automatic Stay

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

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

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

Gustafson Takes Oath

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

Discharge of Debt Does Not, Necessarily, Remove Secured Lien

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

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

April 14, 2014
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

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

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

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

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

wbrown

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

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week, Judge Brown looks at two separate issues:

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

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

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

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

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

From the Editor’s Desk – Dismissal and Conversion

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

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

  • Out of state firm, and local counsel, representing debtors failed to provide adequate representation.
  • Plan paying debtor’s attorney before mortgage not confirmable.
March 31, 2014
sensenich

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

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

From the Editor’s Desk – Dismissal and Conversion

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week, Judge Brown focuses on Dismissal and Conversion:

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

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

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

Protecting Trustees From Liability – Part V of V

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

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

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

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

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

Chapter 13 Under The Bankruptcy Act And Chandler Amendments

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

 

March 17, 2014
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

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

Protecting Trustees From Liability – Part IV of V

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

From the Editor’s Desk – Avoidance Actions

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

This week, Judge Brown focuses on Avoidance Actions:

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

Are You Correctly Classifying Workers as Independent Contractors?

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

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

March 10, 2014
supremecourt

SUPREME COURT CORNER (Not password protected)

Surcharge of Exemption Violated § 522(k)

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

Protecting Trustees From Liability – Part III of V

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

From the Editor’s Desk – Claims

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

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

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

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

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

Critical Case Comment

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

Protecting Trustees From Liability – Part II of V

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

Grandfather of Empirical Legal Studies Dies

wbrown

From the Editor’s Desk – Postconfirmation Modification

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

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

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

Ya Gotta Get This App

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

PACER lets you select a mobile option but the experience isn’t ideal – can’t save username, password, difficult to enter case numbers, and the cost – oy vey. Matthew Zorn, an attorney at a large New York law firm, decided to do something about that. He wrote a useful and beautifully designed app that he calls DkT – free and can access PACER for federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts. DkT (pronounced Docket) allows split screen view and batch downloading.
February 24, 2014
gustafson

Protecting Trustees From Liability – Part I of V

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

Critical Case Comment

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

From the Editor’s Desk – Classification

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

IRS Tax Help ‘en Español’

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

In Case You Missed It . . .

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

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

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

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

Predictions on Bellingham – An Eyewitness Account

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

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

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

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

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

Business Aids

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

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

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

From the Editor’s Desk – Automatic Stay

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

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

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

The Debt and the Lien: Two Completely Different Problems

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

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

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

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected.)
January 27, 2014
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

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

From the Editor’s Desk – Attorney Fees and Issues

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

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

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

From the NCLC: Tax-Time Consumer Troubles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

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

Quick Reference Guide to Selling Property in Chapter 13

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

Should We Be Playing It Close To The Vest?

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

This Week at the CFPB

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

4TH Circuit to Beneficiaries in Chapter 13: Pay Up

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

The Affordable Care Act: Effects on Small Business

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

Practice Pointers for Lawyers

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

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected.)
ffiec

FFIEC Social Media Guidelines

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

MORTGAGE MORASS (Not password protected)

Prosecutors want BofA to pay $864 million over a program called ‘The Hustle’ – The bank already has shouldered about $50 billion in losses, settlements and other costs related to its Countrywide purchase
December 30, 2013
supremecourt

4TH Circuit to Beneficiaries in Chapter 13: Pay Up

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

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

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

Click here for Part II
Click here for Part III
cfpb

This Week at the CFPB

caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

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

From the NCLC (Not password protected)

December 23, 2013
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

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

Post Confirmation Issues In Chapter 13 Cases

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

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

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

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

This Week at the CFPB

December 16, 2013
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

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

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

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

DSOs Anyone?

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

This Week at the CFPB

caution

From the IRS

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

Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison

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

STATISTICS (Not password protected)

December 9, 2013
anderson

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

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

The 3-3-3 Rule

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

Mortgage Servicing Abuses – Max’s Nifty Fifty

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

Saving Homes and Stripping Liens: Recent Exemption Developments

(Prepared to accompany webinar)

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

MORTGAGE MORASS (Not password protected)

Article:  FHA Changes May Aid Those Who Lost Homes – FHA has shortened mandatory waiting periods for FHA-insured mortgage loans for those who have undergone foreclosure, deed-in-lieu, taken a short sale or declared bankruptcy during the economic recession.
Article:  A Key to Housing Recovery? Out-Of-Court Foreclosures – Home real-estate markets have bounced back significantly faster in states where the law allows foreclosures to move ahead quickly, putting houses into new owners’ hands sooner.
December 2, 2013
Fessenden

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

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

Ninth Circuit Overturns Kagenveama

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

Cases That Caught My Eye

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

Critical Case Comment – 4th Circuit Limits Lien Stripping

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

From the Editor’s Desk – Discharge Reprise

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

Cash Collateral, the Hanging Paragraph, and Trustee Liability

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

The Importance of Social Media in the Job Search

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

Disposable Income and 100% Plans: A Different Perspective

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

From the Editor’s Desk – Disposable Income

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

Outline and Forms of Chapter 13 Practice and Procedures

By Charles Maglieri, Bloomfield, CT

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

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

SBA: Did You Know

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

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

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

Ask Ms. Ps and Qs

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

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

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

Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits Requires a Strategy

(Article and links are not password protected.)

Key Points to Know:

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

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

caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

(The following link is NOT password protected.)

MORTGAGE MORASS (Not password protected)

STATISTICS (Not password protected)

November 4, 2013
gooding

Terminating An Employee

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

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

burden

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

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

From the Editor’s Desk – Conversion and Dismissal

This week, Judge Brown looks at two cases. (1) Debtor did not have absolute right to dismiss; and (2) When case dismissed prior to confirmation, trustee must return payments to debtor. Click here for details . . .
December 31, 2012
Home
anderson

Happy New Year!

The Academy wishes to thank our loyal members, fabulous authors and regular contributors for a wonderful 2012. You all have made it possible for the Academy to grow and develop into the premier site for all things consumer bankruptcy.
We are looking forward to an exciting 2013. If you are interested in contributing ideas or articles, don’t hesitate to contact us.
And remember that your $$ monetary donation $$ to the Academy is tax deductible.
balboa

Four Bankruptcy Forms Changed December 1st (Reprinted with permission from BankruptcyLawNetwork.com)

By Jill Michaux, Kansas Bankruptcy Attorney
The Academy is pleased to reprint Ms. Michaux’ article originally published on the Bankruptcy Law Network. Four official bankruptcy form changes went into effect December 1, 2012. The changed forms are B7, B9, B10, and B21. Be sure you are using the latest