Barriers to Entry: How the Bankruptcy Bar Guarantees Poorly Filed Petitions

By Justin Lawrence, Florence, KY

Since 2007, the influx of consumer debtors from the real estate and employment crises has not only swollen the caseloads of experienced debtors’ counsel but also created a surge of novice debtors’ attorneys.  In conventions and seminars, trustees and judges often complain about poorly educated attorneys filing petitions that fail to conform to basic bankruptcy law and procedure.  Poorly conceived Chapter 13s fail.  Unintentionally un-exempted assets are seized in Chapter 7s. The unspoken consensus of these complaints is that the fault lies in the attorneys themselves.

The unspoken consensus is only partly right.  By . . .

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