Two Scam Warnings

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A 34-year-old Chapter 7 debtor could discharge his student loan obligation by establishing that he could not reasonably make payments on the balance, could not maintain a reasonable standard of living, and because the expiration of his payment term had already passed, his standard of living was likely to persist, with no realistic future prospects. (Silverstein) In re Wolfson, No....
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By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville) In calculating an above-median income debtor’s projected disposable income, the court may deduct from the debtor’s current monthly income only the expenses as listed in the IRS manual and not the debtor’s actual expenses. (Taylor) In re Rodriguez, 520 B.R. 94 (B.A.P. 9th Cir....
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By Stacey A. O’Stafy, Staff Attorney, Office of the Chapter 13 Trustee Faye D. English (Columbus, OH) An above median Chapter 13 debtor settles a workers’ compensation claim and wants to use the exempt settlement proceeds1 to pay off her 100% dividend plan in month 38 – can she? In this simple scenario, the answer is yes. Pursuant to 11...
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March 24, 2019
By Wm. Houston Brown, United States Bankruptcy Judge (Retired) Discharge - Paying more than original loan balance would be undue hardship. The 59-year old debtor employed in aging and disability services couldn’t maintain a minimal living standard without discharge of substantial portion of student loan debt. The Court identified factors included in “minimal standards” in modern American society and found...
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August 1, 2021
By Cathy Moran, Esq., (Redwood City, CA) Eighteen years elapsed between the close of the 2003 tax year and the Tax Court’s 2021 decision Barnes v. Comm'r, T.C. Memo. 2021-49 (U.S.T.C. May 4, 2021) regarding the debtors’ 2003 tax liability. While the most recent decision in the debtors’ battle with the IRS challenged the discretion of a tax officer in...
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Jack N. Zaharopoulos was appointed as the Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on May 1, 2021. He succeeded Charles DeHart after his retirement. After graduating from Marquette Law School in Milwaukee in 2002, Zaharopoulos worked at a general practice firm, doing debtor and creditor bankruptcy work, family law, and even some criminal cases. After gaining...
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Introduction In In re Village Apothecary, Inc.,1 the Sixth Circuit last month reduced an attorney's fees by half, where the professional's services were not "successful." The results obtained (or, actually, the lack of results) justified cutting the fees of attorneys for a Chapter 7 trustee by 50%. Why It Matters to Chapter 13 People This analysis of the implications of...
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By Michael J. McCormick, Esq., McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce, LLC (Roswell, GA) Escrow 101 – Part 1 Escrow 101 – Part 3 Escrow 102 – Part 1 Escrow 102 – Part 2
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By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee (Nashville, TN) One of the most difficult situations faced by a debtor and debtors’ counsel is the repossession of important collateral securing a debt owed to a creditor. These items, such as automobiles, furniture, boats, and mowers which have been pledged to a creditor are important – often critical – to...
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The initial meeting with a prospective bankruptcy client is the most important work I do as a bankruptcy lawyer. It’s also the hardest.
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