Retirement of the Honorable John E. Hoffman, Jr., Chief Judge

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June 18, 2023
The Ninth Circuit has now joined its sister Circuit in holding that the Bankruptcy Code does not permita Chapter 13 Trustee to retain the percentage fees collected on payments that a chapter 13 debtor made pre-confirmation in accordance with 26 U.S.C. §586 but, upon dismissal prior to confirmation of the plan, is obligated to return the fee to the debtor,...
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January 6, 2019
IRS issued the 2019 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 58 cents per mile driven for business use, up 3.5 cents from...
October 27, 2019
By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired) Debtor could cure default beyond 60 months. Agreeing with In re Klaas, 858 F.3d 820 (3d Cir. 2017), bankruptcy court had discretion to permit debtors to cure plan default, allowing a reasonable grace period beyond the 60 months of confirmed plan. Dismissal of the case for plan default was not required under §...
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December 6, 2020
By Scott F. Waterman, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Reading) Modifying a first mortgage is one of the most common loss mitigation tools available to bring a loan current to prevent foreclosure. In this case the first mortgage was modified twice by capitalizing the unpaid interest, reducing the interest rate, and reducing the monthly payments...
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August 7, 2022
William F. Jaworski, Jr. - Bill - was appointed Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the District of Delaware on April 1, 2022. Jaworski has very large shoes to fill as he is taking over for Michael Joseph upon his well-deserved retirement. Jaworski was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. As a hometown boy, he didn’t venture too far away...
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March 3, 2019
By William Houston Brown, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Retired; Editor/Adviser, The Academy On April 1, 2019, an increase takes effect in those dollar amounts in the Bankruptcy Code that are subject to adjustment every three years.1 The following increases have significance in everything from the eligibility maximums for filing under Chapters 12 and 13 to the debtor’s exemptions. Relevant Official...
November 29, 2020
By Angela M. Scolforo, Staff Attorney to Herbert L. Beskin, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Western District of Virginia “How long?” is a common plea. When my children were young and we travelled they would ask, “how long before we get there?” In scripture we find David, Habakkuk and Zechariah (none of whom were Debtors’ attorneys) all crying out, “how...
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August 2, 2020
By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired) Dismissal with 180-day bar affirmed. The debtors had filed eight Chapter 13 cases over eight years, with each dismissed, and in 2019 the spouses filed three more cases. A mortgage creditor moved for relief from the automatic stay and dismissal in each of the cases. The cases were dismissed with a 180-day bar...
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January 26, 2020
By Cathy Moran, Esq. (Redwood City, CA) Clouds of uncertainty have hovered over Chapter 13 debtors who find that they need to sell appreciated property before the case is over. Does appreciation occurring after filing go to creditors on the theory that the appreciation is property of the estate? Or does the vesting of property at confirmation entitle the debtor...
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September 15, 2019
By Cathy Moran, Esq. (Redwood City, CA) Mention tax calculations to a bankruptcy attorney and 7 out of 10 freeze on the spot. I'm not a tax attorney, they retort. That's right, but, if you are a bankruptcy attorney, that doesn't relieve you from knowing enough tax to get the means test right. Not to mention not giving up your...
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