November 23, 2017

Supreme Court Ruling on Lien Stripping

Despite the uptick in the housing market, millions of Americans owe more on their first and second mortgages than their homes are worth. When mortgage balances exceed the value of the home, the home is said to be "underwater." Sometimes the value of the home is sufficient to cover the balance of the first mortgage but not the second. The recent Supreme Court ruling on underwater second … [Read more...]

Chapter 11 or 13 for Troubled Businesses ?

This month news of an oil and gas producer filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection made news. The reason cited for the financial difficulty is the drop in oil prices, which have have slid some 50 percent since June. My Chapter 11 clients own small to mid-sized businesses, but they have the same problems as bigger companies who need to reorganize under the orderly process of a bankruptcy … [Read more...]

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for Second Mortgages

Homeowners who are in financial difficulty are well advised to consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case as an option when they are current on their first mortgage but are not paying, in full and on time each month, their second mortgage (including a home equity loan or other debt secured by the property). I see situations where people whose incomes have been cut will forego paying the second … [Read more...]

The Means Test Often Decides Whether You File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

In 2005 the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) was signed into law, and continues to be the law applicable to bankruptcies filed on or after October 17, 2005.   BAPCPA was the result of the credit card industry’s lobbying efforts, and reflects the industry’s goal of forcing more debtors to repay something to creditors by disqualifying them from a Chapter 7 with a … [Read more...]

Repaying debts with Debt Consolidation, Debt Settlement, or Chapter 13

In nearly 40 years of practicing bankruptcy law, I've learned a lot about human nature. One of those things is that the vast majority of people want to pay their debts. Almost invariably, they do not want to file bankruptcy because of the perceived stigma. This is understandable, but it may lead to a decision that in the long run becomes costly and painful. To meet that desire to make good on … [Read more...]

My Parents’ House is in Foreclosure, What Can I Do?

One of the heartbreaking realities of my practice in insolvency law is getting a phone call from an adult child who has just learned that a credit card company has sued or obtained a judgment against his or her parent, or that their parent’s real estate is in foreclosure because of missed mortgage, HOA or real estate tax payments. In my line of work, it is rare to see a senior citizen with a … [Read more...]

Chapter 13–Lien Stripping: Hope for Homeowners

After several years of speaking with our clients about loan modifications to save homes and hearing a sad litany of misinformation and outright deceptions, it has become painfully obvious that loan modifications are more smoke and mirrors than reality. Does this mean that there is nothing that homeowners can do to try to save their homes?  Unfortunately, in most instances the answer is … [Read more...]