October 18, 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...]

Attorneys Who Don’t Understand Bankruptcy’s Means Test: A Case Study

I was recently consulted by a highly-paid professional.  He was quite distraught over his financial plight that included debts of over $1,000,000.  He had consulted another attorney who had indicated to him that he was going to have difficulty filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case because of the amount of his income. He was at his wits end. I analyzed his situation. Two ways the Bankruptcy Code … [Read more...]

Re-filing Chapter 7 after the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act

Have you previously filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection? Are you in a difficult financial situation again? You may be eligible to re-file. On October 17, 2005, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer protection Act of 2005 (derisively referred to by the bankruptcy bar as BAPCrappa) became the law of the land. It instituted the hated means test that, by using wholly arbitrary … [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...]

What does it Cost to File for Bankruptcy Protection?

Yes, it costs money to file for bankruptcy protection. This post covers court costs and legal fees related to Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Too often, I counsel folks who qualify for bankruptcy protection who’ve been spending their money trying to avoid filing. They spend it on so-called debt relief programs; they spend it trying to keep their home out of foreclosure, … [Read more...]

Chapter 7 Income Tax Relief Difficult for Tardy Filers

People in financial hardship often need income tax relief. Contrary to what many people believe, income taxes can be dis-chargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.  "Dis-chargeable" means certain income taxes will cease to exist just as other debts. A three-point test to discharge taxes in Chapter 7 bankruptcy In order for tax debt to be dischargeable, the taxes must meet a three-point … [Read more...]

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Businesses & Individuals

The word "bankruptcy" is heard everywhere, from coffee shops to church bazaars and the evening news. It's clear to me that, despite this general knowledge of bankruptcy, few people understand what it means to file for protection under Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is a liquidating bankruptcy.  It is normally utilized to obtain a “fresh start” for an individual debtor, and, far … [Read more...]