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Doug Jacobs’ post answering the question “do I have to file on all of my debts”, pushes my semantics button.

Doug was, in all innocence, paraphrasing clients, who imagine that bankruptcy represents a choice by the debtor of which debts he wants to discharge.


The popular usage of “filing bankruptcy on” certain debts suggests that debtors get to pick and choose which debts are listed in their cases. Not!

People file bankruptcy; people don’t file “on debts“. A person who is a debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding is expected to list all of their debts, under penalty of perjury.

At the beginning of the case, the debtor does not get to pick and choose which creditors are included in the filing.

Afterwards, the debtor can elect to reaffirm debts that they want to repay and are willing to be legally liable for. Better, from my perspective, a debtor can voluntarily repay debts they feel morally obligated to repay, without a reaffirmation.

Words are important to lawyers; words shape and reflect how we think about the world.

Make my nerdy day by getting this terminology right.

6 hours 11 min ago

FIFTH THIRD BANK TO PAY $18 million to African-American and Hispanic auto borrowers for lending discrimination and $3 million to credit card customers for deceptive marketing practices.

Ripped off by Fifth Third Bank?Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “CFPB” and Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into an agreement with Fifth Third Bank requiring that the bank change its pricing and compensation structure in order to reduce the risks of discrimination, and to pay $18 million to harmed African-American and Hispanic borrowers. The CFPB’s action against Fifth Third’s deceptive marketing of credit card add-on products requires the bank to provide an estimated $3 million in relief to eligible harmed consumers and pay a $500,000 penalty.

It appears that Fifth Third may have let their employees or contract auto dealers run amuck because CFPB Director Richard Cordray said “Fifth Third’s move to a new pricing and compensation system represents a significant step toward protecting consumers from discrimination.”

20 hours 6 min ago

image1Bankruptcy and Beach: the perfect combo?

We’re attending ABI’s Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, where, as one fellow attorney joked on the elevator, we are “going to class.” In one of the sessions, we heard about a case decided by the Eleventh Circuit on “equitable mootness” (h/t to Lori Vaughan for the reference). Curious, we looked it up and found a short but useful and interesting opinion on what to do to guarantee that your case will be dismissed as equitably moot. (In other words–what to never do as an attorney).

Read More from: Plan Proponent

21 hours 23 min ago

Zombie debt buyers – Encore Capital Group (Midland Funding, Asset Acceptance) and Portfolio Recovery Associates – ordered to stop using illegal actions to collect debts.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that Encore Capital Group (subsidiaries also named are Midland Funding LLC, Midland Credit Management, and Asset Acceptance Capital Corp) and Portfolio Recovery Associates bought debts that were or should be noncollectable and used abusive and illegal actions to collect.  The companies knew many of these debts were uncollectable, lied to the consumer in attempt to collect debts, sold debts they knew to be noncollectable to other debt buyers and churned out lawsuits using robo-signed court documents (with little or no backup documentation).

22 hours 27 min ago

Private Student Loans and Bankruptcy – an evolving tug of war.

Private student loansJust because a school calls a loan a “private student loan” does not mean it is a student loan for bankruptcy purposes.  There are specifics requirements for a loan to qualify as a student loan under the Bankruptcy Code.  If a loan is not a student loan then it is most likely discharged (forgiven) like medical bills and creditors cards.

So, what are the requirements of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code?

2 days 37 min ago

Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases are difficult for the debtor as well as the attorney. The debtor has to fulfill a series of requirements prior to filing as well as additional requirements subsequent to filing. The attorney does the bulk of his work upfront and fights to get paid as the case progresses. In recent weeks,+ Read More

The post It’s Getting Harder And Harder To Get Paid In A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case appeared first on David M. Siegel.

2 days 1 hour ago

Directors and senior executives have a duty to inculcate risk culture into banks so that everyone works as a team to contain cyber and other risks, including the human vulnerabilities within.

Read More from: BankThink

2 days 3 hours ago

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's plan to rein in payday and other lenders has some noticeable benefits for consumers, but much of the proposal should be revised.

Read More from: BankThink

2 days 5 hours ago

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Strategic hiring: What's a few jobs among friends? JPMorgan Chase is expected to settle a probe in coming months over alleged efforts to hire the children of powerful Chinese officials and executives in state-owned firms to drum up new business. The bank is expected to pay as much as $200 million and may admit wrongdoing, though it is unlikely to be criminally charged. Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Â...

Read More from: BankThink

2 days 6 hours ago

By: Donald L. Swanson


I’m scanning a news article earlier this week.
The term “militant open-mindedness” catches my eye. My immediate reaction is excitement:

–“Oh great!  This will provide a lesson and analogy for mediation!”

–After all, “open-mindedness” is “a receptiveness to new ideas” and a belief that “others should be free to express their views.”

–“Open-mindedness” is, obviously, a good quality in mediation; so “militant open-mindedness” must be an even-better mediation quality.  Right?”

I focus-in on that phrase in the article. And here is what I read:

“people here pride themselves on a kind of militant open-mindedness.  It is the kind of place that will severely punish any deviations from accepted schools of thought.”

So . . .

Read More from: Mediatbankry

2 days 10 hours ago


Consumer Financial Protection BureauWant to know what you mortgage payment will be before looking for a house or signing all the loan documents? Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has online tools as part of its Know Before You Owe initiative aimed at helping consumers navigate the mortgage process and avoid a mortgage payment surprise. The tools provide an interactive, step-by-step overview of the mortgage process, help home buyers decide how much they can afford to spend, and help consumers explore and use the new Know Before You Owe mortgage forms. Creditors will have to begin providing the new forms on Oct. 3, 2015, making it easier for consumers to understand mortgage options and comparison shop between multiple loan offers.

2 days 20 hours ago

Kirsten Erichsen and Andrew J. Wilkinson examine sovereign debt restructuring in an article published in Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law. This article considers what lessons can be learned from Greece, Argentina and Ukraine’s sovereign restructurings.

2 days 23 hours ago

Santander Bank fined $10 million for illegal overdraft service practices.

Santander BankThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered Santander Bank, N.A. to pay a $10 million fine for illegal marketing of overdraft services and using a telemarketing firm that signed some bank customers for the overdraft service without their consent.

Consumer Financial Protection BureauAccording to CFPB Director Richard Cordray “Santander tricked consumers into signing up for an overdraft service they didn’t want and charged them fees.  Santander’s telemarketer used deceptive sales pitches to mislead customers into enrolling in overdraft service. We will put a stop to any such unlawful practices that harm consumers.

3 days 1 hour ago

The movie "Equity" about women on Wall Street (backed by Barbara Byrne and other industry women) is coming soon. The internet reacts to the 'Bro Talk' op-ed about Wall Street's objectification of women. The CFSI is pushing for a more holistic financial health metric. Jill Castilla is big on Pokemon Go and tweeting about it to lure people into the branch. Also, Sheryl Sandberg is rethinking parts of her "Lean In" philosophy.

Read More from: BankThink

3 days 2 hours ago

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's recent guidance on internal messaging software could impose significant hardships on banks and runs contrary to prevailing guidance on cybersecurity.

Read More from: BankThink

3 days 3 hours ago

Work injuries can cause a lot of stress.  It helps to know the details of worker’s compensation laws in your state.  Here, Jeffrey Scholnick addresses worker’s compensation time limits and details on time limit extensions.

This article applies specifically to Maryland Workers’ Compensation law.

In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you are required to file a claim within a certain time limit.

As noted in a previous post on my website, there are two important deadlines that you need to know about filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim for an accidental injury.

  1. How long after an accident can I file a claim?

Answer- You have to file an Employee’s Claim Form within two years of the accident, but you should really file your claim within 60 days of the accident. Actually, you should file the Employee’s Claim Form as soon as possible.

  1. How long do I have to give notice of injury after an accident?

Answer – You need to give notice of your injury within 10 days of the accident.  I recommend that you tell your boss and and Human Relations Department supervisor on the accident date or as soon as you realize that you were injured in the accident.

Read More from: Scholnick Law

3 days 5 hours ago

In other news, down is up.

White House says Student Loan Debt Good
White House says Student Loan Debt Good

White House Says: Student Loan Debt Good for the Economy

Well, the political class has a dismal record admitting mistakes.  And a history of doubling down on bad ideas.

Their answer for the heroin epidemic of student loan debt is, more and cheaper heroin!

I guess, if you think high habit heroin addicts are good for the economy, that makes sense.

From Josh Mitchell’s Wall Street Journal story:

Read More from: Discharge Student Loan

3 days 5 hours ago

Gail DonaldsonThe majority of our clients file a Chapter 13 to protect something whether it’s their home or car.  Chapter 13 gives you the protection of the automatic stay that prevents creditors from repossessing your car or foreclosing on your home.  But what happens if you filed a Chapter 13 to protect your home and stop a foreclosure and you decide you don’t want the house anymore?  You finally realize that you really cannot afford the required house payment and all of your attempts to modify the mortgage fail.  As long as you have not filed a Chapter 7 within the previous eight years and you make below the means test requirements, you may be able to convert the Chapter 13 bankruptcy to one under Chapter 7.  Chapter 7 allows you to surrender any collateral that you no longer want to keep and get the fresh start the Bankruptcy Code gives you.

Read More from: Bonds & Botes, P.C.

3 days 5 hours ago

How the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau controls the release of new proposals or rules undermines the public debate over consumer regulations.

Read More from: BankThink

3 days 5 hours ago

include debts

One of the petty struggles I have with clients is convincing them that they need to include all of their debts in bankruptcy.

Sometimes, they will tell me they don’t want to include their car loan in the case because they “need the car”.

Sometimes I find the student loan payment in the budget but not on the list of creditors.

Or there’s a creditor they don’t want to know about the bankruptcy.

Part of the issue is confusion between scheduling a debt and discharging the debt.

When you file bankruptcy, you are required to list all of their debts and risk denial of discharge if you don’t.

3 days 6 hours ago