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ABI Blog Exchange

Written by Amy Weston, Paralegal and Salene Mazur Kraemer, Esquire

        Fear of the unknown.  The Ch. 11 process is unknown to 20121220_demystify.jpgmany.  C-level executives
dread  discussions about bankruptcy options.  We just recently filed a new Chapter 11 case and thought we would write a series of posts on basic Ch. 11 procedural matters so as to demystify the process.

      Filing Chapter 11 (reorganization/restructuring) is a powerful tool that can be invoked by businesses and certain individuals pursuant to Title 11  of the United States Code (aka the “Bankruptcy Code”).   As a practitioner,  I am privileged to be able to  facilitate such restructurings.  Here is the first post in this series on Ch. 11 basics.

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57 min 30 sec ago

 

ust-banner-photo

In a reopened Chapter 11 case, the debtor must file quarterly reports and pay quarterly United States Trustee (UST) fees. I’m leading with the conclusion with the hope that this post shows-up in a search engine where and when you need it most. After all, sometimes you just need a quick answer to a mundane question. This is that post.

This issue came up for us after we had reopened one of six jointly-administered Chapter 11 cases so that we could file a post-confirmation adversary proceeding. Honestly, I had not considered the issue of reporting and fees. However, a month after we reopened, our client forwarded two week’s worth of email exchanges between the debtor’s controller and the UST’s Office. Basically, “You’re missing a report for the last month of the case before you closed it and you’re past due on monthly reports and fees owing for the periods after you reopened.”

Read More from: Plan Proponent

3 hours 2 min ago

Or rather, you can read about it here. Members include Professor David Skeel, whom many Slips readers will be familiar with.

Read More from: Credit Slips

4 hours 18 min ago

man-1001285_1280_opt

 

Ever feel like you’re battling your mortgage lender for your life?  Or the life of your home?

The unfairness and irrationality of mortgage servicing makes it easy to see the fight as one for your self worth.  Who is comfortable being a victim of incompetent and indifferent institutions toying with your life?

I’m equally indignant.

But let’s stand down, long enough to see if the fight is worth the effort.

When the fight is everything

Three clients in as many months have found themselves unable to walk away from a fight with their legal opponent.  Each one has acknowledged, out loud, that they would be better off settling.  Or even walking away.

But each one found themselves returning to the fray.

I think they’d watched too much sports on TV about the “agony of defeat.”

They bought into Vince Lombardi’s world view:

7 hours 59 min ago

 

In an effort to reduce settlement times, the Loan Syndications and Trading Association (the “LSTA”) recently revised its standard par loan trading documents to penalize buyers who take too long to settle. Beginning September 1, 2016, buyers who fail to fulfill their obligations to timely settle par loan trades will forfeit the right to receive interest that accrues prior to the settlement date. The changes do not apply to loans trading on distressed documents.

The LSTA’s revisions represent the trade group’s most aggressive step to combat settlement delays. The revisions are also the most consequential changes to the LSTA’s standard par trading documents in years.

8 hours 2 min ago

gadsden attorney Carla HandyMonths back I blogged about payday loans and whether filing for bankruptcy relief can help a person break out of the debt cycle payday lending creates.  Bankruptcy can absolutely provide an avenue to escape the debt trap of payday lending.  But as a community are we willing to allow bankruptcy to be the only option in the face of such predatory lending?  Payday loans are reprehensible in nature because the lenders intentionally prey upon the weakest and least financially sound members of our community.  The payday lenders try to convince folks they are doing our community a favor by lending to people who would otherwise be shut out of traditional lending options.  But in reality the only favor such lenders are interested in is favoring themselves and their right to pursue the almighty dollar on the backs of the poor in our state.

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

8 hours 40 min ago

DeGiacomo v. First Call Mortgage Company (In re Reznikov), 548 B.R. 606 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2016) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a recorded mortgage based on a defective acknowledgment and then to preserve the lien of the … Continue reading

10 hours 46 min ago

New Jersey lawmakers are looking to revise the state’s student loan program as more and more people complain about the crippling debts faced by NJ students, and their families, after they leave college.

Many people have criticized the ways in which NJ officials operate the college student loan program. Among the complaints lodged against the program are that it forces young people to make an impossible choice between racking up huge debts while attending university or entering the workforce without a college degree and subsequently earning significantly less money.

Another complaint about the New Jersey student loan program is that it’s predatory, with the rates charged on the loans putting the loan recipients in a difficult position almost immediately upon graduation – if the student graduates at all. The end result of the high interest rates that accompany student loans in New Jersey is that college students, and sometimes their families, can be forced into bankruptcy.

1 day 43 min ago

James EzzellIn previous blog posts, I have occasionally touched on some aspects of the process of appealing unfavorable decisions for SSA disability claims. In this blog post, I want to go into a bit more detail on each appeal available to claimants who have received denials.

After a claimant files their initial application for SSA disability benefits and the claim has been processed by the Disability Determination Service, if they are fortunate, they will be awarded their disability benefits. More likely than not, though, they will be denied.

Currently, the chance of receiving a favorable decision at the initial application stage in Alabama is a little less than 30 percent. To put it broadly, unless you are bedridden, hooked up to a machine or have a terminal condition, don’t be surprised when you get a denial letter in the mail from Social Security (SSA).

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

1 day 2 hours ago

get out of debt

Three emotions, not reasons, keep people from filing bankruptcy and getting out of debt.

Emotions keep people mired where they are.

Fear

Stubbornness

Pride

While not as sexy as the seven deadly sins,  they still keep my clients mired in debt long after logic says “quit”.

Fear

Fear of the unknown probably kept our primitive ancestors alive.  In the age of the internet when nothing remains unknown, it’s ironic that fear continues to keep people from filing bankruptcy.

People fear life in a consumer society without credit.  They fear being branded as a failure.  They fear the judgment of others about whether they are worthy of bankruptcy relief.

1 day 8 hours ago

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11 U.S.C. Sec. 109(c) — Chapter 9 Eligibility

By Donald L. Swanson

Detroit’s mediated settlements are “an extraordinary accomplishment in bankruptcy and an ideal model for future municipal debt restructurings.

–Judge Steven W. Rhodes, from Detroit Bankruptcy’s Plan Confirmation Ruling

A new report

Who Pays for Police Misconduct in Bankrupt Cities” is the title for the report of a study, published on August 21, 2016.  The report is most helpful–and well worth reading in its entirety!

Here’s how the report begins:

“In March 2015, the United States Department of Justice released a report finding racial bias and discrimination pervading police and court practices in Ferguson Missouri. When asked to comment shortly thereafter, Ferguson’s mayor suggested that an unduly aggressive stance by DOJ could push Ferguson into bankruptcy.”

Read More from: Mediatbankry

1 day 11 hours ago

Student Loan Servicer Navient agreeing with me!

Student Loan Servicer Navient
Overwhelmed student

Stop the presses!  Oh, wait, no presses any more

with the internet.

So, the current situation is like that of the VA, described in

former Defense Secretary Gates’ autobiography.  When he

complained about how hard it was for veterans to determine

which benefits they could get, the VA sent back a list of the

22 websites which explain everything.

Student Loan Repayment Options

Private student loan debt has NO repayment options.

Read More from: Discharge Student Loan

1 day 15 hours ago

mortgage abuse

 

Pstt! Homeowners.  Bankruptcy Lawyers.

We’ve been handed a new tool for dealing with problems with mortgage lenders.

Or maybe the courts are just showing us how to use some tools we’ve accumulated.  Tools to make sure that homeowners who emerge from Chapter 13 are right and square with their mortgage lender.

Scott v. Caliber (Bankr. N. D. Okla 2015)  holds the lender who snoozed through the bankruptcy case guilty of violating the discharge by claiming there was a mortgage delinquency.

Here’s how it developed.

Mortgage woes in Chapter 13

Getting current on a delinquent home loan is often the central goal of a Chapter 13.

The problem is that too often the debtor completes the bankruptcy case, only to get a notice from the lender that he’s not current, but facing foreclosure again.

2 days 7 hours ago

 

gadsden attorney Carla HandySenator Elizabeth Warren is famously known for her work in consumer protection.  Before being elected to the United States Senate in 2012, Senator Warren was responsible for founding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.   This government agency was created in the wake of the great financial meltdown of 2008 and is tasked with protecting the consumer in the financial sector, including against mortgage lenders and debt collectors.  This is actually a wonderful, if little known, agency that actually works for the working families of America.  Let’s explore exactly what this agency does and how you, the consumer, can take advantage of the benefits it offers.

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

2 days 8 hours ago

 

gadsden attorney Carla HandySenator Elizabeth Warren is famously known for her work in consumer protection.  Before being elected to the United States Senate in 2012, Senator Warren was responsible for founding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.   This government agency was created in the wake of the great financial meltdown of 2008 and is tasked with protecting the consumer in the financial sector, including against mortgage lenders and debt collectors.  This is actually a wonderful, if little known, agency that actually works for the working families of America.  Let’s explore exactly what this agency does and how you, the consumer, can take advantage of the benefits it offers.

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

2 days 8 hours ago

Katherine:

Today, our friend, Tom McAvity, has joined us again and he’s going to share with us something that I had no idea about, that Chapter 13 could do, and I bet it will surprise you, too. Tom, thank you so much for joining us again on This Needs To Be Said. How are you?

Tom:

Good morning. How are you doing?

Katherine:

I’m wonderful. See, I got your name right. I did it.

Tom:

You did. You nailed it.

Katherine:

Read More from: Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer

3 days 3 hours ago

The quickest and easiest way to understand why you care about “household size” is to think about the Means Test as a budget.  With the Means Test, the larger the “household size” the greater the amount of money you can set aside for living expenses.  The more you get for living expenses, the less you have left over for creditors.   If you have very little left over, then you increase your chances of qualifying for a Chapter 7 debt discharge.  If, on the other hand,  you have “too much” income left over and available for creditors, then you might not qualify for a Chapter 7; you might have to file a Chapter 13 and pay that left over money to creditors over three to five years.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with filing a Chapter 13.  But, you don’t want to look like you have extra money left over to pay into a Chapter 13 if you really do not.   So, choosing the correct “household size” really matters.   The larger the household size, the greater the income you can make and retain for household expenses.

 HOW IS A DEBTOR’S “HOUSEHOLD SIZE” DETERMINED?

The Bankruptcy Code does not tell say how a court is supposed to make that determination.   As a result, courts have been left with the task to determine what Congress meant when it said “household size”.

Three basic approaches have developed:

Read More from: Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer

3 days 3 hours ago

I cannot say that I am surprised about the result of a recent poll of budget-conscious consumers conducted by the ACCC. The financial education group’s finding is that the vast majority of Americans do not understand the bankruptcy process. I am not surprised because all too often clients who come in to our bankruptcy law offices are shocked that they have needlessly suffered for years on end when they could have simply followed a few simple steps and gotten a fresh start years before they came in though our doors. All too often it takes the urging of family and friends.

If people had really had the right information in their hands when they first needed it, they could have reclaimed their lives so much earlier. I suppose the one fortunate externality of the increase in bankruptcy filings during our recent depression is that those who filed did so much to remove the stigmas surrounding bankruptcy. After all, when your boss or someone that you really respect has filed it becomes a little easier to file yourself.

I hope that in ten years when the ACCC does another poll, the vast majority of Americans will not regard bankruptcy as a mystery, but as a useful tool for getting back in the financial mainstream after being left out.

 

Read More from: Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer

3 days 3 hours ago

When the loan becomes due, the lender either deposits your check or you agree to hold the check until your next payday for an additional fee. Borrowing money this way gets pricey in a hurry.  Lets say you borrow $200 with a charge of $30 but then you roll over the loan one paycheck over for an additional $30 charge. Congratulations, you just paid thirty percent

Read More from: Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer

3 days 3 hours ago

I am pleased to report that in addition to meeting with you at one of our five offices, we can now conduct an initial bankruptcy face-to-face consultation with you at your home or office.

No need to worry, we aren’t really coming over, but what we can do is conduct a face-to-face consultation online. All you need is a reliable online connection and some time to talk. No need to get a sitter, or carve out your whole lunch break from work, or find a time where you and your spouse can somehow both drive down to one of our offices for the first time.

Why are we offering this feature? Studies have shown pretty clearly that the three greatest obstacles to obtaining legal services are money, time and distance. We took care of the money problem years ago by offering manageable payment plans that enable you to pay most of your attorney and court fees after your case is filed. After money, the remaining obstacles were distance and time and time

All too often clients come to us long after they should have. The reality is that coming to see a bankruptcy lawyer is often “something that I need to do, just not this week.” I don’t think I really got this until I got married and had a kid. The reality is that with dueling jobs and child-care concerns, getting my wife and me in the same place to meet with an attorney would not be easy.

Read More from: Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer

3 days 3 hours ago

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