Help Center

ABI Blog Exchange

What can you do about a judgment lien filed against you by a creditor or debt buyer that is now out of business? Law firms like Mann, Bracken that have closed down, filed bankruptcy themselves, or otherwise disappeared still appear as judgment creditors on thousands of credit reports.  In many cases, you may have legitimate grounds to challenge these judgments:
  • bad service
  • insufficient documentation
  • incorrect identity
In other cases you may be willing to offer money to settle the outstanding debt so that the judgment will be removed from your credit report. If the creditor, collection agency, or debt buyer is out of business, however, there is no one  you can call, no one with whom to negotiate.  If you take no action, your credit profile will remain damaged until enough time passes (often years) so that the credit report reference to the judgment goes away.  And your access to credit may still be impacted if that unpaid judgment remains on the public record in the county where you live.  An unpaid judgment on your credit report and in your local county court records will create significant financial problems for you and should not be ignored. There are possible solutions to this dilemma, but you have to take action. In this video, I explain how I approach the problem of a judgment creditor who has disappeared.

Read More from: Bankruptcy Law Network

7 hours 37 min ago
A common question that many of our clients ask as we go through the process of filing a Bankruptcy is “will my job find out?” The very short and sweet answer to the question of “will filing Bankruptcy affect my employment” is a resounding NO. This answer lies directly within the Bankruptcy Code at 11 U.S.C. §525 and reads as follows: Protection Against Discriminatory Treatment

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

7 hours 55 min ago
Per www.npr.orgMay 5, 2016:Many credit card and loan agreements these days have in the small type what's called a "mandatory arbitration clause." Most people don't even know what that means. But by signing, customers agree not to sue the financial firm in a class action lawsuit. Instead, they agree to work out any problem with an arbitrator hired by the bank."The company can sidestep the legal system, avoid accountability, and continue to pursue profitable practices even if they may violate the law and harm thousands or even millions of consumers," says Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.The CFPB on Thursday proposed a rule that would ban a range of financial firms from using this tactic to avoid lawsuits.Restoring The Power Of The Class ActionSuppose you notice that your credit card company charged you a $50 fee you think is unfair. And it turns out the company is doing this to a million people. A class action lawsuit can band you together with them and make it worth some lawyers' time to go after the company for $50 million....The CFPB is now seeking public comment on the proposed rule. One point of contention between consumer and industry groups is likely to be whether the rule would grandfather in existing arbitration clauses.

Read More from: The COMI

8 hours 5 min ago
Banking is often seen as a quintessentially modern institution. But financial practices are deeply rooted in the medieval period.

Read More from: BankThink

8 hours 12 min ago
After an unplanned, exactly one month hiatus, we’re back! This long overdue post comes to you from Point Clear, Alabama, the site of the 2016 11th Circuit Judicial Conference, an event that brings together all of the federal judges in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida (i.e., the U.S. Marshals’ least favorite project every 2 years). Lest the conference appear more exclusive than it really is, 28 U.S.C. § 333  mandates that common folks like me get to attend. That is, the “court of appeals for each circuit shall provide by its rules for representation and active participation at such conference by members of the bar of such circuit.” Thus, Judge Austin Carter, my former colleague, and his wife Karen were nice enough to make Jessica and me their “plus two.” To be sure, this isn’t your typical riveting bankruptcy seminar. Instead of keeping you on the edge of your seat with case updates on dischargeability actions, DIP financing, and lien avoidance–you know, the good stuff–they entertain you with “boring stuff” (i.e., topics that your spouse might actually find interesting if she wasn’t off shopping–more on that in a minute). Seriously, it really is bizarre how bankruptcy seminars warp our perceptions of what’s interesting.

Read More from: Plan Proponent

8 hours 16 min ago
Receiving Wide Coverage ... Reaction: The reaction to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposal to prevent banks from using mandatory arbitration to block class-action lawsuits was swift and, for the most part, predictable. Not surprisingly, the financial industry (and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas) blasted it. "Consumers will get less and pay more," the American Bankers Association's president, Rob Nichols, said. ...

Read More from: BankThink

8 hours 26 min ago
[wsj-responsive-image P="//si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NX268_nortel_P_20160506083629.jpg" J="//si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NX268_nortel_J_20160506083629.jpg" M="//si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NX268_nortel_M_20160506083629.jpg" caption="" credit="Associated Press" placement="Inline" suppressEnlarge="false" ] Canada’s Supreme Court rebuffed an appeal by Nortel Networks Corp. bondholders over the share they are getting in the distribution of $7.3 billion in the company’s bankruptcy. The Wall Street Journal has the Daily Bankruptcy Review article here. (Daily Bankruptcy Review is a daily newsletter with comprehensive coverage and analysis of emerging and in-progress insolvencies and turnarounds. For a two-week trial, visit http://on.wsj.com/DJBankruptcyNews, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”) Atlantic City, N.J., is getting closer to bankruptcy after a day of politicking in New Jersey didn’t produce a rescue plan, WSJ reports.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

10 hours 1 min ago
Ellen Alemany stays the course on CIT's turnaround strategy; Robin Rankin of Credit Suisse talks about when investment banks should re-enter emerging markets; and Sallie Krawcheck talks about the opportunity for career women to become entrepreneurs.

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 3 hours ago
The push to empower the territory of Puerto Rico to write down its debts–something supported by the Obama administration, the island’s government, and some Republican leaders in Congress–appeared to gain backing Wednesday from Donald Trump, the likely Republican presidential nominee. “The problem with Puerto Rico—there’s far, far, far too much debt,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with CNN. “Don’t forget: I’m the king of debt. I love debt… I understand that stuff better than anyone else.” Mr. Trump’s position puts him largely in agreement with Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla, a Democrat, who last year declared the island’s debts unpayable. The Obama administration has been working to secure legislation that would allow the territory to write down some debts in a streamlined fashion. [wsj-responsive-more-in tag="Donald Trump" category="" ] The interview offered Mr. Trump’s most detailed comments so far on one of the few legislative issues Congress could tackle before this fall’s election. Puerto Rico missed most of a $422 million payment on Monday and has warned that other defaults are likely. The U.S. territory has been in recession for a decade and tens of thousands of residents, who are American citizens, have been leaving for the mainland every year.

Read More from: WSJ.com: Bankruptcy Beat

1 day 4 hours ago
Per Bloomberg BNA:By Melissa Heelan StanzioneApril 25 — The government agency running the PACER system, which provides online access to federal court records, charges more fees than necessary to recoup its costs in providing its services, a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia April 21 alleges.“The judiciary has taken no steps to change the fee structure or the way it has administered the system and so that means, unfortunately, that a lawsuit is necessary,” Deepak Gupta, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, told Bloomberg BNA April 25. Gupta is with Gupta Wessler PLLC in Washington.The increase in PACER fees creates “substantial barriers to accessing public records—for litigants, journalists, researchers, and others,” the complaint says.Further, the complaint says the Administrative Office of the U.S.

Read More from: The COMI

1 day 5 hours ago
When you’re flat broke and thinking about bankruptcy, cheaper sure looks better. If a lawyer will do your Chapter 7 for $600, what’s the point of paying $1000? Or even $2000? Like answers to many legal questions, it depends. Bankruptcy relief depends on your facts Whether to file bankruptcy, or whether to file now, rather than later, depends on how the facts of your financial situation interact with bankruptcy law. Your bankruptcy lawyer is charged with gathering those facts and analyzing them so that you get the most debt relief the system can offer. If your bankruptcy lawyer doesn’t dig deep enough, or think broadly enough, you may hit avoidable snags in your case. With the caveat that there is no direct and sure-fire connection between cost and quality, let’s talk about what it costs to escape from broke. How to figure what you should pay 1.  The cheapest guy in town isn’t for you.  Chances are, he’s new to the field.  He’s dabbling.  He’s hoping to sell you something else along with a bankruptcy, or he’s outsourced the real work to someone with less training than he has. Further, if you are looking for advice about finances, is the cut rate practitioner the one best suited to provide that perspective? 2.  The more that’s at stake, the better representation you need.
1 day 5 hours ago
Per www.lohud.com:, mcdonofrio@lohud.com8:41 p.m. EST March 3, 2016The suit also mentions a tweet posted by Patriarch Partners CEO Lynn Tilton about the February bankruptcy.(Photo: TJN)Former employees for a regional ambulance service that suddenly shut down last week filed class-action federal lawsuits seeking two months’ wages and benefits for 1,200 employees who lost their jobs.Warren Eisenstadt, 52, was one of hundreds of employees fired in a mass layoff on Feb. 25 by TransCare Corporation, a for-profit ambulance company that serviced Westchester County, New York City, Long Island and other states. Eisenstadt worked at TransCare as a transport emergency medical technician in Brooklyn since 2002.On Monday, Eisenstadt filed a class-action lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court against Patriarch Partners LLC, a private equity fund. The lawsuit alleges Patriarch, whose portfolio includes TransCare,  owns TransCare.

Read More from: The COMI

1 day 5 hours ago
Per a press release on Business Wire:April 07, 2016 04:50 PM Eastern Daylight TimeHARTFORD, Conn.--()--Scott Flaherty, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Colt’s Manufacturing Company, LLC, has resigned his positions with the company in order to pursue other opportunities. Richard Harris has been named Interim Chief Financial Officer.About ColtColt is one of the world’s leading designers, developers and manufacturers of firearms. The company has supplied civilian, military and law enforcement customers in the United States and throughout the world for more than 175 years. Our subsidiary, Colt Canada Corporation, is the Canadian government’s Center of Excellence for small arms and is the Canadian military’s sole supplier of the C7 rifle and C8 carbine. Colt operates its manufacturing facilities in West Hartford, Connecticut and Kitchener, Ontario. For more information on Colt and its subsidiaries, please visit www.colt.com.

Read More from: The COMI

1 day 5 hours ago
Requirements that banks share anti-money-laundering information should extend to fraud and cyber risks, to connect the dots between bad actors and their transfer of money.

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 5 hours ago
Plan Payment Problems A common problem that happens in a chapter 13 bankruptcy case is the inability to continue to make plan payments. This inability to make the plan payment can happen for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons are job loss, illness, injury, divorce, and other catastrophic events. Just recently, a couple+ Read More The post When You Can No Longer Afford Your Chapter 13 Plan Payment appeared first on David M. Siegel.
1 day 7 hours ago
Last week we blogged about In re Lake Michigan Beach Pottawattamie Resort LLC, a decision from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois that discussed the issues of unauthorized and bad faith filings.  There, we unpacked the court’s holding that the consent of the “blocking director” under the operating agreement was not required for the debtor to commence its chapter 11 case because such provision was void as against public policy.  Here, we examine the court’s ruling that the debtor’s filing was not in bad faith.  Background
1 day 7 hours ago
Students with excess cash but no bank account have fallen victim to predatory financial vendors, but the government can take steps to bypass the middleman.

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 8 hours ago
About 10 years ago, Rich Hynes wrote an intriguing paper on consumer debt collection, asking "where are all the garnishments?"  Today, Pro Publica's Paul Kiel is out with an answer: Nebraska and Missouri ... and in the future. Kiel's story challenges the longstanding conventional wisdom that debtors are unlikely to face lawsuits and collection action for small debts. That might have been true before the mid-2000s, when Hynes wrote his paper, and in Virginia and Illinois, which Hynes studied, but it's certainly not true after the financial crisis, Kiel reports, especially in certain high-volume-low-dollar-collection-heavy states.

Read More from: Credit Slips

1 day 8 hours ago
New York Times The Times has a curtain-raiser on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposal to let consumers bring class-action lawsuits against banks and other financial-services companies, rather than be forced into mandatory arbitration. Read a concise account of the CFPB's proposal by American Banker's Kate Berry here. The proposal, if approved, would be a "major setback for banks, credit unions, credit card companies and many other financial firms," AB reports. In fact, the proposal would...

Read More from: BankThink

1 day 8 hours ago
When you file for bankruptcy, the court appoints a neutral Bankruptcy Trustee to administer your case and review the information contained in your bankruptcy petition.  A small percentage of bankruptcy cases are selected each year to be further reviewed or audited by an independent public accountant or audit firm.  This is referred to as a Bankruptcy Audit. The Bankruptcy Audit The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), October 17, 2005 to be exact, requires a certain amount of bankruptcy cases filed in each judicial district to be audited by an independent public accountant or audit firm.   The purpose of a bankruptcy audit is to verify the accuracy of the information disclosed by the debtor in his or her bankruptcy petition.  If you are selected for a bankruptcy audit, the audit firm will review your bankruptcy petition and financial information for any “material misstatements” of income, expenses, assets or transfers of property usually within the last 2 years.

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

1 day 8 hours ago

Pages