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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.

11 hours 9 min 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.

12 hours 20 min ago


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?


Good morning. How are you doing?


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


You did. You nailed it.


Read More from: Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer

1 day 7 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.


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

1 day 7 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

1 day 7 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

1 day 7 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

1 day 7 hours ago

Written By: Daniel Hart

Edited By: Salene Kraemer

                   From time to time, we have clients buy into a franchise or occasionally want to franchise his or her own business concept.

                 Franchising is a business model that combines aspects of working for yourself and working for someone else.  It is an efficient system for an individual who wants to own/run a business but lacks the experience to do so.  Within the United States, there are about 3,000 established franchise brands operating in over 200 different lines of business.  A franchise is a legal and commercial relationship between the owner of a trademark, trade name, and business system (franchisor) and an individual or group wishing to use that identification in a business (franchisee).  The most common form of franchising is product/trade name franchising in which a franchisor owns the right to a trade name and/or trademark and licenses the rights to use those.

3 days 8 hours ago

Attorney Ed WoodsOne very powerful remedy that financially strapped consumers have is a discharge pursuant to Chapter 13 of the federal Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is so named because it is Chapter 13 of Title 11 of the United States Code. Title 11 of the United States Code is commonly known as the “Bankruptcy Code”. The other types of relief under Title 11 include Chapter 7 (liquidation), Chapter 9 (municipal bankruptcy), Chapter 11 (commercial bankruptcy), and Chapter 12 (family farmer and fisherman bankruptcy). The relief available through Chapter 13 is broad and can be positively life changing for individuals and families who might otherwise struggle with debts for years and not see the end of the tunnel. In many instances, Chapter 13 is the best help I can provide to the clients I represent.

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

3 days 11 hours ago

Authored by Courtney Gaver

In a case that will have a direct impact on creditors, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal involving the City of Miami’s claims in three related cases that it suffered damages through alleged discriminatory lending practices of residential mortgage lenders including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup. The Court’s final decision in this appeal will likely define the reach of the Fair Housing Act.

In Bank of America Corp. et al. v. City of Miami, the City of Miami (the “City”) alleged that the banks engaged in a pattern of discriminatory lending in the residential housing market which resulted in the City suffering economic harm. The City brought suit under the Fair Housing Act (the “FHA”) which outlaws discrimination in housing. The FHA, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq., makes it unlawful to refuse to sell or to rent a dwelling to any person, or to refuse to engage in a residential real estate transaction with any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

Read More from: Florida Banking Law Blog

4 days 4 hours ago

State unemployment benefits are paid pursuant to a system that relies on trust. Benefits are paid based on representations made by claimants that they are out of work and that they continue to seek out full-time work. If a claimant finds part-time work, then benefits are reduced accordingly.

A recent opinion from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan (the “Court”) addresses a Chapter 7 debtor’s attempt to discharge a debt owed to the State of Michigan for overpaid unemployment benefits, and penalties and interest stemming from the overpayment.  Read More ›

Read More from: Michigan Bankruptcy Blog

4 days 9 hours ago

bankruptcy reaffirmation

Decisions, decisions.

Your bankruptcy filing requires that you state your intentions about reaffirmation right up front.

Translated, that means what are you going to do about the car after bankruptcy.  The car on which you still owe money and need to get to work.

In the midst of all the other information needed to file a Chapter 7, it’s hard to get your head around reaffirmation.

Particularly since reaffirmation got a lot more complicated and unpredictable thanks to Congress and bankruptcy “reform” in 2005.

With my apologies for being dull and dense, here’s my attempt at explaining the issues and the options when deciding whether to reaffirm a car loan.

4 days 10 hours ago

Don Lawson KnoxvilleThis is one of the most common questions that we get asked.  Inevitably, financial problems very often lead to marital problems.  And a large percentage of our clients are either separated or in the process of divorcing.  While every situation is unique, it is always wise to seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney prior to finalizing and signing your divorce documents.

Hold Harmless

One main reason is a very common provision in most divorce documents called “Hold Harmless”.  Amy Tanner in our Huntsville office wrote a wonderful article on Hold Harmless, which can be found here.  In a nut shell, Hold Harmless language means that you are agreeing not to “harm” your soon-to-be ex-spouse for debts that you agree to pay in the divorce.  This is a very important concept to understand.  If you agree to take responsibility for certain joint debts as part of your divorce and then later file bankruptcy on those debts, your ex-spouse could sue you in Divorce Court to make you pay those very same debts.

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

4 days 10 hours ago

Scientist analyze the water of a riverIn the recent case of BTI 2014 LLC v Sequana SA & others [2016] EWHC 1686, the High Court has held for the first time that a dividend can be challenged as a transaction entered into at an undervalue within the meaning of section 423(1) of the Insolvency Act 1986 (the “IA”).

The Facts 

The facts of the case are long and complex but for present purposes the pertinent facts are as follows.

Arjo Wiggins Appleton Limited (now Windward Prospects Limited) (“AWA”) was a wholly owned subsidiary of Sequana SA (“SSA”).

Through a series of corporate acquisitions and asset transfers since the 1950s, BAT Industries PLC (“BAT”), the claimant in this case, became liable to pay for part of the costs of an environmental clean-up relating to the pollution of the Lower Fox River in Wisconsin, USA (the “Lower Fox River Liability”). AWA was liable to indemnify BAT for part of the monies BAT so paid (the “Indemnity”).

Read More from: eSQUIRE Global Crossings

4 days 13 hours ago

Bankruptcy Mediation-FINAL-SMBy: Donald L. Swanson 

When a mediating party and counsel say to the mediator:

Just give us your evaluation!

What they are actually saying is:

Just confirm that you agree with my side.”

Prof. Elayne E. Greenberg of St. John’s University School of Law 

This observation appears in the “Bankruptcy Mediation” book recently published by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

I laughed out loud upon reading this observation, because I’ve always sensed it to be true — but I’d never be able to articulate it.

I can think of a possible exception or two — maybe. But, otherwise, this observation is dead-on.

Read More from: Mediatbankry

4 days 14 hours ago

The pari passu litigation against Argentina—discussed extensively here on Credit Slips, on FT Alphaville, and elsewhere—caused many people to worry that future government debt restructurings would become more difficult. Some have their eye on Venezuela as the next to default, though the country and its troubled state-owned oil producer PDVSA stubbornly continue to pay external creditors despite dire economic and humanitarian circumstances. Wherever the next crisis occurs, there will be interest in devising ways to avoid the fate that befell Argentina.

Read More from: Credit Slips

4 days 22 hours ago

Attorney Suzanne ShinnThis writing may be a bit premature for the Thanksgiving season, but several things have happened within the last seven to ten days and the above statement “gratitude costs you nothing” is a phrase that kept coming up in my mind over and over again. I wish I could take credit for that phrase but it is not my own, however, this phrase reminds me of a writer in the Bible that wrote:

“Be thankful, IN ALL THINGS” (emphasis mine); and

“I have learned how to abased (be lacking) and I how to abound (be increasing), and in ALL things I have learned how to be content in whatever state I am in.” (emphasis mine)

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

5 days 7 hours ago

Discussions around reinstating the Depression-era law are headline-grabbing, but Glass-Steagall has no merit in our current financial environment.

Read More from: BankThink

5 days 8 hours ago


Focus on the AB InBev and SABMiller merger

Having received the sanction of antitrust regulators in Europe, the U.S., China and South Africa, the planned merger of brewing giants AB InBev and SABMiller was scrutinised this week by the High Court in London on a topic very familiar to those acquainted with English law restructurings: class composition. The outcome of the hearing, that not all members of SABMiller should be considered to be in the same class for scheme voting purposes, raises some interesting questions around class composition because of the unusual circumstances of the proposed merger.


The merger, valued at a British record of £79 billion, is set to be carried out by an English law scheme of arrangement. Similar to their use in the restructuring market, schemes are frequently used in mergers because of their ability to force dissenting members to sell their shares whether or not they vote in favour of a scheme, thereby offering certainty of acquisition of 100% of the target for the bidder.

5 days 10 hours ago