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On January 17, 2017, MAJOR CHANGES WILL GO INTO EFFECT FOR HOW JUDGES WILL DECIDE YOUR CASE IF YOU HAVE A PSYCHOLOGICAL OR MENTAL DISORDER.  THERE IS A NEW SECTION OF THE REGULATIONS SPECIFICALLY FOR POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

There is a section of the Social Security Regulations that deals with depression, anxiety, IQ issues, brain injury, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, personality disorders, autism and schizophrenia.

The problem is that there will be a fundamental change in the Rules, but no new forms from SSA to give to a psychologist or psychiatrist to complete for the Judge.  NO ONE KNOWS IF THE JUDGES ARE READY TO USE THESE NEW RULES AND NO ONE KNOWS HOW THE JUDGES WILL USE FORMS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN COMPLETED UNDER THE RULES IN AFFECT NOW.

Stay tuned as I will be watching these changes closely.

Read More from: Scholnick Law

3 weeks 6 days ago

As a Social Security Disability Attorney, I take keeping up to date with the law very seriously.  For that reason, I am a member of the NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY CLAIMANTS’ REPRESENTATIVES- NOSSR.  This is the reason that I am a Sustaining Member of NOSSCR.  This is the reason that I have traveled all of the way to Seattle, Washington, to learn about any changes in the law or regulations that will affect your case. From all of the attorneys who handle SOCIAL SECURITY CASES IN MARYLAND, I APPEAR TO BE ONLY 1 OF 2 FROM THE WHOLE STATE WHO CAME TO THIS CONFERENCE

This morning, we heard from representatives of the SSA tell us how hard they are working to try to get to your cases. However, in spite of their words, the condition of the delay in obtaining benefits is still terrible

A representative from SSA confirmed that A MILLION PEOPLE ARE WAITING FOR HEARINGS.

The SSA representative also confirmed that there are now only  50,000 EMPLOYEES, DOWN FROM 80,000 and they are  NOT HIRING BECAUSE OF CONGRESSIONAL INACTION WHICH HAS RESULTED IN A HIRING FREEZE.  The SSA Website, actually claims that there are almost 60,000 employees, https://www.ssa.gov/org/ , but we learned today that this is not correct.

Read More from: Scholnick Law

3 weeks 6 days ago

Empty voting boothsThe election  is here.  If you haven’t already, get out and vote.

Put aside your excuses and your cynicism.

Forget that democracy, at the detail level, hasn’t worked so well lately.

In the big picture, voting, picking those who write the laws and those who administer them, is the essence of our freedom.

Winston Churchill had it right:  democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

The fruits of democracy

I see the results of voting in my law practice, every day.

BAPCPA, that miserably written and vindictive “reform” to bankruptcy law, is the product of  legislators elected by those who bothered to vote.

Those we elected then choose to adopt the the creditor’s picture of the debt strapped consumer- irresponsible and exploitive.

4 weeks 51 min ago

What goes into a blog post? Helpful, industry-specific content that: 1) gives readers a useful takeaway, and 2) shows you’re an industry expert.

Use your company’s blog posts to opine on current industry topics, humanize your company, and show how your products and services can help people.

Read More from: The Road Out of Debt

4 weeks 1 day ago

Ordinarily, we would not go back over ground already covered by Bill Rochelle in his excellent Rochelle’s Daily Wire feed. However, we’ll make an exception for anything related to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Baker Botts, L.L.P. v. ASARCO, LLC opinion, an opinion that we’ve covered extensively. In short, Bill pointed all of us to an October 26, 2016 Middle District of Florida decision in In re Stanton wherein esteemed bankruptcy judge Michael G. Williamson held that the Supreme Court’s prohibition on fee-defense costs does not, generally speaking, apply to a fee applicant’s efforts in supplementing a fee application.

Refresher on Baker Botts

Read More from: Plan Proponent

4 weeks 1 day ago

Guest Article

By John G. Loughnane, Partner
Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP

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John G. Loughnane

The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently issued an opinion in ZVI Construction Co. v. Levy, et al., 90 Mass. App. Ct. 412 (2016)refusing to override the terms of a written confidentiality agreement entered into between parties to a mediation.  The opinion is noteworthy because it refuses  to recognize a fraud exception to the confidentiality of mediation.  In addition, the opinion emphasizes the need for careful strategy when dealing with distressed situations – including agreements arising out of the mediation of disputes with distressed companies.

Read More from: Mediatbankry

4 weeks 1 day ago

Attorney Joshua LawhornWhen someone calls our office seeking help or legal advice, they often have several questions. Unfortunately, the answer is often that common lawyer response: “It depends.” While I would love to immediately help, it just is not possible to answer the majority of questions that are asked without first getting the information we acquire at our initial consultation. Also, I believe it is important to establish a good relationship with the client from the beginning. An in person consultation is the best way to ensure that this happens.

Callers often want to know what the differences are between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While this can be explained generally, it is more important to understand how each option affects you. To properly do this, we must fully understand your financial situation. We start by examining the gross income, net income, and total expenses of your household. We also go over all assets such as real estate, vehicles, and personal property.

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

4 weeks 1 day ago

Hoku, a publicly-owned Delaware corporation, filed for bankruptcy with just $8 million in assets compared to a relatively staggering $1.3 billion in liabilities, much of which was funded debt.  In light of this significant insolvency, Hoku’s chapter 7 trustee brought various breach of fiduciary claims against Hoku’s board of directors, including one akin to a claim for “deepening insolvency.”  As the case of Hopkins v. Nakamoto (In re Hoku Corp.), Adv. Case No. 15-08183 (Bankr. D. Idaho Aug. 2, 2016) proves, the prohibition on deepening insolvency claims under Delaware law remains alive and well, even in the face of incredible balance sheet insolvency.  The Hoku decision also presents a helpful primer on certain other defenses available to directors when faced with breach of fiduciary duty claims under Delaware law.

Background

Hoku had issued hundreds of millions of dollars in debt so that its wholly-owned subsidiary could construct a polysilicon manufacturing plant.  The subsidiary obtained additional financing by contracting with several customers to prepay for the purchase of polysilicon after construction of the plant was completed.

4 weeks 1 day ago

Revelations from the last several weeks once again underscore the need for effective reputational risk management.

Read More from: BankThink

4 weeks 1 day ago

Dealers occupy an important position in financial markets, essentially serving as central nodes that match buyers and sellers of all types of instruments.  Sometimes the dealer itself will serve as the ultimate buyer or seller, but frequently they are running (or attempting to run) matched books of buyers and sellers.  In short, dealers are really just matchmakers.  So here's the thing:  we've seen how human matchmaking can be entirely replaced by (1) algorithms and (2) apps.  For algorithms, that's just stuff like Match.com or eHarmony.  And for apps, well, there's Tinder, etc.  I assume that someone has even combined algorithms with an app, so users don't have to browse for dates, but just log on and are automatically matched.  This model seems entirely applicable to many types of financial contracts.  If I'm a hedge fund looking to go short on some debt obligation, I need to find someone who will sell me CDS.  I could go to a dealer (and pay a nice bit for this), but why not just use an app that will match me with all of the funds that are looking to go long?  We could have Tinder for CDS--let's call it CinDerS.  If there are apps that can match dominants and submissives, why not protection buyers and protection sellers?  And nothing limits this to CDS.  It really works for any type of financial instrument.

Read More from: Credit Slips

4 weeks 1 day ago

The spotlight on unethical sales practices at banks has likely led customers to consider abandoning their financial institution, yet too many factors stand in the way of making a switch.

Read More from: BankThink

4 weeks 1 day ago

Receiving Wide Coverage ...

More lumps: It was another bad for Wells Fargo. Following a quiet period, the bank disclosed Thursday it is in talks with federal and state prosecutors, including the U.S. Justice Department, over potential abuses related to residential mortgages, which would be unrelated to the phony accounts scandal in its retail banking unit. ...

Read More from: BankThink

1 month 1 hour ago
Is it better to unwind a Ponzi scheme case in a bankruptcy, a receivership or a SIPA proceeding? 

Kathy Bazoian Phelps is moderating a webinar co-hosted by the American Bankruptcy Institute #abiLive and the National Association of Federal Equity Receivers, with panelists Stephen Harbeck (the CEO and President of SIPC), Kenneth Bell (the receiver of ZeekRewards), and Brian Bash (the trustee of Fair Finance). Join us on November 8, 2016 at 1 p.m. EST (free to attend). 

Register at abiLIVE.

Read More from: The Ponzi Blog

1 month 10 hours ago

Stessa Cohen warns that if we aren't careful, we could bring old gender biases into world of bank bots; Amy Nauiokas argues bank innovation should be applied more broadly, not just in technology; Marva Smalls recalls how she broke out of her comfort zone; and Esther George of the Kansas City Fed talks about staying true to her convictions. Also, how unbalanced journalism puts more scrutiny on female leaders than on their male counterparts and the silver lining in this presidential election.

Read More from: BankThink

1 month 17 hours ago

The intense focus on sales cultures can be frustrating, but it also presents an opportunity for everyone within a bank to get on the same page about what the institution stands for and is trying to accomplish.

Read More from: BankThink

1 month 21 hours ago

calendarYou can file bankruptcy tomorrow, so long as you don’t currently have a bankruptcy case pending.

When you can get a discharge in that case is a different story.  The Bankruptcy Code limits the frequency of getting a discharge, not the filing and completion of the bankruptcy case.

My friend Gene Melchionne wrote a marvelous piece about the timing of the bankruptcy discharge that conjures up the old high school cheer:  2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate.

The waiting period between cases, if you want a discharge, can be 2 years, 4 years, 6 years or 8 years, depending on what kind of case you filed before and what kind of case you want to file now.

You count those years from the filing of the first case to the filing of the second case.

But, contrary to the usual thinking, the discharge isn’t everything.

1 month 22 hours ago

Gail DonaldsonLast week, I had the honor of attending my friend Lori Rasmussen’s change of command ceremony at Maxwell Air Force Base here in Montgomery.  While commander, Lt. Col. Rasmussen was in charge of Detachment 12 of the Academy of Military Science Officer Training School.  This detachment is one of the Air Force’s preeminent officer commissioning squadrons and annually produces over 800 new officers for the regular Air Force, the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve.

The ceremony included the graduation of hundreds of men and women who have gone through additional training to further serve in our military.  It was humbling to watch along with their family and friends who sacrifice so much while they serve our country.

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

1 month 22 hours ago

meter-551288_1280_optThe mid point California income that triggers bankruptcy’s means test rose to $83,012 for a family of four.

Effective November 1, 2016, families with incomes, excluding Social Security, below that number are excused from even taking the means test.

How do you measure up?

The means test, of course, was Congress’s oh-so-clever attempt to write a formula that would determine which Americans “needed” bankruptcy.  All others were presumed to be abusing the system.

Care to guess how good Congress was at doing it?  Yeah.  The short, reasonably polite, answer is not very good.  But that’s another post, another day.

Below median income

Median is the point in a range of numbers where half of the numbers are smaller and half are larger.  Families in the lower income half don’t have to worry about “qualifying” for bankruptcy.

1 month 23 hours ago

The U.S. is the only industrialized nation without mandated paid parental leave, but innovative leave policies are an opportunity to attract and retain employees in a highly competitive industry.

Read More from: BankThink

1 month 23 hours ago

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