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3rd Circuit Allows Bankruptcy Filers to Pursue Debt Collection Action Against Creditor

Consumers who make the difficult decision to file for bankruptcy face many challenges. In some cases, one of those difficulties may be posed by aggressive debt collectors. In one New Jersey case, a collector’s letter, which contained numerous alleged defects in violation of federal debt collection laws, placed it in hot water when the 3d…

Current Rules Often Deny Chapter 13 Filers with Student Loans a True ‘Fresh Start’

Bankruptcy is intended to give debtors a fresh financial start. Through liquidation or reorganization, it allows them renewed hope and a new opportunity to meet their fiscal obligations. For student loan debtors, however, the path is far more complicated. A recent pair of articles in the Wall Street Journal point out that, for some debtors,…

Former ‘Gossip Girl’ Star Seeks Chapter 7 Protection Amidst Mounting Child Custody Legal Bills

Bankruptcy filers seek protection for a wide variety of reasons, and most do so for reasons other than just profligate spending. Such was the case for TV actress Kelly Rutherford, who filed for bankruptcy this summer. The actress was beset by dwindling income following the 2012 conclusion of the hit drama “Gossip Girl,” in which…

4th Circuit Joins 9th Circuit in Excluding Social Security Payments From Income Calculations

Earlier this summer, the 4th Circuit joined an increasing list of federal appeals courts to confirm that debtors need not include Social Security income in their Chapter 13 plan filings. In In re Mort Ranta, the 4th Circuit agreed with the 9th Circuit and others in highlighting that the 2005 bankruptcy reforms passed by Congress…

Chapter 13 Cramdowns and Real Estate

The recent economic downturn created, among many other problems, an abundance of people with many financed assets on which they were “underwater” or “upside down,” meaning that the outstanding balance on the loan was greater than the current value of the asset itself. One possible way to address assets upon which you are upside down…

New 9th Circuit Ruling Increases Onus on Some Chapter 13 Filers

In a noteworthy reversal of course from a 2008 decision, the 9th Circuit sitting en banc decided in In re Flores that a debtor couple’s Chapter 13 repayment plan must last at least five years, rejecting the couple’s proposed three-year plan. Even though the couple had no projected disposable income, because the couple had an…

Avoiding the Roadblocks to Rebuilding Your Financial Profile After Bankruptcy

For many Americans, bankruptcy has served as an essential fresh start in their financial lives. Completing your bankruptcy procedure is only the beginning, however. Today, rebuilding one’s financial profile after a bankr uptcy is more manageable than in the past. As Roger M. Whelan of the American Bankruptcy Institute noted to Bankrate.com, “Thank God the…

Creditor’s Attorney’s Knowledge of Bankruptcy Was Not Enough to Place Creditor on Notice of Debtor’s Filing

A debtor’s significant mischaracterization of a six-figure debt ultimately placed him on the hook for repaying the debt after a bankruptcy court, and the Ninth Circuit, concluded that the debt was non-dischargeable. Even though the attorney who represented the creditor knew about the debt, the debtor remained obliged to repay, because the lawyer found out…

How a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy May Stave Off an Imminent Home Foreclosure

The extreme effects of the most recent economic recession have many people facing foreclosure on their homes, as the properties’ values plummeted and the property owners’ incomes declined, or dried up altogether. After an extended period of limiting the volume of foreclosure actions, or stopping altogether, mortgage lenders are again pursuing foreclosures more aggressively. Homeowners…

9th Circuit Allows an Employee to Pursue Discrimination Action, Even Without Listing it in Her Bankruptcy

In a noteworthy departure from the rulings of other federal circuit courts, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gave a county employee the green light to sue her employer for discrimination, even though she originally failed to disclose the lawsuit in her Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. The court concluded that, in situations where a debtor…

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