Tax Audit Aftermath-Did You Tell The State?

One of the bedrock requirements of the discharge of taxes in in bankruptcy is the requirement to have filed a return. No return, no discharge of that year’s taxes. But it gets more nuanced:  in California, when the feds audit the debtor and change any of the elemental figures in a filed return return, the taxpayer […]

Sole Proprietorships In Chapter 7 In Trustee’s Cross Hairs

Why would a Chapter 7 trustee shut down a proprietorship business with no value? That question comes up again and again from newish bankruptcy lawyers who can’t imagine that a trustee would demand the closing of the debtor’s business. After all, goes the argument, the debtor needs to make a living and the business has […]

Assessing the Ailing Business Post Pandemic

Long after the human patients recover from the coronavirus, small businesses will still be ailing. And long nights will be spent deciding whether to try to stay in business. As bankruptcy lawyers, we’re going to see people in pain trying to assess what to do next. Business owners may see the exit heading through the […]

Analyzing The Troubled Chapter 13: 20,000 Questions Under The Surface Of The Case

After the pandemic, when the economy lurches back into motion, bankruptcy lawyers will confront a clutch of troubled Chapter 13 cases. In the face of disruption, distress, and the unknown, we’ll be called on to guide clients forward, in one direction or another. Let’s review the questions we’ll need to answer in order to provide […]

Coronavirus & The Law

In the face of pandemic and economic stasis,  information is both vital and fleeting. I’m going to collect here links to sources of information  useful to consumer lawyers as I find them. As always, check the dates on the linked resources, as I fully expect change, and more change as we work our way through […]

Charting The Course of A Case

Planning the bankruptcy often determines whether the case succeeds or fails. To obtain good results for a bankruptcy client, sometimes you have to serve up unpleasant news and force the client to swallow that bitter pill. Hum a chorus of You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Of course, you can’t really force them to […]

Black Decision Sheds Light On Vesting Questions

Clouds of uncertainty have hovered over Chapter 13 debtors who find that they need to sell appreciated property before the case is over. Does appreciation occurring after filing go to creditors on the theory that the appreciation is property of the estate? Or does the vesting of property at confirmation entitle the debtor to any […]