Ensure You Understand Insurance In Bankruptcy

Sometimes, issues that you’ve just skimmed over burst forth in bunches, demanding attention. Lately, that issue in my bankruptcy cases has been insurance. Because its treatment varies so, we need to be asking more pointed questions of clients about both insurance policies and the debtor as beneficiary. Unmatured life insurance Starting with exemptions, §522(d)(7) makes […]

6 Steps to Ethical Unbundling of Bankruptcy Representation

No matter how many hoops the client dutifully jumped through, without adequate inquiry and communication, the bankruptcy attorney was slammed for unbundling his services. The representation agreement at issue excluded representation in any adversary proceeding filed, as do most such agreements, I imagine. The client initialed every paragraph of the 19 page representation agreement, and […]

Reaffirmations Impose Impossible Demands On Bankruptcy Counsel

When BAPCA gutted the ipso facto clause, reaffirmation was left as the only way a debtor could be assured of retaining his wheels. Car lenders took sides back then, then changed sides, on whether they would automatically repossess a vehicle when the debt was not reaffirmed. Some wanted the in terrorem effect of losing the […]

Hearsay Exception: How Do I Get This Into Evidence?

Quick: tell me everything you know about Federal Rule of Evidence 803(17)! If you’re like me, there’s deafening silence. I’ve apparently skated through forty years of bankruptcy practice without really considering how Kelly Blue Book figures get into evidence. If it worked, I just went on. (Hint: it’s FRE 803(17). But a change in California […]

Wrestling With The Means Test

The timeless questions asked by mankind include “why are we here“, “which came first…” and “coffee or tea“. Bankruptcy lawyers wrestle with  “which controls, b-22 or Schedules I and J“. My argument is: if Congress wanted a means test, then the means test controls, unless you show special circumstances. But if I minus J controls, […]

Unpacking The Enhanced California Homestead

On January 1, 2021, California’s homestead exemption grew from a prior low of $75,000 to a minimum of $300,000, to as much as $600,000, depending on county wide home prices. A big part of the change is that the increased homestead is available to homeowners regardless of age, health, or marital status. But with the […]

Your Help Needed With Consumer Attorney Fee Survey

Can I assume you’d like some authority to back up your next application for fees? The US Consumer Law Attorney Fee Survey Report , published for 20 years by Ron Burdge provides just that authority. It’s free and far ranging. So, do your part by taking the survey online to get current information on fees in multiple […]