Tax Audit Aftermath-Did You Tell The State?

One of the bedrock pieces 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 […]

When Worlds of Bankruptcy & Family Law Collide

Bankruptcy, actual or threatened, can cause a genuine disruption in the force when divorce is on the table. That collision can be liberating or disruptive, depending on the timing of a bankruptcy filing and the goals of your client. Because the fallout from a bankruptcy case can be overwhelming, family lawyers need a working knowledge […]

Rule 3002.1 And The Tangled Web of HOA Assessments

The Hadfeg decision  was delivered to me in response to a standing search for bankruptcy decisions involving FRBP 3002.1. But multi strands of legal theories run through this one.  The questions, answered and unanswered, are tantalizing. The facts are thus: Prepetition HOA dues scheduled for $5000, while HOA later claimed it was $33,000. No proof […]

Rescuing A Troubled Chapter 13: The Unseen Threat

We all get sucked in, at some time, to trying to rescue a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case gone bad. Make sure that you don’t let a bad situation get worse. Get your arms around §109(g). When only a do-over will do, don’t wait around. No payments for months The debtor came to me for help […]

Start with problem, not procedure

The new bankruptcy lawyer sent me an email. What do I file when there’s an objection to my client’s amended Chapter 13 plan:  notice a hearing? file a demurer? In her case, the form of the “objection” suggested the opposing counsel was as new to bankruptcy as the debtor’s lawyer. My advice? First:  figure out […]

What Debts to Include in Bankruptcy

  Bankruptcy lawyers know that all debts need to be scheduled.  Clients think or hope that they get to pick and choose. Every effective bankruptcy lawyer needs a line, a phrase, or a story to squelch the client’s instinct to exclude things from their bankruptcy filing. Often the client’s desire to be less than forthcoming […]

Why Your Bankruptcy Client Doesn’t Understand You (And How To Fix the Problem)

Bankruptcy attorneys and their clients often seem to be a pair,  divided by their common language.  Even without legal jargon, we talk past each other. How do we misunderstand each other?  Let me count the ways: Property:  I don’t have any property, lost the house to foreclosure last year. Property 2:  I don’t own the […]