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 […]

Delinquent Utilities and Disconnection Under New Bankruptcy Provision

Bankruptcy debtors with delinquent utility bills got a measure of protection from interruption in their service under an amendment to the Bankruptcy Code in the omnibus spending bill enacted December 27,2020. Individual debtors cannot have their utilities disconnected as long as they make some payment for service provided after filing promptly after the commencement of […]

Chapter 13 Discharge Expanded by COVID Relief Legislation

Chapter 13 debtors got a huge “gift” among the COVID relief provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, signed December 27, 2020 by the president. Debtors may get a full -compliance discharge of dischargeable debts if they have a residential mortgage and have not made all the payments required by their plan. See the […]

Cars & Bankruptcy: What You Must Know To Get It Right

It’s time for a summary and refresher on dealing with car loans in bankruptcy. Somehow, my staff hit a wall this week on what information we needed about cars and car loans. Then, we stumbled on what to do with that information. So, here’s my roadmap to cars in bankruptcy. Fasten your seat belt: here we […]

The Means Test Allows Health Care Before Creditors

The sweetest words in an otherwise miserable bankruptcy means test are found  buried in a long paragraph of §707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(1): The debtor’s monthly expenses “shall include reasonably necessary health insurance, disability insurance and health savings account expenses…” This provision, standing independently in the paragraph, stands for the proposition that the debtor can deduct from his CMI the […]

Projecting Means Test Tax Expense When Things Change

Bankruptcy means test tax projections get more complicated when the year of filing situation looks much different than the last year. If the financial situation is essentially unchanged and all you have to do is adjust for a tax refund or a tax liability, it’s little more than dividing the refund or tax due by […]