Filing Bankruptcy Petitions: Playing Connect the Dots

I almost took the client at her word and filed schedules that told half the story. Well, maybe it was 3/4 of the story, but the client who, to my consternation, seemed to enjoy nit picking the draft schedules, told me about the cabin on the lake that they rent out, but omitted the rental […]

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) […]

Find Solution That Works, Bankruptcy or No

Good income, substantial priority tax debt, other debt within the limits:  sounds like a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, doesn’t it? Yet the clients were in my office for a second opinion, convinced they couldn’t sustain over five years the payments their attorney provided in their Chapter 13 plan. Their attorney’s approach reminded me of the Greek […]

Prompt Full Disclosure from Bankruptcy Clients

If the price of a bankruptcy discharge is full disclosure, some clients still want to underpay. No matter how carefully you script your initial interview with a client in quest of everything you need to know to advise them on bankruptcy, there will be some tidbit, relevant to your quest, that isn’t evoked with your […]

The Hazards Of Self Employment In Chapter 7

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 […]

Why The No-Look Fee In Bankruptcy Harms Us All

The no-look fee is no good  in many bankruptcy cases.  It harms debtors, their lawyers, and the system as a whole.  It fails to compensate the lawyer for critical work, causing a disincentive to providing proper representation. We give up a lot when we settle for being paid just the no-look fee. No-look (or presumptive) […]

How To Brush Off The Means Test

There’s a way around the means test.  And it’s right there in the Code.  Yet we forget. The ***x!!XXX thing only applies to debtors whose debts are primarily consumer. Consumer debt is defined: 8) The term “consumer debt” means debt incurred by an individual primarily for a personal, family, or household purpose. I had to […]