Amid the comfortable camaraderie of the Chapter 13 bar’s holiday gathering, the trustee and I were struck by the paucity of young, or even youngish, faces in the group. The stout, dedicated lawyers who’ve toiled in the ND CA bankruptcy courts (rather magnificently, if you ask me) are growing old. And neither the trustee nor […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]