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 […]

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 […]