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 […]

Crushing Tax Change For Injured Consumers

    Under the new tax law,  most damage awards a consumer recovers stand to go, in large part, to the IRS. So even if you are successful in vindicating your legal rights, the expenses of getting the award aren’t deductible from the gross award. The taxing authorities end up getting a large hunk of […]

The Chasm Between Judges & Bankruptcy Attorneys Over Fees

Why is there such a gap between consumer attorneys and bankruptcy judges over attorneys fees? It sometimes feels like the bench believes that every dollar a debtor’s lawyer gets is of questionable legitimacy.  Yet the same judges roll their eyes, at least figuratively, at the competence and preparation of those same lawyers. Think there might […]

Beyond Racism And Self Interest: Why Blacks File And Fail At Chapter 13

ProPublica’s study of the percentage of black debtors who file bankruptcy and fail at Chapter 13 misses the forest for the trees. The report contends that bankruptcy lawyers steer blacks to an inappropriate chapter for the benefit of the lawyers. In Memphis, an entrenched legal culture has made bankruptcy a boon for attorneys while miring […]

The Change We Need In Consumer Bankruptcy Practice

The American Bankruptcy Institute under the leadership of retired Judge Eugene Wedoff is gathering input for a review of changes needed in consumer bankruptcy law.  I was privileged to offer my thoughts at NACBA’s 25th annual convention in May. Good Morning, I’m Cathy Moran.  I’ve practiced bankruptcy law in the Silicon Valley, in California’s Northern […]

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble

I find I’m back at the Bankruptcy Mastery keyboard. Several years ago I thought I had said all there was to say here to new bankruptcy lawyers. But stuff just keeps bubbling to the forefront and my fingers itch. It seems there’s more to say, perhaps not exclusively to newbies, but to the broader community […]

Means Test: Mean and Meaningless

Years after BAPCPA became law, I’m still grinding my teeth about the inanity of the means test.  It consumes a huge amount of my time, gathering numbers about the cost of telecommunications services and my client’s projected costs of health care.  I get to know more about their ailments than anyone but their spouse and […]