Beware the Emergency Bankruptcy Filing

Real danger for client and lawyer lurks in the emergency bankruptcy petition: File without all the information about the client’s assets and recent transfers and you risk getting family members sued and the client losing assets. Not to mention your loss of face or worse. Avoidable transfers Chapter 5 of the Bankruptcy Code deals with […]

Exemption Choices for the Recently Mobile

Old and new consumer bankruptcy lawyers have a treasure in John Bates’ masterpiece on the exemption laws of each state and the availability of those laws to non residents in bankruptcy. Why do I care what the exemptions are in any state but California?  The Bankruptcy Code! ( what other answer did you expect from […]

Timing Is Everything In Bankruptcy

All three consultations on Friday featured clients intent on filing bankruptcy IMMEDIATELY. Each of them was  certain that they had no time before some disaster would befall them if they didn’t file bankruptcy.  Yet, as we talked, I concluded the consequences of an immediate filing were worse than the perceived goblins chasing the clients Waiting, […]

Getting the Most from the Means Test

When the means test look back period for a well paid individual includes the end of the year, a bankruptcy lawyer cannot rely on the paystubs to define the tax deductions. That’s because contributions to Social Security and other some other taxes  are capped at certain income levels.  Wages above the cap are not subject […]

Fixing the Omission from the Schedules

Twice yesterday new bankruptcy practitioners asked about how to deal with debts or assets not listed in the debtor’s original schedules. The answer in either situation is amend the schedules. As soon as you know that the schedules are not accurate on a meaningful issue, make them accurate. Creditor left out For an omitted creditor, […]

Bankruptcy Schedules Look Forward and Backward

New bankruptcy lawyers are often frustrated by the  internal inconsistencies required by the “reformed” Bankruptcy Code. Whether it’s rational or not, the means test income figure looks backward while the  means  test expenses set forth are prospective. Some of those prospective expenses are actual (taxes ) while others are contractual (mortgage payments). Social Security income […]

Answer to Every Question Starts in the Code

If Jews, Muslims, and Christians are People of the Book, we, as bankruptcy lawyers, are, or ought to be,  People of the Code, the Bankruptcy Code. Virtually every question that a new bankruptcy lawyer asks ought to send her first to the code for a start. The Bankruptcy Code adopted in 1978, was well thought […]