Means Test & The Exemption See-Saw

What can my client do with non exempt cash or readily saleable items not protected by an exemption, the newbie asked. As I looked down my list of things to do with excess cash, I saw an issue I hadn’t explored before:  some of best ways to use up non exempt cash may result in […]

How Can Non-Bankruptcy Law Define The Estate?

Do you know whether an asset has an enforceable restriction on transfer that excludes it from the estate? The attorney for my clients in the last post certainly hadn’t mastered the holding in Patterson v. Shumate, where the Supreme Court decided what “applicable non bankruptcy law” meant in § 541(c)(2). He listed the clients’ state retirement […]

Bankruptcy Dollar Amounts Changed April 1

Bankruptcy Code sections that reference a dollar amount, such as the threshold for a presumption of abuse on the means test or the cap on Chapter 13 debts, were adjusted effective April 1, 2010.  This change occurs every three years and is tied to the Consumer Price Index. Here’s a table of the changes in […]

Bankruptcy Exemption Mistakes Feed Trustee Coffers

Bankruptcy lawyers who mess up claims of exemptions were the other target of the trustee’s attorney I spoke with earlier this week.  He rubbed his hands over attorneys who hadn’t collected enough information to understand the asset or who simply didn’t know that the homestead exemption didn’t apply to property other than the debtor’s residence. […]

Bankruptcy Exemptions: 10 Ways to Deal with Excess Cash

Bankruptcy lawyers occasionally are confronted with the client with more cash, or other marketable assets, worth more than the available exemptions to protect them. Here are some things to spend that currently non exempt cash on that are exempt, or unappealing to a bankruptcy trustee: Fund IRA’s Obtain cash value life insurance up to exemption […]