Clients to avoid: those with bankruptcy-adverse spouses

Do you scope out the world view of  your prospect’s non filing spouse? I didn’t and I’m sorry.  The client was full of guilt about the financial situation and kept insisting at our first meeting that “no one should be hurt but him” as a result of the financial predicament leading to bankruptcy.  That situation […]

Who Needs To Learn More Bankruptcy Law?

Since the Fundamentals of Bankruptcy course came out, I’ve talked with a number of new bankruptcy attorneys who report that they are waiting for later offerings, since they’ve already filed a number of petitions and feel they have that aspect of the practice down pat.  One lawyer reported that he had filed 10 cases, so […]

6 Basic Points About Tax Liens in Bankruptcy

Everywhere I’ve looked this week, new bankruptcy lawyers are struggling with client tax liens.  Here’s my list of basics you need to know about federal tax liens. Tax liens create  a secured claim in favor of the taxing authority.  That claim incurs interest at the statutory rate. Exemptions, bankruptcy or state, are not effective against […]

New Bankruptcy Lawyers Targeted by Trustee

Chapter 7 trustees plan to sue debtor’s lawyers for undisclosed assets, I was told yesterday.  In the course of discussing the flood of rookie bankruptcy lawyers into local court rooms, this veteran trustee’s counsel was licking his chops  at the opportunity to make creditors whole at the expense of the debtor’s attorney. The stories of […]

Bankruptcy’s Means Test Doesn’t Apply to All

New bankruptcy lawyers sometimes forget in the flurry over getting the means test right that it only applies when the debts are primarily consumer. Primarily means over half in dollar amount. The code defines consumer debts in §101(8) as debt incurred for a personal, family or household purpose. You may be surprised by the kinds […]

Do Your Bankruptcy Schedules Tell the Client’s Story?

The last check before you file your client’s bankruptcy schedules should be a step back to see if the schedules “tell the story”.  The background and the color don’t make it to schedules and SOFA, but you need to read them from the trustee’s point of view to see if they make sense and reflect […]

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 […]