May 2012

29 May How To Fill Out The Reaffirmation Agreement And Cover Sheet in Five Easy Steps

To reaffirm a debt in bankruptcy you must ask your creditor to send you reaffirmation paperwork, consisting of a Reaffirmation Cover Sheet, a Reaffirmation Agreement, and a Motion For Approval of Reaffirmation Agreement. The creditor should fill in most or its entire portion of these papers before sending you the documents. Here are Andy Miofsky’s Five Easy Steps for you to complete the debtor portion:
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23 May Would Joel Tennenbaum’s Napster Fine be Dischargeable in Bankruptcy?

Yesterday, May 22, 2012, the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of the large damage award levied against Boston University student Joel Tennenbaum for downloading and sharing 30 songs on Napster. Wikipedia's summary of the case can be read here. First of all, this post is in the nature of a thought experiment; it is not legal advice for Mr. Tennenbaum nor anyone else. However, as a bankruptcy lawyer, the problem piqued my interest. The damage award against Mr. Tennenbaum for copyright infringement totaled $675,000 and, at the time, Mr. Tennenbaum was only an undergraduate student doing what tens of thousands of other college students had been doing at the time--using illegal file-sharing services to download and distribute music. As the jury found in Mr. Tennenbaum's case, these actions, despite their rampant popularity, violated federal copyright laws and, among other things, vested the music-industry plaintiff with the right to recover sizable statutory damages. Statutory damages under copyright laws are, for each act of infringement, $750 to $30,000 for non-willful infringements, and a range of $750 to $150,000 for willful infringements. In Mr. Tennenbaum's case, the jury was convinced to award damages of $22,500 for each infringement, for a total of $675,000. While Mr. Tennenbaum received a doctorate in statistical physics last week, he quite-understandably claims not to have the free cash to pay the judgment. So, could he file bankruptcy and discharge the judgment?
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14 May 50 Ways To Surrender Your Property In Bankruptcy

With apologies to Paul Simon: You Just slip out the back, Jack Make a new plan, Stan You don't need to be coy, Roy Just get yourself free Hop on the bus, Gus You don't need to discuss much Just drop off the key, Lee And get yourself free 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover Until you get the property out of your name, you are still responsible for it, a fact recently pointed out by my colleague, Jay Fleischman. You have to do something to get that property out of your name so you can walk away with peace of mind. How do you do it? As the song time suggests there are a myriad number of ways to transfer the title out of your name. Maybe there aren't 50 ways, but here are a few:
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