I was admitted to practice in 1978. I am certified as a Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist by the American Board of Certification. I regularly speak on tax and bankruptcy issues at state, regional and national conferences. Years of experience in practice before the Internal Revenue Service and Oregon Department of Revenue have given me the background to resolve a large variety of consumer tax issues.


Author: Kent Anderson, Esq.

24 Aug Student Loan Servicer Wolves

Debtors who successfully convince the court that they meet the stringent three-part Brunner test for hardship discharge of student loans may not be out of the woods if their loan servicer is Educational Credit Management Corporation also known as ECMC. ECMC is the default servicer for loans in bankruptcy in a long list of states, and serves as the primary servicer for Stafford and Plus loans in Virginia and Oregon. It is chartered as a nonprofit corporation that, according to its website, exists to provide a unique range of services to students, schools and lenders participating in the Federal Family Education Loan program. That appears to be just part of the wooly mantel for this wolf.
Read More

17 Aug Home Loan Servicers Harvest A Bumper Crop In Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy seems a fertile field for loan servicers. A few charges sown here, a few fees sown there, when the loan is paid off there can be a bumper crop of profits for a loan servicer to harvest. Creditors are generally prohibited by the automatic stay from billing the debtor in bankruptcy for pre-petition debt. Some servicers claim this prohibition as excuse to stop sending monthly statements. An unscrupulous servicer is thus provided an excellent opportunity to plant undisclosed fees that will bear fruit when the loan is ultimately paid off or refinanced. Most debtors trust their loan servicer to properly account for payments and to correctly reflect the ongoing balance due on their home loan.
Read More

11 Aug Can An Individual File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

It is clear that an individual can file bankruptcy under Chapter 11; in some cases, it may be the only relief available. Chapter 13 debt limits are not keeping up with the ability of American consumers to borrow money. Skyrocketing property values and ever increasing conventional loan limits can quickly push consumer debtors past the secured debt limitations and make them ineligible for Chapter 13. When a debtor is forced out of Chapter 7 by means testing, and they have too much debt for Chapter 13, a Chapter 11 may be the only option. The use of Chapter 11 by individuals was questioned in some bankruptcy jurisdictions. In 1991 the Supreme Court resolved the controversy and made it clear Chapter 11 was available to an individual.
Read More

02 Aug How Can I Stop IRS From Taking My Wages After Bankruptcy?

Filing a bankruptcy can stop a wage garnishment from the IRS. Many tax debts are eliminated with a bankruptcy discharge. What happens after bankruptcy if the tax debt was not discharged? The rules for discharging tax are clearly stated in another excellent article; but not all taxes can be discharged. Automated wage garnishments can be stopped or prevented in many cases by tax professionals such as lawyers, CPAs or Enrolled Agents after bankruptcy. The IRS has established detailed financial standards it can use to determine the ability to make payments. If disposable income falls below established levels, IRS collection officers are allowed to discontinue enforced collections.
Read More

30 Jul What Is Circular 230 And Why Do I See It On Emails And Letters?

Internal Revenue ServiceThe Internal Revenue Service regulates what lawyers (including bankruptcy lawyers) and Certified Public Accountants can tell their clients, at least when they are giving advice about certain tax matters. Lawyers and CPAs and Enrolled Agents are allowed to represent taxpayers in their dealings with the IRS. A government publication, Circular 230, lists the rules that must be followed when representing taxpayers in front of the Internal Revenue Service; a failure to follow these rules exposes the practitioner to a possible fine or other sanctions. IRS rules require that lawyers and other tax professionals tell the truth when talking to the IRS. They are also required to fully disclose possible penalties that may apply in gray areas when they advise clients to act in some ways that avoid tax. If a letter or email has the proper disclosure, it helps lawyers keep from making a mistake and breaking the rules.
Read More