Filing for Bankruptcy

19 Sep Student Loan Debt A National Bankruptcy Disaster

  [caption id="attachment_30546" align="alignleft" width="150"] Image from Dreamstime[/caption] Discharge of student loans in bankruptcy is an uphill battle according to a New York Times article. News papers these days abound with descriptions of truly desperate families saddled with massive student debt. The story of Ohio student loan debtor Doug Wallace, age 31, unemployed and legally blind is hardly unusual. In fact, it is so commonplace that bankruptcy lawyers hardly pay attention to such cases and their compelling facts. While bankruptcy discharge of student loan debt is theoretically possible, and does occur in a few cases, it is a difficult proposition at best. A debtor seeking relief from student loan debt must convince the court their financial situation is not only hopeless; they must prove it will not likely change for the better in the future. Without dramatic facts, discharge of student loan debt is denied in most bankruptcy courts.
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06 Sep Can a Person in a Coma File Bankruptcy?

Several times a year, I get calls from potential clients who want to know how they can get a bankruptcy filed on behalf of a parent or other relative who is incapacitated because of dementia, or who is unconscious and/or in a coma. Usually these situations involve a pending foreclosure, where the homeowner is not competent to file a bankruptcy case, but an adult child wants to use Chapter 13 to stop the foreclosure. The bankruptcy law does allow a living, but incompetent person to file bankruptcy. Ideally, the relatives should first obtain an order of guardianship from the local probate or appropriate state court in the jurisdiction where the incompetent person lives. If an order of guardianship has been issued, it means that a state court judge has reviewed the affected person’s medical records and has made a finding that the person does not have the capacity to make decisions. Most guardianship orders specifically identify the powers assigned to the guardian. If the concerned relatives anticipate a bankruptcy filing, they should ask the state court judge to specifically include the authority to file a bankruptcy case. Bear in mind, however, that your state’s rules about filing for a guardianship may require various notices and a hearing and that the process could take several months.
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28 Aug 5 Positive Things That Filing Bankruptcy Can Do For You

As a Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney, people often ask about the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy protection. I tell them simply that I can name 5 positive things right off the top of my head that bankruptcy can do. Of course there are more but I wouldn't want their eyes to glaze over when we start talking about bankruptcy. My list is not exclusive, and it would be more relevant here in Southwest Florida than other places, but I hope you will see some of the same benefits that I see: 1. The Automatic Stay - Hands down this is one of the biggest benefits of filing for bankruptcy protection. The automatic stay immediately stops most creditors and collection actions in their tracks. In Florida, the filing of a bankruptcy petition creates a bankruptcy estate and the automatic stay immediately goes into effect. So, many of my clients file bankruptcy during a pending collection lawsuit (including foreclosures) to get a moment to catch their breath.
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