For Bankruptcy Lawyers

17 Feb Last Day to Comment on New Chapter 13 Plan, Petition, Schedules, Means Test, Bankruptcy Rules Changes

The deadline for public comments to proposed changes to bankruptcy rules and official forms has been extended two days to Tuesday, February 18, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. eastern time. "Speak before then, and you may influence whether these forms,as written, are modified before adoption." -- Cathy...

Read More

02 Dec Chapter 13 Bankruptcy And Home Owners Associations

abandoned homeIn Florida, home owners associations (HOAs) can be a blessing for some and a problem for others. When you add a Chapter 13 bankruptcy into the mix, the HOA can become a legal nightmare. According to the recent case of In Re Rosa, the chapter 13 plan and the confirmation order could change the relationship between the two. Imagine that you retired, purchased a beautiful home in a gated community in order to live the stress free life. The HOA now takes care of the lawn, cable, pest control, etc. Well, life changes or the economy changes or you have medical bills or there is a loss of job and you are forced to file bankruptcy. You have to make a choice: either keep the home and the HOA or let it go and deal with the HOA. If you file a chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and schedules, you also have to file your plan of reorganization. Your chapter 13 plan must tell the secured creditor exactly how you are going to deal with their collateral. Well, if you are going to keep the home, it really isn't a problem because you are still obligated to pay the HOA. If your Chapter 13 plan states that you are going to surrender the collateral back to the mortgage holder, that is good news to the secured creditors, but what about the ongoing HOA obligation? In other words, is the chapter 13 debtor still obligated to pay the ongoing HOA dues even though he or she has expressed their intention to surrender the property.
Read More

28 Oct 5 Reasons Every Small Business Owner Needs To Consult With A Bankruptcy Attorney

Dual TrackingDid you ever hear a business owner talking about their Bankruptcy Attorney? Imagine you are at a cocktail party and you hear a small business owner say: "I've got the best Bankruptcy Attorney in town." or " My Bankruptcy Attorney saved me a fortune." This never happens, but it should. Business owners are too busy running their businesses to think about things that have nothing to do with running the business, well almost nothing. When they need advice, they meet with management and accountants rather than a bankruptcy attorney. However, when a business owner is at a cross-road and the you know what hits the fan, guess who they are in a hurry to meet with? That's right, their favorite bankruptcy attorney. I wish more small business owners would make it a priority to discuss their financial issues with a bankruptcy attorney before the fan gets turned on. The way I see it, there are 5 main areas where a bankruptcy attorney can provide support and advice to many small business owners. 1. Cash Flow Analysis 2. Debt Management and Debt Restructuring 3. Credit Issues 4. Collecting Receivables 5. Disaster Planning.
Read More

27 Dec Will Bankruptcy Filings Increase In 2013?

ouija boardBankruptcy filings have been down in the last year. In theory that's a good thing but that is not necessarily all good news. And it certainly isn't good news for those of us in the business of filing bankruptcies! If you ask 10 bankruptcy lawyers what filing volume will look in the future, you'll get 11 opinions and 2 fights. So take what I have to say with a hearty grain of salt. My theory about bankruptcy filings is essentially this: People and businesses need to be taking risk for our economy to grow -- and also for bankruptcies to increase. It's a simple idea which we bankruptcy professionals hope doesn't catch on for long -- If you don't accumulate debt, you probably won't go bankrupt someday. Shocking, I know. Don't get me wrong. There will always be a "background hum" of bankruptcy filings, even if almost no one borrowed money ever again. You can end up owing money to someone through unpaid bills (like medical care or rent), or through your negligence (like a car accident), or breaches of other business contracts. But the variation in the overall case volume -- the spike or the crater in the annual chart -- depends on consumers incurring debt and, ultimately, not being able to pay it back. Right now the overall economy is coming back and consumers are spending again. That's good news for the economy and for bankruptcy professionals. But it isn't coming back fast. Retails sales were reportedly lackluster during this holiday season. Banks have cut back on their credit card offerings to consumers. And most critically we are not yet seeing an expansion of consumer borrowing -- except in the student loan area -- yet. In other words, people are getting more comfortable spending money but they are not yet confident enough to borrow it.
Read More