Will You Lose Any Inheritance to Pay Student Loans – Maybe

Martha Standish took out student loans when she was in her late 40s to get an undergraduate degree in accounting. Later she took out a Parent Plus Loan to help her daughter with college expenses. Eleven years after graduating, Standish filed an adversary proceeding in a Kansas bankruptcy court seeking to discharge about $30,000 in … Read more

Bankruptcy Filings Way Down But Wait For It

Bankruptcy filings fell sharply for the 12-month period ending Dec. 31, 2020, despite a significant surge in unemployment-related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Annual bankruptcy filings in the calendar year 2020 totaled 544,463, compared with 774,940 cases in 2019, according to statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. That is a decrease of … Read more

A Decade in the Closet Being Afraid About My Bankruptcy

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I am still amazed when I read uninformed posts about why people are going bankrupt claiming there is no more stigma about bankruptcy. That is not true. People are going bankrupt because creditors are not allowing people to repay their debts with as much enthusiasm as the banks had when the person was borrowing the … Read more

Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Might Actually Happen This Time

I was reading Adam Levitin’s piece on CNBC on the forces at play that is hanging a giant financial anvil over consumers. The Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act (CBRA) probably has a good chance of being considered because the wave of people about to hit a financial wall is enormous following the pandemic. Think about this … Read more

Chapter 10 Bankruptcy Proposed in CBRA of 2020

A logical and commonsense reform bill for bankruptcy was proposed by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and David Cicilline (D-RI). If it should be considered and become law but I would be surprised since strong forces will be at play to gut it. And … Read more

We Need a “Blue Light Special” on Bankruptcy

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As a young man, I practiced law in a three-man law firm in Anchorage, Alaska. In the winter months, the firm occasionally experienced lean times when clients couldn’t pay their bills. But we three were young, optimistic, and confident. I remember one day during an especially lean winter month when our senior partner jokingly announced: … Read more

How to Figure Out if Bankruptcy Makes Sense Because of COVID

In the past few months, the United States has experienced unprecedented job losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Stay at home or closure orders have shuttered businesses, raised the unemployment rate to higher levels than seen in the 2008-2009 recession and left many wondering how they are going to pay their bills. As Bloomberg reports, … Read more

Corporations May Deserve More Compassion Than Student Loan Debtors

Jonathan Henes, a corporate attorney, wrote an op-ed essay for the Wall Stree Journal a few days ago calling for Congress to codify one-day bankruptcies for financially troubled corporations. “The one-day bankruptcy would streamline the bankruptcy practice,” Henes argued and would reduce business disruptions and legal expenses. Henes’s appeal in the Wall Stree Journal is … Read more

Need a bankruptcy attorney? Here’s how to find the right one

Not all bankruptcy attorneys are created equal. That’s not shocking: After all, the same could be said about finding help in any profession that requires expertise and training. But there are some things I would encourage you to look out for when you’re interviewing a bankruptcy attorney. Having worked with people to resolve problem debt … Read more

If Bankruptcy is So Bad Then Why Do Churches Keep Filing Bankruptcy?

I don’t know whether Rhett Butler was a Catholic, but Catholics should adopt Rhett’s attitude about the rising tide of bankruptcies among America’s Catholic dioceses. Frankly, my dears, we should not give a damn. Nineteen Catholic dioceses have filed for bankruptcy in recent years, due to payouts forced on the Church by child-abuse victims, almost … Read more

How to Seriously Reduce Your Mortgage During a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

New Jersey bankruptcy attorney Edward Hanratty sent in the following guest post. It is an interesting approach to reducing mortgage debt using bankruptcy. This is an example of a bankruptcy client who thought there was a problem with her mortgage and property taxes, and she was right. After some litigation I sent her the following … Read more