Nebraska Debt and Bankruptcy Blog

Nebraska Debt and Bankruptcy Blog

Closing the Business: A Step-By-Step Instruction

Posted in Business Bankruptcy, Chapter 13, Chapter 7, Lease Agreements

Going Out of Business

The writing is on the wall and your company must close. Despite throwing everything you had into making the business successful, it’s not working. The funding is depleted. You have drained all your personal resources, emptied the retirement nest egg, mortgaged the home and you are out of cash. You have talked to all the right people–the bankers, the accountants, other business owners–but no one can provide the miracle cure. Payroll is due again, and your not sure where the cash will come from. It’s time to cut your losses. It’s time to close the doors, and you know it.

Somehow you miscalculated the market and you committed yourself to large fixed expenses–rent, equipment purchases, marketing campaigns–that cannot be cut quickly enough. The business is generating cash, but not profits. If you could start all over you would do it

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Student Loan Discharged Despite Zero Monthly Payment Option

Posted in Chapter 7, Student Loans

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The Eight Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (8th BAP) affirmed the discharge of a $27,000 of federal student loan debt despite the fact that the debtor, Sara Fern, was eligible to pay nothing in an Income Based Repayment (IBR) plan.  See In re Fern.

The debtor is a 35 year old single mom of three children, ages 3, 11 and 16.  She originally sought a degree as an accounting clerk, but after being unable to complete the required coursework she changed studies and obtained a degree as a beautician.  After graduating she attempted to start her own business and rented space in a tanning salon, but her efforts failed. For the past 6 years she has worked for the same employer earning $1,506.78 of take-home pay.  She also receives food stamps and rental assistance but does not receive any child support. Her income has

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Was your bankruptcy case prepared in India?

Posted in Chapter 13, Chapter 7

India

Here is the advertisement spam in today’s inbox:

Attorneys Get Started with Team India

Published by Actuit India on 20th January 2008

Hire Bankruptcy Petition Preparation Services

Since 2008 Actuit has a disciplined team of paralegals to help your bankrutpcy practices. Our digital outsourcing process make sure that team is efficient with your time and you get the best of the outsourcing experience. We make sure that you get benefited from the highest quality system design we have to offer. So that each new client experiences the best that our offshore expert paralegal has to offer

We do limit the number of clients handled by each team.

Save time to manage your bankruptcy practice, spend less & watch your practice grow while we work as your paralegal back office form New Delhi, India.

Is that how you

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Must a Debtor’s Attorney Personally Meet With The Client?

Posted in Uncategorized

 

UNLV law professor Nancy Rapoport asks a series of questions in her latest article published in www.ConsiderChapter 13.org.

faculty_Rapoport_NancyTo what extent must a debtor’s attorney personally meet with the client prior to filing the petition on behalf of the client, and how meaningful should the meeting be?

More specifically, how much can the attorney safely and ethically delegate to non-lawyer staff: Intake interview? Filling out forms? Obtaining and reviewing documents like mortgages and paystubs? Telling the client that s/he needs to file chapter 7 or 13? Telling the client what the attorney’s fee will be and getting the client to sign the retainer agreement? Going over the petition and schedules with the client and getting the client’s signature? If the attorney is reviewing the non-lawyer’s work along the way but does not personally meet or talk with the client, is that adequate

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HAMP Program Expired: Now What?

Posted in Chapter 13, Foreclosure

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The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) expired December 31st.  After eight years of assisting underwater homeowners save their homes from foreclosure, the program has now ended.

Approximately 10 million homes were lost to foreclosure in the past decade.  HAMP helped lessen the mortgage meltdown, but its job is now complete.  Foreclosure sales have diminished and home prices are now almost equal to the market prices just prior to the housing market bubble bursting in 2008.

So now what?

According to the folks I chat to in the foreclosure industry, expect mortgage service companies to tighten standards and foreclosures to gradually increase during 2017.

Without HAMP, homeowners seeking loan modification will be left at the mercy of lenders.”  Dillon Graham, Florida foreclosure defense attorney.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued lending guidelines to help reduce the number of foreclosures in the future, including an emphasis on

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Federal Tax Liens in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy = Danger

Posted in Chapter 13, Chapter 7, Homestead Exemption, Tax Liens

Tax Lien

The existence of a Federal Tax Lien in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is a dangerous thing. Especially in cases where a debtor has substantial equity in a home or other assets.

Why are tax liens so dangerous?  Because property exemption laws, such as the Homestead Exemption, do not apply to federal tax liens.

Exemption laws protect a debtor’s property when they file bankruptcy. For example, the Nebraska Homestead Exemption protects up to $60,000 of home equity (the difference between the home’s value and the balance of the mortgage).  So, if a debtor owns a home worth $100,000 and the home is subject to a mortgage loan of $40,000, the home is generally protected in chapter 7, unless a federal tax lien is present.

What is alarming is that most bankruptcy attorneys seem to be oblivious to the fact that federal tax liens are

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Can Gage County Discharge Intentional Wrongdoing in Bankruptcy?

Posted in Uncategorized

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Bankruptcy Code Section 523(a)(6):   A discharge under section 727, 1141, 1228(a), 1228(b), or 1328(b) of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt . . . for willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another entity or to the property of another entity.

A federal jury has awarded $28.1 million to six plaintiffs (the “Beatrice 6”) for a reckless investigation and manufacturing false evidence conducted by the Gage County Sheriff’s department. The plaintiffs spent 20 years in prison for the 1985 rape and murder of Helen Wilson, but DNA testing conducted in 2008 revealed that the murder was actually committed by another individual, Bruce Allen Smith.

Following their release from prison, the plaintiffs brought suit in Nebraska federal court for the Sheriff Department’s building a case on coerced false confessions.

As a result of this judgment,

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Wells Fargo Using Arbitration Clause to Dismiss Fake Account Cases

Posted in Bankruptcy Fraud, Fraud

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is asking courts to dismiss lawsuits brought by customers for damages caused by fake accounts created by bank employees because of arbitration clauses signed by those customers when they opened bank accounts.

A typical arbitration clause contained in the fine print of bank account agreements looks like this:

ARBITRATION AGREEMENT

Binding Arbitration. You and Wells Fargo Financial National Bank (the “Bank”), including the Bank’s assignees, agents, employees, officers, directors, shareholders, parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, predecessors and successors, agree that if a Dispute (as defined below) arises between you and the Bank, upon demand by either you or the Bank, the Dispute shall be resolved by the following arbitration process. However, the Bank shall not initiate an arbitration to collect a consumer debt, but reserves the right to arbitrate all other disputes with its consumer customers. A “Dispute” is any

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Why Long-Term Financial Goals Are So Important

Posted in Budgeting, Chapter 13, Chapter 7, Medical Bankruptcy

Might as Well Win it

Do you know where you want to be in 20 years? What does that picture look like?

When facing debt problems, it is very important to envision what you want your financial life to look like in 20 years.  Because when you fail to have a clear vision of what the ideal life looks like, you tend to repeat the present problem.  Sure, you may get out of today’s financial mess, but then old habits return and the problem resumes.

When facing that life changing debt struggle, it is very important to write down very specific financial goals.  Very specific goals.

  • I want my home paid off by age 55.
  • I will save up 6-months of wages in a savings account.
  • I want to take my grandchildren to the beach every summer until I die.
  • I want to quit my

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Chapter 13 Success Rate Greater Than Credit Counseling Plans

Posted in Chapter 13, Chapter 7, Credit Counseling

Champions team

Do Chapter 13 payment plans really work?  How many customers actually finish the plan and become debt free?  How does it stack up to other options like consumer credit repayment plans? If you don’t know how likely a plan of action will succeed, how do you know what to do?

Historically, only one in three chapter 13 cases are completed nationwide.  That is a pretty bad success rate in my opinion.  Law professor Katherine Porter (@bankruptprof)  wrote a provoking article about chapter 13 success rates in 2011 that basically called for an elimination of chapter 13 cases.  Her study confirmed the dismal success rate of these cases.

Chapter 13 is a pretend solution.  I use this term to mean a social program that does not work as intended but is not critiqued or reformed because its flaws are hidden.

That study always struck

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