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I had the pleasure of attending the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys seminar held at the Nebraska College of Law a week ago, and it got me thinking about how much trial attorneys need to understand about the bankruptcy process.  In a nutshell, here are seven things every trial attorney should understand about bankruptcy.

1. Injury

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The United States Supreme Court has ruled that inherited Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are not protected under federal exemption laws.   Clark  v. Ramekers, 573 U.S. ____ (2014).  Even though inherited IRAs are exempt under federal income tax laws, the court said they are not really “retirement funds” under Section 522(b)(3)(C) of the Bankruptcy

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In a few weeks taxpayers will begin filing their 2012 tax returns, and for those taxpayers who are also filing bankruptcy at the same time a large number of them will forfeit the refund to the Chapter 7 Trustee. For nearly 20 years I have witnessed the Chapter 7 Trustee seize tax refunds from unsuspecting debtors.

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Two new court opinions were recently handed down by the 5th and 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on the issue of whether Social Security income is considered “projected disposable income” under the Bankruptcy Code.  Projected disposable income is income that must be paid over to creditors during a 3 to 5 year Chapter 13 payment plan.

In the

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In every state there exists a list of property that is protected from creditor garnishments and property seizures.  We call these laws Exemptions.  In theory, these laws are designed to prevent creditors from taking away everything a person owns, but in practice few debtors know how to assert their exemption rights and they often