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Category Archives: Bankruptcy

Category Archives: Bankruptcy

Before filing bankruptcy, realize it is a liquidation and take the power of the trustee seriously.

2 June 2013 When people file for bankruptcy, their focus is usually entirely on getting rid of their debts.  They typically fail to realize that there is another side of bankruptcy, the liquidation of non-exempt assets.  What most need to realize is that when they file bankruptcy, a bankruptcy estate is created that contains all […]

Am I liable for an accident caused by my friend when he was driving my car with my permission?

1 June 2013 Yes, in Massachusetts at least.  When you lend your car to a friend, you take on risk.  As you can imagine, the losses can be significant.  Take the factual situation described in In re Gentile, where a judgment was entered against car owners for millions for an accident caused by their grandson […]

What happens if I do not provide my bankruptcy attorney with the documents he requested?

16 May 2013 Your case will likely be dismissed.  As an aside, if your attorney filed the case for you without requiring that you provide the basic required documents then you probably hired the wrong attorney. Section 521 of the bankruptcy code addresses “debtor’s duties,” which includes the requirement to provide documents.  All jurisdictions known […]

What happens to my student loan debt in a chapter 13?

25 April 2013 It depends.  Student loan debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy, generally, under chapter 7 or chapter 13.  So, as opposed to other unsecured debt, like credit card debt, it will still be owed at the end of the chapter 13 plan.  This makes student loan debt quite unique and a topic of ongoing […]

Bankruptcy audits and their recent indefinite suspension.

25 April 2013 The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 gave the US Trustee’s office the power to audit consumer bankruptcy cases for fraud and abuse.  It was to identify “material misstatements” to root out fraud and abuse.   The way it worked in practice in the past was that an accounting […]

What is an “unfair or deceptive business practice” in Massachusetts?

17 March 2013 Answer: it is not specifically defined and is decided on a case-by-case basis.  Kattar v. Demoulas, 433 Mass. 1, 14 (2000).  (The phrase “unfair or deceptive business practice” is from and is a reference to the standard for liability under chapter 93A § 2 of the Massachusetts General Laws.).    The determination […]

Do I need to include my social security (retirement) income in the calculation of my plan payment in chapter 13 bankruptcy?

22 December 2012 It depends.  It is a legal question that is playing out in the courts right now.  If you live in the fifth or tenth federal circuit (Massachusetts is in the first circuit), and arguably in the sixth or eighth circuit, then the answer is yes.  Generally anywhere else it depends on the […]

I want to file bankruptcy but was told that the amount of my income is too high and I will not satisfy the mean test, what is the means test and what can I do?

21 December 2012 The means test in bankruptcy was one of the most important changes to the bankruptcy code made in 2005 under Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, known as “BAPCPA.”  The means test is trying to make sure that people who have the “means” to repay their debts, in fact due, conceivably […]

I am deciding between bankruptcy attorneys, one that costs less and will perform the bare minimum, and another that costs more and provides more, which one should I hire?

8 December 2012 Answer: Probably the one that plans to do more for you.  Here is one example of why hiring the best lawyer you can afford to file a bankruptcy for you, one who is more likely to stay current on the law, may be worth it.  It is In re Belforte, Case No. […]

Want to hire a cheap lawyer, watch out! (Part 2)

13 October 2012 When contemplating which attorney to hire, price is typically a factor, but some people seem to weigh it too heavily and end up with the cheapest attorney they can find.  Not only do they run the increased risk that their chosen attorney could cut corners (Want to hire a cheap lawyer, watch […]