SCOTUS Hears Arguments in Zombie-Debt Case

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments over whether a creditor who attempts to collect on a time barred (i.e. zombie) debt can face consequences for that, when the debtor files for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a system…

Property Tax Exemption Issue Going to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

As expected, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) has followed its own precedent in determining property tax exemptions are not exempt as "government assistance based on need," and I am appealing the issue to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.…

Forgotten Second Mortgage

During the height of the great recession six or seven years ago, many of my clients with upside down mortgages opted to simply do what I referred to as the unofficial lien strip, whereby they simply did not make the second mortgage payments,…

BAP Takes Property Tax Exemption Case Under Advisement

The 8th Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) heard oral arguments in the case of In re Sheri Hanson last week. I represent debtor Sheri Hanson, who is trying to claim an exemption to protect a $1,500 property tax refund, which the State…
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What’s better – short sale or foreclosure?

A realtor will definitely tell you a short sale is better. But keep in mind that a realtor makes money by getting clients and selling houses. While there is nothing wrong with that, and I have nothing against realtors, realtors are trained to…

Loan modification programs expire December 31, 2016

Unless Congress acts to extend this, which I would consider unlikely in light of improving economy and Congress’ general inability to get things done, the HAMP loan modification program will sunset December 31, 2016. This program helped…

Median income figures get upward adjustment

Recently released census bureau figures show that the median income figures will increase for bankruptcy cases filed after November 1. These figures are typically adjusted every November and May. The median income is a function of household…

What is the means test in bankruptcy?

The means test is part of the 2005 bankruptcy Reform Act, which is a governmental budgeting formula for debtors whose household income is above the median in their respective state, to see if they qualify for chapter 7. About 80% of my clients…

Clearing the financial wreckage of your past

Addiction is one of the recurring themes that I see causing people to require my services. It may be chemical dependency/addiction for prescription drugs, illegal drugs, alcoholism, gambling, or other addictions. The typical case I see, is someone…

Draft Democratic Platform includes student loan relief in bankruptcy

On July 1, the Democratic party released its draft platform, which includes the following statement: Democrats will restore the prior standard in bankruptcy law to allow borrowers with student loans (to) discharge their debts in bankruptcy…