All items from J.P. Morgan's Bankruptcy Blog

Sorry for the lack of recent posts.  Final exams took considerable time away from me.  I'll try to be better in the future.

I thought that I should briefly write about something important in the world of bankruptcy that has recently come to my attention.  A new study, discussed on a recent ABI podcast, reveals new data about the dischargeability of student loans.  Specifically, when debtors attempt to discharge their student loans, they are successful approximately 40% of the time.  This is in sharp contrast to we often hear in the media, that student loans are "nearly impossible," or sometimes even that they absolutely cannot be discharged.  It seems as though such media reports have produced a deterrent effect on debtors from even attempting to discharge their student loans.  For more details, I highly recommend listening to the podcast:

Posted 1 year 48 weeks ago

Below is a guest post offering a concise description of the four main types of bankruptcy:

Know more about the 4 different types of bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is essentially a legal proceeding which involves either a person or business that isn’t able to repay outstanding debts. It offers an individual or business the opportunity to start afresh with debts being forgiven. It also offers the creditors some chance to obtain a certain measure of repayment based on the available assets. Theoretically speaking, bankruptcy is supposed to benefit the overall economy as well.
The different types of bankruptcy

Posted 1 year 52 weeks ago

I'd like to share a paper that I wrote earlier this year for ABI's student writing competition.  It's about the lack of life tenure for Bankruptcy Judges.

Thirty Years Later: Revisiting Marathon and the Case for Allowing Bankruptcy Judges Life TenureJohn P. MorganCatholic University of America School of LawWashington,

Posted 2 years 9 weeks ago

            Sorry about not posting in a while – the start of the fall semester and the submission of job applications has taken considerable time.
            I would like to discuss a topic that is, admittedly, not as common an issue for most debtors as those I have previously discussed, but still interesting in my view.  Broadly speaking, this is the ability to discharge a debt under section 523(a)(6), which is for “willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another entity or to the property of another entity.”  Narrowly speaking, I will be discussing this in the context of medical malpractice debts. 

Posted 2 years 14 weeks ago

Last weekend I watched the movie Larry Crowne, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.  In the movie, Tom Hanks plays a character that had recently been terminated for his job due to his lack of formal education, so he decided to go back to community college to remedy the situation.  He took an economics class there with an eccentric professor.  One day, the two of them were outside the school having a discussion on whether there were any economic benefits to filing for bankruptcy, I believe with Tom Hanks arguing that there were not and the professor arguing that there were.  Granted, this was not the focus of the film (and I haven’t known bankruptcy to be a topic discussed in economics classes – I didn’t discuss it in mine), but the professor was right.

Posted 2 years 21 weeks ago

As a person who regularly checks his credit report, I was surprised a few years ago when one of the credit bureaus reported that I had filed for bankruptcy.  This was not true; I was only eighteen or nineteen at the time, and had no reason to file.  It was actually a family member of mine who had filed for bankruptcy.  Adding to the absurdity of the situation was that the bankruptcy had been filed in 1995, when I was only 7 years old.  Despite the inherent nonsense, I still had trouble convincing the representative of the credit bureau over the phone that the bankruptcy did not actually belong to me.  I eventually got the situation resolved, but it took a lot of needless time.

Posted 2 years 24 weeks ago

Last week, I came across an article in the Washington Examiner while I was riding the metro to work. This article noted that residents of Maryland carry more student loan debt than any other state in the country at $33,087. Virginia ranked sixth at $30,855. The average is $29,088. Compared to the debt load I will be carrying due to law school, these numbers actually seem rather modest to me, but they still go to show that student loan debt is on the rise, especially in this geographic region. I try to put my thoughts of future student loan payments at ease by reminding myself that I am getting a degree in a (hopefully) lucrative field, but it is not only law students who are racking up substantial amounts of student debt. The debt, of course, can get crippling for young graduates. In connection with this, I have heard many espouse the false statement that student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. The statement is false for its overbreadth; while student loans generally cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Code does contain an exception in certain situations.

Posted 2 years 27 weeks ago

Thanks for taking the time to check out a blog whose topic probably seems boring and depressing to a lot of people. My goal here is to show that bankruptcy can actually be very practical and interesting, and for many people it instills a sense of relief, rather than depression.
Just to make it clear, I am an individual, not a bank. I am also a law student, in the summer before my 3L year at the Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, I seem to be among the minority of students who have an interest in the topic of bankruptcy, but I have truly come to enjoy it as an academic and career interest; the other area of law in which I have substantial interest is the often-related field of tax law. 
My goal is to make this blog relatively devoid of legalese, and accessible to those without a knowledge of bankruptcy specifically, or law generally. The blog will not be carefully cited with footnotes throughout. I want to expose people generally to relevant, practical, and current topics having to do with bankruptcy, and show that it is worth the time to read about. Do I expect that many people will read this? Probably not. But at least I can try.

Posted 2 years 28 weeks ago