Congress has punched traditional bankers in the nose, and if we do nothing in the next 50 days, they will continue this abuse with impunity.

(posted 1 year 44 weeks ago)

Late last week, Judge Shelley C. Chapman of the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York heard arguments from a number of parties regarding whether the New York bankruptcy court is the proper venue for Patriot Coal Corporation’s bankruptcy cases. In re Patriot Coal Corp., Case No. 1:12-bk-12900. Judge Chapman did not rule on the venue question from the bench. Instead, the parties will wait for a ruling while proceeding with the bankruptcy case. Continue reading →

Restructuring Review Blog
(posted 1 year 44 weeks ago)

Dude, so like, wouldn’t it be totally sweet to get money for free? All you need is pre-approval for a credit card and swipe away! What are the eligibility requirements for pre-approval? Nothing! Too good to be true? Of course!
Check out Demitri Martin on the Daily Show and his tongue-in-cheeck mockery of the credit card “wealth” mentality.
Joking aside, credit card debt is increasingly common under the current economic environment and the temptation sometimes too much to bare. The most common type of consumer debt is unsecured credit card debt which is the most common factor leading to Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy.
Mr. Martin humorously mocked credit card companies and their appeal towards recent graduates through marketing ploys. While more regulations and laws are currently being passed by Congress regarding deceptive credit card and banking practices, it is best to keep your wits about you and common sense with you at all times.

Bankruptcy News Blawg
(posted 1 year 44 weeks ago)

Brian Wolfman has an interesting post about e-Bay's new arbitration agreement with a class action opt-out.  Curiously, e-Bay's arbitration agreement isn't mandatory, but it is opt-out with a limited opt-out period.  Brian's take is that this opt-out is consumer choice window-dressing:  while there is formally a consumer choice involved, functionally it is meaningless. I agree. 
First, consumers aren't likely to pay attention to the opt-out notice in the first place in this age of information overload.  (That's one reason why I don't like the mandatory annual Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act privacy notice--it contributes to information overload by telling me nothing--basically there are no privacy rights--and lulling me into thinking that all fine-print disclosures by my bank don't matter.)  Second, even if they do pay attention, consumers are unlikely to place much value ex-ante on the right to sue in court or to proceed as part of a class; certainly not enough to bother opting out.  

Credit Slips
(posted 1 year 44 weeks ago)

Posted by Kathy Bazoian Phelps
The inaugural conference of the National Association of Federal Equity Receivers just concluded in Fort Worth, Texas and was a fantastic gathering of close to 60 federal equity receivers and other professionals. The caliber of educational programs and professionals in attendance was exceptional. I particularly enjoyed meeting many of the receivers whose cases are cited in The Ponzi Book: A Legal Resource for Unraveling Ponzi Schemes. The panels included discussions on the pros and cons of bankruptcy versus receivership, parallel civil insolvency proceedings and forfeiture proceedings, tax issues arising in receiverships, recovery of assets overseas, and first day issues in a receivership.  I spoke on two panels which drew a lot of audience participation and discussion of different experiences and methodologies used by different receivers:

     Bankruptcy vs. Receivership: Different Strokes for Different Folks

The Ponzi Blog
(posted 1 year 45 weeks ago)

Court Allows Cram-Down Of Reverse Mortgage One of our local bankruptcy judges here in Houston ruled that you can “cramdown” or pay only the value of a house, even if it is homestead, if it is a reverse mortgage and had “matured” or come due in full within the 5 years term of the Chapter 13 plan.
What had happened is that the debtor had inherited a house, with a reverse mortgage on it. A reverse mortgage is not due during the original mortgagor’s lifetime, but he had died. His heir was the debtor and now the reverse mortgage was due in full, and there was over $50,000 owed on it.
But the house was only worth $15,000. So the debtor proposed to pay just the $15,000 during the chapter 13 plan, with some interest, with the other part of the $50,000 total claim to be paid only a small percentage, as an unsecured claim.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Jones ruled that that was OK, and confirmed the plan. In chapter 13, a debtor usually cannot modify a mortgage loan on his or her principal residence. But there is an exception, if the mortgage comes due in full during the plan. Here, because it was a reverse mortgage, it came due when the original mortgagor died, so the mortgage could be modified.

Houston Bankruptcy Attorney
(posted 1 year 45 weeks ago)

Many people wonder whether or not there will be able to receive credit after filing a bankruptcy and receiving a discharge.  The answer to this question is yes, a person will be able to receive credit after filing a bankruptcy and receiving a discharge.  In order for a person to rebuild their credit after bankruptcy, that person must apply for credit, receive credit, and try to pay off the balance of that credit every month if needed.  If a person pays off their credit card balance or a balance for any kind of debt that is owed every month, that person’s credit rating will skyrocket.
Many people are afraid that after filing bankruptcy they will never ever be able to receive credit again; however, that is not true.  Credit is given to a person on a case-by-case scenario, and they will take into account not just the fact that they filed bankruptcy but they will take into account their income, their expenses, or even their income as a family unit.  So if a person who has a much greater income now than they did prior to when they were filing for bankruptcy, then that person is likely to be given credit.  Even if a person is not making the same amount of money they were making prior to the bankruptcy, it is still possible to receive credit from a creditor.  So if a person is afraid of filing a bankruptcy case because they do not believe that they will ever receive credit again, that is a bad excuse for not filing the bankruptcy.

(posted 1 year 45 weeks ago)

Mortgage Modification Mediation Program in Chapter 13 bankruptcy continues to gain momentum, there are more positive signs on the horizon.
Just yesterday, our firm modified a mortgage with a small bank.  The homeowner had accumulated $43,000 in accrued interest and late fees.  The bank waived the accrued interest and fees, and we reset $119,000 principal balance with payments over 17 years at ZERO PERCENT interest.
The key to a result like this is organization, preparation and specific knowledge of mortgage mods and mediation.  My firm boasts a 100% successful modification rate in the bankruptcy mediation program in part because of our skill set, in part because the bankruptcy judges ensure that banks act in good faith during the process and in part because IT JUST MAKES GOOD BUSINESS SENSE.

Bankruptcy Law Network
(posted 1 year 45 weeks ago)

Per the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog:

September 14, 2012, 9:14 AM
By Jennifer Smith

(posted 1 year 45 weeks ago)