April 25, 2016
Archives
leffler

When Things Don’t Go According to the Plan

Rule 3002.1: A Case Odyssey

By Mark C. Leffler, Boleman Law Firm (Richmond, VA)
Provided for by the plan . . . outside the plan . . . cure and maintain . . . maintenance only . . . AGH!!!Attorney Leffler explains the most recent case law.

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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

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Means Test: Revised Multipliers and IRS Standards Apply to Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2016

The Administrative Expense Multipliers and IRS’s National Standards for Allowable Living Expenses and Local Standards for Transportation and Housing and Utilities Expenses have been updated.Click here for a complete resource.

caution

Exemptions and Other Pitfalls – Part 4 of 6 – From the Perspective of a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Trustee

By Pam Bassel, Trustee and Heena Hirani, Staff Attorney, Office of the Standing Chapter 13 Trustee North Richland Hills, TX
Part 4 looks at the Sale of a Homestead in Bankruptcy.This outline, first prepared for the Texas Bar CLE 31st Annual Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Course, can be found under The Toolbox menu item, Exemptions tab.

question-marks

Who’s Getting a New Courthouse???

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Congress Gets Details on Eight New Court Projects. . . Nashville, Toledo, Charlotte, Des Moines, Greenville, Anniston, Savannah, and San Antonio
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From the Courts and the UST – Job Openings

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siomos
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

The Marital Adjustment: A Non-Filing Spouse’s Cooperation is Required

By Ken Siomos, Staff Attorney to Chapter 13 Trustee John H. Germeraad, Springfield, IL
“It is axiomatic that a debtor does not get to decide the law for him or herself and choose what needs to be disclosed.”

Click here for a somewhat related matter: FDCPA Claim Based on “Community Discharge” Fails

April 18, 2016
Archives

IIIIIIIIt’sss Tiiiiime . . .

RIGHT NOW:

  1. get out your debit/credit card
  2. click HERE
  3. complete the registration form
  4. email to info@nactt.com or fax
  5. DONE (isn’t that a nice word?)
siomos

The Marital Adjustment: A Non-Filing Spouse’s Cooperation is Required

By Ken Siomos, Staff Attorney to Chapter 13 Trustee John H. Germeraad, Springfield, IL

“It is axiomatic that a debtor does not get to decide the law for him or herself and choose what needs to be disclosed.”

Click here for a somewhat related matter: FDCPA Claim Based on “Community Discharge” Fails

fairlie

Motions to Extend Stay to Third Parties: Coming to a Casino – or a Chapter 13 – Somewhere Near You? Part II of II

By Zachary Fairlie, Law Clerk to the Hon. Cynthia A. Norton, W.D. of Missouri at Kansas City
In Part II, Mr. Fairlie concludes by exploring: “In a recent case, In re Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., 808 F.3d 1186 (7th Cir. 2015), the Seventh Circuit considered the statutory power of § 105 to extend the automatic stay to a nondebtor.”The Academy is pleased to offer this long-term resource. In the future, this outline can be found under the Toolbox menu option, Definitions tab.
caution

Exemptions and Other Pitfalls – Part 3 of 6 – From the Perspective of a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Trustee

By Pam Bassel, Trustee and Heena Hirani, Staff Attorney, Office of the Standing Chapter 13 Trustee North Richland Hills, TX
Part 3 is a short installment entitled “To Protect the Asset Heavy and Cash Poor”This outline, first prepared for the Texas Bar CLE 31st Annual Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Course, can be found under The Toolbox menu item, Exemptions tab.
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

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April 11, 2016
Archives
fairlie

Motions to Extend the Stay: Coming to a Casino – or a Chapter 13 – Somewhere Near You? Part I of II

By Zachary Fairlie, Law Clerk to the Hon. Cynthia A. Norton, W.D. of Missouri at Kansas City
“Motions to extend the stay have been in the news lately. A primer on such motions may be helpful if you represent debtors in the right circumstances.”The Academy is pleased to offer another long-term resource. In the future, this outline can be found under the Toolbox menu option, Definitions tab.
caution

Exemptions and Other Pitfalls – Part 2 of 6 – From the Perspective of a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Trustee

By Pam Bassel, Trustee and Heena Hirani, Staff Attorney, Office of the Standing Chapter 13 Trustee North Richland Hills, TX
Part 2 of a 6-part series on exemptions. This outline was first prepared for the Texas Bar CLE 31st Annual Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Course.We believe you will find this to be a tremendous resource. It will live under The Toolbox menu item, Exemptions tab.
LBayer

A Penny For Your Thoughts? If Not, Then How About Fifty Cent?

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By Leon D. Bayer, Bayer, Wishman & Leotta (Los Angeles, CA)

“If you blab your legal secrets on the Internet, don’t be surprised by who sees it.”

In the News Article on the same topic: Bankruptcy Judge Orders 50 Cent to Live Up to His Name

pastdue

Past Due: Debt-collection Reforms That Protect Consumers Not Found to Restrict Credit Availability

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caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

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sommer

The American College of Bankruptcy Announces 2016 Distinguished Service Award Recipients

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Congratulations to Henry Sommer and Prof. Jay Westbrookwestbrook
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From the Courts

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Supreme Court Corner

april1st

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

NO FOOLIN’ – Effective for Any Cases Filed On or After April 1, 2016 – Revision of Certain Dollar Amounts in the Bankruptcy Code

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Ranging from §§ 1409(b) to 707(b) to 1325(b) – many dollar amounts currently indicated in the Bankruptcy Code changed as of April 1st.
April 4, 2016
Archives
caution

Exemptions and Other Pitfalls Part 1 of 6 – From the Perspective of a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Trustee

By Pam Bassel, Trustee and Heena Hirani, Staff Attorney, Office of the Standing Chapter 13 Trustee North Richland Hills, TX
The Academy is pleased to begin a new 6 part series on exemptions. This outline was first prepared for the Texas Bar CLE 31st Annual Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Course.We believe you will find this to be a tremendous resource. It will live under The Toolbox tab, Exemptions option.
april1st

NO FOOLIN’ – Effective for Any Cases Filed On or After April 1, 2016 – Revision of Certain Dollar Amounts in the Bankruptcy Code

(Not password protected)
Ranging from §§ 1409(b) to 707(b) to 1325(b) – many dollar amounts currently indicated in the Bankruptcy Code changed as of April 1st.
whaley-nancy

Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules Update

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So, what’s next for the Form Plan? Click here for a Hot Off the Press report.
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

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From the Courts

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Ritchey Craig Appointed Judge

lisa ritcheycraigA Dear Friend of The Academy Appointed New Judge in North Georgia – CONGRATULATIONS Judge Ritchey Craig
pardo

Student Loan Chronicles BONUS ITEM

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Taking Bankruptcy Rights Seriously

By Raphael I. Pardo, Robert T. Thompson Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law Atlanta, GA
. . . Article focuses on the particular example of debtors who seek to discharge educational debt through bankruptcy. Such debt may be discharged only if the debtor can establish through a full-blown lawsuit . . .Using an original dataset of educational-debt dischargeability determinations, this Article reveals . . . the typical self-represented debtor in such proceedings has only a 28.5% chance of litigation success, which pales in comparison to the 56.2% success rate of a similarly situated debtor who is represented. . . . (emphasis added)
irs

From the IRS

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enmark

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Death, FRBP 1019, and Substitution of Parties

By Neil Enmark, Staff Attorney to Chapter 13 Trustee David P. Cusick (Sacramento, CA)
“Death normally terminates the ability of the attorney to represent the debtor although they remain attorney of record in the case – how can the attorney communicate with a dead client?”
March 28, 2016
Archives

lexington

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS

The 13th Biennial Consumer Bankruptcy Conference in Lexington, KY, was very hospitable to The Academy. Welcome new members Marc Levy and Mark Little

april1st

NO FOOLIN’ – Effective for Any Cases Filed On or After April 1, 2016 – Revision of Certain Dollar Amounts in the Bankruptcy Code

(Not password protected)
Ranging from §§ 1409(b) to 707(b) to 1325(b) – many dollar amounts currently indicated in the Bankruptcy Code are changing as of THIS Friday.
enmark

Death, FRBP 1019, and Substitution of Parties

By Neil Enmark, Staff Attorney to Chapter 13 Trustee David P. Cusick (Sacramento, CA)
“Death normally terminates the ability of the attorney to represent the debtor although they remain attorney of record in the case – how can the attorney communicate with a dead client?”
gavel

From the NCLC

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Snapshots of Struggle: Saving the Family Home After a Death or Divorce

This report details problems of “successors in interest,” meaning a homeowner who was not the original borrower on the loan but has lived in the home for years, sometimes decades. Many of these individuals are facing unnecessary foreclosure risk due to servicer noncompliance.

Many of these successors are domestic violence survivors, widows, widowers, and newly single parents struggling to raise children after the death of a spouse.

The report includes stories of real people who have faced foreclosure risk and also details what the CFPB can do to eliminate the problem so that these vulnerable homeowners, many already reeling from tragedy and trauma, may remain in their homes.

Click here for report and additional resources

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irs

From the IRS

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From the CFPB

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CFPB Warns Of Elderly Financial Exploitation

scott

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Mortgages: Trustee Disburse or Not Trustee Disburse, That is the Question

By Scott G. Stout, Staff Attorney, Office of Jeffrey M. Kellner, Chapter 13 Trustee (Dayton, OH)
“Developing case law over the last year or so, seem to so indicate that payments outside and inside the plan are obsolete terms of art.”
March 21, 2016
Archives

spring happyspring spring
scott

Mortgages: Trustee Disburse or Not Trustee Disburse, That is the Question

By Scott G. Stout, Staff Attorney, Office of Jeffrey M. Kellner, Chapter 13 Trustee (Dayton, OH)
“Developing case law over the last year or so, seem to so indicate that payments outside and inside the plan are obsolete terms of art.”
wbrown

From the Editor – Lien Stripping and Mortgage Modification

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)
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cmoran

Tax Deductions Hidden In Chapter 13

By Cathy Moran, Moran Law Group, Mountain View, CA
“Don’t miss the tax deductions hiding in your Chapter 13 plan payments.” This article has dual purpose, a refresher for you but primarily as a hand-out for your clients.
cfpb

From the CFPB

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CFPB Wins Final Judgment Against Morgan Drexen for Illegal Debt Relief Scheme

Court Rules that Morgan Drexen and Walter Ledda Charged Illegal Upfront Fees and Deceived Consumers

CFPB: Mortgage Help

bruce

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Judicial Estoppel by the Circuits

By Karin Bruce, Staff Attorney for Chapter 13 Standing Trustee Jan P. Johnson (Sacramento, CA)
“Judicial estoppel has been applied in connection with many bankruptcy cases.” Here, Ms. Bruce outlines a critical judicial estoppel case from each of the 12 judicial circuits. A great resource!
March 14, 2016
Archives
bruce

Judicial Estoppel by the Circuits

By Karin Bruce, Staff Attorney for Chapter 13 Standing Trustee Jan P. Johnson (Sacramento, CA)
“Judicial estoppel has been applied in connection with many bankruptcy cases.” Here, Ms. Bruce outlines a critical judicial estoppel case from each of the 12 judicial circuits. A great resource!
danielle

To Disclose or Not To Disclose? That’s Not Even a Question – Part 2 of 2

By Danielle Gueck-Townsend, Staff Attorney for Kathleen Leavitt (Las Vegas, NV)

“ . . . in those cases where the debtor fails to disclose his or her ability to contribute more to the Chapter 13 plan, what should a trustee do?”In the conclusion, Ms. Townsend discusses post-petition, post-confirmation increases in income.Click here for Part 1

circuitcourt

Sixth Circuit Tackles Administrative Exemption Under FLSA

Attention Trustees: article addresses which employees should be hourly, which can be salary
caution

Sanctions and Irony and Fraud, Oh My!

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From Mortgageorb.com

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From the IRS

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From the CFPB

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From the Justice Department

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gustafson

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Exemptions vs. Income – A Caged Death Match

By The Honorable John P. Gustafson, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Northern District of Ohio (Toledo)
Judge Gustafson has updated his infamous Exemptions vs. Income – A Caged Death Match. First published here in October of 2011, Judge Gustafson has updated this section of the extended outline which can be found in The Toolbox/Staff Attorney.Not a member of the Academy? This outline alone is worth the subscription price. Join NOW.
March 7, 2016
Archives
danielle

To Disclose or Not To Disclose? That’s Not Even a Question – Part 1 of 2

By Danielle Gueck-Townsend, Staff Attorney for Kathleen Leavitt (Las Vegas, NV)

“ . . . in those cases where the debtor fails to disclose his or her ability to contribute more to the Chapter 13 plan, what should a trustee do?”See also item from the news:Eighth Circuit Takes Hard Line on Judicial EstoppelApplying little analysis beyond recitation of bullet points, the Eighth Circuit found that bankruptcy debtors have an obligation to report lawsuits filed during the life of the chapter 13 plan and that failure to do so justifies application of judicial estoppel.

gustafson

Exemptions vs. Income – A Caged Death Match

By The Honorable John P. Gustafson, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Northern District of Ohio (Toledo)
He’s Baaaaaaaaack! Judge Gustafson has updated his infamous Exemptions vs. Income – A Caged Death Match. First published here in October of 2011, Judge Gustafson has updated this section of the extended outline which can be found in The Toolbox/Staff Attorney.Not a member of the Academy? This outline alone is worth the subscription price. Join NOW.
debt

Student Loan Chronicles

Student Loan Update: Claw Back of Student Loans and IDR in Chapter 13

By Richard J. Parker, Parker, Butte & Lane, P.C. (Portland, OR)
RICHPARKERIn this student loan update, Rich Parker brings some excellent new options for your clients struggling with student loan debt.See also in the news items:Law Student Debt and Stress Levels on the Rise, Survey Finds (Not password protected)
irs

From the IRS

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  1. Mark Your Calendars: Health Coverage Information Return Deadlines
    IRS information reporting due dates for insurers, self-insuring employers, other health coverage providers and applicable large employers. This chart can help you understand the filing requirements and the extended 2016 deadlines. (As an employer, you may want to glance at this chart or forward to your office manager.)
  2. Top 10 Tax Tips about Debt Cancellation
  3. Additional Medicare TaxThis item is for you, not your clients.
cfpb

From the CFPB

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cmoran

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Gray Hair and Red Ink – Part 2 of 2

By Cathy Moran, Moran Law Group, Mountain View, CA
Part 2 of Gray Hair and Red Ink delves into overwhelming debt and bankruptcy in a nutshell – and remember this is looking at bankruptcy for someone who is judgment proof.This two-part article is not only informative, but, along with the Elder Checklist, should be utilized in interviewing older clients – without a doubt, a tool that should be shared with your paralegals.Click here for Part 1 of 2
February 29, 2016
Archives
hayes

Thoughts on Justice Antonin Scalia

by M. Jonathan Hayes, Simon Resnik Hayes LLP (Sherman Oaks, CA)

“. . . I have to say I learned more about how law works from Justice Scalia than any other person in my career.”See also:

cmoran

Gray Hair and Red Ink – Part 2 of 2

By Cathy Moran, Moran Law Group, Mountain View, CA
Part 2 of Gray Hair and Red Ink delves into overwhelming debt and bankruptcy in a nutshell – and remember this is looking at bankruptcy for someone who is judgment proof.This two-part article is not only informative, but, along with the Elder Checklist, should be utilized in interviewing older clients – without a doubt, a tool that should be shared with your paralegals.
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presidentseal

From the Justice Department

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wbrown

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

From the Editor – Confirmation

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Even from vacation on the sunny Gulf Coast, Judge Brown identified a case we should all be aware of:

February 22, 2016
Archives
hildebrand

Critical Case Comment

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, Nashville, TN
Student loan creditor is not estopped or otherwise precluded from collecting on a student loan obligation after the debtor receives a discharge in a Chapter 13 case where the student loan creditor had abandoned its claim and returned disbursed funds to the trustee.
wbrown

From the Editor – Confirmation

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Even from vacation on the sunny Gulf Coast, Judge Brown identified a case we should all be aware of:

cmoran

Gray Hair and Red Ink – Part 1 of 2

By Cathy Moran, Moran Law Group, Mountain View, CA

“Along with aches, pains and memory loss, old age often brings with it a cluster of money issues that implicate debtor/creditor law. Spotting and addressing financial issues with elders can be difficult because of our society’s ingrained reticence to discuss money, layered with pride, shame, and confusion.”This two-part article is not only informative, but, along with the Elder Checklist, should be utilized in interviewing older clients – without a doubt, a tool that should be shared with your paralegals.Below is additional current information regarding the special needs of older clients (Not password protected):

viegelahn

Form Changes Outline

Prepared by Mary Viegelahn, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, San Antonio, TX
The ‘Other’ Form Changes Webinar is still a great resource if you and/or your staff haven’t viewed it. This week we are adding an additional tool, a Form Changes Outline which includes tips and explanations of each form change.
debt

MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW – July 20-23 – Philadelphia

Click here for a sneak preview of the NACTT 51st Annual Seminar program . . . year after year, the programs keep getting better and better! We kick off the first day with a discussion on Cyber Crimes as they relate to our industry. You will be on a “Need to Know Basis” with an FBI Supervisory Special Agent who will explain, among other things, bitcoins which appear in the news this week:

Yep, Bitcoin has now entered your professional world; you have to learn what it is – like it or not.

debt

The Next Big Thing…Texas Style

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From the Justice Department

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February 15, 2016
Archives
moran

Creditors of Elders Lie in Wait for the Kids: Why Bankruptcy May Be an Appropriate Choice, Even for the Judgment Proof

By Cathy Moran, Moran Law Group, Mountain View, CA
snakeAs a bankruptcy attorney, you must be a jack-of-all-trades – you must have a working knowledge of tax law, state court collections, domestic relations, probate law, personal injury, corporate law and on and on. ConsiderChapter13.org strives to help you in each of these areas. Over the next few weeks, with the help of Cathy Moran, we will look at the special needs of elder clients who face unique financial issues.
budgethouse

Sixth Circuit BAP to Address Impact of Caulkett in Chapter 13

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United Bank has appealed to the Sixth Circuit BAP, the issue of whether Caulkett extends to lien stripping in chapter 13. The bankruptcy court held that it does not.

See Also:

alcoh

ABA, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Release First National Study On Attorney Substance Use, Mental Health Concerns

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Of 11,278 attorney/participants 20.6% scored at a level consistent with problematic drinking. . . . Of 11,489 participants, 36.4% . . . score consistent with hazardous drinking or possible alcohol abuse or dependence. A significantly higher proportion of women (39.5%) . . . scored consistent with problematic use compared with men (33.7%) . . . A total of 2901 participants (22.6%) reported that they have felt their use of alcohol or other substances was problematic at some point in their lives; of those that felt their use has been a problem, 27.6% reported problematic use manifested before law school, 14.2% during law school, 43.7% within 15 years of completing law school, and 14.6% more than 15 years after completing law school.

The study also looks at drug abuse and mental health issues.

Click here for the study.

tractor

Chapter 12 and Debt Limits

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Several weeks ago we ran an article entitled: Fearing Wave of Bankruptcies, U.S. Corn Belt Wants New Debt Cap Many of you were interested so below is an update . . .

Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Must Be Amended

debt

The Next Big Thing

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Why Does the Government Pursue Student Debtors in Prison? Getting people behind bars to pay back loans is not an easy business.
babyblue

Bluebook and Baby Blue

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The New (And Much Improved) ‘Bluebook’ Caught In The Copyright Cross-Hairs

“War is brewing over the most boring piece of intellectual property imaginable: the “Bluebook,” the 580-page quasi-authoritative source of proper legal citation formats published by the Harvard Law Review . . .”

In a nutshell, Baby Blue is now available in PDF format. HLR is threatening legal action.

Click here for a searchable PDF named Baby Blue

Click here or the icon (right) to order your 20th Edition of THE Bluebook.

Or avoid the choice, utilize The Academy resource and click below:
IN YOUR CITES – A QUICK REFRESHER OF COMMON LEGAL CITATIONS FOR YOUR BANKRUPTCY PRACTICE
By Megan E. Craig, Bayer, Wishman & Leotta (Los Angeles, CA)

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From the Courts

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February 8, 2016
Archives
cuming

§ 1329(a) and Modifying to Surrender

By Brian T. Cumings, Graves, Dougherty, Hearon and Moody (Austin, TX)
“ . . . modifying a plan for the purpose of surrendering collateral is treated by the courts as being either outright forbidden or subject to a burden on the debtor . . .”
megancraig

In Your Cites – A Quick Refresher Of Common Legal Citations For Your Bankruptcy Practice

By Megan E. Craig, Bayer, Wishman & Leotta (Los Angeles, CA)
“New law school graduates and thirty-year veteran practitioners alike can benefit from a quick refresher on proper Bluebook citation. This article reviews proper use of basic case, statute, internet and book citations, including use of short form and signals. It is intended for use as a supplement to the Bluebook for easy reference by practitioners.”
careydalton

Meet the New Trustee

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As of January 1st, Carey Dalton Ebert was appointed Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Eastern District of Texas. Her office is in Plano. She inherited an exceptional staff from Chapter 13 Standing Trustee Janna Countryman, who passed away suddenly last year. . . . click here to read more
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From the Justice Department

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From the CFPB

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CFPB Takes Steps To Improve Checking Account Access – CFPB Concerned that Screening Inaccuracies and Lack of Account Options are Keeping Consumers Out of the Banking System . . . This article deserves a glance – looks like more banking products will be offered to at-risk-for-overdraft customers.
February 1, 2016
Archives
rapoport

Ask Ms. Ps & Qs

By Professor Nancy Rapoport, UNLV
You can’t make this stuff up . . . Indiana Supreme Court approved a consensual 30-day suspension for a lawyer who had advertised that he’d been screwing banks since 1992.
decarlo

Another Arrow in the Quiver of the “Less Than Honest Debtor”?

By Thomas D. DeCarlo, Staff Attorney, Office of David Wm. Ruskin, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit)

“There is little doubt that conversion of non-exempt assets into exempt assets is one aspect of ‘bankruptcy planning’.” Attorney DeCarlo digs deeper into the Hurt case and other aspects of exemption ‘planning’.See Also:Critical Case Comment – “The Bankruptcy Code allows even property fraudulently transferred to be the subject of an exemption.”

ansleyowens

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Tags in on Consumers’ Fight Against Arbitration in the Financial Market Ring

By Ansley Owens, Contributing Writer and Intern for the NACTT Academy (Nashville, TN)
“Consumers continue to challenge the legality and fairness of the increasing number of arbitration clauses found in their financial agreements. The majority of these complaints focus on consumers’ inability to sue businesses through class action lawsuits.”
debt

The Next Big Thing

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From the Courts

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A “View” From The Courtroom: No Snow Day Here

(The ‘snow angel’ is our own Jan Hamilton who made the best of being snowed-in in Washington, D.C. during the NACTT Trustee Only mtg. Photographer: Kelley Skehen)
harvard

‘Free the Law’ Will Provide Open Access To All

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This will be huge for lawyers down the road: Harvard Law School and Ravel Law digitizing entire collection of U.S. case law. California attorneys could be benefiting as early as November.
gustafson

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Section 363 Sales In Chapter 13 Part 1 of 6

Did you know that the Academy ‘Toolbox’ contains many jewels, including a comprehensive outline on § 363 Sales? Prior to his appointment as United States Bankruptcy Judge, John Gustafson prepared several such outlines, all housed under the Toolbox tab.