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Bankruptcy Blog

Where Should My Bankruptcy Case Be Filed?

This is one of those questions that has a very easy answer, for most people. But then can get more complicated for others. I'll start by making clear that this blog post is about people filing ...
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Timing Issues for Passing the Means Test

WHAT'S THE MEANS TEST? The means test determines whether or not you qualify for Chapter 7 "straight bankruptcy." Those who don't pass the test are considered in the eyes of the law ...
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The Risks of Using a Paralegal to File for Bankruptcy

DO I NEED LEGAL ADVICE WHEN DECIDING TO FILE BANKRUPTCY? The decision whether or not to file bankruptcy is your first step towards your entire financial future. You need to know the consequences one ...
Continue reading "The Risks of Using a Paralegal to File for Bankruptcy" »

Debts Caused By Driving Under the Influence

CAN I WRITE OFF CLAIMS AGAINST ME FROM A VEHICLE ACCIDENT? When you think of debts to be written off through bankruptcy, you likely think of credit cards, medical bills, vehicle loans, and ...
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Recent Credit Card Charges and Cash Advances in Bankruptcy

Most debts are discharged—legally, permanently written off—if you file a consumer bankruptcy case. But there are some exceptions. In today's blog post I address one kind of debt that ...
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After Acquired Interest Not Part of The Bankruptcy Estate

When you file a bankruptcy case, everything you own becomes your "bankruptcy estate." In a large majority of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases everything in the "estate" is ...
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Chapter 13 Plan Can Delay Payments to Secured Creditor If No Objection

A very recent Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel ("BAP") ruling gave debtors a little more leverage in how they pay their secured debts in a Chapter 13 "adjustment of debts" ...
Continue reading "Chapter 13 Plan Can Delay Payments to Secured Creditor If No Objection" »

No Discharge Needed to Lien Strip a Mortgage

In a recent case called In re Boukatch, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit (which includes California and much of the western part of the country) was faced with whether a ...
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When Can I Buy a Home After Bankruptcy?

Being able to purchase a home after bankruptcy is a major concern for many families. There is a lot of misinformation that has created the impression that filing for bankruptcy will make it nearly ...
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When Can I Buy a Home After A Foreclosure?

There are many misconceptions about how long you have to wait after a home foreclosure to be able to buy and finance a home. You may have heard that you have to wait 7 years. Some people even believe ...
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Lien Stirpping Allowed in Chapter 20

In a recent case called In re Boukatch, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit (which includes California and much of the western part of the country) was faced with whether a ...
Continue reading "Lien Stirpping Allowed in Chapter 20" »

Employer Can Discharge Debt Owed to Employee Benefits Trust

The Bankruptcy Code says that a debtor cannot discharge (legally write off) debts arising from the debtor's "fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity." See 11 U.S.C. ...
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Automatic Stay and Multiple Bankruptcy Filings

WHAT'S THE "AUTOMATIC STAY" AND WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT The "automatic stay" stops creditors from pursuing you and your assets as of the moment your bankruptcy case is filed, ...
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10 Ways Bankruptcy Solves Tax Problems

If you owe a lot of income taxes, you may have wondered whether bankruptcy can help you deal with this special kind of debt. There's a good chance that you have misconceptions about whether and ...
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In Bankruptcy, Is Jointly Titled Property Community Property?

THE COMMUNITY PROPERTY DILEMMA Let's flesh out the question stated in the title: In California, a community property state, if a married couple buys an asset during their marriage in which the ...
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Chapter 13 Can Help Your Co-Signer and Protect Them

WHAT ARE THE SPECIAL CHALLENGES WITH CO-SIGNED DEBTS? Co-signed debts present a number of issues if you are thinking about filing bankruptcy. First, there are risks in paying co-signed debts (or ...
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Discriminating in Favor of Co-Signed Debts

In a recent blog post I said that a Chapter 13 payment Plan can pay a co-signed debt in full, including interest, while paying little or nothing to the other "general unsecured" creditors. ...
Continue reading "Discriminating in Favor of Co-Signed Debts" »

Can Creditors Pursue Me for Debts of My Deceased Spouse?

Because California is a “community property” state, in general both spouses are legally liable on the debts incurred by either spouse during a marriage. This means that, again in general, ...
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Debt Owed by Contractor to Homeowners Was Fraud and Non-Dischargeable

As I regularly review court cases to keep up on the law, I often run into ones that provide a good way to help my readers understand some important aspect of bankruptcy. Today's blog post does ...
Continue reading "Debt Owed by Contractor to Homeowners Was Fraud and Non-Dischargeable" »

Avoiding an Administrative Freeze on Your Bank Account

WHAT'S AN "ADMINISTRATIVE FREEZE" OF A BANK ACCOUNT? I discussed bank administrative freezes in a very recent article called Court of Appeals Allows "Administrative Freeze" . ...
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Can Stores Enforce Their Credit Card Security Agreements in California

In a recent blog post I addressed the question, "Can Stores Repossess What You Bought with the Store Card?" The basic answer was that they can if their store credit card contract gave them a ...
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Court of Appeals Allows "Administrative Freeze"

AREN'T CREDITORS USUALLY PREVENTED FROM TOUCHING YOUR BANK ACCOUNT ONCE YOU FILE BANKRUPTY? Yes. The powerful federal law called the "automatic stay" strictly forbids your creditors from ...
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A Chapter 13 Plan Can Help You Deal with Secured Personal Property

The Advantages under Chapter 13 of Dealing with Creditors Secured by Personal Property Collateral This last summer I wrote in this Bankruptcy Blog about " Reaffirming Personal Property Other Than ...
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Discharging Taxes - What Does it Mean to Willfully Evade Taxes?

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO “WILLFULLY. . . EVADE OR DEFEAT” AN INCOME TAX? A couple months ago the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (which serves all of California and much of the West) ruled that ...
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Can Stores Repossess What You Bought With The Store Card?

Do Credit Card and “Store Card” Creditors Have a Right to Repossess What You Bought on Those Cards After You File Bankruptcy? A few months ago I wrote about “ Reaffirming Personal ...
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