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Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability by an individual, or business, to pay their creditors. The declaration is known as seeking bankruptcy protection (from creditors) or initiating a bankruptcy filing. Unsecured debts — like credit card balances — are typically in peril in bankruptcy filings. But recent changes to the U.S. bankruptcy code have seen more consumers forced to file Chapter 13, which requires a debt repayment plan, rather than Chapter 7, which effectively wipes out unsecured debt.

Fresh Start

Bankruptcy: A Fresh Start, But at What Cost?

What we’re seeing, recently, in such cases, is that courts are often finding for the creditor – a reversal of the tenor of previous judgments. Attorney Don Maurice wrote back in November of 2014 that “a U.S. Circuit Court decision this summer took an extraordinary step when it held that filing a proof of claim on time barred debt is conduct that violates the FDCPA. At the time, attorneys close to both bankruptcy and FDCPA proceedings warned that it would touch off a very real firestorm in that sector of the ARM industry. That has proven to be quite true.”

Lessons Learned

10 Years Later: What Have We Learned from BAPCPA?

With a 2014 reporting of just over 3 trillion dollars in non-mortgage consumer debt, up from a 2006 total of 2.4 trillion, why do we see continued reduction in bankruptcy filings? Filings have increased each year but have not yet returned to pre-BAPCPA levels. The amount of reported debt may be deceiving however, as 2006 saw a significant change in the reporting of consumer debt. That was the year that student loan debt started being reported separately from other consumer debt. That change is important, because student loan debt is not normally eligible for discharge in a bankruptcy filing. What we see now is a more accurate accounting of the debt that could be eligible for bankruptcy losses. Those figures allowing for inflation and population growth do not show a significant growth in real potential loss.

Credit Report 1

Are You Properly Reporting Bankruptcies to Credit Bureaus?

In May of this year, several of the larger banks were in the news for not correctly reporting debts on credit bureaus that were discharged in bankruptcy. Pursuant to lawsuits, which were filed in White Plains, New York Bankruptcy Court, and investigations by the US Trustee’s Office, the banks were not correctly updating trade-line accounts on consumer’s credit bureaus with information that the debt was discharged in bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy-dictionary

Court Expands FDCPA’s “Least Sophisticated” Standard to Include Attorneys

A long-established exception to the FDCPA’s “least sophisticated consumer” standard has been communications with consumers’ attorneys. Because how could it be argued that an attorney is not “sophisticated?” But a recent Circuit Court ruling opened new ground on that front when it found that some communications with attorneys should be held to the standard.

Bankruptcy-dictionary

Fallout Growing from FDCPA Decision on Proof of Claim on Time-Barred Debt

A U.S. Circuit Court decision this summer took an extraordinary step when it held that filing a proof of claim on time barred debt is conduct that violates the FDCPA. At the time, attorneys close to both bankruptcy and FDCPA proceedings warned that it would touch off a very real firestorm in that sector of the ARM industry. That has proven to be quite true.