Congress Decided to Punish Consumer Debtors and Failed Entrepreneurs in BAPCPA — This is Terrible Policy!

By: Donald L. Swanson U.S. politicians love to talk about helping poor people—unless, that is, the poor owe money that can’t be repaid. U.S. politicians also love to talk about helping small businesses and entrepreneurs—unless, that is, the small business or entrepreneur owes money that can’t be repaid. When uncollectible debts are involved, politicians turn surly... Continue Reading →

A Study on Effects of “Apology” on Plan Confirmation in Consumer Bankruptcies

By: Donald L. Swanson “Using a sample of U.S. bankruptcy judges,” this study “asks whether a bankrupt consumer improves her situation by apologizing for breaching her promises.” From a 2013 “Bankruptcy Apologies“ study by two professors from the University of Illinois College of Law [Fn. 1]. An “apology” can be a factor (often a decisive one)... Continue Reading →

“Undue Hardship” Discharge — The Top Priority for Student Loan Solutions

By:  Donald L. Swanson The student loan crisis and potential legislation to solve it are in the news these days.  Lots of ideas are bandied about on what legislation might look like. Top Priority There is a top priority for such legislation that dwarfs all others.  The number one priority, bar none (and it’s not... Continue Reading →

Student Loans: The Modern-Day Debtor’s Prison (A “Certainty of Hopelessness” Standard for Discharge?!) and a Tax Glitch

By: Donald L Swanson A student loan cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, unless the loan “would impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor’s dependents.” --11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8) So, what qualifies as “undue hardship” under § 523(a)(8)? --You might think that an, “I can’t pay both rent and child care, let alone student... Continue Reading →

U.S. Supreme Court: Stale Claims, Attorneys and Trustees in Chapter 13 & Dissent’s Call for Congress to Overrule (Midland Funding v. Johnson)

By Donald L. Swanson The case is Midland Funding, LLC v. Johnson, Supreme Court Case No. 16-348 (decided May 15, 2017).   It’s about creditors filing proofs of stale claims (i.e., claims barred by statute of limitations) in Chapter 13 cases. The Facts Aleida Johnson files Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Then, Midland files a proof of claim... Continue Reading →

Student Loan Crisis: High-Priced Colleges Support Beautiful Campuses (and Other Luxuries) on the Backs of their Students

By:  Donald L. Swanson “Back when I was in school . . .” This is a tired-old phrase, usually followed by tales of hardship. The Olden Days But here’s an opposite twist:  Back when I was in college (during the 1970s), you could actually pay your way through, with little-to-no debt, by working part-time jobs... Continue Reading →

Why Don’t Consumer Cases Mediate?

By: Donald L. Swanson Mediation is firmly entrenched as a dispute resolution tool in bankruptcy.  Mediation is commonly and regularly used throughout the bankruptcy system.  And mediation’s value in bankruptcy is almost-universally recognized. A Mediation Gap But there are wide gaps in bankruptcy where mediation is still under-utilized.  One of the gaps is consumer cases. ... Continue Reading →

Mortgage Modification Mediation (“MMM”) . . . A Program Worth Adopting

By: Matthew Gillespie For many, if not most of us, our homes are our biggest assets. The inverse of this is also true – our mortgages are often our biggest liabilities. It makes sense, then, that in Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcies, a debtor’s mortgage can have a major impact on the success (or lack thereof)... Continue Reading →

Bankruptcy Mediation for the Little Guy – Part 2: Nebraska in the Lead

By Matthew Gillespie In my previous post, I discussed the Nebraska’s Federal Practice Fund: a fund based on attorney admission fees that, inter alia, allows parties in bankruptcy proceedings to apply for funds to pay their portion of mediation fees when they’re unable to pay themselves. Nebraska’s District Court adopted this measure under the umbrella... Continue Reading →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: