When “Projected Disposable Income” Means “Actual Disposable Income”—And How U.S. Supreme Court Disagrees

Projected v. Actual (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson The phrase “projected disposable income” is a plan confirmation standard in all reorganization chapters of the Bankruptcy Code for individuals and businesses: Chapter 11—in § 1129(a)(15); Subchapter V—in § 1191(c)(2);          Chapter 12—in § 1225(b)(1); and Chapter 13—in § 1325(b)(1). Inexplicably, three courts (two bankruptcy... Continue Reading →

“Grab What You Can Get, When You Can Get It”: A New Bankruptcy Law Of The Land (Siegel v. U.S. Trustee Program)

Grab what you can get? (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Remember the old saying, “Grab what you can get, when you can get it”? Well . . . that old saying is now the federal law of the land, applying exclusively to bankruptcy laws in Alabama and North Carolina.  Here’s how.  Congress imposed... Continue Reading →

Some Bankruptcy Law History: Debtor Benefits Are Always A Tough Sell (Part III, The Bankruptcy Code)

A bankruptcy courtroom By: Donald L Swanson Bankruptcy benefits for individual debtors are a tough sell—always have been.  That’s because no one likes bankruptcy—unless they need it. But relieving people from debts in unfortunate circumstances is essential to our collective way of life in these United States.  That’s always been true. What follows is the third... Continue Reading →

Some Bankruptcy Law History: Debtor Benefits Are Always A Tough Sell (Part II, Early 1800s to 1978)

An early-days U.S. courtroom (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Bankruptcy benefits for individual debtors are a tough sell—always have been.  That’s because no one likes bankruptcy—unless they need it. But relieving people from debts in unfortunate circumstances is essential to our collective way of life in these United States.  That’s always been true.... Continue Reading →

Some Bankruptcy Law History: Debtor Benefits Are Always A Tough Sell (Part I, Ancient Days to 1803)

Ancient Athens (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Bankruptcy benefits for individual debtors are a tough sell—always have been.  That’s because no one likes bankruptcy—unless they need it. But relieving people from debts in unfortunate circumstances is essential to our collective way of life in these United States.  That’s always been true. What follows... Continue Reading →

“Fiduciary Capacity” Discharge Exception—At U.S. Supreme Court (Spring Valley v. Forrest)

Fiduciary capacity? (Photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson A bankruptcy discharge “does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt-- . . . for fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity.”  11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4). The effect of this “fiduciary capacity” statute is newly before the U.S. Supreme Court on a petition... Continue Reading →

Individual Debtor’s Discharge & An 1885 Precedent At U.S. Supreme Court (Bartwenwerfer v. Buckley)

Precedent for today’s cell phones? By: Donald L Swanson Here are a couple long-standing and foundational policies for the entire bankruptcy system: Bankruptcy laws protect the honest but unfortunate debtor; and Discharge exceptions are to be strictly construed against the objecting creditor and liberally construed in favor of debtor. So, for all my decades of practice... Continue Reading →

Supreme Court Arguments: Can A Party Protected by § 363(m) Get Away With Trickery? (MOAC v. Transform)

A trickster? (Photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson The case before the U.S. Supreme Court is MOAC Mall Holdings LLC v. Transform Holdco LLC, Case No. 21-1270. The bankruptcy question upon which the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari is this: Whether § 363(m) limits the appellate courts’ jurisdiction over any sale order or order... Continue Reading →

No Rescue For Chicago From U.S. Supreme Court—This Time (In re Mance)

Chicago (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Poor Chicago.  Unlike the result for Chicago’s traffic ticket income in Fulton v. Chicago, the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to rescue Chicago in City of Chicago v. Mance (Case No. 22-268; Cert. denied, 11/21/2022).[Fn. 1] Chicago’s Traffic Ticket Income Here’s the deal: Chicago issues three million traffic... Continue Reading →

The “Vanishing” Homestead Exemption—Before The U.S. Supreme Court (Wells v. McCallister)

Vanishing? By: Donald L Swanson The case is Wells v. McCallister, Case No. 21-1448 in the United States Supreme Court.  The question presented is: whether a debtor's homestead exemption, existing on the date of bankruptcy filing, can vanish if the debtor sells the homestead during the bankruptcy and does not promptly reinvest the proceeds in another... Continue Reading →

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