A bankruptcy court today gave one of my bankruptcy clients a $10,000 judgment against one of his creditors for attempting to collect a debt after the entry of the debtor’s discharge. A key part of my client’s success was his detailed documentation of collection letters and calls as well as my own repeated written warnings to the creditor.
After the entry of the Chapter 7 discharge one of the creditors made several collection calls to the client/debtor. I wrote a warning letter to the creditor reminding it of penalties for collection of debts after discharge. The creditor sent bills and letters. I wrote another warning letter. Collection continued.
Seeing my letters being ignored I filed a Motion for sanctions and attorneys fees against the creditor. The creditor representative then wrote a letter of apology promising that there would be no more calls. Even after the apology and promise the creditor continued calling my client and even left a threatening voice mail message.
In court, my client produced “screen shots” from his cell phone showing phone calls from a phone number that matched the creditor’s phone. The judge was also very interested in listening to my client’s recording of the collection voice mail that was recorded with date and time of call. Continue reading
An attorney called me to ask whether he continue a residential eviction after the tenant filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The landlord’s attorney had already obtained a writ of eviction for non-payment of rent. Continue reading
Sometimes a creditor with a cause of action against a corporation will try to “pierce the veil” of the corporation to hold liable the owners of the company if the creditor believes the owners have significant assets. There is a different concept called “reverse piercing” when a creditor will try to attack a corporation and its assets to satisfy a claim initially brought against the individual owners. Continue reading
Bankruptcy courts are split on the issue of whether a tax refund payable to a husband and wife filing a joint return is exempt tenants by entireties property in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Continue reading
There have been many news reports recently about the large amount of student loan debt burdening young people entering the workforce. Most people know that bankruptcy may not discharge student loan debt except in circumstances of “extreme hardship.” . I am often asked by clients or just blog readers for suggestions dealing with large amounts of student loan debt. Continue reading
Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtors who surrender upside down real estate in Chapter 7 bankruptcy sometimes are surprised by liabilities that arise after the bankruptcy filing. A common example is the debtor’s liability for HOA dues that accrue in the months after the bankruptcy petition is filed. Continue reading
Bankruptcy debtors are bound by the information on their bankruptcy petition, and debtors should not assume they can edit financial information to protect assets after the bankruptcy trustee requires the assets to be turned over. Continue reading
The general rule is that a debtor may exempt proceeds from an exempt asset held in the debtor’s bank account so long as he can trace the funds to the exempt asset. Most bankruptcy courts interpret Florida’s asset exemptions to apply to the exempt assets and its proceeds derived from the asset. Continue reading
Many people have suggested buying a car through a small business corporation they own in order to protect the car from personal creditors. One debtor found that this planning back-fired when he filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy because it disqualified him …
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee is supposed to gather and sell all non-exempt personal property of significant value. Sometimes there are practical considerations that lead most trustees to leave valuable assets for the debtor. Continue reading