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Articles Tagged with Court of Appeals

Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I keep my house if I file bankruptcy?”

For would-be homeowners who are struggling to secure a loan, seller financing can be an alternate path to home ownership. It can seem like a no-brainer for individuals with spotty credit histories eager to have a house to call their own: monthly mortgage payments directly to the old owner in exchange for the keys to your new home! The bank is cut out as the middleman!

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?”

A recent bankruptcy case out the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dealt with the increasingly thorny issue of student loan debt. Sadly, the Court ultimately ruled against the debtor in this case, holding that he had failed to make a good faith effort to repay his debt under the Brunner test. So what is the Brunner test and what impact does it have on a bankruptcy case? To find out more, keep reading.

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?”


Thought your legal bills were high? Copper-mining company Ascaro LLC has litigated its $5 million legal tab with law firm Baker Botts all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The high court will decide if and how much Ascaro has to pay.

Dollar signs Mecklenburg Debt Lawyer Charlotte Chapter 7 AttorneyThe dispute between Ascaro and Baker Botts, at its essence, is about whether Baker Botts can be compensated for defending its own fees.

Bankruptcy courts have the final say on how much advisers called in to work out financial restructuring details in a bankruptcy case get paid. Since the money used to pay advisers could be used to pay creditors, anyone—including debtors and creditors—can challenge fee awards.

Baker Botts represented Ascaro in what the Wall Street Journal called a “contentious Chapter 11 case” that ended with a $6 million judgment against Ascaro for improperly transferring a high-value asset to a parent company shortly before it declared bankruptcy. After the judgment, Ascaro agreed to pay its creditors in full.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?”


In a case watched closely by bankruptcy insiders, the Second Circuit United States Court of Appeals issued a ruling on Monday that appears to restrict the jurisdiction of United States Bankruptcy Courts.

Court of Appeals Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorney Mecklenburg Chapter 7 LawyerThe case involved the use of assets from a 401(k) retirement plan administered pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) “to pay for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee and professionals retained by the trustee.”

The bankruptcy trustee—Kenneth Kirschenbaum—engaged lawyers and accountants to assist in disposing of assets that were the property of employees of Robert Plan Corp. The Bethpage, New York-based automobile insurance company originally filed for bankruptcy in 2008.

Fees generated by Kirschenbaum and the lawyers and accountants exceeded the amount of assets included in Robert Plan Corp.’s bankruptcy estate. Kirschenbaum therefore sought to use assets from the 401(k) plans to pay for the legal and financial advice rendered in the case.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?”


A long-dead Playboy playmate has come back to haunt the United States Supreme Court, and soon she may be haunting a bankruptcy judge near you.

Anna Nicole Mecklenburg Bankruptcy Lawyer Charlotte Debt AttorneyIn 2011, the Supreme Court ruled in a case involving former playmate Anna Nicole Smith that bankruptcy judges only have the power to make final rulings on issues that stem from the bankruptcy itself. Before that, bankruptcy courts considered only “core” bankruptcy matters, while federal district courts heard “non-core” bankruptcy matters. That division of labor had been prescribed by Congress.

Smith—whose real name was Vickie Lynn Hogan Marshall—died in 2007, but before she did, she married oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall. At the time of their marriage in 1994, Marshall was 89-years old; Smith was only 26. Their marriage lasted until Marshall’s death in August 1995.

Marshall’s will left his estate to a trust; both Smith and Marshall’s eldest son petitioned to have Marshall’s will overturned. Their legal fight continued even after both Smith and Marshall’s eldest son died. Ultimately the Supreme Court ended Smith’s claim to Marshall’s millions, but the larger ramifications of the high court’s decision in Stern v. Marshall continue to reverberate.

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