Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “I’m owed money by someone that filed bankruptcy. What can I do now?”
Most people understandably assume that if you own a business, whatever it is, you have the ability to seek bankruptcy protection if the need should arise. After all, the bankruptcy code doesn’t allow for judgments on the societal value of the business, all companies are seen as equally able to seek the protection of the bankruptcy system.
Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy?”
Most people see filing for bankruptcy protection as a chance to start clean and are often excited to finally begin putting their financial troubles behind them. Many people would assume that once the bankruptcy court accepts your petition and puts you on a path towards discharge, the hard work is behind you. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, especially for those filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.
Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question “Can I get rid of student loans by declaring bankruptcy?”
It’s long been understood that bankruptcy protections do not apply to the vast majority of student loan debt. The decision was made years ago to shield student lending companies from loss, meaning students are often locked into a lifetime of struggling to pay mounting school-related debts. A recent case out of a bankruptcy court in New York appears to chip away at that protection, at least in one rather limited circumstance.
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 “Can I get rid of student loans by declaring bankruptcy?”
The Obama Administration unveiled on Tuesday what it dubbed a “Student Aid Bill of Rights.” Among the proposals the administration is considering is a push for legislation that could enable borrowers to discharge student-loan debt through personal bankruptcy.
Currently student-loan debt can be discharged in bankruptcy, it’s just really hard to do.
According to the Wall Street Journal, at least 713 people tried to discharge their student-loan debt last year. The Journal knows that because in order to discharge student-loan debt, a debtor has to file a lawsuit. Lawyers taking on a student-loan discharge attempts “typically charge several thousands [of] dollars” up front for an uncertain result, according to the Journal.
In order to succeed at getting student-loan debt discharged, a lawyer must convince a judge that the debtor will never be able to afford one’s monthly payments. Bankruptcy lawyers told the Journal that bankruptcy judges have issued a wide range of rulings in student-loan debt discharge actions, muddying the legal landscape with uncertainty.
Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?”
Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, and as such, it wants to treat its debt like Detroit and other stateside municipalities—and like Uncle Sam himself. That is, it wants to spend into oblivion—or to the brink of bankruptcy—and then use bankruptcy or quasi-bankruptcy to bail itself out.
The island’s government agencies have amassed public debt to the tune of $73 billion. The woes are so great that political leaders are worried the commonwealth will be unable to meet its short-term debt obligations, which could jeopardize even basic “public-safety responsibilities” to the island’s 3.5 million residents, according to Bloomberg News.
Puerto Rico’s electric-power authority, Prepa, was working on a restructuring plan that could have caused bondholders to sustain substantial losses. Prepa is not the only struggling public utility, however, and Bart Mosley, co-president of Trident Municipal Research in New York, told Bloomberg that the island nation may soon be forced to undertake “something that looks like sovereign debt-restructuring at some point with the general-obligation debt.”
Last summer, the commonwealth passed what was, in essence, a local bankruptcy law, which provided the struggling utilities more leverage in its negotiations with creditors. On Feb. 6 of this year, however, a federal court struck down the law on the basis that it violated the United States Constitution because it allowed a state government to modify municipal debt.
Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is a bankruptcy discharge?”
Humberto Soto thought the $6,411 Chase credit card debt he incurred before his 2012 bankruptcy had been discharged, but when the 51-year-old former hospital worker tried to rent an apartment in January, a housing agency ran his credit and spotted the debt.
Soto called JPMorgan Chase, who held the debt. Chase told Soto he either had to pay or else lose the apartment. Soto called his lawyer, who called the housing agency. Soto got the apartment, and he did not have to pay Chase.
Soto’s experience is playing out by the thousand across the United States, with large financial institutions failing to extinguish debts that federal judges have ordered discharged in bankruptcy courts. By keeping the debts alive, banks are “essentially forcing borrowers to make payments on bills that they do not legally owe,” according to the New York Times. The Times calls the not-dead-yet debts “zombie” debts.
The banks say they comply with all federal laws regarding debt collection and sale of debt holdings, but lawyers in the United States Trustee Program are investigating Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and General Electric’s financing arm, alleging that the institutions are effectively holding consumer credit reports hostage until borrowers pay—even borrowers whose debts have been discharged through bankruptcy.