Archive for category: Bankruptcy

Stripping liens secured by a second mortgage

When can a debtor strip a second mortgage? A debtor can strip (or remove) a second mortgage when the property’s current value doesn’t cover any amount of the second mortgage. How to strip a second mortgage First the debtor must have the property appraised and provide the appraisal to the court to show proof of […]

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Are you still liable for a spouse’s debt after your spouse files for bankruptcy?

Community Property Rules vs. Common Law Rules Whether or not you are liable for your spouse’s debt depends on whether or not you reside in a “community property state.”  In states that follow community property rules, debt that is incurred by one spouse during the marriage is owed by both spouses.  Likewise, the income of […]

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The Means Test

What is the Means Test? The means test is a six months average of the Debtor’s and spouse’s income, if applicable, divided by six and then multiplied by twelve to compute a hypothetical income over a year.  That income will be used to determine whether there is a presumption of abuse when filing a Chapter 7.  […]

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Reaffirmation Agreements-A necessary evil

What is a reaffirmation agreement? A reaffirmation agreement is an agreement whereby a debtor filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy makes a new promise to pay a pre-petition debt.  Since all of a petitioner’s unsecured debt is discharged in a Chapter 7 and a petitioner may surrender secured debt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy the only way […]

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Do you really need an attorney to file your bankruptcy?

The short simple answer to this question is yes, yes, yes.   The specific reasons are set forth below. Why do you need an attorney to file your bankruptcy petition? Bankruptcy is a complex area of the law.  Bankruptcy law is comprised of a convoluted mix of federal and state laws, case law and local rule.  […]

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When you should reopen a bankruptcy case

Reasons a Debtor Might Want to Reopen a Bankruptcy Case The three most common reasons that a debtor desires to reopen a bankruptcy case are as follows: 1)  Failure to file a pre-discharge credit counseling certificate; 2) Failure to list a creditor or an asset; 3)  Failure to take necessary steps to remove a judgment […]

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Chapter 13 Cramdowns

What is a Chapter 13 Cramdown? A Chapter 13 Cramdown allows you to reduce the balance of a secured loan and pay a lower interest rate on that loan. Most often debtors use the cramdown on vehicles, but if all of the conditions apply it can be used on other secured loans. How does a […]

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Reasonable and Necessary Expenses in a Bankruptcy

Why a court looks at a debtor’s expenses. Two things that a bankruptcy court looks for in a bankruptcy petition are a debtor’s income and expenses. This is important because in order to file a Chapter 7 the debtor must make less than a determined amount for his/or her family size or be unable to pay a minimum […]

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Preparing to File Bankruptcy

Once you have decided to file bankruptcy there is what may seem like a lot of information that your attorney will need from you, both in questionnaire form and in document form. Even if you have not decided to file for bankruptcy yet, but you want to expedite the process if and when you do decide […]

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Bankruptcy and Divorce

Divorce or Bankruptcy-which comes first? Unfortunately, in many circumstances divorce and bankruptcy fall hand in hand. Couples often decide to end their marriage due to financial difficulty and the question becomes should you file bankruptcy before you file for divorce or petition for dissolution or vice versa. The answer really depends on your response to the following […]

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