Friday, August 1, 2014

Senator Warren vs. private student loan lenders:

Video of the heated exchange between Sen. Warren and the President of the Consumer Bankers Assocition during a July 31, 2014 hearing of the Senate Banking Committee: HEARING VIDEO

Monday, July 15, 2013


Oregon's governor just signed SB 396 into law. As of July 1, 2013, Oregon consumer bankruptcy debtors may now opt for the federal exemptions in section 522 of the bankruptcy code. 

It is important to note that a debtor may only select one exemption scheme: Oregon or federal. A debtor may not mix exemptions. Several factors may play a role when selecting either set of exemptions, so it is important to consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney. 

Among those exemptions now available to Oregon debtors, the federal wildcard exemption may be the most significant. It allows the debtor(s) to apply the unused portion of their homestead exemption to protect equity in any property up to $12,725 in value. The exemption is doubled for married couples.

By contrast, Oregon's wildcard exemption is only $400.

From my experience handling consumer bankruptcies in SW Washington and NE Oregon, the larger federal wildcard exemption will reduce the number of chapter 7 asset cases, since many of those cases in the past entailed the trustee's liquidation of small sums from tax refunds, bank accounts, personal property equity, etc. The generous federal wildcard exemption will make such small-dollar cases a rarity.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tips on cleaning up your credit report

"Disputing credit report errors can be complicated and frustratingly slow. But it is also a necessary task for Americans who want to avoid paying more on loans and credit cards for a mistake they did not make." CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Attention Sonics fans

Seven percent of the Sacramento Kings is controlled by a California Bankruptcy Court since one of the team's owners is in Chapter 11. The Chapter 11 trustee is seeking court approval to hire lawyers to review the Kings sale to Seattle buyers. Here's the article from the Sacramento Bee: LINK.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Argentine debt trouble

Apparently Argentina’s debt troubles are so bad its president cannot travel in the presidential plane for fear creditors will repossess it from foreign tarmacs. Click here for more.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chapter 7 vs. 13

Can I file a Chapter 7 or will I be required to pay debt over time through a Chapter 13? While many factors play a role in answering this question, here are two important calculations:
  • If your debts are primarily consumer debts, and your family's income is over the median annual income for a family of its size, you are probably required to file Chapter 13.  Here is a link to the U.S. Trustee's state-by-state table of median income: MEDIAN INCOME TABLE, This table is adjusted periodically. More goes into calculating your eligibility than the median income amount, but the Trustee's table is a good starting point.
  • Have you filed bankruptcy before? You are not eligible for a discharge in a Chapter 7 if you filed a prior Chapter 7 in the last 8 years, or a prior Chapter 13 in the last 6 years (unless you paid most/all of your debt in that prior Chapter 13). Whereas, you can receive a discharge in a Chapter 13 if you filed a Chapter 7 more than 4 years ago. Keep in mind that you can still file a Chapter 13 even if 4 years has not elapsed; you simply would not be eligible for a discharge. You might not care though since having the protection of the Bankruptcy Court may be more important to you than receiving a discharge.