Bankruptcy After Divorce

Divorce is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy.  The question is always whether it is better to file bankruptcy before a divorce or after a divorce.  There is no right answer, because it depends on your individual situation.  I have previously written about the benefits of bankruptcy before divorce.  However it might not be possible for you to file … Continue reading »

Cancer and Bankruptcy – Or How Debt Kicks You When You’re Down

A study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that cancer patients are 2.5 times more likely to file bankruptcy than people without cancer.  The study was published in the journal Health Affairs.  The risk is even higher for younger cancer patients.  This confirms what bankruptcy lawyers have known for a long time: many people don’t slide … Continue reading »

Bankruptcy and Tax Resolution: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

I’ve been practicing bankruptcy law for a while now, and I’ve been surprised at how many very good bankruptcy lawyers either give bad tax advice or incomplete tax advice.  I’m also surprised at how many of these good lawyers send clients out the door, because the client has a tax issue that can’t be solved in bankruptcy. Tax debt is … Continue reading »

Post-Petition Property Transfers

Post-Petition Property Transfers Every so often clients will ask me if they can sell, give away, deed, or transfer property after their bankruptcy is filed.  I’m glad that they ask, because the consequences for a prohibited post-petition property transfer are steep. Let’s quickly review how property works in bankruptcy.  Once you file bankruptcy, all property becomes property of the bankruptcy … Continue reading »

Motion To Abandon Property Of The Estate

The motion to abandon property of the estate is one of the most important parts of motion practice in bankruptcy.  It is particularly important in chapter 7 bankruptcy, because the chapter 7 trustee takes control of all property of the estate.  Additionally, it is important to understand how it works when you omit property from your bankruptcy schedules. Let’s start … Continue reading »

Short Sale By Chapter 7 Trustee

In the Western District of Washington – encompassing Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, and Bellingham – it is fairly common for the chapter 7 trustee to conduct a short sale on a debtor’s real property, if a few conditions are met.  The chapter 7 trustee might conduct a short sale on a debtor’s real property if: The debtor is in default on … Continue reading »

US Trustee Suspends Random Audits Indefinitely

The US Trustee’s Office has indefinitely suspended its random audit program effective March 2013.  The random audit program was one of the fraud prevention measures added in the 2005 BAPCPA amendments to the US Bankruptcy Code.  (Wall Street Journal)  The audit program has also been a significant cause of stress and concern for many of my clients. The purpose of … Continue reading »

Lessons From the Casey Anthony Bankruptcy

The Casey Anthony bankruptcy is a good illustration of the two immutable rules of bankruptcy: Everything can be monetized. If it can be monetized, the chapter 7 trustee will liquidate it. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, the Casey Anthony bankruptcy case is as follows.  Casey Anthony was accused of murdering her … Continue reading »