Garnishment Started Get Your Money Back

Sometimes you can’t get to a bankruptcy lawyer in time to stop a garnishment from starting.  This probably feels like a terrible situation, because all of a sudden you don’t know how you’re going to pay  your rent, let alone hire a lawyer.  Don’t worry.  If you have a job, then you have a solution. Affording Bankruptcy After the Garnishment … Continue reading »

Taxes in Bankruptcy

I hear questions about discharging income taxes in bankruptcy all the time.  In Washington State, there is no personal income tax; so this discussion only involves federal income tax that is owed to the IRS.  Back taxes can be a huge burden, especially with penalties and interest.  You can use bankruptcy to take care of debts to the IRS. I … Continue reading »

Shortsale Information – Areas of Risk

A short sale sounds like a great way to take care of a foreclosure, right?  Well you need to be careful.  Many of my bankruptcy clients are somewhere in the short sale process.  If you even think that you might need a bankruptcy, make sure to pay attention to these areas of concern: First – It Could Prevent You From … Continue reading »

Denial of Discharge Defense – Advice of Counsel

A denial of discharge adversary proceeding seeks to take away your entire discharge.  If the trustee is successful, not only do you lose the discharge in this case but you cannot discharge any of these debts in a future bankruptcy.  As one lawyer put it, it makes you a financial dead man walking.  This is why it is so important … Continue reading »

Can I Give/Sell/Deed This Property To . . . .

Whenever someone has some property and too much debt, they want to know how they can protect the property from creditors.  The general rule is that you can use exemptions.  But sometimes, the property does not fit into an exemption category or it exceeds the allowed exemption.  Your first instinct may be to sell the property or to give it … Continue reading »

Are You A Small Business Debtor

When a business, usually a corporation, files bankruptcy it must state whether it is a small business debtor.  Most people think of small business meaning the number of employees or the total revenue, but in bankruptcy, it is based on how much debt you have.   If your business has less than $2,343,300 in noncontingent liquidated debt, then you are a … Continue reading »

What’s Your Property Worth in Bankruptcy

When I prepare a bankruptcy petition, one of the most important components is making sure that property is accurately valued.  This is because exemptions and cram down are based on asset values.  An exemption is what allows you to keep property after bankruptcy.  If property is too valuable, it can be liquidated to pay back your unsecured creditors in a … Continue reading »

Amending Bankruptcy Schedules

All good bankruptcy lawyers will tell you that it is absolutely critical for a debtor’s petition to be accurate and complete when it is filed with the court.  This is because of the very high penalties attached to filing an incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading bankruptcy petition.  These penalties include dismissal with prejudice to refiling, denial of the discharge, and even … Continue reading »

What If The Bank Refuses to Foreclose?

In re Heck, 2011 WL 133015 (Bankr. N.D.Cal. 2011) This is a short decision, but nonetheless an important illustration of one of the many struggles that consumer debtors face.  When a debtor surrenders their house in bankruptcy, it does not mean that the bank will take it back right away.  Usually this is a good thing for debtors, because it … Continue reading »