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Racial Disparity in the Consumer Bankruptcy System


Are African-Americans not getting the "fresh start" they deserve when filing for bankruptcy? According to a new study entitled "Race, Attorney Influence, and Bankruptcy Chapter Choice," by Jean Braucher of the University of Arizona and Dov Cohen and Robert Lawless, both of the University of Illinois, African Americans file Chapter 13 at higher rates than all other races.

Ho, Ho, ...Hum? Make the Most of Your Holiday Downtime


You’re stuck at the office but things have slowed to a crawl. The phone’s not ringing and you’ve already updated your Facebook page. What to do?

Surrendering Property in a Chapter 13 Plan


In the past, our firm, Acclaim Legal Services, mainly filed Chapter 13 bankruptcies to stop foreclosure sales and give borrowers the opportunity to cure outstanding mortgage arrearages. More and more, we are seeing clients choosing to surrender their property under the Chapter 13 plan due to severely declined house values. Chapter 7 may seem like the obvious choice when surrender of property is the goal, however, in many circumstances an individual may not be eligible for Chapter 7 (e.g., too much income, prior Ch. 7 within 8 years) or their overall circumstances may dictate that a Chapter 13 is more appropriate (e.g., non-exempt property exists and client seeks to avoid liquidation; substantial priority debt exists that the debtor needs an opportunity to pay as it would be non-dischargeable in Ch. 7; debtor seeks to reorganize other secured debts such as a vehicle while surrendering his or her home).

Homeland Soldiers Get Extended Bankruptcy Assistance


On November 29, H.R. 2192: National Guard and Reservist Debt Relief Act of 2011 was overwhelmingly passed in the House 407-1. The law will extend the exemption for an additional 4-year period, from the application of the means-test presumption of abuse under Chapter 7, qualifying members of reserve components of the Armed Forces and members of the National Guard who, after September 11, 2001, are called to active duty or to perform a homeland defense activity for not less than 90 days.

Bankruptcy Code on the Go - Free


Do you have an Amazon Kindle or similar E-Reader? Maybe now’s the time to add one to your Christmas or Hanukkah list. The University of Illinois College of Law has assembled the full U.S. Bankruptcy Code from public domain government materials and it available to download as a book for free through the website creditslips.org.

Start Fresh Today is a Hit at NACBA in Colorado Springs

Start Fresh Today at NACBA

Last week, Start Fresh Today made its way from the sunny beaches of South Florida to the crisp mountain air of Colorado Springs for the NACBA Fall Workshop.

Florida Foreclosure Process Delayed by Bankruptcy Trustees?


The real estate website MortgageOrb is reporting that a Florida provider of default legal services is sounding the alarm on a new bankruptcy practice that he says could delay the foreclosure process in the state.

Bankruptcies Drop As Consumers Still Struggle


The September 2011 American Bankruptcy Institute report showed fewer individuals filed for bankruptcy protection in September holding back on spending, household debt and other borrowing.

Personal Property May Apply to Homestead Exemption


A panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the homestead exemption applies to proceeds from personal property sold with a debtor’s house unless the money was segregated from the sale or was used to pay off creditors.

More College Grads Filing for Bankruptcy


Historically, the typical personal bankruptcy filer has been low-income and under-educated. But over the past five years, financial distress has affected more and more people with college degrees.

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