Wednesday, January 15, 2020

What Happens To Repossessed Property Upon Filing Bankruptcy


So, you had some personal property repossessed.  Now what.  Can you get it back?  If so, what do you have to do?  When do you have to do it?  Do you need an attorney?

Well, the answer is, like in so many cases, "It Depends."  I know that response may sound outdated, but in the bankruptcy world, it is anything but outdated.


How does this work with bankruptcy?

When one files bankruptcy, there is something that automatically comes into play without the need for a court order, referred to as an "automatic stay".  It stays creditors from initiating collection efforts or proceeding with collection efforts.  Some appellant courts have interpreted this as meaning repossessed property had to be returned to the debtor (with some exceptions) automatically, or the creditor could face sanctions for violating the automatic stay.  This is the holding in the Second, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits.

To the contrary, the Tenth Circuit and the District of Columbia have interpreted the code provision as meaning the property may have to be returned, or face sanctions, only after a court order has been entered.

So, which of the courts are correct?

Hopefully we will soon find out.  This is a question that is before the Supreme Court of the United States, for which has been granted a Writ of Certiorari in December of last year, in City of Chicago, Illinois vs. Fulton (19-357).


This issue has been extensively written about for over a decade.  If you have property that has been seized by a creditor, I highly recommend you seek the advice of a competent bankruptcy attorney in your area for advise ASAP, as your rights may be negatively effected with the passage of time.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Phones Down..Now Back UP!!

To All My Clients, both current and future, and those wonderful solicitors:

I have Comcast, and for the 2nd time in several years, our phone system has gone down, with no notice other than our phone simply stopped ringing.  Well, I am not going to make a soap box out of this, but I am happy to announce that

as of YESTERDAY afternoon, my PHONES ARE BACK UP and running again.

I extend my oligopolies for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone, and I thank you very much for your patience and understanding.

My phone number is still 904-652-0060.

Of course, you can always contact me by email (no, the email did not go down) at dgrange@grangelaw.org.

Dinkins Grange

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Capital One Compromise (Hack): Now What?

In the aftermath of Capital One’s announcement on Monday of the compromise of approximately 100 million credit card applications, exposing roughly 77,000 bank account numbers and 140,000 Social Security numbers, many clients may have questions and concerns.
What can you do? Here are some tips disseminated by hubwallet:
  1. Sign up for 24/7 credit monitoring – This way, you’ll find out immediately if someone tries to open an account in your name.
  2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication – Use another layer of protection when logging into your email account and financial websites.
  3. A Freeze Is Better Than an Alert – It probably isn’t necessary in this case, but if you really want to protect yourself from fraudulent borrowing, you can freeze your accounts with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This will help prevent anyone but you from accessing them, thus making it problematic to obtain a loan. A fraud alert, in contrast, doesn’t actually do much. 
  4. Suppress Fraudulent Info – Get rid of negative info resulting from identity theft. 
  5. Never Respond to Unsolicited Requests for Information – While this is obvious, it still happens. Never answer if you didn’t ask to be contacted.

This Capital One case is still fresh, and no one yet knows what the fallout will be from this breach. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the breach, you can place them in the comments below, but please DO NOT include any personal information!!

Of course, as always, the preferred way to get questions answered is to contact a competent consumer advocacy attorney of you choice. Many bankruptcy and foreclosure defense attorneys fall into this category.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Creditor Trying To Collect After Bankuptcy Discharge: Taggart v. Lorenzen


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










A recent Supreme Court decision gives some further insight into what conduct constitutes a violation of a discharge order.  Normally, the discharge order from the Court prevents creditors from trying to collect discharged debts from the debtors.  Doing so can lead to civil contempt.  But what happens if a creditor does not believe its debt was discharged?  Does it matter if the creditor's belief is unreasonable?  Is the standard objective or subjective?

The Supreme Court of the United States recently addressed these issues in the case of Taggart v. Lorenzen.

Justice Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court.


At the conclusion of a bankruptcy proceeding, a bankruptcy court typically enters an order releasing the debtor from liability for most prebankruptcy debts.  This order, known as a discharge order, bars creditors from attempting to collect any debt covered by the order.  The question presented here concerns the criteria for determining when a court may hold a creditor in civil contempt for attempting to collect a debt that a discharge order has immunized from collection.  

The Bankruptcy Court, in holding the creditors here in civil contempt, applied a standard that it described as akin to “strict liability” based on the standard’s expansive scope.  It held that civil contempt sanctions are permissible, irrespective of the creditor’s beliefs, so long as the creditor was “aware of the discharge” order and “intended the actions which violate[d]” it.  The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, however, disagreed with that standard.  Applying a subjective standard instead, it concluded that a court cannot hold a creditor in civil con-tempt if the creditor has a “good faith belief ” that the discharge order “does not apply to the creditor’s claim.”  That is so, the Court of Appeals held, “even if the creditor’s belief is unreasonable.”   

We conclude that neither a standard akin to strict liability nor a purely subjective standard is appropriate.   Rather, in our view, a court may hold a creditor in civil contempt for violating a discharge order if there is no fair ground of doubt as to whether the order barred the creditor’s conduct. In other words, civil contempt may be appropriate if there is no objectively reasonable basis for concluding that the creditor’s conduct might be lawful. [Citations Omitted]
--- So, if you have been contacted by a creditor following the entry of a discharge order, you should contact a competent bankruptcy attorney to review your case, and determine whether or not civil contempt proceedings are warranted.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Bankruptcy and Tax Day, April 15


TAX RETURN TIME, Now What?
 
Chapter 13. 

I just received a notice from the Chapter 13 Trustee in the Jacksonville Division of the Middle District of Florida reminding me that taxes are due to be filed no later than April 15.  Of course, we all know taxes are due on the 15th.  So what's the big deal?

The Trustee was pointing out that a copy of the tax return, or a copy of the extension form, is due to the Trustee by the end of the day on the 15th.  The greatest impact this will have is on the debtor awaiting confirmation of their Chapter 13 Plan.  The Trustee will not agree to allow confirmation unless they have a copy of the tax return, or extension form, as filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

I suspect this will also effect confirmed cases, as each debtor is required to submit either a copy of the return, or a copy of the extension, as filed with the IRS, or a affidavit stating he or she was not required to file a tax return for the current year.

Chapter 7.

While I have not directly received a notice recently from the Chapter 7 Trustees reminding me to notify my clients, each of the Chapter 7 Trustees makes it well known at the Meeting of Creditors, and through written correspondence, that they need a copy of the tax return when filed, and not to spend any of funds from a tax refund until after notifying the Trustee, as some of the tax refund proceeds may me property of the bankruptcy estate.

Not In Middle District of Florida?

This is what happens in the Middle District of Florida.  If you have filed bankruptcy in another jurisdiction, or are considering filing bankruptcy, you should contact a local competent bankruptcy attorney practicing within your jurisdiction regarding your tax return and its effects on your bankruptcy.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Best States To Be Rich Or Poor

 I found the following information from Hubwallet interesting:
 
Best States to Be Poor from a Tax Perspective   Worst States to Be Poor from a Tax Perspective
1 Delaware   47 Indiana
2 Alaska   48 Pennsylvania
3 Montana   49 Hawaii
4 Utah   50 Illinois
5 South Carolina   51 Washington

For the full report and to see where your state ranks, please visit:
http://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-to-be-rich-poor-from-a-tax-perspective/11257/    

Key Stats:
  • The overall tax burden for low-income earners is three times higher in Washington than in Delaware.
     
  • The overall tax burden for middle-income earners is three times higher in New York than in Alaska.
     
  • The overall tax burden for high-income earners is four times higher in New York than in Alaska.
Best States to Be Rich from a Tax Perspective   Worst States to Be Rich from a Tax Perspective
1 Alaska   47 Vermont
2 Nevada   48 Maryland
3 Wyoming   49 Illinois
4 Tennessee   50 Connecticut
5 Florida   51 New York 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Court News On Government Shutdown as of January 8, 2019

News fron the Court's website.

During the partial shutdown of the federal government, which began Dec. 22, 2018, the Judiciary has continued to operate by using court fee balances and other “no-year” funds. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has revised its original estimate and now is working toward the goal of sustaining paid operations through Jan. 18, 2019.

In an effort to achieve this goal, courts have been asked to delay or defer non-mission critical expenses, such as new hires, non-case related travel, and certain contracts. Judiciary employees are reporting to work and currently are in full-pay status.

If existing funds run out and new appropriated funds do not become available, the Judiciary will operate under the terms of the Anti-Deficiency Act, which allows “essential work” to continue during a lapse in appropriations