Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Public Service Announcement from FBI: Foreign Cyber Actors Target Home and Office Routers and Networked Devices Worldwid


The FBI recommends any owner of small office and home office routers power cycle (reboot) the devices. Foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide. The actors used VPNFilter malware to target small office and home office routers. The malware is able to perform multiple functions, including possible information collection, device exploitation, and blocking network traffic.

Please see https://www.ic3.gov/media/2018/180525.aspx for the complete bulletin.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Debts Incurred By Trickery or Deception; In re: Jonathan M. Morris (Judge Glenn)

As you know, all debts are not necessarily dischargeable in bankruptcy.  Here is one that you may not have thought of that involves "deception or trickery" where an employee had a conflict with between his employer, and his personal company that was in the same business.

In re: Jonathan M. Morris, a chapter 7 case with Judge Glenn dated May 8, 2018:

[T]he Court finds that the Debtor incurred a debt to Rimrock by deception or trickery, and by misappropriating a business opportunity that had been entrusted to him by Rimrock. Consequently, the debt is nondischargeable in the Debtor's Chapter 7 case pursuant to § 523(a)(2)(A) and § 523(a)(4) of the Bankruptcy Code.

The case can be found at https://scholar.google.com/scholar?scidkt=8175853834226527208+5738018132751688604&as_sdt=2&hl=en

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Are Debt Relief Agencies SCAMS?

I am often asked if debt relief companies are legit.  I just tell them to be careful, as while some are legitimate, other may not be.  All you have to do is check the FTC web site which is full of scam companies.

A recent post listed the following companies as defendants in a FTC investigation:

The corporate defendants are Financial Freedom National Inc., formerly known as (f/k/a) Institute for Financial Freedom Inc. and Marine Career Institute Sea Frontiers Inc., also doing business as (d/b/a) 321 Loans, Instahelp America Inc., Helping America Group, United Financial Support, Breeze Financial Solutions, 321Financial Education, Credit Health Plan, Credit Specialists of America, American Advocacy Alliance and Associated Administrative Services; 321Loans Inc., f/k/a 321 Loans Inc., also d/b/a 321Financial Inc.; Instahelp America Inc, f/k/a Helping America Team Inc., also d/b/a Helping America Group; Helping America Group LLC, f/k/a Helping America Group Inc.; Breeze Financial Solutions Inc., also d/b/a Credit Health Plan and Credit Maximizing Program; US Legal Club LLC; Active Debt Solutions LLC, f/k/a Active Debt Solutions Inc., also d/b/a Guardian Legal Center; Guardian LG LLC, also d/b/a Guardian Legal Group; American Credit Security LLC, f/k/a American Credit Shield LLC; Paralegal Support Group LLC, f/k/a Paralegal Staff Support LLC; and Associated Administrative Services LLC, also d/b/a Jobfax.

Relief defendants that profited from the scheme are JLMJP Pompano LLC; 1609 Belmont Place LLC; 16 S H Street Lake Worth LLC; 17866 Lake Azure Way Boca LLC; 114 Southwest 2nd Street DBF LLC; 110 Glouchester St. LLC; 72 SE 6th Ave. LLC; Fast Pace 69 LLC; Strategic Acquisitions TWO LLC; Halfway International LLC, also d/b/a 16 H.S. Street 12Plex LLC, 311 SE 3rd St. LLC, 412 Bayfront Drive LLC, 110 Glouchester St. LLC, 72 SE 6th Ave. LLC, 114 SW 2nd Street JM LLC, 8209 Desmond Drive LLC, and HLFP LLC; Halfway NV LLC, also d/b/a Halfpay International LLC; and Nantucket Cove of Illinois LLC.

Keep in mind, this is just one posting.  Are there others?  Absolutely.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

National Bankruptcy Filings Continue to Decline

Ever since 2010, when bankruptcies peaked, filings have been declining.  If you enjoy seeing statistics on bankruptcy filings, you can click on the link below to see an overview from 2006 through 2017 highlighting the trends in non-business bankruptcy filings.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

In re: O'Steen: Debtor not denied 727 Discharge

Lafayette State Bank, Plaintiff,
John Riley O'Steen, d/b/a Riley O'Steen Dairy, Ashley Koon O'Steen, Defendants.

Case No. 3:14-bk-4766-PMG, Adv. No. 3:15-ap-393-PMG. United States Bankruptcy Court, MD Florida, Jacksonville Division.

Bank seeked a judgment denying the Debtors' discharge pursuant to § 727(a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(5), and (a)(6) of the Bankruptcy Code, and determining that the debt owed by the Debtors to the Bank was not dischargeable in the Chapter 7 case pursuant to § 523(a)(6) of the Bankruptcy Code.

A fundamental goal of the Bankruptcy Code is to provide a debtor with a fresh start. Consequently, denial of a debtor's discharge is an extraordinary remedy, and exceptions to discharge should be construed in favor of the debtor and against the objecting party. The burden is on the objecting party to prove the objection by a preponderance of the evidence. In re White, 568 B.R. 894, 909-10 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 2017).


OBJECTION to Discharge: Who Has The Burden

A fundamental goal of the Bankruptcy Code is to provide a debtor with a fresh start. Consequently, denial of a debtor's discharge is an extraordinary remedy, and exceptions to discharge should be construed in favor of the debtor and against the objecting party. The burden is on the objecting party to prove the objection by a preponderance of the evidence. In re White, 568 B.R. 894, 909-10 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 2017).

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Official Bankruptcy Rule Changes Effective December 1, 2017

Rule 1001: “These rules should be construed, administered, and employed by the court and the parties to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.

Rule 1006: requires that an individual debtor’s petition must be accepted for filing so long as the debtor submits a signed application to pay the filing fee in installments. Rule 1017 (b) (1) allows for a dismissal of the case for the failure to pay any installment of the filing fee only “after a hearing on notice to the debtor and the trustee.”

Rule 1015(b): Husband and wife is replaced with spouses.

Rule 3015 and 3015.1(NEW): Requires use of an appropriate official form for chapter 13 plans. Objections to plan confirmation are to be made at least 7 days before the date set for confirmation hearing, and valuation of a secured claim is binding on the holder of the claim.

Rule 2002: notice of time to object to confirmation of Chapter 13 plan is 21 days, notice of confirmation hearing is 28 days.

Rule 3002: Holder of secured claim must file proof of claim to have an allowed secured claim. Bar date in Chapter 12 and 13 cases is 70 days, with an additional 50 days for mortgage holders to provide supplemental documents. The court may extend the time to file proof of claim for insufficient notice.

Rule 3007: Service of claim objection on most claimants is by mailing notice to the person listed on the proof of claim. Rule 7004 governs service on depository institutions.

Rule 3012: Request to value in the Chapter 13 Plan governed by Rule 7004(b), and service for claim objections and motions to value are governed by Rules 3007(a) and 9014(b).

Rule 4003: Lien avoidance can proceed under the chapter 13 plan, or by motion.

Rule 5009: Debtor can obtain an order declaring that a secured claim has been satisfied, and lien released under the terms of the Chapter 13 Plan.

Rule 7001: Rule 3012 valuation and lien avoidance do not require an adversary proceeding.

Rule 9009: The rule allows deviations from an Official Form if permitted by the national instructions for the form in addition to those deviations permitted by the Bankruptcy Rules or the form itself. It also allows “minor changes not affecting wording or the order of presenting information” on a form.