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Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Finds No Breach of Contract or FCRA Violation in Connection with Late Payments Under a Reaffirmation Agreement

In bankruptcy, a debtor must relinquish assets to satisfy debts. But there are exceptions to this general rule. Certain assets may be exempted from a debtor’s bankruptcy under federal and state law. Other assets, which are subject to a contractual loan agreement and the security interest of a lender, may be “reaffirmed” by a debtor pursuant to a reaffirmation agreement. The debtor may keep the asset, such as a house or a car, as long as the debtor enters into a new agreement with the lender that reaffirms the debt according to defined contractual terms, which may or may not track the original loan terms. Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Billing/Payment, Chapter 7, Collections

Supreme Court Decides that Law Firms Engaged in Non-Judicial Foreclosure Proceedings are Not Debt Collectors Under the FDCPA

For many, the term “debt collection” calls to mind threatening letters and harassing, late-night phone calls. There’s no doubt that many debt collection practices involve aggressive and unseemly tactics used to collect credit card and other unpaid debts, and, as a result, Congress stepped in to curb these practices by passing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). Read More ›

Categories: Collections, Financing, U.S. Supreme Court

Chapter 7 Debtors Permitted to Amend Schedules to Claim Homestead Exemption after Successful Avoidance Action by Trustee

The purpose of bankruptcy is to provide for an orderly process by which a debtor’s assets can be fairly divided and distributed among creditors. Read More ›

Categories: Chapter 7, Financing, Personal Property Tax, Property Tax, Western District of Michigan

U.S. Supreme Court Holds that Debtor’s False Oral Statement Concerning Single Asset Does not Provide Basis for Non-dischargeability Action

On June 4, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP v. Appling, No. 16-1215, which dealt with the dischargeability of debt in bankruptcy proceedings. The Court held that a statement about a single asset can be a “statement respecting the debtor’s financial condition” under section 523(a)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code. Read More ›

Categories: Chapter 7, U.S. Supreme Court

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds that Penalties Associated with Michigan Unemployment Benefits Fraud are Non-dischargeable in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Cases

In a recent opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (the “Court”) ruled that penalties assessed by the state of Michigan against two debtors, stemming from fraud associated with the wrongful receipt of Michigan unemployment benefits, are non-dischargeable in Chapter 13 bankruptcy pursuant to Bankruptcy Code § 523(a)(2).1 Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Chapter 13

Bankruptcy Court Grants Relief from Stay to Credit Union to Exercise State Law Rights Related to Setoff Against Funds in which the Debtor's Children Hold an Interest

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan recently issued an opinion in a case that involved mutual claims between the debtor and a creditor, and lifted the automatic stay to allow a creditor to exercise “setoff” rights provided by state law to recover its debt.1 Read More ›

Categories: Chapter 13

The Debtor, not the Trustee, is Entitled to Funds Being Held by a Trustee Following Dismissal of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a consumer is a voluntary decision. Once a Chapter 13 case has been filed, it is also up to the debtors to dismiss the case if they so choose. Read More ›

Categories: Chapter 13, Did you Know?

Significant Changes to Bankruptcy Rules Effective December 1, 2017

Numerous changes to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (the “Rules”) take effect on December 1, 2017. The changes significantly impact the administration of consumer bankruptcy cases, and Chapter 13 cases in particular. Read More ›

Categories: Chapter 13, Chapter 7

Trustee’s Avoidance of Transfer by Chapter 7 Debtors Does Not Necessarily Preclude Debtors from Claiming an Amended Exemption

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan recently issued an opinion in a bankruptcy case involving a husband and wife who filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Read More ›

Categories: Chapter 7, Collections

Michigan House Considers Bills Proposing Adoption of the Uniform Commercial Real Estate Receivership Act

Two proposed bills are working their way through the Michigan Legislature that would significantly impact state law pertaining to commercial real estate receiverships. Read More ›