Category Archives: Chapter 13

Midland Funding survives bankruptcy scare in Supreme Court

Midland Funding, the giant California-based debt buyer, narrowly escaped judgment in the United States Supreme Court in May 2017, when the nation’s highest justices ruled 5-3 that they couldn’t be sued by a bankrupt debtor for filing a stale claim — i.e. a claim involving a debt where the statute of limitations had expired — […]

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Chapter 13 debt limits increase

The upper debt limits for going in to Chapter 13 bankruptcy increased as of April 1, 2016. Chapter 13 debtors must have less than $1,184,200 in secured loans in order to qualify for relief. They also must have less than $394,725 in unsecured loans to qualify. The debt limits are adjusted automatically every three years, […]

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Debtors get the benefit of rising real estate values..or do they?

When you own a home, file a bankruptcy case, and then watch real estate prices rise, who gets the benefit of the new-found value in the property? Traditionally, the rule has been the debtor benefits and gets to keep all the new equity that might accumulate after the date of filing, with the trustee and […]

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Three bankruptcy cases in a year does not bode well for debtors

In the world of bankruptcy, filing three Chapter 13 cases in a single year is not a sign things are going to turn out well for the debtor. And in the James case in the district of New Hampshire, it indeed did not go well. The basic problem is that by the time a debtor […]

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Hardship discharge requires plan confirmation first

Bankruptcy debtors with an active Chapter 13 case often hit a bump in the road and find themselves unable to make their plan payments. This does not absolutely mean their case was a waste of time. It is possible under the Bankruptcy Code to petition to the court for a hardship discharge, essentially gaining the […]

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Loans stripped in Chapter 13 may not be means test deduction in Massachusetts

Bankruptcy debtors who are looking at Chapter 13 as a way to get rid of an unwanted second (or third) mortgage may have an additional obstacle to overcome if their case lands in Judge Melvin Hoffman’s courtroom. In an opinion released in the Garrepy case (November 6, 2013), Judge Hoffman said that if the married […]

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Converting a bankruptcy to Chapter 7 offers chance to eliminate more debt

Bankruptcy debtors involved in a Chapter 13 case often find the payments too much, or life throws them a curve, and they are forced to abandon their payment plans. The usual strategy in this situation is to convert the case to Chapter 7 (a few cases are even converted back and forth several times). Once […]

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First Circuit blocks hybrid bankruptcy plans in Chapter 13

In one of the most important bankruptcy opinions handed down in the past few years, in late May 2013 a panel of bankruptcy judges from the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that debtors in a Chapter 13 case could not file what is sometimes called a “hybrid plan.” Hybrid plans were favorites of debtors […]

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Bankruptcy debt limits in Chapter 13 explored

A Massachusetts bankruptcy court opinion by Judge Joan Feeney in Boston (the Cunningham case on April 12, 2013) serves up a reminder that there are in fact debt limits that apply in Chapter 13 cases — and can rule out this type of relief for some debtors. The limits though, are upper limits, not minimums. […]

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rules on sucessive bankruptcy discharges clarified

Massachusetts bankruptcy attorneys got an important clarification recently from U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Melvin Hoffman on how much spacing there must be between bankruptcy cases for a debtor who wants a Chapter 13 discharge, but who has previously received a Chapter 7 discharge. This situation involves section 1328 (f) of the bankruptcy code, which bars […]

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