Case Analysis: Bankruptcy Dismissed for Failure to File Credit Counseling Certificate

credit-counselingBoth before and after filing their bankruptcy petitions, consumers are required to participate in counseling sessions, with very, very limited exceptions. This recent case from the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal shows two important concepts :1) how a consumer trying to file their own “simple” Chapter 7 Bankruptcy winds up wasting a whole lot of time and money, and gets no discharge of their debts, and 2) how seriously the Courts view the credit counseling requirement. The case is In re: Naomi Kidd Ramey, and you can view the entire by clicking here. (Ohio is one of four states which are included in the appellate jurisdiction of the Sixth Circuit).

Practical Alternatives to Payday Loans

payday loans

Payday loans are marketed as being a convenient solution to “life situations” where there is “more month than money” as payday draws near but does not quite arrive.  Any consumer finance professional will tell you this is a false premise – a car requires predictable maintenance, for example, the tires wearing out is not an “emergency.” 

“Chain of Title” How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud – By David Dayen (Book Review)


When I am not helping consumers get a fresh start and live debt free in my law practice, I enjoy reading as a pastime.  IMG_3041To combine both, I recently had the pleasure of reading this book, published by first-time author David Dayen.

I Am Married and Need to File Bankruptcy: Does My Spouse Need to Know?

marriageBoth single and married consumers find themselves in need of a fresh start through bankruptcy protection.  A married person can file for bankruptcy by themselves, just like they can file a separate income tax return if they choose to. 

Credit Preference Payments: How to Avoid Them in Your Consumer Bankruptcy


You have probably never heard of a “preference payment” in a Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy proceeding, but these are never fun conversations to have with a client.  Let me write about this now and hope that, if you decide to hire me as your attorney, we will never have to have this conversation.  This situation comes up when an otherwise broke person has a sum of money on hand, and then has to decide what to do this money.

Bankruptcy: Who Would Want to File?

money 20Bankruptcy allows consumers who are faced with overwhelming debt to move forward with their lives knowing that they have legally resolved problems with their creditors.  While there are some debts, such as student loans, which are not automatically discharged by a bankruptcy filing, almost every type of consumer debt can be discharged in a bankruptcy filing.  Here are some life situations which have I seen in more than two thousand consumer bankruptcy filings:

Keeping Your Swine in a Bankruptcy: Weird exemption laws in the United States

swineOne of the critical goals in any bankruptcy proceeding is to keep as much of your property out of the hands of the Trustee as you can. In fact, you want to keep all of it out of the Trustee’s hands (the so-called “no asset” case). After all, if the Trustee takes everything from you, the idea of a “fresh start” doesn’t really mean too much. Property which you as the consumer filing bankruptcy get to keep is known as “exempt” property.


cheerleaderFor most consumers, filing a bankruptcy is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. But for others, even after being granted a discharge of debt in bankruptcy, they find themselves in that unbelievable situation of having to ask the question – if I filed for bankruptcy protection previously, can I file another bankruptcy and get my debts discharged? The answer to that question depends not only on the length of time since your previous filing, but also the type of bankruptcy you filed. For more information about the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings, click here.

December 1, 2015- New Bankruptcy Forms In Effect for All Filings

December 2015

People trying to file bankruptcy starting December 1, 2015, may be in for a surprise. On that day, new mandatory bankruptcy forms went into effect and must be used in all consumer bankruptcy filings under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Consumers sometimes try to file their own bankruptcy, without a lawyer to represent them. If they do so now, they will be confronted with at least 98 new pages of legal mumbo jumbo.

Blake Brewer Featured Speaker at Legal Seminar

CMBA logoWednesday, November 19, 2015.

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland, Ohio

Sponsor:  National Business Institute