Lien Strips – Removing “Underwater” Second Mortgages in Bankruptcy and How it Could Help You Make Your Home More Affordable

home values down

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a powerful debt relief remedy. It allows consumers to enter into a court protected debt reorganization of your debts over a period of time (normally, 36-60 months total).

Chapter 13 debt reorganization plans can, for example, force the mortgage company to accept past-due mortgage payments. This is extremely helpful for consumers who have fallen behind on their home mortgage, but now have the means to get caught up, if given more favorable terms than the mortgage company can offer. This is true even if the mortgage company has already filed a foreclosure action against the homeowner.

What Happens If I Don’t List a Creditor in My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

metzenbaum court houseOne of the important steps in filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to provide your attorney with all the information you can find about the debts that you owe. Normally this is done by giving your attorney all of the bills in your mailbox. Whether an original creditor, a debt collector or a collections attorney, your attorney needs all the names, addresses, account numbers and balances that you can find.

The “Brutal Truth” About What Filing Bankruptcy Does to a Consumer’s Credit


One of the most frequent questions I have been asked in my 15 years (so far) of representing consumers as a bankruptcy attorney is some variation of the below:

• Will I never be able to get credit again?

• Will bankruptcy filing trash my credit permanently?

• Won’t I be better off signing up with a debt management service, rather than filing for bankruptcy protection?

• But my parents told me that only crooks file for bankruptcy…. 

Chapter 7? Chapter 13? I Need a Fresh Start, But Which Option is Best for Me?

figure confusing arrowConsumers who are overwhelmed with debt have two options in Bankruptcy Court. The most popular option by far is Chapter 7, where the consumer’s debts are eliminated without a repayment plan. But Chapter 13 is also a powerful tool for adjusting your debts over a three-to-five year time frame. Which one is right for you?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy- Does It Mean I Will Lose My House? My Car?

homesweethomeChapter 7 Bankruptcy is a powerful tool which can eliminate consumer debt, stop debt collection lawsuits in their tracks and allow debt-strapped consumers to open their mail and answer their phones again.

Reaffirmation Agreements In Bankruptcy: Should I Sign And What Happens If I Don’t?

Close up of female hand writing on paper with ink penOne of the most persistent questions which arises in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is what to with secured creditors whose debts are secured by the debtor’s property.  In such cases, the secured creditor is likely to pressure the Chapter 7 debtor into signing a “reaffirmation agreement.” 

Supreme Court Declines to Extend “Lien Strip” Rights to Chapter 7 Debtors

house abandonedIn my most recent blog post, I wrote about  Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett (575 U.S. _____) (2015)

Supreme Court to Decide if “lien strips” are Valid in Chapter 7 Cases

us supreme courtIt is about time the honest but unfortunate homeowner gets a break in Washington, D.C.

Supreme Court: Chapter 13 Denial of Confirmation is not an “Appealable Order”

The Supreme Court unanimously decided today that denial of confirmation is not a final, appealable, order. Bullard v. Blue Hills Bank, 575 U.S. ___, No. 14-116 (U.S. May 4, 2015).

How do I know If I am being sued in the wrong Court?

When a consumer collections lawsuit is filed by a junk debt buyer, there are two proper courts where the lawsuit can be filed – either 1) a court where the consumer signed the original note which the lawsuit was based upon, or 2) a court where the consumer resides at the time lawsuit was filed. The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ( or “FDCPA” for short) gives consumers powerful rights if the collections lawsuit is filed in some other court, including the right to recover up to $1,000 in statutory damages.