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Awkward: Old Friend From Church Blocks Discharge of Student Loan Debt

Providing an exception to the axiom that no good deed goes unpunished (a wonderful phrase courtesy of Clare Booth Luce, author, Ambassador, speaker, and a model for our times even thirty years after her death), a Texas bankruptcy court recently declared nondischargeable a debt owed to a guarantor who had been forced to pay the debtor’s defaulted student loan.

The case, De La Rosa v. Kelly  (Adv. Pro. No. 17-03320 (In re Kelly, Case No. 17-32295)) was resolved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas by way of summary judgment on March 23, 2018. The debtor, Tabitha Renee Kelly, borrowed $6,292 from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2002 to pay educational expenses. The plaintiff in the adversary proceeding, Mary

This Just In – Supreme Court to Provide Clarity on Whether Collection of Time-Barred Debts in Bankruptcy Violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

October 11, 2016

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jabez-stoneWe all remember The Devil and Daniel Webster – the Devil comes to collect a seven year old debt (secured by Jabez Stone’s soul), only to be foiled by the great trial lawyer Daniel Webster – thanks to a skilled litigator, the old debt is forgiven!

But that isn’t the only example of years’ old debt becoming a real matter of contention.  Earlier today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari on an issue that (a) is pretty important in the world of consumer debt collection, and (b) makes some folks pretty darn furious. The issue is this:  if you file a proof of claim in a bankruptcy case, and you know such claim is barred by the applicable statute of limitations, are you committing a “misleading” or “unfair” practice under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?  (Coverage of the case and

Improper Use of Contract Attorneys, Failure to Disclose Terms – This Case Has It All.

business concept/dropping coins

Estate professionals are under continued scrutiny. Unlike other professionals, getting paid is not simply a matter of sending a bill.  The bankruptcy court, appropriately so, closely oversees the amount and timing of payment of estate professional fees.  And proper disclosure under the Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (the “Bankruptcy Rules”) is critical for all estate professionals.

Recently, in In re Wilkerson, Case No. 14-00582, Docket Entry No. 127 (Bankr. D.D.C. Jun. 13, 2016), the Bankruptcy Court declined to award a significant portion of attorneys’ fees and expenses to counsel for a chapter 13 debtor due to counsel’s failure to disclose the work being done by a contract attorney under Bankruptcy Rule 2016(b).  This lack of disclosure infected

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