Friday, July 29, 2005

Update 7/29

Website is up! http://marwag.webpal.info , take a look. This weekend I'll get to the 707 stuuf

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Update 7/28/05

Just a quick update. I'm working on my next substantive post, it will be on means testing and section 707(b). I have put together some tools (excel spreadsheets) to help with some of the issues presented by this section and others. In order to distribute these files I am puting together a web page. Nothing fancy, it will be a hack job, but, it will give me a place to post files that can be downloaded. The url is http://marwag.webpal.info , there is nothing there yet, I am planning on having it up by Friday so that when I post my article this weekend I can link to the files and some web stuff.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Can we file this case already?

We have made our disclosures, the client has completed credit counseling performed by an approved organization, the client has retained us... Lets see what else we need prior to filing their case. Section 521, Debtor's Duties, includes; a list of creditors, a schedule of assets and liabilities, current income and expenses, statement of financial affairs (nothing new here). The client should have a certificate for completing the credit counseling course, this must be filed along with and debt repayment plan generated during the counseling. We now must also have a certificate indicating that the attorney delivered the notice required under section 342(b)(this notice is substantially similar to the current notice to consumers of available chapters of bankruptcy). Except under section 342 it states that the clerk shall give the notice. Not a real problem, we already do this anyways. We will also need copies of check stubbs or other evidence of income for the past 60 days prior to filing, this is only slightly different from what is currently required by trustees Helen Burris and Randy Skinner, so this should not have much effect on practice. We also need a statement of the amount of monthly net income, itemized to show how it was calculated. This requirement seems redundant, we already provide this information on schedule I. I am guessing that this will be an additional document. Another additional statement disclosing any "reasonably anticipated increase in income or expenditures" within the next year. OK, we would normally place this information on schedule I as well, but now we have a separate document ("No your honor, I strenuously object" A Few Good Men). Got all that? Now you can file the case, but don't let the client take off to Tahiti yet.
The debtor's statement of intentions must be filed with the court within 30 days of the petition date. Here is the new twist, the stated intention must be performed with 30 days of the 341 hearing. Since there is no more "pass through" all purchase money security interests must be either surrendered, reaffirmed or redeemed. Under section 521(d) lease agreements must also be reaffirmed or redeemed. It would seem to be the prudent course of action to have these documents prepared and signed by the client prior to filing of the case, if possible.