Ft. Lauderdale Bankruptcy BLOG

Lien Strip in Chapter 13 after Chapter 7 Now Permitted in South Florida: Scantling Decision 11th Circuit

Posted on by Jeffrey Solomon

Debtors may now strip off a second mortgage in a chapter 13 even after filing a chapter 7 in Fort Lauderdale chapter 13 cases and other South Florida chapter 13 bankruptcies.   This has been an issue across the country.  In South Florida, the local bankruptcy judges have ruled that a debtor could not eliminate junior mortgage liens after obtaining a chapter 7 discharge.  However, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled today in the Scantling case that debtors can eliminate junior liens even in the so-called chapter 20, filing a chapter 13 after a chapter 7. This means that debtors who filed chapter 7 and are not eligible now to file bankruptcy again to obtain a discharge nevertheless can file a chapter 13 to eliminate second mortgages. I would like to thank Patrick Scott for sending me the following analysis: “Jeff Kuntz of my office shared with me today’s new…
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Same Sex Couple Bankruptcy

Posted on by Jeffrey Solomon

A bankruptcy court permitted a same sex couple legally married in one state to file a joint bankruptcy petition in their state of residence even though that state does not recognize same sex marriages.  In re Matson and Mabry, Case No 13-35361, E. D. Wisc.  April 29, 2014.  In this case a creditor filed the objection to the joint bankruptcy petition.  The bankruptcy court determined that under the Full Faith and Credit Clause and  the Supreme Court decision in United States v Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), the same sex married couple could file their joint bankruptcy petition in Wisconsin even though Wisconsin does not recognize same sex couples.  The state law as to marriage in Wisconsin did not prevent the application or recognition of the marriage in the federal bankruptcy proceeding. I do believe that it is fair to say that a joint Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy filing for a same sex couple legally married in another state would not…
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Bankruptcy Filing Fees Increase June 1

Posted on by Jeffrey Solomon

The filing fees for bankruptcy are increasing on June 1.  Chapter 7 filing fees will be $335.00 and chapter 13 filing fees will be $310.00.  As for Chapter 11, the increase in fee will now require $1,717.00 to be paid to the clerk of bankruptcy court.

Florida Means Test Changes April 1, 2014

Posted on by Jeffrey Solomon

The median income used for the bankruptcy means test changes on April 1, 2014.   The median income figures slightly increase.  These figures are the starting point for determining eligibility between chapter 7 and chapter 13. The list below is the median income for each household size: 1    $41,939   2.    $ 52,598   3.     $ 54,742   4.   $64,122, and an additional $8100 for each additional person in the household.  These figures will now be used for any Florida bankruptcy including Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy filings.

Law v Siegel: Supreme Court Strongly Protects Exemptions from Trustees

Posted on by Jeffrey Solomon

The United States Supreme Court on March 4, 2014 in Law v Siegel thwarted a trustee’ s attempt to surcharge the homestead exemption.  Based on a strict statutory construction, Justice Scalia for a unanimous court gave debtors great protection to assert their statutory exemption rights.  In a highly pro-debtor opinion, the Court basically held that Congress created a scheme for exempt property, and the courts cannot avoid congressional intent by creating other exceptions that are not in the Code.  Though trustees and creditors might have other remedies, exempt property remains exempt.  This case could have a great impact in Florida bankruptcy cases. Below is the syllabus of the Opinion. Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2013 Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has…
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Sallie Mae Collection Activity

Posted on by Jeffrey Solomon

The following is a link to an article about the outrageous conduct of Sallie Mae collecting on student loans. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/25/sallie-mae-simm-death_n_5212024.html?utm_hp_ref=business&ir=Business