Category Archives: Bankruptcy News

Means Test-Median Income Change April 1, 2016

The median income amounts for the means test change on April 1, 2016.  The figures for a Florida means test have a slight increase for household sizes of one and two and a slight decrease for household sizes of three and four. The median income in Florida for a household of 1 is now $ 43,136.00;  for a household of 2 is now $ 53,654.00;  for 3 is now $ 57,080.00; and for 4 is now $ 66,588.00.   The median income increases for each additional member of the household  $8400.00.00.

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Judge Olson on Surrender in Chapter 7 and Foreclosures

I represented the debtor in a case where  Judge Olson entered an important ruling of general interest to bankruptcy  attorneys and foreclosure attorneys in particular for Broward County including Fort Lauderdale bankruptcies and foreclosures. The  state court foreclosing lender attempted to reopen a 2009 chapter 7 in which the debtor in her Statement of Intention stated her intent to surrender non-exempt real property.   The state court foreclosure, filed in 2009 with little activity for years,  had not yet been completed. The issue of the meaning and enforcement of the Debtor’s Statement of Intention in a state court foreclosure has been brought in several bankruptcy cases throughout Florida.  Decisions are conflicting. In  re Kourogenis,  Case No. 09-32936, DE 28, October 6,, 2015,  is the first bankruptcy court decision on this issue in Broward County as to chapter 7 cases. Careful reading of the decision is critical.  The court did find that in…
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Supreme Court Ends Chapter 7 Lien Strips

The United States Supreme Court ended lien strips in chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. In its June 1, 2015 decision, Bank of America v Caulkett, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals which had permitted lien strips in chapter 7 cases. Florida bankruptcy attorneys had been able to strip second mortgages as a result of the McNeal decision.  See my prior posts on this issue.  While courts throughout the country did not permit eliminating completely underwater second mortgages (and association fees), Florida and Georgia attorneys had a short window of opportunity to eliminate junior liens in bankruptcy.  We are now back to the prior practice which typically involved filing a chapter 13 to eliminate junior mortgage liens.  

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