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Supreme Court Ends Chapter 7 Lien Strips

Posted on June 1, 2015 by Jeffrey Solomon

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.  

Supreme Court Consumer Bankruptcy Update

Posted on December 13, 2014 by Jeffrey Solomon

On December 12, 2014, the Supreme Court released an order granting petitions for certiorari in two more consumer bankruptcy cases: This update is from Robin Miller who provides bankruptcy consumer law updates to attorneys. Bullard v. Hyde Park Savings Bank, Case No. 14-116 (U.S. Sup. Ct., pet. for cert. granted Dec. 12, 2014) The Supreme Court  granted the Chapter 13 debtor’s petition for certiorari seeking review of In re Bullard, 752 F.3d 483 (1st Cir. May 14, 2014), which held that a bankruptcy court order denying confirmation of a proposed Chapter 13 plan, and giving the debtor an opportunity to file an amended plan, was not a final appealable order. Harris v. Viegelahn, Case No. 14-400 (U.S. Sup. Ct., pet. for cert. granted Dec. 12, 2014) The Supreme Court  granted the Chapter 13 debtor’s petition for certiorari seeking review of In re Harris, 757 F.3d 468 (5th Cir., July 7,…
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Beware Home Office Income Tax Deduction

Posted on December 2, 2014 by Jeffrey Solomon

The home office income tax deduction has formed the basis for a denial in part of the Florida homestead exemption.   More specifically, there is now case authority that the exclusive use of a portion of a Florida homestead which in part can be evidenced by the home office income tax deduction and depreciation of the home  justifies apportioning the residence to homestead and non- homestead.  The idea is as follows:  Suppose 25% of the home is exclusively used for business such as an office.  Or assume that 25% is exclusively used by a tenant who is paying rent for one room in the home.   The trustee can sell the home, 75% of the equity belongs to the debtor, and 25% of the net proceeds would be retained by the trustee. Sounds contrary to the whole idea of the liberal protections for a Florida homestead? Sounds contrary to the…
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