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April 24, 2010

Pending Student Loan Legislation

Thanks to David Goch who posted this on the Bankruptcy Roundtable Listserve:

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law held a hearing on H.R. 5043, "The Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2010".

H.R. 5043, according to Rep. Cohen (D-TN), the bills sponsor along with Rep. Davis (D-Ill.), "is very narrowly tailored to make debt resulting from student loans issued by private, for-profit institutions dischargeable in bankruptcy."

H.R. 5043 amends Bankruptcy Code Section 523(a)(8), eliminating Section 523(a)(8)(B), which currently makes debt from private loans issued by for-profit lenders nondischargeable in bankruptcy absent undue debtor or debtor's dependents hardship. The bill also amends Section 523(a)(8)(A)(i) to clarify that only loans for which substantially all of the funds were provided by a nonprofit institution remain nondischargeble in bankruptcy.

Deanne Loonin, a staff attorney for the National Consumer Law Center, pointed out that student loan borrowers are a very diverse group of people but they chare one common trait: "they're all trying to better themselves through education" and are all struggling with student loan debt. However, Loonin stated "[B]ankruptcy is not and should not be the entire safety net" for borrowers who cannot repay their student loans."

Loonin said she supports H.R. 5043, not because bankruptcy is the best option, but because it is the only option some have to be able to move on with their lives.

According to John Hupalo, managing director at Ramirez Capital Advisors, a group specializing in student loan finance, whether or not to permit bankruptcy discharge of private student loan debt is a complex issue. Huppalo indicated he understood the intended benefit of repealing non-dischargeability of private student loans, but went on to state he is concerned the bill would be "counter-productive to the country's shared goal of making a college education more accessible to the greatest number of students possible."

Adrian Lapas, a solo practitioner testifying on behalf of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, voiced support of H.R. 5403, noting that the legislation will "restore fairness in student lending by treating privately issued student loans in bankruptcy the same as other types of private debt."

Meanwhile, in an April 21 letter to Cohen, more than two dozen organizations representing students, consumers, institutions of higher education and civil rights and public policy organizations expressed their support for the bill. Among the groups signing the letter: The American Council on Education, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Demos: A Network for Ideas & Action, Rock the Vote, U.S. Public Information Research Group, UNCF, and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.

April 24, 2010 in Legislation | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

April 21, 2010

Changes to 9th Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel

The 9th Circuit announcement re changes to the BAP can be accessed here. 

April 21, 2010 in Judicial Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bankruptcy and Family Law Program in Riverside

Hosted by the Inland Empire Bankruptcy Forum

Bankruptcy and Family Law: When Do They Clash and When Do They Co-Exist 
May 18, 2010 Program

Christopher Celentino, Certified Bankruptcy Specialist
Bill Edgar, President of the Riverside County Family Law Section

Riverside Marriott
3400 Market Street, Riverside, CA 92501

No Host Cocktails 6:00 p.m.
Dinner 6:30 p.m.
Program 7:00 p.m.

Early Bird Reservations - Payment Required by May 11:
Members $65 • Non-Members $75 • Government Employees $30

Late Registration After May 11: Add $5
And email [email protected] This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it with your RSVP to ensure your space.

April 21, 2010 in Programs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 19, 2010

Supreme Court Grants Cert in Ransom

Title: Ransom v. MBNA, America Bank
Docket: 09-907

Issue: Whether, in calculating the debtor’s “projected disposable income” during the plan period, the bankruptcy court may allow an ownership cost deduction for vehicles only if the debtor is actually making payments on the vehicles.

Five bankruptcy cases in one year!!  This probably will not be heard until next term. 

April 19, 2010 in Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Circuit Court of Appeals Cases from Last Week

2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, April 08, 2010
In re Kalikow, --- F.3d --- (2nd Cir. 2010)(Motion to reopen chapter 11 affirmed where: 1) service on creditors' law firm constituted proper service on them; and 2) creditors violated sections 1141 and 524 and the express terms of the Plan and Confirmation Order. However, the order is reversed where creditors were not holders of pre-confirmation claims discharged in bankruptcy who would normally be bound by the provisions of the Plan, and thus the sanctions awarded against them were improper)

Thanks to Findlaw.com

April 19, 2010 in Other Circuit Briefs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 18, 2010

Original Owner of Land

This email is floating around.  Thx to Brett Curlee for sending it to me. 

Subject: FHA LOAN - You got to love this lawyer.....

Part of rebuilding New Orleans caused residents often to be challenged with the task of tracing home titles back potentially hundreds of years.  With a community rich with history stretching back over two centuries, houses have been passed along through generations of family, sometimes making it quite difficult to establish ownership. Here's a great letter an attorney wrote to the FHA on behalf of a client:  You have to love this lawyer...

    A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer three months to track down.  After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply.

(Actual reply from FHA):

    "Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin."  Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows:  

(Actual response):
"Your letter regarding title in Case No.189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 206 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased by the United States from France, in 1803 the year of origin identified in our application.  For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Queen Isabella. The good Queen Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus' expedition... Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana.  God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it, and the FHA. I hope you find God's original claim to be satisfactory.  Now, may we have our damn loan?"

The loan was immediately approved.

April 18, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack