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Author Archives: Jeff Aleman

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What Is the Homestead Exemption?

The family home is often an individual’s or couple’s most valuable and substantial asset.  Families generally invest more money in their homes than in any other asset.  So, it stands to reason that many debtors are concerned about whether filing bankruptcy can lead to losing their home.  However, when filing a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy,… Read More »

Some Background History about U.S. Bankruptcy

During the early years when our forefathers founded the United States, many people had immigrated to escape the harsh bankruptcy laws in their native countries.  England, for example, was well-known for its debtors’ prisons and the numerous debtors who died in prison. Under the First Article of the U.S. Constitution, Congress received the right to… Read More »

Judicial Structure for U.S. Bankruptcies

There is no such thing as filing a bankruptcy petition in a state court.  State courts have no jurisdiction over bankruptcy and any debtor filing bankruptcy must file with a U.S. bankruptcy court.  In addition, the bankruptcy courts are units that fall under the U.S. federal district courts, which are trial courts in the federal… Read More »

Deciding Whether to File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13

Various factors come into play when deciding what type of bankruptcy to file.  The entire purpose of filing bankruptcy is to wipe debts clean and restore solvency.  Because filing an inappropriate form of bankruptcy may not serve the intended purpose, it is important to carefully evaluate the types of bankruptcy. Exempt assets Depending on which… Read More »

Ways to Avoid Ever Having to File Bankruptcy Again

When debt spirals out of control and becomes insurmountable, bankruptcy may be the only viable solution.  However, as much as filing bankruptcy can bring relief, most people who go through bankruptcy never wish to go through it again.  Wise financial management is the best preventative.  Here are some tips that help people stay financially solvent:… Read More »

Bankruptcy, Levies, and Liens

When struggling with financial problems, you run into many legal and financial terms that can be confusing.  Some of these terms relate to actions that creditors can take against you.  And in many cases, bankruptcy offers a reprieve against such actions and the chance to become solvent again. What is a lien? A “lien” is… Read More »

How is Chapter 11 Different for Small Businesses?

Unlike Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases that involve medium to large businesses, the U.S. Trustee is more involved in overseeing the case with a small business Chapter 11.  Early on, the debtor must attend an initial interview where the trustee evaluates the small business’s viability, the debtor’s business plan, and the debtor’s responsibility to file certain… Read More »

Advantages the Debtor in Possession Role Offers in Chapter 11

In Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship can reorganize the business, continue operations, and work to pay off debts.  The debtor stays in possession of the business and acts as the fiduciary, called a debtor in possession. Maintaining control over the business provides advantages for debtors because they have more decision-making power… Read More »

What Are Adversary Proceedings in Bankruptcy?

Most people who file bankruptcy only experience the administrative aspect of bankruptcy.  They have no exposure to bankruptcy’s adversarial or litigation-side.  Yet, creditors can oppose or challenge certain aspects of your bankruptcy case, which opens the door to litigation. Bankruptcy is a unique area of law that uses different terms than many other legal areas. … Read More »

The Rise and Fall of Bankruptcy Statistics

Sometimes a volatile economy makes it difficult to know what to expect in terms of bankruptcy filings.  The past two years saw extremely different trends. According to the United States Courts in 2010: Bankruptcy filings grew 14 percent to 1,596,355 Chapter 7 filings grew by 16 percent Chapter 13 filings grew by nine percent Chapter… Read More »