All posts in Chapter 13

New Barash Ch. 13 Confirmation Hearing Procedures

I am advised that Judge Martin Barash has some updated local rules on getting your chapter 13 plan confirmed in his courtroom.  You can find the rules here.   Judge Barash states:

“These procedures are intended to increase the efficiency of chapter 13 plan confirmation hearings, reduce the amount of court time attorneys spend at these hearings, and discourage counsel from filing chapter 13 plans and delivering documents requested by the chapter 13 trustee shortly before the confirmation hearing.”

A summary is as follows:

1.  Attorneys who don’t check in by 9:55 am will be put on second call.

2.  Matters will be called in order of check in and once the attorney is at the podium, all of his or her matters will be heard together.

3.  Where a plan has been filed within 7 days of the confirmation hearing, or documents provided to the trustee within 14 days (i.e., late), the case will be “dropped to the bottom of the calendar” which does not mean that it is okay to file things late.

4.  Attorneys will not be allowed to give the trustee plan payments or documents during the hearing (meaning from the podium).

Wife Files Bk But Title To House In Non-Debtor Husband’s Name – “Brace” Yourself!

“I’m not on title, only my husband is on title!” — wow, how many times a week do I hear this statement re: a house, a car, a boat, etc.

In last year’s BAP opinion of In re Brace by Judge Lafferty, the panel clarified an interesting fight:  who wins between Community Property Presumption (CFC 760) versus Record Title Presumption (CEC 662).  I enjoy reading Judge Lafferty’s opinions — it’s very tutorial and easy to follow.  In this opinion, the panel held that the community property presumption wins.  This means, to me, that it does not matter if debtor is “not on title” to the house — the house is still property of the estate due to debtor’s community interest in the house.   This case is on appeal to the Ninth.

Butner Principle From a Different Perspective – Simon Says May I?

I was reading this law review article on the Butner case and it provided a different view on the case that I wanted to share.  In essence,  Professor Adler questions why Butner  became so famous and a “guiding principle” when the underlying arguments and holdings are so obvious.   Butner says that since the Bankruptcy Code does not establish or define property rights, the parties must turn to nonapplicable law (state law) to answer it.  Well of course! Where else would you turn to!? That makes so much sense, why did we need nine Justices to clarify that?

This is akin to me telling you “in order to fix my plumbing problem, don’t look in the ‘House Operations Manual’ but instead look at the plumbing manual that will tell you how to fix my plumbing problem.“  We need a Supreme Court to tell us that?  The answer is so blatantly obvious let alone to become a “guiding principle!” Read more…

Client Purchased Rolex Before BK? How Courts View “Fraudulent Intent” For Credit Card Fraud

I was reading some case law on fraudulent purchases prior to bankruptcy.  At first I thought it was only “luxury” purchases (i.e. you purchase a Rolex on eve of bankruptcy) but it turns out that “luxury purchase” is just one of many factors.  If you go to McDonald’s everyday and rack up a debt there, that can be nondischargeable.

I read Dougherty and HashemiConsider these factors when advising your client: Read more…

Employment Law & BK — “Will Filing BK Affect My Chances of Getting Hired?”

Section 525 deals with protection of debtors against discrimination.  Section 525 is broken up into two main sections relating to two main standards:  one for governmental employers and one for private employers.   Let’s take a look…and note the big omission by Congress for private employers.

525(a) says a governmental unit may not:

  • Deny employment to
  • Terminate the employment of…
  • Discriminate re: employment against a person on basis of their bankruptcy filing.

525(b) says a private employer may not:

  • Terminate the employment of…
  • Discriminate re: employment against a person on basis of their bankruptcy filing.

Government cannot deny your employment because you filed bk but a private employer can!  This is also how rental companies can ask you “did you file bk in past” and deny your rental application.


Difference Between “False Pretense” and “False Representation” under 523(a)(2)

Section 523(a)(2)(A) excepts from discharge any debt for money obtained by false pretense, a false representation or actual fraud.   But how can you tell the difference?

False representation is an express representation.  “There are no leaks in the roof of my house.” 

False pretense is an implied representation or conduct intended to create a false impression.  “Whenever it rains, it is dry as a bone in this house, which is why I like it, I also got their decorated the right way with even an aquarium and glow in the dark fish ornaments I found online.”


Reasonable versus Promptly Standard

Arrears can be cured over a reasonable time (i.e. over 5 years).  Did you know there is a different standard for curing leases?  Promptly!

Section 1322(b)(5) says the debtor’s plan may provide for the curing of any default within a reasonable time….

Section 365(b) says the debtor will promptly cure such lease default… and Webster definition of promptly is “with little or no delay; immediately.”

Dower and Curtesy? Sounds like a restaurant on Melrose

I had no idea what a dower and curtsy are.  Where did I find these words?  In Section 363 sale/use/lease of property.   Section 363(g) says the trustee may sell property free and clear of any right in nature of a dower or curtesy.    ::::go to

A dower or curtesy is a surviving spouse’s right to receive a set portion of the deceased spouse’s estate (1/2 in California).  Dower (not dowry) refers to the portion to which a surviving wife is entitled, while curtesy refers to what a man may claim.  However, because discrimination on the basis of sex is now illegal in most cases, most states have abolished dower and curtesy and generally provide the same benefits regardless of sex — and this amount is often known simply as the statutory share.

Learn something new everyday.

Listening Session in Riverside July 9, 2018 re Chapter 13

This is a great concept.  Judge Scott Clarkson, Chair of the Central District of California Case Management Committee, is going to preside over a “Listening Session” which will allow him to listen to “community members and canvass arising issues regarding current chapter 13 procedures after the implementation of the new chapter 13 form plan.”   You can see the flyer here.  Listening Session Clarkson  I might have to attend myself.

Important Request from Nancy Curry’s Office re Processing Payments

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Heather Pedroza <>
Date: Tue, May 22, 2018 at 1:26 PM
Subject: Updated Cover Sheets for Nancy Curry’s Office


Over the course of the last few years, the office of Nancy Curry, Chapter 13 Trustee has learned that more often than not, debtors do not include their bankruptcy case numbers and/or other pertinent information our office needs in order to process the payments/documents in a timely manner. This has been an ongoing issue and does create significant delays in our office. Read more…