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Where have you been Hayes?

Good grief, I see that my last post was in December 2021. Since then there has been a lot of water under the bridge, or over the dam if you prefer. In early January 2022 I accepted a position as BAP Law Clerk to Judge Laura Taylor, then in San Diego, now retired. I quickly sold my practice to my partner Matt Resnik and began my new job on February 15, 2022. Since Judge Taylor’s term on the BAP was to end on December 31, 2022, I assumed and announced that I was taking a sabbatical for the remainder of the year expecting to return in early 2023. During that time, I became acquainted with Judge William Lafferty in Oakland, also a member of the BAP. Since his BAP clerk was retiring in April 2023, we agreed that I would become his BAP clerk on May 1, 2023. Nearing the end of 2023, I decided that a two year sabbatical was enough and advised Judge Lafferty that I wanted to return to civilian life and my consumer bankruptcy practice and he was graciously fine with that.

As a law clerk to a bankruptcy judge I was no longer free to opine on the great questions of the day as there was always some risk that someone would equate my opinions with the opinions of the judge I was working for so I stopped posting things on this list serve. I wrote only one article during that time, Demystifying Bankruptcy Appeals for the Los Angeles Times. It’s pretty good. I asked for Judge Taylor’s okay which was quickly given. She commented that the article was “breezy and very informative.” I was quite delighted with the comment.

The experience was a once in a lifetime deal. Most lawyers who clerk for judges do so early in their career. I waited 42 years to get a clerking job. My appreciation for the efforts of the judges increased many fold. I will speak more about it as things come up.

In the meantime, I have forgotten how WordPress works so please forgive my writing gaffs. I’m looking forward to rejoining the internet voices and hearing from you.

San Fernando Valley Bar Association – Bk Program on Sub-Chapter V – One Year In – a National Perspective 6/25/2021 at 12 noon

Email from Steve Fox,

Dear All:

We have a unique and really good program for you on June 25th at lunchtime.  We have bankruptcy attorneys from Oregon, Utah, Tennessee, Maryland and New York along with Bankruptcy Judge Paul Bonapfel from the N.D. Georgia to speak on SCV cases one year in.  Judge Bonapfel is the author of the definitive materials on SCV cases and we hope to have his latest update for the 6/25 program for all attendees.  We also have Roksana Moradi of Encino fame on the panel too.  The panelists all have been handling SCV cases.  Judge Bonapfel will discuss a couple of issues of importance in SCV cases. Then each panelist will discuss one or two of their own SCV cases, what happened, interesting twists in their cases, each will briefly discuss an SCV topic and then also provide comments about SCV cases from judges and law clerks in their jurisdictions.  Our goal is to give all of you a unique and national view of SCV cases.

The value of this program is really high.  I encourage you to sign up early before we run out of room in the Zoom space.  If you are a member of the judiciary or with the U.S. Trustee, and would like to attend please contact Linda Temkin at the email address above. Read more…

cdcbaa Program on Evidence in Bankruptcy Court, March 20, 2021


Register at:

March 20, 2021:
Announcements: 10:45 am
Webinar starts: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm PST

Hon. Barry Russell | U.S. Bankruptcy Court – Central District of Calif, Los Angeles Division

M. Jonathan Hayes | Resnik Hayes Moradi LLP

FREE | Members
$75 | Non-Members
$50 | Govt/Non-Profit/Co-Sponsor Organization Members Read more…

Adjusted Dollar Values – April 1, 2019

I am posting this because I always have a hard time finding the adjusted dollar values. I admit, I stole this from the Eastern District. You can find it by clicking here, and I have pasted a few choice numbers for convenience:

Debt limits for Chapter 13 cases: unsecured, $419,275; secured $1,257,850.

Wages entitled to priority: $13,650.

Definition of a small business: $2,725,625.

Definition of assisted person: $204,425.

California has Changed (slightly) Civil Code Section 1542 – Watch Your Settlement Agreements

California has made subtle changes to that Cal Civ Code section we all know and love.   Be sure the language you include in your settlement agreement cites the new language.

Effective January 1, 2019, Section 1542 now reads:

A general release does not extend to claims that the creditor or releasing party does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release and that, if known by him or her, would have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor or released party.

5 Things Dept. of Education Can Do If You Don’t Pay Student Loan

There are $1.2 trillion (that’s with a ‘t’) of student loans out there and growing at $3,000 per second!  Read this in a reputable book, don’t ask me for pin cite.

A student borrower is in default if you fail to make a payment for 9 months. What happens if he changes his mind on what he wants to do for a career. Does he have to get another loan? If so, would he not just be stuck with his current career then? Have a look at this site, it provides a great service. The ability to look at your attributes, likes and dislikes, and find a possible career to purse. Everyone should use this tool. Not just to pick a career either, this site will help you get started and pointed in the right direction to pursue the career you’ve chosen as well.

So, what can are 5 main things the Dept. of Education can do?

Read more…

Does Filing BK Severe Joint Tenancy to Tenancy in Common?

I enjoyed how this judge put it — The concept that the filing of a petition for relief severs a joint tenancy is evidently from the fantasy world of make believe or born as a result of wishful thinking. It is just not true. The debtor does not transfer his title to 541 property of the estate but holds his title subject to the exercise by the trustee of [the trustee’s] rights to sell, use or lease such property by appropriation under the “avoidance” or “strong arm” sections as typified by Sections 542, 543, 544, 545, 546 and 547 of the 1978 Act, as amended. . . . The trustee has no title to property of the estate until he elects to take affirmative action and proceedings are had or orders made. See Whittington v. Gilbralter Sav. & Loan Assoc. (In re Spain), 55 B.R. 849, 854 (Bankr. N.D. Ala. 1985).

As for this Circuit, I’ve found cases that appear to same the same and the opposite.

What a Crock! Turns Out Only 0.5% Public Service Participants Qualify For Loan Forgiveness

Around Fall of 2007, Pres. Obama’s administration came out with a program that allowed some students to have their loans forgiven if they worked for a “public service jobs” for 10 years.   Ten years later, these students who worked for 10 years at low paying jobs — are having their applications for loan forgiveness denied because the “public service job” they were doing for 10 years was not a “public service job” in the eyes of the Dept. of Education anymore.

Of 20,521 applications for loan forgiveness — only 96 borrowers were approved.  That is less than 1% !

The definition of “public service job” had changed throughout the year and the servicers misled borrowers by saying mischievously, “oh absolutely, you still qualify….keep paying that loan.”  I feel bad for these people — hopefully Congress fixes this (not holding my breathe).

Can you imagine after 10 years of working — you are told, “sorry, you don’t qualify but thank you for your service.  Next in line!”  That’s a bunch of crock and makes me so angry.

The original article by legal contributor Alan White on CreditClips can be found here.

State Bar Seeks Public Comment on Amending California’s Legal Malpractice Insurance Rules

The State Bar is seeking public comment on options under consideration as part of its statutorily mandated malpractice insurance study. The deadline to submit public comment is November 5, 2018.  Currently, malpractice insurance is not required for attorneys licensed in California. However, attorneys without this insurance are required to disclose this fact to clients for whom legal representation will exceed four hours.

The State Bar is currently seeking public comment on the following options regarding malpractice insurance for attorneys licensed in California:

  • Amending rules to require attorneys to disclose to clients that they do not carry legal malpractice insurance;
  • Mandating legal malpractice insurance for attorneys as a condition of licensing, except for in-house counsel and government attorneys;
  • Developing a Continuing Legal Education or Practice Management program that provides an interactive self-assessment of law practice operations in an effort to examine legal malpractice liability;
  • Mandating such a program for attorneys who choose not to carry insurance;
  • Promoting the voluntary purchase of insurance.

Additional details, including how to submit public comment, can be found here. 

Joint Tenancy – Special California Exception

Remember Property 101?  There are four unities re: joint tenancy:  unity of possession, interest, time and title.  As a rule, if any of these 4 unities is missing then the joint tenancy becomes a tenancy in common.  So, if A and B own property at JT’s and B transfers to C then A and C own the property as 50% TIC.

But — California has a statutory exception when someone who owns property by themselves wants to create a JT with others.

For example, Amy owns Blackacre.  When her kids became adults, Amy wanted to create a joint tenancy with them.  She is allowed to deed the property to them and name herself as joint tenants.  It will look like this — “Amy, as sole owner, hereby grants Blackacre to Amy (herself), Mary and Joe as joint tenants.”  Under California’s statutory exception — this new deed satisfies the unity of time and title even though Amy acquired the property many years ago through a different deed.   Read more…