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cramdown-picWe write a column – that has become 1-2 pages due to all the stuff going on — called the Student Loan Sidebar in our local Cramdown publication to all bankruptcy practitioners including debtor attorneys, the creditors’ bar and our judiciary.

Because not everyone has access to this publication, we also have a copy added to our home page of our website.  Here is the Spring Sidebar:

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arkovich_law-narrowThe United States Trustee Program (USTP) has resumed audits of individual chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy cases under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 on March 13 ,2023.

What does this mean if your case is selected?

The USTP contracts with independent firms, utilizing certified public accountants and independent licensed public accounts, to perform audits of individual chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases randomly selected by the USTP. The purpose of the audit is to determine the accuracy, veracity, and completeness of petitions, schedules, and other information required to be provided by the debtor under sections 521

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SouthTampaWorkspace1Our ad came out in the Hillsborough County Lawyer Magazine today for our new Workspaces in South Tampa.  Yay!  During the pandemic when our team started working remotely, we fully renovated our office space to offer a “sometimes” office as needed for both us and our colleagues.  We offer several different packages, from a simple mailbox/reception services to a place to sit with a laptop, an office (with a door!) a few days a month with some conference room time, to a fixed office that only you occupy.  Come and go as you please with your door code, easy online reservations and payment, free ample parking and lots of services like high speed scanning, wide-screen monitors, shredding and notary, extra comfy and professional desk/chairs, sitting areas, a pub kitchen and more!  Come and check us out if you are a professional/attorney and are in need of a place to be occasionally or full-time!

We’re a little different than a larger co-working space because we understand the needs of our attorneys, have cross-referral networking opportunities, and don’t nickel and dime the small stuff.  Also, no binding year long contract.  – more pics and pricing.

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cryptoA bankruptcy claims trading platform called Xclaim just closed a $7 million fund raising round after adding a focus toward crypto claims.

If you have funds stuck in one of several centralized crypto related companies which filed bankruptcy last year, this may be of interest to you.  I have no recommendation of this firm and have never used it:

  • Genesis – up to 52.5%
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get-rid-of-sl-in-bk“It is now time”, states Judge Klein who is charting a path for discharging student loans without being reversed.  For years, bankruptcy judges were wary of ruling in favor of debtors who asked for a discharge of federal student loan debt.  In part, because those Judges knew their rulings would be appealed by either the Department of Education, or ECMC (guarantor litigator for the older FFEL loans).  Now it’s different.

In an opinion just out on April 5 (Love v U.S. Dep’t of Education, Fedloan Servicing, Nelnet; Adv. 21-02045-C), Judge Klein decried the “widespread belief that student loans are virtually impossible to discharge in bankruptcy.”  Now there is an attestation process, whereby a debtor can use factors like:

  • School closure
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bankruptcyOne of the little known facts in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, is that someone can repay a vehicle loan using the Till rate of interest rather than contract rate, as well as value the vehicle at it’s current market value.  That can be important if the vehicle is “underwater” and more is owed than what it is actually worth.

But what exactly is a Till Rate?  And why has it been going up over the past couple years?  Do we expect it to drop back down?  After all, it was incredibly low for so many years.

The Till Rate, or Trustee rate, is a presumptive interest rate used in chapter 13 cases paying off secured debts over the life of the Chapter 13 Plan. The rate takes its name from the  Supreme Court case Till v. SCS Credit Corp., which affirmed the notion that interest in chapter 13 was the combination of a risk factor and the prime rate.  The Till rate is calculated from the Wall Street Journal “Prime” rate, plus 1.5.

03/23/2023 9.50%
02/02/2023 9.25%
12/15/22 9.00%
11/3/2022 8.50%
9/22/22 7.75%
7/28/22 7.00%
6/16/22 6.25%
5/5/22 5.50%
3/17/22 5.00%
3/17/20 4.75%

There are so many things that can be done in a bankruptcy, whether Chapter 7 or 13.  For instance, did you know that we can even reduce or eliminate federal student loans now with the new DOJ guidance?  We helped teach an all day class on that to our fellow attorneys last week.

Come talk with us if you’d like to know more about how a bankruptcy filing can help dig you out of a hole.

To Schedule a Consultation
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arkovich_law-narrowI know I posted about this before, but it bears repeating as I fear many homeowners will lose their home to foreclosure if they don’t know about this very important rule change last summer.

Important new change for opposing MFSJ for those living in Florida.  Don’t expect to just show up at the hearing and argue — this rule will prevent anything you say from helping you.

Take a look at the 4th Circuit case which I believe is the first ruling on the amended MFSJ rule.  Page 4:

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By now everyone (our attorney friends) has probably watched a CLE on the new DOJ Guidance to discharge federal student loans, but do you really understand how to do the process?
We are on a panel set up by the Bransons in Orlando doing an all-day workshop via Zoom on 4/3/23 for the step-by-step process. Including how to draft complaints, serve summons properly, how to fill out the attestation form, what/when to give the DOJ information, and how to get paid. Most likely this will be a $2,500.00 no look per creditor for student loan adversary or you can file a fee application.
I’ll also have a section on other options that are only good for a short period of time when folks have non-Direct federal student loans and an adversary won’t work. This will include the new one time account adjustment under the IDR Waiver, PSLF, the new Repaye calculations which should make an IDR payment roughly 1/3 of what it used to be, BDTR claims are now processing for full forgiveness, the 10k forgiveness appeal and an update on TPD and the payment pause.
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arkovich_law-narrowSome borrowers run into trouble with their mortgage companies that is not of their own doing.  One thing the mortgage servicer likes to say is that it isn’t their problem, the prior servicer handled that – and the borrower is still in default or owes some fee.

However, the subsequent servicer has liability for this.

State v Family Bank of Hallandale, 667 So2d 257 (Fla. 1st DCA  1995) is a case that can be used to show subsequent servicer liability:  The law is well established that an unqualified assignment transfers to the assignee all the interests and rights of the assignor in and to the thing assigned.

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