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TBBBAThe TBBBA is entering the Zoom age for the Consumer Lunches starting at Noon August 4 and continuing the first Tuesday of every month. The Zoom coordinates will be sent later in a TBBBA email blast.
It’s bring your own lunch – but no commute! CLE credit.
First up is: The Intersection of Bankruptcy and Tenant rights: Monetizing FDCPA and FCCPA claims for tenants.
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We’re investigating this company for potential violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), among other things, and I ran across their Better Business Bureau reviews.

I’ve never seen so many 1 star reviews!  They’ve been in business for 48 years, are a major debt collector for universities and colleges for student loan debt.  Some of these reviews say they would have given a ZERO review if possible, stating they are the worst

The reviews  stem from ECSI charging a service charge for a single payment; misrepresenting the facts on credit reports and making collection calls even when an account is current, and lots more…

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Credit-ReportWhat are the most common errors on a credit report that lead to FCRA claims — and resulting damages?

  1. Status Disputes – error/inaccuracy standards which give rise to valid disputes:
  • these are things that are factually inaccurate such as:
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main-street-fundsAlong with the PPP (Payroll Protection Program) another fed run program rolled out this week called Main Street to provide low-cost loans to firms with fewer than 15,000 workers.  The Main Street launch has received a luke warm welcome from community banks due to the paperwork required per an American Bankruptcy Institute article today, but basically the lender has a 95% backstop from the federal government in event of default.

I wonder why the lukewarm interest from community banks?  My guess is that they much prefer PPP for their clients, which is a 100% forgiveable loan, and has been extended recently to allow for forgiveness for 24 weeks of payroll rather than just eight, for those businesses who were under shut down orders for the first couple months and couldn’t bring back their workers.  Since PPP funds are still available and the application deadline is not until the end of June, of course that sounds like a much better alternative.  Plus, we have found that community banks did a far better job than larger banks in getting approvals from the SBA.

But for those who need funds that will be spent for things not covered under PPP, this may be an excellent alternative.

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Denied-ins-policyIn our consumer practice, I was surprised to see that denials of life insurance or annuities are often a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).  The medical screening reports are often ad hoc and inaccurate.

If you have applied for life insurance and been denied, don’t give up.  Instead, check your report with Medical Information Bureau (“MIB”).  You may find that it’s patched together and has information well over the allowed seven years or contains otherwise inaccurate diagnosis.

Prescriptions and your Rx history are tracked by Milliman INtelliscript based out of Brookfield, Illinois – 871-211-4816.

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facemask-mortgage-relief-covidSome creditors and loan servicers are jumping the gun in pursuing foreclosures, HOA liens, COA liens.  The federal government is also taking the position that it’s okay to pursue cases already in litigation.  We had to file a motion to abate arguing that the moratorium preventing involuntary collection activity includes cases already in litigation — which is well supported by case law.

None of these things should happening while the moratoriums are still in place.  For mortgages and tenant evictions in Florida, that means we are in a holding pattern until July 2 when the foreclosure and eviction moratorium is set to expire.  This includes actions on other liens as well.  Florida Statute Section 702.09 defines mortgages to include HOA and COA liens so they have to put things in park, same as other traditional mortgages.

It also appears that certain banks are not honoring mandatory forbearance requirements — if you have received any messages, letters or phone calls re: SPECIAL FORBEARANCE options, please reach out to us asap to help make sure that this goes smoothly.

Published on:  At least not at first blush, but keep reading.  Not surprisingly, a loan provided to refinance student loans does not change the character of the loan.  The Court in Juber v. Conklin (In re Conklin), No. 19-91 (W.D. N.C. Apr. 6, 2020) concluded that “[s]o long as the loan refinanced is a ‘qualified education loan,’ then the refinancing loan may still be considered nondischargeable debt under 11 U.S.C. Section 523(a)(8)(B) whether or not it would itself be independently considered an ‘educational loan.”

So what makes a student loan a ‘qualified education loan’?  Certainly not loans taken outside the true published cost of education.  Not loans to attend ineligible schools.  Nor loans made to ineligible students.  All of these are potentially grounds to discharge student loans now — private loans that is.

We successfully discharged/obtained full forgiveness for roughly $250,000 of private student loans for clients just this month.  And the month is only half way over.

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               Most discussions about estate planning involve probate avoidance. Most folks are familiar with the myth that “avoidance of probate” should be the number one estate planning goal.  But is it so terrible that your assets have to go through probate? These are the reasons why the probate process may be helpful in some cases:

  • Probate is often associated with taxes. However, for 2020, the estate and gift tax exemption is $11.58 million for an individual, or $23.16 million for a couple. This means that you can leave up to these amounts to your heirs and pay no federal or gift tax.
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Given the current global health crisis, many small businesses will now be needing the assistance of a Ch. 11 bankruptcy in order to stay in business.

Small businesses often struggle to reorganize effectively under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. To address this issue, Congress passed the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019, effective February 2020. The Act aims to make small business bankruptcies faster and less expensive, thereby making Ch. 11 a viable option for small businesses who previously could not afford to take advantage of Ch. 11 reorganization.

The Act applies to business debtors with secured and unsecured debts totaling less than $2,725,625. However, the CARES Act temporarily increased the debt limit to $7.5 million for cases filed on or before March 27, 2021 – so for the next full year.

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