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Elizabeth Brusa is an associate in the Banking and Financial Services Practice Group focusing on small dollar lending, bankruptcy, and privacy, security and innovation. She is a Certified Information Privacy Professional for the U.S. Private-Sector (CIPP/US). Elizabeth counsels financial services clients on matters related to bankruptcy proceedings, bankruptcy fraud and abuse, and Chapter 11 filings.

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy — Consumer Bankruptcy with a Payment PlanChapter 13 bankruptcy provides relief only to individuals with regular income. This Chapter is most frequently used by debtors who have sufficient disposable monthly income to make some payments over time to their creditors. Chapter 13 debtors frequently have enough equity in their residence that, if they were to file for Chapter 7, the residence

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: Chapter 11 Bankruptcy — ReorganizationChapter 11 bankruptcy cases are most frequently filed by businesses. However, certain high-earning individuals whose debts are above the statutory debt limits to qualify for Chapter 13 can also file for Chapter 11 relief. In Chapter 11 cases, the debtor retains control of its operations as a debtor in possession (DIP) and has the benefits

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy — LiquidationChapter 7 bankruptcy cases are straight liquidations sought by debtors who wish to have most or all of their debts discharged. In Chapter 7 cases, the Chapter 7 trustee obtains control over the debtor’s assets and evaluates whether any equity exists that would offset the costs of selling those assets. If the bankruptcy estate will

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: The 6 Key “Players” in Bankruptcy CasesBankruptcy cases differ from typical lawsuits in a variety of ways, including the parties involved. Whereas standard lawsuits generally involve a plaintiff and a defendant, bankruptcy cases have a different cast of “players,” including the debtor or debtor in possession, creditors, the bankruptcy trustee (i.e., Chapter 7 trustee, Chapter 13 trustee, etc.), committees, and the

Bankruptcy. The arrival of that notice stating a customer has filed for bankruptcy can evoke less-than-ideal responses: forwarding the notice to someone else who might know what to do with it (resulting in the notice ending up in a forever loop of being forwarded along); immediately writing off the account and cutting your losses; or,

Supreme Court Holds Mere Retention of Bankruptcy Debtor’s Property Is Not a Violation of the Automatic Stay but More Questions RemainFor the past few years, the federal circuit courts have struggled with the issue of whether a creditor retaining possession of bankruptcy estate property violates the automatic stay. For example, is a creditor required to automatically turn over a vehicle as soon as the bankruptcy petition is filed, or can the creditor retain possession of

Bankruptcy Court Upholds Foreclosure Sale That Occurred Between Bankruptcy Case Dismissal and Subsequent ReinstatementFrequently, borrowers file for bankruptcy at the 11th hour to halt foreclosure sales. Once a petition for bankruptcy relief has been filed, secured creditors must cease their collection efforts to avoid violating the automatic stay. However, the automatic stay terminates upon a debtor’s dismissal and closure of the bankruptcy case. A Pennsylvania bankruptcy court

Four Significant Changes to Consumer Bankruptcy Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA 2021). Similar to the March 2020 CARES Act, several temporary changes to the Bankruptcy Code are included in Title X of the CAA 2021. Below, we examine four of the CAA 2021’s most significant changes to consumer bankruptcy laws. These changes are

Top 10 Changes to Consumer Bankruptcy Proposed in the Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2020On December 9, 2020, Congressional Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), proposed sweeping legislation that would overhaul consumer bankruptcy law. The proposed changes generally make it easier for consumers to access the bankruptcy system and discharge their debts. Below is a discussion of 10 critical changes proposed in the Consumer Bankruptcy Reform

Certain “Nunc Pro Tunc” Relief May Still be Available in BankruptcyTranslating to “now for then,” nunc pro tunc orders grant backdated relief. Such orders are common in bankruptcy cases. For instance, bankruptcy courts often enter orders retroactively approving retention of professionals, and in certain cases even granting retroactive relief from the automatic stay.

In February 2020, the Supreme Court held in Roman Catholic Archdiocese of