Category Archives: Bankruptcy

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The ABI Commission’s Final Report on Consumer Bankruptcy Issues: What Mortgage Creditors Need to Know

We previously provided you with some of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy’s recommendations to improve the consumer bankruptcy system. As the commission noted, changes in bankruptcy law occur slowly. The last major amendments to the Bankruptcy Code were in 2005, and the last major amendments to the Bankruptcy Rules were in 2011. … Continue Reading

The City Has My Vehicle. What Now?

Chicagoans have found a new avenue through which to regain possession of their vehicle after it has been impounded by the City:  file a chapter 13 bankruptcy case. In 2018, 17,603 new chapter 13 bankruptcy cases were filed in the Northern District of Illinois. By comparison, in 2018, the Middle District of Florida, one of … Continue Reading

ABI Commission’s Final Report on Consumer Bankruptcy Issues, What Creditors Need to Know

The American Bankruptcy Institute’s Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy  released its Final Report and recommendations on April 12, 2019. The commission was created in 2016 to research and develop recommendations to improve the consumer bankruptcy system. During its review, the commission focused on new trends regarding how Americans are incurring debt. At the conclusion of its … Continue Reading

Part IV: Navigating the Maze of Servicing Discharged Debt

Part IV: Modifications Post-Discharge Welcome to Part IV of our series on servicing discharged mortgage debt. This part will discuss modifying a borrower’s loan post-discharge. (If you missed Part I, Part II or Part III, go ahead and catch up.) Part III discussed the legal ambiguity surrounding loan modifications when the borrower discharges personal liability in … Continue Reading

Application of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in Bankruptcy

On October 17, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its Fall 2018 rulemaking agenda. Among the items on the agenda was the CFPB’s planned issuance – by March 2019 – of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The goal of the NPRM is to address … Continue Reading

Part III: Navigating the Maze of Servicing Discharged Debt

Part III: Modifications Post-Discharge Welcome to Part III of our series on the servicing of discharged mortgage debt. This part will discuss modifying a borrower’s loan after a discharge. (If you missed Part I or Part II, go ahead and catch up.) Servicers and borrowers struggle with lack of clarity regarding the nature of the relationship … Continue Reading

Take It to the Limit: Increase in Chapter 13 Debt Limits

Individuals have several options when filing bankruptcy. Chapter 13 is often preferred for individuals with regular income who wish to keep their homes and other secured assets. In a Chapter 13 filing, the court will approve the debtor’s three-to-five-year payment plan, which generally provides for curing any pre-petition delinquency, maintaining payments on secured debt, and … Continue Reading

Part II: Navigating the Maze of Servicing Discharged Debt

Welcome to Part II of our series on the servicing of discharged mortgage debt (catch up on Part I). This part will discuss communications to discharged borrowers and evaluate various disclaimers that can be utilized. The only way to fully eliminate the risk of violating the bankruptcy discharge injunction is to cease all communications to … Continue Reading

Part I: Navigating the Maze of Servicing Discharged Debt

Mortgage servicers are plagued by their nebulous relationships with the borrowers who discharge their personal liability in bankruptcy. Issues arise when the borrower whose debt has been discharged continues to engage with the mortgage servicer. These activities include making monthly payments and requesting and participating in loss mitigation. There are few, if any, bright line … Continue Reading

Effect of Government Shutdown on Consumer Bankruptcy Proceedings

On December 22, 2018, the federal funding for certain agencies lapsed, and the United States government entered into a partial shutdown. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), including the United States Trustee Program (USTP), was one of the agencies that shut down. United States Trustees (“UST”) representing the USTP appear and litigate in a multitude … Continue Reading

Do Servicers Have to Monitor Whether a Successor in Interest is in Bankruptcy? CFPB’s FAQ Suggests the Answer is “Yes”

As the effective date for the CFPB’s successor in interest and bankruptcy billing statement requirements quickly approaches, one question we’ve heard multiple times is whether a mortgage servicer is required to know when a confirmed successor in interest is in bankruptcy. The question stems from upcoming provisions in Regulations X and Z that will collectively … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Implementation Guidance for Mortgage Servicing Rule Amendments

On March 29, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released two important implementation tools that may help mortgage servicers ensure compliance with recent amendments to the mortgage servicing rules in Regulations X and Z. This release comes shortly after the CFPB published a set of Frequently Asked Questions that primarily addressed issues related to the … Continue Reading

CFPB Makes Last-Minute Changes to 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule

On October 4, 2017, the CFPB released an interim final rule and a proposed rule to amend certain provisions of its 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. While the changes will not drastically change the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, it is nevertheless important for mortgage servicers to synthesize the information and adjust implementation efforts as the effective … Continue Reading

Bitcoin and Bankruptcy: What You Need to Know about the Value of Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies in Bankruptcy

It is hard to peruse the internet or even mainstream media outlets without hearing about bitcoin. What is this ubiquitous bitcoin? It depends on whom you ask. A CNN Money articled defined bitcoin as “a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto.” The IRS has recently … Continue Reading

Judicial Estoppel Defense in Bankruptcy Claims Likely to Get More Difficult

A recent decision from the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has impaired a valuable defense for early dismissal or settlement with bankrupt plaintiffs. This decision will affect strategy for mortgage originators, servicers, and other financial services companies that face a high volume of claims from bankrupt consumers. On September 18, 2017, the Eleventh … Continue Reading

Out of Time, Not Out of Luck: Supreme Court holds POCs for Time-Barred Debt are OK under FDCPA

In a win for debt buyers and servicers, the Supreme Court held in Midland Funding, LLC. v. Johnson  that the filing of a proof of claim in a bankruptcy case for obviously time-barred debt is not false, deceptive, misleading, unfair, or unconscionable within the meaning of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). The Decision … Continue Reading

The Eleventh Circuit has spoken: “Debtors who surrender property must get out of the creditor’s way”

In recent years, there has been a hotbed of litigation across the nation, particularly in Florida state and bankruptcy courts, regarding a debtor’s ability to contest a secured creditor’s foreclosure notwithstanding the debtor’s previous “surrender” of the subject collateral in bankruptcy. The issue ultimately made its way to the Eleventh Circuit and, much to the … Continue Reading

Chapter 7 Debtors Cannot Strip Off Junior Liens on Underwater Home Loans, United States Supreme Court Rules

This morning, the United States Supreme Court ruled that debtors in Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases cannot “strip off,” or completely void, junior mortgages that—based on the value of the property and the amount of claims secured by senior mortgages—are completely underwater. This ruling eliminates a potential means for Chapter 7 debtors to maximize the relief … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Says Secured Creditors Must File Proof of Claim Within Ninety Days of Meeting of Creditors

Timely proof of claim filings by secured creditors have “been a thorn in the side of many Chapter 13 cases involving secured creditors,” according to Judge Wood in In re Pajian. However, a recent Seventh Circuit decision may cause the industry to revise their current process for proof of claim filings. Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c) requires … Continue Reading
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