Recently, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reminded us why bankruptcy laws are not always fair… especially to those current and former bankruptcy debtors who are looking for employment. In the December 15, 2010 decision of REA v. Federated Investors, the court affirmed a US District Court ruling that the Bankruptcy Code does not create a cause of action against private employers who refuse to hire employees because of a prior bankruptcy filing.
Archive for 2010
Twenty years ago today I took the oath. After four years of college, three years of law school, the bar exam, this was the day. But as I mentioned yesterday, my ceremony was rather unremarkable and unmemorable. And I’ve been through several admittance ceremonies: Massachusetts was cool, taking the oath in Federal Court in Boston was something I remember, and the US Supreme Court was totally memorable. But after I passed the Connecticut bar exam and got admitted, the ceremony was so lame that I almost felt bad that my mom and my brother schlepped all the way out from the Cape to see it. So it’s not my ceremony but my friend Nancy’s, who was sworn in a few days after me, that I remember most. That’s what I want to share with you.
Tomorrow at about 10:00 am will mark 20 years. It was on December 7, 1990 that I was first sworn in as an attorney. I remember being totally pumped the night before… knowing that when I went to bed tomorrow night, I would be the attorney I had spent so many years preparing to be.
Chapter 7 debtors who have debt that is secured by property have a number of options, and among them is reaffirmation. A simple way of describing it: when a debtor reaffirms a debt, they are removing the debt from the bankruptcy and are agreeing to pay it. Such agreements – to be enforceable – must be reduced to writing and approved by the Bankruptcy Court. But since 2005, when Congress amended the Bankruptcy Code, attorneys who represent chapter 7 debtors have been struggling with a dual rule: that of attorney and counselor, and that of judge.
Are bankruptcy exemptions funny? Perhaps only when Jake & I are talking about them.
With the midterm elections over, I am left to wonder: how will the new Congress help struggling Americans who face losing their home. Will there be better and more streamlined mortgage modification programs? Will there be a shift in the economic climate that will promote jobs growth? Will Congress again take up the debate of amending the bankruptcy code to allow owners of single family residences to modify their loans in chapter 13?
I am not optimistic.
The mission: to convince Congress that Section 1322(b)(2) must be amended to allow struggling homeowners to modify the loans securing their principal residences.
The challenge: coming up with ideas no one else has.
The result: hilarity. Hopefully.
In this special Halloween episode of Law & Propaganda: Emergency chapter 13s, surgical procedures and other scary things.
This week, Jake & I discuss student loans and the “American Dream.”