My clients often ask me in fits of frustration: how did bankruptcy get to be like this? And I then have the chance to tell them about the storied history of bankruptcy! Usually, they ask this question out of rage at the sheer number of documents they’re asked to produce, but I take it as an opportunity to share the joys of tax law (that is not sarcasm, I love what I do).
But I figured we can all benefit from learning something about the history of bankruptcy. So, I wanted to share with you all some of the greatest developments. What follows is a brief history laid out by the major laws that we’ve created surrounding bankruptcy.
When it’s time for bankruptcy planning, my clients in LA, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties often go “Huh?” It’s not obvious that filing bankruptcy should involve timing and strategy. But a good bankruptcy does. Why? To minimize assets the Bankruptcy Trustee may take. Here’s why pre-bankruptcy filing planning matters. Read more>>
California increased the home equity people going through bankruptcy could keep in 2020: from $175,000 to $600,000, specifically so debtors wouldn’t lose their house in bankruptcy. It mostly works. Except with houses that have IRS tax liens on them.Read more>>
In chapter 7 bankruptcy, everything you own and owe is briefly transferred to a bankruptcy Trustee, who can then use your assets to pay your debts. If you have more debts than assets, then those debts are “discharged” or wiped out (there are exceptions for some debts… Read more »
Trustee in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy When you file a a chapter 7 bankruptcy, everything you own and owe is legally transferred to a Bankruptcy Trustee, who can then use your Read more »
It’s horrible to have a loved one die. But sometimes the death comes with a silver lining in the form of an inheritance. However, for someone with lots of debt Read more »
He had a great mansion in Lake Sherwood, near Thousand Oaks, but when his financial-services firm fell apart, so did his life. Baseball legend Lenny Dykstra, who went through bankruptcy in 2009 (claiming about $25 million in assets and $37 million in debts), thought he could hide assets Read more >>
Attorneys often try to hide a client’s information, disclosing as little as possible. This legal strategy sometimes has comical effects, as in this exchange I heard in a deposition:Read more >>
I had an American client who lived in Europe – Luxembourg, of all places. He moved because his business ventures in the US were going bad. His wife was from Luxembourg, so the family moved close to his in-laws Read more >>
Self-employed persons face special challenges in filing bankruptcy. When I hear that a potential debtor has a business, a slew of questions come up: is the business incorporated, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship? Does the debtor Read more >>