Daniel S. Williams
Bankruptcy Newsletter
Jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court in Domestic Relations Matters and Applicability of the Automatic Stay
 
Federal bankruptcy jurisdiction resides in the federal district court. However, the district court has the power to refer almost all bankruptcy matters to the bankruptcy court, which is a unit of the district court. This referral generally occurs automatically by a standing order of the district court. Most districts have a separate bankruptcy court clerk's office where all bankruptcy papers are filed.More...
 
Student Loans
 
In a proceeding under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, it is presumed that many debts, including most loans, will be discharged or "wiped out." Section 523(a)(8) of the Bankruptcy Code, however, provides that student loans cannot, for the most part, discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding under Chapter 7. Student loans can be included within a Chapter 13 debtor's bankruptcy estate, as are other debts such as a mortgage and credit card debts.More...
 
IRA Protection in Bankruptcy
 
Social Security benefits, company pensions, and 401(k) plans are all shielded by law and are, therefore, not lost to creditors in bankruptcy. Whether that same protection extends to an individual retirement account (IRA) is not clear. The bankruptcy law, which was drafted in the 1970's before IRAs became such an important vehicle for retirement savings, is ambiguous. This has led to contradictory rulings in federal courts around the country.More...
 
Administrative Claims
 
Administrative expense claims in bankruptcy cases are entitled to first priority ahead of all other general unsecured claims and, therefore, they are paid in full before all other unsecured claims to the extent there are available unencumbered funds in the debtor's bankruptcy estate. Administrative expense claims are given first priority status in bankruptcy to induce parties to do business with the debtor's bankruptcy estate.More...
 
Employment of Professionals
 
The Bankruptcy Code governs a trustee's or debtor in possession's employment of attorneys, accountants, appraisers, auctioneers, and other professional persons to represent or assist in carrying out duties under the Bankruptcy Code. Generally, the trustee or debtor in possession had broad latitude in the selection of professional persons to be employed. The Bankruptcy Code authorizes the employment of professional persons only to the extent that such persons do not hold or represent an interest adverse to the estate.More...
 
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