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Bankruptcy Fraud and Reform

Bankruptcy Reforms Criticized by Experts During a panel but on by the American Bankruptcy Institute, the 2005 overhaul of bankruptcy laws was sharply criticized by one of the panelists, an attorney that represents debtors in bankruptcy.  The 2005 overhaul was designed to help decrease abuse of the system by debtors and increase the relief unsecured creditors obtained.  The critique was that after ten years, the laws actually seem to have hurt consumers through the increased cost in filing for [...]

"Estate" Defined in Bankruptcy Action

Former business partners, multi-million dollar lawsuit settlements, and offshore accounts sounds like a recipe for a complex bankruptcy action, right?  All were involved in the In Re Daniel W. Allen, Sr. bankruptcy action.  Yet, in the words of the deciding judge, the case’s “ultimate resolution involve[d] nothing more exotic than interpretation of the Bankruptcy Code.”  The underpinnings of the case began in 1989 when Daniel Allen, Sr. and Gary Carpenter formed a company, ATN, that res[...]

Executory Contracts in Business Bankruptcy

Business Bankruptcy Business bankruptcy, typically filed under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code, present a host of unique issues.   One of those issues is what happens to executory contracts.  What is an executory contract? Even though it has a large statutory section dedicated to them, the Bankruptcy Code does not explicitly define what an executory contract is.  However, courts routinely define such contracts in the same way.  Essentially, an executory contract is one where both parties [...]

Breaking Down Chapter 7 Means Test

You’ve decided that you want to declare bankruptcy and that Chapter 7’s liquidation form would most benefit you.  Now what?  Now, you need to determine whether you are eligible to declare bankruptcy.  You may feel like there is no way to get out from under your debt, but bankruptcy laws may disagree.  To be eligible to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, a debtor must satisfy the “means test.” The goal of the means test is to determine whether a debtor really needs the relief affor[...]

Social Media Property Rights in Bankruptcy

Modern technology, particularly the internet and smartphones, has brought with it many new types of property, property that is largely intangible.  Intangible property does not have a physical existence and cannot be touched or moved like a car, painting, or other type of tangible property.  Much of the law has evolved to deal with tangible property so courts are still adapting to how to deal with intangible property in all areas of the law. Earlier this month, one bankruptcy court began to ta[...]