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Showing posts from July, 2009

If I File for Bankruptcy, does the Automatic Stay Protect Co-Debtors?

Generally, the automatic stay provisions of the bankruptcy code at 11 U.S.C. § 362(a) apply only to the debtor filing for relief from the bankruptcy court. However, in certain circumstances, the fact that a debtor filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop collection action against co-debtors, even if the co-debtors did not file bankruptcy. The “co-debtor stay”, set out at 11 U.S.C. § 1301(a) , is a section of the Bankruptcy Code that prevents collection action on consumer debts against co-debtors of the person filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy for the duration of the bankruptcy case. The co-debtor stay operates to delay collection efforts against individuals close to the debtor who have obligated themselves on debts incurred by and for the benefit of the Chapter 13 debtor. Generally, the co-debtor stay applies with respect to any consumer debt for which another individual is also liable, and it continues until the Chapter 13 case has ended. The obligation of the co-debtor does not

Will I be able to keep my health insurance after the divorce?

Whether or not you can keep your health insurance after the divorce will depend on two factors, one of which is in your control and one of which is not. If you are currently on your spouse's health insurance, then they are required by the Rule 411 Automatic Restraining Order to maintain you on your health insurance during the pendency of the Divorce case. However, at the end of the case when you are divorced your status as an eligible dependent on their plan may change. If your spouse's employer participates in a self-insured plan (usually only the case with very large employers), then the plan is covered by Federal law and not State law, in which case the employer can ignore the Massachusetts' law requiring eligibility of ex-spouses. This means that if your spouse's employer has a self-insured plan then no matter what the Court order states you will likely be terminated from your spouse's health insurance upon the divorce. At that time you will be eligible for

New Income Based Repayment Program May Reduce Student Loan Payments

Although student loan debt can almost never be discharged trough bankruptcy, a new program which went into effect on July 1, 2009 called Income-Based Repayment (IBR) may provide some relief for those who cannot afford high monthly federal student loan payments. The U.S. Bankruptcy code at 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(8) specifically deems student loan obligations as “nondischargeable debt” (i.e., debt that cannot be discharged through a bankruptcy filing) absent a showing of “undue hardship”, which, as contemplated by the code, is a nearly impossible standard to prove. Fortunately, the IBR program may provide some relief. IBR cannot be used to obtain an outright discharge of student loan debt, but it can help borrowers keep their loan payments affordable with payment caps based on income and family size; often capping IBR loan payments at less than 10 percent of their income household income. IBR will also forgive remaining debt, if any, after 25 years of qualifying payments. IBR is availa

What if you were never born?

No, this is not a post about " It's a Wonderful Life ". But I will tell you a story about a man who was told by the Town of Carver that he did not exist. While in the Plymouth Probate and Family Court last Tuesday, June 30, 2009, waiting for the Judge to call my client's Motion for hearing, I was listening to the presentations made by other litigants in Court for hearing on that day. One of these litigants was a quiet man. He was accompanied by his Wife, who did most of the talking for him. She explained to the Judge that her husband had requested a copy of his Birth Certificate from the Town of Carver only to discover that they had no such record. This was puzzling to her and her husband because he had grown up in Carver and lived much of his life there. He had a binder of evidence including school records, an Affidavit of one of the women present at his birth, and even military records. This man, who the Town of Carver didn't think existed, had even ser

Bankruptcy Blog and other Resources

In addition to providing answers to commonly asked questions on our website, we also try to provide links to other resources where you may find further information. These links include the Court websites , other government websites , and organizations that we either belong to or may have further resources that could be useful to the public. In addition we will often include in our Twitter accounts, links to blog posts from other blogs that we believe you might find interesting. You can click here to connect with Attorney Trask or Attorney Kelsey on twitter. One particular resource that you should review if you are considering bankruptcy is the Bankruptcy Law Network , where we often find great blog posts on numerous questions involving bankruptcies. Here are just a few examples: San Diego: New Ruling Allows Student Loans to be Discharged in Chapter 13! http://ff.im/-4nJBn How Do I Find a Good Deal on a Secured Credit Card? http://ff.im/-4FnH5 Do I have to be a citizen to