Please join the Consumer Bankruptcy Committee on Thursday, June 8 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. for our final lunch program of the year with the Honorable Frank J. Bailey. This will be an excellent opportunity to hear about Judge Bailey’s current concerns and to discuss hot topics of the day with your fellow bankruptcy practitioners.
This event will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Library, 12th Floor, John W. McCormack Post Office and Court House, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA.
This is an open event. You do not need to be a member of the BBA to attend and free lunch will be provided to those who pre-register. If you are a BBA member, please register by using the link below:
Non-members can register by sending an email to [email protected].
We hope you can join us!
The Consumer Bankruptcy Committee will host its annual brown bag lunch with chapter 13 Trustee Carolyn A. Bankowski on April 24, 2017, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. The event will be held at the Boston Bar Association, 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA.
This is a great opportunity to meet the Trustee, hear the latest filing stats, learn about new and notable cases, get an update on the national plan, and discuss hot topics in chapter 13. The Trustee encourages practitioners to come and discuss current questions, concerns and issues, so feel free to bring questions!
To register for the program, please click here.
Please join the Consumer Bankruptcy Committee on Thursday, April 6 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. for an interactive discussion with the Honorable Joan N. Feeney.
This will be an excellent opportunity to hear about Judge Feeney’s current concerns and to discuss hot topics of the day with your fellow bankruptcy practitioners.
This event will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Library, 12th Floor, John W. McCormack Post Office and Court House, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA. This is an open event. You do not need to be a member of the BBA to attend and free lunch will be provided to those who pre-register. Please register by sending an email to Leslie Su at [email protected] or, if you are a BBA member, by using clicking here.
In a recent decision in the case In re Sperry (15-14583), Judge Hoffman overruled a mortgage servicer’s objection to confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan due to a provision that required the servicer to provide monthly mortgage statements to the Debtors. The Debtors had proposed a so-called “cure and maintain” plan, in which they would cure a pre-petition default over 60 months and maintain regular monthly payments to the lender. At issue was a provision in the plan that required the mortgage servicer to “send the Debtors monthly mortgage statements consistent with its pre-petition practice.”
The mortgage servicer argued that regulations promulgated under the Truth and Lending Act and (“Regulation Z”) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“Regulation X”) exempted it from sending monthly statements to Chapter 13 debtors, and therefore the mortgage servicer could not be required to do so. The mortgage holder also argued that the requirement was an impermissible modification of its rights and was therefore prohibited under section 1322(b)(2) and, finally, that logistical limitations prevented it from producing accurate post-petition statements.
The Debtors in turn argued that the mortgage statement provision was permissible under section 1322(b)(11) which allows a plan to “include any other appropriate provision not inconsistent with [the Bankruptcy Code].” The Debtors also argued that the mortgage statement provision was consistent with the overall objectives of Regulations X and Z, which are to promote the informed use of consumer credit by requiring disclosures about its terms and cost and to promote the flow of greater and timely information between mortgage creditors and debtors, respectively.
The Court agreed with the Debtors, finding that Regulations X and Z merely exempted mortgagees from the providing periodic statements but did not in any way prohibit them from doing so. The Court also rejected the mortgagee’s argument that the mortgage statement provision violated section 1322(b)(2), concluding that it imposed an obligation rather than modifying a right. That burden of that obligation, the Court found, was outweighed by the harm to the Debtors if they were not provided the monthly statements.
The full opinion is available here.
This post was contributed by Marques C. Lipton of Parker & Associates. For information regarding contributing case summaries or other posts, contact the editors of The Disclosure Statement, Kathleen Ryan ([email protected]) and Timothy Carter (TCarter @goulstonstorrs.com).
The 10th annual Young Bar Meets the Bankruptcy Bench program is coming up on February 16, 2017. The event will be held at the BBA from 4:30 to 6:30 PM with a networking reception to follow. The program introduces new(er) bar members to the judges for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts and the Clerk of Court, James Lynch. The first portion of the program will focus on practical problems involving the introduction of evidence and the intersection of bankruptcy proceedings and criminal law. It will feature a mock hearing, in which the judges will be given an opportunity to rule on these issues and provide insight into their reasoning. During the second portion, the judges and Mr. Lynch, will discuss recent developments in bankruptcy law and general advice for developing a bankruptcy practice in today’s market.
Please click the link below for more details and to register. We look forward to seeing you there!
On November 14, 2016, the Consumer Bankruptcy Committee of the Bankruptcy Section held a lunch program that featured a consumer case law update. Kate Nicholson and Benjamin Higgins gave a wonderful presentation and facilitated a lively discussion. Thank you to Kate and Ben and to everyone who attended!
For those who were unable to attend, the program materials are available here:
Please join the Consumer Bankruptcy Committee on December 1 for an interactive discussion with the Honorable Melvin S. Hoffman. This will be an excellent opportunity to hear about Chief Judge Hoffman’s current concerns and to discuss hot topics of the day with your fellow bankruptcy practitioners.
This event will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Library, 12th Floor, John W. McCormack Post Office and Court House, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA
Lunch will be provided to those who pre-register. Please RSVP using the link below.
Make sure you’re up-to-date on the current state of the law! Join the Bankruptcy Section on Monday, November 14th at 12:00 PM at the BBA to discuss recent decisions in Massachusetts and the First Circuit dealing with perennially thorny consumer bankruptcy issues—homestead exemptions, non-dischargeable debt, violations of the automatic stay and more!
There have been many important cases decided in our district this year—cases dealing with the limits of the Massachusetts homestead exemption, the meaning of “actual fraud” under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A), and the ability of a trustee to “clawback” college tuition payments, to name just a few. Come learn more and discuss how to avoid new (and old) pitfalls!
Kate Nicholson, Nicholson Herrick LLC, and Benjamin Higgins, Law Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts will be guest speakers.
Please click here to register for this event.
Please join us on September 20, 2016 at 12:00 for our welcome back Brown Bag. To celebrate the publication of the new and amended Local Bankruptcy Rules (effective August 1, 2016), we are dedicating the program to the Local Bankruptcy Rules. Clerks of the bankruptcy court will highlight significant changes to the local rules, common procedural issues, and best practices. We will be handing out copies of the new Local Rules book to everyone who RSVPs.
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts is pleased to call for nominations for its fourth annual Pro Bono Recognition Awards. These awards recognize the pro bono contributions by individual lawyers, law firms, government attorneys, corporate law departments, law students, law schools, legal service agencies and other institutions in the legal profession that have improved the availability of or delivered volunteer legal services in the District of Massachusetts. Five awards may be given: Western Division, Central Division, Eastern Division, the Cape, Islands/South Coast Division and the District of Massachusetts Award. Nomination guidelines and forms may be found on the court’s website at www.mab.uscourts.gov, or may be requested by email at [email protected]. The deadline to submit nominations is August 15, 2016.
The Court is also pleased to again acknowledge the commitment of individual attorneys to pro bono legal work. Attorneys who certify that they have met the specific criteria established by the Court’s Pro Bono Legal Services Advisory Committee will receive mention on the Court’s Honor Roll. Participation is entirely voluntary. Those attorneys who submit certifications by September 30, 2016 will receive a certificate of acknowledgement and appreciation for their commitment to pro bono legal work, will be listed on the Pro Bono Honor Roll on the Bankruptcy Court’s website, and will be invited to attend a recognition event at the John W. McCormack Post Office and Court House in Boston on October 6, 2016.