Message from U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Massachusetts

The Honorable Frank J. Bailey has been appointed the Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts for a term of four years, effective December 10, 2010.  He succeeds the Honorable Henry J. Boroff.

Will Massachusetts adopt judicial foreclosure?

Secretary of State William F. Galvin plans to submit a bill next month that would force Massachusetts mortgage lenders to get court approval before seizing homes, in an effort to protect homeowners and address concerns about how foreclosures are conducted. More from The Boston Globe here

Report on Young Lawyers Committee Event

On November 30, 2010, the Young Lawyers Committee of the Bankruptcy Section hosted a cocktail reception at Ned Devine’s Parris Lounge. The event was designed as an informal “meet and greet” for young bankruptcy practitioners. Over 20 people attended, including several new faces of bankruptcy associates, law students, and in-house counsel. After hosting a “Kick-off” breakfast at the start of the BBA calendar year, the event allowed committee members to get together once more before the upcoming “Young Bar Meets Bench” program in February 2011, which will feature the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Judges in a panel discussion. The “Young Bar Meets Bench” program has become the Committee’s premier event and was attended by over 100 people last year.

Handling Individual Chapter 11 Cases – Emerging BAPCPA Issues

Individual Chapter 11 cases are more and more commonplace. Debtors with more than $1,010,650 in non-contingent secured debt and $336,900 in non-contingent liquidated unsecured debt are ineligible for Chapter 13. Given that Massachusetts is still one of the most affluent states in the nation, Chapter 11 for individuals is often the best and only option.

This program will address the process for administering a Chapter 11 case, with particular emphasis on Chapter 11 individual debtors and changes wrought on such cases by the 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code.

Specific Topics:

Petition/Credit Counseling

First Day Motions
i. Cash collateral
ii. Wages
iii. Retention of professionals
iv. Utility usage
v. Payment of priority taxes

Compliance Issues
i. Initial Debtor conference
ii. Section 341 meeting
iii. U.S. Trustee fees

Tax Considerations

Professional Retention and Compensation

Selected Confirmation Issues
i. Classification of claims
ii. Cramdown issues (absolute priority rule and whether it applies to chapter 11 individual debtors)
iii. Plan payments (payment requirements in the event of objections to a Chapter 11 individual debtor’s plan)
iv. Best interests test and exemption issues
v. Plan feasibility
vi. Discharge issues (changes to individual debtor discharge rules as a result of BAPCPA)

Case Closing


Eric K. Bradford, Esq.
Senior Trial Attorney
United States Department of Justice, Office of the United States Trustee

Andrew G. Lizotte, Esq.
Hanify & King, P.C.

Craig Jalbert, CIRA
Verdolino & Lowey, P.C.

Deirdre Keady, Esq.
Harmon Law Offices, P.C.

John F. Sommerstein, Esq.

Sponsoring Section/Committee(s):
Bankruptcy Law Section
Consumer Bankruptcy Committee

Preview: “W”Rap Your Arms Around Chapter 258 of the Acts of 2010: An Act Relative to Mortgage Foreclosures

The Bankruptcy Section is hosting its first “Consumer Rap” of the season with a get together on November 10 at the offices of Parker & Associates. The “Rap” sessions are opportunities for practitioners who represent individual debtors as well as those who represent creditors to come together informally and talk about the practical issues faced when representing their clients – how to do their jobs effectively as well as ways to improve their respective practices and the interactions between counsel. There is no formal “speaker” as we ask those who are coming to bring with them their knowledge and experience (forms are welcome too) and together have a discussion (hence the get together is called a “rap” ). These gatherings are informal, cooperative and a benefit all in attendance.

This first session is extremely timely in light of what is going on in the world of foreclosure. We are going to be talking about the current state of the practice in light of the recently enacted emergency law Chapter 258 of the Acts of 2010 “An Act relative to Mortgage Foreclosures” as well as the foreclosure moratorium and other related rule changes and how courts and clients are responding.

Please bring some food or drink to share and come ready to “rap”.

Please RSVP to the BBA as soon as possible as space is limited!

Hope to see you there. Nina Parker