Category: Law Reviews & Studies

Article- Stifler, Lisa and Parish, Leslie, The State of Lending: Debt Collection& Debt Buying

Summary:

This is an excellent primer from the Center for Responsible Lending for understanding debt buyer industry, as well as a overview of various federal and state laws and regulations and policy recommendations.

Commentary:

North Carolina is appropriately given pride of place for being the first state to enact the novel requirement that debt buyers to actually prove the debts using admissible evidence. See N.C.G.S. § 5870-150 et. seq..

This article, however, continues the unfortunate tradition of previous examinations of debt buyers in failing to address the overwhelming number of Proofs of Claims filed by debt buyers in consumer bankruptcy cases.… Read More

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Law Review: Rendleman, Doug & Weingart, Scott- Collection of Student Loans: A Critical Examination

Abstract:

Although the collection of college student loans centers this article, some background precedes its main topic. It begins by defining and distinguishing federal and private student loans. Next is repayment of loans, postponing repayment through deferment, forbearance, extensions, and public-interest assistance and cancellation. Perkins loan deferment, forbearance, and cancellation follow. Delinquency and default are next, including collection fees and penalties, administrative wage garnishment, state and federal income-tax-refund offsets, federal benefits offsets, and professional-license suspension. The lender’s judicial collection is followed by the borrower’s limited affirmative defenses and post-judgment tools. A borrower may exit default through consolidation and rehabilitation. There are two types of statutory discharges: school-related discharges and discharges for death and disability.… Read More

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Law Review: Ponoroff, Lawrence – Constitutional Limitations on State-Enacted Bankruptcy Exemption Legislation and the Long Overdue Case for Uniformity

Abstract: 

The division of responsibility between state and federal authorities in bankruptcy is complex. The U.S. Constitution cedes the power to pass bankruptcy laws to the federal government. For political reasons, however, since 1867 the federal bankruptcy law has deferred to one degree or another to the states with respect to the designation of property exempt from administration in a bankruptcy case. The constitutionality of this practice under the uniformity requirement in the Bankruptcy Clause of the Constitution has been settled since 1902. More recently, however, considerable disagreement has arisen in the case law over whether this deference extends to exemptions enacted by a state that apply solely in bankruptcy.… Read More

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Law Review: Sousa, Michael D.- Just Punch My Bankruptcy Ticket: A Qualitative Study of Mandatory Debtor Financial Education

Abstract:

When Congress amended the Bankruptcy Code in 2005 through the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), it mandated that individual consumer debtors undergo two debtor education courses, one as a condition precedent to filing for bankruptcy relief, and a second for later receiving a discharge of indebtedness. As for the pre-filing credit counseling course, Congressional aim was to have prospective debtors understand the potential alternatives to filing for bankruptcy relief with the goal of having some percentage of debtors settle their debt obligations outside of the bankruptcy system. Regarding the post-filing financial management course, Congress wanted debtors who utilized the bankruptcy system to learn effective financial management techniques to employ after the closing of their bankruptcy cases.… Read More

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Law Review: Sousa, Michael D.- A Casus Omissus in Preventing Bankruptcy Fraud: Ordering a Search of a Debtor’s Home

Abstract:

Most individual debtors file for bankruptcy relief with honest intentions. Nonetheless, there is also an underside to the American bankruptcy law system that often goes unreported and ignored in the scholarly literature, namely, the commission of fraud by debtors who seek protection under the Bankruptcy Code. One of the ways in which fraud upon the bankruptcy system occurs is when debtors intentionally conceal assets from the bankruptcy process. Indeed, reported bankruptcy court decisions are rife with examples of debtors attempting to hide or shield assets from their creditors. Debtors who are discovered concealing assets are subject to certain civil remedies, such as the dismissal of their bankruptcy case or the denial of the discharge of their preexisting indebtedness.… Read More

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Law Review: Lindblad, Quercia, Jacoby, Wang & Zhao- Bankruptcy During Foreclosure: Home Preservation through Chapter 7 and 13

Abstract:

Filing for bankruptcy is the primary legal mechanism by which homeowners in foreclosure can exert control over ownership of their home, yet little is known about the interplay between bankruptcy chapters, mortgage servicers, state foreclosure laws, and home foreclosure auctions. We analyze 4,280 lower-income homeowners in the United States who were more than 90 days late paying their 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Two dozen organizations serviced these mortgages and initiated foreclosure between 2003 and 2012. We identify wide variation between mortgage servicers in their likelihood of bringing the property to auction. We also show that when homeowners in foreclosure filed for bankruptcy, foreclosure auctions were 70% less likely.… Read More

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Law Review: Cappiello, Brendan- The Price of Inequality and the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act

Abstract:

In The Price of Inequality, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz explores the growing problem of wealth inequality in the United States.1 Stiglitz, riding the momentum of the Occupy Wall Street protests and “the 99 percent” political slogan, argues that economic and political factors have worked in concert to increasingly help shift wealth from the middle and lower classes to those at the top of the American socioeconomic ladder.  With traditional economic models and political theory, Stiglitz analyzes the nature of wealth inequality by examining its causes, potential ramifications if policymakers continue to ignore it, and solutions to help reverse the trend.… Read More

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Law Review: Gotberg, Brook- What Should We Do With Bankruptcy Judges?: A Strategic Approach

Abstract:

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Stern v. Marshall has signaled a need to alter the bankruptcy court’s jurisdictional structure. In Stern, the Supreme Court ruled that bankruptcy judges, who lack the life tenure and salary protection of Article III, cannot issue final rulings in bankruptcy proceedings previously believed to be within their core jurisdiction. In response to the constitutional challenge raised by Stern, and in recognition that bankruptcy court’s jurisdictional limits represent a long-standing problem, many argue for a long-term solution: the restructuring of the system to create specialized Article III bankruptcy courts.

This paper evaluates this proposal in light of classic principles of system restructuring, namely, that any proposed restructure should stem from the underlying goals or strategy for that system.… Read More

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Law Review: LoPucki, Lynn- House Swaps: A Strategic Bankruptcy Solution To the Foreclosure Crisis

Abstract:

Since the price peak in 2006, home values have fallen more than 30%, leaving millions of Americans with negative equity in their homes. Until the Supreme Court’s 1993 decision in Nobelman v. American Savings Bank, the bankruptcy system would have provided many such homeowners with a remedy. They could have filed bankruptcy, discharged the negative equity, committed to pay the mortgage holders the full values of their homes, and retained those homes. In
Nobelman, the Court misinterpreted reasonably clear statutory language and invented legislative history to resolve a 3-1 split of circuits in favor of the minority view. The Court ruled that debtors could not modify even the unsecured portions of the mortgages on their principal residences.… Read More

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Law Review: Agarwal, et al.- Second Liens and the Holdup Problem in First Mortgage Renegotiation

Abstract:

Loss mitigation actions (e.g., liquidation, renegotiation) of delinquent mortgages might be hampered by conflicting goals of lenders at different seniority. In particular, a servicer has less incentive to take certain actions to reduce losses of investor-owned first lien mortgages if the servicer happens to own the second lien claim secured by the same property. Rather, the servicer has an incentive to hold up loss mitigation as it seeks to preserve the values of its own, junior, claim. The Study shows that a sizable fraction of delinquent mortgages with multiple liens are indeed characterized by the servicer holding a direct financial interest in the junior liens, but not the first-lien mortgage.… Read More

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