New Legislation Introduced To Make Student Loans Dischargeable Again

Richard Nemeth, our firm’s principal, traveled to Washington DC last month to lobby for changes in the bankruptcy laws which would be favorable to consumers, including two bills recently introduced that would make student loans dischargeable again.  Student loans were once dischargeable like any other debt.  Over the years, Congress has chipped away at the dischargeability of student loans bit by bit.  First, it passed a law that said that government backed student loans were only dischargeable after 5 years.  That period was extended later…

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American Bankruptcy Institute Recommends Changing The Law Regarding Dischargeability Of Debtor’s Attorney’s Fees

It’s tax refund season again.  This means that the number of consumer bankruptcy filings will surge because consumers can afford to pay to file bankruptcy and discharge their debts.  For many, bankruptcy is a luxury that they can’t normally afford.  A significant portion of the cost of filing a consumer bankruptcy is paying for attorney’s fees.  Typically, these attorney’s fees must be paid in full before the case is filed because most courts have ruled that a debt owed to a consumer bankruptcy attorney is…

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Change In Exemption Statute Alows Debtors To Keep More Property In Bankruptcy

Among the most important issues to consider when filing a consumer bankruptcy are the exemption laws.  Exemption laws are federal and state laws which set forth what property a person can keep when he or she files bankruptcy.  If the bankrupt party owns property in excess of the property set forth in the exemption laws then, in theory, the excess property must be turned-over to the bankruptcy court to be sold and the proceeds distributed to creditors. Each state chooses whether it wants to allow…

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Barneys NewYork


Barneys New York is a chain of luxury department stores headquartered in New York City.  It started as a discount retailer in the 1930s, but morphed into a luxury brand retailer in the 1980s. In the early 1990s Barneys expanded and opened 30 stores outside of its New York base.  Over-burdened with debt, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1996 and closed stores in several locations across the country and abroad.  The majority interest of the company is now owned by Perry Capital…

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Andy Gibb


Andy Gibb was a pop singer whose three older brothers were world famous stars known as the BeeGees.  Andy found lessor fame in the 70s on his own.  Andy filed bankruptcy in 1987 listing more than a million dollars in debts and less than $50,000.00 in assets.

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Anna Nicole Smith


Of the all the celebrity bankruptcies, Anna Nicole Smith’S was perhaps the most interesting.  Smith was a model and actress and the 1993 Playboy Playmate of the Year.  She was a featured model for clothing companies, including Guess Jeans and Lane Bryant.  In 1994 Smith, who was then 26 years old, married an oil tycoon who was 89 at the time.  Many speculated that she married him for his money.  Upon her husband’s death, Smith and her husband’s son, E. Pierce Marshall, began a fierce…

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Bernhard Goetz


Bernhard Goetz is known as the “subway vigilante”.  In 1984 he was approached by four young African-American men on a subway in Manhattan, and asked for money.  After a previous mugging on the subway, Goetz had purchased a 38?caliber handgun in Florida.  When the four men approached him Goetz took out the gun and fired five shots seriously wounding all four.  The incident sparked a national discussion about crime and firearms.  It is credited with causing politicians to start cleaning up crime in New York…

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Bernard Madoff


“Bernie” Madoff is a former stockbroker and financier who perpetrated what is considered to be the largest stock fraud scheme in American history.  Madoff was a former chairman of the NASDAQ stock market and was on the board of governors of the NASD.  In 2009, Madoff was arrested on 11 felony counts of turning his wealth management business into a giant Ponzi scheme.  It is believed that investor losses were nearly $65 billion.  Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his crimes.  His bankruptcy proceeding was…

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Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show


William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody was a western personality and showman in the 1800s and early 1900s.  When he was young, Cody was hired by the U.S. Military to provide buffalo meat, which is where he acquired his name.  He was a soldier, a scout, and one of the most colorful figures in the American old west.  He started a world-famous show called “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West” which showcased the characters and lifestyle of the American west.  The shows toured throughout Europe and the Eastern…

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