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Author: Kathleen Michon

Can the Bankruptcy Court Take Away Your Social Media Accounts?

Can the Bankruptcy Court Take Away Your Social Media Accounts?

If they are business accounts, then yes. A Texas bankruptcy court recently ruled that social media accounts (like Twitter and Facebook) used to promote a business are part of that business’s bankruptcy estate, and the bankruptcy court can order the owner to turn over the passwords. Personal social media accounts, on the other hand, are not part of a business’s bankruptcy estate, said the judge. Of course, determining whether a social media account is personal or instead belongs to a…

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Victory for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filers Who Convert to Chapter 7

Victory for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filers Who Convert to Chapter 7

In a victory for bankruptcy filers, yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved a split among the Courts of Appeal in Harris v. Viegelahn, 575 U.S. __ (2015). The ruling affects people who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and then, before completing the Chapter 13 plan, convert the case to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Supreme Court said that if the bankruptcy trustee has plan funds on the date of conversion that he or she has not yet distributed to creditors,…

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Should I Vacate a Money Judgment, Settle the Judgment, or File for Bankruptcy?

Should I Vacate a Money Judgment, Settle the Judgment, or File for Bankruptcy?

ASK LEON  Bankruptcy  expert  Leon Bayer answers  real-life questions. Dear Leon,  I have a credit card judgment against me for $20,000. I am trying to improve my credit and am wondering what to do. Should I try to vacate the judgment, settle with the judgment creditor, or file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?  Here are the facts. I did default on payments for the credit card that is the subject of the judgment.  However, I can prove that the judgment creditor…

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Jointly Owned Homes in Bankruptcy: What Happens?

Jointly Owned Homes in Bankruptcy: What Happens?

A house divided against itself cannot stand.   — Abraham Lincoln (assassinated 150 years ago yesterday) ASK LEON  Bankruptcy expert Leon Bayer answers real-life questions. Dear Leon,  My sister and I are joint owners of a home left to us by our parents. I live in the home and pay for the taxes and upkeep. There is no mortgage. My sister recently filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  She and I are barely on speaking terms.  Here’s the problem. I got…

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Fed Agency Slaps Debt Collector Hired by Prosecutors

Fed Agency Slaps Debt Collector Hired by Prosecutors

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently settled a lawsuit it filed against National Corrective Group (NCG), a debt collection agency that was working under contract for various district attorneys’ offices in California, Maryland, Colorado, Nevada, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Pennsylvania.  The settlement put a stop to the abusive practices NCG was using against people in bad check writing diversion programs. What??? Why Are District Attorney Offices Hiring Debt Collectors? In many states, if you are charged with writing…

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