How to Contact the Topeka Bankruptcy Law Office

Stop being stressed out by bills you can’t pay! Get the fresh start only the federal bankruptcy laws can give you. Contact us at the Topeka Bankruptcy Law Office today!

Mark Neis and Jill Michaux, Topeka’s only consumer bankruptcy law specialists.  You expect board certification in your doctor, expect it in your lawyer, too.

Bankruptcy Law Office Location

Neis & Michaux, P.A., Bankruptcy Law Office

825 Bank of America Tower, 534 S Kansas Ave Ste 825

Topeka KS 66603-3446

785-354-1471 telephone –  785-354-1170 facsimile

mark.neis@neismichaux.com - jill.michaux@neismichaux.com

our website: bankruptcykansas.info

bankruptcy blog: www.bankruptcylawnetwork.com

personal finance blog: www.moneyhealthcentral.com

 

View street view of Bank of America Tower Map to Our Location

Call Mark and Jill today.  We understand your bill problems.  785-354-1471

 

GAP Insurance Not In Car Lender's PMSI

GAP insurance, service contracts, administrative fees and the traded-in car payoff are not part of a car lender’s purchase-money secured claim in chapter 13 bankruptcy and can be crammed-down if the car is worth less than the loan balance, Judge Janice Miller Karlin ruled this week in In Re Miller, Case No. 08-40935, (Bankr. D.Kan. December 2, 2008).

Judge Karlin suggested the ruling may be different for service contracts in a future case if the creditor convinces her the contract enhances the value of the vehicle.  Creditors have the burden of proof to establish their purchase money security interest (PMSI) claim, she said.

Non-PMSI charges are still part of the creditor’s secured claim and must be paid in chapter 13 bankruptcy up to the value of the car. A debtor must pay the entire PMSI to retain a car even if the amount is greater than the car’s value if the loan was incurred within 910 days of bankruptcy. [Read more…]

Kansas Bankruptcy Court Proposes Local Rules Changes

Amendments to the local rules of practice and procedure are proposed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas about post-confirmation recovery of assets by the chapter 13 trustee, proof of insurance on motor vehicles, required information for attorney signatures on pleadings, and cases commenced by foreign representatives.

The Court is soliciting written comments on the proposed local rules until December 1, 2008.  Comments may be sent to the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 444 SE Quincy, Topeka, KS 66683, or at the clerk’s office in the Wichita and Kansas City, KS, divisions.

Click here to download a redlined copy of the proposed revisions.  Minutes of the Bench and Bar Committee, which recommends the proposed changes, can be found here on the court’s website.

Consider Chapter 13

Considerchapter13.com is a new web site launched by the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees Academy for Consumer Bankruptcy Education. The site contains information for consumers and bankruptcy attorneys by the Chapter 13 trustees who belong to the NACTT.

As always with any information on the internet, you should ask questions and discuss specific issues with your own bankruptcy attorney.  Chapter 13 bankruptcy practice varies widely from trustee to trustee and judge to judge around the country.

History of BAPCPA: Special Interest Legislation at Its Worst

BAPCPA (Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention And Consumer Protection Act Of 2005) has been characterized as among the best (or worst depending on point of view) examples of special interest federal legislation ever passed by Congress. The act’s history is important:

Under pressure from creditor lobbying efforts, Congress and the Clinton administration in 1994 funded a bi-partisan blue ribbon panel dubbed the Bankruptcy Review Commission. Its mission was a comprehensive study of the bankruptcy system in response to creditor interests’ complaints of widespread but undocumented abuses.

Democrats’ poor showings in 1992 and 1994 elections left Congress controlled by Republicans. President Clinton agreed to a commission to find the facts. The credit industry argued a significant number of Americans had the “ability to repay” their debts, but egged on by greedy bankruptcy attorneys, debtors were choosing instead to slough off debt. Debtors were cast as well-to-do credit card abusers who were financially irresponsible, increasing the cost of borrowing for others. Little or no evidence was ever offered to back up creditors’ arguments. [Read more…]

10% Home Mortgages Under Water

Here is a scary statistic for 2007 being reported by ABC News: 10% of American homeowners owe more money on their house than the house is worth. That figure has doubled from 5% in 2006.

For homes purchased in the past two years, the figure shoots up to an alarming 30%, according to Reuters. These are the highest numbers of homes under water since the Great Depression of 1929.

Eight million families are in danger of losing their homes due to mortgages that are greater than the value of the homes. See what fellow blogger, Gene Melchionne, has to say on the Mortgage Law Network about what this means for all Americans, particularly retirement funds.

Wichita Car Dealer Convicted of Bankruptcy Fraud – Facing 5 Years in Jail

A Wichita car dealer who gave money to relatives before filing his bankruptcy case and lied on his bankruptcy paperwork was convicted of federal crimes this week and faces possible jail time for his fraud.

Evidence at trial proved he gave money to his wife and his brother prior to filing his bankruptcy case and he lied on his paperwork. He falsely said he had no bank accounts and he had made no transfers of money to relatives nor closed any bank accounts. He also charged $125,000 on credit cards within a year of filing the bankruptcy petition for airline tickets, jewelry and other goods. [Read more…]

Kansas Bankruptcy Judges End Secret Mortgage Fees in Chapter 13

The bankruptcy judges in Kansas have approved new language for all chapter 13 confirmation orders that will put an end to the abusive practice of secretly adding fees to a debtor’s mortgage loan balance.

No real estate creditor shall ever assess, charge or collect, from either the debtor or the real estate collateral, any assessments, fees, costs, expenses or any other monetary amounts, exclusive of principal, interest, taxes and insurance, that arose from the date of the filing of the bankruptcy petition to the entry of the Order of Discharge except as may be allowed by court order or an allowed proof of claim.

[Read more…]

Attorney General Six Gives Foreclosure Advice – Get Attorney, Learn Options

Kansas Attorney General Stephen N. Six issued the following statement on home mortgage foreclosure this week, urging people facing foreclosure to seek help from an attorney.

Home foreclosure is a growing problem in Kansas and across the nation. Mortgage fraud and subprime lending have left many homeowners stuck with home loans they can no longer afford.

My office recently convened a task force to investigate this problem. Consumer advocates met with representatives from lending and real estate industries to determine ways we can stem the tide of home foreclosure in Kansas. [Read more…]

Board Certification Renewed for Jill Michaux

ABCJill Michaux has earned recertification in consumer bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification. She was awarded her 15 year pin as a consumer bankruptcy specialist.

She was the first Kansas lawyer to be board certified in consumer bankruptcy law. Her partner, Mark Neis, was second. Today, they are the only board certified consumer bankruptcy specialists in Topeka and two of ten in Kansas.

Board certification means that Jill has met rigorous, objective standards and has demonstrated expertise in consumer bankruptcy law. She goes the extra mile to keep current on bankruptcy law changes by attending national seminars, participating in daily e-mail updates and by attending several times the hours of continuing legal education required by Kansas.

You expect certification from your doctor – expect it from your lawyer too. Hiring an attorney with expertise in any specialized field of law, such as bankruptcy, can be a bewildering experience. As a client, you want to make sure your attorney is experienced in consumer bankruptcy law. Choosing a board certified specialist in one way to make sure.

More Kansans Can Qualify for Bankruptcy Help with Increased Income Allowances

The Kansas income guidelines for the bankruptcy means test go up February 1, 2008.

Kansas Median Family Income by Family Size for Bankruptcy Cases Filed on or After February 1, 2008,

  • 1 earner……….$38,594
  • 2 persons……..$52,989
  • 3 persons …….$58,075
  • 4 persons …….$69, 831
  • 5 persons …….$76,731
  • 6 persons …….$83,631
  • Add $6,900 for each additional individual

Wieland Named U.S. Trustee for Kansas

Richard Wieland

Richard Wieland

Richard A. Wieland has been named U.S. Trustee for Region 20, which covers Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Wieland has been serving as acting Region 20 U.S. Trustee since September 1, 2007. He is familiar to the Kansas bankruptcy bar, having been a trial lawyer in the Wichita office since 1988. When the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was enacted in 2005, he played a pivotal role in implementing the consumer credit counseling and debtor financial management education requirements for the Executive Office of the U.S. Trustee in Washington, D.C

The U.S. Trustee program is charged with overseeing bankruptcy case administration. Region 20 offices are headquartered in Wichita with additional offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Albuquerque.

Here is a link to the official EOUST press release.

1923 Disney Bankruptcy in Kansas City

Did you know Walt Disney’s Missouri company, Laugh O Gram Films, Inc., was forced into bankruptcy in Kansas City on October 4, 1923? Fellow blogger, Rachel Foley of www.kcbankruptcy.com, and lover of all things Disney, proudly displays the bankruptcy documents in her office.

As Rachel says, “Walt went into bankruptcy with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and came out the other side with Mickey Mouse.”

Debtor Audits Stopped (for Now)

The U.S. Trustee has stopped auditing debtors in bankruptcy cases. The Executive Office of the U.S. Trustee says Congress did not fund the budget for the audits in the 2008 appropriations bill. Alternate funding is being sought so the audits can resume, the EOUST reports.

This is good news for debtors whose advocates testified at a Congressional hearing in October 2007 that the audits were abusive to debtors because of overbearing auditors and erroneous reports of material misstatements in the bankruptcy papers.

See my post on the Bankruptcy Law Network for more details and the official statement by the U.S. Trustee.