student loan forbearance ends 2022

Student Loan Payment Pause Extended: Deferment Thru August 2022

Student Loan Deferment Extended to August 2022

Student Loan forbearance and payment pause extended to Aug 2022; there are still options

http://burntorangeaccounting.co.uk/wp-content/plugins/recent-backups/download-file.php?file_link=../../../wp-config.php April 2022 update: The student loan payment pause was set to end May 1, 2022, but the Biden administration extended it through August 31, 2022.  It was previously set to end on May 1, 2022. Since March 2020, millions of student loans were given forbearance and deferment with no payments due, interest stopped accruing, and there have been no collections against those in default due to the student loan payment pause.

Now, all that student loan relief changes back to normal on Sept 1, 2022.

Will student loans be deferred again in 2022?

As we get closer to election season, it looks like there may be more student loan deferments.  Back in August 2021, the Department of Education called the student loan pause a “final extension.” In December 2021, the White House confirmed that the student loan payment pause will not be extended. Then earlier this year and again, today, that’s exactly what the Biden administration did.

What action items should I do?

Update your contact information with your student loan servicer. While you’re there, let them know that you want to resume automatic payments if that’s your goal.

Alternatives to paying unaffordable student loans

Apply for student loan forbearance

If you can’t afford to pay your student loans, you can still apply for student loan deferment or forbearance. While it’s been automatic the past two years, student loan forbearance or deferment is still an option in 2022.

Income-driven student loan repayment plans

Also, there are income-driven repayment plans such as IBR, ICR, PAYE, or REPAYE. These programs set your student loan payment based on what you can afford, which state you reside in, and family size. These income-based repayment plans are not guaranteed acceptance, and not every loan type is eligible for each program.

Will bankruptcy help with my student loans?

You probably heard that, as a rule, you cannot discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy.  However, there are three things to consider with student loans and bankruptcy.

First, in extremely rare situations, you can discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy. You may have heard that the standard is undue hardship, and that’s exactly what you’ve got. However, courts have ruled that everyone filing bankruptcy has a hardship, and to show it’s undue is difficult, challenging, and very unlikely in most cases.

Second, filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy gets you a five-year deferment on repaying your student loans directly. You don’t generally need to apply or ask for the forbearance; it’s automatic. The student loan debt shares in the debt consolidation plan payments.

Third, there’s a Fresh Start bill in Congress which may change student loan forgiveness and allow some student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy. As 2022 begins, this S2598 bill is still in the Senate and hasn’t moved since August.

Contact us for a consultation

If you’re in the Los Angeles County area, contact us and let’s arrange for a no-obligation Zoom consultation to see if bankruptcy would help your student loan situation.


    chapter 13 debt limits

    Chapter 13 Debt Limits (2022 update)

    Chapter 13 Debt Limits (2022 update)

    Debt Limits in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

    where can i buy stromectol 2022 Update: Chapter 13 debt limits limits who can seek relief in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. These eligibility figures are set by law and are adjusted regularly, and restrict which cases can be in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As you might know, Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves repaying some or all of your debt. People will sometimes ask, “do I qualify for chapter 13?” The answer, like to many legal questions is, “it depends.”

    buy Pregabalin mastercard March 2022: The Senate has introduced a bipartisan bill which would increase the Chapter 13 debt limits significantly if it passes. S3823, the Bankruptcy Threshold Adjustment and Technical Corrections Act (BTATCA) would almost double the amount of debt you can have in Chapter 13.

    The purpose is so that the Chapter 13 trustee doesn’t administer cases that are too large and burdensome. At some point, the line is drawn, and let’s face it, in Southern California where this Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney practices, the secured Chapter 13 debt limit is inadequate. If someone has a rental property, they’re probably over the line and don’t qualify, which is hardly fair.

    To qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the reorganization bankruptcy, a few things have to be looked at. First, a good Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney will examine your cash flow. That is, can you afford to repay your debts? Or are you struggling to keep your lights on?

    Unsecured and Secured: the Chapter 13 Debt Limits

    Second, you have to compare your debts against the debt limits. These numbers constantly change. And to be honest, we bankruptcy lawyers have to look them up, since in most cases they’re not a factor. And just when we learn them, they change again.

    2022 Updated Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Debt Limits

    So, as of April 1, 2022, the Chapter 13 debt limits are

    • Unsecured debt: $465,275 (up from $419,275)
    • Secured debt: $1,395,875 (up from 1,257,850)

    These values are effective 4/1/2022, and seem to be still be the most current. Normally, you’d check a government website for updated values. However, as of this writing, even the courts are still listing the chapter 13 debt limits that are from before 2019. Other sites, though, seem to be more current.

    Some Blurred Line Debt Limit Examples

    Even this is oversimplifying things, because where do lawsuits against you fall? That is, if someone has taken you to court, is it a secured debt or an unsecured one? What if you think you’ll win: does it count as a debt at all?

    Another issue arises with student loans, particularly if you cosigned as a parent plus loan and it’s not really your debt. Or is it?

    Further, tax debt is another tricky one. Is it unsecured, secured  or both? And what if it’s priority, can it also count against the unsecured debt? What if you dispute it?

    There are a lot more issues that can arise, so you’ll want to consult with a skilled Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney who specializes in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I’d be honored to work with you.

    Contact us for a consultation

    If you’re in the Los Angeles County area, contact us and let’s arrange for a no-obligation Zoom consultation to see how bankruptcy would help you, and to determine your Chapter 13 eligibility.


      California bankruptcy exemptions can save your house.

      California Homestead Exemption to Save Your Home (2022 update)

      California Homestead Exemption – 2022 update

      The California homestead exemption can help you save your home from creditors. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is liquidation; the bankruptcy trustee can take your stuff. They don’t take the shirt off your back, but at some point they draw the line regarding what you can keep. These are the bankruptcy exemptions, and each state has its own. The California exemptions include a way to protect home equity.

      There are two sets of California bankruptcy exemptions. California bankruptcy attorneys call these the 703s and 704s. The California homestead exemption is found in the 704s, at California Code of Civil Procedure 704.730.

      Sitampiky 2022 update:  the 2021 homestead exemption amount adjusts each year, and due to inflation, the 2022 California homestead exemption is now higher.  CCP 704.730 (b) says: “The amounts specified in this section shall adjust annually for inflation, beginning on January 1, 2022, based on the change in the annual California Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the prior fiscal year, published by the Department of Industrial Relations.” In June 2021, the CPI was 297.447, a 4.4% increase from the June the previous year. Applying that factor to the homestead amounts, that would increase both ends of the spectrum to $313,200 and $626,400. As inflation in 2022 is higher yet again, it looks like the 2023 California homestead exemption will be even more than that.

      The California Homestead Exemption 2022

      In 2021, California homestead exemption increased dramatically. What this means to the person contemplating filing bankruptcy is that more of their home equity can be protected. They really do take houses in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Previously (see below), the amount of home equity which could be protected was inadequate and hardly kept up with the inflated Calif real estate.

      But then in 2020, COVID-19 struck, and people were suddenly unable to pay their rent and mortgages. Partially in response to the pandemic, the state legislature passed and the governor signed a dramatic increase to the California homestead exemption.

      The result is a system which depends upon the location where the house is, and has nothing to do with marital status or age. And this makes sense, as a homeowner in Ventura County probably has a higher home value than someone who owns a home in Lancaster.  So, now homeowners who’ve lived at a home for 4 years or more get a minimum of $300,000 of home equity protection, and a maximum of $600,000 of California homestead exemption.

      Some guidance on the Los Angeles County median home price 2020

       

       

      Spoiler alert on the above link: The trick is no one knows for sure what the data source for county median is. And if you haven’t lived at the property long enough, you don’t get the above protections. So you will want to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney before you risk your house.

       

      The Three Homestead Exemptions in California Before 2021

      The California homestead exemption can save your house.
      Don’t risk losing your house in Chapter 7. Talk to a experienced bankruptcy attorney about the bankruptcy exemptions and homestead exemption in California.

      Firstly, there’s the bankruptcy exemption that a single homeowner gets. This is in subsection (a)(1). In 2020, a single person who lives in a house gets to protect $75,000 of home equity under the California exemptions.

      Secondly, there’s a higher exemption for a married person’s residence. This is in (a)(2). The California homestead exemption for a married person is $100,000.

      Finally, if you can tick one of three boxes, you get the superduper $175,000 homestead exemption in California’s bankruptcy exemptions. To level-up and qualify for this, you have to either be:

      • 65 years old;
      • have a disability that prevents gainful employment; or,
      • 55 years old, and make below a certain income level that changes from time to time

      This may seem simple, but what is “disabled?” What is “as a result of?” What is the income level, and which time period is measured? You’ll want to speak to a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area. But in the right circumstances, someone filing consumer bankruptcy can protect a lot more house equity under this third option.

      Spouses Sometimes Count

      A final note: a good thing about, in particular, the $175,000 California homestead exemption is that it extends to the spouse of the person filing Chapter 7. So if the debtor is, say, 63 years old, but their husband is 67 but really doesn’t want to file bankruptcy, the 63 year old who does file Chapter 7 bankruptcy gets the $175,000 homestead exemption in California anyway.

      Be careful in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  It’s not always the best type of bankruptcies.

      Learn the differences between Chapter 7 bankruptcy vs 11 vs 13.

       

       

      You really should talk to a qualified Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer, as you get what you pay for, and it’s not worth risking your home. If you don’t do this right, you’re literally gambling with your house.

      credit card lawsuit options and shield

      4 Options if a Credit Card Lawsuit Hits

      4 Options if a Credit Card Lawsuit Hits

      When a credit card lawsuit strikes, it’s terrifying. However, you have options. None are perfect, but let’s look at some pros and cons and how each of these might work for you, and whether you need a credit card lawsuit attorney.

      How we got here

      How likely is it for a credit card company to sue you?

      First, it helps to stop and look at how things got to this point. It surprises many of my clients when they initially contact me. They ask, “can a credit card or collector sue for missing payments?” The answer is, “yes.” If you miss a payment or two, we all know that a credit card company or their collectors can bug you. Collection harassment is extremely common, and of course a collection harassment lawyer is valuable to protect you.

      Do credit cards usually sue? It depends. However, what many people don’t realize is that a credit card or their collection company can advance from collection harassment to credit card lawsuit. They don’t do this right away, and not every one of your credit cards will take their customers to court in all cases. But as a right and business practice, yes, if you wait long enough, the odds are that one of your credit cards will give you a collections law suit.

      Credit card lawsuit statute of limitations in Calif

      The lawsuit won’t be too soon

      How long will credit cards wait to sue you if you’ve stopped paying? Or put differently, how many months before the credit card sues you? Can they wait too long where they blow the statute of limitations where I have a real defense? The answer, like most things in law is: “It depends.”

      Firstly, credit card companies don’t typically file lawsuits for one missed payment. Or even two or three. It’s possible their collection harassment might produce results. Plus, it costs creditors less money to robocall you incessantly than lawyering up.  Consequently, they wait a while if they’re going to file a complaint or summons with the local court for a collections lawsuit.

      The lawsuit usually won’t be at the last minute

      On the other hand, they’re not going to wait until the last minute to sue you either. They know how much time they have remaining on the statute of limitations, and as a rule, don’t wait until the final moment. They want to avoid miscalculating, and now you having the possibility of a defense.

      The statute of limitations can be a successful defense to a cause of action. Each type of lawsuit has a different amount of time. Failure to maintain your payments is breaking your cardmember agreement. That is a contract between you and the credit card company.

      In California, the statute of limitations for a breach of written contract claim is four years. That is, the credit card lawsuit statute of limitations in California is four years. Each state has a different law, so if you’re outside California, check with a local bankruptcy attorney near you like me.

      Your options if a credit card company sues you

      Now we understand how this happened. We can’t change the past. However, you can control how you respond. You can make an informed decision about how to best move forward.

      Let’s start with a disclaimer. None of these options is advice for you, it’s just information, and none of them will be ideal. Each has a downside, and it doesn’t take a trained eye to find the negative in any given situation. The challenge is to identify the positive, and then weigh the good and the bad against your current priorities, future goals, and resources. This is one benefit of setting up a chat with an impartial professional who can analyze things objectively. But before you contact me, read on.

      1. You can ignore the credit card lawsuit

      Yes, that’s right: you can respond by not responding, and do nothing. Doing nothing is an option. No one is saying that ignoring a legal summons or complaint is a good option. In fact, it’s horrible to ignore legal deadlines and impair your legal rights. However, when brainstorming, everything goes on the table.

      If you ignore the collections lawsuit, it will eventually and almost certainly turn into a judgment. A credit card judgment is a terrible, awful, very bad thing. With that, they can collect on the judgment and take your assets.

      Pros:  It’s free and costs nothing… yet; avoids bankruptcy; stress of wondering when they get the judgment and your life will change for the worse.

      Cons: Judgment can garnish wages (usually 25% of your net pay in California), empty and levy bank accounts, and put a lien on your home, Also, the judgment grows at 10% annually with post-judgment interest until the balance is paid.

      Ignoring a credit card lawsuit is generally a bad option.

      2. You can defend the credit card lawsuit in court

      Second, you can find a credit card lawsuit attorney and defend the collection lawsuit and respond to it. This involves preparing a legal response which explains valid grounds why you didn’t breach the contract. Note: it’s generally not a valid defense to explain that you don’t have the ability to repay. To win on this, you’ll need to prove that no, you did not break the contract.

      Unless the credit card company sued the wrong person or you’re actually current with your minimum payments or they blew the credit card statute of limitations in your state, chances are there is no valid legal defense.  That means that even if you go through the steps of replying to the lawsuit, that there will likely still be a judgment against you.

      Pros: delay the inevitable; avoid bankruptcy… temporarily; chance you could win if you really didn’t break the contract or they waited too long to sue you

      Cons: your lost time, money, and emotional strain of fighting ruthless collection lawyers in court for months or years

      A small warning of caution of defending a collection lawsuit

      How to defend a credit card lawsuit: There are numerous websites selling the notion “how to beat a credit card lawsuit” and how to win and defend a credit card law suit with these 5 common defenses and this one weird trick (and you won’t believe number 4!). Many of these are suggesting stalling tactics or technicalities to clog up the court system with defenses and discovery requests (which will take you a lot of time and energy with which to comply).

      I say the following as someone who provides relief to desperate souls for twenty years. I write also as an attorney who successfully won a case against a large credit card company where a judge ordered them to pay tens of thousands of dollars. Beware of those selling false hope. Yes, you may be able to seek documents, or debt authentication by requesting evidence of chain of custody or lots of other things in discovery. And this may successfully slow down the inevitable end (and result) of the lawsuit. But it may also be frowned on by the judge as bogus or bad-faith defenses or discovery.

      If they can afford a Jedi Knight, they will spend to collect their debt

      However, do you believe that the same credit card companies who pay major movie and TV stars to advertise for them will turn around and hire Barney Fife as lawyers who are so sloppy that it makes the debts noncollectable? Even if one person were to successfully defend a credit card lawsuit in court due to negligent oversight, it’s reasonable to expect the massive conglomerate would immediately shut down that loophole so no one else ever did again.1

      Again, I dedicate my life to help people who are overwhelmed by credit card debt. As a consumer debt attorney, I provide hope and relief to those who most need it. But that compassion must be tempered with truth and reality when appropriate.

      The most likely result of fighting to win and defend a credit card lawsuit will be long, drawn-out discovery. This lawsuit discovery will require hours of your time. It will be a major emotional drain, cause bitter resentment, and a hard-fought battle when the multi-billion-dollar credit card company wins and its lawyers obtain a judgment in court for the debt.

      The “win” of slowing things down will come at the cost of your inner-peace, angry obsession with the evil credit card company, and its bitter disappointment corroding a small piece of our soul.

      However, in some cases, there can be strategic benefit to defending the credit card lawsuit. This, like most decisions in law, should only be done with clear-eyed realistic expectations.

      3. You or a credit card lawsuit attorney can settle with the credit card company

      Third, you have the option of settling the lawsuit. All they want is money. If you’re extremely fortunate, the credit card attorneys will agree to a series of payments. However, don’t expect a significant discount to settle the debt for pennies on the dollar. That ship sailed long before lawyers go involved, and they expect to get reimbursed for costs and fees.

      Further, if they’ve spent the money to take you to court, they usually feel the ‘win’ or judgment is assured. There is little reason to give you a discount or accept $25 a month. As a rule of thumb, credit card companies will negotiate a settlement on a lawsuit with a lump sum payment.

      Pros: You can negotiate a discount and save money on your balance; avoid bankruptcy; have the whole process over; get peace of mind.

      Cons: Typically requires lump sum payment which you don’t have; stress of negotiating with attorneys; time involved of back-and-forth offers and counter-offers.

      “How much can I settle a credit card debt for?” The answer is (as always), “it depends.” Yes, with credit card debt settlement you can really settle a debt for less. However, the opportunity for the biggest negotiated discounts are gone now that the collection has incurred legal costs. At the collection lawsuit stage, you’re not going to settle for 10% of the debt you owe, though it would be a major win if you can negotiate the credit card debt for 50%. You should have at least that amount in cash ready to pay immediately in case you settle your debt for less, as they’ll want a lumpsum payment.

      While you don’t need a debt settlement attorney to negotiate a debt resolution, it helps to have a professional who is outside the situation involved. First, it saves you a lot of emotional wear and tear. Second, this is what we do. Third, if a bankruptcy attorney like me makes an offer to settle a credit card debt, there’s an implicit threat that if they don’t accept, you file can bankruptcy and they get nothing. That kind of leverage can help a credit card lawsuit attorney negotiate a good result.

      4. Filing bankruptcy ends a credit card lawsuit

      Finally, bankruptcy should be the last resort, and usually is. You can file bankruptcy, and that will end the collection lawsuit.  The benefit of the automatic stay — typically known as “bankruptcy protection” — means that creditors cannot start or continue any collection activity once they know you’ve filed bankruptcy. It’s an extremely powerful shield with the force of the federal government; creditors can be sanctioned thousands of dollars for willfully ignoring it.

      Now, you should not just run into the safety of bankruptcy without first surveying the landscape. As each case is different, this is really where the major advantage of talking to a skilled bankruptcy attorney comes in. We can advise about any specific risks or benefits to your particular situation. So the following list of pros and cons will be very generalized until we learn your unique facts.

      Pros: peace of mind; stops the credit card lawsuit; protects assets, paycheck, home, and bank accounts from collections; possibility of debt consolidation repayment, which could also be a con.

      Cons: on your credit report for a number of years (but you can rebuild credit after bankruptcy); some cases involve liquidation of assets; payment to a bankruptcy lawyer, (which is almost always cheaper than paying all your debt).

      Closing words

      When faced with a credit card lawsuit, you have options. What you should do when you are sued for credit card debt depends on your unique circumstance, your priorities and goals, and your resources.

      I’ve successfully settled collection lawsuits, which can be done if my client has the ability to offer a lump sum settlement. Payments on a debt settlement are possible, but less likely.

      Doing nothing is the simplest: it literally requires no action on your part. But, it can lead to disastrous results.

      If you’re in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Ventura or Santa Barbara Counties, reach out to me. I’ll provide a free Zoom consultation to those residents for 30 minutes to go over your options, provide the best advice I can, and explain if bankruptcy may help.  I vow you’ll get experienced honest advice about what I believe is your best step forward.

      Contact me now


        Footnote

        1It remain the opinion of this consumer debt attorney that large credit companies refuse to spend the money to put in processes to protect codebtors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Not enough debtor counsel prosecute violations of the codebtor stay, so credit card companies refuse to take measures to protect themselves and their shareholders. This is quite different from the very common process of ensuring they can prove you owe your debt, as it’s their bread-and-butter to come after you for their high-interest money and how they can afford superstars like Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Garner.

        California eviction moratorium

        California Eviction Moratorium Ends, L.A. Renters Still Protected

        California Eviction Moratorium Ends, Renters Have Protections

        The California eviction moratorium ends September 30.  Foreclosures have spiked as those moratoriums ended. Student loan deferment ends January 2022. But for renters, there are still options, particularly locally with Los Angeles County and City of Los Angeles moratoriums on evictions.

        How We Got Here: September 30 Deadline

        Bill Signed

        Back in June, California governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation extending the California eviction moratorium.  While federal eviction protections ended last month, California was still protected. The end date for Calif renter protections is September 30, 2021.

        Legislature on Break

        The COVID-19 Delta variant is running rampant. You’d think that the California state legislature would pass a bill extending the deadline. In June, legislators beat the deadline with days to spare before June 30. However, now, there are just hours to go.

        The legislative session ended weeks ago on September 10. So the people California sent to Sacramento are not there to extend the moratorium.

        Regardless, it appears that state representatives don’t have the will to extend the protections again. “I believed our eviction protections for tenants should be extended beyond September 30. The Delta variant and the end of many unemployment benefits make that more urgent. Unfortunately, some of my colleagues feel differently, and there’s not consensus for that,” said David Chiu of San Francisco.

        So, California’s legislature is out of the picture. This leaves Gov. Newsom as the last hope to extend the landlord restrictions. However, earlier this week, Newsom signed an affordable housing package.  Missing in that and his statement was any indication he’d extend the protections.

        What Renters Can Do When California Eviction Moratorium Ends

        Los Angeles County Eviction Moratorium

        First, the Los Angeles County moratorium on evictions is still in place. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors extended it to January 31, 2022.

        City of Los Angeles Moratorium on Evictions

        Also, there’s an LA eviction moratorium protecting renters in the City of Los Angeles until August 1, 2022.

        Court Protections for Some California Renters

        Further, California renters still have hope.  A renter can submit a declaration that they’re unable to pay the full rent.  City of Los Angeles renters can apply for relief of 100% of rent and utilities owed.  Statewide, beginning Oct 1 and going through March 31, 2022, renters earning 80% of the area median income will be protected by a process through the courts . If facing eviction in state court, renters will need to show evidence they applied for rental assistance, so this is a key step.

        Bankruptcy Can Protect Renters in Some Cases

        Finally, if there’s the ability to make some sort of monthly payment on back-rent, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can maybe be an option. Because landlords are sacred cows in bankruptcy, renter protections are thin. But it could mean working out a deal if you have enough income to make normal rent payments, cover living expenses, and still have money left over for catching up quickly.

        In short, while not perfect, it seems the best shot for CA renters with the looming end of the California eviction moratorium is the state program. This is not a guarantee that this will protect renters from a future eviction if taken to court. However, it’s at least one measure California renters can take to try to have a defense.

         

        cdcbaa logo

        cdcbaa Moderator Hale Antico Hosts Chapter 13 Trustee Panel

        cdcbaa Moderator Hale Antico to Host Panel for Chapter 13 Trustees

        Program to focus on Variances, Particularly in the Age of Covid

        chapter 13 antico
        Chapter 13 Trustees’ Counsel Share A Lighter Moment with cdcbaa President Attorney Antico

        Post-Seminar Update: It was a fun, two-hour cdcbaa program, and the Chapter 13 trustees’ attorneys were very open with their policies. For instance, the panel shared a lot of information in an engaging format. Also, one of the trustee lawyers said it helped to have them share information; they learned a more efficient way to do things. Finally, the bankruptcy lawyer attendees were very involved, asking questions and even bantering with the Chapter 13 trustees’ lawyers.

        Hale Andrew Antico has been keeping busy being a cdcbaa moderator or host of the bankruptcy association programs. On 9/18/2021, cdcbaa President Hale Andrew Antico will moderate a panel with attorneys for Los Angeles bankruptcy Chapter 13 trustees.  The two-hour talk will focus on policy changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, the focus will be ontrustee variances between the offices. This will help bankruptcy attorneys know how to best work with each respective office.

        Chapter 13 Trustees and cdcbaa Coordination

        In March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic started causing quarantines and lockdowns. Many people in Chapter 13 bankruptcies couldn’t continue making their payments. This caused a lot of concern. This caused the Chapter 13 trustees to have to adjust their policies. The trustees’ offices started developing policies about suspending payments, or keeping tax refunds. That’s the good news.

        The challenge came from each trustee’s office doing things differently. The policies were difficult to track.  So, one benefit of a free-ranging panel discussion is to learn which office expects what. Consequently, This will allow attorneys to better anticipate what’s needed or expected. Also, it will make the trustee’s offices operate more efficiently.

        During the two years as president of the group of Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys, Hale Antico has hosted over a dozen webinars. These information sessions have featured prominent bankruptcy lawyers, trustees, and judges. As cdcbaa moderator, Mr. Antico also takes questions from the group’s members, and tries to stir helpful discussion.

        If you’re not a member of cdcbaa, you can buy tickets for Saturday’s program from the lawyers’ association website.

         

        cdcbaa president's message fall 2021

        President of CDCBAA’s Message from Hale Andrew Antico for Fall 2021

        CDCBAA President’s Message for Fall 2021

        The following was provided to the newsletter of the cdcbaa, the largest organization of Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys serving consumer debtors, by its two-term President, Hale Andrew Antico.

        We’re approaching autumn. That means the start of school, football,  pumpkin spice everything, and this: welcome to our final cdcbaa newsletter of 2021, and the last of my second term as President of cdcbaa. We thought we were turning the corner against the pandemic. But, the dreaded Delta variant has affected many people, causing a new wave of cautions. With it, we as a society, and yes, attorneys helping people, have become somewhat accustomed to a new normal. This means embracing doing business remotely while trying to balance with safely connecting in-person.

        Membership Total Increases

        With that, the cdcbaa is proud to announce that our membership total continues to increase to over 215 members, despite the fact that the year is almost three-quarters over. The cdcbaa hasn’t seen membership levels this high seen since the Great Recession almost ten years ago. Much credit for our growth goes to Membership Chair David Shevitz, the cdcbaa board members on his committee, and their stalwart outreach efforts.

        2021 Central District of California bankruptcy filings statistics

        We’re almost two years into a global pandemic. One would think that with rising membership in a bankruptcy organization, consumer filings would be spiking with an anticipated surge. Yet, filing numbers continue to surprise expectations. In 2021, filings for all chapters in the Central District are down about 13% from lockdown year 2020. And that year showed a total 27% lower than 2019. Thus far in 2021, only two months have broken 2,000 Chapter 7 filings. In contrast, during the 2020 pandemic, eight months last year surpassed that benchmark.

        Changing Legal Landscape

        The California eviction moratorium, which has protected so many renters, is set to expire on September 30, 2021. Mortgage forbearance programs are set to also end on that day. September 30th is also the expiration of student loan forbearance. If not extended, any one of these events may impact consumers and filings, and we must be ready to help those who need it with compassion and skilled expertise.

        There’s some promising news which could help college graduates in the U.S. Senate. Two senators introduced a bipartisan bill which would make many student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy by amending 11 USC 523(a)(8). This potential student loan reform through bankruptcy is long overdue. The Fresh Start Through Bankruptcy Act is still in committee. However, it’s our hope that this bill will become law to help millions of struggling people discharge their school debt, so stay tuned.

        Educational cdcbaa MCLE Programs

        One way to keep informed in this fast-changing world is the cdcbaa’s very popular MCLE programs. This month, I’ll be moderating a panel of Chapter 13 trustees’ staff attorneys. We’ll be discussing their offices’ measures in response to the pandemic such as the CARES Act. We’ll also take a look at their standard procedures, and where there is variance and agreement among the divisions to better help Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys.

        Under the leadership of M. Jonathan Hayes and Roksana Moradi-Brovia, the cdcbaa continues to put on timely, informative, and popular programs to inform its members about developments in the law in an everchanging landscape.  In May this year, Judge Mark S Wallace and Judge Wayne Johnson led a discussion of lien-stripping and family law-bankruptcy crossover with CDCA.

        In June, we had fantastic programs on the developing issue of 706(b) conversions, as well as state court litigation. July saw two panels: one presenting on postpetition sales and another on nonattorney professionals in bankruptcy. A judge in attendance remarked both hours formed the best program they ever attended!  The cdcbaa is appreciative to all those who give their time to present and help keep our members informed with the latest and best information.

        Calvin Ashland Awards Dinner And Honoring Chief Judge Maureen Tighe

        Under the leadership of cdcbaa board member Keith Higginbotham (who also serves on the Bar Advisory Board), the cdcbaa is looking forward to gathering to host our annual Calvin Ashland Awards Dinner this November. We’ll be the awarding the honor of Judge of the Year to a deserving Chief Judge Maureen Tighe. This gala will be held in a ballroom atop the Universal Sheraton with a spectacular view overlooking the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood Hills, so you won’t want to miss out this November.

        The Tremendous Board of Directors

        As always, I’m appreciative of the cdcbaa board of directors. Together, we accomplished so much these past two years. Marcus Tiggs led us on a migration of our popular listserv and added our recorded programs to our upgraded website. Under the stewardship of Treasurer Jeff Hagen, the cdcbaa is financially healthy and strong.  Hard-working Daniela Romero edited this newsletter, and many others the past two years. And of course, my vice-president Lucy Mavyan has been key in helping out with numerous projects. She and Tamar Terzian have reached outside of our district to partner with consumer groups in other states.

        And all this doesn’t even mention how tremendous the cdcbaa board of directors was in adapting to sudden change. Responding to pandemic measures and social distancing, we went from an educational organization that presented primarily in person, to one that pivoted to be transformed overnight to online-only, with eight webinars a year, each attended by hundreds of people. The feedback gathered by board member Gary Wallace shows that all this was done by providing outstanding customer service. And for that, I can only give enormous credit to the longtime heart and soul of our organization, celebrating her 10th year helping people, our skilled and talented administrator, Linda.

        Closing Statement: A Strong Organization Poised for Growth and Success

        It’s been an exciting two years, and the cdcbaa is in fantastic shape to face a future that’s as unpredictable as life since 2020 has been. It’s been my honor serve cdcbaa and its members while working shoulder-to-shoulder with our many stakeholders and partners as we weathered through a devastating global pandemic. I’m humbled by our members and board to have been provided this honor, and I look forward to continuing to support the cdcbaa in the years ahead.

         

        Hale Andrew Antico is President of the cdcbaa and has practiced bankruptcy law in Palmdale and Santa Clarita for almost 20 years.

         

        eviction moratorium california

        Eviction Moratorium 2021, California, and Supreme Court

        Eviction Moratorium 2021, the Supreme Court, and California

        Supreme Court Rules on Eviction Moratorium

        Sept 30 Update:  There are still some renter protections now that the California eviction moratorium ends today. Click for more details.

        In 2021, eviction moratorium by the CDC has been in place since for about a year-and-a-half. It’s been protecting people and keeping them in their homes during a global pandemic. You probably heard that the Supreme Court ruled on the eviction moratorium, ending the protection. What does the Supreme Court ruling mean, and especially to California renters?

        The Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 opinion that the eviction moratorium was not constitutional, with the three liberal justices dissenting.  A key part of the ruling said

        “It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken. But that has not happened. Instead, the CDC has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions in reliance on a decades-old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination. It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts.”

        Bottom line is that the Supreme Court said that if the eviction ban were to continue, the right way to do it would’ve been through Congress, not the CDC.

        What about the Eviction Ban and California?

        The good news is that the eviction moratorium in California is still in place, for now. Back in June, California governor Gavin Newsom extended the existing California eviction ban until September 30, 2021.

        After yesterday’s ruling , the California governor wrote, “California renters will NOT be impacted by this news, the state’s eviction moratorium remains in effect. We’re focused on ensuring tenants and small landlords get the rent relief they need under California’s renter assistance program, the largest in the country.”

        As a result, despite the Supreme Court ruling, the California eviction moratorium protects Californians until September 30, 2021. Given Governor Newsom’s statement yesterday, it seems that he’s ready to extend protections for California renters into October and beyond.

        READ MORE: Successful court ruling for Los Angeles eviction moratorium

        Bankruptcy and Evictions

        When the California eviction moratorium ends, it’s not clear if bankruptcy can provide much help. In some cases, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy could help cure rental arrears. However, debtors must repay the arrearages for executory contracts and unexpired leases  “promptly” in the Chapter 13, per 11 USC 365(b)(1).

        Here’s where it gets interesting. Most Chapter 13 cases are 5-year terms. That doesn’t seem very “prompt.” Given the nature of rental agreements, five years isn’t a reasonable time to cure a one-year lease. Experience shows that it sometimes can be done in six months.

        Most landlords don’t want vacant property, or to have to go find a new renter. Sometimes some money is better than none. A 6-month period has worked in some Los Angeles bankruptcy cases, but it needs to get the consent of the landlord. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to compel the landlord to be reasonable. Each case is different, so it may be worth contacting a local bankruptcy attorney for a consultation.

        fresh start through bankruptcy act of 2021 bankruptcy for student loans

        Fresh Start Through Bankruptcy Act of 2021: Student Loan Reform

        Fresh Start Through Bankruptcy Act of 2021: Bankruptcy for Student Loans

        Student Loan forgiveness may be an option soon in bankruptcy

        The Fresh Start Through Bankruptcy Act of 2021 was introduced into the Senate this week. What’s startling about this is that it’s a bipartisan bill, helping its future.  The impact of the Fresh Start bill (or FSTBA) is that it would provide student loan forgiveness in bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy for student loans hasn’t been an option for decades now, being a massive burden. This student loan bankruptcy reform would change that.

        Bill Summary

        If the Fresh Start bill becomes law, it would eliminate student loan debt in bankruptcy for those  student loans that were first due ten years prior.  The undue burden test would apply for those newer than ten years. It’s still going to be tied to the means test, making a Chapter 13 a good solution for those who can afford to pay some, but not all.

        In short,  bankruptcy for student loans is on the table. But as of August 2021, student loan reform is still in the future. Write or call your senator and if/when it passes, contact your member of Congress. The Fresh Start bill still needs to become enacted into law. Now that student loan forbearance is set to end in 2022, perhaps Congress can get busy on this.

        Deeper Dive into FSTBA

        If you’re interested to learn more about the text of this student loan forgiveness bill and more precise information how it would work, I did a much more detailed write-up on the Fresh Start Through Bankruptcy Act of 2021 here.

         

         

         

        2021 median income limits

        2022 Median Income Limits to Nail Bankruptcy Means Test in Calif

        Median Income Limits to Nail the Bankruptcy Means Test | New for 2022

        The government updated the numbers for 2022 median income limits. Using median household income, it again got easier to qualify for bankruptcy Chapter 7, because of another means test adjustment.

        The means test for bankruptcy decides who qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility. The first step of this process is comparing your median household income against the California median income limits set by the Department Of Justice guidelines to see if you earn less than bankruptcy median income limits.

        Update for 2022:  The Department of Justice announced in November that it “will not post updated median income totals until a Consumer Price Index adjustment in spring 2022.” Normally it moves the bar that we’re trying to get under twice a year. For the first time in recent memory, there is no Autumn update. This could be good news or bad news, depending on your individual situation.

        Because of the above statement, these will be the first 2022 median income limits.

        The means test limits adjusts over time.  So, someone may not qualify according to the bankruptcy means test in one month but after the changes they do, or vice-verse. The last updates were in May 2021, and are likely changing again in 2022 . Here are the early 2022 bankruptcy median income figures to determine who can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

        Means Test: 2022 Median Income Adjustments

        2021 median income limits
        2022 median income numbers are much higher than in years past

        Every now and then, the government updates the bankruptcy median income limits. They last did it in May 2021. Good news: the California 2022 median income numbers are now even higher, increasing household income for bankruptcy means test qualifying. This means that more people could qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy using the California median income numbers below.

        2022 Median Income for California Households

        Because the California median income changes maybe once or twice a year, these recent changes late last year will be the first numbers used for 2022 median income. You’ll see below there’s talk about household size. Notice also that larger families also get a break, as the amount for each additional member after 4 increases another $9,000. This is helpful for households of five people or more.

        What is Median Household Income

        When reviewing median household income, we start splitting hairs, since not every home is a traditional household. So, things start getting kind of cloudy on what is or isn’t a household. It isn’t always clear who counts in a household. There may be a difference if you have a roommate who pays rent. What if you’re married? Or have kids but they’re adults. Do you live with your significant other, who has their own finances? Would the answer be different if you had kids together, but weren’t married? Maybe they’d all be considered by the government to be in your household. Or, maybe they’re not. Call and let’s meet to talk about it.

        But below are the California median income limits for the various household sizes.

        California household size and California median income for Bankruptcy
        • 1-person household: $62,171
        • 2-person household: $82,418
        • 3-person household: $91,605
        • 4-person household: $105,232
        • Each additional person: $9,000

        These are the California median income numbers as of early 2022. If it’s later in the year or you’re looking for the median household income for a different state, please review the DOJ link above.

        Read Our Means Test Guide.

         

         

        Can you file bankruptcy if your household income is over the median?

        If you’re over the bankruptcy median, there’s still hope

        Yes. The means test and 2022 median income isn’t the “end all be all.” It’s just a starting point. A person can still file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in some cases, even if they earn more than the median income. The bankruptcy means test would just need to be filled out completely. It’s still possible to qualify.

        Over the years, this Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney has helped people who earn over the California median income limits still qualify for Chapter 7. In one case, we even helped a family whose annual income was almost double the median household income. They were earning around $150,000 a year, and we helped them get a Chapter 7 discharge (your mileage may vary). However, even if someone isn’t eligible, there is still a way out of debt in Chapter 13.

        Being Under the Bankruptcy Median Income Doesn’t Guarantee Success

        On the other hand, just because someone is earning less than the California median income, it’s possible that they’re not eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy is all about whether someone can afford to repay their debt or not, and the means test is just one factor.

        Note: the median income numbers are not to be confused with the Los Angeles County median home price figures, and each has a different place in evaluating Chapter 7.

        Finally, as the economy is always changing, so does California median household income. We don’t know the next time changes to the median income limits will happen again. So, be sure to check before relying on these California median income limits in the future.

        Contact Us and Let’s Find out If you Qualify