California eviction moratorium

California Eviction Moratorium Ends, Renters Have Protections

California Eviction Moratorium Ends, Renters Have Protections

The California eviction moratorium ends September 30.  Foreclosures have spiked as those moratoriums ended. 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 to Host Panel for Chapter 13 Trustees

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: Bankruptcy for Student Loans

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.

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.

 

 

 

Los Angeles county median home price

Los Angeles County Median Home Price (2021)

Los Angeles County Median Home Price (2021)

The Los Angeles County median home price in 2021 can be tricky to determine. There are different sources that say different things. It’s not clear as of this writing in early 2021 which of the many options will be relied upon by courts and trustees.

This is provided as information only, and is not legal advice. If you are thinking of filing bankruptcy, do not rely upon this information. You are assuming all risk and are literally gambling with your home. You will have only yourself to blame if you use the wrong numbers for the Los Angeles County median home value.

See a bankruptcy attorney for more updated information before you file.

Average is not Median

los angeles county median home value
The Los Angeles County median home value is not the mean

Before we can determine what the Los Angeles County median home price is, we’ll need to know what it’s not. A median is not the same as the average. This takes us back to high school math, but a quick couple of definitions:

  • Average (or mean): this is where you add up the data, and then divide by the number of data points
  • Median: this is where you list all the data, and then take the number which is at the midpoint

So, as you can see, the median is not the same as the L.A. County average home value.

The Median Changes Over Time

Because the median is the midpoint of all the data, each time there’s another home sale, the median changes and moves. You may figure with a random distribution of data, there would be an equal likelihood that future sales will be about half above and half below the median, keeping the median the same. But home prices change over time and are not static, and particularly during a virus pandemic like the COVID-19 coronavirus we had last year in 2020.

For example, you might find some data sources that list the median home prices for last year, but only through December. In December, there were a new round of stay-at-home orders, as the number of COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths increased.

What impact does a government order to shelter-in-place have on home sales? Can you assume that houses would sell for the same prices in December around the holidays as they do during the summer when people move a lot and kids are usually out of school?

The Los Angeles County median home price is not the same as that for the L.A. area

Los Angeles County is one of the largest counties in the United States, with over 4,000 square miles. While you may find data for the metropolitan area, that’s very different than the numbers for Los Angeles County. Why? Because L.A County goes from South Bay all the way up to the Antelope Valley and Lancaster. The Los Angeles County median home price is pulling together data from all these.

Los Angeles County is home to about 10,000,000 people, while the city of L.A. has “only” 4,000,000. If you use only city data, you’re missing out on home values in remote areas in LA County like Littlerock and Pearblossom on the 138 and on the way to Vegas.

The Median Home Value is not the same as Median Home Sales Price

You can find some sites which average the values of the homes in the L.A. area, or even Los Angeles County. The problem with that is this: you’re using their own estimate about the Los Angeles county median home values, even those that didn’t sell, when what you’re really needing is the sales price of homes that actually sold.

After reviewing all the above, you can see that we’re looking for a very specific thing here, and no one website reports the Los Angeles County median home price, or has information that in 2021 is depended upon reliably as the “go to” source for Los Angeles County median home value information. Over time, maybe one place will emerge, but for now there’s just a few “almost there” entries.

Some Data Sources Which are Close

which data source can provide the los angeles county median home price
Which of the various data sources is the right one?

With all that being said, you can understand the challenge of finding the Los Angeles County median home price.  Most websites are using averages, some have only the L.A. area, and none of them let you have access to the data of all the home sales so you can calculate the median yourself.

 

Zillow: this company is famous for using its proprietary “Zestimate” to approximate home values. For example, if you go here, you can find what Zillow calls “the typical home value of homes in Los Angeles.”

But that number isn’t clear…. What does “typical” mean – average or median? Remember, they’re different.  Home value or home price? There’s no indication this is relying on sales data. And for what time period? Now, at this snapshot in time, last month, this year, or last year?

The website doesn’t say what the Los Angeles County median home price is. It also doesn’t say if it includes single-family homes, is only single-family homes, or something else.

Realtor: This website features real estate, but if you dig down deep enough, you can find market data, research, and trends. It provides data by month, not year, and appears to be providing listing prices, not sales prices.

Redfin: Redfin is another national real estate website, which tracks listings and sales, and helps connect home buyers to realtors. It has market data and trends, but seems to be restricted to only Los Angeles city, not all of Los Angeles county median home price info.

CAR: The California Association of Realtors also has some market data. But it cautions that the data which it is using comes from over 90 associations and counts “single family detached homes only” and “median price changes may exhibit unusual fluctuation.”

Trulia: Similarly, Trulia is a real estate website that tracks home sales and house prices. It has a way to filter for L.A. and show market information at the bottom of the page, but doesn’t show Los Angeles county median home price or value info.  It appears to list home values the way Zillow does, but it doesn’t appear to be relying on sales data.

News reports: You may find news reports from Los Angeles-based newspapers that report data on home sales prices.

Note: you may find some websites that provide spreadsheets of Los Angeles County median home price data, and lists medians by month. Taking the median of the medians isn’t the same as the median of all the sales data. It’s just creating garbage data. To find the true Los Angeles County median, you’d have to have access to all the sales data. This is something very few people have.

And that’s the problem:  no one person has the data, and different places which are close report different numbers for the Los Angeles county median home value.

While some of these are close, none of these seem to provide “the” number. Not one can be relied upon, especially for something which involves risking your home.

Summing up Los Angeles County median home price

Is there one bottom line source? No, and honestly, a lot of us are trying to sift through all this information to make sense of it. Maybe in the months ahead, one choice will crystalize as the one we all rely upon.

This will likely be after litigation and people guess wrong. Sadly, they will lose their homes in some cases because they guessed wrong on home value.  Currently, there is not one number that we can reliably “bet the house” is the median home price in Los Angeles County.

Be very cautious, use this at your own risk, and best of luck to you in your future.

Contact us

If you’re in Los Angeles County, request a case evaluation, which we can set up by Zoom.


    2021 median income limits

    2021 Median Income Limits to Nail the Bankruptcy Means Test in California

    2021 Median Income Limits to Nail the Bankruptcy Means Test in California

    The government recently updated the 2021 median income limits numbers. 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.

    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 November 2020, and are likely changing again in 2021. Here are the 2021 bankruptcy median income figures to determine who can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

    Means Test: 2021 Median Income Adjustments

    2021 median income limits
    2021 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 November 2020. Good news: the California 2021 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.

    2021 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 2021 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 2021. 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.

     

     

    Over the Line? 2021 Median Income Isn’t Everything

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

    The means test and 2021 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


      california median income

      California Median Income Reaches Historic Milestones

      California Median Income Reaches Historic Milestones

      The California median income is a good guide to how well residents in the Golden State are doing financially. The California economy (until this week’s Coronavirus outbreak) was sitting pretty, and its citizens are earning income. The numbers used to qualify for a “straight bankruptcy” have broken some very notable milestones.

      Recent California Median Income

      Starting on April 1, 2020, median income for a household of one in Calif has broken the $60,000 threshold. The median income for a household of one in the Golden State is now $60,360.

      Even more amazing, a family of four has a California median income of $101,315. This is the first time in recent memory, if ever, that a median household of four in Calif has earned six figures.

      The significance of these numbers — $60,000 and $100,000 — applies to bankruptcy. The Department of Justice uses numbers from the Census as a preliminary measuring stick. They’re used to assess whether a debtor or debtors qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Not everyone is eligible, with the alternative being debt repayment with high income.  In theory, people earning $60,000 and $100,000 would ave a relatively easy time doing a bankruptcy and not repaying their debt.

      See our median income article for a more thorough explanation. Also, you’ll find updated numbers, and the median income amounts used for other household sizes. The values change frequently, and by the time you read this page may have gone down due to COVID-19’s impact on the economy, so check that link for the latest amounts.

      chapter 13 debt limits

      Chapter 13 Debt Limits Eligibility: One Factor to be Free of Debt

      Chapter 13 Debt Limits: One Factor to be Free of Debt

      Why Debt Limits in Chapter 13?

      There are Chapter 13 debt limits. These 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.”

      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, which is officially called a 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.

      So, as of 2020, the Chapter 13 debt limits are

      • Unsecured debt: $419,275
      • Secured debt: $1,257,850

      These values took effect on 4/1/2019, 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.

      Some Blurred Line Examples

      Even this is oversimplifying things, because where do lawsuits 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?

      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.

      Sworn in President Hale Antico

      Hale Andrew Andrew Named President of CDCBAA, Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyers

      Attorney Hale Andrew Andrew Named President of CDCBAA, Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyers

      Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney Hale Andrew Antico was named president of one of the nation’s largest groups of bankruptcy lawyers in late 2019. 2021 Update: Attorney Antico was honored to be chosen by some of the top attorneys in Los Angeles to lead this prestigious bankruptcy lawyers’ association for a second term.

      The CDCBAA, a group of Southern California bankruptcy attorneys, elevated and swore in Attorney Antico to lead the group at its annual Calvin Ashland Awards Dinner. It’s an honor to be chosen to lead such a talented and dedicated collection of bankruptcy professionals.

      Below is Hale Antico’s first president’s message for the CDCBAA‘s January 2020 newsletter.


      President’s Message

      Happy new year, and allow me the word play of wishing you great “2020 vision.” As incoming President of the CDCBAA, it’s easy to see an organization that is vibrant, successful, and thriving.

      This success is due, in large part, to past presidents, including my immediate predecessor, Roksana Moradi-Brovia. As her Vice-President the past two years, I was privileged to see up-close how much Roksana cares about the CDCBAA as evidenced by her contagious passion, enthusiasm, and tireless efforts on behalf of the organization. Roksana will remain on the CDCBAA board of directors, and continue helping provide the excellent programs to which we’ve grown accustomed.

      Looking Back

      With some recent hindsight, I look back at the success in November of the Calvin Ashland Award Dinner. The CDCBAA Trustee of the Year in 2019 was Howard Ehrenberg. Howard was introduced by a wonderful speech from Peter Anderson, the United States Trustee for Region 16. Howard himself gave an amusing but insightful address, where he highlighted the time-consuming, but often-fruitless search for assets in many offbeat types of cases which Chapter 7 trustees have the duty to perform. Our bankruptcy system relies on a balance of judges, trustees, and attorneys, each important for its smooth operation. Howard’s sense of professional courtesy, compassion, and fairness make him a key member of our community.

      The Present

      Looking around at the present, we see a bankruptcy landscape where filings remain down overall (28,861 new chapter 7 cases filed in 2019, just above the year prior), continuing a decade-long trend since the Great Recession. The CDCBAA is a valuable community of information-sharing, knowledge, and learning. Members can stay informed with important case decisions, news that affects consumer lawyers (both nationally and locally), and dive deeper in lesser-known areas of our specialty. The slowdown in filings creates an opportunity to invest time in the CDCBAA and to share knowledge with and learn from the community.  

      Moving Forward

      Peering ahead into the future, 2020 is sure to be an exciting year. We are about to kick off the year with the always-popular Ninth Circuit Review of the prior year’s bankruptcy cases, and the James T. King Symposium coming up this summer, with other valuable programs in between. Later this year, we’ll honor a Judge of the Year, and I’m excited to see who this will be. But mostly, I look forward to the CDCBAA keeping a sharp focus on strengthening the bonds between the debtor bar and the judges and trustees, in elevating the practice of bankruptcy law, and keeping our goal of benefiting the consumer debtor who needs our help, truth, and compassion.

      Hale Andrew Antico is President of the CDCBAA, and has practiced bankruptcy law in Palmdale and Santa Clarita for over 15 years.