MARCH MADNESS BANKRUPTCY TOURNAMENT!

Who's in your Bankrupt Final Four?

Who’s in your Bankrupt Final Four?

Okay, I am totally ripping off this idea from another Bankruptcy Attorney, but it was too funny not to share. Well, I think it is funny, maybe just because I am a bankruptcy attorney.

I think it is a good illustration of famous people who have filed bankruptcy. Most people think bankruptcy means failure, and that you will never bounce back from it, but when you see that people like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Walt Disney, Tom Petty and Willie Nelson have all filed bankruptcy, well maybe it doesn’t mean failure. Bankruptcy is a fresh start and allows people to get rid of past mistakes and fulfill their potential without their creditors holding them back.

So who ya got in your Bankrupt Final Four?

I have no idea who these people are, and I am very proud of that.

Real Housewives: Bankruptcy Court Edition

I have no idea who the two people are in the photo above, but my lovely wife tells me they are on the show Real Housewives of New Jersey. So why are these degenerates on my blog? Bankruptcy Fraud! It seems these housewives filed bankruptcy back in 2012 and lied on their bankruptcy petition, omitted assets, and were otherwise untruthful. That was a really bad idea.

Why was it such a bad idea? Well, when you sign a bankruptcy petition you are certifying under oath, and subject to the penalties of perjury, that all of the information in your bankruptcy petition is truthful and correct, that all assets and liabilities have been disclosed, and that the petition is being filed in good faith. Most people don’t realize that when they are in my office signing the petition, it is just as serious as if they were in a courtroom on a witness stand. Those penalties of perjury I mentioned earlier, they include up to five years in a federal penitentiary and/or $500,000 dollars in fines. I should also mention that if you lie you can either have your bankruptcy discharge denied, or if it has already been given, it can be revoked and all of those debts will become non-dischargeable.

It looks like Mr. & Mrs. Giudice will each have quite a bit of time in federal prison to consider the error of their ways, and when they get out all of those debts they tried to get rid of will be there waiting for them. I also pretty sure that federal prisons do not have tanning beds or hair styling products, so it looks like these two might have a rough go of it. The moral of this story is don’t screw with the bankruptcy court. The best way to prevent these sorts of things from happening is to be honest with your lawyer. You are paying them for their advice and counsel, if you disclose these things to us ahead of time we can prevent bad things from happening, but hiding it helps no one. You will get caught, and it will be worse than if you had just been up front.

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National Collegiate Student Loan Trust & The Looming Student Loan Crisis

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You may remember a few years ago when there were several news stories about mortgage companies and robo-signing. It was discovered that many mortgage lenders had been incredibly sloppy in completing their paperwork, and when mortgages were bundled and sold, there was never the appropriate documentation. So the end result was that while you may have taken out the loan with Bank of America, it was another entity trying to foreclose on the home. When borrowers started asking questions, it turns out that nobody really knew who owned the mortgage. Well, it is deja vu all over again with student loans.

National Collegiate Student Loan trust is a Delaware trust that has purchased many private student loans from the original lenders. The is called an assignment of a contract, and is usually completely legal. However, in order for the assignment to be valid it must state what loans are being sold and give all relevant information on the loans so that a chain of ownership can be traced. This way a borrower can in fact verify that the person trying to collect the money from them is in fact the rightful person. National Collegiate has filed a large number of lawsuits against consumers in West Michigan. Most people never bother to respond since they don’t think anything can be done, and they end up getting a judgment against them. The problem is that most of these lawsuits can be defeated because National Collegiate does not have the right to sue.

A client of mine is a good example of this, she took out a private student loan with fifth third bank back in 2006, and subsequently was unable to pay on it. Fifth Third allegedly sold the loan to National Collegiate, and National Collegiate then filed suit to collect. I was able to review the lawsuit documentation it was apparent that National Collegiate did not have a valid assignment, meaning they had no right to sue my client. Because of this we were able to have the lawsuit thrown out and now my client does not owe the loan anymore.

The fact that law firms are filing these lawsuits without proper documentation is despicable and just plan wrong. They are trying to pull a fast one on our Court system to cover up their mistakes, and we can’t let that happen. If you have been sued by National Collegiate or another private loan company there may be options, the worst thing you could do is nothing. Even if National Collegiate already has a judgment against you, there is still hope. Please, call us today and let us help you to defend your rights.