Recent Articles

Changes to Maryland’s Chapter 13 Local Rules and Form Plan »

On October 19, 2007, the Bankruptcy Court announced changes to Local Rules applying to Chapter 13 cases and to the form Chapter 13 Plan. These changes take effect on November 1, 2007, and are fairly significant. (The new/changed language is in italics):

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Medical Bankruptcy »

I am often told by potential clients that they want to file a “medical bankruptcy.” Is there such a special type of bankruptcy designed to deal only with medical debts? No. But a recent blog I posted to the Bankruptcy Law Network discusses how someone with crushing medical bills can file for bankruptcy relief while, in most cases, keeping everything they have—their home, their car and their retirement.

Read “Can I File a ‘Medical Bankruptcy’?”

New Decision On Bankruptcy for People Living Outside the United States »

The Honorable Nancy V. Alquist, a Judge on the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, entered a ruling on September 28, 2007 in an important case I argued, In re Baker. This case deals with international bankruptcy at the individual level—it lets people living outside the United States file for bankruptcy in the United States to discharge their U.S. debt. A copy of her opinion may be found by clicking on this link.

The debtor in this case is a U.S. citizen, and moved overseas several years ago. At the time he moved, he owed balances to a number of U.S. credit cards. It used to be that if you incurred a debt in the United States and then moved to foreign country, it didn’t make sense for the creditor to look for you.

Things have changed.

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Brett Weiss to Lecture and co-Chair Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Institute »

On November 29, 2007, Brett Weiss will lecture and co-Chair the MICPEL Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Institute, a full-day session to be held in Columbia, Maryland.

Mr. Weiss will appear on two panels, Chapter 11 for Individuals (with the Honorable Thomas J. Catliota, , Assistant U.S. trustee Mark A. Neal, Stanton J. Levinson, Esquire and James A. Vidmar, Jr.) and Tales from the Listserv and Blogs: FAQ’s and Baffling Issues (with Marc R. Kivitz, Carolyn Gilden Krohn and Daniel M. Press). He will also be giving a lecture on Securitization, and its impact on bankruptcy cases.

This is the second year Mr. Weiss has co-chaired and lectured at this important Institute.

Brett Weiss to Lecture at the 22nd Annual Mid-Atlantic Institute on Bankruptcy and Reorganization Practice »

On September 28, 2007, Mr. Weiss will be a speaker at the 22nd Annual Mid-Atlantic Institute on Bankruptcy and Reorganization Practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. The topic for discussion is “What Lies Beneath the Surface: Frightening Issues in Chapters 7 and 13 Cases.” Mr. Weiss will be participating on a panel with the Honorable Stephen C. St. John, Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia; Rebecca B. Connelly, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Western District of Virginia, Robert V. Roussos, a Norfolk, Virginia bankruptcy attorney, and Professor of Law Emeritus Joseph Ulrich, from Washington and Lee University School of Law.

The Sabbatical Year and the Forgiveness of Debts »

Tonight, September 12, 2007, marks the beginning of the Jewish new year of 5768. Unless you’re Jewish, this probably doesn’t mean a lot to you. But it is an important year, for 5768 is is a Shemitah (literally, “release,” but commonly known as the Sabbatical) year. Part of the observance of the Sabbatical year includes the forgiveness of debts.

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Brett Weiss is Selected as a 2008 Super Lawyer »

Brett Weiss was selected as a 2008 Super Lawyer for Maryland and the District of Columbia. The selection procedure includes peer nomination (with ballots mailed to 21,000 Maryland lawyers), and a blue ribbon panel review process. Less than 5% of lawyers in the state and District receive this honor.

This is the second year in a row where Mr. Weiss has been honored by this selection.

Brett Weiss is Quoted in bankrate.com Article on Bankruptcy Tithing Decision »

Brett Weiss is quoted in the article, “Bankruptcy Law Forbids Tithing, Charitable Donations” on the business site www.bankrate.com. This article discussed New York Bankruptcy Judge Robert Littlefield, Jr.’s August 28, 2006 opinion in In re Diagostino finding that tithes were not allowable deductions on the Means Test. Weiss said that, “The ruling puts consumers in a horrible dilemma. People file because overwhelming majorities have had horrible things happen to them, and now we have to say, ‘Well, you might not be able to fix things if you continue to tithe.'”

Read the NACBA press release on the Diagostino decision.

Bankruptcy Filings in Maryland Up By 42% »

Bankruptcies filed during the first six months of 2007 were up 48 percent over the same period in 2006, according to data released on August 16 by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Total filings were 404,090 during the first six months of 2007 compared to 272,604 cases filed over the same period in 2006.

Maryland cases showed a similar increase, rising from 4,395 during the first six months of 2006 to 6,221 during the first six months 0f 2007, an increase of 42%.

Brett Weiss to Speak at the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees Convention »

On August 8, 2007, Mr. Weiss will be a speaker on a panel discussing the topic, “Plan Modifications—Do the Trustee and Creditors Get Another Bite at the Income Apple?” at the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees convention in Baltimore, Maryland. The Chief Judge of the Maryland Bankruptcy Court, Duncan W. Keir, will be participating, as will creditor’s attorney Alan Hochheiser, Esquire. Maryland Chapter 13 Trustee Gerard Vetter will be moderating.