Alternatives To Bankruptcy

reorg2Phillips & Thomas is one of the very few firms that gives serious consideration to various alternatives to bankruptcy for financially distressed businesses and individuals.  Most, if not all, firms simply have a “boilerplate” mentality when it comes to these types of problems.

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The New Bankruptcy Forms: What Do They Mean For You?

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The official bankruptcy forms and schedules underwent significant changes to their appearance, layout, and presentation on December 1, 2015.  It was one of the most important overhauls of the forms in their history.

What does this mean for you?  Or does it make any difference at all?  We will explore some of the answers here.

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9 Key Ways To Make Sure Your Bankruptcy Is A Success

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You want your case to be a success, and we want your case to be a success.  And to ensure that this happens, I wanted to go over some tips and pointers that experience has shown to be some of the best ways to make sure that success happens.

I’ll start with the pre-bankruptcy phase of things, then talk about things to be aware of during the case.  And then I’ll talk about things to be mindful of after your case.  OK?

All right.  Here we go.

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8 Tips On How To Avoid A Probation Violation Or A Diversion Violation

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After you’ve been doing criminal defense work for over 17 years, you start to notice patterns.  You see certain things repeat themselves over and over.  So I wanted to say a few words here about one of the most commonly encountered defense issues.

And that is:  how to avoid getting violated on probation or diversion.

Let’s say you’ve already been placed on probation or diversion.  You want to be successful.  You want to complete it and be done with it.  I get that.

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Are Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) Exempt In Bankruptcy?

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What Are Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)?

Health savings accounts (HSAs) have gained some popularity in recent years.  The idea is that a person can deposit money in an account and receive tax benefits for doing so.  The funds can then be used for the payment of medical expenses when and where needed.  The idea seems to be a good one, but it is not without potential pitfalls.

When a bankruptcy case is filed, however, unused money sitting in a health savings account may not be exempt. A recent case from the Eighth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) considered whether certain funds held in a “health savings account” (HSA) could be exempted in a bankruptcy case.  The case was In Re Leitch, BAP No. 13-6009, from 2013.

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A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Solve A Legal Problem

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Life can take unexpected twists and turns.  We can have all sorts of problems.  Some of them are medical problems.  Some of them are accounting problems.  Some of them are family or relationship problems.

And some of them are legal problems.

But we don’t often find many step-by-step guides on how to solve legal problems.  Why is this?  Well, there are a lot of reasons:  not diagnosing the problem, being misled by the media, or not acting fast enough.

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An Inherited IRA Is Different From Other Types Of IRAs

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Can an IRA (individual retirement account) inherited from a relative be exempted by a debtor in bankruptcy?  No, says a recent Kansas bankruptcy judge’s decision.  The case was In Re Mosby (14-22981), decided in June 2015 by Judge Dale Somers.  The facts were interesting.

The debtor filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 7 on December 29, 2014. The debtor claimed Jackson Life IRA valued at $15,015.50 as exempt under various Kansas statutes, including K.S.A. 60-2308, 60-2308(b), and 60-2313(a)(1).

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Entrapment In Computer Sex Enticement Cases

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Cases involving law enforcement officers posing as juveniles online are common.  A typical scenario is found in the recent case of State v. Anderson (WD77202) from the Western District of Missouri Court of Appeals, which was decided in May 2015.  In the Anderson case, a law enforcement officer created a female online profile for a dating site, using a profile with the name Kaitlyn that alleged “she” was 19 years old.  The profile was then posted to the site.

Many of these computer “decoy” cases involve scenarios where a law enforcement officer is purporting to be a minor.  The issue then often becomes some version of this question:  did the defendant actively participate in the exchange, or was he tricked into doing something that he might not have done otherwise?

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Arson Cases: Meeting The “Interest” Element Of The Offense

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A recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling showed some of the evidentiary issues faced in the trial of arson cases.  The case was State v. Bollinger, (No. 110,945) and it was decided this month.

The facts of Bollinger are tragic.  The defendant was involved in a marital separation and divorce drama with his spouse.  The dispute escalated in intensity and bitterness.  One night, a fire occurred at the residence of the parties, and the defendant claimed he could not remember how it began.  The defendant’s spouse perished in the fire, and Bollinger was charged with felony murder and arson.

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The Confirmed Chapter 11 Plan, Closing The Case, And Termination Of The Automatic Stay

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One recent decision from the 10th Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel highlights the interplay between a confirmed Chapter 11 plan, the persistence of the automatic stay, and the closing of a case.  The case also brings into focus the need for caution before opting to close a case without awareness of the consequences.  The case in question is In Re Rael, B.A.P. No. WY-14-048, decided February 27, 2015.

The case in question was an individual Chapter 11 case.  The debtors filed an individual Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in 2008, and their plan was confirmed in January 2010. The plan provided they would not receive a discharge until they completed all payments under their plan. About a year after their plan was confirmed, they filed a final report and motion for final decree, seeking to close their case to avoid paying the United States Trustee’s quarterly fee assessments. Over objections by both the United States Trustee and Wells Fargo, the bankruptcy court entered a Final Decree and Order Closing Case in 2011.

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