Secured Debts In Bankruptcy

When a bankruptcy case is filed, the various types of debts are classified into various categories:  secured, priority unsecured, general unsecured, or administrative claims.  This post will discuss secured debts and how they are often treated in a bankruptcy case.  What is a secured debt?  A secured debt is a debt in which the lender has some sort of collateral as a “security” for a loan.

In other words, the lender has the ability to repossess some collateral if the debt is not paid.  Typical secured debts are home loans, car loans, boat loans, and furniture loans.  In order for a creditor to claim secured status, they are required to do certain technical things, such as record their lien, and do a few other things.

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Business Bankruptcy And Chapter 11: Explaining The General Principles To Clients

A Chapter 11 petition can be filed for an individual or a business.  In either situation, there are significant responsibilities that a debtor has in the progress of a case.  When the petition is filed, an entity called a “debtor in possession” is created.  The debtor is the “debtor in possession” unless a trustee is appointed in the case.

Technically, the debtor-in-possession is considered a separate legal entity.  And unless a trustee is appointed, the debtor-in-possession has all of the rights, powers, and duties of a trustee.  The debtor is his or her own trustee.  This can be a tremendous advantage that Chapter 11 gives debtors over other types of bankruptcy cases (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13).  A Chapter 11 debtor can avoid liens, set aside transfers, file adversary proceedings, and do many other things to expedite the reorganization process.

A debtor will need to use his or her “cash collateral” during the course of the case.  What is cash collateral?  It’s defined as cash, negotiable instruments, documents of title, deposit accounts, securities, or other cash equivalents.  A Chapter 11 debtor also is required to open up a special “debtor-in-possession” bank account that will be used during the course of the case.  When monthly operating reports are filed, the bank account statement is attached as part of the monthly operating report.

Local courts also have a lot of authority in deciding on the general guidelines for cases.  Bankruptcy Rule 9029 permits local courts to set up rules as they deem necessary, provided they don’t conflict with the federal rules of bankruptcy procedure.

An attorney is required in a Chapter 11 case.  Your attorney will help you file your monthly operating reports, comply with court orders, submit information as requested to the US Trustee, and perform a myriad of other duties in your case.  But what is especially important is that your Chapter 11 attorney be an explainer.  Being able to explain complicated concepts and procedures to someone who likely has never participated in a bankruptcy case before is a critical skill, and one that is often underappreciated.

At Phillips & Thomas LLC, we take pride in our ability to be great explainers and conveyers of information.  Bankruptcy cases, and especially Chapter 11 business or personal cases, are participatory in nature.  It’s a collaborative process.  For a case to be successful, the debtor needs to participate and show interest in the case.  And this comes with understanding fully what is going on.  At Phillips & Thomas, we know how to explain in detail the following things:

1.  Accounting for the property of the estate in monthly operating reports.

2.  Examining proofs of claim filed in a case, and objecting as needed or necessary.

3.  Providing information as required or requested to the US Trustee, such as insurance information or tax records.

4.  Making a final report and accounting to the court regarding the estate and the completion of the Chapter 11 plan.

Being able to explain and convey these concepts is a critical skill for the Chapter 11 attorney to have.  Far too often, clients overlook the need for having an attorney who can explain these and many other involved concepts.  We make sure that clients understand all of the key duties and responsibilities that come with being in a Chapter 11 case.

Read More:  Converting A Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case in Kansas City

Creditor Claims In A Bankruptcy Case

When a bankruptcy case is first filed, notices are mailed out to all of the listed creditors. The notices contain information about deadines for filing “proofs of claim”, and lists objection deadlines for issues a creditor may have with a case, or for the filing of an adversary proceeding (these are not common).

It is the creditor’s responsibility to see that its proof of claim is filed on time and in the right format with the bankruptcy court.  Its failure to do so can mean that it will not share in any assets of the bankruptcy estate.  If a claim is not timely filed, a creditor would have to show the court that its failure to file on time was due to some “excusable neglect.”  This is not easy to show.

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Probation Violations And Diversion Violations In Kansas And Missouri

Overland Park Defense Attorney

Criminal cases can be resolved in a variety of ways.  If a case does not go to trial, it will be resolved by some sort of plea agreement, or diversion, or suspended imposition of sentence (SIS), or a complete dismissal.  If a diversion or suspended imposition of sentence is granted, a contract is entered into between the defendant and the prosecutor, whereby each party agrees to do certain things.

The terms and conditions of the agreement are made clear to each party.  If the conditions of the diversion or suspended imposition of sentence agreement are alleged to have been violated, the prosecutor can file a motion to revoke the diversion or SIS and bring the defendant back into court to answer the allegations.

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Executive Clemency, Pardons, And Sentence Commutation In Missouri, Kansas, And At The Federal Level


Applications for executive clemency (which include pardons and sentence commutations) are very different from expungement petitions filed in courts and heard by judges.  With executive clemency applications, a petitioner is requesting a executive (ultimately, a governor at the state level, or the the President acting through U.S. Department of Justice at the federal level) to take some sort of executive action on a previously adjudicated criminal case.   The scenarios can be very complicated.

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Expungements In Kansas And Missouri



An expungement is the “wiping away” of a record.  Different types of criminal records can be expunged in certain circumstances:  arrest records, records of diversions or suspended imposition of sentences (SIS), or criminal convictions.  However, the law of expungements in Kansas and Missouri is complicated, and requires an experienced attorney to navigate the waters of this area of the law.

Kansas has a specific statutory scheme whereby a person can apply to have various types of records expunged.  Expungement petitions can be submitted in municipal and state courts for all types of records related to criminal cases.  In this regard, Kansas actually is quite a favorable jurisdiction in which this type of legal action can be undertaken. There are some complications, however.

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If You Are Arrested In Missouri Or Kansas

Overland Park Criminal Lawyer

There are three types of criminal charges:  felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. Felonies, of course, are the most serious.  When someone is arrested for a felony in Missouri or Kansas, various questions can arise regarding the facts and circumstances of the arrest. (Note that this article applies only to felony arrests.

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Bail In Criminal Cases In Missouri

Criminal Attorney In Independence

When a criminal case is filed by a prosecutor, one of the first things that will happen is the setting of bail by a judge.  This is often done with the judge having little or no information about the defendant or the details of the crime the person is accused of.  The Missouri Constitution (Art. I, Sect. 20 and 21) recognizes the need for people to be free from excessive bail.  In actual practice, complete denial of bail is very rare and usually reserved only for capital cases.

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Chapter 7 Discharge In Bankruptcy In Kansas City

Overland Park Bankruptcy Lawyer

When a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed, the trustee’s responsibility is to see if there are any assets to administer for the benefit of the creditors.  In the typical Chapter 7 case, there are no assets to administer.  If there are, the case will remain open until all the approved claims are paid.  Typically, the bankruptcy court clerk will mail out notices of discharge in a Chapter 7 case about 4 or 5 months after the case has been filed.  Keep in mind that this is  just a rough time frame.  There is no rigid rule on this.

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The Meeting Of Creditors In A Bankruptcy Case In Kansas City

Prairie Village Bankruptcy Attorney

When a bankruptcy case is filed (Chapter 7, 13, or 11), the bankruptcy court schedules a meeting about 30 days from the date of the filing of the case.  This meeting is called the “meeting of creditors” or the Section 341 meeting (as required by the Bankruptcy Code).  In theory the purpose of the meeting is to give interested creditors an opportunity to appear and inquire about issues related to the filed schedules.

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