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                                  Volume 1, Number 4

Consumer
Bankruptcy
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Secured Creditor’s Right to Contact Debtor Subsequent to Bankruptcy Discharge When the Debtor Retains the Collateral Without Redeeming or Reaffirming
Written by Dennis J. LeVine, Esq.

Debtors in bankruptcy often retain secured collateral (such as a home or car) without redeeming the collateral or reaffirming the secured debt. In many instances, the secured creditor will allow the debtor to retain possession of the collateral and not foreclose or repossess as long as the debtor makes the monthly contract payments and meets the other obligations under the contract (e.g. insurance coverage). As such, a creditor’s continuing contact with the debtor may be necessary to maintain the debtor-creditor relationship with regard to the surviving lien. The issue is whether such contacts are proper under the Bankruptcy Code.
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Agenda for Winter Leadership Committee Meeting

The agenda for the meeting of the Consumer Bankruptcy Committee at the Winter Leadership Conference features a discussion of various issues relating to the treatment of arrearages and ongoing payments pursuant to the plan, discharge of the secured creditor’s claim and the role of the bankruptcy court in post-discharge disputes with the mortgagee. Also included will be a discussion of the appropriate rate of interest for payment of secured claims under chapter 13 plans and resolution of conflicts between the plan treatment of claims and the secured creditor’s proof of claim. The discussion of chapter 13 cramdown interest rates, an issue on which the Supreme Court has recently granted certiorari, will focus on the differing approaches reflected in certain circuit court decisions, including the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Kidd and the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Till. Presenters include Judge Thomas Waldron of the Southern District of Ohio, Richardo Kilpatrick and John Rao.

Consumer Manual Now Available

A comprehensive manual on consumer bankruptcy law, authored by committee Co-Vice Chair Tom Yerbich is now available for purchase from ABI. The 130-page manual canvasses the fundamentals of consumer bankruptcy proceedings under chapter 7 and chapter 13 of the Code. The handbook is a good overview and resource for bankruptcy counsel and may also be useful in educating staff members and clients. Entitled Consumer Bankruptcy: Fundamentals of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the manual covers debtors’ duties, creditors’ rights and the basics of important concepts like dischargeability and the automatic stay. The book also includes answers to commonly asked questions and a glossary. It is available to ABI members for $7.00.