by: Keith Karnes
Olsen, Olsen & Daines; Salem, Ore.
Many consumers find that despite the fact that they receive a discharge creditors still attempt to collect debts and report false derogatory information on their credit reports. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)  and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)  regulate debt collection and credit reporting. Bankruptcy judges have struggled with the limits of their jurisdiction in dealing with these types of post-petition claims. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has split regarding the availability of FDCPA claims that are predicated upon the fact that a discharge has been entered.  Assuming the availability of an action, when do bankruptcy courts have jurisdiction to hear cases under the FDCPA and FCRA?
by: Thomas D. DeCarlo
Chapter 13 Trustee Office; Southfield, Mich.
Each year, thousands of debtors file for relief under chapter 13 between Jan. 1 and April 15. A certain number will then timely file tax returns for the prior year, and find that they have a tax liability. These “straddle” liabilities—liabilities for tax years preceding the year in which the chapter 13 is commenced but before the deadline for filing the tax return—pose serious problems for debtors who need and deserve the fresh start promised in chapter 13. How can a debtor deal with these tax liabilities in the chapter 13, if at all? Four recent decisions from Michigan illustrate the difficulties in analyzing and treating these straddle liabilities.
Also presented at the WLC was the session "Consumer Bankruptcy Cases Year in Review: A Look at Supreme Court and Appellate Decisions." Richardo I. Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick & Associates, PC in Auburn Hills, Mich. moderated the panel which included Hon. Jeffery P. Hopkins of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D. Ohio) in Cincinnati, Claire Ann Resop of von Briesen & Roper, SC in Madison, Wis. and Prof. G. Ray Warner of St. John's University School of Law in Jamaica, N.Y. All of the appellate decisions and opinions discussed in this set of materials can be found on ABI's Volo site.
The committee met at WLC to discuss current committee business.
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