Consumer Bankruptcy Committee

ABI Committee News

Real Estate Abandonments and the Means Test

Due to the recent recession, there has been a substantial increase in bankruptcy filings. For example, personal bankruptcy filings rose to 1.41 million in 2009, a 32 percent increase from 2008. [1]  Real estate-driven bankruptcies have similarly increased substantially over the last few years.[2] A new phenomenon has also arisen. Many debtors no longer fight to retain their properties, but instead are abandoning their properties in both chapter 7 and chapter 13[3] cases. This surrendering of real estate has occurred with primary residences and investment property purchased within the last seven years, and has occurred primarily in the hardest-hit real estate markets. [4] Nationwide, the hardest-hit real estate markets have been in Florida, California, Nevada and Arizona.[5]

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ABI's 2010 Southwest Bankruptcy Conference

Revamped FAQs in the Consumer Bankruptcy Center

ABI’s Robert M. Zinman Resident Scholar for Spring 2010, Juliet M. Moringiello (Widener University School of Law), revised the two FAQ sections of the Consumer Bankruptcy Center at http://consumer.abiworld.org to be more comprehensive and to include updated information. Easily understandable by the consumer reader, the FAQ’s also now contain a “glossary” so that as you “hover” over an important bankruptcy term, an easy-to-understand definition appears in a bubble. We invite consumer practitioners to link to the site on their websites and encourage their clients to self educate by reading the FAQs.