Student Loan and Chapter 7

We face this question many times, and still continuously if filing for bankruptcy protection will help discharge student loans. Unfortunately, there is no such provision for each discharge of student loans.

Hardship Test:
However, student loans are difficult, but not impossible, to discharge in bankruptcy. To do so, you must show that payment of the debt “will impose an undue hardship on you and your dependents.”

Brunner Test:
Courts use different tests to evaluate whether a particular borrower has shown an undue hardship. A common test is the Brunner test which requires a showing that 1) the debtor cannot maintain, based on current income and expenses, a “minimal” standard of living for the debtor and the debtor’s dependents if forced to repay the student loans; 2) additional circumstances exist indicating that this state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period of the student loans; and 3) the debtor has made good faith efforts to repay the loans. (Brunner v.New York State Higher Educ. Servs.Corp., 831 F. 2d 395 (2d Cir. 1987). Not all courts use this test. Some courts will be more flexible, some less.

Although this does not appear to be a difficult standard to meet, for the most part, most debtors are unable to get their student loans discharged. The same standards apply to both private and federal or state student loans.

Adversary Proceeding:
Additionally, in order to obtain a bankruptcy discharge of student loans, the bankrupt debtor has to file an adversary preceding (or a lawsuit)against the student loan creditor and have a court determine if the student loan debtor/borrower meets the criteria for discharge. Since the adversarial process is usually expensive and time consuming, debtors who may meet the criteria can find themselves barred from exercising their rights due to financial limitations.

Reorganization under Chapter 13:

Some student loan borrowers find that Chapter 13 reorganization is useful as it may stop future interest and penalties from accruing so long as the student loan is paid in full through the Chapter 13 plan of reorganization. To do this, debtors must have sufficient income to meet their regular monthly obligations plus have sufficient additional income to make their Chapter 13 plan payment. Each case is different and if you are interested in exploring if a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for your situation, please contact our office for a free bankruptcy consultation.

Notice Required for Service of Garnishment

NRS 31.045 Notice of execution on writ of attachment: Service required; form; contents.

1. Execution on the writ of attachment by attaching property of the defendant may occur only if:

(a) The judgment creditor serves the defendant with notice of the execution when the notice of the hearing is served pursuant to NRS 31.013; or

(b) Pursuant to an ex parte hearing, the sheriff serves upon the judgment debtor notice of the execution and a copy of the writ at the same time and in the same manner as set forth in NRS 21.076.

If the attachment occurs pursuant to an ex parte hearing, the clerk of the court shall attach the notice to the writ of attachment at the time the writ is issued.

2. The notice required pursuant to subsection 1 must be substantially in the following form:

Can the Court do attachment without notice and hearing in Nevada?

NRS 31.017 Issuance of writ of attachment without notice and hearing. The court may order the writ of attachment issued without notice to the defendant only in the following cases:

1. In an action by a resident of this State against a defendant not residing in this State. For purposes of this subsection only, domestic corporations and foreign corporations who are doing business in this State and who have qualified to do business in this State as required in chapter 80 of NRS shall be deemed residents of this State. Alien corporations and foreign corporations who have not qualified to do business shall be deemed nonresidents.

2. In an action upon a foreign judgment for the direct payment of money.

3. In an action for the recovery of the value of personal property, where such personal property is owned by the plaintiff and has been taken or converted by the defendant without the consent of the plaintiff.

4. In an action by a resident of this State, where the defendant is about to remove the defendant’s money or property, or any part thereof, from this State, and the defendant’s property which may remain within this State, if any, will be insufficient to satisfy plaintiff’s claim. For purposes of this subsection only, a foreign corporation qualified to do business in this State as provided in chapter 80 of NRS shall be deemed a resident of this State.

5. Where the defendant is about to give, assign, hypothecate, pledge, dispose of or conceal the defendant’s money or property or any part thereof and the defendant’s money or property remaining in this State or that remaining unconcealed will be insufficient to satisfy the plaintiff’s claim.

6. In an action for the recovery of money or property, or the proceeds thereof, obtained from the plaintiff by the defendant through embezzlement, forgery, larceny or extortion.

7. In an action brought under chapter 112 of NRS.

8. In an action by the State, or a political subdivision thereof, brought under chapter 130 of NRS.

9. In an action where jurisdiction in this State can only be obtained by the attachment of the defendant’s property.

Wage Garnishment in Nevada, Time to Know More

Your wages can be garnished pursuant to a court decree in Nevada or pursuant to a domestication of decree outside of Nevada. Please note that if the judgment has been passed against you outside Nevada (a foreign judgment), it just cannot be executed in Nevada without domestication. Domestication is a term of the law where it can be naturalized in Nevada and the sum effect of it would be like it has been entered by the courts of Nevada. Lately, we had been notified that some of the judgment creditors are executing foreign judgments in Nevada without domesticating them. That is plainly illegal, and should someone try to do it, please bring it to our notice at the Law Office of Malik W. Ahmad http://www.fastbankruptcynevada.com

Again, Nevada law limits the amount that a creditor can garnish (take) from your wages for repayment of debts. It is important to note that the Nevada wage garnishment laws (also called wage attachments) are even stricter than federal wage garnishment laws. This is because Nevada allows debtors a higher minimum income threshold than federal law before creditors are permitted to garnish their wages. 25% is the Standard Garnishment in Nevada:

If your income is high enough to be garnished, for the most part, creditors with judgments can take only 25% of your net wages after required deductions. However, for a few types of debts, creditors can take more.

What Is a Wage Garnishment?
A wage garnishment or wage attachment is an order from a court or a government agency that is sent to your employer. It requires your employer to withhold a certain amount of money from your paycheck and then send this money directly to your creditor.
When Can a Creditor Garnish Your Wages in Nevada?
A court judgment in Nevada is a prerequisite to get execution or garnishment in Nevada. You have to be sued first, and a copy of complaint and summon be sent to your last address. It can be served in various ways. So be careful you may be served and you would not even know it. A default judgment can be entered against you if you not defend this complaint. For example, if you are behind on credit card payments or owe a doctor’s bill, those creditors cannot garnish your wages (unless they sue you and get a judgment). Again, remembers there are three exceptions to execution of judgment (without first going to the court) and they are student loan garnishment, IRS garnishment and possibly alimony delinquent payments.

Limits on Wage Garnishment in Nevada
There are limits to how much money can be garnished from your paycheck. The idea is that you should have enough left to pay for living expenses.
“Disposable earnings” are those wages left after your employer has made deductions required by law.
Special Limits for Child Support, Student Loans, and Unpaid Taxes
If you owe child support, student loans, or taxes, the government or creditor can garnish your wages without getting a court judgment. The amount that can be garnished is different too.

In Nevada, up to 50% of your disposable earnings may be garnished to satisfy an order for the support of any person (such as spousal or child support) if you are currently supporting a spouse or a child who isn’t the subject of the order. If you aren’t supporting a spouse or child, up to 60% of your earnings may be taken. An additional five percent may be garnished for support payments over 12 weeks in arrears.

Student Loans in Default
If you are in default on a federal student loan, the U.S. Department of Education or any entity collecting for this agency can garnish your wages without first getting a court judgment – this is called an administrative garnishment. The most that the Department of Education can garnish is 15% of your disposable income, but not more than 30 times the minimum wage.

According to federal law, your employer cannot discharge you if you have one wage garnishment. However, federal law won’t protect you if you have more than one wage garnishment order.
In Nevada, an employer can’t fire or discipline you solely because of a wage garnishment order.

Student Loans and Bankruptcy

We have written before on this important topic, and we like to revisit this issue one more time. It is very important issue and none of the political parties are addressing this very important issue. The student loans are sky rocketing and default is equally high yet no concerted effort is made to address this very important issue and limit the damage to student and our future generation.

Our Office handles student loans:
Student loans are tough area and there is no easy solution, but we still can offer assistance depending upon various factors either to cut down the principal, interest, delinquent interest and collection charges. In rare case, this can be addressed via filing a bankruptcy also. We help you develop a strategy to help this inflaming issue from many angles.

Garnishment and Tax Withholding:
The government can initiate an Administrative Garnishment. Unlike other creditors, who must first go to court, the government simply fills out the paperwork and sends it to your employer, Social Security Administration and Internal Revenue Service. You don’t like to be embarrassed in front of your employer if these deductions starts taking place.

Lawsuit:
One can also be sued for not paying his/her student loans? The department of justice (DOJ) may file a lawsuit.

Separate or marital property:
A student loan acquired prior to marriage is a separate property. However, student loans acquired after marriage can be a marital property and both spouses are liable to pay this debt.If the student loan debt was acquired during your marriage and you live in a community property state Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Lawsuit initiated by DOJ?
Can you defend me against a DOJ lawsuit?
In some typical cases, the DOJ can initiate a lawsuit against student loan delinquency.

Additional penalties by collection agencies.
The Collection Agency added 25% to the balance of my defaulted student loans, can they do this?
Yes. The law allows collectors to add a “collection fee”. However, during our review if we find the collector engaged in illegal behavior or failed to follow specific guidelines, you may be entitled to damages which may include forgiveness of this fee.Also, if the student loan borrowers had joined the national armed forces, they are entitled to a significant cut in the interests rate under SCRA.

Imprisonment:
This is an illegal tactic used by unscrupulous debt collectors. Also, there are laws to prevent illegal and abusive debt collection practices under the FDCPA. Of course, if we see an abuse, we can help you, but simple debt collections tactics are not tantamount to abuse under the FDCPA.

What information do you need from me for the Free Case Review?
We need the names of your creditors and balances owed along with your monthly income and expenses. We will also ask you questions regarding your current employment status.

What is a Consultation and what happens during the Consultation?
One we determine we can help you, we will schedule a consultation between you and one of our attorneys. Most consultations take between one and two hours (depending on the complexity of your case). During the consultation, the attorney will review your case in detail with you. Most importantly he or she will review all of your options. Most clients are very surprised by the amount of information gained through the consultation.

How much does it cost?
The exact fee to resolve your case is based on the total debt amount and the complexity of your case. Keep in mind; we will only take your case if during the case review we determine we are able to help you. If we are not able to help you, we will let you know and there is no charge. If your case requires litigation against a debt collector; you may be able to recover the cost of the consultation. Most of our student loan clients agree it is the best money they ever spent.

Is bankruptcy an option?

Generally speaking, you will not be able to discharge your student loan obligations in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy as the standard required for a student loan bankruptcy discharge, in most jurisdictions, is very difficult for most people to meet. However, there are times where a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be appropriate for repayment of your student loans. Click here for more detailed information concerning student loans and bankruptcy.

If you fail to pay your student loan(s) your student loan will be considered delinquent. Once you are 270 days (9 months) behind, your student loan is considered in default. Once this occurs, Collection Efforts will begin which may include any or all of the following:

Collection Calls – may be made by either the Servicer or Third Party Debt Collector. Collectors may call your home or place of business. The purpose of these calls are to get you make a payment.

Tax Refund Offset – The Department of Education files documents with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in order to intercept (offset) your tax refund. The IRS will remit an amount equal to the defaulted amount up to and including the entire amount of your refund. Many of our clients find out they are delinquent when they do not receive their tax refund and instead receive a letter from the IRS explaining their refund was applied to the client’s defaulted student loan.

Social Security Offset (Garnishment) – The Department of Education files documents with the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration will withhold an amount up to 15% of your Social Security (including Social Security Disability Income) check.

Wage Garnishment – The Department of Education serves your employer with an “Administrative” Wage Garnishment for up to 15% on your income. An Administrative Wage Garnishment is different from a standard garnishment. The primary difference is there are no court proceedings. The DOE simply fills out the necessary documents and serves them on your employer.

Department of Justice Lawsuit – This is the most serious Collection Effort. If the actions above fail to resolve the issue or they are unsuccessful, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will file a lawsuit against you. A DOJ lawsuit is almost impossible defend and nearly always results in a judgment against you. Once the DOJ obtains a judgment, they may enforce the judgment by seizing your personal or business bank accounts, retirement accounts and other assets like your home, automobile or other valuables like jewelry. Many self employed individuals (doctors, lawyers etc.) make the mistake of thinking because they can’t be garnished, nothing can happen. The reality could be far worse than a garnishment.

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your student loans and thinking they will go away. They won’t! The best thing to do is proactively engage the problem. Call us today and ask our help at (702) 270-9100 or email us at malik@lasvegaslawgroup.com.

Can you be arrested in a civil action (garnishment) in Nevada?

The Law Office of Malik Ahmad had been asked this question many times if the defendants can be arrested in a civil action. The answer is yes, but only under the following conditions:

NRS 31.470 Arrest in civil cases. No person shall be arrested in a civil action except as prescribed by this chapter.

NRS 31.480 Cases in which defendant may be arrested. The defendant may be arrested, as hereinafter prescribed, in the following cases:

1. Recovery of Money: In an action for the recovery of money or damages on a cause of action arising upon contract, express or implied, when the defendant is about to depart from the State with intent to defraud the defendant’s creditors, or when the action is for libel or slander.

2. For Fine or Penalty: In an action for a fine or penalty, or for money or property embezzled, or fraudulently misapplied or converted to his or her own use by a public officer, or an officer of a corporation, or an attorney, factor, broker, agent or clerk in the course of his or her employment as such or by any other person in a fiduciary capacity, or for misconduct or neglect in office, or in professional employment, or for a willful violation of duty.

3. For Personal Property: In an action to recover the possession of personal property unjustly detained, when the property, or any part thereof, has been concealed, removed, or disposed of so that it cannot be found or taken by the sheriff.

4. Guilty of Fraud: When the defendant has been guilty of a fraud in contracting the debt or incurring the obligation for which the action is brought, or in concealing or disposing of the property, for the taking, detention or conversion of which the action is brought.

5. Conversion: When the defendant has removed or disposed of the defendant’s property, or is about to do so, with intent to defraud the defendant’s creditors.

Who would give order of arrest?

NRS 31.490 Order for arrest. An order for the arrest of the defendant shall be obtained from a judge of the court in which the action is brought.

NRS 31.500 Order for arrest made when plaintiff’s affidavit shows a sufficient cause; requisites and filing of affidavit. The order may be made whenever it shall appear to the judge, by the affidavit of the plaintiff or some other person, that a sufficient cause of action exists, and the case is one of those mentioned in NRS 31.480. The affidavit shall be either positive or upon information and belief; and when upon information and belief it shall state the facts upon which the information and belief are founded. If an order of arrest be made, the affidavit shall be filed with the clerk of the court.

NRS 31.510 Undertaking from plaintiff. Before making the order the judge shall require a written undertaking, payable in lawful money of the United States, on the part of the plaintiff, with sureties, to the effect that if the defendant recover judgment, the plaintiff will pay all costs and charges that may be awarded to the defendant, and all damages which the defendant may sustain by reason of the arrest, not exceeding the sum specified in the undertaking, which shall be at least $500. Each of the sureties shall annex to the undertaking an affidavit that the surety is a resident and householder or freeholder within the State, and worth double the sum specified in the undertaking over and above all the surety’s debts and liabilities, exclusive of property exempt from execution. The undertaking shall be filed with the clerk of the court.

NRS 31.520 Order and arrest; return of order. The order may be made to accompany the summons, or any time afterwards before judgment. It shall require the sheriff of the county where the defendant may be found forthwith to arrest the defendant and hold the defendant to bail in a specified sum, naming the money or currency in which it is payable, and to return the order at a time therein mentioned to the clerk of the court in which the action is pending.

NRS 31.530 Delivery of affidavit and order to sheriff and defendant. The order of arrest, with a copy of the affidavit upon which it is made, shall be delivered to the sheriff, who, upon arresting the defendant, shall deliver to the defendant the copy of the affidavit, and also, if desired, a copy of the order of arrest.

NRS 31.540 Arrest of defendant. The sheriff shall execute the order by arresting the defendant and keeping the defendant in custody until discharged by law.

NRS 31.550 Defendant to be discharged on bail or deposit. The defendant, at any time before execution, shall be discharged from the arrest either upon giving bail or upon depositing the amount mentioned in the order of arrest in the money or currency therein named, as provided in this chapter.

NRS 31.560 Defendant may give bail. The defendant may give bail by causing a written undertaking, payable in the money of the contract (if any be named), and in other cases as directed by the judge, to be executed by two or more sufficient sureties, stating their places of residence and occupations, to the effect that they are bound in the amount mentioned in the order of arrest; that the defendant shall at all times render himself or herself amenable to the process of the court during the pendency of the action, and to such as may be issued to enforce the judgment therein; or that they will pay to the plaintiff the amount of any judgment which may be recovered in the action.

NRS 31.570 Bail may surrender defendant. At any time before judgment, or within 10 days thereafter, the bail may surrender the defendant in their exoneration; or the defendant may surrender to the sheriff of the county where the defendant was arrested.

NRS 31.580 Arrest, delivery and surrender of defendant by bail; exoneration of bail. For the purpose of surrendering the defendant, the bail at any time or place before they are finally charged may themselves arrest the defendant; or by a written authority, endorsed on a certified copy of the undertaking, may empower the sheriff to do so. Upon the arrest of the defendant by the sheriff, or upon delivery of the defendant to the sheriff by the bail, or upon the defendant’s own surrender, the bail shall be exonerated; provided, such arrest, delivery or surrender shall take place before the expiration of 10 days after judgment; but if such arrest, delivery or surrender be not made within 10 days after judgment, the bail shall be finally charged on their undertaking, and be bound to pay the amount of the judgment within 10 days thereafter.

NRS 31.590 Action against bail. If the bail neglect or refuse to pay the judgment within 10 days after they are finally charged, an action may be commenced against bail for the amount of the original judgment.

NRS 31.600 Bail exonerated by death, imprisonment or discharge of defendant. The bail shall also be exonerated by the death of the defendant, or by the defendant’s imprisonment in a state prison, or by the defendant’s legal discharge from the obligation to render himself or herself amenable to the process.

NRS 31.610 Return of order; plaintiff may except to bail. Within the time limited for that purpose, the sheriff shall file the order of arrest in the office of the clerk of the court in which the action is pending, with the sheriff’s return endorsed thereon, together with a copy of the undertaking of the bail. The sheriff shall retain the original undertaking in the sheriff’s possession until filed, as herein provided. The plaintiff, within 10 days thereafter, may serve upon the sheriff a notice that the plaintiff does not accept the bail, or the plaintiff shall be deemed to have accepted them, and the sheriff shall be exonerated from liability. If no notice be served within 10 days, the original undertaking shall be filed with the clerk of the court.

[1911 CPA § 159; RL § 5101; NCL § 8657]

NRS 31.620 Notice of justification of bail. Within 5 days after the receipt of notice, the sheriff or defendant may give to the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney notice of the justification of the same, or other bail (specifying the places of residence and occupations of the latter), before the judge of the court, or clerk, at a specified time and place; the time to be not less than 5 nor more than 10 days thereafter, except by consent of parties. In case other bail be given, there shall be a new undertaking.

NRS 31.630 Qualifications of bail. The qualifications of bail shall be as follows:

1. Each of them shall be a resident and householder, or freeholder, within the county.

2. Each shall be worth the amount specified in the order of arrest, or the amount to which the order is reduced, as provided in this chapter, over and above all debts and liabilities of the bail, exclusive of property exempt from execution; but the judge, or clerk, on justification, may allow more than two sureties to justify severally in amounts less than that expressed in the order, if the whole justification be equivalent to that of two sufficient bail.

NRS 31.640 Examination of bail. For the purpose of justification, each of the bail shall attend before the judge, or clerk, at the time and place mentioned in the notice, and may be examined on oath, on the part of the plaintiff, touching the bail’s sufficiency, in such manner as the judge, or clerk, in the exercise of discretion may think proper. The examination shall be reduced to writing, and subscribed by the bail, if required by the plaintiff.

NRS 31.650 Allowance of bail exonerates sheriff. If the judge, or clerk, find the bail sufficient, the judge or clerk shall annex the examination to the undertaking, endorse the judge’s or clerk’s allowance thereon, and cause them to be filed, and the sheriff shall thereupon be exonerated from liability.

NRS 31.660 Deposit by defendant in lieu of bail. The defendant may, at the time of the defendant’s arrest, instead of giving bail, deposit with the sheriff the amount mentioned in the order. In case the amount of the bail be reduced, as provided in this chapter, the defendant may deposit such amount instead of giving bail. In either case the sheriff shall give the defendant a certificate of the deposit made, and the defendant shall be discharged from custody.

What is the Limitation on Garnishment of Earnings in Nevada?

NRS 31.295 Garnishment of earnings: Limitations on amount.

1. As used in this section:

(a) “Disposable earnings” means that part of the earnings of any person remaining after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld.

(b) “Earnings” means compensation paid or payable for personal services performed by a judgment debtor in the regular course of business, including, without limitation, compensation designated as income, wages, tips, a salary, a commission or a bonus. The term includes compensation received by a judgment debtor that is in the possession of the judgment debtor, compensation held in accounts maintained in a bank or any other financial institution or, in the case of a receivable, compensation that is due the judgment debtor.

2. The maximum amount of the aggregate disposable earnings of a person which are subject to garnishment may not exceed:

(a) Twenty-five (25%) percent of the person’s disposable earnings for the relevant workweek; or

(b) The amount by which the person’s disposable earnings for that week exceed 50 times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 6(a)(1) of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C. § 206(a)(1), in effect at the time the earnings are payable,

Ê whichever is less.

3. The restrictions of subsection 2 do not apply in the case of:

(a) Any order of any court for the support of any person.

(b) Any order of any court of bankruptcy.

(c) Any debt due for any state or federal tax.

4. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the maximum amount of the aggregate disposable earnings of a person for any workweek which are subject to garnishment to enforce any order for the support of any person may not exceed:

(a) Fifty percent of the person’s disposable earnings for that week if the person is supporting a spouse or child other than the spouse or child for whom the order of support was rendered; or

(b) Sixty percent of the person’s disposable earnings for that week if the person is not supporting such a spouse or child,

Ê except that if the garnishment is to enforce a previous order of support with respect to a period occurring at least 12 weeks before the beginning of the workweek, the limits which apply to the situations described in paragraphs (a) and (b) are 55 percent and 65 percent, respectively.

(Added to NRS by 1971, 1499; A 1985, 1430; 2005, 1020)

Application required to the court for garnishment

NRS 31.249 Application to court for writ of garnishment.

1. No writ of garnishment in aid of attachment may issue except on order of the court. The court may order the writ of garnishment to be issued:

(a) In the order directing the clerk to issue a writ of attachment; or

(b) If the writ of attachment has previously issued without notice to the defendant and the defendant has not appeared in the action, by a separate order without notice to the defendant.

2. The plaintiff’s application to the court for an order directing the issuance of a writ of garnishment must be by affidavit made by or on behalf of the plaintiff to the effect that the affiant is informed and believes that the named garnishee:

(a) Is the employer of the defendant; or

(b) Is indebted to or has property in the garnishee’s possession or under the garnishee’s control belonging to the defendant,

Ê and that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the affiant, the defendant’s future wages, the garnishee’s indebtedness or the property possessed is not by law exempt from execution. If the named garnishee is the State of Nevada, the writ of garnishment must be served upon the State Controller.

3. The affidavit by or on behalf of the plaintiff may be contained in the application for the order directing the writ of attachment to issue or may be filed and submitted to the court separately thereafter.

4. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the grounds and procedure for a writ of garnishment are identical to those for a writ of attachment.

5. If the named garnishee is the subject of more than one writ of garnishment regarding the defendant, the court shall determine the priority and method of satisfying the claims, except that any writ of garnishment to satisfy a judgment for the collection of child support must be given first priority.

(Added to NRS by 1973, 1181; A 1985, 1012; 1989, 700)

How defendant can request discharge of attachment in Nevada?

NRS 31.200 Grounds for discharge of attachment.

1. The Defendant may also, at any time before trial, apply by motion, upon reasonable notice to the Plaintiff, to the court in which the action is brought or to the judge thereof, for a discharge of the attachment, or the money or property attached through the use of a writ of garnishment, on the following grounds:

(a) That the writ was improperly or improvidently issued.

(b) That the property levied upon is exempt from execution or necessary and required by the Defendant for the support and maintenance of the Defendant and the members of the Defendant’s family.

(c) That the levy is excessive.

2. If the court or the judge thereof on the hearing of such motion shall find that any of the grounds stated in subsection 1 exist, the attachment and levy thereof shall be discharged. If the motion is based upon paragraph (c) of subsection 1 only, and the fact is found to exist, the discharge of attachment shall be only as to the excess.

What kind of execution order required for garnishment in Nevada

Below you will find what an execution or order for garnishment in Nevada looks somewhat like.

NOTICE OF EXECUTION

YOUR PROPERTY IS BEING ATTACHED OR

YOUR WAGES ARE BEING GARNISHED

Plaintiff, ……………….. (name of person, filing garnishment or attachment), alleges that you owe the plaintiff money. The plaintiff has begun the procedure to collect that money. To secure satisfaction of judgment, the court has ordered the garnishment of your wages, bank account or other personal property held by third persons or the taking of money or other property in your possession.

Certain benefits and property owned by you may be exempt from execution and may not be taken from you. The following is a partial list of exemptions:

1. Payments received pursuant to the federal Social Security Act, including, without limitation, retirement and survivors’ benefits, supplemental security income benefits and disability insurance benefits.

2. Payments for benefits or the return of contributions under the Public Employees’ Retirement System.

3. Payments for public assistance granted through the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services of the Department of Health and Human Services or a local governmental entity.

4. Proceeds from a policy of life insurance.

5. Payments of benefits under a program of industrial insurance.

6. Payments received as disability, illness or unemployment benefits.

7. Payments received as unemployment compensation.

8. Veteran’s benefits.

9. A homestead in a dwelling or a mobile home, not to exceed $550,000, unless:

(a) The judgment is for a medical bill, in which case all of the primary dwelling, including a mobile or manufactured home, may be exempt.

(b) Allodial title has been established and not relinquished for the dwelling or mobile home, in which case all of the dwelling or mobile home and its appurtenances are exempt, including the land on which they are located, unless a valid waiver executed pursuant to NRS 115.010 is applicable to the judgment.

10. All money reasonably deposited with a landlord by you to secure an agreement to rent or lease a dwelling that is used by you as your primary residence, except that such money is not exempt with respect to a landlord or the landlord’s successor in interest who seeks to enforce the terms of the agreement to rent or lease the dwelling.

11. A vehicle, if your equity in the vehicle is less than $15,000.

12. Seventy-five percent of the take-home pay for any workweek, unless the weekly take-home pay is less than 50 times the federal minimum hourly wage, in which case the entire amount may be exempt.

13. Money, not to exceed $500,000 in present value, held in:

(a) An individual retirement arrangement which conforms with the applicable limitations and requirements of section 408 or 408A of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. §§ 408 and 408A;

(b) A written simplified employee pension plan which conforms with the applicable limitations and requirements of section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 408;

(c) A cash or deferred arrangement that is a qualified plan pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code;

(d) A trust forming part of a stock bonus, pension or profit-sharing plan that is a qualified plan pursuant to sections 401 et seq. of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. §§ 401 et seq.; and

(e) A trust forming part of a qualified tuition program pursuant to chapter 353B of NRS, any applicable regulations adopted pursuant to chapter 353B of NRS and section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 529, unless the money is deposited after the entry of a judgment against the purchaser or account owner or the money will not be used by any beneficiary to attend a college or university.

14. All money and other benefits paid pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction for the support, education and maintenance of a child, whether collected by the judgment debtor or the State.

15. All money and other benefits paid pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction for the support and maintenance of a former spouse, including the amount of any arrearages in the payment of such support and maintenance to which the former spouse may be entitled.

16. Regardless of whether a trust contains a spendthrift provision:

(a) A present or future interest in the income or principal of a trust that is a contingent interest, if the interest has not been satisfied or removed;

(b) A present or future interest in the income or principal of a trust for which discretionary power is held by a trustee to determine whether to make a distribution from the trust, if the interest has not been distributed from the trust;

(c) The power to direct dispositions of property in the trust, other than such a power held by a trustee to distribute property to a beneficiary of the trust;

(d) Certain powers held by a trust protector or certain other persons; and

(e) Any power held by the person who created the trust.

17. If a trust contains a spendthrift provision:

(a) A present or future interest in the income or principal of a trust that is a mandatory interest in which the trustee does not have discretion concerning whether to make the distribution from the trust, if the interest has not been distributed from the trust; and

(b) A present or future interest in the income or principal of a trust that is a support interest in which the standard for distribution may be interpreted by the trustee or a court, if the interest has not been distributed from the trust.

18. A vehicle for use by you or your dependent which is specially equipped or modified to provide mobility for a person with a permanent disability.

19. A prosthesis or any equipment prescribed by a physician or dentist for you or your dependent.

20. Payments, in an amount not to exceed $16,150, received as compensation for personal injury, not including compensation for pain and suffering or actual pecuniary loss, by the judgment debtor or by a person upon whom the judgment debtor is dependent at the time the payment is received.

21. Payments received as compensation for the wrongful death of a person upon whom the judgment debtor was dependent at the time of the wrongful death, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the judgment debtor and any dependent of the judgment debtor.

22. Payments received as compensation for the loss of future earnings of the judgment debtor or of a person upon whom the judgment debtor is dependent at the time the payment is received, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the judgment debtor and any dependent of the judgment debtor.

23. Payments received as restitution for a criminal act.

24. Personal property, not to exceed $1,000 in total value, if the property is not otherwise exempt from execution.

25. A tax refund received from the earned income credit provided by federal law or a similar state law.

26. Stock of a corporation described in subsection 2 of NRS 78.746 except as set forth in that section.

Ê These exemptions may not apply in certain cases such as proceedings to enforce a judgment for support of a child or a judgment of foreclosure on a mechanic’s lien. You should consult an attorney immediately to assist you in determining whether your property or money is exempt from execution. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be eligible for assistance through ……………….. (name of organization in county providing legal services to the indigent or elderly persons). If you do not wish to consult an attorney or receive legal services from an organization that provides assistance to persons who qualify, you may obtain the form to be used to claim an exemption from the clerk of the court.

All About Wage Garnishment in Nevada and How Can It be Stopped?

Wage Garnishment and Writ of Execution
(Disclaimer: Some of the information is taken from Clark County Courts. Also, please contact a licensed attorney for all legal questions. Reading this article would not create an attorney/client relationship.)

We have extensively dealt in other articles about Nevada garnishment and how to deal with them. We get lots of calls based on this article. We are suggesting review that article one more time, and read this article only after giving a careful reading to that article because both these articles are inter connected. Today, we are going to discuss what is a Writ of Execution. Still you have questions, call our office at (702) 270-9100. Of course, we prefer you to send us email, as it is more convenient for us to answer via the email. Our email address is: Malik@lasvegaslawgroup.com or visit our websites at http://www.fastbankruptcynevada.com.

What is a Writ of Execution?
Winning a judgment is not the end of the road. Even though one gets a judgment, still he/she is not able to see the money. One has to execute the judgment into a writ of execution. When a Defendant does not voluntarily pay a Small Claim Judgment, the Plaintiff may file a Writ of Execution to collect the Judgment. The simple question is how the judgment creditor (the one who has judgment against you) would like to get hold of your money either from your bank or in the form of garnishment of wages. There may be other ways, and this process is called execution and if they are successful, the whole thing would be considered satisfaction. Now, these are legal words. A satisfaction means translation of the write of execution into money or other kinds of payments.

A Writ of Execution is a Court Order by which the Court authorizes a Constable or Sheriff to collect money or property belonging to the Judgment Debtor (Defendant) so that the Judgment awarded to the Plaintiff may be paid (or satisfied). This attempt to collect the Judgment is called a levy. In the Las Vegas Township, all Executions are now processed by the Las Vegas Township Constable’s Office. You might have heard the latest controversy about the Constable Office, (not the one about the constable drunk driving, but about their areas of jurisdiction, please do not be so judgmental here, they already denied they were little bit off, but legally drunk).

The judgment creditor will provide information needed to prepare and file Writs of Execution and Garnishment to collect a Judgment. Because Writs are financial documents, they MUST be typed and not handwritten. This is because banks and employers will not accept financial documents unless they are easy to read. A Writ of Execution may be filed to seek collection the Judgment Debtor earnings (wages), bank accounts, business income, property, or other items. There are to be no alterations, no white-out, etc. made on the Writ of Execution form.

What are the Execution Costs?
The costs of the Writ is to be incurred by the Plaintiff which are added to the amount of the levy.

To E-File (electronically file) your execution, complete a WRIT OF EXECUTION and NOTICE OF EXECUTION AFTER JUDGMENT. You should also complete the INSTRUCTIONS TO THE CONSTABLE (LVJC-25) and if necessary, also complete a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT (LVJC-3) BUT IS NOT TO BE E-FILED with the Justice Court Clerk’s Office. The INSTRUCTIONS TO THE CONSTABLE (LVJC-25) and if necessary, the WRIT OF GARNISHMENT (LVJC-3) are to be presented to the Constable’s Office after the E-Filed Writ of Execution has been received by you. These documents MUST be typed, signed, and electronically filed (E-Filing) to the Las Vegas Township Justice Court. Documents not completed using this format will be refused. See E-Filing for additional information and instructions.

What is Execution Filing?

Executions in Civil cases may be filed upon earnings (wages), business income, bank accounts, automobiles, homes, property, etc. as follows. For Small Claims cases, the Submitter may only submit one Writ of Execution until the previous Execution has been returned from the Constable or has expired. The Writ of Garnishment Form is used when attaching (seeking to collect) wages or money from bank accounts.

EARNINGS (WAGES) – The name and address of the employer must be known. If possible, the last four digits of the Social Security Number of the person whose wages are being garnished should be shown.

BANK ACCOUNTS - The name of the bank, the branch address, and the account number must be known and provided.

Writ of Garnishment- Employers and banks require a Writ of Garnishment to accompany any Execution. Writ of Garnishment costs are $5.00, payable to the employer or the bank. A separate check or money order is required. DO NOT MAKE THESE OUT TO JUSTICE COURT!

BUSINESS INCOME – The name and address of the business must be known. Proof of an outstanding Judgment is required. Execution must specify money from a ‘cash box’ or ‘cash drawer.’

AUTOMOBILES – The information required includes the automobile description and location, and a printout listing the legal owner and any outstanding liens. This information is available from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Written Proof of an outstanding Judgment is required before you will be able to get this information from DMV.

NOTE: Local DMV Offices cannot provide this information. The Application for Individual Record Information is only available from the DMV central office in Carson City, or through the DMV website:www.state.nv.us/dmv_ps/

HOMES - You must provide the legal property description, available at the Clark County Assessor’s Office; or through their website: http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/depts/assessor/Pages/default.aspx.

Each Writ of Execution may only state to execute on one item at a time (earnings, bank account, other). For Civil cases, the Submitter may submit more than one Writ for execution. For Small Claims cases, the Submitter may only submit one Writ of Execution until the previous Execution has been returned from the Constable or has expired. To determine the status of an Execution, contact the Constable’s Office. If the Constable’s office indicates the Execution has been returned to the Court, then another Execution may be filed.

An Execution on Wages is in effect for 120 days, unless it has been returned as described above. Wages are collected each payday for 120 days, unless or until the Judgment is paid in full. If attaching property such as an auto or house, or for a money item such as the contents of a cash drawer or bank account, the execution is a one-time action, and must be re-Filed until the Judgment is paid in full or satisfied.

How and where can a Defendant’s assets be located? Is there any way the Court can assist me? Under NRS 21.270, the Court can order the examination of a Judgment Debtor for the purpose of ascertaining the Debtor’s assets. NRS 21.270 states the following:

NRS 21.270 Examination of Judgment Debtor.

1. A Judgment Creditor, at any time after the Judgment is entered, is entitled to an order from the Judge of the Court requiring the Judgment Debtor to appear and answer upon oath or affirmation concerning his property, before:
(a) The Judge or a Master appointed by him; or
(b) An attorney representing the Judgment Creditor, at a time and place specified in the order. No Judgment Debtor may be required to appear outside the county in which he resides.
2. If the Judgment Debtor is required to appear before any person other than a Judge or Master:
(a) His oath or affirmation must be administered by a notary public; and
(b) The proceedings must be transcribed by a Court Reporter or recorded electronically. The transcript or recording must be preserved for 2 years.
3. A Judgment Debtor who is regularly served with an order issued pursuant to this section, and who fails to appear at the time and place specified in the order, may be punished for contempt by the Judge issuing the order.

[1911 CPA § 365; RL § 5307; NCL § 8863]-(NRS A 1983, 17; 1989, 902)

If you wish to use this method to get information about a Judgment-Debtor’s assets, you must submit two documents to the Court: (1) The Motion for Examination of Judgment Debtor; (via E-Filing ) and (2) the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor (must be filed with the Justice Court Clerk’s Office, 2nd floor for the Judge’s signature .

If the Judge signs the Order, the Court will set a hearing date.

After the Order is signed, it is your responsibility to have the Order served upon the Defendant and submit proof of service to the Court. If no proof of service is provided, the Hearing date is vacated.

Court Filing Fees

Court filing fees are due at time of filing. These fees are separate from any E-Filing fees. Payment may be made by cash, VISA©, MASTERCARD®, ATM and Debit cards (will be processed as VISA© or MASTERCARD® credit cards), personal check, money order, or cashier’s check. Personal and/or business checks must be pre-printed with the customer information of name and address. No filing will be accepted without the payment of the appropriate fee.

There are additional types of fees associated with Writs of Executions. Please see the full Fee Schedule for other types of fees.

The fee to file a Writ of Execution is $6.00, plus the Constable’s charges for serving the execution. There is also a $5.00 charge paid to the employer for a wage garnishment or to a bank to garnish an account. All fees and charges for filing and serving the Execution are added to the amount of the Judgment.

When received by the Court, the Writ will be reviewed for accuracy and completeness. Your execution will be issued and copies of the documents and receipts for the fee will be returned to you between 7 – 21 judicial (working) days. Executions with errors will not be issued, but will be returned for correction.

After-Hours Filing (Effective July 16, 2011, After Hours Filing at the Court Will No Longer Be Allowed)

Customers will ONLY be able to obtain customer service tickets from the Court’s Q-Matic Customer Call System through 3:00 pm.

Effective August 1, 2011, electronic filing (E-Filing) is mandatory for all civil case filings, except Orders needing a Judge’s signature. Court users may E-File from any location with an internet connection for a fee, or may E-File at the Las Vegas Justice Court without an E-Filing fee.

Service

You are responsible for proper service of the Execution. The Las Vegas Township Constable must serve the Execution. You may not do this yourself or have someone other than a Constable serve the Execution. To obtain their fee information, call (702) 455-4099, or to contact the Constable by mail:

Las Vegas Constable’s Office, P. O. Box 552110, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89155-2100.

Please mail service fee’s and all documents to the Constable’s address.

Mandatory E-Filing of All Civil Cases Starting August 1, 2011

Starting August 1st, all documents to be filed with the Justice Court’s Civil Division (except Judge’s Orders for signature) are required to be electronically filed (E-Filing). Users may file through Odyssey E-File & Serve at https://wiznet.wiznet.com/clarknv/ for a charge of $2.50 for each document. This fee is in addition to any applicable Court filing fees. You must have a credit or debit card. The credit card company charges 8 cents (3% as a service charge) to E-File each document outside of the Regional Justice Center.

Users may E-File documents for free (but will still have to pay any applicable Court filing fees) at the scanning stations located in the Self-Help Center on the 1st floor of the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Avenue in Downtown Las Vegas or in the Justice Court Clerk’s Civil Customer Service Office located on the second floor.

Cash, Checks or Money Orders will be accepted for Court filing fees at the Justice Court Clerk’s Office on the 2nd floor of the Regional Justice Center.

An email address is required to receive a file stamped copy of your document. A free e-mail account may be set up at the Clark County Law Library located a 309 S. Third Street. Further information regarding the Law Library is available at 455-4696. You may also establish a free e-mail account through Microsoft at hotmail.com, Yahoo at mail.yahoo.com or Google at mail.google.com.

Additional information about E-Filing including instructions on how to register for and use E-Filing may be found at: E-Filing & Serve

Civil Records

A Register of Actions listing a summary and the dates for case activities with the Court is available online. To use that information, please use the Case Search link on the left panel of this page. Instructions for Ordering Civil Records can be found at this link.

Silent Treatment From Your Lenders—What is the Solution?

Your lender is not talking to you and wants to talk to your only attorney. Is this not strange?

They tell you as such but don’t be offended. You are not on a silent treatment from them. Many times, your online log in does not work and you think there is some discriminatory treatment given to you. You also don’t receive any more loan statements. Don’t be frustrated, your mortgage companies and banks are just following the laws.
You may be thinking your lenders are giving you the silent treatment because they are angry at you for filing bankruptcy, nor are they trying to be rude. Banks have to do this because everything is stayed pursuant to the automatic stay protection of the Bankruptcy Code once you file, it is a violation of the stay to make any effort to collect a debt.

A loan statement could be construed as attempting to collect a debt and customer service reps are not knowledgeable about bankruptcy and may say something improper.

Basically your bank or mortgage company does not want to find itself facing a claim for damages arising from violating the stay so many of these companies simply cut off all communication.

Send them an authority letter signed by your attorney that the bank representatives can talk to you. Send them this authority letter via fax. Many lenders find this type of letter sufficient to ease their concern about potential liability for communicating with a bankruptcy debtor.
Of course, you need to hire your attorney for this particular purpose, unless you are willing to talk to the lenders all the time, and send them lengthy documentation.

Troublesome Bankruptcy Clients and Troublesome Transfers

Bankruptcy is a complex judicial process and quite often even a seasoned attorney has to face very deceptive and often times stubborn clients. Okay, I have transferred all the money and it is in the form of cash and I have saved it. What can you answer to them? Of course, it is troublesome to tell your prospective bankruptcy clients that the recent transfers they have made are illegal and deceptive and violates the bankruptcy laws. How can you convince them? When the answer is always the same, “I don’t have it any more”. Of course, you don’t have it, but you recently transferred it. In another situation, they still have some money on their credit cards left, and want to use that money before they file bankruptcy. How can they be convinced that this is not equivalent to the money in their bank account and it is not their money?
For instance, a transfer of property on the eve of filing bankruptcy is unlawful and illegal. Section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code says that a transfer of property for no purpose other than to frustrate the intent of creditors within a year prior to filing is considered a fraudulent transfer and would prevent such a filer from receiving a discharge.
Another type of troublesome transfer can arise when an elderly parent attempts to transfer assets to an adult child in an effort to qualify for Medicaid. This is writing on the wall. Again, the grandmother had given money for the grand kids and it is in the bank account of mother who is about to file bankruptcy. Okay, this is the money came from grandma. No matter what, it is in your account at this time, and it is non-exempt, unless you want to surrender it. Quite often, we give free advice, but the free spirit from free advice are eaten up if the client does not listen, and not ready to act on a validly provided advice.

Bankruptcy Discharge, Its Implications, Duration and What It Encompasses

Law Office of Malik W. Ahmad, Fast Bankruptcy Nevada. A bankruptcy discharge is a milestone in the bankruptcy proceedings as this discharge releases the debtor from personal liability for certain specified types of debts. Again, those debts which are exempted debts and certain dischargeable debts. Again, please refresh your memory by what debts are dischargeable. The Law Office of Malik W. Ahmad, had given a laundry list in many of the articles as to what debts are dischargeable. Alimony debts, student loans, certain liens, child supports and government fines are not dischargeable. They survive the bankruptcy. In other words, the debtor is no longer legally required to pay any debts that are discharged. The discharge is not temporary but it is a permanent order prohibiting the creditors of the debtor from taking any form of collection action on discharged debts, including legal action and communications with the debtor, such as telephone calls, letters, and personal contacts. This means the debts are wiped out for good, and no one should be calling you as you are under the federal bankruptcy protection. Once you have successfully completed the bankruptcy chapter 7 proceeding, you are under the federal bankruptcy umbrella. Although a debtor is not personally liable for discharged debts, a valid lien (i.e., a charge upon specific property to secure payment of a debt) that has not been avoided (i.e., made unenforceable) in the bankruptcy case will remain after the bankruptcy case. Therefore, a secured creditor may enforce the lien to recover the property secured by the lien.

Timings of Discharge? It all varies, depending on the chapter under which the case is filed. In a chapter 7 (liquidation) case, for example, the court usually grants the discharge promptly on expiration of the time fixed for filing a complaint objecting to discharge and the time fixed for filing a motion to dismiss the case for substantial abuse (60 days following the first date set for the 341 meeting). Typically, this occurs about four months after the date the debtor files the petition with the clerk of the bankruptcy court. In individual chapter 11 cases, in cases under chapter 12 (adjustment of debts of a family farmer or fisherman) and 13 (adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income), the court generally grants the discharge as soon as practicable after the debtor completes all payments under the plan. Since a chapter 12 or chapter 13 plan may provide for payments to be made over three to five years, the discharge typically occurs about four years after the date of filing. The court may deny an individual debtor’s discharge in a chapter 7 or 13 case if the debtor fails to complete “an instructional course concerning financial management.” The Bankruptcy Code provides limited exceptions to the “financial management” requirement if the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator determines there are inadequate educational programs available, or if the debtor is disabled or incapacitated or on active military duty in a combat zone.

How to get a discharge? It is an automatic process and it works smoothly unless there is litigation involving objections to the discharge. The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure provide for the clerk of the bankruptcy court to mail a copy of the order of discharge to all creditors, the U.S. trustee, the trustee in the case, and the trustee’s attorney, if any. The debtor and the debtor’s attorney also receive copies of the discharge order. The notice, which is simply a copy of the final order of discharge, is not specific as to those debts determined by the court to be non-dischargeable, i.e., not covered by the discharge. The notice informs creditors generally that the debts owed to them have been discharged and that they should not attempt any further collection. They are cautioned in the notice that continuing collection efforts could subject them to punishment for contempt. Any inadvertent failure on the part of the clerk to send the debtor or any creditor a copy of the discharge order promptly within the time required by the rules does not affect the validity of the order granting the discharge.

What does the Discharge Includes? As we stated earlier, not all debts are discharged. The debts discharged vary under each chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. Section 523(a) of the Code specifically excepts various categories of debts from the discharge granted to individual debtors. Therefore, the debtor must still repay those debts after bankruptcy. Congress has determined that these types of debts are not dischargeable for public policy reasons (based either on the nature of the debt or the fact that the debts were incurred due to improper behavior of the debtor, such as the debtor’s drunken driving).

Exceptions to Discharge: Generally speaking, the exceptions to discharge apply automatically if the language prescribed by section 523(a) applies. The most common types of non-dischargeable debts are: – certain types of tax claims, – debts not set forth by the debtor on the lists and schedules the debtor must file with the court, – debts for spousal or child support or alimony, – debts for willful and malicious injuries to person or property, – debts to governmental units for fines and penalties, – debts for most government funded or guaranteed educational loans or benefit over payments, – debts for personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, – debts owed to certain tax-advantaged retirement plans, – and debts for certain condominium or cooperative housing fees. The types of debts described in sections 523(a)(2), (4), and (6) (obligations affected by fraud or maliciousness) are not automatically excepted from discharge. Creditors must ask the court to determine that these debts are excepted from discharge. In the absence of an affirmative request by the creditor and the granting of the request by the court, the types of debts set out in sections 523(a)(2), (4), and (6) will be discharged. A slightly broader discharge of debts is available to a debtor in a chapter 13 case than in a chapter 7 case. Debts dischargeable in a chapter 13, but not in chapter 7, include debts for willful and malicious injury to property, debts incurred to pay non-dischargeable tax obligations, and debts arising from property settlements in divorce or separation proceedings.

Right to Discharge? In chapter 7 cases, the debtor does not have an absolute right to a discharge. An objection to the debtor’s discharge may be filed by a creditor, by the trustee in the case, or by the U.S. trustee. Creditors receive a notice shortly after the case is filed that sets forth much important information, including the deadline for objecting to the discharge. To object to the debtor’s discharge, a creditor must file a complaint in the bankruptcy court before the deadline set out in the notice. Filing a complaint starts a lawsuit referred to in bankruptcy as an “adversary proceeding.” The court may deny a chapter 7 discharge for any of the reasons described in section 727(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, including: – failure to provide requested tax documents; – failure to complete a course on personal financial management; – transfer or concealment of property with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors; – destruction or concealment of books or records; perjury and other fraudulent acts; – failure to account for the loss of assets; – violation of a court order or an earlier discharge in an earlier case commenced within certain time frames (discussed below) before the date the petition was filed. – If the issue of the debtor’s right to a discharge goes to trial, the objecting party has the burden of proving all the facts essential to the objection. In chapter 13 cases, the debtor is usually entitled to a discharge upon completion of all payments under the plan. As in chapter 7, however, discharge may not occur in chapter 13 if the debtor fails to complete a required course on personal financial management.

Can the discharge be revoked? The court may revoke a discharge under certain circumstances. For example, a trustee, creditor, or the U.S. trustee may request that the court revoke the debtor’s discharge in a chapter 7 case based on allegations that the debtor: obtained the discharge fraudulently; failed to disclose the fact that he or she acquired or became entitled to acquire property that would constitute property of the bankruptcy estate; committed one of several acts of impropriety described in section 727(a)(6) of the Bankruptcy Code; or failed to explain any misstatements discovered in an audit of the case or fails to provide documents or information requested in an audit of the case. Typically, a request to revoke the debtor’s discharge must be filed within one year of the discharge or, in some cases, before the date that the case is closed. The court will decide whether such allegations are true and, if so, whether to revoke the discharge. May the debtor pay a discharged debt after the bankruptcy case has been concluded? A debtor who has received a discharge may voluntarily repay any discharged debt. A debtor may repay a discharged debt even though it can no longer be legally enforced. Sometimes a debtor agrees to repay a debt because it is owed to a family member or because it represents an obligation to an individual for whom the debtor’s reputation is important, such as a family doctor.

What can the debtor do if a creditor attempts to collect a discharged debt after the case is concluded? If a creditor attempts collection efforts on a discharged debt, the debtor can file a motion with the court, reporting the action and asking that the case be reopened to address the matter. The bankruptcy court will often do so to ensure that the discharge is not violated. The discharge constitutes a permanent statutory injunction prohibiting creditors from taking any action, including the filing of a lawsuit, designed to collect a discharged debt. A creditor can be sanctioned by the court for violating the discharge injunction. The normal sanction for violating the discharge injunction is civil contempt, which is often punishable by a fine.

Bankruptcy litigation and appeal process

You know when you file bankruptcy, there is a strong chance that there may be some issues which can lead to litigation, and your attorney has to be ready for that. Of course, it is your only chance to get your name cleared and seek a discharge. Litigation in the bankruptcy does not stop in the bankruptcy court. Both parties may appeal the trial court decision. The appeal from bankruptcy court may be appealed either to a district court or bankruptcy appellate panel. By its express terms, 28 U.S.C. Section 158 (a) provide for a review by a district court or bankruptcy appellate panel of certain orders “entered by bankruptcy judges in cases and proceedings referred under 28 U.S.C. Section 157″. The appellate jurisdiction of district courts and bankruptcy appellate panels are limited to proceedings in which bankruptcy courts are authorized to issue binding judicial determination.

Core Proceedings: Bankruptcy courts are authorized to enter binding judgments and orders in “core proceedings,” a term defined in 28 U.S.C Section 157, but only if the preceding otherwise arises under a provision of title 11 of the United States Code or arises in a Title 11 Case.

District Courts have jurisdiction over “final judgments, orders, and decrees” entered by bankruptcy judges, as well as “from interlocutory orders and decrees issued under section 1121(d) of title 11.

A bankruptcy appellate panel is a panel comprised of three bankruptcy judges to hear appeals from bankruptcy court orders. The bankruptcy judges who serve on an appellate panel hear appeals from orders in districts other than the districts in which they serve. Nevada has an appellate panel with its headquarter in Pasadena, California.

Courts of appeals have appellate jurisdiction over all “final decisions, judgments, orders, and decrees’ entered by bankruptcy appellate panels and district courts in their appellate capacity.

New Settlement on Home Loans –Something Good

NY Times in its recent publication has reported that there is a deal expected of a big settlement between regulators and 14 big banks about settlement of 10 billion dollars with 14 banks that would end the government efforts to hold lenders responsible for foreclosure abuses.

“Under the settlement, a significant amount of the money, $3.75 billion, would go to people who have already lost their homes, making it potentially more generous to former homeowners than a broad-reaching pact in February between state attorneys general and five large banks. That set aside $1.5 billion in cash relief for Americans.

Most of the relief in both agreements is meant for people who are struggling to stay in their homes and need the banks to reduce their payments or lower the amount of principal they owe.

The $10 billion pact would be the latest in a series of settlements that regulators and law enforcement officials have reached with banks to hold them accountable for their role in the 2008 financial crisis that sent the housing market into the deepest slump since the Great Depression. As of early 2012, four million Americans had been foreclosed upon since the beginning of 2007, and a huge amount of abandoned homes swamped many states, including California, Florida and Arizona.”

Federal agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department are continuing to pursue the banks for their packaging and sale of troubled mortgage securities that imploded during the financial crisis.

Housing advocates were largely unaware of the latest rounds of secret talks, which have been occurring for roughly a month. But some have criticized the government for not dealing more harshly with bankers in light of their lacks standards for making loans and packaging them as investments, as well as their problems with modifying troubled loans and processing foreclosures.

A deal could be reached by the end of the week between the 14 banks and the nation’s top banking regulators, led by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, four people with knowledge of the negotiations said. It was unclear how many current and former homeowners would receive money or when it would be distributed.

Told on Sunday night of the imminent settlement, Lynn Drysdale, a lawyer at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and a former co-chairwoman of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, said: “It’s certainly a victory for consumers and could help entire neighborhoods. But the devil, as they say, is in the details, and for those people who have had to totally uproot their lives because of eviction it may still not be enough.”

In recent weeks within the upper echelons of the comptroller’s office, pressure was mounting to negotiate a banner settlement with the banks, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The reason was that some within the agency had started to realize that a mandatory review of millions of bank loans was not yielding meaningful examples of the banks’ wrongfully evicting homeowners who were current on their payments or making partial payments, according to the people.

Representative of banking regulators did not return calls for comment on Sunday.

The biggest action against the banks for foreclosure-related abuses has been the $26 billion settlement between the five largest mortgage services and the state attorneys general, Justice Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development after allegations arose in 2010 that bank employees were churning daily through hundreds of documents used in foreclosure proceedings without properly reviewing them for accuracy.

The same banks in that settlement — JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial — are included in the current negotiations.

Under the terms of the settlement being negotiated, $6 billion would come from the banks to be used for relief for homeowners, including reducing their principal, helping them refinance and donating abandoned homes, the people said.

The proposed settlement would also halt a separate sweeping review of more than four million loan files that the comptroller’s office and the Federal Reserve required the banks undertake as part of a consent order in April 2011.

Under the terms of the order, the 14 banks had to hire independent consultants to pour through the loan records to determine whether the banks illegally charged fees, forced homeowners to take out costly insurance or miscalculated loan payment amounts. Consultants initially estimated that each loan would take about eight hours, at a cost of up to $250 an hour, to go through.

The costs of the reviews have ballooned, though, according to people with knowledge of the reviews, in part because each loan file is taking up to 20 hours to review. Since its inception, the reviews have cost the banks about $1.5 billion, according to those people.

Pressure to reach some type of settlement with the banks has been building, particularly within the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, amid widespread frustration that the banks’ mandatory review of loan files was arduous and expensive, and would not yield promised relief to homeowners, according to five former and current banking regulators.

In private meetings with top bank executives, these people said, regulators have admitted that the reviews had gone awry. At one point this month, an official from the comptroller’s office said the agency had “miscalculated” the scope and requirements of the reviews, according to the people with knowledge of the negotiations.

When the settlement discussions heated up this month, some banking executives said they felt they would be vindicated by the regulators. These executives said that they had raised objections to the reviews early on, but those concerns were largely dismissed by regulatory officials, according to the people with knowledge of the negotiations.

Instead, officials from the comptroller’s office, these people said, have used the loan reviews as a negotiating tool, telling banks that they can either sign on to a large settlement or be forced to pay billions over several more years until the consultants finish the reviews.

When regulators approached the banks to broach a settlement this month, they met first with Wells Fargo and proposed that the banks pay $15 billion, according to the people familiar with the discussions. After negotiations, though, the regulators agreed to $10 billion.

All of the 14 banks are expected to sign on.

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Student Loans—Steps to Stop Accumulating Them

While we had written previously on this topic, we would like to emphasize one more time that there is a proper need and discipline required to get student loan and keep them to the absolute minimum. A student loan should only be taken for education and relating to the direct expenses of education—should not be a mean for income or revenue generating. The consequences of high student loans are atrocious. A word of caution for parent also. Read what you sign, and demand your child’s achievement and accomplishment including his scoring. It is very important you should know everything when you co-sign a student loan because you would be jeopardizing your golden years if you are wrong and sign needlessly. Two-thirds of kids receiving an undergraduate degree this spring will leave campus owing money for their education, according Sallie Mae. These students will have an average balance of about $20,000, and within six months they’ll be required to start making monthly payments of roughly $270.

Again, your education should be goal related, and get education where it is corresponding with your employment and devise a payment plan right away. Don’t wait for later years to pay the banks or Sallie Mae. A marriage or children down the road would make your budget more stringent and lesser payment can be done.

1. Don’t borrow more than what you need.
2. Start paying right away. If you get some surplus money, like personal injury settlement, or inheritance, pay them right away.
3. Try not to take needless forbearance or any other postponement.
4. The student loan agencies would gladly give you forbearance, avoid them.
5. Sign up for automatic payment, even from your payroll.

Apply for loan forgiveness. By volunteering with AmeriCorps, Peace Corp. or VISTA you may qualify to have some or all of your college debt wiped away. Other options include spending time in the military, teaching, and doing social work. Look here for more information.

Should Student Loans Be Discharged in Bankruptcy

The Law Office of Malik Ahmad has already published few articles not only about bankruptcy Chapter 7, but also about student loans. We know this is a painful topic which requires Obama government’s immediate attention, but somehow it has been placed largely on bank benches. This is as high an item as loan modification, foreclosure or health care. This issue has crippled student lives. The student loans debts are rising, and this mountain of debt is crushing students and of course their daily lives. It should be addressed as a priority by the Obama administration.

This is a very valid question. The present standard for discharge of student loans is very strict and very rigorously enforced especially for private student loans. At least the wage garnishment should be based with the judgment from a judicial panel. At this time, no such condition is required, which is making the lives of students very miserable in this very high unemployment time. In California, however, headway is being made where a Bill has been introduced by Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski that would make private lenders unable to use wage garnishment as a method to collect on delinquent student loan debts. This bill is still in the very early stage (AB233). One wonders if such a bill should be passed by Nevada legislature as well because there is a big need for such stoppage. A similar bill has been placed whereby the home foreclosure has been placed in limbo, and that has really worked to improve the home conditions in Nevada. Remember, Nevada used to be numero uno in foreclosure. A few years ago, the private student loans were discharged in bankruptcy. What exactly is a private student loan? This determination should be made by the bankruptcy court and not by the department of education or by the lenders themselves. We also support that at least 50 percent of the principal student loan and 50-70 of late fees, and penalties should be waived from the student loans.

What is the limitation of Garnishment of earnings in Nevada?

We have been asked this question many times as to the what are the limitations of garnishment of earnings in Nevada. WE are pleased to address this question in more details. It is best to send us an email to the Law Office of Malik W. Ahmad at malik@lasvegaslawgroup.com or call us at (702) 270-9100.

NRS 31.295 Garnishment of earnings: Limitations on amount.

(a) “Disposable earnings” means that part of the earnings of any person remaining after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld.

(b) “Earnings” means compensation paid or payable for personal services performed by a judgment debtor in the regular course of business, including, without limitation, compensation designated as income, wages, tips, a salary, a commission or a bonus. The term includes compensation received by a judgment debtor that is in the possession of the judgment debtor, compensation held in accounts maintained in a bank or any other financial institution or, in the case of a receivable, compensation that is due the judgment debtor.

2. The maximum amount of the aggregate disposable earnings of a person which are subject to garnishment may not exceed:

(a) Twenty-five percent of the person’s disposable earnings for the relevant workweek; or

(b) The amount by which the person’s disposable earnings for that week exceed 50 times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 6(a)(1) of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C. § 206(a)(1), in effect at the time the earnings are payable, whichever is less.

3. The restrictions of subsection 2 do not apply in the case of:

(a) Any order of any court for the support of any person.

(b) Any order of any court of bankruptcy.

(c) Any debt due for any state or federal tax.

4. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the maximum amount of the aggregate disposable earnings of a person for any workweek which are subject to garnishment to enforce any order for the support of any person may not exceed:

(a) Fifty percent of the person’s disposable earnings for that week if the person is supporting a spouse or child other than the spouse or child for whom the order of support was rendered; or

(b) Sixty percent of the person’s disposable earnings for that week if the person is not supporting such a spouse or child,

Ê except that if the garnishment is to enforce a previous order of support with respect to a period occurring at least 12 weeks before the beginning of the workweek, the limits which apply to the situations described in paragraphs (a) and (b) are 55 percent and 65 percent, respectively.

(Added to NRS by 1971, 1499; A 1985, 1430; 2005, 1020)

What is the procedure for claiming exempt property in Nevada?

First, there are two kinds of property. One is called exempt, which means you can keep it and the other is non-exempt which you need to surrender it no matter what. If you believe that the money or property taken from you is exempt or necessary for the support of you or your family, you must file with the clerk of the court on a form provided by the clerk an executed claim of exemption. A copy of the claim of exemption must be served upon the sheriff, the garnishee and the judgment creditor within 10 days after the notice of execution or garnishment is served on you by mail pursuant to NRS 21.076 which identifies the specific property that is being levied on. The property must be released by the garnishee or the sheriff within 9 judicial days after you serve the claim of exemption upon the sheriff, garnishee and judgment creditor, unless the sheriff or garnishee receives a copy of an objection to the claim of exemption and a notice for a hearing to determine the issue of exemption. If this happens, a hearing will be held to determine whether the property or money is exempt. The objection to the claim of exemption and notice for the hearing to determine the issue of exemption must be filed within 8 judicial days after the claim of exemption is served on the judgment creditor by mail or in person and served on the judgment debtor, the sheriff and any garnishee not less than 5 judicial days before the date set for the hearing. The hearing must be held within 7 judicial days after the objection to the claim of exemption and notice for a hearing is filed. You may be able to have your property released more quickly if you mail to the judgment creditor or the attorney of the judgment creditor written proof that the property is exempt. Such proof may include, without limitation, a letter from the government, an annual statement from a pension fund, receipts for payment, copies of checks, records from financial institutions or any other document which demonstrates that the money in your account is exempt.

IF YOU DO NOT FILE THE EXECUTED CLAIM OF EXEMPTION WITHIN THE TIME SPECIFIED, YOUR PROPERTY MAY BE SOLD AND THE MONEY GIVEN TO THE JUDGMENT CREDITOR, EVEN IF THE PROPERTY OR MONEY IS EXEMPT.

If you received this notice with a notice of a hearing for attachment and you believe that the money or property which would be taken from you by a writ of attachment is exempt or necessary for the support of you or your family, you are entitled to describe to the court at the hearing why you believe your property is exempt. You may also file a motion with the court for a discharge of the writ of attachment. You may make that motion any time before trial. A hearing will be held on that motion.

IF YOU DO NOT FILE THE MOTION BEFORE THE TRIAL, YOUR PROPERTY MAY BE SOLD AND THE MONEY GIVEN TO THE PLAINTIFF, EVEN IF THE PROPERTY OR MONEY IS EXEMPT OR NECESSARY FOR THE SUPPORT OF YOU OR YOUR FAMILY.

FDCPA (Debt collection) and Consumers’ Questions

Note: Some of the contents here are taken from the Federal Trade Commission’s website as contents of general nature and for wider circulation. The writer does not claim this article to be his own creation exclusively. FDCPA is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you.

Who is a debt collector?

Under the FDCPA, a debt collector is someone who regularly collects debts owed to others. This includes collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis, and companies that buy delinquent debts and then try to collect them.

Following is some of the highlight of consumer areas in debt collection and their rights under the FDCPA.

What types of debts are covered?

The Act covers personal, family, and household debts, including money you owe on a personal credit card account, an auto loan, a medical bill, and your mortgage. The FDCPA doesn’t cover debts you incurred to run a business.

Can a debt collector contact me any time or any place?

No. A debt collector may not contact you at inconvenient times or places, such as before 8 in the morning or after 9 at night, unless you agree to it. And collectors may not contact you at work if they’re told (orally or in writing) that you’re not allowed to get calls there.

How can I stop a debt collector from contacting me?

If a collector contacts you about a debt, you may want to talk to them at least once to see if you can resolve the matter – even if you don’t think you owe the debt, can’t repay it immediately, or think that the collector is contacting you by mistake. If you decide after contacting the debt collector that you don’t want the collector to contact you again, tell the collector – in writing – to stop contacting you. Here’s how to do that:

Make a copy of your letter. Send the original by certified mail, and pay for a “return receipt” so you’ll be able to document what the collector received. Once the collector receives your letter, they may not contact you again, with two exceptions: a collector can contact you to tell you there will be no further contact or to let you know that they or the creditor intend to take a specific action, like filing a lawsuit. Sending such a letter to a debt collector you owe money to does not get rid of the debt, but it should stop the contact. The creditor or the debt collector still can sue you to collect the debt.

Can a debt collector contact anyone else about my debt?

If an attorney is representing you about the debt, the debt collector must contact the attorney, rather than you. If you don’t have an attorney, a collector may contact other people – but only to find out your address, your home phone number, and where you work. Collectors usually are prohibited from contacting third parties more than once. Other than to obtain this location information about you, a debt collector generally is not permitted to discuss your debt with anyone other than you, your spouse, or your attorney.

What does the debt collector have to tell me about the debt?

Every collector must send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within five days after they first contact you. This notice also must include the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money, and how to proceed if you don’t think you owe the money.

Can a debt collector keep contacting me if I don’t think I owe any money?

If you send the debt collector a letter stating that you don’t owe any or all of the money, or asking for verification of the debt, that collector must stop contacting you. You have to send that letter within 30 days after you receive the validation notice. But a collector can begin contacting you again if it sends you written verification of the debt, like a copy of a bill for the amount you owe.

What practices are off limits for debt collectors?

Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact. For example, they may not:

use threats of violence or harm;
publish a list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts (but they can give this information to the credit reporting companies);
 use obscene or profane language; or
 repeatedly use the phone to annoy someone.

False statements. Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they may not:falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives;

  • falsely claim that you have committed a crime;
  • falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit reporting company;
  • misrepresent the amount you owe;
  • indicate that papers they send you are legal forms if they aren’t; or
  • indicate that papers they send to you aren’t legal forms if they are.

Debt collectors also are prohibited from saying that:

  •  you will be arrested if you don’t pay your debt;
  •  they’ll seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so; or
  •  legal action will be taken against you, if doing so would be illegal or if they don’t intend to take the action.

Debt collectors may not:

give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company;
send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency if it isn’t; or
use a false company name.

Unfair practices. Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe unless the contract that created your debt – or your state law – allows the charge;
  • deposit a post-dated check early;
  • take or threaten to take your property unless it can be done legally; or
  • contact you by postcard.

Can I control which debts my payments apply to?

Yes. If a debt collector is trying to collect more than one debt from you, the collector must apply any payment you make to the debt you select. Equally important, a debt collector may not apply a payment to a debt you don’t think you owe.

Can a debt collector garnish my bank account or my wages?

If you don’t pay a debt, a creditor or its debt collector generally can sue you to collect. If they win, the court will enter a judgment against you. The judgment states the amount of money you owe, and allows the creditor or collector to get a garnishment order against you, directing a third party, like your bank, to turn over funds from your account to pay the debt.

Wage garnishment happens when your employer withholds part of your compensation to pay your debts. Your wages usually can be garnished only as the result of a court order. Don’t ignore a lawsuit summons. If you do, you lose the opportunity to fight a wage garnishment.

Can federal benefits be garnished?

Many federal benefits are exempt from garnishment, including:

  • Social Security Benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
  • Veterans’ Benefits
  • Civil Service and Federal Retirement and Disability Benefits
  • Military Annuities and Survivors’ Benefits
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency Federal Disaster Assistance

Federal benefits may be garnished under certain circumstances, including to pay delinquent taxes, alimony, child support, or student loans.

Do I have any recourse if I think a debt collector has violated the law?

You have the right to sue a collector in a state or federal court within one year from the date the law was violated. If you win, the judge can require the collector to pay you for any damages you can prove you suffered because of the illegal collection practices, like lost wages and medical bills. The judge can require the debt collector to pay you up to $1,000, even if you can’t prove that you suffered actual damages. You also can be reimbursed for your attorney’s fees and court costs. A group of people also may sue a debt collector as part of a class action lawsuit and recover money for damages up to $500,000, or one percent of the collector’s net worth, whichever amount is lower. Even if a debt collector violates the FDCPA in trying to collect a debt, the debt does not go away if you owe it.

What should I do if a debt collector sues me?

If a debt collector files a lawsuit against you to collect a debt, respond to the lawsuit, either personally or through your lawyer, by the date specified in the court papers to preserve your rights.

Where do I report a debt collector for an alleged violation?

Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your “http://www.naag.org/”state Attorney General’s office, the “http://www.ftc.gov/”Federal Trade Commission, and the “http://www.consumerfinance.gov/”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many states have their own debt collection laws that are different from the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Your Attorney General’s office can help you determine your rights under your state’s law.

FDCPA and Consumer’s Questions

[Note: Some of the contents here are taken from the Federal Trade Commission's website as contents of general nature and for wider circulation. The writer does not claim this article to be his own creation exclusively.]

FDCPA is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you.

Who is a debt collector?

Under the FDCPA, a debt collector is someone who regularly collects debts owed to others. This includes collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis, and companies that buy delinquent debts and then try to collect them.

Following is some of the highlight of consumer areas in debt collection and their rights under the FDCPA.

What types of debts are covered?

The Act covers personal, family, and household debts, including money you owe on a personal credit card account, an auto loan, a medical bill, and your mortgage. The FDCPA doesn’t cover debts you incurred to run a business.

Can a debt collector contact me any time or any place?

No. A debt collector may not contact you at inconvenient times or places, such as before 8 in the morning or after 9 at night, unless you agree to it. And collectors may not contact you at work if they’re told (orally or in writing) that you’re not allowed to get calls there.

How can I stop a debt collector from contacting me?

If a collector contacts you about a debt, you may want to talk to them at least once to see if you can resolve the matter – even if you don’t think you owe the debt, can’t repay it immediately, or think that the collector is contacting you by mistake. If you decide after contacting the debt collector that you don’t want the collector to contact you again, tell the collector – in writing – to stop contacting you. Here’s how to do that:

Make a copy of your letter. Send the original by certified mail, and pay for a “return receipt” so you’ll be able to document what the collector received. Once the collector receives your letter, they may not contact you again, with two exceptions: a collector can contact you to tell you there will be no further contact or to let you know that they or the creditor intend to take a specific action, like filing a lawsuit. Sending such a letter to a debt collector you owe money to does not get rid of the debt, but it should stop the contact. The creditor or the debt collector still can sue you to collect the debt.

Can a debt collector contact anyone else about my debt?

If an attorney is representing you about the debt, the debt collector must contact the attorney, rather than you. If you don’t have an attorney, a collector may contact other people – but only to find out your address, your home phone number, and where you work. Collectors usually are prohibited from contacting third parties more than once. Other than to obtain this location information about you, a debt collector generally is not permitted to discuss your debt with anyone other than you, your spouse, or your attorney.

What does the debt collector have to tell me about the debt?

Every collector must send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within five days after they first contact you. This notice also must include the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money, and how to proceed if you don’t think you owe the money.

Can a debt collector keep contacting me if I don’t think I owe any money?

If you send the debt collector a letter stating that you don’t owe any or all of the money, or asking for verification of the debt, that collector must stop contacting you. You have to send that letter within 30 days after you receive the validation notice. But a collector can begin contacting you again if it sends you written verification of the debt, like a copy of a bill for the amount you owe.

What practices are off limits for debt collectors?

  1.  Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact. For example, they may not:
  • use threats of violence or harm;
  • publish a list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts (but they can give this information to the credit reporting companies);
  • use obscene or profane language; or
  • repeatedly use the phone to annoy someone.

False statements. Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives;
  • falsely claim that you have committed a crime;
  • falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit reporting company;
  • misrepresent the amount you owe;
  • indicate that papers they send you are legal forms if they aren’t; or
  • indicate that papers they send to you aren’t legal forms if they are.

Debt collectors also are prohibited from saying that:

  • you will be arrested if you don’t pay your debt;
  • they’ll seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so; or
  • legal action will be taken against you, if doing so would be illegal or if they don’t intend to take the action.

Debt collectors may not:

  • give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company;
  • send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency if it isn’t; or
  • use a false company name.

Unfair practices. Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe unless the contract that created your debt – or your state law – allows the charge;
  • deposit a post-dated check early;
  • take or threaten to take your property unless it can be done legally; or
  • contact you by postcard.

Can I control which debts my payments apply to?

Yes. If a debt collector is trying to collect more than one debt from you, the collector must apply any payment you make to the debt you select. Equally important, a debt collector may not apply a payment to a debt you don’t think you owe.

Can a debt collector garnish my bank account or my wages?

If you don’t pay a debt, a creditor or its debt collector generally can sue you to collect. If they win, the court will enter a judgment against you. The judgment states the amount of money you owe, and allows the creditor or collector to get a garnishment order against you, directing a third party, like your bank, to turn over funds from your account to pay the debt.

Wage garnishment happens when your employer withholds part of your compensation to pay your debts. Your wages usually can be garnished only as the result of a court order. Don’t ignore a lawsuit summons. If you do, you lose the opportunity to fight a wage garnishment.

Can federal benefits be garnished?

Many federal benefits are exempt from garnishment, including:

  • Social Security Benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
  • Veterans’ Benefits
  • Civil Service and Federal Retirement and Disability Benefits
  • Military Annuities and Survivors’ Benefits
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency Federal Disaster Assistance

Federal benefits may be garnished under certain circumstances, including to pay delinquent taxes, alimony, child support, or student loans.

Do I have any recourse if I think a debt collector has violated the law?

You have the right to sue a collector in a state or federal court within one year from the date the law was violated. If you win, the judge can require the collector to pay you for any damages you can prove you suffered because of the illegal collection practices, like lost wages and medical bills. The judge can require the debt collector to pay you up to $1,000, even if you can’t prove that you suffered actual damages. You also can be reimbursed for your attorney’s fees and court costs. A group of people also may sue a debt collector as part of a class action lawsuit and recover money for damages up to $500,000, or one percent of the collector’s net worth, whichever amount is lower. Even if a debt collector violates the FDCPA in trying to collect a debt, the debt does not go away if you owe it.

What should I do if a debt collector sues me?

If a debt collector files a lawsuit against you to collect a debt, respond to the lawsuit, either personally or through your lawyer, by the date specified in the court papers to preserve your rights.

Where do I report a debt collector for an alleged violation?

Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many states have their own debt collection laws that are different from the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Your Attorney General’s office can help you determine your rights under your state’s law.

What is the difference between secured and unsecured debt?

I have dwelt this previously but I like to address these issues one more time as they are very important issues while thinking or planning for bankruptcy. After all, I have a tendency to use this lingo with my clients many times and sometimes without explaining to them the difference. Here, I like to give more details on the definition and the distinction between the two terms which has deeper impact on our everyday lives. Now, since I am publishing this in my bankruptcy blog, I hope potential clients would read it and would understand exactly what is meant by these terms. Let us start first with unsecured loan. Let us see any credit card purchases would be consumer loans as they have no collateral. The collateral is your honesty, good will, and the trust which you have built between you and your lender. A car for instance, would be a secured loan if you have financed it. If you are behind couple of months, the auto lender would come after you and more likely that they would repo your car. After all, they are doing it pursuant to the terms of the loan you had signed with them.

Statement of Financing. In many store purchases, you sign the financing documents, where it is filed with the secretary of the state office. This make them secured because these are exempt from being “unsecured” and even if you file bankruptcy, would be considered a secured property and liable to be returned to your lender, or be ready to pay a fair market price.
Let us take a look at unsecured debt. They are debts which have no collateral and are not tangible in nature. Credit cards debts are intangibles in nature. Again payday loans are unsecured and intangible loans. A mortgage loan is a secured loan because the collateral is your home. Most of these unsecured debts can be wiped out in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. As you may know, government fines, child support payments, and some personal injury judgments are exempted from liquidation. Lenders who have secured debts can ask you to return their property and can also sue you for the deficiency. Sometime they have to be reaffirmed, which means that you can keep them as long as you continue to pay them. Okay, let us do a little test here.

Is your credit card a secured or unsecured debt? (Hing: A secured is one which has a collateral)
Is your home a secured debt? (Does it has a collateral?)
If you go to Best Buy, the 52 inch TV is secured or unsecured? (The folks at Best Buy had filed a financing statements and it become a secured transaction?)
How about washer and dryer you bought from Sears’s store? (Whether financing statements filed by Sears or other store, or you purchased through your own credit card)

How to enter reaffirmation agreements for cars?

We had discussed in one of our earlier topic the difference between reaffirmation and surrender. A reaffirmation comes into picture when a debtor like to continue making the agreed payments and like to reaffirm the secured debts instead of surrendering the collateral and of course wiping out the deficiency. We know that most of the debtors have cars, and cars is a tool to continue your life and finding a job, and do other daily activities. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the lender may require you to reaffirm your car loan in order to keep the car. Here’s why, and what happens if the reaffirmation agreement is, or is not, approved by the bankruptcy court.

Let us say you are behind on your car payments, the accrued payments has to be paid as they are not going to disappear. When you file bankruptcy, everything is stopped, and a secured creditors files motion to lift stay. Once the stay is granted, the secured creditors can move forward and start doing either collection or seize the collateral unless you confirm, or pay the accrued payments. The repo man can come back and haunt you once again unless you sign reaffirmation and continue making the agreed monthly payments.

When you are making payments on a car, your car note has two different parts — the promissory note that makes you personally liable for the debt and the security agreement that allows the lender to repossess the car if you default on the payments. To be enforceable, the security agreement must be registered with the DMV or other state registry — which results in a lien being placed on your car.

When you file Chapter 7 BK you can get rid of the promissory note (the amount you owe pursuant to the promissory note is discharged in the bankruptcy) — and your personal liability — but you can’t get rid of the lien. This lien stays and now you need to reaffirm it to continue possession of the car. This means you will have to continue making your payments if you want to keep the car, even though you don’t actually owe anything on it.

You May Need Reaffirmation Agreements ?
Well, since you had decided to keep the car, then you should pay. First, it is the agreement you had accepted. Second, if you surrender, it would be very expensive to find someone who would lease or sell you car unless you agree an exuberant rate of interests. At least when you doing reaffirmation, you are telling the bankruptcy court that you are willing and financial viable to continue making the monthly payments. If it is not reaffirmed, the lender cannot come after you for deficiency judgment.

The reaffirmation is a complex set of paperwork, and if the lender requires you to reaffirm, you’ll have to sign an agreement the lender will send you, and file the agreement with the court. The court will give you a date for a court hearing at which the judge will decide whether you can afford to make the car payments.

What If The Judge Doesn’t Approve the Reaffirmation?
If the judge decides you can’t make the car payments, the judge will disapprove the reaffirmation agreement and you’ll be off the hook. But what if you remain current on the payments, even though there is no reaffirmation agreement? In this case, you can keep the car. A reaffirmation should be signed with great care because it has lots of implications.

Few Words of Caution:
On the plus side, reaffirming a secured debt gives you a degree of certainty – you are once again in a contractual relationship with your creditor and knows how much to pay every month. You know how much you are supposed to pay each month and you know the payoff balance, interest rate and terms of the agreement. All these things are clearly defined in an understandable way.Sometimes, you may be able to negotiate a more favorable deal when you reaffirm. Other than cars, secured creditors are often not set up to liquidate used merchandise and since you already have possession of the property (collateral), many lenders are happy to negotiate more favorable terms with you so they can avoid the hassle of recovering and disposing of property. The Car negotiations option is less true with motor vehicles, because there is an active used car market. Negotiation option can work well when you are dealing with furniture or electronics.

The New Rule About Judgment Debtors Are in Place

We have dealt with this topic few times already. However, a new treasury rule, effective May 1, 2011, will provide more protection to recipients of federal benefits from garnishment of their bank accounts. How this would affect future bankruptcy filers. This is our main topic here today.

Garnishment and Federal Benefits: The Basics
We already had defined what is a judgment proof bankruptcy filers

We define a judgment proof person as someone who had lots of creditors (who had gotten judgment against him/her now) but his assets are protected because he/she is recipient of social security benefits or disability income. His compensation (it is not called an income here) are exempt from seizure from his creditors regardless of the fact that they had gotten a judgment against him. As you know, the creditors may have various ways to collect the judgment including a garnishment, however, this cannot be applied against a judgment proof creditors. Judgment creditors cannot grab funds which come from certain sources, including some types of federal benefits such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, veterans benefits, and a few others.

Although these types of funds cannot be seized by creditors, in practice, when banks got a garnishment order in the past, they often froze all funds in the account (up to the amount of the debt), without regard to whether the funds were protected from garnishment. This means the bank accountholder would not be able to access those funds for weeks or months. The account holder could object to the garnishment of the protected funds to prevent the bank from turning them over to the judgment creditor. But many people were unable to complete the paperwork and procedure to do so, and so lost funds that never should have been seized.

Let us see the New Rule: The Onus is on the Bank
The bank without investigation would put a freeze on these accounts. Now, the new rule puts the onus on the banks. Banks receiving garnishment orders must now determine if the bank account has protected federal benefits that have been electronically deposited into the account within the previous two months. Now, after investigation, If the bank discovers that there are protected funds, it cannot include those funds in the account freeze.

The Implication of the New Rule.
Federal benefits received and deposited in a bank account via paper check are not protected by this new rule. Nor are funds received (even if received electronically) more than two months prior to the garnishment order. However, the regular state procedures for challenging a garnishment order will still be available for these types of funds. Federal benefit recipients currently receiving paper checks should consider switching to electronic deposit of their benefits.

How to stop wage garnishment in Nevada

As we had stated many times, when we file your Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, any pending garnishment (except for child support) will stop immediately. It also control any funds seized after the date of your bankruptcy filing will be returned to you.

How about Judgment Entered Against You
State Court Judgments Can Result in Significant Seizure of Your Income
In most cases, wage garnishments arise from lawsuit judgments. There cannot be any wage garnishment in Nevada except child support and student loan without a judicial process. Judgments come from lawsuits and only after you lose or ignore lawsuits. For example, if a credit card company filed suit against you for non-payment and you did not answer, a default judgment would be issued against you. These judgments do not disappear into thin air but stays and the judgment/creditor waits for an appropriate time to pounce against you just like a cheetah in a jungle who wait endlessly to prey on the animals. If you were involved in litigation and lost, a judgment would issue against you. These judgments can be executed personally against you or your business, and the judgment creditors is watching your assets or searching for them and the appropriate moment to execute against these assets. Sometime, they already collect your financial papers ahead of time under the impression to give you a hardship forbearance or change the terms of the debt. Don’t get trapped in this fiction.

It is not surprising that our clients many times report that they were not even aware of a pending lawsuit, much less a judgment. This is possible as the judgment creditors might be a different entity than the original lender and this credit transactions has been sold and resold many times, and the final holder are entirely different people now. This type of unpleasant surprise happens more often than you might think. Sheriff’s deputies, who are responsible for serving the lawsuit, are permitted to leave the lawsuit with an adult who answers the door to your house. This is also called personal service in Nevada. We sometimes see cases where a spouse accepts service but fails to deliver the lawsuit papers to the named defendant. Also, these papers can get mixed up with lots of other papers and one just ignore them or do not understand the implication of these judicial papers. I had seen many many times the original papers and the client does not even know what kind of papers are they and their purpose.

Most of these cases revolve around credit card debt. As you may know, the card holder agreement provides that payment disputes shall be referred to an arbitrator out of State, or that a specific court in another State shall be the venue for any collection lawsuit. These collections needs to be validated and usually requires 30 days time period. Defending a lawsuit is not an easy thing, it is expensive, time consuming, and basically you have no defenses other than the statutory time period, if you had used the money and is not paying it back to your creditors. Also, it is quite possible that the original paperwork may be lost or is not transferred to the current credit holder. If your creditor possesses an out of state judgment, it can “domesticate” the judgment in your home county. Once a judgment is domesticated here, you will be subject to wage garnishment, bank account levy and any other remedies otherwise available to a winning plaintiff here in Las Vegas.

Wage Ganishment Threatens 25% of Your Net Pay and Possibly Your Job
Once a judgment has been issued, your creditor can ask the local sheriff’s office for a summons for continuing garnishment and execution of judgment. Your employer will be served with this garnishment summons and ordered to withhold 25% of your after tax earnings. In addition, your employer may charge a handling fee for the extra paperwork involved with fulfilling the garnishment requirements.

Be aware that your employer cannot choose to ignore a summons of continuing garnishment. If your employer does not honor the summons, your employer will become responsible for payment of the entire debt.

As you might imagine, human resource and payroll coordinators for most employers find wage garnishments troublesome for a number of reasons. Firstly, your employer must expend time and effort to complete the paperwork associated with calculating and processing garnishment orders. Secondly, until the garnishment is paid in full or otherwise released, your employer has potential financial liability if there are errors with the paperwork. Finally, your credibility may be called into question as a defendant found liable for a judgment in a lawsuit. It would not be an understatement to conclude that your job might be at risk if you involve your employer in your personal business and wage garnishment.

Law Office of Malik Ahmad is experienced in these matters and can stop any pending garnishment no matter where you fall in the process. If you contact us before the pending lawsuit against you goes into default, we may be able to avoid a judgment from issuing. If a judgment has been issued, the judgment creditor’s right to seize your wages terminates the instant we file your bankruptcy case. Sometimes, money that has been seized can be returned to you or it can be used to pay non-dischargeable debt like taxes.

Summary Judgments and wage garnishments function as powerful tools used by creditors to seize your money. When we file your bankruptcy case, your creditors are powerless to take any action and they lose their right to seize your wages. You can file a bankruptcy at any point in the pre-judgment or judgment process to put an end to creditor action. Don’t wait until your wages are at risk – call the Law Office of Malik Ahmad at (702) 270-9100 as soon as you suspect any risk of wage garnishment.

Does filing of chapter 7 stays collection activities?

Inherent in the filing of chapter 7 is an automatic stay which comes into life right after the filing of chapter 7 petition. Creditors are notified officially of the automatic stay in the notice of meeting of the creditors. However, this notice is not mailed sometime many days after and meanwhile the collection activities continues. The other problem is that when it is mailed, it only goes to the creditors listed in the schedules. Sometimes the creditors keep on changing names, addresses, and even entities when they sell their debtors to other collection agencies. Also, landlord and other entities whom no debt is owed, are not informed. Sometime the unsophisticated creditors does not understand the implication of the automatic stay.

Well, the only solution is for the debtor’s attorney to send them direct mail, or additional notices of the stay. This notice should be sent by certified mail

Action taken in violation of the stay are void.
It has been a long time view that actions taken in violations of the stay are void. This includes foreclosure, sales, collection, lawsuits and judgments. This rule applies whether or not the violator acted with the knowledge of the stay.
Courts have the power to undo violations of the stay by injunctions. The Bankruptcy Code in section 362(k) contains a specific cause of action against a creditor who causes injury to an individual by a wilful violation of the section 362 stay. A wilful violation is one committed knowingly. Even if a violation is done innocently, a refusal to rectify or failure to act affirmatively, is a violation. In such cases, section 362(k) provides for actual damages, costs and attorneys fees as well as sometime punitive damages.

Contempt Remedies:
In addition to remedies, under Section 362(k), the debtor also has remedies for violation of the automatic stay as contempt of a court order. Contempt sanctions can be imposed regardless of whether the violation is in willful disregard of the stay. So long as the enjoined party knows of the stay, it is responsible for the consequences.

Can Objections Be Raised Against Discharge?

As we had discussed it few times in this forum that the purpose of filing Chapter 7 is to get a discharge from the accrued debts, and that is one foremost objective. This discharge gives debtors fresh start that the bankruptcy is meant to provide. However, discharges are not automatic and can be contested by Trustee or its attorneys. Even, if discharges are granted, it can be revoked. We have previously mentioned that the procedure to get discharges is not complex rather it is simple. This discharge is generally granted within 60 days in the normal course of business after the first meeting of creditors i.e. 341 meeting in Chapter 7. In Chapter 13, the discharge is granted after the debtor completes payments under a confirmed plan or upon the court granting a motion by the debtor for a hardship discharge. We at the Law Office of Malik Ahmad, are willing to give free consultation to genuine clients (not for academic discussion only) www.fastbankruptcynevada.com

Objections to Discharge in Chapter 7 Cases.
The objection can arise from a complaint filed by the United States Trustee if there are matters concerning the passing of Means Test, or a wrong calculation was used. The grounds for denial of discharge listed in section 727 only apply in Chapter 7 cases. 11 U.S.C. Sections 103(b). This motion must be filed within 30 days. In addition, the court may deny discharge on its accord. If a discharge is denied in chapter 7, all the non-exempt property to the creditors is lost and property taken as exempt can be used to set off these claims.

What are the Grounds for Objection to Discharge?
1. Debtor is not an individual. Only individuals can be discharged, corporation cannot be discharged.

2.Intentional concealment, Transfer or Destruction of Property 11U.S.C. Section 727(a)(2)
This applies when debtor has intentionally concealed assets in order to prevent creditors from obtaining access to them in bankruptcy. The debtor must have committed the act with actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud a creditor or officer of the estate.

3. The debtor had unjustifiably failed to keep books or records as to finances. (11 U.S.C. Section 727(a)(3)

4. The debtor had shown dishonesty in conjunction with the bankruptcy case. (11 U.S.C. Section 727(a)(4)

5. The debtor had failed to explain loss or deficiency of Assets (11 U.S.C. Section 727(a)(5).

6. The debtor has refused to obey court orders or to testify. (11 U.S.C. Section 727(a)(6)

7. The debtor had committed some prohibited acts in connection with another bankruptcy case concerning an insider ((11 U.S.C. Section 727(a)(7)

8. The Code also bars a chapter 7 discharge in many cases when a debtor has received a discharge under chapter 13 or its predecessor within the previous six years.

9. The Court may deny a discharge based upon a court-approved written waiver of discharge executed after the order for relief.

10. The debtor had failed to complete course in personal financial management.

Divorce and Bankruptcy

We always advise our clients to first file bankruptcy and then if need arise, to file divorce. A divorce before bankruptcy complicates things, and a bankruptcy prior to filing divorce is a prudent matter as this divides the property more amicably than in a typical divorce courts where emotions run very high.

As we know, divorce is the end of marriage, but it is not the end of many things including liabilities and obligations, which sometimes outlast the marriage itself.

Nevada is considered a community property, which means both husband and wife are responsible for each other’s debt after marriage, and sometime prior to marriage if they were acquired, payments made, or improvements done on the joint or even separate property. A separate property is the property, which is acquired prior to marriage by each spouse and kept that way without any transformation. A joint property is property, which is jointly acquired during marriage or even if acquired in individual’s spouse name during marriage. Bankruptcy can have devastating effect on the non-filing spouse. Sometime, it is prudent to keep one spouse outside bankruptcy but such decision should be made with the consent and advice of an attorney who know such tricky and complicated matters. In addition, one should know that only one spouse filing of bankruptcy can leave the non-discharged debt to the other spouse. Sometime, it can be used as a vendetta against the other spouse. As such, an advice from a helpful attorney is important and can be very helpful in such divisive issues.

Is Bankruptcy Immoral Under Bible, Quran and Torah?

It is helpful to look at various religious aspects of bankruptcy and find out what the scripture says about bankruptcy. It should not be treated as a moral sin. However, it is accountability matter, and must be analyzed in that perspective only. Before I analyze this issue, I must say that I have researched this matter, and many things written below are not originally written by me. At the most, I researched and compiled them. The credit should go to those folks as I am indebted to them with my sincerest feelings.

Many religious folks feel guilty about seeking to file for bankruptcy protection. They feel guilty because they ran up large debts on their credit cards and now are unable to pay back the money to their creditors. These folks thinks that the scriptures has condemned bankruptcy.

In the United States of America, our founding fathers recognized the importance of bankruptcy. In the U.S. Constitution, they provided our government with the right to make bankruptcy laws. The bankruptcy laws and procedures we have today, instituted by our federal government, provide relief for overburdened debtors. As we all know, people who are under severe debts can get a fresh start. Normally, a bankruptcy will discharge the debtor’s obligation to repay some or all debts.

Bankruptcy contemplates the “forgiveness” of debt. The Bible, likewise, has debt forgiveness laws. Under U.S. law, a debtor may only receive a discharge of debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight (8) years. Under Biblical law, the release of debts came at the end of seven (7) years.
“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the LORD’S release” (Deuteronomy 15:1-2).
The Bible refers to debt as a type of bondage: “…the borrower is a slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). Thus, the debtor is a slave to the creditor. Interestingly, the Bible declares, at the end of the sixth year:

A guiding principle of U.S. bankruptcy law requires persons who file for bankruptcy to have “clean hands.” Accordingly, a debtor may not be freed from debts involving fraud, drunk driving, and deliberate wrongdoing. Moreover, bankruptcy law does not allow the discharge of child support and alimony debts. Further, most student loans, taxes (Romans 13:1,4,7) and secured loans are not forgiven in bankruptcy. Through these restrictions, bankruptcy laws seek to balance justice and equity (Proverbs 1:3).

As with most biblical principles, there is a balance. If you can repay your debts, you must. If you cannot, then you should decide how God would have you freed from the bondage of debt. Our modern bankruptcy laws were derived from the Bible (Deuteronomy 15:1-2). Further, the Bible describes financial miracles (2 Kings 4:1-7). Ultimately, you must seek wisdom and guidance from God as to the direction He would have you choose. God promises to give such wisdom to those who ask with a trusting heart (James 1:5-7; Proverbs 3:5-6). Further, the Bible admonishes us to seek Godly counsel (Psalms 1:1; Proverbs 12:15, 11:14, 15:22).

Leviticus 25:39 makes it clear that people are generally expected to pay their just debts. However, this moral and legal obligation to pay just debts must be balanced by such considerations as the need for compassion and the call to cancel debts at periodic intervals, found in
Deuteronomy 15:1.

What the Old Testament Says?
Within the areas of economic justice and stability, the Old Testament is filled with examples of compassionate treatment of the poor, and with
preservation of the family unit. Deuteronomy 15:7-10 is particularly forceful by stating, “If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother”

The cancellation of debt in the Old Testament Deuteronomy 15:1 clearly provides for such law release with the following language: “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor,
his brother, because the Lord’s release has been proclaimed”. The debtor’s payment or non-payment of debts was not in question, and liability didn’t matter at all—it was a strict statement without any wiggle room, must like the clear statement in Deuteronomy 5:17 that “Thou shall not kill..”

The Bible on Interest
The Biblical use of the term “usury” corresponds to our modern word “interest” rather than to the notion of “excessive interest” to which we generally apply the term usury today. Only a small number of us would seriously question the morality of profiting from a loan at normal interest rates, though the Talmud prohibits the lending of money with interest.

Exodus 22:25 states “If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.” Leviticus 25:35 says, “And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.” Deuteronomy 23:19 says,

“Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury.”

Psalm 15:5 characterizes a righteous man as one who, among other things, “lends his money without usury.” Both Ezekiel 22:12 and Nehemiah 5:0-11 condemn lending money with interest, especially to the poor. And Ezekiel 18:13 list the taking of interest among sins worthy of death.
The prohibition on interest is based on God’s covenant with Israel and upon the compassionate treatment of various oppressed groups: the resident alien; the widow; the orphans; and the poor. Exodus 22:25-27 states the law in explicit terms:

“If you lend to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like the money lender; charge him no interest. If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it to him by sunset, because his cloak is the only covering he has for his body. What else will he sleep on? When he cries out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.”

Leviticus 25:35-37 provides that “If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so that he can continue to live among you. Do not take interest of any kind from him, but fear your God, so that your countryman may continue to live among you. You must not lend him money at interest or sell him food at profit.” Finally, Deuteronomy 23:19-20 provides: “Do not charge your brother interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest.”

Jesus clearly had these Biblical principles in mind when he admonished the “money changers” and removed them from God’s house, the sacred Temple. In John 2:14 Jesus “poured out the changers of money and overthrew the tables”. Jesus, in fact, was always true to the principles underlying the prohibition of usury and required debt forgiveness and the notion of the importance of placing love and compassion above greed and wealth. In Luke 6:34-35 Jesus said: “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies and, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.” The followers of Jesus were to be concerned with the welfare of others, even when met with hatred and abuse.

The consistent teaching of both the Old and New Testaments is that compassion, mercy and justice are to override purely economic concerns, such as loans. Religious people are to be gracious to all, even debtors. Jesus said that God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike, and in Mark 10:25 he said that “[lit is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter in to the kingdom of God". And in Luke 16:9 he said:

"I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings", and to "forgive and ye shall be forgiven" Luke 6:37.

The compassion of the Scriptures, including the setting aside of legitimate rights of lenders, was typical of economic relationships in the economy of early Judeo-Christian societies. The central theme is one of stability—a stable society with a guarantee of economic security to each family. Wealth was viewed as a blessing from God (Deuteronomy 8:11-18, 28). This blessing resulted from obedience and was based on God's compassion. The tithing for the poor, the gleaning laws, the year of the Jubilee, were all tangible ways that Israelites could show compassion for each other and honor God by following His law. Beyond income-maintenance programs, the Biblical Law provided a permanent mechanism—such as the Sabbatical year and Jubilee—to ensure that temporary misfortune barred no family from full participation in economic life.

Torah and Bankruptcy

In the Torah, or Old Testament, every seventh year is decreed by Mosaic Law as a Sabbatical year wherein the release of all debts that are owed by members of the community is mandated, but not of "foreigners".[1] The seventh Sabbatical year, or forty-ninth year, is then followed by another Sabbatical year known as the Year of Jubilee wherein the release of all debts is mandated, for fellow community members and foreigners alike, and the release of all debt-slaves is also mandated.[2] The Year of Jubilee is announced in advance on the Day of Atonement, or the tenth day of the seventh Biblical month, in the forty-ninth year by the blowing of trumpets throughout the land of Israel.

Quran and Bankruptcy
In Islamic teaching, according to the Quran, an insolvent person was deemed to be allowed time to be able to pay out his debt. This is recorded in the Quran’s second chapter (Sura Al-Baqara), Verse 280, which notes:

“And if someone is in hardship, then let there be postponement until a time of ease. But if you give from your right as charity, then it is better for you, if you only knew.”

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