Author: Dan LaBert

Association Executive @NACBAorg, Fmr. NFL Scout @4for4football, Sports Radio/TV Host, Fantasy Football Guru, Penn State Alum, @BrewersofPA #runDisney

New NACBA State Chair Announced For Georgia

Atlanta Attorney Alex Dolhancyk Tackles New Role Leading Education Program for National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) announced that Atlanta bankruptcy attorney Alex Dolhancyk of The Dolhancyk Law Firm in Jonesboro, GA will serve as its new state chair representing Georgia.

As NACBA’s state chair in Georgia, Dolhancyk will serve as the official liaison between the group’s leadership in Washington, D.C. and its member attorneys, bankruptcy judges and other court officials in the state, as well as serving as a primary contact for local media regarding consumer bankruptcy issues.

Serving approximately 3,500 members in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, NACBA is the only national organization dedicated to serving the needs of consumer bankruptcy attorneys and protecting the rights of consumer debtors in bankruptcy.

Alex Dolhancyk said: “NACBA’s efforts in advocating debtor’s rights at the national level is unequaled.  I am honored to work with NACBA’s leadership and Georgia attorneys in continuing that effort.”

NACBA Executive Director Dan LaBert said: “Our leadership team is dedicated to continuing our mission in Georgia to help to protect the rights of families in financial distress at a grassroots level. Our national membership is supported by a strong network of state chairs appointees.  Alex is a longstanding NACBA member and will make an excellent state chair in Georgia.  We look forward to working closely with him to represent bankruptcy attorneys and their important policy objectives across a wide range of issues.”

Dolhancyk has represented consumer debtors in bankruptcy cases for over 27 years. He is licensed to practice in Georgia, Tennessee and New York, and has numerous reported cases in the Northern District of Georgia bankruptcy.  Dolhancyk is board certified in consumer bankruptcy law, and is an active member of the Bankruptcy Law section of the Georgia Bar Association and in the Metro Atlanta Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney Group. He holds an LLM in Business Law from Emory University.

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NCBRC Succeeds in Limiting Caulkett Bad News to Chapter 7

The Supreme Court’s Caulkett decision, reversing the 11th Circuit’s ruling that chapter 7 debtors could strip off totally underwater mortgages, was disappointing, if not totally unexpected.  As amicus, NCBRC had considered the risk that an unfavorable, overly broad opinion in this case could negatively impact lien-stripping in chapter 13 and, in addition to arguing for affirmance, specifically sought to limit any holding to chapter 7 cases and to preserve the right to strip liens in chapter 13. This effort was successful. In fact, Justice Thomas’s remarks reinforce the continued validity of the widely accepted interpretation of Nobelman in chapter 13. This case should have no effect at all on lien-stripping in chapter 13.

Caulkett simply reaffirms the holding in Dewsnup which applies only in chapter 7 cases. The opinion made this clear in several ways. First, the court distinguished Nobelman, stating that Nobelman “addressed the interaction between the meaning of the term “secured claim” in § 506(a) and an entirely separate provision, §1322(b)(2).” (emphasis supplied) Second, while stating that it is may be inadvisable to adopt a line-drawing test where a difference of $1 could have an arbitrary impact, the court nonetheless found that such tests are appropriate where Congress has drawn the line, as the court had found it had done in Nobelman. Third, the conclusion of the opinion states “a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may not void a junior mortgage lien under §506(d) when the debt owed on a senior mortgage lien exceeds the current value of the collateral.”

The NCBRC amicus brief was the only one to focus on limiting any decision to chapter 7.  This is another example of the importance of NCBRC’s work, which can only continue with your support. Please donate at www.ncbrc.org

New NACBA State Chair Announced For Eastern Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Attorney Stephen Dunne Tackles New Role Leading Education Program for National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) announced that Philadelphia bankruptcy attorney Stephen M. Dunne of Dunne Law Offices will serve as its new state chair representing Eastern Pennsylvania.

As NACBA chair of Eastern Pennsylvania, Dunne will serve as the official liaison between the group’s leadership in Washington, D.C. and its member attorneys, bankruptcy judges and other court officials in the state, as well as serving as a primary contact for local media regarding consumer bankruptcy issues.

Serving approximately 3,500 members in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, NACBA is the only national organization dedicated to serving the needs of consumer bankruptcy attorneys and protecting the rights of consumer debtors in bankruptcy.

Stephen Dunne said: “It is an honor and a privilege to be nominated to serve as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.  NACBA works tirelessly to ensure the voices of consumer debtors and their attorneys are heard in the halls of Congress.  I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as State Chair and I look forward to protecting and enhancing the rights of consumer bankruptcy debtors.”

NACBA Executive Director Dan LaBert said: “Our leadership team is dedicated to continuing our mission in Pennsylvania to help to protect the rights of families in financial distress at a grassroots level. Our national membership is supported by a strong network of state chairs appointees.  Stephen is a longstanding NACBA member and will make an excellent state chair in Eastern Pennsylvania.  We look forward to working closely with him to represent bankruptcy attorneys and their important policy objectives across a wide range of issues.”

Dunne was named “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer” by Philadelphia Magazine.  His legal analysis has been featured on Fox News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and The Nation.

As an undergraduate at Penn State University, Dunne served as an infantry soldier in the Pennsylvania National Guard and as a cadet in the R.O.T.C. Later, he attend the New England School of Law in Boston, interned at the Boston Stock Exchange and clerked for McGarthy & Ged. Through these experiences early in his legal career, Dunne developed an interest in helping people find financial relief through legal action.

Victory in CA! State Senate Passes SB 308, Homestead Exemption Bill

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CA State Senator Bob Wieckowski, with NACBA co-founders Ike Shulman and Norma Hammes, after passage of SB 308 in the Senate Judiciary Committee 4/28/15.

We are pleased to report that thanks to the hard work of NACBA and our California membership, SB 308 passed a vote on the Senate floor today! This legislation would increase California’s state homestead exemption to $300,000 (across the board) and make several other important improvements for Californians in financial distress and bankruptcy attorneys who serve them.  Please click to review a description of the bill and NACBA’s letter of support.

As many of you know, NACBA has been coordinating closely with the bill sponsor Sen. Wieckowski, his staff and our CA members to advance this legislation. Together we generated over 130 letters, emails, and phone calls to advance this effort. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to submit a letter, make a call, or enlist your clients to weigh in supportively. Today’s vote shows you can make a difference!

California members, please stay tuned for next steps as this legislation proceeds to the State Assembly. But for now, a job well done for NACBA! Kudos to everyone involved.

Thanks again!

Ike Shulman
Chair, NACBA Legislative Committee

Educate, Advocate, Litigate

NACBA Elects Senior Board Member From Atlanta GA

Past President of Metro Atlanta Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Group Carol A. Colliersmith to Serve on National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Board of Directors

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) today announced that Atlanta attorney Carol A. Colliersmith has been elected to a key leadership position on its board of directors. The move was decided at the group’s national meeting in Chicago in April 2015.

As a director on NACBA’s board, Colliersmith will be responsible for ensuring that NACBA continues to play a key role in shaping the outcome of policy-related debates on consumer bankruptcy issues in Georgia and in regular visits to Capitol Hill.

Carol A. Colliersmith said “One of my goals as state co-chair for Georgia for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys has been to serve on NACBA’s board of directors so this is a wonderful development.  In this leadership role, I hope to influence more judges, local lawmakers and attorneys in Atlanta to promote solutions to the burdens of debt caused by factors beyond the consumers’ control.”

Colliersmith practices bankruptcy Law in Atlanta with her law partner and husband, Rob Colliersmith. She has practiced exclusively Consumer Bankruptcy Law since 2001. She is the past president of the Metro Atlanta Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Group, an active member of the Bankruptcy Section of the Georgia Bar and Atlanta Bar Association, and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

She received her law degree from the University of Florida in 1985.

ABOUT NACBA

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (http://www.nacba.org) is the only national organization dedicated to serving the needs of consumer bankruptcy attorneys and protecting the rights of consumer debtors in bankruptcy. Formed in 1992, NACBA has 3,500 members located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

CONTACT:  Patrick Mitchell for NACBA at (703) 276-3266 or

NACBA Introduces 2015 Platinum Convention Sponsor

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