Bankruptcy News Briefs 12/1


On This First Day of December..

Student Loan Defaults Jump; Accounts Sent to Collection Agencies Double

Collections Program for Illinois City Starts Strong

CFPB Critics See Glimmer of Hope in Auto Lending Bill

Significant Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Effective December 1

Pennsylvania Bill Would Drastically Limit Telephone Calls to Debtors

Massachusetts Collection Law Firms Are Now ‘Debt Collectors’

Pacer Outages Reported Amid Bankruptcy Paperwork Changes

Co-debtors’ Obligations May be Treated Differently in Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Proof of Claim Form Gets a Makeover

Register for NACBA’s Upcoming Webinars!

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Give Yourself A Gift and Register for These Upcoming Webinars in December!

Beyond Confidentiality: Bankruptcy Attorneys and Security Best Practices
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
3:00 PM Eastern /2:00 PM Central / 1:00 PM Mountain / 12:00 PM Pacific,
Presented by: Catherine Sanders Reach, Director, Law Practice Management & Technology, Chicago Bar Association
Registration is Open! Free for Members! $49 for Non Members

Encumbered Property
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
3 PM Eastern / 2 PM Central / 1 PM Mountain / 12 PM Pacific
Presented by: Hon. Eugene R. Wedoff & Tara Twomey, Esq.
Registration is Open! $25.00 for Members $75.00 for Non Members


Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be an exhibitor or sponsor at the 24th Annual NACBA Convention in San Francisco, CA May 19-22nd 2016 and/or at NACBA”s Fall Workshop, Summit at Sea, October 7-10th 2016! Registration is NOW OPEN! Check out the Prospectus to reserve your booth or become a sponsor today!


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NACBA is pleased and excited to announce the return of our Members-Only Fall Event! On October 7-10, 2016 prepare to set sail on NACBA’s maiden voyage at sea! The Summit at Sea will offer education on a variety of topics that you will not want to miss.  NACBA encourages you to bring the family too! The schedule and speakers will be announced shortly.


There are so many exciting educational events and networking opportunities on the horizon that you won’t want to miss out one so make  sure  your  NACBA Membership is current, Renew Today! 

Not a member of NACBA? Consider Joining and take advantage of  all the benefits that NACBA offers!

Receive the Bankruptcy News Briefs Automatically! Subscribe to NACBA NOW Today!

NACBA Introduces 2015 Platinum Convention Sponsor


Introducing StratusBK, the breakthrough practice management solution that streamlines and improves every aspect of your bankruptcy practice. If you’re ready to take your practice to the next level, StratusBK has the power to get you there!

Say goodbye to legacy systems that don’t integrate and require duplicating data entry. Realize improved productivity and higher profits from the first case you file.

StratusBK’s powerful central engine gives you streamlined processes and data transparency firm-wide. Saving you real money and attorney time on every case! And it also gives you the focused reporting you need to dramatically grow your firm.

With StratusBK, you can:

  • Automate your calendars, keeping them in sync with the courts
  • Get up-to-the-minute information on case statuses and revenue, attorney productivity, marketing ROI
  • Learn about your competition and the cases they are filing.
  • Gain market insight to fine tune your messaging, and much more!

StratusBK is nothing less than practice management software redefined. One breakthrough tool that does it all! Giving you the best and latest information about your firm through every step of the bankruptcy process.

StratusBK is a world class, innovative solution that gives your firm a competitive edge. The tools you need to practice smarter today. The intelligence you need to practice bigger tomorrow.

Headed to the 2015 NACBA Convention?

Visit us at booth #68-73 to see a demo of the powerful capabilities in StratusBK that can help you better drive, accelerate, and govern your firm. And don’t forget to check out our putting green, where you can enjoy a cold drink and compete to win an Odyssey putter or other great prizes.

Contact us today for a demo of our best-in-class bankruptcy law practice management software at 844-220-4656 or

Follow us to stay informed of the latest StratusBK announcements.



Following on both previous comments submitted to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and active participation in round table meetings with representatives from the financial services industry, NACBA has continued to be engaged and vigilant regarding the proposed amendments by the CFPB to the 2013 Mortgage Rules under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z).

Working with our allies, particularly the National Consumer Law Center, NACBA has submitted the additional comments (linked below) to the proposed rules. We are hopeful that the amendments, which are already favorable to our clients and our practices, will be adopted with many of the further improvements we have suggested.

John Rao, to whom tremendous amounts of thanks are owed by all of us, has dissected and examined these proposed amendments in detail and will be speaking on this topic and how these rules will apply in bankruptcy, on Sunday, April 26, 2015, 10:30 AM at the 23rd Annual NACBA Convention in Chicago.  Joining him will be Will Corbett, Senior Counsel at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

This is a panel not to miss as these new rules will have a significant effect on your clients and also your practice, including new ways to both pursue mortgage servicers for their bad acts and get damages and attorneys’ fees.

Since many people, including those from other organizations, may be learning of this late and may be primarily interested in the mortgage servicing issues, we are offering a $100 discount from the regular $795 cost if you register by March 31st and include the code “CFPB695” in your registration.  Email the attached registration to or fax to (866) 408-9515.  (Avoid registering online as it will force the higher rate.)

I hope that you will agree that this is yet another example of the positive impact that NACBA is having on our practices, especially in our expanded role in the courts, Congress, and administrative agencies.  Please also join me in again thanking John Rao and NCLC for their work on these rules.



* CFPB695 code cannot be combined with other codes.

Why ‪#‎NACBACHI‬? FREE: 2015 COLLIER PORTABLE eBOOK ($245 value)


collierCourtesy of NACBA & LexisNexis®, all attendees at the upcoming 23rd Annual Convention, April 23-26, 2015 in Chicago IL will receive the 2015 Collier Portable eBook. This edition gives you mobile access to the full text of the Code and Rules in one handy source. Convention attendees need to simply stop by the LexisNexis Booth to receive a redeemable coupon voucher for the complimentary eBook. This ebook is traditionally sold for $245, however, will be FREE for #NACBACHI attendees!

Still not convinced you should attend this year’s NACBA Convention, allow us to present the evidence:

FREE 2015 Collier Portable eBook ($245 value)

FREE Taxes in Bankruptcy webinar & materials ($249 member value)

FREE copies of Bankruptcies and Money Disasters of the Rich and Famous (formerly “They Went Broke”) for not only attorneys but also clients. (Up to 12 copies per attendee. $12.95 per book value = $155.40)

FREE Convention Audio & Presentation Materials to ALL Registrants. In the past, attendees would have to reach deeper into their pockets and purchase audio-only files for hundreds of dollars if they wanted to revisit any convention session. Not for this convention! ALL registered attendees will receive online access for three (3) months to review all AudioPoint™ recorded presentation files at no additional charge or registration price increase. (2014 NACBANYC = cost $447 for complete set of CD audio files).

President’s Discount of $100. Missed the early bird discount? No problem. Per recent message from NACBA President Ed Boltz regarding recent developments in Student Loans and Chapter 13, he has personally offered a $100 discount off the current registration price of $795. You must email or fax your registration to NACBA and use code IDR695. This discount expires March 31, 2015.

– Included with your registration, CLE Credits. Up to 15 credits may be offered (depending on your state) including the often sought after Ethics credit.

$245 Collier eBook
$249 Taxes in Bankruptcy
$447 AV Convention Materials
$155 Bankruptcies Rich & Famous (12 copies)
Total Value: $1096

Current Registration Rate: $795
Apply President’s Discount IDR695 via email or fax of $100
Register Now: $695

FREE: Taxes in Bankruptcy & “Bankruptcies and Money Disasters of the Rich and Famous”

April 23-26, 2015, Chicago IL
“Bankruptcy in the 21st Century: Solutions to Problem Cases”


In October 2014, over 425 attorneys took part in NACBA’s Virtual Workshop: Taxes in Bankruptcy. The treatment of tax debts is one of the more complicated areas of federal bankruptcy law, but the Bankruptcy Code offers substantial tax relief to tax debtors. From understanding tax rules to cancellation of debt income (pros & cons) to IRS penalties, audits, appeals, liens and levies, to client preparation and the fresh start initiative, this 6 hour webinar covered it all!

Register for NACBA’s 23rd Annual Convention by April 15 (Tax Day) and receive access to the Taxes in Bankruptcy 6 hour webinar plus workshop materials with your convention registration! This is a $249 member / $349 non-member value!

Already registered for #NACBACHI? No problem, you get access to Taxes in Bankruptcy too! Just email and request your FREE access to the Taxes in Bankruptcy webinar and material!

Please note, all four panelists from the Taxes in Bankruptcy webinar will be at #NACBACHI to answer any follow-up questions.

Per convention refund policy, any registration cancellation after the webinar has been provided will result in full cost of the Taxes in Bankruptcy webinar subtracted from refund.



In addition to the FREE Audio & Presentation materials AND the FREE Taxes in Bankruptcy workshop, all convention registrants will receive FREE copies of Bankruptcies and Money Disasters of the Rich and Famous (formerly They Went Broke) for not only themselves but also clients. Available at #NACBACHI on a first come, first serve basis and some restrictions will apply (up to 15 copies per registrant).


Join your colleagues from Maine to California and Puerto Rico to Hawaii, for education designed to help expand your practice!

#NACBACHI addresses Bankruptcy in the 21st Century: Finding Solutions to Problem Cases.

Convention sessions will take a very in-depth look at Student Loans, Tax Booby Traps, Zombie Real Estate Apocalypse, Family Feud: the Intersection of Family Law and Bankruptcy, Creditor Warfare and Courtroom Techniques, Mindfulness and Mediation, How to Make Bank in Bankruptcy Using Social Media and Can You Be Found: Increasing Your Online Presence just to name a few!

Group Events available for purchase with your Convention registration. This year’s lineup includes a Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise & Private Lunch on Thursday, April 23rd and an outing to Cellular Field to catch the Chicago White Sox take on the defending American League Champs, the Kansas City Royals.

Travel discounts including flights, parking and airport transfers have been arranged for NACBA convention attendees.

Don’t wait – register TODAY at to take advantage of the above #NACBACHI promotions and special Convention rates at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile!

There are four easy ways to register:

  • Call 800.499.9040 to speak with a member services representative
  • Visit 24/7 to register online at
  • Download this registration form and send check payment by mail to the address listed on the form.
  • Use this registration form and fax it back with credit card payment to 866.408.9515

Bankruptcy Briefs 2/18

Debtor Brief Filed in SCt Chapter 7 Lien Strip Case

Inside the House of Cards: A Frank Look At All Things Washington, Rules, Advocacy & Amicus Efforts

An Inside Look at ‘The Student Loan Landscape’

Congressman Reintroduces Legislation to Add Inspector General at CFPB

Lewd yoga dentist filed for bankruptcy

Pensions may not be sacrosanct in bankruptcy

Embattled bankruptcy lawyer agrees to disbarment

Should I File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

5 Signs It’s Time to File for Bankruptcy

Registration for NACBA’s 23rd Annual Convention Now Open

Renew Your NACBA Membership

Join the only national organization dedicated to serving the needs of consumer bankruptcy attorneys and protecting the rights of consumer debtors in bankruptcy

Jim Haller Elevated To Vice President of NACBA Board of Directors



WASHINGTON, D.C. and BELLEVILLE, IL  (January 21, 2015) – National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) announced today that Illinois bankruptcy attorney James J. “Jim” Haller is the new vice president of the organization.  Haller has served on the NACBA Board of Directors since 2008. He is responsible for spearheading NACBA’s Advocate and Grassroots Program and has represented NACBA members since 2009 in NACBA’s Liaison Committee with the Executive Office of the United States Trustee.  He also serves on NACBA’s Legislative Committee.

Serving approximately 3,000 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.

James J. Haller is a partner with William Mueller at The Law Offices of Mueller and Haller, LLC in Belleville, IL, and the co-owner of The Bankruptcy Center in Illinois and The Bankruptcy Company in Missouri. He serves on the standing Rules Committee for the Bankruptcy Court of Southern District of Illinois. In 2004, he co-founded the local bankruptcy bar association, The Bankruptcy Association of Southern Illinois (BASIL) which holds yearly regional seminars. In 2012, he was named a “Leading Lawyer” in the category of Bankruptcy Law in Illinois.

Haller has served as a panelist for several organizations including:  ABI; the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees (NACTT); the Bankruptcy Association of Southern Illinois (BASIL); the Illinois State Bar Association; the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education; Illinois Housing in Action; and the Illinois Attorney General’s office and the Land of Lincoln Legal Services.  He has been a member of the State Bar Associations of Illinois and Missouri since 1995 and 1993 respectively, and received his B.A. from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Haller said:  “It has been a pleasure and valuable learning experience to have served on the NACBA Board of Directors.  NACBA plays a critical role in protecting debtors in bankruptcy. It is a great honor to be chosen as Vice President of NACBA. I hope to take a very proactive role now in the organization’s leadership and agenda setting.”

For more information about the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, go to on the Web.

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

Editor’s Note:  A high resolution digital photograph (headshot) of James J. Heller is available upon request.