June 9, 2011
Chapter 7: Getting a Discharge
The primary purpose of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is to enable the debtor to get a fresh start by discharging most ( if not all) of his/her debts. A discharge in bankruptcy is a privilege, however, not a right. The United States Trustee reviews every Chapter 7 Petition that is filed to ensure that the debtor is not abusing the bankruptcy system. If the Chapter 7 Petition, Statements and Schedules show that a debtor can pay a significant percentage of his/her debts, the United States Trustee will file a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy. Even if a debtor “passes” the Means Test Calculation, receiving a discharge is not an automatic event. The Means Test is just one factor in determining whether a person is eligible to be a Chapter 7 debtor. Eligibility alone does not guarantee a discharge.
Patricia Beary will not accept your case unless she is certain that you will be able to receive a discharge. Of course, this assumes that you have made all required disclosures and the information you have provided to Attorney Beary is true. Nevertheless, if the United States Trustee does file a motion to dismiss your case, Attorney Beary will defend that motion at no additional charge.
Patricia Beary has practiced for nearly 30 years in the federal courts handling bankruptcy matters. Allof Attorney Beary’s clients who have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcies received their discharges in Chapter 7. No motions to dismiss or to convert to Chapter 13 have ever been filed by the United States Trustee against anyof Attorney Beary’s clients.
Chapter 7: Discharging Federal Tax
Chapter 7: Defending Debtor in Suits Objecting to Discharge
Under the Bankruptcy Code (Title 11 of the United States Code), a court shall grant a debtor a discharge unless the debtor fits into one or more of several exceptions to discharge. A party in interest may object to the granting of a discharge by filing a complaint within the bankruptcy case. This filing commences an adversary proceeding. Under certain conditions and within certain time periods, a discharge may be revoked after it has been granted.
When the United States Trustee and/or the Chapter 7 Trustee object to discharge, they generally object to the debtor’s receiving a discharge of any and all debts. When a creditor objects to discharge, that creditor files its action based on the premise that the debtor should not be discharged from the particular debt owed to that creditor.
Examples of actions that fall into the statutory exceptions to discharge are, most commonly, where the debtor intended to hinder, delay or defraud a creditor, or the Chapter 7 Trustee, by transferring, removing, or destroying property of the debtor or of the bankruptcy estate. Patricia Beary represents debtors who are accused of acts within the scope of the statutory exceptions to discharge. Attorney Beary achieved a hugely successfully outcome defending the debtor in an adversary complaint objecting to discharge based on debtor’s alleged fraud (perpetrated in multiple layers) in obtaining home financing. The plaintiff, a subsidiary of one of the nation’s largest providers of title insurance, was represented by a large national law firm with international presence. The amount which plaintiff sought to except from discharge exceeded $600,000 plus attorneys’ fees. This was a highly litigious adversary proceeding which concluded with a great result for the debtor.
Chapter 11: Representing Debtors & Creditors
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is typically used to reorganize businesses, including corporations, sole proprietorships and partnerships. Each business structure has certain obligations and requirements, such as following procedures to establish trustees responsible for distributing assets.
Ms. Beary has personally handled many large chapter 11 cases which successfully reorganized, such as Raytech Corporation and related case Raymark Corporation (asbestos tort successor liability case involving manufacturer of automobile brakes); Country Home Bakers (provider of frozen baked products to supermarkets); and DeGeorge Home Alliance (provider of building lots, construction materials and financing to prospective homeowners acting as their own general contractors).
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