Articles Posted in Bankruptcy Law

A recent widow whose late husband had been in a nursing home for 2 years before his death one day and is informed that she owes over a $100,000 to the nursing home where her husband died.  She lives modestly and does not have the money.  Is she required to pay for a spouse’s medical or hospital bill if that spouse has died?

What about the case where one is separated but not yet divorced?  Would a person be obligated to pay the bills of a husband or wife from whom one is separated and planning to divorce?
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The Bankruptcy Code has two chapters available to help consumers: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

In Chapter 7 a consumer can keep his or her home or vehicle in most circumstances after filing bankruptcy if the payments can be made as they come due. These are what are known as secured debts and some examples are mortgages, car loans, and boat loans. In these loans the security or collateral for the loan is the house, car, boat or whatever property secured the loan. Whether a consumer can file Chapter 7 depends upon his or her income. If the consumer’s monthly income is too high according to the bankruptcy guidelines the consumer must file under Chapter 13.  Continue reading

The consumer in America today has a constitutional right to file bankruptcy, but that has not always been the case.

Modern bankruptcy laws forgive a debt either by canceling the debt out right (chapter 7) and giving the consumer a “fresh start” or by letting the consumer choose the amount to pay and the time frame in which to re-pay the debt (Chapter l3).

The idea of debt forgiveness is biblical and dates back to the Old Testament. Moses referred to a Jubliee or Holy Year which took place every 50 years when all debts were to be forgiven. Israelites who had sold themselves into slavery were freed. Deuteronomy 15:1-2 expanded the concept of debt forgiveness by stating that at the end of 7 years all debts would be canceled. Today Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy. L Levinthal, ‘The Early History of Bankruptcy Law’ (1918) 66(5) University of Pennsylvania Law Review 223. See also, Leviticus 25:8-54   Continue reading