Nondischargeable

Declaratory Judgments for Dischargeability

When discharging taxes, I have always thought that it was the best practice to seek a judgment from the bankruptcy judge that the taxes are discharged. That’s because unlike many other nondischargeable debts (fraud, malicious tort, etc.), the debt may remain in force with no further word from the court. The IRS or the FTB could […]

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Get rid of traffic tickets in bankruptcy (it’s imperfect)

You file bankruptcy to get rid of debts you can’t afford to pay and to get the fresh financial start in life that you so desperately need. But remember … not all debts can be wiped out in your bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Code lists several types of debts that can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. These […]

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Mediating a bankruptcy dispute over nondischargeability

My client (“Wolfgang”) ran a small construction business in the summer of 2007. He hired an attorney (“Attorney David”) to help him foreclose on mechanics’ liens he had recorded, because one of his customers didn’t pay him $50,000 for a construction job. The attorney helped him, but the litigation turned very ugly: the customer countersued […]

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The Notice of Federal Tax Lien on Personal Property and Bankruptcy

Debtor’s often have Notices of Federal Tax Liens outstanding at the time they file bankruptcy. How are these handled? First, a properly-noticed lien survives bankruptcy. It continues to attach to any property owned at the time of the bankruptcy. It does not attach to any property acquired after the petition date. 1. Lien on real […]

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Discharging tax debts when the client has evaded collection

Section 523(a)(1) of the bankruptcy code distinguishes the nondischargeable taxes from those that may be discharged in bankruptcy. In most cases, the analysis is pretty simple.  Generally, nondischargeable taxes are those where the return was due less than three years ago, where the return was actually filed less than two years ago, or where the […]

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The tenant who wanted her rent back

My client was a landlady who rented her three-unit house not far from the beach in Ventura. The county came by one day and put yellow tags on two of the units, calling them “substandard” and evicting the tenants that day. Why “substandard?” Mostly because the area was zoned for one unit only: there was […]

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Getting rid of taxes in bankruptcy

People often believe that they cannot discharge income taxes through bankruptcy. Wrong! It is more difficult to discharge income tax than other debts, but debtors can sometimes meet the requirements for dischargeability. First, the income tax must be from a period where the tax return was due more than three years before the bankruptcy filing. […]

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