Recent Posts

U.S. High Court Seeks View of Solicitor General in Bankruptcy Exemption Case
Posted on 4 Dec 2012 by James Cordrey

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 3 asked the U.S. solicitor general to provide perspective on whether a bankruptcy court has the power to levy a financial charge against a Chapter 7 debtor's residential property,... Read More

Fifth Circuit Erodes Protection for Texas Homesteads Sold After Filing
Posted on 11 Mar 2014 by Stephen Sather

Expanding upon its decision in Matter of Zibman , 268 F.3d 298 (5th Cir. 2001) [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to subscribers ], the Fifth Circuit has ruled that the proceeds from sale of a Texas homestead lose their exempt... Read More

Professor Kenneth N. Klee on the Supreme Court's Holding in Law v. Siegel
Posted on 24 Mar 2014 by Kenneth Klee

Professor Kenneth Klee analyzes the March 4, 2014 Supreme Court ruling in Law v. Siegel which held that a bankruptcy court exceeds its authority when it permits a surcharge on a debtor's otherwise exempt assets to pay administrative expenses incurred... Read More

Kim Case KOs Homestead Interest of Non-Filing Spouse
Posted on 9 Sep 2014 by Stephen Sather

This has not been a good year for Texas homesteads involved in bankruptcy proceedings. In April, the Fifth Circuit ruled (after nearly two years under advisement) that the non-filing spouse does not have a separate homestead estate entitled to protection... Read More

U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Bankruptcy Case Involving Charge on Debtor’s Property
Posted on 17 Jun 2013 by James Cordrey

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on June 17 granted certiorari in a case involving the question of whether a bankruptcy court has the power to levy a financial charge against a Chapter 7 debtor's residential property, which... Read More

Court Rejects Trustee's Unique Homestead Attack
Posted on 6 Jan 2015 by Stephen Sather

Some of the recent decisions on Texas homesteads coming out of the courts have people wondering just what John Wayne fought and died for at the Alamo. The sanctity of the homestead along with the prohibition against garnishment of wages are two of the... Read More

Texas Homesteads Sold Post-Petition Take Another Hit
Posted on 25 Aug 2014 by Stephen Sather

Texas bankruptcy judge Jeff Bohm has ruled that a chapter 7 debtor who sold his homestead over a year after filing bankruptcy could not keep the portion of the proceeds when he failed to reinvest them within six months. In re Smith , 2014 Bankr. LEXIS... Read More

730-Day Rule Costs Debtor Homestead Exemption
Posted on 8 Feb 2011 by Stephen Sather

The Fifth Circuit's recent decision in Camp v. Ingalls allowed an itinerant debtor to claim federal exemptions that would not have been available to him had he remained in Florida. That was a small victory for the debtor. However, a decision released... Read More

Fifth Circuit's Bankruptcy Opinions from October 2014
Posted on 10 Nov 2014 by Stephen Sather

It's been a slow month in the Fifth Circuit, my home Circuit, with just two bankruptcy-related opinions. This month's cases involve a non-filing spouse who lost her homestead interest and a bank which provided "reasonably equivalent"... Read More

Second Western District (TX) Judge Finds Proceeds From Post-Petition Sale Can't Be Clawed Back in Chapter 7
Posted on 11 Nov 2015 by Stephen Sather

After sorting through conflicting precedents, Judge Craig Gargotta has ruled that a chapter 7 debtor who owned a homestead property on the date of bankruptcy and claimed the property as exempt did not lose the exemption when the property was sold and... Read More

Wife's Homestead Claim Remains in Limbo With No Answer from Fifth Circuit
Posted on 22 Apr 2013 by Stephen Sather

The plight of the non-filing spouse who stands to lose an interest in the homestead is a trap that is easy to overlook. Under 11 U.S.C. Sec. 541(a)(2), when one spouse files bankruptcy, all joint management community property enters the bankruptcy... Read More

Judge Rules That Home is Where the Heart Is
Posted on 5 Jan 2011 by Stephen Sather

In 2000, Natalie Portman starred in "Where the Heart Is," a movie about a pregnant 17 year old girl who makes her home in a Walmart. Judge Stacey Jernigan recently had to decide a quite different case about home and the heart. The case involved... Read More

Supreme Court to Consider Pro Se Challenge to Exemption Surcharge
Posted on 18 Jun 2013 by Stephen Sather

In an unusual move, the Supreme Court granted cert yesterday to consider the petition of a California man who filed a pro se petition for cert seeking to review the decision of a bankruptcy court to surcharge his homestead exemption under section... Read More