Court Fines and Costs in Bankruptcy – Are court costs and fines included in a bankruptcy discharge

March 14, 2017

One issue that can arise during the bankruptcy process is determining whether court fines, court costs, and court fees are discharged in a bankruptcy case.  

There are some specific and limited debts that are not discharged in bankruptcy.  These are defined in the bankruptcy code.  One specific kind of debt that survives discharge is for certain fines and penalties related to court proceedings.  11 USC 523(a)(7) reads:

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A Violation of the Stay: Bench Warrants

February 21, 2017

Picture this all-too-common scenario: A creditor fiercely attempts to enforce its judgment against a debtor. It jumps through all of the proper hoops: waiting 28 days from the date of the judgment, obtaining a garnishment, and recording a judgment lien. Despite these valiant efforts, the judgment has not been satisfied. The creditor pulls out the next tool in its tool belt, a debtor’s exam. The creditor tees up the debtor’s exam and issues a subpoena. The creditor shows up for the hearing but the debtor does not. Thereafter, the court issues a bench warrant for the debtor’s failure to comply with the terms of the subpoena.

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Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - Local Counsel - Grand Rapids

February 15, 2017

Keller & Almassian, PLC is a local business bankruptcy firm active in the bankruptcy court in the Western District of Michigan over 30 years and is deeply connected to the local courts, attorneys and community. Our firm serves as Local Counsel in complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the Western District of Michigan. In one of our most recent cases, we acted as local counsel for a large bookstore chain with a nationwide retail presence.

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Online Bankruptcy

February 8, 2017

The cost of a bankruptcy can be a difficult issue to resolve.  In many cases, you need to file a Bankruptcy in order to stop a garnishment on your wages or bank account, but do not have the money to pay for a lawyer.  After all, if you had money for a bankruptcy lawyer, you probably wouldn’t need the lawyer in the first place.

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Why Did I Receive a 1099?

February 1, 2017

A common question we receive as bankruptcy attorneys at this point in the year is, “why did I receive a 1099 and what does it mean?”

There are two types of 1099 forms that are commonly received.  The first is a 1099-A.  This is not a cause for concern.  It may be issued by a creditor who held a debt, such as a mortgage debt, because they are required to file the form with the IRS to reflect it has acquired your property.  This is a purely informational return that is given to the IRS.  It does not mean you have any liability.

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State Court Appointed Receivers and the WARN Act

January 27, 2017

Does a receiver have an obligation to comply with Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2101-2109? The short answer is no. While no Michigan state court has addressed this specific issue, the federal courts have addressed it in the context of reorganizing and liquidating failed banks. The courts have consistently and unanimously held that the WARN Act does not apply to receivers appointed to reorganize or liquidate a failed bank. In reaching this conclusion, the courts agree that a receiver is not an “employer” under the WARN Act, and therefore, the receiver is not required to provide notice as proscribed by the WARN Act.

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How often can you file for bankruptcy?

January 17, 2017

When considering bankruptcy, it is important to consider the timing of any prior bankruptcy that you may have filed.  The timing of any previous bankruptcy can affect whether you are currently eligible to file another case, or potentially even whether the protection of the bankruptcy stay would apply to your new case filing. 

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Defaulting on your SBA loan

January 11, 2016

SBA Loan
According to, Small Business Administrative loans may be an option for individuals wishing to start or expand a business who are in need of financing help.  While the loan itself is financed through your local participating bank or lending institution, the SBA guarantees the loan.  In the event you should default on your SBA loan, the risk to the lender is minimized but you, the borrower, remain obligated on the debt.

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