Bankruptcy cases fell in 2021 after falling in 2020. Consumers who were over their head in debt and distressed businesses submitted 434,540 bankruptcy filings through September, 2021. That’s an almost 30% drop from the 612,561 bankruptcy cases filed at the same point in 2020. And even that number was also lower than the 776,674 bankruptcy cases filed in 2019.
Increased government benefits throughout the year — such as third round $1,400 stimulus checks, supplemental jobless benefits and monthly child tax credit payments — were one reason for the drop. So were eviction moratoriums, including a now-lapsed federal halt on evictions. The year-end report also pointed to “state lockdown orders that decreased personal expenditures.”
“There are many forces that are pushing people to not file bankruptcy right now and definitely throughout 2021,” said Professor Pamela Foohey, a consumer bankruptcy expert teaching at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Before bankruptcy, Foohey said it can take people around two years of financial struggle that ends with a crisis like an eviction notice. But it’s unclear when the clock on that struggle might be occurring in the current context, she added.
DALLAS (AP) — A federal judge dismissed the National Rifle Association’s bankruptcy case, leaving the powerful gun-rights group to face a New York state lawsuit that accuses it of financial abuses and aims to put it out of business.
The judge was tasked with deciding whether the NRA should be allowed to incorporate in Texas instead of New York, where the state is suing in an effort to disband the group. Though headquartered in Virginia, the NRA was chartered as a nonprofit in New York in 1871 and is incorporated in the state.
Judge Harlin Hale said in a written order that he was dismissing the case because he found the bankruptcy was not filed in good faith.
“The Court believes the NRA’s purpose in filing bankruptcy is less like a traditional bankruptcy case in which a debtor is faced with financial difficulties or a judgment that it cannot satisfy and more like cases in which courts have found bankruptcy was filed to gain an unfair advantage in litigation or to avoid a regulatory scheme,” Hale wrote.
The NRA declared bankruptcy in January, five months after New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office sued seeking its dissolution following allegations that executives illegally diverted tens of millions of dollars for lavish personal trips, no-show contracts and other questionable expenditures.
Senator Warren and Congressman Nadler have introduced the Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act designed to be the biggest change to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevent and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. It has not yet passed to any committee for review and is unlikely to be enacted into law as now written.
Primarily, the CBRA would abolish the existing regime for consumer bankruptcies under Chapter 13 and create a new Chapter 10 for individual and small business bankruptcies that will operate somewhat similarly to a Chapter 11 reorganization including a repayment plan to be approved by the Bankruptcy Court.
The CBRA would create a homestead exemption in bankruptcy that would be equal to 50% of the value of the conforming loan limit (as determined by Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac) of a single-family residence within the particular county of the debtor’s residence, or 75% if the debtor is age 65 or older. This would be a very substantial change for folks living in states with minimal or smallish homestead exemptions. It will also do away with the Means Test and eliminate some of the paperwork now required to file. We will keep you informed of its potential progress though congress.
This year, Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney joined the ranks of some of the biggest retail bankruptcies on record, including Sears, Toys R Us and Circuit City.
Neiman Marcus, J.C. Penney, Ascena Retail Group and Tailored Brands have now joined the ranks of some of the all-time biggest retail bankruptcies on record — including Sears, Toys R Us and Circuit City.
Below are the 10 biggest retail bankruptcies of 2020, listed by asset sizes and liabilities at the time of their filings. The list was compiled using data from court filings, S&P Global Market Intelligence and BDO. (CNBC Dec. 26, 2020)
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