CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin acknowledges narrowness of the Supreme Court’s perspective when answering Alex Wathen’s question

Jeffery Toobin answers Alex Wathen's question about the lack of geographic and educational diversity on the Supreme Court.
Jeffery Toobin answers Alex Wathen's question about the lack of geographic and educational diversity on the Supreme Court.

Speaking at the State Bar of Texas Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Seminar, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, acknowledged and agreed with Alex Wathen about the narrowness of the experience of members of the United States Supreme Court.  Alex Wathen pointed out that the Supreme Court Justices attended most Yale Law School and Harvard Law School and are mostly from the Northeast and if people with more diverse educational and geographical backgrounds were appointed we would have a Supreme Court with more diverse perspectives.

Filing a pro-se Chapter 13 without an attorney – not a good idea, but if you have to do it here is how.

Filing a pro-se bankruptcy petition going to the court house yourself.  Photo courtesy of Ebyabe.

I do not recommend doing this because there are many traps.  But if you are eligible for Chapter 13, have had the required pre-filing credit counseling, it is a way you can usually stop a foreclosure and cure the arrears in your mortgage over five years.  Repeat filers may only have a 30 day stay or no stay at all so it may not stop a foreclosure in those cases.  Note that I am not representing you and you should definitely hire an attorney.

If you have to the form for the petition for filing Chapter 13 without a bankruptcy attorney and the instructions on how to file Chapter 13 without a bankruptcy attorney can be downloaded.  There are other requirements and deadlines coming up which only an attorney can properly understand, and cases missing certain supplemental filings not discussed in this post will be automatically dismissed.  You cannot just file a petition and think you need to do nothing else.  It is only appropriate to do to stop the foreclosure so that you have time to hire a bankruptcy attorney.  It would of course be much better to hire the attorney before you need to file so he or she can do it up to professional standards.

You do need to file a printed or sometimes electronic list of names and addresses of all your creditors, requirements vary by district, and you must have gone through pre-bankruptcy counseling as it is virtually impossible to get an exemption and if you do not have it before you file your case will be dismissed.  The Chapter 13 filing fee may be paid in installments by some debtors who are unable to pay the filing fee.  Note that some people who have been prohibited from filing a new case can be subject to imprisonment and fines through contempt of court if they file.  Again, I do not recommend this but I realize there are some people who are out of options and need more time to hire an attorney.

Photo courtesy of Ebyabe.

Bell County Clerk files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Becky Blevins’ filing is a good example of regular Americans having trouble

Bell County Kentucky Courthouse by W Marsh.
Bell County Kentucky Courthouse by W Marsh.

The County Clerk of Bell County Kentucky has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  It shows that everyone including elected officials can have financial difficulties.  The changing face of bankruptcy now includes people with steady salaries for 25 years who hold prominent positions in their community.  I encourage you to read the court documents because I think you will be able to relate to her.  They read just like mainstream America unlike some of the celebrity filing I have reported on in the past.  I wish her the best of luck and hope she will take this opportunity to make other Americans realize that it is their own neighbors, friends, and family that are having difficulties.

Docket Report

Petition, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Credit Counseling Certificate

Chapter 13 Plan

Read the papers the bankruptcy court sealed that Congressman Ruben E. Hinojosa does not want you to read, like Congressman Anthony Weiner, Hinojosa is hiding something but only financial information.

Read the documents the bankruptcy court sealed about Congressman Ruben E. Hinojosa's bankruptcy that he does not want you to see, like Congressman Anthony Weiner, he is hiding something it is just financial information.
Read the documents the bankruptcy court sealed about Congressman Ruben E. Hinojosa's bankruptcy that he does not want you to see, like Congressman Anthony Weiner, he is hiding something it is just financial information.

The legal battle over Congressman Ruben E. Hinojosa’s sealed bankruptcy petition continues.  Bankruptcy Attorney and Blogger Alex Wathen has had his IT staff digitally repair one of the sealed entries Docket No. 27 the Amended petition so that most of it is readable.  It can be viewed here:

Sealed documents Congressman Hinojosa does not want you to read (second set)

The first set of documents consisting of the original petition is also available but in its entirety:

Sealed bankruptcy petition of Congressman Ruben E. Hinojosa.

This second set was obtained by Alex Wathen before they were sealed by the Court but it did not save correctly and was corrupted.  Most of the document has been able to be restored to some extent but not all pages.  It has not been readable until now.  The rest remains sealed pending Alex Wathen’s appeal of the sealing order.

It is ironic that a member of Congress who holds an office of trust of the United States is fighting efforts in court to unseal the sealed parts of his bankruptcy not only on the merits but he is arguing that no one else has the right to even have access to the courts to argue against his sealing of the documents.

Learn More About Actor Stephen Baldwin’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – Read His Monthly Operating Reports

Actor Stephen Baldwin has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  Photo courtesy of
Actor Stephen Baldwin has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Photo courtesy of

Actor Stephen Baldwin and his wife filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year to reorganize their finances.  Baldwin is best known for his appearances in the Young Riders, Threesome, and the Usual Suspects.  He is the brother of William, Daniel and Alec Baldwin.

They list a million dollar home in Rockland County, New York, a couple of businesses, and a couple of Volvos as assets among other things. Here you can read the important documents from their bankruptcy which is still ongoing including the list of all their assets (they provided so little detail that the average person who files bankruptcy would draw objections if they did it this way), and their monthly operating reports which are mandatory in Chapter 11. They appear to be overdue for May and June 2010, and appear to have filed late operating reports in the past assuming that they are due the 20th day of the month following the month that they are for. It is interesting so see how celebrities in bankruptcy live. Maybe it provides some comfort to you to understand that even people who seem to have it all still have problems and still file late reports.

Docket Report – Shows all events and Documents Filed Except Claims

Petition and Schedules Listing Liabilities

Certificates of Credit Counseling

More Schedules

Amended Schedules – Creditors

Operating Report – August 2009 – Part 1

Operating Report – August 2009 – Part 2

Operating Report – September 2009

Operating Report – October 2009

Operating Report – November 2009

Operating Report – December 2009

Operating Report – January 2010

Operating Report – February 2010 – Part 1

Operating Report – February 2010 – Part 2

Operating Report – February 2010 – Part 3

Operating Report – March 2010

Operating Report – April 2010 – Part 1

Operating Report – April 2010 – Part 2

Antoine Walker Files for Bankruptcy – View the Documents Here

Antoine Walker - Photo courtesy of
Antoine Walker - Photo courtesy of

May 29, 2010 – Antoine Walker, former NBA player, has filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Miami, Florida. Walker’s attorney was paid $20,000 for the filing of which $10,000 was paid by Walker’s friend and University of Kentucky teammate Nazr Mohammed. The schedules listed four pieces of property including his $2.3 million dollar Miami home with a $3.6 million dollar mortgage on it. He listed $19,000 in household goods without giving a specific list, clothing valued at zero, and interestingly enough no books, no magazines, no collecrtibles such as plaques, certificates, or other memorabilia. Strange for a pro-athlete.

The documents are available for viewing here:

Antoine Walker Bankruptcy Court Docket Sheet as of May 28, 2010
Antoine Walker Bankruptcy Petition and Schedules of Assets and Liabilities
Antoine Walker Bankruptcy Creditors Meeting Notice
Antoine Walker Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Certificate
Antoine Walker Bankruptcy Statement of Intentions
Antoine Walker Bankruptcy Declaration Regrading Pay Advices
Antoine Walker Bankruptcy Means Test Exclusion Due to Business Debt
Antoine Walker Bankruptcy Declaration for Electronic Filing
Antoine Walker Bankruptcy Disclosure of Compensation of Attorney for Debtor
Antoine Walker Bankruptcy Certificate of Mailing of Creditors Meeting Notice
Antoine Walker Bankruptcy Notice of Appearance
Antoine Walker Bankruptcy Application to Employ
Antoine Walker Bankruptcy Order Granting Application to Employ

I would like to thank for the photograph.

Free Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling All Online and Email, No Phone Call

As we know it is required for all individual bankruptcy filers with a few narrow exceptions to undergo credit counseling before filing. Until now all agencies have required a phone call in addition to an online component. Some offer an all telephone course. Now there is an agency that offers on all web and email course without a telephone component. Click to get started. On top of that this course is also free! It may take a few days for the counselors to respond so this course should be done only if you have at least a week before fil

Board Certified Austin Bankruptcy Attorney Alex Wathen on the Chapter 13 book by Stephen Snyder on how to get credit during and after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case

Bankruptcy in Austin, Texas
Bankruptcy in Austin, Texas

While I do not agree with Stephen’s general view of Chapter 13 and his expectations for people in bankruptcy, I think that the book is an invaluable source of information that you will need in order to get credit especially while in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Here is my book review of Stephen Snyder’s book on getting credit in and after a Chapter 13:

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