Bankruptcy

Majority: Attempt to collect stale debt not deceptive

August 11, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was divided Wednesday over whether debt collectors violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when they attempted to collect stale debts in Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings.
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COA: investors owed reimbursement

July 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a reversal in the Indiana Court of Appeals handed an investment firm a reimbursement, the amount of funds to be returned is unknown since the trial court was left to figure the sum.
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Ties to Florida firm burn Indiana lawyers

July 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
Small-town lawyer Justin Wall argues in his discipline case that he’s fighting not just for his career, but for the livelihoods of his Huntington co-workers and the needs of his community after he tried to drum up business with a regretful decision to answer a Craigslist ad four years ago.
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Court ruling opens GM to billions of dollars in death, injury claims

July 14, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court ruling that General Motors can't use its 2009 bankruptcy to fend off lawsuits over faulty and dangerous ignition switches exposes the automaker to billions of dollars in additional liabilities, according to legal experts.
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7th Circuit tosses legal fees suit arising from bankruptcy case

July 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
An unsecured creditor’s lawsuit against two law firms over legal fees collected for services provided to a bankrupt Fort Wayne company’s estate should not have proceeded, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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High court rules against Puerto Rico in debt case

June 13, 2016
 Associated Press
Puerto Rico can't use a local law to restructure the debt of its financially ailing public utilities as it tries to overcome a decade-long economic crisis, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.
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Coal mine environmental risk grows with bankruptcies

May 19, 2016
 Associated Press
As more coal companies file for bankruptcy, it's increasingly likely taxpayers will be stuck with the very high costs of preventing abandoned mines from becoming environmental disasters.
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Bankruptcy filings take further plunge

April 29, 2016
IL Staff
Personal and business bankruptcies nationwide reached the lowest point since 2006, according to statistics released Thursday by the federal courts.
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Peabody, largest US coal miner, files for bankruptcy

April 13, 2016
 Associated Press
Peabody Energy, the nation’s largest coal miner, filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday as a crosscurrent of environmental, technological and economic changes wreak havoc across the industry.
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Republic, Delta settle lawsuit, strike deal to continue flights

March 25, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Delta Air Lines Inc. has settled its lawsuit against Republic Airways Holdings Inc. in which it accused the Indianapolis-based carrier of failing to operate a full schedule of flights as promised.
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Northern District case filings plummet, federal courts report shows

March 15, 2016
Dave Stafford
Case filings in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana fell 43.9 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to statistics released Tuesday in the 2015 Judicial Business of the United States Courts report.
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7th Circuit: Developer's appeal is frivolous

March 1, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a man’s claim that the National Bank of Indianapolis covered up unauthorized transfers is frivolous and said the bank can pursue sanctions against the man because of it.
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50 Cent's online photos with cash interest bankruptcy judge

February 22, 2016
 Associated Press
Rapper 50 Cent has been ordered to appear in bankruptcy court in Hartford, Connecticut, to explain photos showing him with wads of cash.
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Lawsuits deluge operator of towing business

January 26, 2016
John Russell, IBJ Staff
Brian Fenner had big plans for his Indianapolis towing company, Sperro Towing and Recovery. His goal was to build a national network of bankruptcy attorneys who would let him know if a struggling client had a vehicle they couldn’t afford to keep. But the plan, which he appears to have hatched at least two years ago, quickly ran into trouble.
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COA affirms finding for mortgage holder in foreclosure

November 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A mortgage holder had a right to enforce a settlement agreement against borrowers, the Court of Appeals ruled Monday, affirming a trial court order.
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ILS awarded grant to help northern Hoosiers

October 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Legal Services Inc. has received a $10,000 award to help families in the northern part of the state with bankruptcy filings.
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Supreme Court could weigh in on student debt battle

October 20, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Mark Tetzlaff is a 57-year-old recovering alcoholic who has been convicted of victim intimidation and domestic abuse. He may also be the person with the best shot at upending the way U.S. courts treat student debt for bankrupt borrowers.
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Plaintiff loses appeal over judgment on student loan

September 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
The successor interest in a student loan after its originator filed bankruptcy is entitled to judgment in its favor to collect a delinquent student loan, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Bankruptcy cases drop in 2014, repeat filings rise

July 22, 2015
IL Staff
Individual consumer debt bankruptcy petitions declined in 2014, but for a significant number of people, this wasn’t the first time they’d filed for bankruptcy in the last eight years.
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7th Circuit rejects woman’s suit that credit agency violated FCRA

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Finding several things “wrong” with a woman’s lawsuit against a credit reporting agency, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the company on her lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
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SCOTUS: Bankrupt homeowners can't void second mortgage

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
A unanimous Supreme Court of the United States ruled homeowners who declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy can't void a second mortgage even if the home isn't worth what they owe on the first mortgage.
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Judge approves $200M settlement in 2012 meningitis outbreak

May 20, 2015
 Associated Press
Victims of a 2012 meningitis outbreak caused by a now-closed Massachusetts compounding pharmacy will have access to a $200 million compensation fund, following approval Tuesday by a federal bankruptcy judge.
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Life insurance bankruptcy exemptions apply to nondependent spouses, children

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Friday settled a certified question on whether nondependent spouses and children enjoy the exemption granted to life insurance policy beneficiaries who are “the spouse, children, or any relative dependent upon” the debtor. They do, the court concluded.
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Court to consider when second mortgage can be void

November 17, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide whether homeowners who declare bankruptcy can void a second mortgage if the home's market value has dropped below the amount they owe on the first mortgage.
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Bankruptcy cases filed at lowest number since 2007

October 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The total number of bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts for the fiscal year 2014 dropped 13 percent as compared with FY 2013, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts announced Wednesday. This is the lowest number of bankruptcy filings for any 12-month period since 2007.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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