Consumer Commission Report

The ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy has been hard at work researching and recommending improvements to the consumer bankruptcy system that can be implemented within its existing structure. The final report will be released during ABI's Annual Spring Meeting, and the following sessions will drill down into the Commission's recommendations (all sessions listed below take place on Friday):

The leadership of ABI's Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy releases its Final Report and Recommendations during this panel. The 17-member Commission examined dozens of issues over the last two years. The Final Report focuses on reductions of barriers to entry, enhancing the fresh start and making chapter 13 work for all stakeholders.

  • Hon. Eugene R. Wedoff (ret.), Oak Park, Ill.
  • Hon. William H. Brown (ret.), Carbondale, Colo.
  • Prof. Robert M. Lawless, University of Illinois College of Law; Champaign, Ill.
  • Hon. Elizabeth L. Perris (ret.), Portland, Ore.


These experts will guide you through the most important current chapter 13 issues, including (1) is a chapter 7 trustee entitled to a commission on a converted case?; (2) is interest required in a 100 percent chapter 13 plan where not all disposable income is contributed?; (3) is failure to make direct payments on a mortgage grounds for denial of discharge?; and (4) can a debtor employ § 506(d) to avoid a lien in a subsequent chapter 13 case (chapter 20), even though the debtor is not eligible for discharge?

  • Hon. Michael A. Fagone, U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Me.); Bangor
  • James J. Haller, Haller Law Group; Mundelein, Ill.
  • Hon. Michael B. Kaplan, U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. N.J.); Trenton
  • Richardo I. Kilpatrick, Kilpatrick & Associates, PC; Auburn Hills, Mich.


Knowing the Bankruptcy Code, following the latest case law, and effectively advocating for your client in court are just some of the skills that make a consumer practitioner successful. But much of hard work in making a case successful happens before it is filed. This panel will examine the art of pre-bankruptcy planning in the consumer case, including strategies for marshaling the most accurate information from your client, selecting the chapter that is most appropriate for your client’s situation, and developing a strategy for prosecuting the case.

  • Edward C. Boltz, The Law Offices of John T. Orcutt; Durham, N.C.
  • Hannah White Hutman, Hoover Penrod PLC; Harrisonburg, Va.
  • Donald R. Lassman, Law Office of Donald R. Lassman; Needham, Mass.
  • Joshua P. Searcy, Searcy & Searcy, P.C.; Longview, Texas
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