Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Do I Qualify To File Bankruptcy?

Potential clients often call and ask, "Do I qualify to file bankruptcy?"

What they really want to know is what type of bankruptcy they qualify for to file.  While the recommendation of what type of bankruptcy, if any, can only be made by a licensed  attorney, the illustration below may be helpful.

If you have questions bankruptcy or maybe considering bankruptcy contact San Antonio Bankruptcy Attorney Gerald C. Moton or 210-841-5728

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Employment and Credit Checks

There are many ways reasons workers are turned down for jobs.  However some applicants may be surprised to learn they can be denied for a job because of something on their credit reports. Employers have begun to use credit checks to exclude people putting in applications.

Employers allowed to keep people from jobs by prying into their financial affairs. They can bar workers from employment in all but 8 states. For job seekers, this means that bad credit or a recent bankruptcy could prove to be a formidable roadblock in securing employment.

San Antonio Bankruptcy Attorney, Gerald Moton, considers this use of consumer credit information unfair.

"It is important that these credit reports in the employment process not be used to obstruct the efforts of individuals to better themselves and move on with their lives through use of the constitutionally sanctioned bankruptcy process,” said Mr. Moton.

It is estimated, if used across the board, this practice would disproportionately affect the unemployed, people of color, elderly and the 47% of Americans who have trouble paying their medical bills, according to  The consumer advocacy group and other like it are pushing back against this trend, and in a published report said, “employment credit checks illegitimately obstruct access to jobs”.

However, arguments have been made by some human resource professionals that the credit checks are not used that often. Advocates also argue the checks are only used for some jobs, and that they do not play a key role in decision making for employers.

Earlier this year, Rep. Steve Cohen [D-TN] introduced legislation to stop this practice nationally, but, a legislative tracking tool, has the odds of bill passing committee at just three-percent. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

An Abbreviated History of Bankruptcy Law, Part. I

After the article by Charles Jordan Tabb
     Bankruptcy has come a long way since its inception.  What begun as a device with its origins in allowing creditors freedom to take what is theirs at any cost, including that of a life, has transformed into an instrument that allows people unshackle themselves from their debts.
     Debtors were viewed as quasi-criminals by the earliest bankruptcy laws.  In 1542 King Henry VIII passed the first bankruptcy law in England.  What this law did, once the details were filled in by the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, was create a legal device by which debtors who did not pay, could have their assets taken away from them.  One could even lose an ear or a life for being in debt.  Others were thrown into debtors prison for becoming bankrupt.  This kind of thought weaved its way though the 17th century when the British parliament would often act to increase the penalties against noncompliant debtors.
    The US constitution, the basis for the entire US legal system, was drafted in 1787.  Once the US was established as a country, provisions for bankruptcy were more or less left up to the states.  States acted freely in bankruptcy matters for all but 16 of the first 109 years after the Constitution was ratified.  These laws often left things to be desired.
   Progressively, the laws changed.  People began to be allowed to renegotiate their debts. The Bankruptcy Act of 1867 allowed corporations to take advantage of bankruptcy proceedings.  The railroads when down and out were brought back to life through being able to file for bankruptcy.  Perhaps most significantly, during the New Deal, the Supreme Court affirmed that bankruptcy "gives to the honest but unfortunate debtor…a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of preexisting debt."  The United States was able to transform bankruptcy, which at its outset was an oppressive institution, into a helpful tool.
   If you would like more information on bankruptcy or have questions for Gerald Moton please contact our office or call 210-841-5728.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The New York City Opera Declares Bankruptcy

The curtains have fallen upon the New York City Opera aftera failed fundraising campaign fell short of the $7 million needed to keep open its doors. The opera is shutting down indefinitely and it’s unclear whether they’ll ever be back on their feet. 

When created by New York mayor, Fiorello La Guardia, it was deemed the “people’s opera”, giving access to the art of opera to the general public. It has proved to have a great impact upon the culture of the city of New York and the US as a whole in pioneering access to art for those less well off and its musical contributions.

While the average price of a ticket at the Metropolitan OperaHouse, the New York City Opera’s older sister institution,is $174, the New York City Opera provided an opportunity for people to see its entire season for $100—opening doors for opera to be accessed even by those of limited means.

Many great singers passed the halls and made their careers in this “moststoried” of all opera houses including Beverly Sills, Placido Domingo, and Catherine Malfitano.  It has made its mark as bringing adventurous contemporary works to the New York stage such as Mark Anthony Turange’s Anna Nicole and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle. The Opera is also known for its workshop that allows composers to hear their operas performed by live singers and musicians.

The opera has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a form of debtrestructuring which allows companies and organizations a chance to restart andmove forward.   Mr. Moton views this move with a sense of optimism.  Many arts organizations have filed for bankruptcy and came out better, including the San Antonio Symphony.  He comments, “The arts are a national treasure.  That they resort to bankruptcy protection demonstrates valiant attempts to preserve a part of the fabric of our lives.”