Our law office has been very successful handling Chapter 13 cases, that is, so long as our clients do their part by making the required trustee payments. Almost all of our clients have their plans confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court. And unless there is some kind of a job loss, loss of overtime, medical issue, or other untoward event, most complete their Chapter 13 plans.

In fact, in the most recent year (2005) that the 5 year Chapter 13 plans have run their course, we have a 66% success rate! That is, 66% of the Chapter 13 cases that our office filed, were successfully completed and received a discharge, or converted to Chapter 7 and received a discharge.

Only 34% of the Chapter 13 cases that we filed in 2005 were dismissed over the entire 5 year term of their Chapter 13 cases. Compare that to nationally, the completion rate for Chapter 13′s is difficult to find, but it is estimated to be no more than 25-33%. So our firm basically “turns the tables” on the national average, and two-thirds of the chapter 13 cases that we file are successful, whereas nationally only one-third are successful.

My excellent staff is a big reason for such a great success rate, and Robert “Rob” Heinly is an integral part of my excellent staff. Rob has been with me since 2005, and he is my senior Chapter 13 paralegal.

I can’t tell you how pleased I am about our plan completion rate! We work hard to help our clients complete their cases, by responding to their questions via phone and internet, responding to trustee motions to dismiss when they are filed, and filing motions to modify plan when something in the client’s life changes. And thank you Rob for all your hard work! ■

Homeowners- 3 or more months behind on payments? Help may be available through the HUD Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP). You must file a “pre-application” by July 22, 2011. Go to http://ehlp.nw.org for details.


The Emergency Homeowners Loan Program will offer a zero interest, forgivable bridge loan to homeowners who have experienced a substantial loss of income (a reduction of at least 15%) due to unemployment or underemployment caused by adverse economic conditions or medical condition.

Approved homeowners are eligible to receive one-time EHLP assistance to pay certain arrearages to bring them current, as well as ongoing monthly assistance to help them to make their monthly first lien mortgage payments (including payments of principal, interest, taxes, and insurances).

Assistance is limited to a maximum duration of 24 months, or up to a maximum loan amount of $50,000 in mortgage payment assistance, whichever occurs first.

The EHLP loan is secured by a junior lien against the approved homeowner’s principal residence and is forgivable over a 5-year principal reduction period. Interested? Go to the website and apply today, before the July 22, 2011 passes. Need help? Find free help from a local counselor at: http://ehlp.nw.org/findaforeclosurecounselorEHLP.asp.


from the Inimitable Will Rogers (1879 – 1935) US humorist & showman
Be thankful we’re not getting all the government that we’re paying for.

The income tax has made more liars out of Americans than golf.

I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him “father.”

A senator got up today in Congress and called his fellow senators sons of wild jackasses. Now, if you think the senators were hot, imagine how the jackasses must feel.


Anna Nicole Smith (1967-2007), formerly known as Vickie Lynn Marshall of Houston Texas, was a Playboy Playmate and Playmate of the Year, former exotic dancer, etc. Her path to immortality started when she met and married an elderly Houston oil multi-millionaire, J. Howard Marshall.

When he died only a year later, the struggle over his many millions started a legal tug or war that has lasted over a decade. It finally resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court case that has the potential to change the course of American bankruptcy jurisprudence.

In the U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down June 23, the Court considerably reduced bankruptcy courts’ powers to hear certain disputes, mainly state court and/or “common law” disputes. But this happens a lot in bankruptcy courts, the judges have to rule on disputes between parties that are not based solely on bankruptcy law.

Who would have thought Anna Nicole would (posthumously) cause such a change in the jurisdiction of Bankruptcy Courts? Anna Nicole was a very exciting woman. Check out her biography: http://www.allydirectory.com/Biographies/anna-nicole-smith-biography.

It’s too early to tell how far-reaching this Supreme Court opinion will be, or if Congress will step in and pass legislation to fix the problem. In the meanwhile, it is really shaking up the bankruptcy courts. And what happened with Anna Nicole’s $88 Million judgment? Reversed. Her estate gets nothing.

Call Us If You Need Us. We Also Welcome Referrals

Consumer Bankruptcy.
Debt Collection Defense.
Debt Negotiations and Settlements.
Stop Foreclosure/Repossession.
Mortgage Loan Modifications.
Fair Debt Collection Practices.
I.R.S. Collection Defense.
Family Law.
Wills and Trusts.


Always keep the law office updated with your current address, telephone numbers, and email address. We may need to reach you quickly.
You can check on the status of your Trustee payments, how much you still owe on your case, etc., by going to www.13datacenter.com to set up your user ID and password.
Lose job or overtime? Expenses increase? Want to give up property to lower payments? Call the office for a Motion to Modify worksheet. Complete it and fax it to the office at 713-772-5058. We’ll review it and contact you if a change to your plan is possible.

J Thomas Black
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Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization