Pre-Bankruptcy Planning in the Consumer Case

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 63 minutes
Recorded Date: April 11, 2019
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  • Information Acquisition
  • Mysterious Assets
  • Pre-Petition Transfers
  • Pre-Bankruptcy Planning
Runtime: 1 hour and 3 minutes
Recorded: April 11, 2019


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.

This program was recorded as part of ABI's Annual Spring Meeting on April 11th, 2019.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute


Joshua P. Searcy

Searcy & Searcy, P.C.

Joshua Searcy earned his Bachelor of Arts from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and History, along with a minor in International Studies. He received his Juris Doctorate in 2005 from Baylor University School of Law. He distinguished himself academically and as a Semi-Finalist in the Strasburger & Price Moot Court Competition in 2004. Baylor Law School is nationally recognized for its trial preparation curriculum.

Joshua Searcy is admitted to practice in the State of Texas, the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is also a member of the Bankruptcy section of the State Bar Association of Texas, the Gregg County Bar Association, the Texas Young Lawyers Association and the American Bar Association.

Donald R. Lassman

Sole Practitioner
Law Office of Donald R. Lassman

DONALD R. LASSMAN is a sole practitioner in Needham, Massachusetts concentrating in the areas of bankruptcy, insolvency and business reorganization since 1983. Mr. Lassman is a member of the bar of the Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, the Boston Bar Association, the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees and the American Bankruptcy Institute, and has been a member of the panel of Chapter 7 Trustees for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts since 1995. He has earned the “Preeminent” Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating available.Since 2008, Mr. Lassman has been co-leading the effort of the Boston Bar Association to provide legal assistance to members of the military and their families, traveling to VFW posts throughout Massachusetts to provide informational seminars about consumer and bankruptcy laws. Mr. Lassman was recently recognized for these efforts by Thomas Kelley, the Massachusetts Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. In May 2011, he was recognized for his volunteer efforts and was awarded the Simone Lottor Exceptional Service Award by Jewish Family and Children Service for making a vital contribution to the community. In October 2013, Mr. Lassman was recognized by the Boston Bar Association for his work on providing legal assistance to members of the military and their families, and was recognized by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts for his commitment to pro bono services.

Mr. Lassman participates in many continuing legal education programs as Chairperson and Panelist and has written extensively on legal issues relating to insolvency and bankruptcy, including most recently co-authoring a monograph entitled “REAFFIRMATION AGREEMENTS” first published by the American Bankruptcy Institute in 2009 with a second edition published in 2010, an article entitled “INDIVIDUAL CHAPTER 11’s REALLY DO WORK” that appeared in the March 2008 edition of the ABI Journal, and article entitled “Inherited IRA: Exemption issues under the Code” that appeared in the May 2011 edition of the ABI Journal and a monograph entitled “MOVING FOR RELIEF FROM THE AUTOMATIC STAY IN BANKRUTPCY” published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. in 2006. For more information about these articles or other bankruptcy questions please contact Mr. Lassman now.

Hanna W. Hutman

Hoover Penrod, PLC

Hannah’s practice focuses on helping businesses and individuals resolve their financial troubles.

Upon graduating from the William & Mary College of Law, Hannah practiced law in Dayton, Ohio. Upon returning “home” to the Shenandoah Valley and prior to joining Hoover Penrod, Hannah practiced as a sole-practitioner. Hannah routinely represents businesses and individuals in bankruptcy proceedings and creditor negotiations. Her practice areas include bankruptcy, debtor and creditor rights, and general corporate work. In addition to representing businesses and individuals in bankruptcy proceedings, Hannah has represented national and regional banks in all aspects of commercial collections, including restructuring obligations, asset liquidations and dispositions, and foreclosure. Hannah is also a member of the panel of Chapter 7 trustees for the Western District of Virginia.

Edward C. Boltz

The Law Offices of John T. Orcutt

Mr. Boltz is a partner at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt, P.C., where he has managed the firm’s office in Durham, North Carolina since 1998, representing clients in not only Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies, but also in related consumer rights litigation, including fighting abusive mortgage practices.

Mr. Boltz received his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis in 1993 and his J.D. from George Washington University in 1996. He is a member of the North Carolina State Bar, where he has been certified as a specialist in consumer bankruptcy law. He is admitted to practice before the Districts Courts in both the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina.

After serving on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys ("NACBA") since 2006, where he was jointly responsible for directing the State Chair program. Mr. Boltz was elected President of NACBA, starting his term in 2013. In these positions, Mr. Boltz has spoken extensively at local and national seminars, testified before Congress on issues relating to bankruptcy and the military, and be interviewed by numerous media outlets.

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