Reaffirmation and Surrender: A Debtor's Dilemma Demystified

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 73 minutes
Recorded Date: July 21, 2017
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9:30 am - 10:45 am
  • Reaffirmation Agreements
  • The Pros and Cons of Reaffirming
  • Recent Cases
Runtime: 1 hour and 13 minutes
Recorded: July 21, 2017


This panel will discuss recent case law highlighting the fallout from failing to reaffirm, what “surrender” really means, and what you need to know when advising your client on the benefits and burdens of reaffirmation and surrender.

This program was recorded on July 21st, 2017.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute


Jeffrey T. Piampiano

Drummond Woodsum Strategic Consulting LLC

Jeff Piampiano is an attorney in Drummond Woodsum’s Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Creditors’ Rights and Trial Services groups. He has been recognized by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers USA, and New England Super Lawyers for his bankruptcy expertise.

Jeff’s practice focuses on bankruptcy matters and debtor/creditor litigation. He currently serves as a private panel Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee in the District of Maine and has administered hundreds of cases, including cases for businesses and individuals. In this role, as well as in connection with representation of other trustees, Jeff has gained substantial experience selling distressed assets and successfully avoiding and recovering fraudulent and preferential transfers.

When he is not serving as a trustee, he regularly represents secured and unsecured creditors, debtors, and other trustees in bankruptcy cases in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Notably, Jeff has twice served as counsel to the bankruptcy trustees for Great Northern Paper Company, helping them recover millions of dollars to distribute to creditors. Jeff also has substantial experience representing parties in commercial disputes before federal and state courts involving receiverships, mechanics’ liens and other statutory liens, and collection matters. When not practicing law, Jeff is active in the legal community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Cleaves Law Library for over a decade. He also regularly contributes articles and presents at seminars and conferences on bankruptcy law and civil litigation.

John Rao

National Consumer Law Center

John Rao is an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center, where he focuses on consumer credit, mortgage servicing, and bankruptcy issues. Mr. Rao frequently appears as a panelist and instructor at bankruptcy and consumer law trainings and conferences, and serves as an expert witness in court cases. He has testified in Congress on bankruptcy and mortgage servicing matters. Mr. Rao is a contributing author and editor of NCLC's Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice; and a co-author of NCLC’s Foreclosures and Mortgage Servicing and Bankruptcy Basics. He is also a contributing author to Collier on Bankruptcy and the Collier Bankruptcy Practice Guide. Mr. Rao served as a member of the federal Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules from 2006 to 2012, appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts. He is a conferee of the National Bankruptcy Conference, fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, member of the editorial board of Collier on Bankruptcy, board member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Commissioner on the American Bankruptcy Institute's Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy, and former board member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Kate E. Nicholson

Partner & Lecturer
Nicholson & Herrick LLP, Boston University School of Law

Ms. Nicholson is a founding partner at Nicholson & Herrick, LLP.

Ms. Nicholson received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2008. As a law student, she interned at the Harvard Law School Immigration & Refugee Clinic at Greater Boston Legal Services. She also interned at the Center for Positive Care in Sibasa, South Africa. After graduating, she worked for Parker & Associates in Winchester, Massachusetts, specializing in bankruptcy work. In February 2015, she formed her own firm, Nicholson Shepard, in Cambridge, where she continues to work in bankruptcy law. She also works as a consultant with the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic. Ms. Nicholson received her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh. This will be her third year teaching on the Program.

Hon. Enrique S. Lamoutte

U.S. Chief Bankruptcy Judge
U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Puerto Rico

Enrique S. Lamoutte is the chief judge for the United States bankruptcy court, District of Puerto Rico. He was first appointed to the court on November 7, 1986, and his current term will expire on November 6, 2028. Lamoutte was elevated to the position of chief judge, serving in that role from 1986 to 1998, and again from 2009 through the present date.

Prior to joining the court, Lamoutte began his legal career with a two-year clerkship at the U.S. District Court, followed by a four-year clerkship at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. He then took a position with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, where he led the Civil Division from 1983 until he was asked to take the bench in 1986.

Lamoutte earned a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a J.D. from the University of Puerto Rico

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