In these times of economic woe, some attorneys probably are wondering how difficult it would be for them to start practicing bankruptcy law. Before jumping into the world of adequate protection payments, §341 meetings and everything else found in Title 11 of the U.S. Code, here is some advice.

1. Take a bankruptcy CLE, then take another one. If the practice of law is full of potholes, then the practice of bankruptcy is full of punji pits. Think of all the intricacies of bankruptcy law as the sharpened sticks at the bottom of these traps. Miss one of the legion of deadlines, and the client loses valuable rights. File a petition without the debtor going through the required pre-petition credit counseling, and the judge will dismiss the case. Fail to timely object to a debtor’s Chapter 13 plan that does not provide adequately for the treatment of a vehicle loan under 11 U.S.C. §1325(a)(9), and the creditor may lose thousands of dollars that otherwise would have been paid in the plan.

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