November 11, 2011
We are very pleased to report that the United States Supreme Court has upheld our victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the case Rodriguez v. Countrywide Mortgage Co. (Supreme Court Docket 10-1285). This decision clearly holds that in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, a mortgage company cannot attempt to collect pre-bankruptcy escrow arrears directly from a debtor after the filing of the bankruptcy petition, by merely re-labeling it a post petition escrow shortage. Monies that were contractually due prior the bankruptcy are part of the bankruptcy proof of claim entitled to be paid through a Debtor’s Chapter 13 plan.
The Supreme Court has declined to review the decision of the 3rd Circuit after first requesting a brief from the United States Solicitor General. Along with Henry Sommer, Esq., a distinguished colleague from NACBA (the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys), Mr. Abelson persuaded the Solicitor General ‘s office to side on behalf of Bankruptcy Debtors nationwide to encourage the Court to leave the 3rd Circuit ruling intact.The impact of this decision will save thousands of dollars for many bankruptcy debtors struggling to cure their mortgages through Chapter 13.