Chapter 11: Handling the Individual Debtor Case

Debtor and Creditor Challenges With Post-Petition Income, Estate Property, Plan Confirmation, Payment of Attorney Fees and More

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will compare Chapter 13 and 11 filings for individuals; review the unique issues that apply in individual Chapter 11 cases, such as the debtor's post-petition income, estate property, and living expenses; and outline attorney-client privilege and ethical complexities inherent in these cases.


Most high-debt individuals file Chapter 11 bankruptcy because their aggregate debts exceed the limits for Chapter 13 pursuant to 109(e). There are a number of advantages of proceeding under Chapter 11, particularly for individuals with mortgage arrearages and underwater secured property.

Individual Chapter 11 cases present unique issues not present in business cases, such as determining the property of the estate, the debtor’s post-petition income, and living expenses for the debtor. Other unique reorganization plan issues include the applicability of the absolute priority rule.

Counsel representing individual debtors face complex attorney-client privilege issues because the courts are split on the question of who holds the individual debtor’s privilege. Another thorny question is how counsel representing the debtor in personal matters can be paid for legal expenses.

Listen as our authoritative panel of bankruptcy attorneys guides you through the process of individual Chapter 11 bankruptcies and discusses the unique reorganization plan issues and ethical pitfalls inherent in these cases.



  1. Comparison of Chapter 13 v. Chapter 11
    1. BAPCPA amendments affecting individual Chapter 11 filings
    2. Advantages v. disadvantages
    3. Calculating “Projected Disposable Income”
      1. Applicability of the Supreme Court’s Hamilton v. Lanning ruling
  2. Unique issues in individual Chapter 11 cases
    1. Property of the estate
    2. Debtor’s post-petition income and tax consequences
    3. Pre-confirmation personal spending/living expenses
    4. Cram-down and the absolute priority rule
  3. Ethical issues and attorney-client privilege in representing Chapter 11 individuals
    1. Representing both the individual and a business entity of the debtor
    2. Attorneys' fees for representing the debtor in personal matters
    3. Attorney-client privilege issues


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are the advantages of Chapter 11 over Chapter 13 for higher income individuals?
  • Can an individual Chapter 11 debtor get a plan confirmed without paying creditors in full?
  • How can counsel arrange for the debtor's living expenses while complying with the requirements of Chapter 11?
  • Who holds an individual Chapter 11 debtor’s attorney-client privilege?
  • Does the Lanning decision apply to individual Chapter 11 debtors?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Peter M. Lively
Peter M. Lively

Law Office of Peter M. Lively

He has practiced for 18 years in the area of small business and consumer reorganizations and liquidations. He has...  |  Read More

M. Jonathan Hayes
M. Jonathan Hayes

Law Office of M. Jonathan Hayes

He concentrates his practice in bankruptcy and business litigation. He has represented many Chapter 11 debtors,...  |  Read More

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