March 25, 2019

Bankruptcy Plan Modification by Debtor’s Counsel – Part of Bankruptcy Update 2014

In any three- to five-year period, many of us face unanticipated financial obstacles – medical expenses, educational expenses, dependent expenses. For a bankruptcy debtor, these unexpected financial burdens can derail a payment plan. Thankfully, the Bankruptcy Code at 11 U.S.C. § 1329 allows post-confirmation plan modifications so that debtors can adapt to changing life circumstances.

Section 1329 permits a debtor, trustee, or holder of an unsecured loan to request modification to increase or reduce payments to a particular class; prolong or shorten the time for those payments; alter the amount of distribution to a creditor in order to account for another payment not covered by the plan; or reduce payments in order to cover health insurance expenses for the debtor.

Experienced bankruptcy attorney Andrew S. Trexler offers some of the common scenarios in which his clients have requested post-confirmation plan modification:

  • To remove unpaid mortgage arrears following a mortgage loan modification and reduce plan length;
  • To bring payments current and reduce payments to account for change in projected disposable income, such as from retirement;
  • To allow for debtor to transition from one job or business to another through temporary reduction in monthly payment and provide for post-petition mortgage and HOA arrears;
  • To provide for pre-petition priority support arrears and cram down secured debt;
  • To surrender property securing Class 2 or 3 debts (Note: this is explicitly allowed by Judge Tallman so long as in good faith but disallowed by Judge Campbell);
  • Generally, to accommodate any significant decrease in disposable income caused by reduction in hours, job loss, increase in taxes due to end of payroll tax holiday in 2013 or increased medical bills, insurance costs, lawsuit defense, etc.; or
  • To allow for the purchase of health insurance (now generally required by the Affordable Care Act), so long as the debtor complies with § 1329(a)(4).

Trexler also provides the sample modification request motions and projected plans for several of these scenarios. He will present on this topic at Friday’s CLE program – Bankruptcy Update 2014 – along with several bankruptcy court judges and other area bankruptcy attorneys. Click the links below to register or call (303) 860-0608.

CLE Program: Bankruptcy Update 2014

This CLE presentation will take place on June 6, 2014. Click here to register for the live program and click here to register for the webcast. You can also register by phone at (303) 860-0608.

Can’t make the live program? Order the homestudy here — CD homestudy • MP3 audio downloadVideo OnDemand

Colorado Court of Appeals: Trial Court’s Imposition of Fine in Excess of Damages Upheld

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In re Estate of Hossack: Robinson v. Hossack on Thursday, April 25, 2013.

Contempt—Fine as Remedial Sanction for Contempt.

Gladys Robinson appealed the trial court’s order denying her motion to set aside a judgment in favor of decedent’s children and against Robinson in the sum of $231,300. The order was affirmed.

Robinson lived with the decedent, Charles Erroll Hossack, at the time of his death. Following the settlement of his estate, the court ordered her to return specified items of personal property to Lori and Kirk Hossack, decedent’s children. Robinson did not comply.

In a written order issued November 14, 2007, made effective nunc pro tunc August 21, 2007, the court found Robinson in contempt because she did not return the property. Robinson did not timely appeal the contempt order and did not comply with its terms. The fines that were imposed ($100 per day and later $1,000 per day) eventually accumulated to a sum of $231,300.

The decedent’s children moved to reduce this amount to judgment in March 2008. This motion was granted in January 2010, with interest accruing at 8% annually.

Robinson moved under CRCP 60(b)(3) to set aside the judgment. She argued that the amount of the fine should have been limited to any damages the decedent’s children may have suffered. The trial court denied the motion, and Robinson appealed.

CRCP 60(b)(3) allows a court to grant a party relief from a void judgment. Robinson based her argument on cases and language in CRCP 107(d) that limited the amount of a remedial fine to the damages the adverse party suffered. Due to amendments to the rule, effective April 1, 1995, the rule now defines remedial sanctions for contempt to be “[s]anctions imposed to force compliance with a lawful order or to compel performance of an act within the person’s power or present ability to perform.” It also empowers the court to continue to fine a contemnor until an act ordered to be performed is performed.

Robinson also argued that any fine could only be payable to the court and not to decedent’s children. The Court found no authority for this argument. Accordingly, the order was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here.

HB 13-1284: Allowing Debtors Without Driver’s Licenses to be Identified via State-Issued ID Cards for UCC Purposes

On March 27, 2013, Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Ellen Roberts introduced HB 13-1284 – Concerning Documents that can be Filed Regarding Security Interests under the “Uniform Commercial Code.” This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

CBA sponsored legislation by the Business Law Section

Article 9 of the “Uniform Commercial Code” regulates the creation of security interests. Revisions adopted in H.B. 12-1262 specify that the form of the debtor’s name that should be entered when filing a financing statement is the name that appears on the debtor’s driver’s license. The bill specifies that if the debtor does not have a driver’s license, the form of the debtor’s name to enter on a financing statement is the name that appears on the debtor’s identification card.

Colorado has adopted nonuniform provisions that regulate who can file an information statement about a security interest and the effect of such a filing. H.B. 12-1262 rendered these provisions obsolete, but they were not repealed in that bill. The bill repeals these provisions.

On April 18 the bill passed 3rd and final reading in the House and is scheduled for Senate Judiciary Committee review on Monday, April 29 at 1:30 p.m.

Tenth Circuit: Genuine Issue of Material Fact Existed as to Whether Plaintiff Suffered Emotional Damages Because of Defendant Loan Servicers’ Actions

The Tenth Circuit published its opinion in Llewellyn v. Allstate Home Loans, Inc. on Thursday, March 28, 2013.

Plaintiff Glen Llewellen purchased property located in Aurora, Colorado. In connection with this purchase, Plaintiff executed a note with Allstate Home Loans. The loan was funded by Allstate’s subsidiary, Equity Pacific Mortgage, Inc., (“EPMI”). Plaintiff timely made his first monthly payment. Shortly thereafter, Nomura Credit and Capital, Inc. (“NCCI”) purchased the loan and transferred the servicing rights to Ocwen. On the date of the transfer, Plaintiff’s loan was current.

Prior to the service transfer to Ocwen, Plaintiff initiated the process of refinancing the loan. Plaintiff signed the refinance documents on June 1, 2006, but did not advise the closing agent that the servicing rights had been transferred to Ocwen. Plaintiff then spoke with an Ocwen representative on June 5 and incorrectly informed Ocwen that his loan had been refinanced—at the time, he had not yet delivered the funds to the closing agent. Two days later, Plaintiff delivered the funds he owed to close the transaction.

On June 14, the closing agent wired the refinancing payoff funds to Washington Mutual Bank, identifying EPMI as the beneficiary. EPMI wired the funds to Allstate on July 11. From there, it remains unclear what became of the funds. It is undisputed, however, that neither Ocwen nor NCCI ever received the payoff funds.

Ocwen sent Plaintiff a past-due notice on the loan and a letter discussing foreclosure and its alternatives. Ocwen then provided a negative credit report regarding Plaintiff to a credit reporting agency (“CRA”).

Plaintiff called Ocwen and informed their representative his loan had been refinanced and his new loan was being serviced by Washington Mutual. The representative informed Plaintiff that Ocwen had not received any payoff funds and advised him to speak with Washington Mutual to obtain details about the status of the loan. Ocwen sent Plaintiff another past due notice and issued a foreclosure referral to the law firm of Castle Meinhold & Stawiarski, LLC (“CMS”).

After receiving the foreclosure referral from Ocwen, CMS sent a letter to Plaintiff informing him that CMS had been retained to commence foreclosure proceedings against the property.

Plaintiff sent a fax to CMS with a copy of a HUD settlement statement showing that EPMI was to receive the refinancing funds, and a letter from Washington Mutual to Plaintiff stating that if OCWEN was to be paid off and was not, please contact the closing agent for research on the payoff. CMS forwarded the information to Ocwen.

Over the course of the following months, Plaintiff’s loan was transferred to NCC Servicing, and Ocwen continued to file negative credit reports regarding Plaintiff. Plaintiff’s credit report was not reversed, in spite of assurances that it would be addressed.

Glen Llewellyn filed this action asserting a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claim, a Fair Credit Reporting Act claim, and a state law outrageous conduct claim against Ocwen and Nomura Credit and Capital (the “Ocwen Defendants”) based on their alleged credit reporting inaccuracies, and asserting an FDCPA and an outrageous conduct claim against Castle Meinhold & Stawiarski in connection with the foreclosure actions it took against Plaintiff. The district court granted summary judgment for the Defendants on each of Plaintiff’s claims. Plaintiff appealed, arguing summary judgment was inappropriate on his Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) claims.

I. FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT

Plaintiff alleges the Ocwen Defendants violated § 1681s-2(b) of the FCRA. Under this section, a furnisher of information who has received notice of a dispute from a CRA is required to: (1) investigate the disputed information; (2) review all relevant information provided by the CRA; (3) report the results of the investigation to the CRA; (4) report the results of the investigation to all other CRAs if the investigation reveals that the information is incomplete or inaccurate; and (5) modify, delete, or permanently block the reporting of the disputed information if it is determined to be inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable. Pinson v. Equifax Credit Info. Servs., Inc., 316 F. App’x 744, 750 (10th Cir. 2009).

The district court granted summary judgment to the Ocwen Defendants, concluding Plaintiff had failed to provide evidence of actual damages, either economic or emotional, or willfulness, to support his FCRA claim.

A. Economic Damages

Plaintiff argued he suffered economic damages as a result of the Ocwen Defendants’ alleged violation of the FCRA. The record showed that Plaintiff’s credit score dropped three points during these events. Plaintiff’s allegations that his credit score dropped over 100 points as a result of Ocwen’s actions were conclusory allegations and did not create a genuine issue of material fact. Additionally, Plaintiff provided no evidence he had applied for, and been denied, additional loans. Accordingly, the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Ocwen Defendants was affirmed on this basis.

B. Emotional Damages

Plaintiff alleged that, as a result of the Defendants’ actions, his health began to rapidly deteriorate.

Plaintiffs who rely on their own testimony to establish emotional harm must “explain [their] injury in reasonable detail and not rely on conclusory statements. Bagby v. Experian Info. Solutions, Inc., 162 F. App’x 600, 605 (7th Cir. 2006). An injured person’s testimony alone may suffice to establish damages for emotional distress provided he reasonably and sufficiently explains the circumstances surrounding the injury.

Viewing Plaintiff’s affidavit in the light most favorable to him and drawing  all reasonable inferences in his favor, the Tenth Circuit concluded Plaintiff provided sufficient evidence he suffered emotional damages as a result of the Ocwen Defendants’ actions. His affidavit created a genuine dispute as to whether the Ocwen Defendants’ actions caused him to suffer emotional damages.

C. Willful Violation

Plaintiff contended he was entitled to statutory and punitive damages under 15 U.S.C. § 1681n because the Ocwen Defendants willfully violated the FCRA. The Tenth Circuit concluded that, at most, Plaintiff offered evidence that the Ocwen Defendants negligently violated their obligations, which was insufficient to support a claim.

II. FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT 

A. Claims Against Ocwen Defendants

Plaintiff alleged the Ocwen Defendants violated the FDCPA by communicating or threatening to  communicate to CRAs false information concerning his credit worthiness after being informed that the debt had been paid off and by failing to communicate the debt was in dispute after Plaintiff notified them of this fact.

The FDCPA applies only to “debt collectors.” Because the Ocwen Defendants acquired Plaintiff’s loan on May 15, 2006, when it was undisputedly current, they are not considered debt collectors under the FDCPA. The Tenth Circuit found no basis from which to conclude the Ocwen Defendants qualified as debt collectors under the FDCPA.

B. Claims Against CMS

Plaintiff’s FDCPA claim against CMS is barred by the one-year statute of limitations.

Order granting summary judgment to the Ocwen Defendants on Plaintiff’s FCRA claim based on his alleged emotional damages REVERSED and REMANDED for further proceedings. The district court’s order is otherwise AFFIRMED.

Tenth Circuit: Dismissal of Plaintiffs’ Claims in Foreclosure Action Affirmed

The Tenth Circuit issued its opinion in Toone v. Wells Fargo Bank on Friday, March 8, 2013.

Bryan and JoLynne Toone executed a promissory note (the Note) secured by a deed of trust on their home (the Trust Deed). The Note was assigned several times. After the Toones defaulted on the Note, their home was scheduled to be sold at a trustee’s foreclosure sale. They filed suit to halt the foreclosure and to obtain damages and declaratory relief based on alleged violations of statutory and common law duties by numerous parties who had current or prior interests in the Note and Trust Deed or were involved in the foreclosure efforts. Defendants filed separate motions to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), which the district court granted. The Toones appealed.

“A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain . . . a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

The heart of the Toones’ claims was the challenge to the various assignments of the Note. The gravamen of their complaint was the allegation that the purported endorsements on the Note were defective for many reasons, such that subsequent banks never legally became the owner/endorsee of the Note. The problem for the Toones is that their complaint did not adequately allege that the endorsements were improper. It asserted that the endorsements were invalid because the first was signed by an underwriting assistant for the assignee instead of the assignor, and the remaining ones were “robosigned.” However, the face of the Note contradicted the Toones’ allegations. Accordingly, the factual predicate of most of the Toones’ arguments on appeal is undermined.

Toones’ opening brief on appeal also asserted that the defendants committed multiple acts that constituted violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The brief failed, however, to specify what those acts were. The issue was so inadequately treated in the argument sections of opening briefs, the Tenth Circuit concluded it did not deserve its attention.

The Toones next claimed that Wells Fargo violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act  (RESPA) by not responding to their written requests for information. To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss a claim under § 2605(e) of RESPA, plaintiffs must plead actual damages stemming from the failure to respond to requests or a pattern or practice of misconduct. See Hintz v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 686 F.3d 505, 510–11 (8th Cir. 2012).  The Tenth Circuit held this claim must fail due to the conclusory nature of the complaint.

AFFIRMED.

Tenth Circuit: Nonrefundable Portion of Child Tax Credit is Not Exempt from Bankruptcy Under Colorado Law

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In re Borgman on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.

Appellees Vernon and Elyse Dunckley (“the Dunckleys”) and Appellee Richard Borgman (“Borgman”) (collectively, the “Debtors”) each filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in October 2009. The Debtors listed their prospective tax refunds, including child tax credit, as exempt property on their bankruptcy petitions, citing C.R. S. § 13-54-102(1)(o). The Dunckleys received a tax refund in the amount of $4,261. Borgman received a tax refund in the amount of $3,770.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a debtor’s property is liquidated and the proceeds distributed to creditors. But a debtor may claim certain property as exempt from liquidation and sale.  Colorado has codified its own exempt property rules.  The relevant Colorado statute exempts a wide range of personal property, including, the full amount of any federal or state income tax refund attributed to an earned income tax credit or a child tax credit. C.R.S. “§ 13-54-102(1)(o).

Under the Internal Revenue Code, a taxpayer with minor children may claim a child tax credit (“CTC”) of $1,000 for each qualifying child. The Internal Revenue Code distinguishes between “nonrefundable credits,” “refundable credits.” “Nonrefundable” means it can only reduce tax liability to the extent that tax liability exists. For example, if a taxpayer had $750 of total tax liability and one qualifying child, she could use $750 of the $1,000 CTC to reduce her tax liability to zero, but she would not be entitled to have the remaining $250 paid to her. For certain taxpayers with earned income, however, a portion of the $1,000 Credit that exceeds the tax liability is refundable. This component is called the additional child tax credit. If a taxpayer in this example qualified for the Additional CTC, not only would $750 of the nonrefundable CTC reduce her tax liability, to zero, but she could also receive some or all of the $250 difference as a refund.

The Dunckleys claimed an exemption of $2,000 from the bankruptcy estate, equivalent to the $2,000 nonrefundable CTC. Likewise, Borgman sought to exempt $818 from his bankruptcy estate, corresponding to the nonrefundable portion of the CTC on his tax return. The Trustee objected to each of these claims, on the grounds that the Debtors were claiming an exemption on a child tax credit which is related to a non-refundable portion credited against the amount of tax owed. The Bankruptcy Judge disallowed both exemptions and the Debtors appealed to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, which reversed.  The Trustee appealed to the Tenth Circuit.

This appeal presents the question of whether the amount of a federal tax refund equivalent to the nonrefundable portion of the child tax credit of 26 U.S.C. § 24(a) is exempt from a bankruptcy debtor’s estate under Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-54-102(1)(o). That statute exempts from a bankruptcy estate the full amount of any federal or state income tax refund attributed to an earned income tax credit or a child tax credit.

The Tenth Circuit stated that it is axiomatic that a refund attributed to  a child tax credit must first be a “refund,” and that the nonrefundable portion of the Child Tax Credit — i.e., the portion claimed in the “tax and credits” section of Form 1040—never gives rise to a “refund.” A reduction in tax liability, standing alone, will never result in a refund. Accordingly, the nonrefundable portion of the CTC is outside the scope of § 13-54-102(1)(o).

Further, the disputed refunds were not “attributed to” the Child Tax Credit. In light of the fact that a refund depends first upon a payment, it cannot be said that the refunds were “attributed to” the nonrefundable portion of the CTC. The Dunckleys’ refund was “attributed to” the fact that they had $8,447 in withholding, as against total tax liability of $4,186. Borgman’s refund was “attributed to” the fact that he had $1,328 in withholding, a $400 Making Work Pay credit, a $1,860 earned income tax credit, and a $182 Additional CTC, against total tax liability of zero.

In sum, the Tenth Circuit held that the nonrefundable portion of the child tax credit cannot give rise to a “refund,” and is not included in the full amount of a federal income tax refund attributed to a child tax credit under Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-54-102(1)(o). It is therefore not exempt from the bankruptcy estate, as the Bankruptcy Court correctly held.

The order of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel is REVERSED and the orders of the Bankruptcy Court are REINSTATED disallowing the claimed exemptions.

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 9/24/12

The Colorado Supreme Court released one published opinion on Monday, September 24, 2012.

Published

Porter Adventist Health System v. Lego

The summary for this case is forthcoming, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions. The case announcement sheet is available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Statute of Limitations Began to Run at Maturity Date of Loans and Therefore Action Was Timely Filed

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Castle Rock Bank v. Team Transit, LLC on July 19, 2012.

Promissory Notes —Statute of Limitations.

Defendant Michael L. Zinna appealed the trial court’s ruling that plaintiff Castle Rock Bank’s (Bank) action was timely filed under the applicable statute of limitations. The judgment was affirmed and the case was remanded with directions.

On December 18, 1996, the Bank loaned Team Transit, LLC, $100,000 (Team Transit loan), pursuant to a promissory note signed by Zinna, president of Team Transit. Team Transit was required to pay the Bank $1,378 per month beginning one month from December 18, 1996, with “the balance of the principal and interest payable 10 years from the date [t]hereof.”

On April 9, 1998, the Bank loaned Kelly A. Spooner $75,000 (Spooner loan), pursuant to a promissory note signed by her. Spooner was to pay the Bank $1,295 per month beginning one month from April 9, 1998, with “the balance of the principal and interest payable 7 years from the date [t]hereof.”

On March 1, 2001, both loans were modified and new promissory notes were executed by Zinna and Spooner, who had married. The new principal on the Team Transit loan was $75,671.39. Zinna and Spooner were added as co-borrowers in their personal capacities and Spooner pledged additional collateral, consisting of a third deed of trust on their family home. The monthly repayment schedule was revised with a final payment on December 18, 2006. The new principal on the Spooner loan was $48,959.15. Zinna was added as a co-borrower in his personal capacity and the payment terms were revised, with a final payment due on April 9, 2005.

Zinna made two installment payments on both loans in May and July of 2001, and then stopped making payments. The Bank received a “pay-down” of $5,000 from the sale of their home, which it applied to the Team Transit loan on August 2, 2002. The Bank received no further payments, Zinna and Spooner divorced, and Spooner filed for bankruptcy.

On June 5, 2009, the Bank filed its complaint in this action, alleging two claims for breach of contract. On the Team Transit loan, the allegation was against Team Transit and Zinna, and on the Spooner loan, the allegation was against Zinna.

A clerk’s default was entered against Team Transit for failing to answer. Zinna answered and asserted the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense.

The Bank filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law against Zinna for the amount due on the two notes. The Bank represented the Team Transit loan went into “default” on September 20, 1997, and the Spooner loan went into default on January 8, 2002, both for failure to make payments.

Zinna responded, alleging there were questions of material fact and attached an affidavit regarding his understanding that the loans had been paid from various sources. The Bank responded that this was correct but that there still were outstanding balances under both loans. The summary judgment motion was denied based on the dispute about material facts, and a one-day bench trial was held. The court orally denied Zinna’s motion for judgment as a matter of law based on the statute of limitations and ultimately held that Zinna owed $69,108.77 plus interest on the Team Transit loan and $45,036.60 plus interest on the Spooner loan and entered judgment.

Zinna appealed. Shortly before briefing was completed, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Hassler v. Account Brokers of Larimer County, Inc., 274 P.3d 547 (Colo. 2012), which addressed the specific statute of limitations at issue in this case. Supplemental briefing was requested.

The trial court had found that the Bank had never called the notes in default but had pursued Zinna due to their delinquency. The Court considered what appeared to be an issue of first impression in Colorado: when does the statute of limitations begin to run on a promissory note that is to be repaid in installments; was not accelerated by the creditor; and provides that a “final payment of the unpaid principal balance plus accrued interest is due and payable” on the note’s maturity date?

The Court held that under the circumstances of the case, the statute of limitations didn’t begin to run until then notes’ maturity dates, which were December 18, 2006 for the Team Transit loan and April 9, 2005 for the Spooner loan. Therefore, the Bank timely filed suit. The Court reached this conclusion based on slightly different reasoning than the trial court.

Hasslerset forth the legal framework for evaluating how the statute of limitations applies to an installment payment security agreement that was validly accelerated by the creditor. Based on Hassler, the Court held, as a matter of law, that the Bank did not accelerate the notes when it applied funds to pay them down because it did not express a “clear, unequivocal intent” to do so. Finally, it found the plain meaning of the terms of the notes was that the statute of limitations began running when Zinna was obligated to make a “final payment of the unpaid balance plus accrued interest” on the notes’ respective maturity dates. The Court awarded the Bank its attorney fees in bringing the appeal as permitted under the terms of the notes.

Summary and full case available here.

Celebrate Pro Bono with a Week of Events from the DBA

Pro Bono Week is October 24-28, 2011. To recognize and celebrate the commitment to pro bono client services, the Denver Bar Association has put together several days of events and parties. We hope to see you there!

Monday, October 24:

Collections Clinic

From Noon to 2:00 pm, Alison Daniels and Jennifer Levin will present a basic training for attorneys who are interested in teaching the pro se clinic and/or want a general understanding of the collection process.

To be held at the CBA-CLE Offices, 3rd floor—Available Live and Webcast. 2 General CLE credits.

$49 for members and $69 for non-members, or complimentary when you sign up for a clinic! Register online for the webcast or live version of this program. You also may e-mail lunches@cobar.org, or call (303) 860-1115, ext. 727 and be sure to state if you are registering for the live or webcast.

 

Pro Bono Week Kick-Off Party

5:30–8:00 pm

From 5:30 to 8:00 pm, come celebrate and help kick off Pro Bono Week! The event will feature special guest speakers and Ignite presentations on pro bono. Interested in giving an Ignite presentation or would like more information? Contact hclark@cobar.org. Light appetizers, drinks and door prizes will be provided.

This free event will be held at Kutak Rock, 1801 California St. Suite 3100, in Denver.

RSVP online or to lunches@cobar.org or call (303) 860-1115, ext. 727.

Tuesday, October 25:

Small Claims Clinic Training

From noon to 2:00 pm, Kip Barrash will present a basic training for attorneys who are interested in teaching the small claims clinic or want a general understanding of the small claims process. Tips include gathering information; forms (where to get them, how to complete them); filing (how; where); defending your position (what to do and what not to do); and court procedure.

To be held at the CBA-CLE Offices, 3rd floor—Available Live and Webcast.

$49 for members and $69 for non-members, or complimentary when you sign up for a clinic! Register online for the webcast or live version of this program. You also may e-mail lunches@cobar.org, or call (303) 824-5350 and be sure to state if you are registering for the live or webcast.

Wednesday, October 26:

Metro Volunteer Lawyers Family Law Training

Sponsored by Faegre & Benson LLP

From 1 to 5:00 pm, this will be a training session for attorneys volunteering with Metro Volunteer Lawyers on family law matters, or those interested in volunteering. Agenda topics will include the anatomy of a family law case, evidence in family law matters, working with family law clients, professionalism, and procedural considerations. Afternoon snacks and refreshments will be provided at no cost to attendees. RSVP to Melissa Fri at MFri@faegre.com no later than Friday, Oct. 21.

This free event will be held at Faegre and Benson, 3200 Wells Fargo Center, 1700 Lincoln St., in Denver. 4 CLE credits applied for.

Jefferson County Combined Court in First Judicial District to Offer Free Collection Clinics

The Jefferson County Combined Court will begin offering free Collection Clinics on the first Tuesday of the month, starting on August 2, 2011.

The clinics will run from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in Courtroom 1A.

An attorney will be teaching attendees about the following areas of interest regarding the collection of judgments:

  • Use of interrogatories to find assets
  • Transcripts of Judgment
  • Garnishments – preparation, serving, answers, default, and traverse
  • Exemptions – what they are and how to claim an exemption

Click here for more information from the First Judicial District.

Instructors Needed for Popular Small Claims and Collections Pro se Clinics

These popular clinics are offered once a month in Denver. Volunteer attorneys simply offer instruction to attendees on how to file their own small claims cases in court, and how to collect on their judgments. Tips include gathering information, forms (where to get them and how to complete them), filing (how and where), defending one’s position (do’s and don’ts), and court procedures.

These free informational clinics welcome general questions but will not provide direct legal advice nor will they directly assist in completing forms.

For more information or to volunteer for either of the clinics, email Meghan Bush.

Both Clinics are held at the Denver City and County Building, 1437 Bannock Street, Room 164, from 11 am to 1 pm. The Small Claims Clinic meets the third Tuesday of every month and the Collections Clinic meets the third Thursday of every month.