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For the last time … you are a debt relief agency (get over it)

From the Bankruptcy Litigation Blog written by my colleague Steve Jakubowski comes thsi observation regarding today’s Supreme Court decision in Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz, P.A., v. United States, No. 08-1119:

Back when bashing BAPCPA was in vogue I posited here that the BAPCPA’s “debt relief agency” provisions “look more like an effort to create a consumer bankruptcy lawyer clone who much like the ever-multiplying Agent Smith from The Matrix-Reloaded speaks and does precisely as directed with ruthless efficiency.”

Today’s unanimous opinion from Justice Sonia Sotomayor (with concurrences from Justices Scalia and Thomas) tells us not to worry because while attorneys are “debt relief agents” under the Code, §526(a)(4) “prohibits a debt relief agency only from advising a debtor to incur more debt when the impelling reason for the advice is anticipation of bankruptcy.” Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz, P.A., v. United States, No. 08-1119 (Op. at 13).

As with most bankruptcy decisions from the Supreme Court, the path taken to the holding is more interesting than the actual holding itself. This post examines two aspects of that road

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