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The Federal Bar Association – Bankruptcy Section is an organization which supports attorneys practicing bankruptcy law in Western Michigan through education,  practice development, professional recognition and social events.

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FBA Bankruptcy Section Annual SeminarEVENTS

Turnaround Management Association, West Michigan 3rd Annual Luncheon Series:  "Welcome to the World of Oz".  All 3 of our Bankruptcy Judges will speak at this event on March 13, 2018.  The topic is "We Are Off To See The Wizard".   This is one in a series of events where they will focus on a singular kind of risk that Turnaround professionals and clients encounter on a routine basis.  Where: The University Club, 111 Lyon St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503  Time: 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM

Bankruptcy Boot Camp.  Friday, May 11, 2018 at the Eberhard Center, downtown Grand Rapids, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.  Registration materials will go out soon via our court ECF.   In the meantime, if you have questions, please call or email Michelle Wilson, 616-456-2002 x. 119, michelle.m.wilson@usdoj.gov | Flyer & Registration Packet

Next FBA Summer Seminar: Park Place Hotel, Traverse City, Michigan. July 26, - 28, 2018.

FBA Bankruptcy Section News MichiganNEWS


On January 15, 2018, the Debtor’s Bar of West Michigan held its 8th Annual Winter Seminar. It was very good. We covered recent topics and plan issues in chapter 13, information on the Michigan Unemployment Insurance controversy, chapter 7 issues and then the always valuable case law update and view from the bench. Thank's to the leadership of the Debtor’s Bar and speakers for leading this event. Contact the Debtor’s Bar at Mike Hanrahan Mike@ChaseBylenga.com for more information about this and future events.


We held the annual State of the Court luncheon on October 13, 2017 at the JW MARRIOT hotel in downtown Grand Rapids.  As always, the food was wonderful, thanks to Michael Maggio who made the selections.  Our Chief Judge, the Honorable Scott W. Dales, made astute observations about the year and other topics and Chair Ben White guided us through a delightful luncheon event.  The Speaker was Lawrence Ponoroff, Dean of the MSU College of Law, and he discussed potential changes to Chapter 13 law for consideration.  We also honored James Batchelor, who recently retired from the TROTT firm.  Jim was a long-time creditor attorney and he received the 2017 David Nims/Laurence Howard Civility Award Civility Award, which is a great honor, recognizing his ability to work effectively for his clients while treating others with dignity and respect.  Congratulations to Jim and we will miss you. 

2017 State of the Court


We held the 29th Annual Bankruptcy Section Seminar at Boyne Highlands from July 27 - 29, 2017. Hey, next year is the 30th anniversary of this event! You will not want to miss that.

Those who attended stated that the seminar was one of the best offerings of educational materials in recent memory. Thanks to all the presenters who made that possible. See photos of some of the events.

As usual, there was ample time for fun, food, and games. See our photos of the winners of the Bocce competition. (A first for us, by the way.)

Michelle Wilson and Todd Almassian organized this event. The educational co-chairs were Judge James W. Boyd and Judge John T. Gregg. We also had committees to develop material related to consumer issues (Elizabeth Clark, Rebecca Johnson-Ellis, and Robert Shefferly) and commercial issues (Allison Bach, Elisabeth Von Eitzen and Steve Rayman). Thanks to them, their staff, and everyone else who helped.

Again, next year should be something special. It will held at the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City, Michigan, from July 26 - 28, 2018. We look forward to seeing you there!

View the Summer 2017 Publication

FBA Bankruptcy Section News MichiganPAST NEWS

Thursday Nov 30th - Dec 14th

Monday September 18th, 2017
GVSU Eberhard Center, Grand Rapids Michigan

View the Winter 2017 Publication

View the Fall 2016 Publication

Debtor’s Bar of Western Michigan Annual Conference was held January 16, 2017. 
See their website for this: http://www.debtorsbar.com

Upcoming changes to our Local Rules: Provide your input into this process!  Our court established a committee to review our Local Rules.  This is going to be a comprehensive review, so it sounds like everything is on the table for possible change.  If you have an opinion about how things are done, send it to the committee.  See the announcement for this on the Court website.  Your deadline is 1/31/2017 and send items to  Katrina_Shellman@miwb.ucsourts.gov.

Chapter 13 Basics. The US Trustee office organized a full day of training on this topic on October 17, 2016. It was packed with important information and tips from experienced attorneys. Thanks to all who participated in this event.

State of the Court Luncheon
. Another great event on October 21, 2016, with a speaker who addressed bankruptcy issues presenting pending before the United States Supreme Court. Thanks to those who organized this event.

Our 2016 Summer Seminar on Mackinac Island was great! 
Our hosts at the Mission Point Resort did a wonderful job.  We attended many valuable educational sessions. 

We presented significant awards:

The Lion Award was presented to retired Judge Jeffrey R. Hughes.

The David Nims/Laurence Howard Civility Award was presented to Carol J. Chase of Chase & Bylenga PLLC.  The Education award was presented to Mary K. Viegelahn, formerly chapter 13 trustee here, now chapter 13 trustee in San Antonio, Texas.

Most of the Official Bankruptcy Forms changed, effective December 1, 2015. See the court website, which can link you to all forms used in bankruptcy proceedings. http://www.miwb.uscourts.gov/


FBA Bankruptcy Section Steering Committee



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