Richard Lamanna was living with his parents. For this reason, his monthly expenses were only $580. His monthly income was $1350. leaving a difference of $770, the amount of his disposable income. He had no plans to move out of his parents’ house.
During four weeks in October and November, he charged $9,994 on credit cards. When his total unsecured debt was $15,911, he filed a voluntary petition in a federal bankruptcy court to declare bankruptcy under Chapter 7.
The court noted that Lamanna was capable of paying all of his debts under a Chapter 13 repayment plan and dismissed the case. The First Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the decision in an appeal. Lamanna argued in part that if he did not live with his parents, he would not have as much disposable income, and thus he was being penalized for living with his parents.
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This type of petition to the court has become more common. Give your opinion on the availability of bankruptcy laws to citizens in this country? Are they necessary? Although the court tries to limit the type of petition Lamanna filed by dismissing such cases, are these limits enough? With the recent changes to the bankruptcy laws, do you still feel the laws should be stricter? Should personal responsibility and ethical considerations be involved in bankruptcy cases? Please discuss.