Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Wolf's Version - with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore.

‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through the city
decorations were up but the sight wasn’t pretty
for although Thanksgiving was still barely here
all the stores were dressed up for the end of the year.

Sleighbells here, reindeers there, holly boughs all around
but nary a sign of Tom Turkey is found.
‘twas as though Saint Nick put the fowl in a hearse
and decreed to Thanksgiving, henceforth, Christmas comes first.

That jolly old Elf must have howled with a wail,
“That turkey interferes with our holiday sales”;
so we’re left with no choice but to conquer the bird,
and sing Christmas carols till no gobble is heard.

After all, a Thursday sale is but a single day;
whilst we need a full week to earn our full pay,
so out with old feathers, pilgrim hats won’t be seen;
we’ll pretend those props came from last Halloween.

We need to make sales and to keep our costs down
so you’ll see Christmas windows all over the town.
decorating windows twice; why that’s nothing but trouble
so we prefer Ho Ho Ho to Gobble Gobble Gobble.

Stores open late, tinsel sparkling with glee.
MasterCard, Visa – final spending spree.
but this holiday season’s no season for thanks,
while the Fed’s lending money to those reckless banks.

Our economy is in the toilet so let’s spend for Santa
and come New Year’s Eve we’ll share a pint of Mylanta;
for our holiday debts banks won’t be forgiving;
though the banks don’t need Christmas when they’ve got Banksgiving;

But there’s no sense resisting; we must accept our fate.
so Merry Christmas to all this November 27 and 28.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Welcome to My Weblog

I'm Marvin Eric Wolf and I approve this message.

This weblog will have several goals.

First, I will try to keep readers up to date on changes in bankruptcy law, the current fiscal crisis, and issues involving debt relief and creditor abuses. I'm the State Chair for Northern New Jersey for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. There is no State Chair for Southern New Jersey at the moment, so for now, there's just me.

Second, I will post reprints from my weekly articles in Local Talk and Local Talk Newark - some of them are business related, some are not. Some are serious, some are satire. You may notice that the English grammar in these articles is fractured. This is quite deliberate as (a) I try to keep something close to a conversational tone in my personal writing, and (b) this is my revenge against all my nasty English teachers who insisted I couldn't write this way. I can, I do, and I will. veni, vidi, vengeance.

Anyway, I begin a lot of sentences with "And" and "But." But my goal is to make the grammar checker on Word get a heart attack while casually relating information to real people. And, yes, you CAN pass the bar exam with split infinitives and incomplete sentences. At least, in America, you can.

I expect the blog postings to lurch back and forth from professional to personal at random - just like in real life. I hope it will be entertaining and not too dry.

In most cases, I will make my opinion known. Keep in mind my opinions are only opinions.

Also, since I'm not your lawyer and not licensed in every state, I'm not actually giving legal advice - I'm not allowed to do this. You need your own lawyer to get legal advice. I may state my opinion but I'm not saying you should rely on it. In other words, your mileage may differ.

Although bankruptcy law is federal law, and in theory should be the same throughout the country, in practice, nothing could be further from the truth. Between local rules, local practice, local decisions on issues, and local state law issues that impact on local bankruptcy law, two courts can issue totally opposite decisions on an issue, and both be right - until the Supreme Court speaks.

The new bankruptcy law - BAPCPA - which we in the trade lovingly call BARF (Bankruptcy Abuse Reform Fraud) - closed some loopholes but opened up many others. It's not a bad time to be a bankruptcy attorney.

I'll leave you with this thought - up until 1994 we used to file bankruptcies to modify first mortgages by dropping them down to fair market value and dropping the interest rate to something more reasonable. No one complained, the system worked fine, and mortgage companies got performing mortgages on their books. Then, in 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court screwed us all with a decision called Nobelman and said we couldn't do it any more. If Congress gives us back this power, we won't need $750 billion of taxpayer dollars. We can stop the whole foreclosure crisis and restore liquidity to banks without costing the U.S. taxpayer even one penny. But don't hold your breath waiting for this to happen even with a Democratic Congress. It would make sense, it would be cost effective and it would work - so of course, they probably won't do it. To Congress, it makes more sense to throw good money after bad and keep the same foxes in charge of the chicken house.

Definition: Credit Default Swap - that's where you take out insurance on your neighbor's house and pray that it burns down, while dropping dried leaves and playing with matches on his lawn, and calling the press to tell them you smell smoke.

The worldwide derivatives market is a 156 TRILLION dollar market. I don't think $750 billion will make much of a dent.

This is not lawyer advertising. My other website - is lawyer advertising.

So enjoy.