Three Reasons Why You Should Have A Lawyer Prepare Your Bankruptcy Case

worried couple 29461929_s-2015

The web is filled with legal self-help services that claim to make filing for bankruptcy seem like a relatively simple procedure that anyone can do. However, while you may be able to find and submit the forms, having a bankruptcy lawyer guide you through the process is the best way to ensure that you get the debt relief you're after. 
Here are a few reasons why seeking out the services of a professional is the best thing to do when you are considering filing for bankruptcy. 

  • Legal Expertise: Document preparation services and online tools can type up your petition, but that is as far as they can legally take you. These services cannot provide you with the legal advice you need to successfully file for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy lawyer will go through every aspect of your financial situation with you, helping you to avoid the mistakes that could result in losing valuable property or creditors filing a claim against you.

  • Guidance In Filling Out Forms: Bankruptcy forms and paperwork can be incredibly complicated. They will require information that you don't have on hand or can't easily access. Even minor filing mistakes will expose you to liability, or cause your petition to be rejected outright. A bankruptcy lawyer is trained to prepare your petition so that it's both completely error-free and has the highest chance of being successful.

  • An Understanding Of The Issues: The issues raised during the bankruptcy process cross over into all areas of the law, such as taxes, inheritances, and personal injury claims. Determining how your petition will impact every area of your life requires the expertise of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Most consumers do not possess the legal skills or knowledge to navigate such delicate financial matters.

  • Proper Timing: While you may want immediate relief from your debts, it's important to time the filing of your case correctly so that you can maximize your benefits. If you file too late, you could miss your chance to recover some assets lost to repossession or garnishment. On the other hand, rushing to file the case could cause you to lose assets you could have saved for financial support, such as an inheritance or a tax refund.

For over 35 years, I have provided compassionate services to clients dealing with even the most complex financial issues. I understand how confusing and intimidating the bankruptcy process can be, which is why I am committed to guiding my clients every step of the way. Call (203) 757-3437 to schedule a consultation with a real bankruptcy lawyer today.

Three Defenses That Can Stop Foreclosure (Plus 1)


Proper Foreclosure Procedures Were Not Followed

A lender seeking to foreclosure a home has to follow strict
foreclosure procedures set by the Connecticut Supreme Court. If these procedures and steps are not followed, the borrower can challenge the foreclosure. If the problem is serious, the case can be dismissed and the lender forced to start the foreclosure over. Connecticut does have a rule that absent some fraud or mistake, once the foreclosure is completed, it is done aunt here inso going back.

You Are An Active Member Of The Military

If you are an active member of the military serving our country, no foreclosure can proceed. The lender has to certify to the Court that they have investigated whether or not you are an active service member before they re allowed to obtain a judgment of foreclosure. Military members can utilize the protections afforded by the
ServiceMembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which offers assistance to members of the military facing foreclosure.

Mortgage Terms Are Deemed To Be Unconscionable

Unconscionable mortgage terms presents a rarer defense to foreclosure. The mortgage's terms may be unfair or illegal. If you were not represented by a lawyer or otherwise unable to make an informed decision about the mortgage loan, a court could refuse to enforce the mortgage at all.

The Best Defense Is A Good Offense

Connecticut, like many states, has a
mediation procedure that offers homeowners a chance at working out the mortgage problems. If requested, the Court will refer the case to an impartial mediator who will facilitate communication between the parties to see what resolution can be made. Solutions include a temporary or permanent reduction in the interest rate, an extension of the life of the loan or a temporary forbearance in the payments. There are also several government programs available, but they are not expected to last after the end of the year.

Three Things You can Expect After Filing For Bankruptcy


You can find a bunch of information on the internet about filing for bankruptcy, but what happens afterwards?

Here are three things that you can expect:

  • Debts are discharged - For consumers, the best part of filing for bankruptcy is the elimination of your debt without giving anything up.  The Bankruptcy Trustee may try to take your property to pay back your creditors, but a skilled bankruptcy lawyer can help you keep it without losing anything.

  • Creditor Go Away, Don't Come Back Any Day: There are several types of bankruptcy for consumers and they all offer an automatic stay, which immediaty stops any attempts to collect. This is true for civil judgments that may have already entered bu also for phone calls and collection letters, wage garnishments, repossessions and most kinds of court actions.

  • A Fresh Start: IMost people believe that filing for bankruptcy will have an effect on their credit score. The Credit Score is the great marketing gimmick of the credit industry and it does not matter much. Many consumers can rebuild their credit immediately, but the secret is to avoid getting back into debt.  Planning for the future is more important than having that shiny new thing. It is more important to have only a few current credit accounts that can rebuild your credit.

A study by the Federal Reserve found that when dealing with debt, it was better to file bankruptcy than struggle monthly to pay off debt.

Attorney Melchionne Speaks at NACBA Convention


Attorney Melchionne was a featured speaker at the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys in San Francisco on May 20 - 22, 2016. During the Convention in, Attorney Melchionne met with colleagues from around the country to share ideas and new developments in Bankruptcy Law, Foreclosure Defense, Credit and Student Loan forgiveness. In his role on the Board of Directors for NACBa, he also helped plan the three days of seminars and spoke at several of the sessions.

Foreclosures in Connecticut buck the National Trend

The number of new foreclosures filed in Connecticut increased in November increased over the number of foreclosures field in October. Not only does this buck the national trends, but it also runs contrary to the usual fall off that occurs as winter approaches.

Banks do not like to take homes in the winter months if they are occupied. They would rather let you shovel the snow, heat the house, and secured the house so that it is not vandalized. It does seem, however, that banks are in a rush to take back homes faster than before. Or maybe they realize that just filing a foreclosure does not guarantee a quick result as the Mediation process does slow things down a bit. Since Mediation can add a few months onto the foreclosure process, timing the filing of the foreclosure so that mediation completes in the spring might be the reason for these filings.

Me. I'm speechless. Even FannieMar and FreddieMac have a heart in not putting anyone out of their home during the holiday season. They have
suspended evictions from December 18, 2015 to January 3, 2016. On one hand, I hope that this increased foreclosures is not the banks being heartless during the holidays. On the other hand, I also hope that this is not an indication that homeowners in Connecticut are not falling further into financial distress.

Check out my interview in the newspaper

Bankruptcy Filers Beware: Con-Artists Posing As Attorneys

Telephone-Scam Soliciting Wire Transfers Prompts NACBA and Vermont Attorney General to Issue Consumer Warning

Across the country, consumers are falling prey to a new scam targeting people who have filed for bankruptcy and others just getting started with the process. Bankruptcy attorneys are joining forces with public officials to sound the alarm bell to unsuspecting consumers.

The con artists are using software that 'spoofs' the Caller ID system so that the call appears to be originating from the phone line of the consumer’s bankruptcy attorney. Victims of the scam are being instructed to immediately wire money to satisfy a debt that supposedly is outside the bankruptcy proceeding. Some consumers have been threatened with arrest if they fail to wire money to pay the debt.

In some instances, the perpetrators are using personal information from public filings to identify consumers, assume the identity of their attorneys and sound more convincing by phone. These calls are typically placed during nonbusiness hours, making it difficult for clients to verify the call by getting in touch with their attorney to ask about it.

National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) and its individual members want consumers to know that under no circumstance would a bankruptcy attorney or staff member telephone a client and ask for a wire transfer immediately to satisfy a debt. Nor would the bankruptcy attorney and staff ever threaten arrest if a debt isn’t paid. The United States Court System has posted a bulletin and warnings have been posted in the states of Virginia and Vermont as well.

Consumers should be advised that legitimate debt collectors and agencies cannot threaten arrest in order to satisfy. If you or a family member receive this kind of call, the best thing to do is to hang up and contact your bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Do NOT give out any personal or financial account information to the caller.

My office will never call after hours and you should always verify any such instruction by emailing me directly if you should receive such a call.

How Long Does Bad Credit Stay on My Credit Report?

This is a question that comes up regularly in my office and it recently turned up on If you are bad with paying your debts on time, that history stays on your credit report for a full seven years. So Gerri Detweiler asked me that question.

Why seven years? It turns out that there is no particular reason other than a compromise between the Senate and the House when the Fair Credit Reporting Act was being drafted was back in the late 1960’s. It has nothing to do with the Bible or the Statute of Limitations for collection of a debt. It was just an arbitrary time period picked by elected representatives as a “reasonable” time.

Is it reasonable? The answer is that your history is in the past. If you do things to manage your debt better now and pay everything onetime, most lenders will take that into consideration. While no one knows exactly what does into your credit score, time has to be a factor.

Can a Debt Collector Grab My Bank Accounts?

Recently, Gene Melchionne was interviewed by writers for on the question of seizure of bank accounts. The interview was later picked up by MSN Money and Yahoo Finance because of the importance of the question.

When collecting delinquent accounts, collectors will many times claim to be able to seize bank accounts for the payment of the debt. It’s not so easy. But it is possible. In most cases, you need to be sued first, unless the bank account is with the same institution where the money owed. Read the article on for more.

Gene Melchionne Interviews Gerri Detweiler on Podcast

IF you aren’t listening to the Money Go Roundtable Podcast, you should. Recently, Gene Melchionne interviewed Gerri Detweiler of Talk Credit Radio and about credit reports. IF you want to know about credit reporting, credit scores and what it all means, take a listen to this podcast episode.

Law School Grads Looking At Bankruptcy

This week, the Connecticut Law Tribune published an article on student loans, law schools and the current economy. It is no mystery that recent graduates from colleges are having a hard time finding a job. Compound that with the expense of attending graduate school for an advanced degree and then pile the time and money spent on something like law school. It is no small wonder that law school graduates are both having a hard time finding a job AND paying their student loans. The result? Yound lawyers looking at filing bankruptcy.

The author of the article turned to well-known
Student Loan Lawyer, Josh Cohen, and Attorney Melchionne for an insight on both the scope of the problem and the remedy. The sad end to this story is the same for most young people struggling with student loans; there is no escape in bankruptcy for any student loan. For more, see the story here.

NACBA Highlights Attorney Melchionne as Practice Partner

Based on random sampling of NACBA’s membership, the Member Profile strives to answer the question: Who are Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys? It looks at a variety of economic and demographic characteristics, as well as, business practices and “war stories.” The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys recently introduced Attorney Gene Melchionne of Waterbury, Connecticut as “Practice Partner”.

Check out the full article

Attorney Melchionne Quizzed On Increase In Completed Foreclosures

Remember all those foreclosures filed in November and December 2013? Well they have completed now and banks have repossessed houses in Connecticut in record numbers last month. The statistics kept by RealtyTrac showed that Connecticut suffered a 44% increase in homes Read the newspaper article where Gene Melchionne was quizzed on the reason for the increase here.

Gene Melchionne Elected to Board of Directors of NACBA

Waterbury attorney, Eugene Melchionne, was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys at its recent meeting in New York City in April. NACBA is the only national organization dedicated to serving the needs of consumer bankruptcy attorneys and protecting the rights of consumer debtors in bankruptcy. Formed in 1992, NACBA now has 3,500 members located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. NACBA is recognized by members of Congress and their staffs, by the Judicial Branch, and by the media as the leading voice in America on issues of consumer finance and bankruptcy law. The Association and its members frequently are called upon to testify before legislative and judicial bodies and share their expertise. NACBA is also the leading force against the anti-debtor legislation in Congress and at the state level that the consumer credit industry has sought so aggressively.

As a Director, Attorney Melchionne will be responsible for setting the Association
s educational program for its annual convention in Chicago in 2015 and ensuring that NACBA will continue to play a key role in shaping the outcome of policy-related debates on consumer bankruptcy issues. He is currently co-chair of the Associations Technology Committee and acts as State Chair supporting Connecticut members and addressing legislative matters within the state.

I am excited to amplify my efforts to aid consumers in financial distress by stepping up to a role on NACBAs board. I hope to reach more judges, lawmakers, and attorneys alike that there is a solution to the burdens of debt caused by factors beyond the consumerscontrol”, he said in a recent interview.

Attorney Melchionne is a nationally recognized speaker on financial issues and technology, having most recently spoken to a group of 800 attorneys in New York City and within the last year in New Orleans, Minneapolis, and San Diego. He has regularly consulted with members of the Senate and House in Washington D.C., on matters of bankruptcy law, mortgage foreclosures, credit card debt, and student loans.

Attorney Melchionne Speaks at NACBA NYC

Gene Melchionne gave several presentations at the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Convention in New York City recently. Topics included gathering documents and data from clients to prepare a basic Bankruptcy petition, Going Paperless and using technology in the Law Office. However, the best presentation was the Law Office Makeover for a member of the Board of Directors of NACBA featuring a 15 year old who masterminded the restructuring of law office from the old time paper and pencil to computers, they internet, and the latest in telephone technology.

Foreclosures Aren't Down, They're UP!

The Waterbury Republican-American recently called on Attorney Melchionne for feedback on recent foreclosure numbers. The story ran under the headline “Foreclosure Filings Down”. A quick look at the numbers and you will wonder why it doesn’t read “Foreclosure Filings UP”.

Compared to foreclosures filed in Connecticut in February 2013, the numbers of cases being filed were UP more than 40%. So measured from year to year, 40% more people in Connecticut are being exposed to losing their homes. Connecticut currently ranks
6th in the nation for new foreclosures. Since we are a small state, that is a very big thing. One in every 898 homes in the state had a foreclosure started against it in February.

Some more numbers: The number of foreclosures completed in January 2014 was UP a stunning 162% over the same period in 2013. Eighteen percent (that’s 18%) of homes in foreclosure resulted in a family losing their home to the lender; 410 families put out onto the street. That is an increase over 2013 also. There are currently 723,967 foreclosure cases pending in Connecticut.

Does this make you feel warm and fuzzy? But what about the news reports that real estate is making a comeback? Take a look around and ask yourself, “do I see families moving out of their homes because they sold them to move to a better place, or are they moving out because they’ve lost their homes to foreclosure?” You know the truth.

Attorney Melchionne Profiled in Article on Foreclosure Assistance Program

The State of Connecticut has a new program in Waterbury offering free information and advice from lawyers for consumers in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. The Waterbury Judicial District is the latest additional to he program which has been holding sessions in Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford and New London. Attorney Melchionne is one of the volunteers recruited by the Connecticut Fair Housing Center. The Waterbury a paper talked to him in an effort to get the news out that this free program is available to all without regard to income qualification. Review the article here.

Attorney Melchionne Interviewed on Increase in Foreclosure Filings

Filings of new foreclosure cases spiked in November leading to a huge increase in the numbers of families who stand to lose their homes The statistics kept by RealtyTrac showed that Connecticut suffered an unusual increase in foreclosures right before the holidays and the Waterbury newspaper wanted to know why. Read the article here.

Attorney Melchionne speaks at NACBA Fall Conference

Attorney Melchionne served as the Track Director for the Basics Track at the Fall Workshop of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys in New Orleans in October. Topics in the track consisted of Interviewing Techniques, Gathering the Data necessary to create a proper Bankruptcy Petition, 10 Warning signs of when Not to File a Bankruptcy, Issues in the Means Test, Innovative Use of Chapter 13, and Issues on Attorneys Fees. Although the subject matter was titled “Basics”, Attorney Melchionne assured that even experience bankruptcy attorneys received some benefit of the panel discussions.

Attorney Melchionne to speak to Minnesota Bankruptcy Bar

Technology is a big part of what I do. Any use of technology that makes me more efficient gives me more power to help my clients. Now I get a chance to pass that information along to others who do similar work in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 9.28.50 PM

Attorney Melchionne Goes to Washington

This week, Gene Melchionne met with Connecticut’s Federal representatives in Washington DC. There are bills pending in Congress; Senate Bill 114 and House Bill 532 that propose to return the Bankruptcy Code to the reasonable state that it had prior to 2005. It would allow the discharge of non-federally guaranteed student loans. With over 1 Trillion Dollars outstanding in student loans and over 11% in default, this would make a small step to allow burdened students to become productive members of the economy. Listen to the Podcast on the subject.

Gene Melchionne Intereviewed On Talk Credit Radio

Attorney Melchionne was interviewed by Gerri Detweiler regarding his recent post on Zombie Deeds.
You thought that you were finished with your home when you moved out after the foreclosure go started or filed your bankruptcy. Now when you are just trying to put that awful experience behind you, you discover you still own the home - and you're responsible for big bills and anything that happens there. What's worse, you can't get rid of it if you try! Learn:
  • Why zombie deeds can be a huge headache for former homeowners;
  • The number one thing you want to do to protect yourself;
  • What expenses you must continue to pay even if you aren’t living in the home you’ve lost;
  • How serious this is - you can even face criminal charges in some jurisdictions if you aren’t careful;

If you are walking away from your home, or may be losing a home to foreclosure, you won't want to miss this important episode. You can download the interview as a
podcast or you can listen to it online.

Attorney Melchionne speaks at NACBA Workshop in Florida

During the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys’ Fall Workshop in Amelia Island, Florida, Attorney Melchionne spoke on the basics of Bankruptcy Practice both before a case is filed and what happens after a case is filed. His partners were Hal Nemeth and Andy Miofsky.

Attorney Melchionne attends NACBA Convention in Texas

During the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Convention in San Antonio, Texas, Attorney Melchionne met with colleagues from around the country to share ideas and new developments in Bankruptcy Law. He also met with Josh Cohen, a fellow attorney from Connecticut who concentrates in solving problems with Student Loans. Josh and Gene will be working on several cases in the near future where the issues of bankruptcy and student loans meet.

Attorney Melchionne speaks at Connecticut Bankruptcy Roundtable

Attorney Melchionne spoke at the Connecticut Bankruptcy Lawyers Roundtable consisting of Connecticut members of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys on getting the most out of the association’s web site. An additional guest speaker was Angie Thies-Huber, Field Director whose topic was the grass-roots effort to help our consumer bankruptcy clients.

Attorney Melchionne speaks in Colorado Springs

During the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys’ Fall Workshop in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Attorney Melchionne had the good fortune to appear with Lawyer/Author Carolyn Elefant, an expert, not only in energy regulatory and enforcement law, but also a nationally recognized law blogger working to promote the benefits of solo and small firm practice. Together with moderation from Jay Fleischman, they made suggestions to remake the practices of five bankruptcy attorneys from different parts of the country. Then with co-panelists, Elaine M. Dowling (Oklahoma) and Michelle Kainen (Vermont), they discussed steps to efficiency and the pitfalls of virtual practice in the small law office environment.

Tribute to Steve Jobs

Those who know me well that I am a devoted user of Apple products. Steve Jobs and I are the same age and of similar backgrounds. I found this online and think it is appropriate. The world has lost a true innovator and visionary.


Attorney Melchionne Testifies as Expert Witness

Attorney Melchionne was called upon to testify as an expert for the consumer debtor in the malpractice trial of a bankruptcy attorney in San Diego, California. During the three day trial, it was revealed that the attorney failed to find out when the client’s tax returns were actually filed with the IRS rather than when they were mailed. Under the Bankruptcy Code if the tax returns were filed more than three years before filing a bankruptcy, the taxes could be dischargeable. In this case, the bankruptcy was filed a little too early resulting in a sizable tax liability to the client that otherwise could have been discharged by the bankruptcy.

Money Health Central Now Live


Attorney Melchionne is proud to announce that he has helped to create another resource for consumers in financial need. Money Health Central is designed to take some of the myth and mystery out of budgeting and finance for regular people who need to watch where their money goes.

The site will contain everything from warnings about consumer scams to budgeting tricks and tips to money savings recipes.

Written by six established consumer law attorneys from diverse parts of the country, Money Health Central hopes to guide families to avoid the mistakes that cause financial disaster. New posts go up every day so be sure to make Money Health Central a regular stop over.

Attorney Melchionne cited by Waterbury Republican-American on Foreclosures

In response to continually increasing foreclosures, The WAterbury Republican-American newspaper called on Attorney Melchionne to comment. Not surprised by the increase, Attorney Melchionne explained that many variable rate mortgages have not yet had their first rate resets which will result in "sticker shock" when payments increase by 50% or more. When coupled with rising unemployment, layoffs, and work cutbacks, foreclosures will increase putting further pressure on falling real estate prices. Read the story here.

Attorney Melchionne interviewed by CBS Evening News on Foreclosure Issues

Attorney Melchionne was intereviewed by the CBS Evening News along with his clients, Jeffery and Shari Lee, regarding the failure of mortgage modificiations in foreclosure. The interview was accompanied by a report by the Congressional Oversight Panel on the Federal Bailout headed by Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren. The report reveals that modifications on mortgages in default are occurring slower than the number of mortgages falling into default. Somewhere between 10 to 12 million homes are expected to be foreclosed in the next two years and that the real estate market is unlikely to recover until 2013. View the video.

Attorney Melchionne elected President of Bankruptcy Law Network

Attorney Melchionne featured in Article on Foreclosures

Attorney Melchionne was featured in an article in the Waterbury American Republican on October 8, 2008 dealing with the mediation program in Connecticut on foreclosures. Although the program has only been in effect for three months, it is a dismal failure because only 3% of cases are successfully mediated into a modification of the mortgage and a new payment plan. The article can be found here.

Attorney Melchionne is Speaker at NACBA Fall Workshop

Attorney Melchionne spoke to over 500 members of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys today in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Speaking with Attorney Jay Fleischman of New York and Attorney Catherine Moran from California, the topic of office automation and organization was well-received. Subjects included document management, appointment scheduling, communication with clients and use of computers in the courtroom.

Attorney Melchionne re-elected Vice President of the Bankruptcy Law Network

On July 24, 2008, Attorney Melchionne was re-elected as Vice President of the Bankrtupcy Law Network LLC. Bankruptcy Law Network is a diverse and unaffiliated group of bankruptcy lawyers and consumer advocates brought together by a common devotion to the consumer. They recognize that living well in America has become increasingly more difficult for the average consumer — a group which is commonly known as the “middle class”. The websites expose the roadblocks to financial freedom and stability that have proliferated and include articles on rising interest rates, predatory loans, Adjustable Rate Mortgages, inaccurate credit reports, obnoxious and unethical debt collectors and “easy” credit. The company also maintains three sister sites: Credit Law Network, Debt Law Network and Mortgage Law Network. Together, they help guide the consumer through the financial roadblocks, and where necessary, perform minor surgery on your pocketbook. The sites have also proved popular with the news media, other attorneys, Bankruptcy Trustees, Judges, and Federal and State representatives alike.

Attorney Melchionne appointed NACBA's Regional Co-ordinator for NorthEast region

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys recently placed Attorney Melchionne in a supervisory role for the State Chairs in the East Region of the United States. As such, he will be responsible for coordinating the state chairs of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. He will oversee the conduct of monthly meetings and facilitate interaction with the NACBA Board for complete support of individual members.

Attorney Melchionne made co-chair for NACBA Website

Attorney Melchionne has been appointed as co-chair for the committee overseeing internet content for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. The NACBA web site provides information to consumers about bankruptcy in general and how to find a bankruptcy attorney. It also serves as a source of information for news media, newspapers, and magazines. It also gives member attorneys essential membership support, state and federal law resources and research assistence including online legal research and forms.

Attorney Melchionne featured as Speaker at NACBA Convention in Los Angeles

Attorney Melchionne was featured as a Speaker at the Annual Convention of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys in Los Angeles.on office technology and use of alternative computing platforms in the law office. Focusing primarliy on the use of Macintosh computers in small offices, he showcased equivilent programs are available on the Mac platform and using Windows on the Mac. Of particular interest to the group was the demonstrated ability to translate Hot Docs merge forms in Wordperfect format on Windows to Microsoft Word documents on the Macintosh. The Mac is an increasingly popular choice in solo lawyers as Windows Vista flounders in the office market.

Attorney Melchionne testifies before General Assembly on Foreclosures

Yesterday, Attorney Melchionne testified before the joint House and Senate Housing Committee on two proposals to revise current foreclosure procedures in the court and to help protect homeowners from foreclosure. The current foreclosure crisis has deepened in Connecticut in response to the failed sub-prime mortgage market and the resulting tightening of home lending policies. Attorney Melchionne's testimony was well-received by the committee members who had many questions about the foreclosure process. In closing his comments on the two bills, Attorney Melchionne stated, "This is not about the sub-prime mortgage market or declining values in real estate. These acts are aimed at protecting Connecticut families from forces that threaten to further rip them apart. Any action this committee takes will be a step towards preserving our neighborhoods, our towns and most importantly our family units." You can find his full statement to the General Assembly here.

Attorney Melchionne named Super Lawyer for Northeast States in 2008

Law & Politics, a national attorney-led research team, in conjunction with Connecticut Magazine, has named Eugene S. Melchionne of Waterbury as one of the 2008 Connecticut “Super Lawyers.” This is the second time that Melchionne has received this prestigious award.

Super Lawyers is a comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys, representing a wide range of practice areas, firm sizes and geographic locations. Only 5 percent of the lawyers in each state or region are named Super Lawyers. Law & Politics performs the polling, research and selection of Super Lawyers in a process designed to identify lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Find the Press Release

Attorney Melchionne cited in Article on Intellectual Property in Bankruptcy

Attorney Melchionne was cited in an article appearing in the Illinois State Bar Association Journal in the December 2007 issue. In an article entitled "Securing and collecting Intellectual Property Collateral", Attorney Daniel Kegan cited to Attorney Melchionne's knowledge in bankruptcy issues. You can find a reprint of the article here.

Attorney Melchionne joins Committee to propose Foreclosure Revisions

Attorney Melchionne has joined a group of consumer lawyers concerned with the current state of Connecticut law on foreclosures. As a result of several meetings and discussions, the group has drafted two proposals. They are House Bill No. 5552, Act Concerning Procedures in the Foreclosure of Residential Premises and Senate Bill No. 347, Act concerning Homeowners Protection. The first would result in substantial change in the foreclosure process requiring a lender to give notices to a borrower in plain language that a foreclosure is beginning which could result in the loss of a home. Other requirements would include loan workouts and court sponsored mediation as well as mandatory document production to provide proof of the lenders ownership of the loan before getting judgment. The second proposal would allow a Superior Court to fashion a repayment plan to allow homeowners a chance to reinstate their mortgage through a modification. The bills will come up for a hearing in the legisature in February.

Attorney Melchionne attends NACBA sessions on Bankruptcy Litigation

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) held its first Fall Workshop concentrating on mortgage foreclosures and bankruptcy litigation. Attorney Melchionne attended this two day seminar along with approximately 700 additional NACBA members. There were additional sessions on Fair Debt Collection Practices and Technology in the Law Office. Featured speakers included Max Gardner of the Bankruptcy Boot Camp.

Attorney Melchionne appointed to Connecticut Commission on Foreclosures

By special appointment the Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice, Chase Rogers, Attorney Melchionne has been added to the Court's Committee on foreclosures. The Committee is charged with addressing the coming flood of foreclosure cases in Connecticut. In some of the major cities, foreclosures have increased as much as 500% in the last few months and many more are expected over the next year. It will be necessary to adjust current Superior Court procedures and rules to both accommodate the increase as well as find ways to mediate foreclosure disputes allowing homeowners to keep their homes.

Attorney Melchionne is speaker at Quinnipiac University

Attorney Melchionne recently spoke to a class of Freshmen and Sophomores at Quinnipiac University about credit scores, credit reporting, credit card abuses and the dangers of collection agencies. Using excepts from the movie, Maxed Out, he explained that pizza, sneakers and iPods bought on credit can lead to financial problems in the future. Hearing about responsible spending, the students learned about credit scoring, collections, lawsuits and judgement resulting in the garnishment of income or foreclosure of homes. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut sponsors the C.A.R.E. Program teaching high school and college students about the dangers of uncontrolled spending and credit cards. C.A.R.E. stands for Credit Abuse Resistance Education.

Attorney Melchionne elected Vice President of Bankruptcy Law Network

The Bankruptcy Law Network, a cooperative of reknown bankruptcy attorneys from around the country have elected Attorney Melchionne as Vice President of their organization. As Vice President, he will be responsible for coordination of committees of members and assisting in implementation of various internet technologies. The Bankruptcy Law Network's website contains a wealth of bankruptcy knowledge written in simple terms for the consumer. The site is updated daily with bits of bankruptcy knowledge, tips and traps of filing for bankruptcy, the latest court cases and observations on consumer credit and the perils of debt collection.

Attorney Melchionne interviewed on Sub-Prime Mortgages

The Connecticut Law Tribune called on Attorney Melchionne recently when it was looking for opinions on the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market. Writer Douglas Malan was interested to hear that many consumers are finding that their mortgage payments have ballooned to more than 50 percent of their take-home pay after the interest rate resets in the 2-year fixed, 28-year variable rate mortgage loans. Foreclosures in Connecticut have nearly doubled in recent months, with new cases filed in June increasing 87% over the same period last year. To read a full version of the article, click here.

Attorney Melchionne attends Fordham Law School Bankruptcy Roundtable

The Corporate Law Center of Fordham University School of Law in New York City recently conducted a roundtable discussion on the topic of the required pre-bankruptcy credit counseling. An invitation only event, Attorney Melchionne was the sole bankruptcy practitioner participating in the discussion which was also attended by representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, the National Consumer Law Center, the Center for Responsible Lending, three credit counseling trade groups, several U.S. Bankruptcy Judges and numerous Ph.D's and Law School Professors. Moderated by Professor Susan Block-Lieb, the topics ranged from the effectiveness of pre-bankruptcy credit counseling, to issues of government regulation of credit counselors' behavior and whether the credit counseling industry was capable of self-regulation. Comments offered by Attorney Melchionne and others will form the basis of further research and law journal articles on the subject of consumer credit counseling.

Attorney Melchionne is speaker at NACBA Convention

At the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) in Philadelphia, Attorney Melchionne joined Professor Peter Rubin and NACBA President Henry Sommer in a talk covering the Constituional challenge to portions of the Bankruptcy law changes enacted in 2005. Professor Rubin is a Consitutional law expert and teacher at Georgetwon Law School in Washington, D.C. Henery Sommer is not only the president of NACBA, but also Editor in Chief of Collier on Bankruptcy and the entire Collier line of bankruptcy publications. Attorney Melchionne told the 2,000 attendees his experiences with the new law and how it has affected his practice. Those problems included advertising requirements, required disclosures, prohibited discussions and the requirement to have clients execute a retainer agreement for bankruptcy within 5 days of the initial consultation.

Attorney Melchionne quoted in Waterbury Rupublican

The Sunday Republican for April 9, 2007 published an article about the large increase in foreclosures in New Haven and Litchfield counties. In the last quarter, foreclosure cases filed in these two counties have increased 60 percent. Writer Steven Gambini called on Attorney Melchionne to comment on the casues. You can read the article on line here. Or you can download a PDF of the article here.

Attorney Melchionne participates in C.A.R.E. Program

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut sponsors the C.A.R.E. Program teaching high school and college students about the dangers of uncontrolled spending and credit cards. C.A.R.E. stands for Credit Abuse Resistance Education. Most recently, Attorney Melchionne participated in the program by teaching a class of Freshmen and Sophomores at Quinnipiac University about credit scores, credit reporting, credit card abuses and the dangers of collection agencies. Explaining that pizza, sneakers and iPods bought on credit can lead to budgetary problems in the future and garnishment of income or inability to pay student loans, the students learned about responsible spending.

Attorney Melchionne speaks on gambling problems

By invitation, Attoreny Melchionne recently spoke to counselors of the State of Connecticut Gambling Treatment Program in Middletown on bankruptcy issues and remedies. He also helped to dispel the common misconceptions of bankruptcy relief and explain some of the changes made by Congress in the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) of 2005. If you have a gambling problem, this state sponsored treatment program is highly recommended.

Attorney Melchionne appears on CNN

The CNN program, "Open House", spotlighted the Bankruptcy Boot Camp recently attended by Attorney Melchionne. The video explains how the Boot Camp trains lawyers in advanced methods of Bankruptcy Law. Consumers who have been overpowered by their credit card companies or mortgage banks now have trained soldiers to fight for their rights in bankruptcy court.

Attorney Melchionne completes Bankruptcy Boot Camp

On March 6, 2007, Attorney Melchionne successfully completed an intensive 4 day course (or Boot Camp) concentrating in Mortgage Fraud actions, Bankruptcy Discharge litigation, Credit Reporting violations and other issues in assistance to consumers emerging from a bankruptcy case. Run by the well-known O. Max Gardner in North Carolina, Mr. Melchionne attended the Boot Camp with ten other consumer bankruptcy attorneys from around the country. Mr. Gardner's Bankruptcy Boot Camp has been featured in Business Week and will be the subject of a CNN segment on the show Open Home on Saturday March 10th along with the director of the movie "Maxxed Out".

Attorney Melchionne named 'Super Lawyer'

By a vote of other lawyers in the state of Connecticut, Attorney Melchionne was one of 25 recognized as a 'Super Lawyer' in Bankruptcy and Debtor's Rights. The March issue of Connecticut Magazine contained a special section highlighing these professionals. Of the twenty-five lawyers named in Bankruptcy, Attorney Melchionne was one of the few who concentrate in representing consumer debtors.

Attorney Melchionne featured in the Debt Podcast

Responding to a post made by Attorney Melchionne on the Bankruptcy Law Network, well-known podcaster on personal finance, Attorney Jay Fleischman, comments in his Debt Podcast released on February 17, 2007.

Attorney Melchionne goes to Washington

Together with other members of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Mr. Melchionne went to Washington, D.C. to meet with Congressional leaders to discuss fixes to the disastrous Bankruptcy law changes enacted in 2005. Staff of the Connecticut delegation learned about the increases in foreclosures in the state and the consequences of burdensome document production and the useless pre-brankruptcy credit counseling which help only 3% of potential filers. Unlike previous years, reception to discussion of these problems was warm and the staff of newly elected Chris Murphy listen intently.

Attorney Melchionne appears on nationally broadcast television news show

On February 9, 2007, the PBS show NOW with David Brancaccio featured an updated on the effects of changes to the Bankruptcy Code enacted in 2005. Attorney Melchionne was interviewed in a followup to a story originally broadcast on March 25, 2005. Focusing on his clients, the McCormack's, the story follows the effects of the new law on their finances and the ability to get a frest start. Additional interviews with Professor Elizabeth Warren of Harvard Law School and some proponents of the changes are included. To watch the video, click on the Video tab above.

Attorney Melchionne re-appointed State Chair for the National Association of Consumer Bankrtupcy Attorneys

Waterbury Resident Eugene Melchionne named Connecticut Chair by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEYS

WASHINGTON, D.C. The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) announced today that Eugene S. Melchionne of Waterbury will serve as its State Chair for Connecticut. NACBA is the only national organization dedicated to serving the needs of consumer bankruptcy attorneys and protecting the rights of consumer debtors in bankruptcy. NACBA serves more than 2500 members in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. As the Connecticut Chair for NACBA, Mr. Melchionne will serve as a liaison between NACBA and Connecticut attorneys, bankruptcy judges and other court officials, as well as serving as a primary contact for local media regarding consumer bankruptcy issues.
NACBA President Henry Sommer said: “We are very excited about expanding our mission of helping to protect the rights of families in financial distress to a grassroots level with our State Chairs. The state chairs will play an important role in helping us learn early on about trends that are impacting consumer bankruptcy and will help to get the word out that, despite the new law, bankruptcy relief is still available to those who need it.”
In accepting the appointment, Mr. Melchionne said, “In this time of rising interest rates and increasing foreclosures, I commit to educating consumers of their rights and remedies and assisting other bankruptcy attorneys in doing the same. NACBA is on the cutting edge of the challenges facing consumers and I look forward to working with the organization.
Mr. Melchionne received his undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut and his J.D. from Drake University School of Law. A Waterbury native, Mr. Melchionne has practiced law since 1980 and maintained a law office concentrating on consumer issues and bankruptcy since 1990.


Established in 1992, NACBA is the only organization dedicated to serving the interests of consumer bankruptcy attorneys and protecting the rights of consumer debtors in need of bankruptcy relief. The Association’s twin missions are to help consumer bankruptcy attorneys more effectively represent their clients and ensure that the voices of consumer debtors and their attorneys are heard in the halls of Congress, before the Judiciary, in the Executive Branch and in other arenas where consumer debtors are affected.

CONTACT: Barbara Andelman, (408) 350-1173 or Eugene S. Melchionne, (203) 757-3437 or

Attorney Melchionne featured as Contributor to Bankrupcy Practice Pro

A well-know fan of the Macintosh computing platform, Attorney Melchionne recently contributed a piece to the Bankruptcy Practice Pro website concering running Pc programs and Windows on Macintosh computers. You can find that entry at

Attorney Melchionne quoted in Connecticut Law Tribune article

In an article entitled "Bankruptcy Filings in Lean Cycle", writer Douglas S. Malan quotes Attorney Melchionne with regard to the volume of bankruptcy filings in Connecticut in the aftermath of the new Bankruptcy law (BAPCPA). The number of cases filed in Connecticut in the first part of 2006 slowed 60%. Mr. Melchionne expressed his belief that the law did not change the real problems in American households, but only served to allow the creditors more time to harass consumers before being forced to filed bankruptcy much as before.

Attorney Melchionne named as Plaintiff in lawsuit to overturn New Bankruptcy Law

Attorney Melchionne is named as one of several attorneys in Connecticut seeking to overturn onerous portions of the new Bankruptcy Law which became effective in October 2005. The new law prohibits a bankruptcy attorney from fully counseling clients about their finances which might help them avoid bankruptcy or, if bankruptcy is unavoidable, then to adequately plan for a bankruptcy case without losing assets. Additionally, the new law requires certain disclosures and statements about the law which are false and misleading. Attorney Melchionne is joined in the lawsuit by the Connecticut Bar Association and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and is being represented by Peter Rubin, a Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. A decision in the case is expected to be appealed to the United States Supreme Court by the government which seeks to enforce the provisions against financially consumers. You can read newspaper coverage of the case here or download the article here.

Attorney Melchionne named Member of the Month

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys recognized Attorney Eugene Melchionne for his contributions to the organization and the fight for the protection on consumer rights in bankruptcy naming him Member of the Month. You can find his profile and comments at NACBA.

Attorney Melchionne participates in Federal Court lawsuit cllenging Bankruptcy Law

Attorney Eugene S. Melchionne was named as a Plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Hartford on Thursday asking that parts of the new Bankruptcy law be ruled unconstitutional. The group of the Connecticut Bar Association, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and several Connecticut and out of state attorneys are claiming that the new Bankruptcy law treats attorneys the same as unlicensed document preparers or credit counseling firms by requiring specific language to potential clients. That illegally hampers the attorney-client relationship, the lawsuit argues, and might even prevent lawyers from recommending that clients hire them in the first place. Attorneys say legal advice isn't one-size-fits-all. "Someone could be down and out but have access to a student loan to go to school for retraining," said attorney Barry S. Feigenbaum, who filed the suit. "We couldn't advise that client to take that student loan."

Car repairs, medical bills and court-ordered child support are listed in the lawsuit as examples of added debt that might keep clients working and out of jail. In some cases, lawyers say borrowing against a 401(k) retirement plan or accessing a home equity line of credit might make sense. "I cannot advise them to take these steps," Waterbury attorney Eugene S. melchionne wrote. "They need my help, my legal advice, but I am no longer able to advise them what to do."

The law is written so broadly, Feigenbaum argues, that it also restricts the advice given by divorce attorneys and others who don't handle bankruptcy cases. He said the law also violates the rights of bankruptcy petitioners to have lawyers help them with their cases. "The statute injects the government directly into the heart of the attorney-client relationship in a way that would be both grave and unprecedented," the lawsuit states.

The Justice Department was looking into the lawsuit Friday morning.

The Connecticut Bar Association and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys asked a judge to temporarily rule that attorneys are not covered by the provisions until the case is settled. Other provisions challenged in the lawsuit include requirements that agencies provide standardized legal advice forms and contracts for their clients and advertise themselves as "debt relief agencies." Attorneys say those restrictions should not apply to them.

Attorney Melchionne quoted in Waterbury newspaper

With consumers rushing to file bankruptcy before the changes in the law become effective October 17th, Marc Silvestrini of the Waterbury Republican-American interviewed Attorney Melchionne. A record number of cases have been filed in Connecticut in the last two weeks with as many cases being filed by Melchionne in that time frame as he did in all of last year. "We came into the office to file cases at 3:00 am thinking that we would be the only ones out there doing that. Wouldn't you know it, there was someone else out there filing cases at that time too."

Attorney Melchionne interviewed for PBS NOW

Attorney Melchionne appeared on the Public Broadcast System show NOW for an interview on the effects of medical bills on personal finances. Featuring his clients, the McCormacks, the show follows the effects of a broken health care system on working families. This is the story of a typical American family forced into loss of the family business, home foreclosure and personal bankruptcy by an unexpected illness that even medical insurance could not fix.

Attorney Melchionne appointed Connecticut State Chair for NACBA

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys appointed Eugene S. Melchionne as state chair for Connecticut on January , 2005. In this role, he is not only responsible for increasing membership in the organization, but also dealing with the Bankruptcy Judges in the Courts of Connecticut and educating consumers about their rights in Bankruptcy Court.