Recent decisions from the District Court of Connecticut have clarified the following:

In re Rogers, 489 B.R. 327 (D. Conn. 2013)

In Re Curwen, Case No. 3-15-cv-1874 (SRU) (2016) quoted below


“The question in this bankruptcy appeal is whether a debtor in a Chapter 13 case who is ineligible for discharge as a result of receiving a Chapter 7 discharge within the prior four years is for that reason per se barred from obtaining confirmation of a plan that contemplates voiding
(or “stripping off” or “lien-stripping”) a wholly unsecured, junior mortgage lien.”

Editors Note – In a Chapter 20, a debtor first files chapter 7 to eliminate the personal liabilities.   A debtor may then file chapter 13 to deal with secured creditors, or priority debt.

“Under section 506(a)(1), “[a]n allowed claim of a creditor secured by a lien on property in which the estate has an interest . . . is a secured claim to the extent of the value of such creditor’s interest in the estate’s interest in such property . . . and is an unsecured claim to the extent that the value of such creditor’s interest . . . is less than the amount of such allowed
claim.” By that language, the holder of a junior mortgage that attaches to no value in the collateral (because the value of the property is less than or equal to the amount outstanding on the primary mortgage or other senior encumbrances) is the holder of an unsecured claim. In that situation, the junior mortgage holder will not be protected by the antimodification exception of section 1322(b)(2) and the wholly unsecured lien may be stripped. In re Pond, 252 F.3d at 126.”

Editor’s Note – the debtor is seeking to strip off a second mortgage which is wholly unsecured, in that the amount due on the first mortgage is greater than the fair market value of the property.

“BAPCPA could have, but does not, categorically prohibit the filing of a
Chapter 13 petition and plan, or the application of section 1322(b)(2) to strip liens, when a debtor received a Chapter 7 discharge in the preceding four years.”

“The Bankruptcy Code, as amended by the BAPCPA, does not create a per se bar to the confirmation of a “Chapter 20” plan that contemplates stripping wholly-unsecured junior liens during the period that a debtor is ineligible for discharge.”

EDITORS NOTES – There are now two District Court decisions which hold that a debtor may file a Chapter 7  bankruptcy followed by a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in order to strip off a wholly unsecured second mortgage, even if a debtor cannot obtain a Chapter 13 discharge.

If you have any bankruptcy questions, including questions about Chapter 20 bankruptcy, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer

2572 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT  06518


Serving New Haven County and all of Connecticut





There are many contracts between businesses which provide for arbitration, in the event of a dispute between the parties.

Traditionally, arbitration has been sold as a relatively inexpensive and easy way to settle a legal dispute. Tradition is not always right.

In most lawsuits, each side is responsible for their own attorney’s fees. However, it is relatively inexpensive to start a lawsuit. In addition, the parties can try a case with a judge, who is paid by the State or Federal government.

Compare that situation with arbitration. Typically, there is a filing fee to institute arbitration, which is much higher than a court filing fee. In addition, there will be hearing fees, which will include the cost of an arbitrator or several arbitrators. Therein lies the cost. The parties not only have to pay their own attorney, but also have to pay for the arbitrators who can each cost $300 per hour.

I have seen situations where an arbitration has taken several weeks of hearings, costing thousands of dollars. A party to a lawsuit will not be faced with thousands of dollars in hearing fees for a court trial.

Parties to a commercial contract must be very careful when placing a mandatory arbitration clause in a contract. Arbitration costs have the potential to cost thousands of dollars prior to a final decision on the merits of a claim.

If you are involved in a business dispute, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer
2572 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518

serving New Haven County and all of Connecticut


Many people have obtained policies from private insurance companies, in the case of long-term and short-term disability.    The policies can be obtained as part of an employer’s fringe benefits, or directly from an insurance company.

Some disability policies provide for payment when a person is disabled from his or her “own occupation.”    These policies are more expensive because insurance payments are made if you cannot do the particular tasks of your “own occupation,” even if you can perform work in another occupation.

Other policies define “disability” more narrowly.  A policy may only pay in situations in which “you are unable to work in any occupation for which you are qualified.”

To properly evaluate a disability claim, you and your attorney need to review the full policy, particularly the language defining the term “disability.”

Unfortunately, I have seen situations in which insurance companies have made it difficult for an insured to collect on a disability insurance policy.   A claimant needs to provide proof of a disability, as defined under the insurance policy.

If you or someone you know are having trouble collecting disability insurance benefits, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer

2572 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT  06518


serving New Haven County and all of Connecticut




A fire can have a devastating affect on many people’s lives.   A fire can be caused by many factors including

  1.  cooking equipment, such oil heated in a pot or pan

2.  heating –  such as  space heaters, which can cause other material, including bedding, to catch on fire

3.  smoking – it is too easy to fall asleep while smoking in bed, or on a chair.

4.  electrical equipment – any equipment can cause an electrical fire.  Be careful with overloading a circuit.  Be on the lookout for torn or frayed cords.

5.  candles -never leave lit candles unattended.

6.  children can accidently cause a fire.   Place matches and lighters in places which are away from reach of young children.

7.  Bad wiring.   This includes old wiring, and fuses.    Watch out for fuses which blow, at unexpected times.  I had a situation in which the wire for my microwave was connected to a fuse which had wiring to one side of my house (rather than to a separate fuse).  I found out about this situation when the fuse for the microwave blew.

8.   Barbecues.   Keep your barbecue away from the house, to prevent an accident fire.   Make sure that the barbecue is shut off before you leave the barbecue for the night.   Be particularly careful with self-made barbecues.

9.   Flammable liquids.   Watch out how you store items such as gas in your home.   Gas should be stored in a proper container, away from any source of flames.   Know which liquids are flammable, and need special storage.

10.   Lighting.    Light bulbs can cause a fire, because of the heat from the bulb.   Make sure that lighting fixtures are secure, and placed in a safe spot, away from any items which can catch on fire.

There are many ways in which a fire can occur.   You need to protect yourself and your family from the risks of a fire,

A fire loss can be devastating, to people and property.

If you have had a loss from a fire, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer

2572 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT  06518


Serving New Haven County and all of Connecticut


Connecticut’s dog bite law can be found at Connecticut General Statutes 22-357.    The law provides for strict liability for a dog owner, when a dog causes damage to a person or property.

The law permits claims in cases in which a dog causes injury.   This is broader than a claim with a dog bite.  For example, a large dog may injure a child by accidently pushing the child, causing injury.  In these situations, the dog owner can held responsible for the injuries.

It is not a defense that a dog owner did not know that a dog was likely to cause the damage, or the owner used reasonable care to prevent the injury.

There are limited exceptions to liability

  1.  The person injured was trespassing (this exception is very limited – and requires more than a person unlawfully on someone else’s property)
  2. the person injured was causing a tort – possibly includes person is stealing property
  3. the dog which caused the injury was being teased, abused, or tormented.

An explanation of the statute can be found at (cut and paste)


If you have any questions concerning an injury caused by a dog, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer

2572 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT  06518