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Last March, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law to mitigate the economic effect of COVID-19 on U.S. residents. It included temporary modifications of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which are summarized below. Some federal income is excluded from the “income” definition Traditionally, courts have looked at your disposable…

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When you file for bankruptcy in New York, your debts will become creditor claims. Under bankruptcy law, they are divided into two categories: secured vs. unsecured and, within the latter, priority vs. non-priority. These distinctions dictate which ones get paid first and which ones get paid at all. What are secured claims? Secured debts are…

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Last September, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released the latest quarterly consumer credit trends report. This document, whose primary purpose is to track how the frequency and types of bankruptcy filings have varied since 2001, also examines issues like: BAPCA effect on the frequency of Chapter 7 filings Discharge rates for Chapter 7 bankruptcies vs.…

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One of the biggest misconceptions about filing for bankruptcy is that you’re going to “lose everything.” A lot of people don’t learn the truth until they’re desperate enough to consult a bankruptcy attorney and learn that in New York, they can use state or federal exemptions to protect property up to a certain value. How…

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You file for bankruptcy to put your mountain of unsecured debt behind you, but it doesn’t always proceed smoothly. Although it’s not a routine happening, a dispute can arise regarding a debt that you included on the petition. Should this happen, you, your trustee, the creditor, or another party involved in the case can file…

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Last month, Business Insider ran a story indicating that student loan debt was driving a high number of bankruptcies. Citing a recent LendEDU study, it found that 32% of all consumers who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy have a significant amount of student loan debt- on average, 49% of their liability was related to the…

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Sometimes you can find yourself so deep in debt that you owe more on your household goods, car, and other real property than they are worth. If this happens and you don’t want to risk surrendering these assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a then Chapter 13 may allow you to “cram down” these debts,…

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Research suggests that next to high medical bills, job loss is the most common reason why Americans file for bankruptcy. If they are unable to find work before their emergency funds and COBRA insurance coverage runs out, then they face relentless payment demands from their mortgage issuer, auto loan provider, credit card issuer, and other…

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You’ve heard about how bad faith on the part of a debtor can impact their bankruptcy filing. When they are motivated by anything other than unmanageable debt and the desire to start over, the court can dismiss their case. However, there are also cases where creditors can act in bad faith, particularly when they force…

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You filed for bankruptcy in New York, and now you’ve heard that an aunt has made you one of the beneficiaries of her sizable estate. You haven’t received your discharge yet, so how much of that money will you be allowed to keep? It’s a question anyone would ask when they receive an inheritance in…

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The month of January can be a difficult time for financially for anyone. They may have acquired even more debt due to holiday spending and are reaching the point where they have to choose between paying the rent and paying their credit card bill. People stuck in this situation may benefit from Chapter 7 bankruptcy.…

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If you are struggling financially, then you may fall behind in your rent payments. With New York rents being so high, it is not unusual for a distressed consumer to go into arrears simply to put food on the table. This means that you will eventually receive a notice of eviction from your landlord.  For many filers,…

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Imagine this scenario. Your ex has been ordered to pay you child support after your New York divorce, and she does—approximately half the time. As the months pass, many payments are missed and the amount of back child support due to you increases. Then you find out that she has just filed for bankruptcy to…

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When you file for Chapter 13 immediately after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge, it is known as a Chapter 20 situation. Its intended purpose is to allow you to discharge your unsecured debts via a Chapter 7 and then catch up on nondischargeable debts such as taxes and your mortgage in a Chapter 13 repayment…

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You started your small business with the best intentions, but thanks to a competitive marketplace, reduced consumer spending, and difficult economic climate, the once-promising venture is now drowning in debt. Could bankruptcy—specifically, Chapter 7—resolve your difficulties? It’s possible, but it also depends. What type of business is it? Chapter 7 bankruptcy will only eliminate dischargeable…

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When disability benefit recipients investigate bankruptcy as a debt solution problem, they are naturally worried about how a filing will affect their income. How much of an impact bankruptcy has on your disability payments will depend on which chapter you file and how the payments are structured. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Bankruptcy laws generally…

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When people consider filing for bankruptcy in New York, one recurring question is, “Will I ever get credit again? Be able to buy a house? Get a car lease on favorable terms?” The universal assumption seems to be that after you file, you lose any chance of being able to benefit from the advantages that…

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Many people who are preparing to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in New York worry that they will lose their New York State pension and other retirement assets. The reality is that in practically all cases, you will be able to keep your retirement accounts. New York bankruptcy exemptions are quite…

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Although Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges most unsecured debts, student loans are a significant exception. Anyone who has attempted to be relieved of this often-staggering financial burden will say that it’s next to impossible. Before 1976, education-related debts could all be discharged via bankruptcy. This, predictably, resulted in scores of students amassing debt for higher degrees…

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If you are considering a New York bankruptcy and have guarantors or co-signers on any or all of your debts, then you may wonder how filing may affect them. Once you are officially bankrupt, doesn’t it mean that your creditors will now go after the people who guaranteed those debts? These are usually family members…

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If you rent an apartment in New York and intend to file for bankruptcy, you may wonder how the decision will affect your lease. The answer is: it depends. If you have a standard lease and have been paying your rent on time as of the date you file, there will be no negative repercussions.…

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Student loans have always been one of the most difficult, if not impossible, debts to discharge in a bankruptcy. A 2005 change to the U.S. Bankruptcy code even classified private student loans as “non-dischargeable,” placing them on a level with child support and tax liabilities. There is a remote chance that you can discharge your…

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In times of extreme financial difficulty, many people fall behind on their mortgage payments. In some instances, the mortgage company or lender will work with the homeowner by modifying the terms of the loan or facilitating a short sale, but other times they will start the foreclosure process, which entitles them to repossess the house…

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When homeowners experience financial difficulties, meeting their mortgage obligations may eventually become impossible. For many of them, bankruptcy is an opportunity to get a fresh start by discharging all non-exempt debts or organizing them into an affordable payment plan. Each type of bankruptcy treats mortgage debt differently, however, so it is important to evaluate all…

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When you are officially discharged from Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New York, you have every right to assume that you’ve gotten a fresh start financially. Therefore, it can come as a shock when a debt collector calls -again and again- about a debt that was included in your bankruptcy filing. With few…

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The average credit card debt in New York state is approximately $6,390. For some, that can be managed. But if you are experiencing financial difficulties, it may be beyond your ability to cope with, especially if you have high-interest credit cards that make paying down the principal impossible. Credit card balances are unsecured debts, so…

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Chapter 13 has often been referred to as a wage earner’s bankruptcy plan, because those who file must earn a regular income and be able to prove to the court that they can repay some or all of their debts. Unlike Chapter 7, which can eliminate credit card bills, unpaid medical accounts, outstanding utility balances,…

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Chapter 7 is by far the most commonly filed form of bankruptcy in the United States. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, there were 596,867 filings in 2015, compared to 306,729 people who filed Chapter 13. Often referred to as the “fresh start” bankruptcy, Chapter 7 discharges nonexempt debt such as: Credit…

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One of the leading reasons that individuals consider filing bankruptcy and moving forward with filing for bankruptcy is job loss, according to research published on Investopedia. Whether your job loss situation is due to your own decision to leave the position or the company’s decision, suddenly losing your income can be catastrophic. This is particularly…

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If you do indeed meet the requirements of both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York, you can determine which one you want to file. In many situations, though, you might not have a choice. Speaking with your New York bankruptcy attorney can help you understand how the facts of your situation influence…

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If you have filed bankruptcy in the past, but find yourself in another financial situation from which you do not believe you’ll be able to emerge on your own, then you may be contemplating going through bankruptcy again. It is important to know that you cannot go through bankruptcy too often, and the court will…

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Divorce, which almost often involves disputes over money and debt, can lead to bankruptcy. The key is critical timing and knowing the main factors about how to prepare for the financial challenges associated with divorce. You may need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney in addition to a family lawyer when preparing for divorce. In…

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When making the decision to file bankruptcy, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney to determine the best course of action for you. There are two primary types of bankruptcy, and getting counsel on the most appropriate one to file can make a difficult process easier to understand. Chapter 7 is the…

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A credit card account holder can have other card holders on his or her account. But what happens if one of the users decides to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy? Does this affect the other users, and their credit? The primary account holder is responsible for any debt incurred on the account, as reported…

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Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filing for bankruptcy can help consumers regain financial control over their lives, helping them protect their family and vital assets such as a primary residence and automobiles. Bad things can happen to good people, and it is common for problems to arise in life that create financial stress from…

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In a consumer, personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an individual (or two individuals, if filing jointly) can erase most of their debts. We say, “Chapter 7” because it is one of several “chapters” that the Bankruptcy Code governs. Each chapter is different. For example, Chapter 9 is meant for municipalities, such as cities. A Chapter 7…

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Bankruptcy is usually filed by the person or entity that is unable to pay its debts, and that is looking for either a discharge of such liability or to establish some sort of a repayment plan, as per a Chapter 11 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy respectively.  However, recently a few creditors filed a petition…

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Recently, a large amount of peanut butter was discarded at a New Mexico dump as reported by the AP in a March 28, 2014 article. This was done so that the plant that manufactured the peanut butter, Sunland Inc., could be sold faster. This peanut butter manufacturing facility is well known because it “was at…

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Common questions that clients filing for bankruptcy ask are about taxes, especially around this time of the year. What should I do if I owe taxes? What should I do if I expect a large refund? First thing first is to file taxes, on time–by April 15th. The Bankruptcy Tax Guide (IRS Publication 908) specifies…

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Even media companies are significantly suffering financially. According to a March 27, 2013 Huffington Post article CommonSense Media filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The company, located in Washington D.C. petitioned the courts seeking to liquidate its assets. The media company, originally founded in 2007, works to publish and advertise via digital media. The media…

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U.S. District Courts, that is, federal courts, handle bankruptcy cases. In New York, these courts are broken into four geographical districts—the Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western districts—according to the National Archives online. According to research by a New York law firm, there are visible trends in bankruptcy filings in upstate New York, as reported by…

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It is important in filing bankruptcy to regain control of your finances, but it is also important to maintain control of your emotions. Many people filing for bankruptcy face emotional distress, according to a January 18, 2013 U.S. News and World Report online article. Experts say that this need not be so. Financial therapists have…

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According to the Boston Globe and the Times Union in articles published on January 22, 2013, bankruptcy filings were down in Massachusetts and the Albany region in 2012 as compared to previous years. Experts say that the number of bankruptcy filings often follows the economy. For example, in 2009, banks offered credit to many borrowers…

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