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For many of us, the holidays are when budgets go out the window. In 2016, the average American shopper spent $935.58 on Christmas presents, and this year the total will probably go up, thanks to higher-priced gifts and advertisements that make it difficult to resist overspending. For some people, the intention is to spend as…

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Many people opt to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without assistance from an attorney. Sometimes it is because they feel their cases are simple and straightforward, while in other instances they feel that they can’t afford the attorney fees. While you certainly have the legal right to file for Chapter 7 on your own, help…

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After nine months of missed payments, your student loan account will fall into default status. That’s when calls from debt collectors start, your credit takes a serious hit, and you potentially face legal action from the company that issued the loan. What can you do to get out of default status and back on the…

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Should you fail to pay your bills, your creditors can legally sue you for the money you allegedly owe them, but if you are ‘judgment proof’, they may not succeed in collecting it, especially if it is a credit card balance, medical debt arrears, or some other form of unsecured debt. In this blog, we’ll…

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If you are thinking of filing for Chapter 13, then you’re bound to have concerns about any investments you may have. Can creditors like the IRS touch them? Which ones are protected? It’s a complicated area that a New York bankruptcy attorney can clarify for you. 401(k) plans The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)…

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Last year, less than 800,000 people filed for bankruptcy throughout the country. At first glance, that seems like a lot, but in reality the number of filings for 2016 was the lowest for any year since 2006. Although filings appear to be in the decline, thousands of people throughout New York continue to seek bankruptcy…

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When you file for bankruptcy in New York, one of the conditions of a future discharge is that you attend a meeting of creditors known as the 341 hearing, named after a section of the Bankruptcy Code. Your trustee will attend and ask you a series of questions. Although creditors are allowed to attend, none…

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What’s worse than being chased by a debt collector? Being chased by a fake one! Across the country, people are being called by scammers who claim to be legitimate debt collectors but who are, in reality, anything but. These fraudsters usually do their research beforehand, accessing your personal information by pulling your credit report, hacking…

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When you file for bankruptcy in New York, multiple parties are involved in the process. You may never even see some of them, but their role remains an important part of your debt relief journey. Let’s take a closer look at who they are and what they do after you file. The bankruptcy judge Although…

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When New York homeowners file for bankruptcy in New York, they are typically aware of the protections extended to them by the automatic stay. The calls and letters from creditors and/or third-party debt collectors stop and all official collection actions, such as wage garnishments or lawsuits, are brought to a halt. A comparative few-and even…

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If you are active duty military, a government employee, or employed by a defense contractor, then you almost certainly have a secret or top secret security clearance. If financial difficulties overwhelm you and bankruptcy seems imminent, then how will that affect your security clearance? It’s a difficult question because there is no single answer. Security…

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Military personnel residing in New York may not be civilians, but they are still people, and as such can struggle financially like anyone else. They are also allowed to file for bankruptcy protection if their debts become unmanageable, but unlike the rest of us, active-duty military members and disabled veterans enjoy certain debt-related protections that…

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If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, then you may be wondering if you will ever be able to buy a home before the filing disappears from your credit report (10 years for a Chapter 7, seven years after a Chapter 13). The answer is a definite yes, but you should generally wait a…

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Remember the time you were so proud of that new vacation home or sports car that you showed it off on every social media outlet that you have? Doing so could have serious consequences for you if you file for bankruptcy in the future, even if you’re completely honest. The most common forms of bankruptcy…

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If you’ve decided that bankruptcy is the best solution to an overwhelming debt problem, you don’t want mistakes and missteps to prevent you from getting the relief you need. Below are some of the activities and transactions that may result in your petition being refused, as some debtors employ them to minimize the negative effects…

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The Japanese company behind one of the worst automobile safety scandals has filed for bankruptcy. Airbags have been instrumental in minimizing the injuries of automobile drivers and passengers, but once the danger presented by Takata airbags became known, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal agency responsible for automotive safety in the United…

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If you are married and considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a debt crisis solution, then you and your spouse will have to discuss whether you want to file a joint petition, file your own separate cases, or have one of you file alone. There is no right answer that applies to all couples equally—it all…

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When a debtor declares bankruptcy to eliminate their unsecured debts, the logical assumption is that their creditors practically line up to claim a share of any proceeds from liquidated assets or payment plans. Believe it or not, there is a large amount of “forgotten” cash being held by the federal court system, most of it…

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Chapter 9 bankruptcy is specifically structured to address the needs of financially distressed municipalities, which can include a broad range of government entities such as: Towns Cities Counties Taxing districts School districts Chapter 9 allows these entities to reorganize their debts, extend repayment timelines, reduce the principal / interest, or obtain refinancing. In order to…

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Hounded by creditors and low on financial resources, Puerto Rico recently filed a Title III petition in federal court. This is apparently the first time that an American state or territory has sought this type of relief from a crushing debt load (in this instance, $74 billion to creditors and over $40 billion in pension…

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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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If you’ve already filed for bankruptcy once in New York, can you file again? The short version of the answer is, “yes.” But how long you have to wait before you may do so depends on what chapter you originally filed, which one you intend to file this time, and whether or not your first…

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Chapter 7 is often referred to as the “liquidation bankruptcy” because it wipes out most, if not all, of your unsecured debts. This fact, combined with the relatively short duration of a typical filing, motivates a lot of people to use Chapter 7 to get a fresh financial start. There is a potential downside, however.…

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When you are struggling with more debt than you can handle, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can give you the fresh start you need. Unless they have significant assets that they stand to lose in this liquidation-type bankruptcy, most debtors prefer to file Chapter 7 because all unsecured and nonexempt debt is eliminated, there is no limit…

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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 you file for bankruptcy in New York, your case will have one of two outcomes: discharge or dismissal. What happens in your instance will depend on whether or not you fulfill the requirements imposed upon you by the bankruptcy court. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are required to do the following: File accurate…

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When you want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York and your income exceeds the state median for your household size, you are required to pass the means test. Its purpose is to prevent higher-income filers from taking advantage of the system and opting for Chapter 7 when they are capable of repaying…

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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 you file for bankruptcy in New York, all of your listed creditors are provided with a notice of your filing. They also receive notification of your discharge once you successfully complete all of your bankruptcy obligations. There are, however, occasions when debt collectors will attempt to collect a debt that was included in your…

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When you’re overwhelmed by debt and unable to pay it within a reasonable time from, bankruptcy may appear to be your only solution. In most instances, filing can give you the relief that you desperately need… depending on what debts you are struggling with. With Chapter 7, you may have to liquidate non-exempt assets to…

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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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If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in New York and have recently received an award or settlement in a personal injury case, then you may be wondering if it could be forfeited. The answer is: it depends. Any money you have, whether it was received as part of a personal injury settlement or awarded at…

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Although it sounds like the title from a bad movie, zombie debt is a real problem for modern consumers. It refers to a financial obligation that has been charged off or otherwise removed from a creditor’s books because the lender could not afford to pay it or could not be located. The majority of creditors…

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When you are an independent contractor or the sole proprietor of a New York business, you may take more financial risks to get your business off the ground and keep it going during times when clients are few and far between. Sometimes these risks pay off, while other times they may send you so deep…

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A New York bankruptcy can give you the fresh start that you need-if you don’t conduct yourself improperly prior to filing. There are certain actions and omissions that can have an irreversible impact on the success of your bankruptcy and prevent you from being successfully discharged or even able to file in the first place.…

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When you’ve scheduled a consultation with an attorney to discuss a New York bankruptcy, it’s normal to wonder what to expect. Although every bankruptcy attorney has their own approach, there are questions and discussion topics that appear in the majority of first meetings.  There are also documents you should bring that will make the whole…

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Although bankruptcy can give them the fresh financial start they desperately need, many New York residents refrain from filing because they have been discouraged by certain myths. To dispel these assumptions, it is important to understand what the bankruptcy process consists of and how it does -and does not- affect their ability to earn a…

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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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Financial difficulties can hit anytime and anywhere, which means that when circumstances make it advisable for you to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you could be living and working outside of the United States. Does this mean that you can’t file here? Not quite. But there are certain requirements that must be…

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When someone we love passes away, we grieve and celebrate their lives at a funeral or memorial session. Then we move on with our own futures. But if you are one of that person’s heirs and he or she died while in the midst of a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, then the estate distribution…

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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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When you file for personal bankruptcy in New York, you have the ability to exempt certain assets: in other words, protect them from your creditors. Personal injury awards and settlements up to a certain amount fall within this category, but the amount covered depends on whether you opt for the New York state or federal…

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New Yorkers often wonder if they can keep a credit card after filing for bankruptcy, particularly if the card has a zero balance. On the surface, it seems like a counterintuitive wish. Consumer bankruptcies are intended to eliminate credit card bills and other debt so that they can have a fresh start. Yet they worry…

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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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The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a consumer protection law that restricts what third party debt collectors can say and do while attempting to collect a debt. If a collection agency conducts itself in a way that violates an indebted consumer’s rights, that consumer can file a lawsuit against the company within one…

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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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The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that governs the actions of credit reporting agencies (CRAs) such as Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, and the individuals and businesses that supply the information used to compile your credit report. It also dictates the following: What the CRAs, creditors, and other authorized parties can (and…

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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 11 bankruptcy is usually filed by financially-troubled businesses. These companies, which are forced to seek help in the bankruptcy courts, run the gamut from small neighborhood stores to mega-corporations like United Airlines and General Motors. Under Chapter 11, the indebted company’s assets, debts, and business affairs are reorganized in a court-approved plan. These plans…

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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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There are many different implications for your life if you receive a serious medical diagnosis, particularly if this diagnosis is cancer. You may be feeling shock, confusion, grief, and an array of other emotions as you attempt to cope with this situation. Financially, even with solid health insurance, it can be overwhelming and confusing to…

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Filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision, and it is worth your time to consider all your options before speaking with a New York bankruptcy attorney. That being said, there are plenty of advertised “solutions” out there that may not actually help you recover from a serious debt situation. In these cases, it is better…

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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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Once you have made the decision to file for bankruptcy and set up a meeting for New York bankruptcy attorney, it’s time to bust through some of the common myths associated with this practice of discharging your debts. One of the biggest misconceptions about bankruptcy is that it ruins your credit for the remainder of…

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Individuals facing bankruptcy and other financial challenges may be curious about whether or not they are entitled to sell particular assets. This boils down to a basic question of whether or not the property is exempt. Before disposing of any assets if you are considering bankruptcy, set up a meeting with an attorney so that…

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You may have made the effort to go through debt consolidation or credit counselling in the hopes that it would repair your current financial situation. However, it can be even more frustrating when you emerge from debt consolidation without any significant progress forward. Many individuals considering filing for bankruptcy in New York are doing so…

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A medical emergency can have significant ramifications for your life, particularly in the form of financial consequences. Did you know that medical expenses are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy across the United States? This is because even when you have health insurance, a sudden and expensive medical procedure can set you back for…

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Many individuals who have tried all of their methods and have not been successful feel a broad range of negative emotions associated with the decision to file bankruptcy. Even after meeting with a knowledgeable New York bankruptcy attorney, you may have questions and residual emotions about your decision to move forward. Despite the challenges you…

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One of the most common questions asked by individuals who are contemplating bankruptcy filing in New York has to do with how this will impact their future over the long run. While many people are familiar with the short-term consequences of filing for bankruptcy like difficulty obtaining credit and an impact on your credit score,…

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If you are buried in bills in the State of New York and you are the victim of creditor harassment, then you may have rights to make the creditors stop harassing you. One of the most important things you can do is to consult with a knowledgeable New York bankruptcy attorney. If you are feeling…

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Filing for bankruptcy in New York is an emotional decision, and one of the things that might be holding you back from moving forward with filing is your fear of going to court. In the majority of bankruptcy cases in New York you and your attorney may only be required to go to a proceeding…

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Puerto Rico is dealing with large amounts of public debt. The island has racked up debt over many years and the Supreme Court recently heard a case dealing with the issue of the bankruptcy and debt according to a March 22, 2016 New York Times article. As a territory, Puerto Rico cannot file for Chapter…

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Although Chapter 13 might be the right move for some, it’s not always the best course of action. You can do plenty of your own research online about bankruptcy, but at the end of the day, it’s strongly recommended that you consult with a New York bankruptcy attorney so that you can be clear about…

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If you have filed for bankruptcy in New York, then you will likely receive notification about one month after filing of the first meeting of creditors. The debtor is responsible for attending this meeting of creditors, and the trustee and your attorney will provide you the notification about the date and location. Creditors will rarely…

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Making the decision to file for bankruptcy in New York is likely something you have arrived at over the course of carefully considering all of your options. You may have even attempted other methods such as credit counselling or consolidating all of your debts. While there is no clear answer to the question about how…

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Once you file for bankruptcy in New York, a special provision known as the automatic stay kicks in to protect you from recurring bill collectors and creditors. This stops any lawsuits filed against you by collection agencies, government entities or creditors that are looking for money from you. It is a powerful tool that can…

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Before filing for bankruptcy, you might be tempted to consider several different options for managing your financial struggles. Individuals in New York facing this situation may consider working with a credit counselling service or consolidating all of your debt in a debt consolidation loan. There are two primary types of debt consolidation loans in New…

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For the most part, filing for bankruptcy will discharge the vast majority of your debts. There are some categories, though, that cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy, regardless of the type of bankruptcy you opt to file. This list includes: Loans you received by purposely providing false information to the creditor on the loan who relied…

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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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If you choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York, then you can keep all the property outlined as exempt under the laws. These are items of property that are exempt from creditor claims. In order to determine whether your property is exempt or not, you need to keep several things in mind.…

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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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If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, then it is important to know that you are not alone. Bankruptcy is something considered even by people that you might consider “successful.” In fact, some people are shocked to learn that their favorite entertainers or sports players are on the brink of bankruptcy. The statistics about…

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It requires personal confidence in your decision to file bankruptcy in order to share it with other people. You might decide that you need to share this news with other people, so read on to learn a few tips about how to handle this situation. The very concept of bankruptcy carries a social and moral…

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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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The decision to file for bankruptcy carries an emotional weight with it, even when you are confident that this is the right decision for you. To prepare yourself for this, read on to learn more about what to expect. Even when you feel a sense of relief that filing bankruptcy is the right decision for…

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If you feel like you are on a treadmill of paying and spending such that balances never decrease while the creditor calls are only growing more persistent, it might be time to consult with a New York bankruptcy attorney. Sadly, too many people around the state experience this on a daily basis, causing their stress…

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Even though bankruptcy has been an avenue used by many people across the country, there is still a stigma associated with taking control of your finances in this manner. If you are feeling like you’ll never be able to get on top of your financial situation without filing bankruptcy and starting anew, then you should…

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The Home Affordable Modification Program was started by the federal government to throw a lifeline to homeowners who were at risk of foreclosure. First presented to borrowers in 2009, it was meant to allow homeowners the opportunity to ask for a loan modification. According to a recent report, however, it looks like those who asked…

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A new analysis by The Motley Fool reveals that while mortgage and housing debt has decreased over the past few years, other debts is on the rise in American households. This category of “non-housing” includes credit cards, purchases of cars, and educational loans. Although more families in America seem to be working to get their…

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