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Joint, Nondischargeable Debts: Few Options for Separated Couples

Late last year, The Boston Globe ran an article touching on a difficult topic in New York bankruptcy: joint, nondischargeable debts. Normally, if a debt is jointly owed and dischargeable, then it’s unlikely to raise problems in bankruptcy, whether the borrowers are married or not. Once it’s discharged, the lender may demand payment from the . . . → Read More: Joint, Nondischargeable Debts: Few Options for Separated Couples

Attorney-Client Privilege: Whose Is It in an Individual New York Bankruptcy?

The short answer is: We don’t know—according to a November 2016 article in New York Law Journal. In discussing the topic, the authors could not find any court cases in the Second Circuit addressing which party controls the attorney-client privilege in a New York bankruptcy.

Before explaining why this is an issue, it’s necessary to . . . → Read More: Attorney-Client Privilege: Whose Is It in an Individual New York Bankruptcy?

Pew Study: Blacks, Hispanics Struggle in Mortgage Markets

I recently wrote about research showing that race sometimes influences New York bankruptcy chapter choices, and lawyers might misdirect black clients to chapter 13 when chapter 7 would be more appropriate. A new study from the Pew Research Center offers insight as to why black (and Hispanic) borrowers struggle with debts, specifically mortgage debts.

Pew . . . → Read More: Pew Study: Blacks, Hispanics Struggle in Mortgage Markets

CFPB Survey: 70 Million Americans Contacted by Debt Collectors Yearly

About the same time as the U.S. Supreme Court chose to decide if the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) covers bad-debt buyers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a press release reporting on a survey of more than 2,000 consumers regarding their recent contacts with debt collectors. The survey is the first of . . . → Read More: CFPB Survey: 70 Million Americans Contacted by Debt Collectors Yearly

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide If FDCPA Covers Bad-Debt Buyers

Federal law gives debtors two weapons against creditors, bankruptcy and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). The two do not always share an easy relationship, as evidenced by the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case deciding whether chapter 13 debtors have FDCPA claims against creditors with stale debts, but generally where one law can’t protect . . . → Read More: U.S. Supreme Court to Decide If FDCPA Covers Bad-Debt Buyers

Do Chapter 13 Debtors Have FDCPA Claims Against Creditors With Stale Debts?

It’s a question that came up in 2015, and the answer isn’t favorable to debtors in New York bankruptcy. When debtors file in chapter 13, creditors file proofs of claim because they usually expect to receive disbursements from the bankruptcy estate. In New York, it’s almost certain.

The rub, though, is that sometimes creditors file . . . → Read More: Do Chapter 13 Debtors Have FDCPA Claims Against Creditors With Stale Debts?

Circumstances, Not Race, Should Influence Bankruptcy Chapter Choices

Most New York bankruptcy debtors choose to file in chapter 7 or chapter 13 because Congress designed them to fit most consumer debtors’ circumstances. What motivates debtors to choose one chapter over another is a matter of debate, but a recent paper on bankruptcy debtors has found that aside from their financial circumstances, their races—and . . . → Read More: Circumstances, Not Race, Should Influence Bankruptcy Chapter Choices

CFPB Sues Student Loan Company Navient for ‘Cheating’ Borrowers

A piece of big news covered by The New York Times provides one more reason not to trust student loan servicers to advise debtors of the best New York bankruptcy alternative for repaying their loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sued Navient, an offshoot of student loan giant Sallie Mae, for misleading debtors about . . . → Read More: CFPB Sues Student Loan Company Navient for ‘Cheating’ Borrowers

Study: Unemployment Bigger Cause of Mortgage Default Than Previously Thought

Many mortgage lenders probably believe that homeowners default on their mortgages because they have negative equity, i.e. they’re underwater. In other words, these homeowners can afford to repay their mortgages but simply choose not to, and there’s a surprising amount of academic literature to that effect. Why “strategic default” is a bad idea for debtors . . . → Read More: Study: Unemployment Bigger Cause of Mortgage Default Than Previously Thought

Only 41 Percent of Americans Have $1,000 Saved for Emergencies

At the end of every year, it seems, Bankrate.com conducts a survey on how much money Americans have saved in case of emergencies, and this year the numbers are not good. As of late 2016, more than four Americans in ten did not have enough money saved for an emergency costing at most $1,000. The . . . → Read More: Only 41 Percent of Americans Have $1,000 Saved for Emergencies