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NO-COST 30 MINUTE CONSULTATIONS
Offices in downtown Brooklyn & Melville, LI

26 Court St, Suite 2211
Brooklyn, NY 11242-1125
Phone: (718) 855-6840
Toll Free: (800) 297-6840
Fax: (718) 625-1966
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68 South Service Road, Suite 100
Melville, NY 11747
Phone: (631) 454-5248
By Appointment Only

Cases Can Still Be Dismissed Even If Debtors Pass the Means Test

The bankruptcy means test, now ten years old, is too frequently seen as a hurdle to completing bankruptcy. Yes, it’s messy, creates paperwork, and probably increases the need to hire a New York bankruptcy lawyer when one might not have been necessary. However, most debtors in chapter 7 don’t need to take the means test . . . → Read More: Cases Can Still Be Dismissed Even If Debtors Pass the Means Test

FTC Upgrades Web Site for Identity Theft Victims

Identity theft can easily lead to bankruptcy, and it’s on the rise. In fact, identity theft complaints to the Federal Trade Commission rose an astonishing 47 percent in 2015. Moreover, the Justice Department estimates that nearly 18 million Americans’ identities were stolen in 2014, demonstrating that the crime is greatly underreported. Hopefully last year’s spike . . . → Read More: FTC Upgrades Web Site for Identity Theft Victims

Social Security Number Not Necessary for Bankruptcy

A question that’s commonly asked about New York bankruptcy is whether a debtor needs a Social Security number to file. Debtors ask because they sometimes run across the bankruptcy form title, “Your Statement About Your Social Security Numbers” (B 121), which asks debtors to list their current and prior Social Security numbers. The new bankruptcy . . . → Read More: Social Security Number Not Necessary for Bankruptcy

The Evidence Is In: The CARD Act Helped Consumers

In 2009, Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act). Its goal was to prevent banks from taking advantage of credit-card users with excessive fees (mainly over-limit fees and late fees) and other tactics. A few of its notable provisions include setting minimum payment deadlines to 21 days after bills are . . . → Read More: The Evidence Is In: The CARD Act Helped Consumers

What Are the Means Test Deductions?

If debtors in chapter 7 New York bankruptcy earn a “current monthly income” that if multiplied by 12 exceeds the state’s median family income (~$49,000 for single earners in New York), then they must take the means test to determine if their bankruptcy filings are not abusive. The test, which appears in section 707 of . . . → Read More: What Are the Means Test Deductions?

Three Ways of Dealing With Excess Equity in Bankruptcy

It’s not unheard of for debtors filing New York bankruptcy to own property that can’t be fully protected by an exemption. Although the state’s homestead exemption is quite generous compared to the federal exemptions, it might not cover all equity in a property. Alternatively, debtors might be concerned with equity in non-real estate property, or . . . → Read More: Three Ways of Dealing With Excess Equity in Bankruptcy

File Taxes Before Filing Bankruptcy

Tax returns are a common fixture in New York bankruptcy, so much so that debtors are well advised to file their taxes before they file bankruptcy. Because U.S. tax season has begun, it’s a message worth explaining sooner rather than later.

In all bankruptcy chapters, the Bankruptcy Code requires debtors to provide the trustee with . . . → Read More: File Taxes Before Filing Bankruptcy

Medical Debt Still a Problem for Americans

If there were no doubts that the Affordable Care Act was sufficient to prevent medical bankruptcy, then a recent post in The New York Times‘ Upshot blog should correct that perception. True, the ACA reduced the number of uninsured Americans by 15 million since 2013, but the Times, along with the Kaiser Family Foundation, surveyed . . . → Read More: Medical Debt Still a Problem for Americans

NYT: Scrutinize Your Mail, Immune Debt Collectors Might Be Suing You

The title isn’t exactly what The New York Times‘ Dealbook blog post wrote about in December, but it’s the lesson one should draw from it. Debt collectors can use the courts to sue debtors, but when debtors sue back, collectors can hide behind arbitration clauses to make the suits go away. The Times characterized it . . . → Read More: NYT: Scrutinize Your Mail, Immune Debt Collectors Might Be Suing You

New York State to Offer Aid to Student Loan Debtors

When it comes to student-loan debt, state governments don’t usually help a lot. That’s not surprising because most of the loans come from the federal government, which offers a variety of repayment options. However, New York State’s Higher Education Services Corporation (HECS) initiated a new program at the beginning of the year to help out. . . . → Read More: New York State to Offer Aid to Student Loan Debtors