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Education Department to Reconsider Rules Benefiting Student-Loan Debtors

With a new presidential administration comes new priorities, and for the Trump government’s Department of Education that means revising recently instituted rules that were ostensibly designed to benefit student-loan debtors. If these rules are repealed, then debtors will need to explore either bankruptcy or non-bankruptcy options to resolve their financial problems. According to The New . . . → Read More: Education Department to Reconsider Rules Benefiting Student-Loan Debtors

Drive for a Ride-Sharing Company, Risk Uber Bankruptcy?

In May, Bloomberg reported that the ride-sharing company Uber admitted that it had been underpaying its New York City drivers because it had taken its share of fares before deducting fees rather than after. The company agreed to repay each of its drivers $900. Interestingly, Uber contracts with 50,000 drivers in the city, so it’s . . . → Read More: Drive for a Ride-Sharing Company, Risk Uber Bankruptcy?

U.S. Supreme Court: Bad-Debt Buyers Are Not Debt Collectors Under the FDCPA

A few months ago I alerted readers to a case before the U.S. Supreme Court addressing whether the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) applies to buyers of defaulted debts. The FDCPA offers debtors legal options for resolving disputes with debt collectors. In Henson v. Santander, the Court unanimously sided with the debt-buyers, closing off . . . → Read More: U.S. Supreme Court: Bad-Debt Buyers Are Not Debt Collectors Under the FDCPA

Can a Hospital Deny Treatment to Bankrupt Patients?

Although there’s plenty of good evidence that the ACA reduced medical bankruptcy, it doesn’t necessarily answer another question debtors might have: whether they can be denied treatment for filing bankruptcy. The short answer for emergency room visits is no, which I’ll discuss, but in other cases the answer might be yes.

For emergency care, debtors . . . → Read More: Can a Hospital Deny Treatment to Bankrupt Patients?

How to Keep Your Pets in New York Bankruptcy

More than two-thirds of American households have pets, and sometimes they run into financial difficulties. For the most part, though, New York bankruptcy protects debtors’ pets, but there are additional considerations that should assuage pet owners.

New York exempts pets. Section 5205(a)(4) of the New York Civil Practice and Law Rules exempts domestic animals from . . . → Read More: How to Keep Your Pets in New York Bankruptcy

What Are ‘Special Circumstances’ in the Means Test?

A while back I spent several posts discussing the means test in a chapter 7 New York bankruptcy. If debtors’ incomes are above the median family’s for their state, they must take the means test. Sometimes they fail it, but the Bankruptcy Code allows debtors an out: “special circumstances” that reduce their current monthly incomes . . . → Read More: What Are ‘Special Circumstances’ in the Means Test?

How Does the ‘Bankruptcy Flag’ Affect Credit Scores?

One of the most common questions a New York bankruptcy lawyer hears is: How does bankruptcy affect credit scores? The best response is that credit scores are trivial compared to debtors’ financial problems. Bankruptcy is about accepting sunk costs of bad debt, even if it’s triggered by unfair circumstances such as a job loss or . . . → Read More: How Does the ‘Bankruptcy Flag’ Affect Credit Scores?

Household Debt Returns to Prerecession Levels! … So What?

The New York Times Dealbook blog reported that household debt has reached what appears to be an ominous milestone: As of the first quarter of 2017, American households now owe about $12.7 trillion, equal to what they owed in the third quarter of 2008—the previous peak before panic gripped the financial sector. So should New . . . → Read More: Household Debt Returns to Prerecession Levels! … So What?

U.S. Supreme Court: Bad Proofs of Claim Do Not Violate the FDCPA

A few months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court chose to hear a case deciding whether a chapter 13 bankruptcy debtor could sue a debt collector for violating the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) for filing a proof of claim on an expired debt. For New York bankruptcy debtors, the answer already is no, but . . . → Read More: U.S. Supreme Court: Bad Proofs of Claim Do Not Violate the FDCPA

Two Reasons to Incorporate Before a Business Bankruptcy

Debtors operating sole proprietorships can encounter disadvantages in a chapter 7 New York business bankruptcy as compared to more common no-asset, low-income, non-business debtors in the same chapter. They both face chapter 7’s income thresholds, yet non-business debtors need not worry whether a trustee will put a stop to their incomes or sell the assets . . . → Read More: Two Reasons to Incorporate Before a Business Bankruptcy