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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

CFPB Penalizes Credit Bureaus for Credit Score Marketing Abuse

New York bankruptcy lawyers usually tell their clients to obtain a credit report before filing bankruptcy. Most debtors should be able to do this for free because the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires the three big credit reporting bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, to provide consumers one free credit report per calendar year, which . . . → Read More: CFPB Penalizes Credit Bureaus for Credit Score Marketing Abuse

Internet Service Provider Privacy Rules Might Be Abolished

Late last year, I wrote about online privacy, particularly the possibility of identity theft through cell phone numbers, and the necessity of using secure passwords to protect personal information. The topic is relevant to New York bankruptcy debtors because identity theft can lead to serious financial difficulties. But late October 2016 brought good news to . . . → Read More: Internet Service Provider Privacy Rules Might Be Abolished

What is ‘Equitable Subordination’?

I recently discussed priority claims in New York bankruptcy in the context of the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on the future of “structured dismissals” in chapter 11. The case raises the issue of whether creditors can enter into an agreement, approved by the bankruptcy court, that repays some debtors ahead of others outside the . . . → Read More: What is ‘Equitable Subordination’?

What Is a Mortgage Forbearance Agreement?

Now that it’s 2017, the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has expired. Maybe that’s a bad thing for struggling homeowners, but investigative reporting found that HAMP was a dismal failure. It rejected millions of applications, and only several hundred thousand made it past that stage. Thus homeowners might want to know about other . . . → Read More: What Is a Mortgage Forbearance Agreement?

New York City’s Soaring Rents Traced to 1994 Law

Many New York City bankruptcy cases occur because renters can’t afford to pay their landlords, and rents only keep rising. In 2014, median rent as a share of median income in New York City rose to 39.5 percent, and one third of all tenants pay at least half their incomes in rent. Fortunately for tenants, . . . → Read More: New York City’s Soaring Rents Traced to 1994 Law

Piercing the Corporate Veil in a New York Bankruptcy

The phrase, “piercing the corporate veil,” is not a bankruptcy concept and does not appear in the Bankruptcy Code. Rather, it is a state-law equitable remedy for collapsing corporate entities with their principal shareholders to enable plaintiffs in civil actions to recover money from them—usually in fraud cases. Typically, the creditors sue the business entities . . . → Read More: Piercing the Corporate Veil in a New York Bankruptcy

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

Business Leases: Tricky in Bankruptcy

The Bankruptcy Code doesn’t have a specific chapter addressing business bankruptcies. Debtors who own businesses must instead choose among options that are dispersed throughout the Bankruptcy Code based on their businesses’ and personal circumstances. One such circumstance that can influence the chapter debtor-owners choose is the fate of a lease for business property. For many . . . → Read More: Business Leases: Tricky in Bankruptcy

When Does Chapter 15 Matter?

The Bankruptcy Code’s relatively new Chapter 15 might play more of a role in a New York bankruptcy than in other states, so debtors here might want to know if it affects them. Congress added the chapter in the bankruptcy reform of 2005. Its purpose differs from other chapters debtors can file in: 7, 9 . . . → Read More: When Does Chapter 15 Matter?