I’ve stated regularly on this Web site that a chapter 13 plan is paid out of a debtor’s disposable income, some of which must go to the unsecured creditors in New York bankruptcy. But what is the definition of “disposable income”? It’s more technical than one might think, and more surprisingly it won’t be found . . . → Read More: What Is ‘Disposable Income’ in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the pitfalls elderly Americans face when bequeathing their property to their children (or grandchildren). One option I didn’t discuss was what the law calls “remainder interests,” which are a class of “future interests.” Both of these terms relate to mechanisms of transferring (almost always) real estate.
A remainder . . . → Read More: Remainder Interests and Exemptions
Usually debtors will ask whether retirement accounts are protected in New York bankruptcy, but they might also want to know if contributions to those accounts are protected. As far as the accounts are concerned, the answer is yes. As discussed here, the federal bankruptcy exemptions allow debtors to shield more than $1.2 million in retirement . . . → Read More: Are Retirement Contributions Allowed in Bankruptcy?
New York bankruptcy lawyers aren’t always known for their math skills. In fact, there are many jokes about lawyers as liberal arts majors who can’t do math or science. The issue of lawyers and math, however, is quite serious in consumer bankruptcy, which can be “numbers intensive.” Unfortunately, easy math mistakes can plague a chapter . . . → Read More: Good Math Skills Needed When Amending a Chapter 13 Plan
One of the rare benefits of filing a chapter 13 New York bankruptcy is the ability to reduce (“cram down”) the balance of an underwater mortgage on an investment property to its current market value. More commonly, debtors in chapter 13 cram down their cars, as discussed here. Cram-downs are not available for debtors’ principal . . . → Read More: All Parties Must Join to Cram Down Mortgages on Investment Properties
In the late 1970s, Congress amended the Bankruptcy Code to require student loan debtors to demonstrate that their loans posed an “undue hardship” on them in order to be discharged in bankruptcy. Over time, Congress tightened this restriction, eliminating its seven-year time limit and in 2005 extending the requirement to private student loans. The problem, . . . → Read More: Supreme Court Might Hear Law School Debtor’s Bankruptcy Case
Usually lawyers’ role in debt collection is to represent creditors or debtors. Rarely is the core of their business collecting debts. The big debt collection money comes from buying old debts from banks for a fraction of their value and hoping to recover enough of them to make the purchase worthwhile. It often is.
For . . . → Read More: When Your Debt Collector Is a Lawyer
The data-driven news site FiveThirtyEight.com recently ran a discouraging article on low-wage workers. To not belabor its point, workers in minimum-wage jobs are much less likely to move to higher-paying jobs than in the late 1990s, when jobs and pay raises were more common. In 1998, for instance, 20 percent of minimum-wage workers were in . . . → Read More: Low-Wage Jobs and Bankruptcy
When it comes to matters of the heart, bankruptcy usually coincides with divorce. Sometimes, though, it affects couples who are about to get married. Given that it lasts longer, a chapter 13 bankruptcy is more likely to have greater ramifications with a new marriage. Chapter 7, however, can create obstacles too. One notable way is . . . → Read More: Engagement Rings and Other Conditional Gifts in New York Bankruptcy
It’s one thing to consider filing New York bankruptcy when you run into financial problems, but it’s another thing entirely when a co-signer of a debt files bankruptcy. The co-signer who is doing fine might suddenly find himself or herself in serious trouble. Here are some things for co-signers to consider should a co-debtor file . . . → Read More: Options for Debtors Whose Co-Signers File Bankruptcy