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CFPB Finishes Payday Lending Rule, Hopes to End ‘Debt Traps’

Payday loans are often very dangerous to consumers because their high interest rates make it easy for debtors to fall behind on their payments. Naturally, New York bankruptcy cases often include payday loans. Consequently, a few years ago the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) began drafting a rule that would regulate payday lenders while not . . . → Read More: CFPB Finishes Payday Lending Rule, Hopes to End ‘Debt Traps’

ProPublica Finds Significant Racial Disparities in Bankruptcy Outcomes

Ideally, debtors’ circumstances and not their ethnicities should influence bankruptcy chapter choices. According to a ProPublica study from September, however, the United States falls far short of that ideal. In a series of articles, the advocacy group’s researchers discuss the significant racial disparities in debtors’ chapter choices and outcomes: Specifically, black debtors tend to file . . . → Read More: ProPublica Finds Significant Racial Disparities in Bankruptcy Outcomes

When Can a Debtor Reopen a New York Bankruptcy Case?

Sometimes after bankruptcy cases are closed or dismissed, debtors will want to reopen them for a variety of reasons depending on the circumstances. Bankruptcy courts have substantial power to grant debtors requests to reopen their cases, so it can be helpful to know when it’s allowed, especially when self-represented debtors’ cases were dismissed due to . . . → Read More: When Can a Debtor Reopen a New York Bankruptcy Case?

Bankruptcy Reform Reduced Filings, Increased Insolvency, Foreclosure

The Wall Street Journal article I referred to in my post on what debtors should do when they’re too poor to afford bankruptcy filing fees cited a pair of articles by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that I missed. In 2015 the branch explored the effects the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Protection and Consumer . . . → Read More: Bankruptcy Reform Reduced Filings, Increased Insolvency, Foreclosure

Insurance Proceeds and Bankruptcy

I recently discussed what happens to health-insurance policies in bankruptcy, so debtors might also be curious about what happens to the actual proceeds from insurance claims. With the health-care policy, the issue was the character of the agreement, but with proceeds, the question focuses on the money the insurance company pays to the debtor when . . . → Read More: Insurance Proceeds and Bankruptcy

When Debtors Are Too Poor for Bankruptcy Filing Fees

The Wall Street Journal published an article showcasing a nonprofit startup that is writing software ala Intuit’s TurboTax that’s designed to make it easier for indigent people to file bankruptcy. This is a laudable goal because many debtors’ can’t afford an experienced New York bankruptcy lawyer to handle their cases, and the filing fees are . . . → Read More: When Debtors Are Too Poor for Bankruptcy Filing Fees

Unusual, Uncommon, and Frequently Unlisted Assets in Bankruptcy

At a first consultation, a debtor will usually tell a New York bankruptcy lawyer about his or her debts in good detail. Information on the other term in the bankruptcy equation, assets, is often more difficult to provide. After all, debtors struggle paying their bills, and their property doesn’t remind them that they own it . . . → Read More: Unusual, Uncommon, and Frequently Unlisted Assets in Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Questions? Contact Your Lawyer, Not the Trustee

The trustee in a New York bankruptcy case will probably be a nice person. My practice represents them, even. For consumers, though, the trustee’s congeniality might be confused with his or her responsibilities. The trustee’s responsibility is to the bankruptcy system, specifically the estate that’s created by the bankruptcy filing. Thus, the trustee does not . . . → Read More: Bankruptcy Questions? Contact Your Lawyer, Not the Trustee

What Happens to Trust Assets in Bankruptcy?

Sometimes New York bankruptcy debtors create, benefit, or manage trusts, which are legal entities managed by trustees that hold assets for other parties that aren’t owned by those other parties. The bankruptcy estate is a type of trust, which is why, unsurprisingly, it’s managed by the trustee. Debtors may be interested in what happens to . . . → Read More: What Happens to Trust Assets in Bankruptcy?

Can Bankruptcy Make You Smarter?

Intuition tells us that debt causes difficult health problems, and in recent years researchers have carefully established this fact. One study even found that debt can kill people: As many as 12,000 Americans died because of debt during the great recession. Scientists are also exploring the effects of poverty on cognition, and the results are . . . → Read More: Can Bankruptcy Make You Smarter?