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Prenuptial Agreements and Bankruptcy

Married debtors in New York bankruptcy are more likely to have signed prenuptial agreements than debtors elsewhere just because so many New Yorkers are wealthy and want to protect their wealth in the event of a divorce or early death. Because marriage and bankruptcy intersect—often unpleasantly, alas—some debtors wonder what effects a prenuptial agreement might . . . → Read More: Prenuptial Agreements and Bankruptcy

When Can a Bankruptcy Case Be Dismissed With Prejudice?

A few months ago, I wrote about when a chapter 7 bankruptcy case can be dismissed, and I touched on dismissals that are with or without “prejudice.” Today I’ll clarify what this means for New York bankruptcy debtors.

Section 349(a) of the Bankruptcy Code prevents a dismissal from interfering with a debtor’s future rights to . . . → Read More: When Can a Bankruptcy Case Be Dismissed With Prejudice?

How Many People File New York Bankruptcy Each Year?

I recently analyzed bankruptcy data to find out who chapter 7 New York bankruptcy debtors are. The dataset came from the federal courts’ 2016 BAPCPA Report, which contains information on people who file bankruptcy but owe mainly consumer debts. However, not all bankruptcy debtors are consumer debtors, so the post gave incomplete information on how . . . → Read More: How Many People File New York Bankruptcy Each Year?

Who Are Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Debtors? (Part 2 of 2)

(Click here to read, “Who Are Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Debtors?” part 1.)

In part 1 of this two-post series, I showcased two tables from the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) Report for 2016. The information in the tables can help debtors with consumer debts answer common questions they have about Brooklyn bankruptcy . . . → Read More: Who Are Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Debtors? (Part 2 of 2)

Who Are Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Debtors?

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) of 2005 changed the Bankruptcy Code in many ways that made it harder for debtors to file a simple chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, one potentially positive change it made is requiring federal courts to track data on bankruptcy cases. The information they collect is not particularly . . . → Read More: Who Are Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Debtors?

Increasing Retirement Contributions (IRA, 401(k)) Before Bankruptcy

Many working debtors have retirement accounts, chiefly investment retirement accounts (IRAs) or 401(k) accounts through their employers. These accounts are assets, but New York bankruptcy exemption rules shield them completely while the federal exemptions protect them up to an enormous amount—more than $1.2 million. Debtors sometimes ask whether retirement contributions are allowed in bankruptcy, but . . . → Read More: Increasing Retirement Contributions (IRA, 401(k)) Before Bankruptcy

When Can a Trustee Reopen a Closed Bankruptcy Case?

Most New York bankruptcy cases end with a discharge and then a final decree. With that the case is closed, and debtors get their fresh starts. Occasionally, debtors will want to reopen their bankruptcy cases, but it’s usually for technical reasons. But what if the trustee wants to reopen a case? If so, then the . . . → Read More: When Can a Trustee Reopen a Closed Bankruptcy Case?

When Can a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case Be Dismissed?

Dismissal of a New York bankruptcy case can be hazardous for debtors, so it’s certainly something to avoid. Note that having a case dismissed is not the same as having a case closed. Closed bankruptcy cases can be reopened, but dismissed cases can only be refiled, if allowed. Thus, the questions are: When can a . . . → Read More: When Can a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case Be Dismissed?

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

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