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Record Consumer Debt Coincides with Higher Credit-Card Delinquencies

In mid-August The Washington Post ran an article in its business section warning of the perils of consumer debt returning to record high levels. “Haven’t we learned?” it moans. The better question is, “So what?” It appears the author has not learned that population growth, higher incomes, different debt compositions, and low interest rates should . . . → Read More: Record Consumer Debt Coincides with Higher Credit-Card Delinquencies

Prepetition Debts and Paying Bills in Bankruptcy

Debtors in New York bankruptcy sometimes misunderstand the difference between paying a prepetition debt that they intend to discharge and paying their regular bills while in bankruptcy. The difference is important because debtors can stop paying some debts in bankruptcy, but neglecting the wrong debt can result in the same consequences as though the bankruptcy . . . → Read More: Prepetition Debts and Paying Bills in Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy: Safer Than a Multi-Level-Marketing Company

People with teetering finances frequently seek alternatives to New York bankruptcy. It seems to be a sensible thing to do, but wherever there are people who need to make quick money, there will be others who will sell them what they want to hear—and nothing else. One example you may have heard of is multi-level-marketing . . . → Read More: Bankruptcy: Safer Than a Multi-Level-Marketing Company

How Do Fed Rate Hikes Affect Debtors and Bankruptcy Filings?

In the last few years you may have heard something in the news that has not happened for a while: The Federal Reserve is gently raising its target interest rate, the effective “federal funds rate.” The Fed held this rate at about zero from late 2007 until the end of 2015, but fearing an overheating . . . → Read More: How Do Fed Rate Hikes Affect Debtors and Bankruptcy Filings?

U.S. Supreme Court Holds New York Credit-Card Surcharges Are Free Speech

New Yorkers traveling out of state may have experienced retailers offering higher prices for transactions paid by credit cards rather than cash or checks. New York bans the practice, so it’s much more common to see merchants declining credit-card transactions for purchases under $10. However, credit-card surcharges may be coming to New York thanks in . . . → Read More: U.S. Supreme Court Holds New York Credit-Card Surcharges Are Free Speech

Study: People Stay Away From Credit Cards When Unemployed

At about the same time the Federal Reserve Bank of New York discussed a study about how debtors prioritize debts when money is tight, another Federal Reserve branch, in Boston, published a paper asking whether unemployment leads to increased credit-card use. The short answer is a surprising no. It turns out that rather than run . . . → Read More: Study: People Stay Away From Credit Cards When Unemployed

How Do Debtors Prioritize Their Debts?

When debtors have too few funds to pay too many debts, they don’t try to distribute their money among all their debts. Rather, they prioritize some debts over others. The insight, courtesy of a blog post at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Web site, can help debtors and New York bankruptcy lawyers determine . . . → Read More: How Do Debtors Prioritize Their Debts?

Identity Theft Through Cell Phone Numbers?

A couple years ago, I wrote about four ways identity theft could lead to New York bankruptcy. The notable candidates were theft of Social Security and credit card information. Now The New York Times has thought of a new type of identity theft: cell phone numbers.

According to the article, landlines are rapidly going the . . . → Read More: Identity Theft Through Cell Phone Numbers?

Use Secure Passwords to Protect Personal Information

Stolen passwords and PINs can easily result in unauthorized purchases or fraudulent credit accounts. Debtors unable to undo the damage might face serious consequences, including New York bankruptcy. The issue of password security is also salient because stories of Democratic Party officials’ hacked emails made the news before the November election. It’s a good opportunity . . . → Read More: Use Secure Passwords to Protect Personal Information

CFPB and N.Y. Attorney General Go After Vast Debt Collection Scheme

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the New York Attorney General filed a complaint against a debt collection agency based in Buffalo, N.Y., for deceiving millions of consumers. (Surprisingly, many debt collectors make Buffalo their home.) Two men operated three companies, Northern Resolution Group, Enhanced Acquisitions, and Delray Capital, and up to 60 related . . . → Read More: CFPB and N.Y. Attorney General Go After Vast Debt Collection Scheme