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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

What Happens to Timeshares in Bankruptcy?

Because they can be better off than many other Americans, debtors in chapter 7 New York bankruptcy sometimes own timeshares. A timeshare is a vacation property with divided ownership or usage rights among multiple parties. The idea is to compromise between the cost of owning real estate in a desirable area and people’s desire to . . . → Read More: What Happens to Timeshares in Bankruptcy?

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?

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

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

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?

‘Transfer on Death’ and Bankruptcy in New York

I’ve written about wealthy relatives bearing gifts and how New York bankruptcy can help elderly debtors to illustrate the tension between elderly debtors’ options for shielding their assets from probate while enabling smooth transfers to their descendants (usually their children). The tension works like this: Elderly debtors may have own substantial assets they want to . . . → Read More: ‘Transfer on Death’ and Bankruptcy in New York

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 vs. Paying Down Debts With Savings

Not all debtors who file New York bankruptcy do so with no assets, no job, and no secured debts. For these debtors, a straight chapter 7 bankruptcy will suit them perfectly. Other debtors, though, may have more at stake. They may have savings, for instance, that offer a choice: file bankruptcy or try paying off . . . → Read More: Bankruptcy vs. Paying Down Debts With Savings

How to Keep Your Pets in New York Bankruptcy

More than two-thirds of American households have pets, and sometimes they run into financial difficulties. For the most part, though, New York bankruptcy protects debtors’ pets, but there are additional considerations that should assuage pet owners.

New York exempts pets. Section 5205(a)(4) of the New York Civil Practice and Law Rules exempts domestic animals from . . . → Read More: How to Keep Your Pets in New York Bankruptcy