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New York City’s Soaring Rents Traced to 1994 Law

Many New York City bankruptcy cases occur because renters can’t afford to pay their landlords, and rents only keep rising. In 2014, median rent as a share of median income in New York City rose to 39.5 percent, and one third of all tenants pay at least half their incomes in rent. Fortunately for tenants, . . . → Read More: New York City’s Soaring Rents Traced to 1994 Law

10 Years After Bankruptcy Reform: Means-Testing Doesn’t Work

The 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) changed New York bankruptcy in some dramatic ways, particularly chapter 7. It also changed New York bankruptcy lawyers’ practices: The recently revised bankruptcy forms they complete for clients are an echo of the BAPCPA. Most of the BAPCPA went into effect in October 2005, and . . . → Read More: 10 Years After Bankruptcy Reform: Means-Testing Doesn’t Work

The Evidence Is In: The CARD Act Helped Consumers

In 2009, Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act). Its goal was to prevent banks from taking advantage of credit-card users with excessive fees (mainly over-limit fees and late fees) and other tactics. A few of its notable provisions include setting minimum payment deadlines to 21 days after bills are . . . → Read More: The Evidence Is In: The CARD Act Helped Consumers

What to Do When Your Landlord Is in Foreclosure

It’s more common for tenants to file New York bankruptcy than their landlords—especially with rents as high as they are now. Landlords do, however, run into financial difficulties sometimes, so anxious tenants might want to know what they should do. If this is a problem on your horizon, here are a few points:

(1) Pay . . . → Read More: What to Do When Your Landlord Is in Foreclosure

Do Debtors Think Mandatory Financial Education Works?

That’s the question a pair of researchers raised a few years ago, and the answer might provide insights to debtors in New York bankruptcy. Since the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was passed, debtors have been required to complete a financial education course prior to discharge, which is not to be confused . . . → Read More: Do Debtors Think Mandatory Financial Education Works?

Moving to New York for Its Homestead Exemption Is Not a Good Idea

In New York bankruptcy, debtor homeowners can benefit from a fairly generous homestead exemption. Real property located in the counties in New York City, Long Island, as well as Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam counties, get a $150,000 exemption. The exemption in Dutchess, Albany, Columbia, Orange, Saratoga, and Ulster counties is $125,000. Finally, homeowners elsewhere in . . . → Read More: Moving to New York for Its Homestead Exemption Is Not a Good Idea

Bankruptcy Courts Becoming Less Forgiving of Late Tax Returns

It’s not a phenomenon that’s affected people filing New York bankruptcy yet, but it might become one in the not-so-distant future: Some federal courts in other states are ruling that tax debts that would otherwise be dischargeable are in fact not.

Here’s the background. Typically, discharging a tax debt requires the debtor to meet three . . . → Read More: Bankruptcy Courts Becoming Less Forgiving of Late Tax Returns

How Can the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Help Debtors?

Supposedly, during the Punic Wars, Roman soldiers were away from homes for so long that their family farms went bankrupt and were bought up by the wealthy. Veterans crowding into Rome led to unrest as well as the failed land-reform proposals by Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus. Fortunately, there is a federal law in . . . → Read More: How Can the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Help Debtors?

CFPB Calls For Modest Bankruptcy Reform for Private Student Loans

One of the most questionable changes to the Bankruptcy Code in the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) was to extend the “undue hardship” standard to discharging private student loans. For New York bankruptcy, this meant that irrespective of who the lender was student debts were basically permanent. Fortunately, for . . . → Read More: CFPB Calls For Modest Bankruptcy Reform for Private Student Loans

What Is ‘Judicial’ and ‘Non-Judicial’ Foreclosure in New York?

Many homeowners file New York bankruptcy to prevent a foreclosure. However, sometimes the terminology can confuse homeowners as to their rights, particularly the terms “judicial” and “non-judicial” foreclosure. Some states allow only one type of foreclosure, but some allow both. Adding to the confusion is that New York used to allow both types, . . . → Read More: What Is ‘Judicial’ and ‘Non-Judicial’ Foreclosure in New York?