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What Happens to Health-Insurance Policies in Bankruptcy?

The connection between bankruptcy and health insurance is well documented. For example, research by the Federal Reserve found that health insurance can keep people out of bankruptcy, and the Affordable Care Act reduced medical bankruptcies by half. Naturally debtors may ask what happens to their health-insurance plans in New York bankruptcy. The short answer is . . . → Read More: What Happens to Health-Insurance Policies in Bankruptcy?

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

What Are ‘Special Circumstances’ in the Means Test?

A while back I spent several posts discussing the means test in a chapter 7 New York bankruptcy. If debtors’ incomes are above the median family’s for their state, they must take the means test. Sometimes they fail it, but the Bankruptcy Code allows debtors an out: “special circumstances” that reduce their current monthly incomes . . . → Read More: What Are ‘Special Circumstances’ in the Means Test?

How Much Did the ACA Reduce Medical Bankruptcies?

Before the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (ACA), which Congress passed in 2010, medical bankruptcy was alarmingly common. Because many Americans could not afford health insurance, if they suffered an injury or were diagnosed with a serious illness, then they could face very large, unpayable bills. It doesn’t help that the U.S. has one of . . . → Read More: How Much Did the ACA Reduce Medical Bankruptcies?

New York Fares Well in National ‘Financial Capability’ Survey

Many people, usually in the banking industry, regularly assert that better financial literacy will keep people out of New York bankruptcy. The empirical evidence for this isn’t remarkably great. Researchers have found that the Bankruptcy Code’s pre-filing financial education requirement doesn’t deter unnecessary bankruptcies, and many debtors have said the pre-discharge financial management course was . . . → Read More: New York Fares Well in National ‘Financial Capability’ Survey

Can a Bad Economy Be Grounds for a Chapter 13 Hardship Discharge?

By the time most people file chapter 7 New York bankruptcy, they’ve concluded that there’s really nothing more they can do to repay their debts. They can’t work more jobs or magically earn more money. Thus, their hardship entitles them to a discharge.

Chapter 13, by contrast, is aimed at debtors with some hope of . . . → Read More: Can a Bad Economy Be Grounds for a Chapter 13 Hardship Discharge?

Does the Means Test Apply to Cases That Are Converted From Chapter 13?

The short answer is probably yes.

The long answer is that the specific issue hasn’t been decided in a New York bankruptcy case or in a Second Circuit appellate case that I could find. Courts in other parts of the country have split on the issue. Their reasoning is interesting.

Against Taking the Means Test . . . → Read More: Does the Means Test Apply to Cases That Are Converted From Chapter 13?

7 Ways Debtors Benefit From the 2016 Bankruptcy Dollar-Amount Adjustments

Step aside February 29th, April 1st is the real leap year for 2016. No, the calendar didn’t change; rather, the federal government will adjust the Bankruptcy Code’s dollar amounts to correspond with inflation, something it does once every three years. Specifically, section 104(a) lists all of the parts of the Bankruptcy Code containing dollar figures . . . → Read More: 7 Ways Debtors Benefit From the 2016 Bankruptcy Dollar-Amount Adjustments

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

What Is a ‘Household’ in Bankruptcy? Does That Include Roommates?

New York City might be known for its large number residents who live alone, but roommate and similar situations are still quite common—witness HBO’s Girls‘ satire of them. Thus, it’s not unheard of for debtors to file bankruptcy even if they don’t share a close relationship with the people they’re living with. This becomes a . . . → Read More: What Is a ‘Household’ in Bankruptcy? Does That Include Roommates?