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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

IRS: Identity Theft Falling, Business-Related Identity Theft Rising

The Internal Revenue Service brings both good news and bad news: Identity theft via individual tax returns is falling, but business-related tax-return identity theft is on the rise. Identity theft is often catastrophic for individuals because the thieves can use personal financial information to ruin them. More insidious than conventional identity theft, Medical identity theft . . . → Read More: IRS: Identity Theft Falling, Business-Related Identity Theft Rising

Talk to a Bankruptcy Lawyer Before Negotiating With an IRS Debt Collector

Tax debts can bedevil debtors. They are not easily discharged in a chapter 7 New York bankruptcy, and they are priority claims that must be paid in full without interest in chapter 13. Unsurprisingly, the IRS’s collection efforts will cause more anxiety to debtors than mere credit-card-debt collectors. However, a recent New York Times article . . . → Read More: Talk to a Bankruptcy Lawyer Before Negotiating With an IRS Debt Collector

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

Beware ‘Lead Generators’ and ‘Lead Aggregators’

I recently wrote about stymieing debt collectors by controlling the personal information you give them. Saliently, a recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) action demonstrates why debtors should be careful with what they tell creditors, especially online.

The action, situated in California federal district court, concerns the behaviors of what are called “lead aggregators.” “Leads,” . . . → Read More: Beware ‘Lead Generators’ and ‘Lead Aggregators’

New York’s Student Protection Unit Announces Closure of Debt Relief Provider

Just last week, I wrote about LegalZoom’s offer to help sign student debtors onto the federal government’s income-based repayment scheme, even though the process is meant to be done by debtors themselves for free. There were two points from that post: One was that LegalZoom might not be the usurper of traditional legal services as . . . → Read More: New York’s Student Protection Unit Announces Closure of Debt Relief Provider

LegalZoom Charges $699 for Help With Completing Free Government Forms

It’s understandable for New York bankruptcy lawyers to cast a wary eye at LegalZoom, the Internet-based legal services company. Most media portrayals treat it as the innovative new business that disrupts the lawyer-dinosaurs, allowing everyday Americans to obtain cheap legal services without the help of an expensive licensed professional, including drafting wills and even preparing . . . → Read More: LegalZoom Charges $699 for Help With Completing Free Government Forms

CFPB Finds Reverse Mortgage Advertisements Confusing and Misleading

A few months back I wrote that it was fair to allow the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to share its two cents about reverse mortgages. It was a rebuttal of sorts to a neutral explanation I had given previously. Recently, the CFPB authored a piece on the subject again, so now it’s a little . . . → Read More: CFPB Finds Reverse Mortgage Advertisements Confusing and Misleading

State Actions Against Student Loan Debt Relief Scams Growing

New York has taken some steps to stop student loan debt relief scams, but other states are going further. Notably, the attorney general of Illinois, Lisa Madigan, has filed additional lawsuits against student loan debt relief companies. Madigan made the news by suing two such companies in the middle of last year. Now there are . . . → Read More: State Actions Against Student Loan Debt Relief Scams Growing

CFPB Reports on Homeowners’ Reverse Mortgage Complaints

In discussing reverse mortgages and New York bankruptcy, I demurred on whether they “work as intended.” As a brief reintroduction, a reverse mortgage gives the homeowner equity payouts over time rather than the homeowner “purchasing” equity with monthly payments. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued a report that addressed the effectiveness of reverse . . . → Read More: CFPB Reports on Homeowners’ Reverse Mortgage Complaints