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Month: December 2014

Don’t Fall for Federal Student Loan Debt Relief Scams

Student loans are a serious and growing burden for American households, so it’s unsurprising that student loan scams are proliferating. Debtors who pay substantial sums to people fraudulently offering to help them with their federal student loans might be forced to file New York bankruptcy. The issue cropped up earlier this year when the attorney …

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Supreme Court to Decide Whether Denied Chapter 13 Plans Can Be Appealed

Make that two cases the U.S. Supreme Court will decide next year that might affect people filing New York bankruptcy. On December 12, 2014, the Court granted certiorari to petitioner Louis B. Bullard, whose chapter 13 repayment plan was denied confirmation. The other case the Court will hear is Bank of America v. Toledo-Cardona, which …

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New York Regulators to Crack Down on Abusive Debt Collectors

You would think state regulators would be monitoring debt collectors already, but it turns out there were gaps in the law that allowed some debt collectors to go about their business unsupervised. The result, as you can imagine, was many people—including some who had completed New York bankruptcy—suffering abuse. The state’s Department of Financial Services …

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Supreme Court to Decide Underwater Junior Mortgage Lien-Stripping Case

Usually when bankruptcy lawyers discuss the benefits of successive New York bankruptcy filings, the “chapter 20” strategy comes up (less so the “reverse chapter 20“). Debtors who discharge an underwater junior mortgage in chapter 7 must continue to make the mortgage payments if they wish to avoid foreclosure. They can file a chapter 13 case …

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File Chapter 13, Live Longer

Last week I discussed an article in The New York Times‘ Dealbook blog that described banks that were failing to report bankruptcy debtors’ debts as discharged. A minor criticism that wasn’t worth raising at the time was the article’s melodramatic characterization of bankruptcy as taking a “heavy toll” on debtors. Actually, New York bankruptcy isn’t …

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Two Situations in Which ‘Reverse Chapter 20 Bankruptcy’ Is Possible

There’s sort of a joke in New York bankruptcy referred to as “chapter 20,” which isn’t a real part of the Bankruptcy Code but a chapter 13 filing that follows a chapter 7 discharge, mainly to strip a discharged junior mortgage lien. I’ve discussed “chapter 20” in the past—as well as why it’s not always …

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Government Investigating Zombie Debts on Credit Reports

A few months back, we had the problem of the fraudulent debt collector, but more recently The New York Times Dealbook blog gives us the menace of the bank that neglects to report debts canceled in New York bankruptcy as properly discharged to credit reporting bureaus. Apparently the U.S. Trustee’s office is so concerned that …

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Rent-Stabilized Apartments Are Protected in New York Bankruptcy

Nearly a year ago, a case raised the question of whether a rent-stabilized apartment is an asset in New York bankruptcy. The short answer is no; rent-stabilization leases are “public assistance benefits” that are exempt assets under New York creditor and debtor law and therefore beyond the reach of a bankruptcy trustee. The case involved …

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