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Month: February 2015

Student Loan Defaults Mounting Despite Income-Based Repayment Programs

There’s a lot of bad reporting on student loans out there. Frequently, you will hear about how student loans aren’t a problem because the people with high balances are a tiny minority of all student loan debtors, or that higher debts tend to coincide with higher incomes. The issue isn’t that these points are strictly …

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4 Reasons ‘Walking Away’ From an Underwater Home Is a Bad Idea

You may have heard stories of underwater homeowners walking away from their homes and allowing the banks to foreclose on them without a contest. This might not sound so awful if you think you have no hope of catching up on mortgage payments, but it’s a very bad idea for multiple reasons. (1)  Until the …

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Save Money in Chapter 13 by Ferreting Out Tax Deductions From Payments

Usually debtors in chapter 13 New York bankruptcy concern themselves with what happens to their tax refunds, which trustees will keep for the creditors, but there’s another way the tax code intersects with bankruptcy—but this time to the advantage of debtors: deductions. The reason tax deductions can make a difference for debtors in chapter 13 …

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5 Advantages Chapter 13 Provides to Homeowners

So there’s research showing that filing chapter 13 New York bankruptcy may reduce mortality rates and delay or prevent foreclosure. How exactly does it accomplish this, and how can it best be used to debtors’ advantages? First of all, like other chapters, upon filing chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor is immediately protected by the automatic …

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4 Debts That Are Subject to Income Tax Refund Offsets

The topic of income tax refunds comes up periodically in New York bankruptcy. It’s important because in chapter 13 cases, New York trustees will demand the full refund to repay the creditors, and in chapter 7 it’s an asset that will be taken by the trustee if the debtor can’t protect it with an exemption. …

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CFPB Finds That Few Americans ‘Shop’ for Mortgages

One reason people find themselves in New York bankruptcy is that the interest rates on their debts are too high, which raises their monthly payments needlessly.Hopefully this is common sense, but according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) many Americans don’t consider interest rates when buying homes. Specifically, they don’t “shop” for mortgages, often …

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What Are ‘Domestic Support Obligations’?

I recently wrote about priority claims in New York bankruptcy, and notably, the types of claims with the highest priority are called “domestic support obligations.” Readers probably have a fairly good idea of what these might entail, but the role the play in bankruptcy isn’t so obvious. Because bankruptcies often coincide with divorces, they are …

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