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Month: March 2015

‘Business Debts’ Might Keep Debtors in Chapter 7

Debtors considering chapter 7 New York bankruptcy often learn that if their incomes are above their state’s median family income, they must take the means test. The consequence of failing it would be converting their cases to chapter 13 (or, less commonly, chapter 11). This isn’t true for all debtors, notably business debtors, and some …

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Removing a Bankruptcy Filing From a Credit Report

It’s surprisingly common for people exiting New York bankruptcy to see their credit scores improve. This phenomenon is generally attributed to the fact that debtors have taken the responsible course of action with their debts, rather than letting them spiral into default. Alternatively, creditors may be interested in taking advantage of former debtors’ inability to …

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How Much Do You Need to Be Able to Pay in Chapter 13?

It’s one of the most important questions debtors can ask, particularly if their incomes are above the median for their state and they don’t expect to pass the means test. There are three tests the Bankruptcy Code applies to debtors’ repayment plans before they can be confirmed. A plan must pass all three tests and …

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New York Attorney General Announces Settlement With Credit Reporting Bureaus

Late last year I wrote about the federal government’s investigations into zombie debts that were persisting on people’s credit reports after they filed New York bankruptcy. Uncorrected errors on credit reports like these can cause serious consequences for those trying to obtain new credit, especially those who’ve exited bankruptcy. The good news on this front …

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U.S. Trustee Program Announces $50 Million Bankruptcy Settlement With JPMorgan Chase

You may recall the “robo-signing” scandal that erupted in 2010. Banks’ employees and contractors were improperly signing false mortgage or foreclosure documents and then executing them on homeowners. Apparently, some of these documents found their way into bankruptcy courts, meaning the lenders committed perjury as well. The U.S. Trustee Program, which among other responsibilities helps …

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Bankruptcy When You Are Expecting

Most people don’t think about growing their families when filing New York bankruptcy, but bringing a child into your family can add a few wrinkles to a filing that debtors might want to know about, particularly when a pregnancy happens by accident. Probably the most common place where a new child will (or won’t) affect …

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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 …

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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 …

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