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Month: June 2015

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 …

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Corporate Rewards, Perks, Miles, and Gift Certificates in Bankruptcy

There was a time when businesses didn’t reward their customers with points, rewards, or whatever they call them, but nowadays the typical American with any amount of purchasing power knows how they work and has probably amassed them. The question is whether the trustee can claim that they’re assets in a New York bankruptcy—or more …

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What Happens to Retirement Accounts in Bankruptcy?

As Americans age, they sometimes accumulate substantial assets, such as pension rights, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) pension accounts. They can also accumulate substantial debts, so the question becomes, how are these retirement savings treated in New York bankruptcy? The short answer is, quite charitably. But first let me establish some important points. One, …

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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 …

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Two Mortgages, One Lender, One Foreclosure

Elsewhere in the country there have been stories about foreclosure lawsuits filed by lenders against homeowners and … themselves. It sounds like a robo-signed document. What’s going on here? The homeowners owed the same bank two mortgages, and the lender has to sue itself to proceed with the foreclosure. It’s a bizarre—but not uncommon—situation, particularly …

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Federal Court Upholds Education Department’s ‘Gainful Employment’ Rule

The odyssey continues, but at least one federal court has dismissed challenges against the Department of Education’s (ED’s) “gainful employment” rule, which is set to go into effect on July 1, 2015. ED promulgated the rule to prevent for-profit colleges from abusing their students’ access to federal student loan dollars. In particular, it believed that …

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FCC Intends to Tighten Telephone Consumer Protection Act

If you’re worried about unwanted calls or text messages to your mobile device or landline, then the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) proposed rule-change to the Telephone Consumer Protection ACT (TCPA) is something to look forward to. Characterizing it as the FCC’s greatest advance in consumer protection since the do-not-call registry of 2003, the agency’s goal …

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Supreme Court: No Lien-Stripping Junior Mortgages in Chapter 7

The wait is over for homeowners hoping to strip their underwater junior liens in chapter 7 New York bankruptcy. The U.S. Supreme Court consolidated a pair of cases, Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett and Bank of America, N.A. v. Toledo-Cardona, because their facts were largely the same, and it held that the answer was …

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Debtors Converting from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 Get Their Wages Back

If the U.S. Supreme Court was reluctant this year to decide whether a debtor in bankruptcy can sue a creditor for violating the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, it was in a different mood when it heard and decided Harris v. Veigelahn. The case concerned a debtor whose accumulated chapter 13 payments were distributed to …

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