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Month: August 2016

Is Long-Term Unemployment Not a Big Factor in Hiring?

It’s undeniable that there’s a relationship between New York bankruptcy filings and unemployment. That’s not a bad thing, though. People who have lost their incomes cannot repay their debts, so there’s no reason to attempt the impossible. Indeed, a few months of unemployment make it easier for debtors to show that their current monthly incomes …

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When Are Post-Bankruptcy Non-Recourse Debts a Good Idea?

The terms “recourse” or “non-recourse” usually relate to whether lenders can sue debtors for mortgage deficiencies after foreclosure. The state’s “election of remedies” rule complicates things somewhat, but the issue in New York bankruptcy is really what happens to secured debts that debtors continue to pay even after their personal obligation has been discharged. The …

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Suspended Drivers Licenses and New York Bankruptcy

I recently wrote about how debtors can discharge traffic tickets in New York bankruptcy, but in certain circumstances filing bankruptcy can even help debtors reinstate their driver’s licenses if they’ve been suspended. Here’s how. Unpaid civil judgments. If a debtor owes a judgment obtained in small claims court for more than $1,000 based on the …

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Mortgage Modifications Can Stymie Chapter 7 Bankruptcies Too

I recently explained why a mortgage modification might be an inferior choice to a chapter 13 bankruptcy. As it turns out, mortgage modifications can stymie a chapter 7 New York bankruptcy as well. Why? Two reasons: the means test and exemptions. I’ve discussed the chapter 7 means test in detail before, but debtors whose household …

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Study: Net Debtors’ Financial Situations Differ Substantially

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York published a fascinating blog post about the 14 percent of U.S. households whose debts exceed their assets. Because a substantial proportion of New York bankruptcy cases involve net debtors, the post illuminates the segment of the country that most likely faces serious financial hardship. One of the chief …

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What Is a Contingent Claim and What Are They Worth?

I’ve discussed “noncontingent claims” a couple times recently in the context of bankruptcy dollar amount adjustments and involuntary bankruptcy without explaining what they are (and what they’re not), or what they’re worth. A claim is “contingent” if a triggering event must occur before it must be repaid. Before the event is triggered, the claim isn’t …

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When Is It Worthwhile to Initiate an Involuntary Bankruptcy Against a Debtor?

The facts behind the recent Supreme Court case on whether a bankruptcy debtor engaged in actual fraud without a misrepresentation raises a question worth exploring: When is it worthwhile for creditors to initiate an involuntary bankruptcy against debtors as opposed to merely suing for breach of contract in state court? (It wasn’t an issue in …

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A Mortgage Modification Can Stymie a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Negotiating a mortgage modification is an alternative to New York bankruptcy that frequently pops up, even though the Home Affordable Mortgage Program was not so successful. Nevertheless, modifications are perfectly reasonable. Debtor-homeowners can reduce their interest rates and monthly payments to align their mortgage costs with their incomes, particularly when they’ve lost substantial equity in …

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Five Years On, Has the CFPB Prevented Bankruptcies?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turned five on July 21, 2016. The bureau’s purposes are to protect consumers from unscrupulous lenders and inform consumers to help them make financial decisions. Now that it’s five years old, the question is: Has the CFPB prevented needless bankruptcy filings? Unfortunately, there aren’t any studies out there measuring …

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