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Month: February 2017

The ‘Lock-In Effect’ Revisited: Underwater Homeowners Stuck in Communities

If a homeowner’s equity goes negative, will the homeowner feel stuck and unable to find better work? Or, will the homeowner search for new work elsewhere and take the loss? It’s an important question in New York bankruptcy because if the so-called “lock-in” effect is real, homeowners would probably be better off in the long …

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Joint, Nondischargeable Debts: Few Options for Separated Couples

Late last year, The Boston Globe ran an article touching on a difficult topic in New York bankruptcy: joint, nondischargeable debts. Normally, if a debt is jointly owed and dischargeable, then it’s unlikely to raise problems in bankruptcy, whether the borrowers are married or not. Once it’s discharged, the lender may demand payment from the …

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Attorney-Client Privilege: Whose Is It in an Individual New York Bankruptcy?

The short answer is: We don’t know—according to a November 2016 article in New York Law Journal. In discussing the topic, the authors could not find any court cases in the Second Circuit addressing which party controls the attorney-client privilege in a New York bankruptcy. Before explaining why this is an issue, it’s necessary to …

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Pew Study: Blacks, Hispanics Struggle in Mortgage Markets

I recently wrote about research showing that race sometimes influences New York bankruptcy chapter choices, and lawyers might misdirect black clients to chapter 13 when chapter 7 would be more appropriate. A new study from the Pew Research Center offers insight as to why black (and Hispanic) borrowers struggle with debts, specifically mortgage debts. Pew …

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CFPB Survey: 70 Million Americans Contacted by Debt Collectors Yearly

About the same time as the U.S. Supreme Court chose to decide if the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) covers bad-debt buyers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a press release reporting on a survey of more than 2,000 consumers regarding their recent contacts with debt collectors. The survey is the first of …

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U.S. Supreme Court to Decide If FDCPA Covers Bad-Debt Buyers

Federal law gives debtors two weapons against creditors, bankruptcy and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). The two do not always share an easy relationship, as evidenced by the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case deciding whether chapter 13 debtors have FDCPA claims against creditors with stale debts, but generally where one law can’t protect …

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Do Chapter 13 Debtors Have FDCPA Claims Against Creditors With Stale Debts?

It’s a question that came up in 2015, and the answer isn’t favorable to debtors in New York bankruptcy. When debtors file in chapter 13, creditors file proofs of claim because they usually expect to receive disbursements from the bankruptcy estate. In New York, it’s almost certain. The rub, though, is that sometimes creditors file …

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