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Bankruptcy Filings Were Down in 2017, But Not in New York

Last year I asked how many debtors file New York bankruptcy cases each year. The post provided context to a series I ran on the data from the 2016 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) Report. The 2017 BAPCPA report came out recently, but rather than repeat the question, I want to just

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Bankruptcy and Balancing Your Budget

Unfortunately, most New York bankruptcy debtors see bankruptcy as a last resort after they’ve tried other options, like debt settlement. Perhaps they believe that bankruptcy is a sign of failure, even though the alternatives are usually worse. Instead of seeing bankruptcy as throwing in the towel against one’s debts, it can help to look at

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What Is a ‘Hard Pull’ or ‘Soft Pull’ of a Credit Report?

The terms “hard pull” or “soft pull” sound like sports jargon, but they do relate to personal credit. Specifically, they distinguish between two types of inquiries into one’s credit report, so they’re called “hard inquiries” and “soft inquiries” as well. What is this difference and when does it matter to New York bankruptcy debtors? The

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How to Prevent Volatile Prices From Interfering with Your Chapter 13 Plan

Successfully completing a chapter 13 New York bankruptcy repayment plan requires careful planning and budgeting. All debtors filing in that chapter will undoubtedly have some fixed costs, usually auto-loan payments or a residential mortgage, that will go into the plan. Then debtors will have to account for not-so-fixed costs. These would be daily necessities, such

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Did Your Credit Score Improve Last Year? Here’s Why

It’s not often that good news comes from credit-reporting agencies changing their behavior, but it appears that many consumers’ credit scores have risen in the last few years, hopefully reducing the number of New York bankruptcy cases. The National Consumer Assistance Plan is the name for a joint program by the agencies to change their

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Does the Bankruptcy Trustee Make House Calls?

Of all the players in a New York bankruptcy, debtors are probably least familiar with the trustee. The trustee is tasked by the bankruptcy court to administer the bankruptcy estate for the benefit of the creditors. This means that generally the trustee’s responsibilities are at odds with a debtor’s interest in exempting as much property

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When Facing Bankruptcy, No Debt Is ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’

Financial-planning Web sites and other resources often distinguish between “good debt” and “bad debt.” New York bankruptcy debtors might think that this distinction will somehow help them, but I don’t see much value in it. I’ll illustrate examples of these terms and then provide an alternative framework for bankruptcy. “Good debts” are generally seen as

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List All Debts in Bankruptcy, Even If You Might Not Want Them Discharged

Sometimes New York bankruptcy debtors are confused about the bankruptcy process. In the past I’ve discussed persuasive reasons to list every debt in bankruptcy, but this time I’ll focus on a common confusion debtors may have about bankruptcy and why listing all debts is necessary and helpful. In particular, sometimes debtors believe they can (or

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How to Avoid Bankruptcy As an Elderly American

A week before I wrote about why talking to an experienced New York bankruptcy lawyer can help avoid the high cost of dying in debt, The New York Times ran an article discussing the findings of legal academics on elderly Americans filing bankruptcy. Their new research identifies several unfortunate facts and trends that have been

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What Happens to a Debtor’s Property Located in Another State?

Most New York bankruptcy debtors own all their assets in New York State, though it’s probably more common for them than others to own assets in nearby jurisdictions. (How frequently do people open bank accounts in New York but then move to New Jersey?) Even more commonly, many older debtors own property in New York

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