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N.Y. Fed to Track Bankruptcy Filings by Age

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York occasionally shows interest in bankruptcy filings, and now it’s updating its “Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit” to include bankruptcy filings by age bracket. The quarterly report is a very important source of information on household debt, relying on samples taken from anonymized Equifax credit reports. Until

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New York Bankruptcy Exemptions Increased in 2018 Due to Inflation

Anyone who lived through or has read about the 1970s thinks of inflation as a secret thief that’s trying to cheat them out of their wages. Or something like that. The economics is much more complicated—and consumer-price inflation has been historically low for a while—but one place inflation can cause consumer debtors serious injury is

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‘Overbiffing’: Same Crime, Different Name

November 2018 saw the addition of yet another word to English-language dictionaries: “overbiffing.” It sounds gross, and one hesitates to ask what just “biffing” is, but the best thing that can be said about overbiffing is that it’s a debt-collector crime and not a vulgarity. It simply means inflating the amount of debt consumers owe

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Bankruptcy Misconception: ‘Will I Win My Bankruptcy Case?’

An experienced New York bankruptcy lawyer should be able to answer every bankruptcy question imaginable. This includes the kind that are based on misconceptions about what bankruptcy is or how it works. One such question that sometimes comes up is, “Will I win my bankruptcy case?” Today, I’ll address that one. Bankruptcy cases aren’t won

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All Bankruptcy Debtors Have Assets

Earlier this year I explained that “no-asset bankruptcy cases” are really “no non-exempt asset bankruptcy cases.” The idea is that unless they live in communes, all debtors actually do have assets. The question is really the extent to which they matter in a New York bankruptcy. So let’s clear up some misconceptions about “assets”: what

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5 Reasons to Avoid Financial Gurus

Financial gurus have probably been around since the invention of money thousands of years ago, and in a highly monetized society such as ours, they’re quite prominent. They also frequently offer bad advice about finances, and New York bankruptcy debtors should be skeptical about what they say about bankruptcy—especially when these gurus may have filed

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What Happens to Utilities in New York Bankruptcy?

Utility companies are not like typical creditors for New York bankruptcy debtors. Unlike, say, a credit-card, debtors usually cannot forgo using their utilities. By the same token, utilities aren’t like cell phone providers or other creditors with executory agreements because they’re necessary (and regulated) services debtors need in their homes. So what happens to them

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When Do I Have to Surrender My Car in Bankruptcy If I Choose to Do So?

Many chapter 7 New York bankruptcy cases feature cars as assets, and for a variety of reasons debtors choose not to hold on to them. One of their options is to surrender them to their auto-loan creditors. Hopefully there’s another option for meeting their transportation needs, but in the meantime debtors may reasonably ask, “When

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Study: College Costs Drove Households Into Foreclosure

The problem of rising college costs is often associated with the possibility of discharging student loan debt in a New York bankruptcy filing. However, higher-education costs also affect students’ parents. In a new study that appears in the journal Demography, the authors estimate that parental contributions to their children’s college attendance corresponded with higher foreclosure

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