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What you should know about the credit counseling requirement

“Credit counseling” has a couple different meanings and common uses, and it can be very confusing for anyone considering bankruptcy in New York.  So I thought I would to take a moment to clarify. One meaning is the credit counseling requirement under the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (aka BAPCPA).  All individual

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What you should know about the trustee in bankruptcy

When the topic of bankruptcy in New York comes up, you hear a lot about things like Chapter 7, Chapter 13, the “means test,” financial statements and a bunch of other important terms. But what do you know about the trustee and his or her role in a bankruptcy case? It’s important to understand what

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Why Hire an Experienced Chapter 7 Brooklyn Bankruptcy Lawyer

Debtors usually point to two reasons for not hiring an experienced Brooklyn bankruptcy lawyer before filing a chapter 7 case: affordability and necessity. Obviously, many people who owe significant debts frequently lack the money for a bankruptcy attorney. (As an aside, there are options for debtors who are too poor for bankruptcy filing fees.) The

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What Happens After My Bankruptcy Case Is Closed?

You’ve received your discharge in your New York bankruptcy case, assuming your case ended in one, and the trustee has concluded all other tasks on your case. The bankruptcy court orders your case closed. You’re free of your debts! You have your fresh start! Hooray! But now what? Is there anything you need to do

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Is a Payday Loan a ‘Cash Advance’ in Bankruptcy?

Many New York bankruptcy debtors take out payday loans to cover costs before receiving their actual paychecks. I’ve written about these types of loans frequently, particularly the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s attempts to limit them from becoming “debt traps.” Aside from driving debtors into bankruptcy, another place where payday loans can intersect with bankruptcy is

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Refiling in Chapter 13 After Case #1 Doesn’t Work Out

It’s common for debtors in chapter 13 New York bankruptcy cases to face challenges completing their repayment plans. These challenges are frequently the same kind that bring them to bankruptcy in the first place: lost jobs, medical emergencies, or unexpected vehicle costs. Often, they take the options of asking the bankruptcy court to agree to

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Stripping a Lien Is Not the Same as Avoiding a Lien

New York bankruptcy debtors can sometimes be confused by bankruptcy terminology, one such example is the difference between “stripping” a lien and “avoiding” a lien. Both processes affect liens, but in very different ways and different contexts. Here’s the distinction. In chapter 13, a New York bankruptcy debtor can try to strip, that is, eliminate,

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Bankruptcy Cases Can Be Dismissed but Not Undone

Sometimes a debtor will file a New York bankruptcy case and then come to regret it. Or, a debtor will make an incurable mistake and wants to withdraw his or her case. The fear is that a do-over will provide them with fewer options or that if they choose not to refile, then they’ll have

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Social Security Is Exempt From Bankruptcy, Unless…

Older chapter 7 New York bankruptcy debtors almost always ask if cash from their Social Security incomes are exempt in bankruptcy. The general answer is yes, Social Security income is exempt in bankruptcy and won’t count towards means test totals. In other words, bankruptcy treats Social Security income as though it wasn’t there. The policy

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12 Ways to Deal With Parent PLUS Loans

Federal Parent PLUS loans are among the most confusing student loans that New York bankruptcy debtors owe. They aren’t like other government student loans because they’re made to the parent (obviously) of the student rather than the student himself or herself. This can lead to difficulties when parents realize they must pay for debts they

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