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What Is an Escrow Account and How Can It Affect My Bankruptcy?

“Escrow” is a term that sometimes appears in New York bankruptcy cases. It’s most familiar to homeowners, and its origin is clearly medieval. According to Dictionary.com “escrow” is similar to words like “scrap” or “scroll.” It’s only in the last two hundred years, though, that the term evolved to how it’s used today: a deposit

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New York State Sues Student-Loan Debt-Relief Companies

Student loans may be difficult to discharge in a New York bankruptcy case, but debtors might still need to file if they pay the exorbitant fees charged by student-loan debt-relief companies. It’s been a few years since these outfits were in the news, likely because debtors have become more knowledgeable about income-derived repayment (IDR) options.

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So a Private Debt Collector Contacts You About a Tax Debt…

By the time debt collectors start contacting them, debtors should consider discussing their situations with an experienced New York bankruptcy lawyer. This counts doubly for when the debt collector is trying to recover a tax debt. Wait, what’s that again? A debt collector pursuing a public debt rather than a private one? Yes, it’s true.

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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 bankruptcy attorney Brooklyn NY 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,

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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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