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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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The High Cost of Dying in Debt

According to a study conducted by Credit.com last year, a surprising 73 percent of Americans die in debt, leaving behind a mean-average balance of $61,500. The most common form of debt was credit-card debt (68 percent), followed by mortgage debt (37%) and then others. Given how frequently Americans die with debt, what are the consequences

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Medical Debt May Not Be a Significant Bankruptcy Trigger

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is not a source most New York bankruptcy lawyers would turn to for scholarly discussion of bankruptcy in the United States. However, in March 2018, the medical publication ran a perspective piece arguing that medical debt as a principal cause of bankruptcy is vastly overblown, despite alarming media

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In the Real World Anonymous Data Is Not So Anonymous

An unfortunate cause of New York bankruptcy cases is identity theft. If a thief gets a hold of a consumer’s personal financial information he or she can easily open false accounts in that consumer’s name and run up substantial charges. Medical identity theft is also a possibility. Consumers can reverse many of these activities, but

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Income-Driven Repayment Plans Don’t Always Help Debtors Afford Homes

It’s often a challenge to discharge student-loan debt in a New York bankruptcy case, which is why I have consistently recommended debtors with federal-education loans choose income-driven-repayment (IDR) plans if they find their monthly payments difficult to afford. These plans reduce monthly payments to a fraction of ten-year repayment plan and offer loan forgiveness after

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Big FDCPA Supreme Court Case Offers Lessons to New Yorkers

Maybe it’s good news for some New Yorkers, but its result probably won’t affect them: The U.S. Supreme Court recently chose to hear a case about whether the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) applies to parties initiating non-judicial foreclosures. New York State, however, no longer allows non-judicial foreclosures, so the Court’s ruling probably won’t

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5 Tips for Avoiding a Second Bankruptcy

Few New York bankruptcy debtors regret filing bankruptcy, but I’m sure it’s not anyone’s life goal. Many debtors, then, will be interested in taking the necessary steps to avoid a second New York bankruptcy—and of course, I’m not referring to debtors who choose to file a chapter 13 case after a chapter 7 case, aka

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Payday Loans Sidelined by ‘Consumer Installment Loans’

New York bankruptcy lawyers regularly warn debtors against payday loans. In 2017, the CFPB even finalized a rule to end “debt traps” caused by them. Now, though, lenders are turning to an even blunter way of enticing debtors to borrow significant sums they might not be able to repay: simply sending them checks with fine

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