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What Is ‘Bifurcation’ in New York Bankruptcy?

Sometimes debtors hear the term “bifurcation” in New York bankruptcy, and they ask what it is, hoping it will help them. Although the term sounds sophisticated, it’s actually something that’s routinely associated with chapter 13: cram-downs. It’s a topic I’ve discussed before, but here I’ll synthesize everything in one place.

In a sense “bifurcation” does . . . → Read More: What Is ‘Bifurcation’ in New York Bankruptcy?

How Does Chapter 13 Treat Tax Debts?

Nothing secures most tax debts, which is why if they’re able to discharge them in chapter 7, New York bankruptcy debtors choose to do so. I’ve discussed how that works in a post about how bankruptcy courts were becoming less forgiving of late tax returns, so I won’t repeat it now. However, there are times . . . → Read More: How Does Chapter 13 Treat Tax Debts?

Can I Reduce My Part-Time or Overtime Hours Before Filing Bankruptcy?

New York bankruptcy debtors are almost always industrious people, even when they happen to be unemployed. Sometimes, however, they are so industrious that their extra working hours, whether overtime or extra part-time hours, might interfere with their potential bankruptcies. If they file in chapter 7, then they may risk facing (and failing) the means test. . . . → Read More: Can I Reduce My Part-Time or Overtime Hours Before Filing Bankruptcy?

When a Cram-Down Is Not an Option: Giving Up a Car in Chapter 13

For New York bankruptcy debtors, owning a car magnifies the importance of the decision to file in chapter 7 versus chapter 13. In chapter 7, debtors must choose if they will surrender or redeem their vehicles, or if they will reaffirm or simply keep paying their auto loans. Chapter 13 debtors can expect their auto . . . → Read More: When a Cram-Down Is Not an Option: Giving Up a Car in Chapter 13

Reason Not to File Chapter 13: Future Improving Financial Conditions

A few months ago I wrote a post explaining why New York bankruptcy debtors should consider the role that future deteriorating financial conditions can play in their decisions to file in chapter 13. The focus of that post was post-petition debt. Today I’m going to discuss the opposite situation: why future improving financial conditions are . . . → Read More: Reason Not to File Chapter 13: Future Improving Financial Conditions

What Are Chapter 13 Property Valuation Orders?

In late December I wrote a pair of posts on the 2016 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act Report (BAPCPA Report) that tried to illustrate who chapter 13 bankruptcy debtors are. Although the BAPCPA Report contains several tables for chapter 13, I skipped Table 5, which concerns property valuation orders. In 2016, these orders . . . → Read More: What Are Chapter 13 Property Valuation Orders?

What Happens to My Bank Account When My Spouse Files Bankruptcy?

I’ve discussed married couples in New York bankruptcy and what happens to a joint account in bankruptcy, but there is one more common situation that debtors’ spouses need to be aware of: bank accounts belonging to non-filing spouses.

It’s easy to imagine that this should be a non-issue. Your assets are in your name, so . . . → Read More: What Happens to My Bank Account When My Spouse Files Bankruptcy?

Non-Lawyers’ Explanations of Bankruptcy May Be Wrong

Do you have financial problems? Do you tend to ask your friends for advice? Is one of your friends an experienced New York bankruptcy lawyer who will explain the process for you? Are your friends otherwise knowledgeable people? The answer to these questions may be, “Yes but you don’t know it.”

Although many bankruptcy lawyers . . . → Read More: Non-Lawyers’ Explanations of Bankruptcy May Be Wrong

What Is a ‘Motion to Suspend’ Proceedings in Bankruptcy?

A New York bankruptcy case does not need to end in dismissal; there are some situations in which debtors, creditors, or trustees may prefer to just suspend cases. That is, rather than ending cases abruptly there can be times when it’s preferable to simply hit the pause button on bankruptcy until it’s more convenient to . . . → Read More: What Is a ‘Motion to Suspend’ Proceedings in Bankruptcy?

What Is Bankruptcy’s Minimum Age?

If you can’t drive if you’re under 16, can’t vote if you’re under 18, and can’t buy alcohol if you’re under 21, then how old do you need to be to file bankruptcy? One might think that the age would be 18 because that’s the usual age for engaging in civic activities, but in fact . . . → Read More: What Is Bankruptcy’s Minimum Age?