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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

What Is a ‘No-Asset’ New York Bankruptcy Case?

New York bankruptcy is full of jargon as one might expect, so debtors might be tripped up when they hear some of its terminology that doesn’t always mean what it sounds like. Take for example “no-asset bankruptcy” or “no-asset case.” This term sounds like situations in which debtors have no property at all to their . . . → Read More: What Is a ‘No-Asset’ New York Bankruptcy Case?

What Are ‘Non-Consumer Debts’ in Chapter 7?

The means test applies strict rules for debtors filing bankruptcy in chapter 7—but not all debtors. Specifically, section 707(1)(b) of the Bankruptcy Code authorizes creditors, trustees, or parties in interest to move the bankruptcy court to dismiss cases filed by debtors whose debts are “primarily consumer debts.” What kind of debts is the statute referring . . . → Read More: What Are ‘Non-Consumer Debts’ in Chapter 7?

Should You Sign That Reaffirmation Agreement With That Creditor?

Short answer: Usually not.

Longer answer: Let’s start with what a reaffirmation agreement is. A creditor may ask a debtor in a New York bankruptcy to sign a reaffirmation agreement to renew the debt related to a secured asset. The creditor’s goal is simple: making money off the debtor in exchange for probably nothing.

To . . . → Read More: Should You Sign That Reaffirmation Agreement With That Creditor?

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

Choose Bankruptcy, Not ‘the Sweatbox’

A while back, I wrote several posts to illustrate who Brooklyn bankruptcy and New York bankruptcy debtors are by the chapter they file in. (For example here is, “Who Are Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Debtors?“) Although I think the posts covered the topic quite well, one of their weaknesses was that they used averages from aggregates, . . . → Read More: Choose Bankruptcy, Not ‘the Sweatbox’

Stay Away From Hospital-Affiliated Bank Loans

Recently I wrote about the agreements big banks were striking with colleges to make money off their students. The Washington Post ran an article about similar agreements between hospitals and banks for lending money to patients to pay for their medical expenses. From a New York bankruptcy context, debtors should try to avoid these loans . . . → Read More: Stay Away From Hospital-Affiliated Bank Loans

Study: ‘Making Ends Meet’ Most Common Cause of Credit-Card Debt

Excessive Credit-card debt is very common in New York bankruptcy. In fact, in 2016 in the Eastern District of New York, which includes all Brooklyn bankruptcy cases, the average debtor owed tens of thousands of dollars in unsecured debts. (Information from “Who Are Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Debtors?“) The question is, what are the main reasons . . . → Read More: Study: ‘Making Ends Meet’ Most Common Cause of Credit-Card Debt