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Credit Counseling

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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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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CFPB Studies Debtor Education That Isn’t a Waste of Debtors’ Time

Observing the tenth anniversary of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, I discussed one of its less consequential impacts on New York bankruptcy: whether debtor-education requirements were a waste of time. The Government Accountability Office found that debtors thought the courses were somewhat helpful, but they would not have prevented their bankruptcies. In …

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Where Do Debtor Education Fees End Up? A Multi-Million-Dollar Industry

I wrote a few posts about the 2005 bankruptcy reform, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), but I left out one topic that doesn’t really address whether the law benefited debtors in New York bankruptcy. Specifically, what were some of the unintended consequences of the BAPCPA? One answer is the industry spawned …

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Do Debtors Think Mandatory Financial Education Works?

That’s the question a pair of researchers raised a few years ago, and the answer might provide insights to debtors in New York bankruptcy. Since the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was passed, debtors have been required to complete a financial education course prior to discharge, which is not to be confused …

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What Documents Must Debtors File to Meet Their Duties in Bankruptcy?

The Bankruptcy Code obligates a debtor to fulfill a number of duties to successfully complete a New York bankruptcy. Failure to do so can result in penalties ranging from dismissal to revocation of a discharge order to criminal penalties for bankruptcy fraud. 28 U.S.C. § 521 divides the debtor’s duties into ten subsections, and most …

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Wall Street Journal says “Beware of ‘Debt-Relief’ offers”

I always try to warn people to avoid the empty promises of debt relief and debt settlement companies that require up-front fees and imply that you’ll only need to pay pennies on the dollar. Now, the Wall Street Journal is warning people as well in a recent article (“Beware of ‘Debt-Relief’ Offers“).  The article notes …

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Annie Leibovitz avoids mandatory credit counseling in New York

ABC News reports that Annie Leibovitz reached an agreement with her creditors that, at least for now, staves off the need for a bankruptcy filing. What if Annie Leibovitz had filed for bankruptcy in New York? Would she have to go through mandatory credit counseling (cost:  $50) as required by the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention …

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