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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 . . . → Read More: Payday Loans Sidelined by ‘Consumer Installment Loans’

Applying Credit-Card Rewards to Student Loans

I recently discussed the question of whether it’s better to repay credit-card debt or student-loan debt. Many New York bankruptcy cases feature both types of debt, so similarly situated debtors might want to know which path is best. However, there is a third path open to debtors who are at least on top of their . . . → Read More: Applying Credit-Card Rewards to Student Loans

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?

Is It Better to Pay Off Credit-Card Debt or Student-Loan Debt First?

Many New York bankruptcy debtors owe both credit-card debt and student-loan debt, so debtors in similar circumstances might want to know if it’s better to pay down one rather than the other to avoid bankruptcy. It’s an especially important question because of the challenge in discharging student-loan debt. Maybe it’s better to focus on that . . . → Read More: Is It Better to Pay Off Credit-Card Debt or Student-Loan Debt First?

When Is Doing Nothing About a Debt the Best Option?

Bankruptcy is a powerful option for improving one’s finances, but there are alternatives to struggling debtors. Some cater to homeowners, like short-selling, refinancing, or offering the deed in lieu of foreclosure. Others are oriented to debtors generally, like advice for tightening up one’s finances. However, these don’t quite answer the question of when doing nothing . . . → Read More: When Is Doing Nothing About a Debt the Best Option?

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?

What Is a Bank ‘Setoff’ and How Do They Affect Bankruptcy?

Among the many steps I recommend taking before filing bankruptcy, two of them were looking at your bank’s policies in case they freeze accounts, and considering changing banks. Another reason debtors should consider these courses of action, especially before bankruptcy, is “setoffs.” What are these, and how do they intersect with New York bankruptcy?

When . . . → Read More: What Is a Bank ‘Setoff’ and How Do They Affect Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy Before or After a Short Sale

Short-selling an underwater home is frequently touted as an alternative to New York bankruptcy, but sometimes the two go together. Debtors might find it dispiriting to hear that solving their mortgage problems might require two bureaucratic processes, but knowing how short sales and bankruptcy intersect can help debtors decide whether it’s necessary to take both . . . → Read More: Bankruptcy Before or After a Short Sale