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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?

Rising Home Values Don’t Help Bankruptcy Debtors

Home values can rise quickly, and while most homeowners like that just fine, it’s usually not a good thing for New York bankruptcy debtors, particularly those with underwater junior mortgages on their primary residences. The consequences can affect consumer debtors in all chapters, and it they can eliminate the advantage to filing in chapter 13 . . . → Read More: Rising Home Values Don’t Help Bankruptcy Debtors

What Happens to a Joint Bank Account in Bankruptcy?

One of the trickier situations in New York bankruptcy is when a debtor co-owns an account with another person. It’s also a common situation: Debtors frequently own things with spouses, children, and even elderly relatives. It’s not so much of an issue when married couples file bankruptcy together—the account is indisputably an asset to the . . . → Read More: What Happens to a Joint Bank Account in Bankruptcy?

Beware the Stock Market

In recent weeks, you may have heard of the bursting Bitcoin bubble and the faltering stock market. These types of events are naturally associated with recessions, job losses, and people filing bankruptcy. The sudden turn in markets isn’t nearly so ominous, but there are some things debtors should know about financial assets in New York . . . → Read More: Beware the Stock Market

How Much Is That Collection Worth in Bankruptcy?

No, not debt collections, I’m talking about personal collectibles. Probably everyone has heard the urban legend about the baby boomer whose parents threw out his baseball-card collection that had a priceless Honus Wagner among them. Contrary to the parents’ perception that it’s just junk, collectibles of all kinds can be quite valuable. In fact, people . . . → Read More: How Much Is That Collection Worth in Bankruptcy?

Increasing Retirement Contributions (IRA, 401(k)) Before Bankruptcy

Many working debtors have retirement accounts, chiefly investment retirement accounts (IRAs) or 401(k) accounts through their employers. These accounts are assets, but New York bankruptcy exemption rules shield them completely while the federal exemptions protect them up to an enormous amount—more than $1.2 million. Debtors sometimes ask whether retirement contributions are allowed in bankruptcy, but . . . → Read More: Increasing Retirement Contributions (IRA, 401(k)) Before Bankruptcy

What Happens to Timeshares in Bankruptcy?

Because they can be better off than many other Americans, debtors in chapter 7 New York bankruptcy sometimes own timeshares. A timeshare is a vacation property with divided ownership or usage rights among multiple parties. The idea is to compromise between the cost of owning real estate in a desirable area and people’s desire to . . . → Read More: What Happens to Timeshares in Bankruptcy?

When Can a Debtor Reopen a New York Bankruptcy Case?

Sometimes after bankruptcy cases are closed or dismissed, debtors will want to reopen them for a variety of reasons depending on the circumstances. Bankruptcy courts have substantial power to grant debtors requests to reopen their cases, so it can be helpful to know when it’s allowed, especially when self-represented debtors’ cases were dismissed due to . . . → Read More: When Can a Debtor Reopen a New York Bankruptcy Case?

Insurance Proceeds and Bankruptcy

I recently discussed what happens to health-insurance policies in bankruptcy, so debtors might also be curious about what happens to the actual proceeds from insurance claims. With the health-care policy, the issue was the character of the agreement, but with proceeds, the question focuses on the money the insurance company pays to the debtor when . . . → Read More: Insurance Proceeds and Bankruptcy

Unusual, Uncommon, and Frequently Unlisted Assets in Bankruptcy

At a first consultation, a debtor will usually tell a New York bankruptcy lawyer about his or her debts in good detail. Information on the other term in the bankruptcy equation, assets, is often more difficult to provide. After all, debtors struggle paying their bills, and their property doesn’t remind them that they own it . . . → Read More: Unusual, Uncommon, and Frequently Unlisted Assets in Bankruptcy