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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

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

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 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?

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

Report: Mortgage Modifications That Reduce Payments Work Best

During the Great Recession, mortgage-modification programs emerged as an alternative to default or filing New York bankruptcy. The federal government created one of the larger ones, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), but the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also introduced their own versions. A new report by the JPMorgan Chase Institute . . . → Read More: Report: Mortgage Modifications That Reduce Payments Work Best

Who Are Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Debtors? (Part 2 of 2)

(Click here to read, “Who Are Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Debtors?” part 1.)

In part 1 of this two-post series, I showcased two tables from the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) Report for 2016. The information in the tables can help debtors with consumer debts answer common questions they have about Brooklyn bankruptcy . . . → Read More: Who Are Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Debtors? (Part 2 of 2)

What Are ‘Suspense Accounts’ and How Do They Relate to Foreclosure?

Normally, when a homeowner makes a mortgage payment, the servicer places the money in escrow and then distributes it to the relevant parties (the creditor, the insurance company, the government, and itself as a fee). Problems can arise with partial mortgage payments. Instead of placing it in escrow, making a partial distribution to the creditors, . . . → Read More: What Are ‘Suspense Accounts’ and How Do They Relate to Foreclosure?

New York Fed: Higher College Costs Translates to Less Homeownership

The New York Fed is apparently very interested in the effects of college costs on young Americans’ home buying. The central bank branch explored the topic of student loans leading to lower homeownership rates in April, but in July it looked at it from a different angle: how public university tuition costs relate to homeownership. . . . → Read More: New York Fed: Higher College Costs Translates to Less Homeownership

Why File Chapter 7 to Delay an Inevitable Foreclosure?

Chapter 7 New York bankruptcy is often offered as an option for stopping a foreclosure. However, debtors should ask why it’s worth the trouble if they think they will lose their homes anyway. It’s a fair point: Debtors who are behind on their mortgages might not keep their homes in chapter 7. Ultimately, the answer . . . → Read More: Why File Chapter 7 to Delay an Inevitable Foreclosure?