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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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The Benefits of a Short Tax Year Election to a Bankruptcy Filing

The last thing people who are considering filing bankruptcy in New York are probably interested in is filing two tax returns in one year.  Yet it is not only possible but also worthwhile to do in certain circumstances. First, what are we talking about? Federal law allows individual debtors (i.e. non-businesses) in chapter 7 or …

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‘Abandoned’ Business Assets in Bankruptcy

It’s a sad truth that many businesses in New York fail, prompting twin chapter 7 bankruptcies for both the business and the owner. The two most common causes of businesses shutting their doors is lack of sales (obviously) and liquidity problems, which usually involve solid sales, but the business nevertheless can’t pay its creditors because …

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Preferences vs fraudulent conveyances in New York: What’s the difference?

For New Yorkers involved with the bankruptcy process, whether debtors or creditors, the concepts of “preferences” and “fraudulent conveyances” often cause confusion.  (Actually, it’s not just laypeople.  They cause confusion for many law students and even some lawyers as well.) They cause confusion because they both often relate to attempts by debtors to keep certain …

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Preference actions: The art of making them disappear

I had a client situation recently that reminded me of how important preparation and know-how are when dealing with preference actions. The client had received a demand letter from a debtor in a Chapter 11 case (who has the powers of a trustee) informing him that he would be subject to a preference lawsuit unless …

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Preference Actions: What is the “New Value” defense?

In a previous post (“Defenses to Preference Actions – Part I“), I explained that there are three common defenses to preference actions (also often called “preference lawsuits”) that you can use if you’ve received a demand letter from a bankruptcy trustee, from counsel to a Debtor-In-Possession or counsel to a creditors committee. In subsequent posts …

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Preference Actions: What is the “contemporaneous exchange” defense?

In a previous post (“Defenses to Preference Actions – Part I“), I explained that there are three common defenses to preference actions (also often called “preference lawsuits”) that you can use if you’ve received a demand letter from a bankruptcy trustee, from counsel to a Debtor-In-Possession or counsel to a creditors committee. In a subsequent …

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Defenses to Preference Actions – Part 1

In previous posts on this site (What is a Preference?  And why should you care? and Preference Actions:  How to Defend Against Them), I’ve addressed the topic of preference actions (also commonly referred to as preference lawsuits). If you read those two posts, then you know that, from a creditor’s perspective: Preference actions seem unfair …

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