New York Tag

21 Oct Bankruptcy Exemptions in New York State

When filing bankruptcy, a clients first question often involves whether or not they can keep things they own, like their home, their car, or their 401(k). These questions are important, and the answer to the question is two-fold: 1. Is there a lien against the property? 2. If no lien exists, what Bankruptcy Exemptions are available? If there is a lien against the property, which is equal to, or more than the value of the property, as long as you remain current on the payments for that house or car, you will be able to keep the property. If there is no lien, or the lien is less than the value of the property, you have some equity in the property.
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07 Oct Chapter 13 Bankruptcy May Be Your Best Option

Chapter 13 has always been an option for individuals, couples, and sole proprietors (not corporations) who are struggling financially. Since the changes to the Bankruptcy Code under BAPCPA in 2005, more people may have to opt to file Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7. When a debtor's income exceeds the state's median income, he may not be able to file Chapter 7 because the law determines that there is a surplus available to repay a portion of his debt. Debtors are subjected to a calculation called "The Means Test" if their current monthly income is higher than the state median for a family of the same size, as set by the U.S. Census Bureau. Your attorney will 'run' the Means Test, and if there is disposable income remaining in your budget after you have deducted allowable basic living expenses set by the IRS, you will likely have to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. You may only be required to pay a small percentage on the dollar to your creditors, and most of the time the payments required to be paid with a Chapter 13 plan are substantially smaller than if the debtor made payments to the creditors directly.
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22 Sep What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, also called “Straight Bankruptcy” allows a debtor to discharge, or wipe-out, dischargeable unsecured debts. Unsecured means that there are no liens against property you own, given in exchange for the debt. Examples of unsecured debts are credit cards, medical bills, professional’s fees, or personal loans. However, most student loans, and many taxes are not dischargeable. A person is usually eligible to file Chapter 7 if their family income over the last six months is Below Median Income for their state. These income limits are given by the U.S. Census Bureau. Due to changes under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, your best bet is to speak with a local attorney who regularly files bankruptcy cases to determine if you are Chapter 7 eligible. In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing, a case trustee is assigned to your case to review the petition, and later examine you under oath at a meeting called the First Meeting of Creditors. There, it will be the trustee’s job to see if all of the information in the petition is true and complete, and that you have not left anything out, whether on purpose or inadvertently.
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15 Sep Are You in Financial Trouble: A Diagnosis

Everyone's financial situation is different, but there are a few indicators that your finances are already in trouble, or on a fast track there. Often people do not realize the seriousness of their financial situation because of they are living week-to-week. It is important to take a step back and assess your financial situation, to help you decide if you should have a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney. Below are some signs you may be in more financial trouble than you think:
  • You are not sure how much you owe. If this is the case, gather all of your credit card bills and loans together and add up the balances. You are entitled to receive a free credit report from all three credit reporting bureaus, once per year.If you can't pay the total amount off within five years then you have a problem.
  • You only pay the minimum monthly payments on your credit cards. Although credit card companies recently increased minimum monthly payments, you are not chipping away at the principal unless you pay more than the minimum. Because of the interest rates, you could make minimum payments for the rest of your life and still never completely pay off the debt.
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