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Debt Collectors

Repossession vs. charge-off in bankruptcy

car and figure

When you take out a mortgage or car loan, you agree to repay the amount over time. If financial challenges become so steep that you end up having to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the lender will usually do one of two things: take back the asset or charge off the debt. How is repossession…

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Can the automatic stay ever be lifted in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

stop hand concept

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York, one of the biggest advantages is that the automatic stay protects you from most creditor actions such as collection agency calls, wage garnishments, lawsuits, foreclosures, and repossessions. The automatic stay is an injunction issued by the bankruptcy court. Once creditors are notified, even a lawsuit…

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Should you file for joint bankruptcy with your spouse?

man woman calculator bills

Married couples in New York have the option of addressing their debt burden by filing a joint bankruptcy petition. While this is a convenient way of eliminating debt incurred over the course of the marriage, it’s not a legal obligation. In fact, there may be times when separate filing is more beneficial. How joint bankruptcy…

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What is a preference lawsuit in bankruptcy?

hundred dollar bills

Section 550 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows a trustee to sue creditors to recover any payments made by a debtor within the 90-day period prior to their bankruptcy filing. These actions, which as known as preference lawsuits, apply to payments that were made: On a previously incurred (as opposed to current) debt While the…

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Voluntary vs. involuntary bankruptcy- what’s the difference?

money in bankruptcy

When you think of bankruptcy, you probably imagine an indebted person or business owner visiting a bankruptcy attorney’s office and filing a chapter that is best suited to their circumstances. While this is the most common way to file, it’s not the only one. There are actually two types of bankruptcy in New York: voluntary…

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What is a debt collector?

debt collection

Many clients who file bankruptcy with our office have received notices in the mail or calls by phone that their debts have been purchased by a debt collector. A few of the most common agencies are: Midland Funding Asset Recovery Systems (ARS) United Collection Bureau (UCB) Cavalry Portfolio Services Many clients have many questions about…

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What is a “no-asset” Chapter 7 bankruptcy?


The month of January can be a difficult time for financially for anyone. They may have acquired even more debt due to holiday spending and are reaching the point where they have to choose between paying the rent and paying their credit card bill. People stuck in this situation may benefit from Chapter 7 bankruptcy.…

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Household debt continues to rise in the U.S.

increase in debt

A recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicates that the third quarter of 2018 saw increases in practically all types of borrowing, making it the 17th consecutive quarter that America’s debt load has increased. Household debt rose yet again to $13.51 trillion, most of which was mortgage debt at $9.14 trillion.…

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New York debt collection law

erase debt man

Many consumers have heard of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which protected them from abusive, unfair, and unconscionable treatment by third-party debt collectors. What may not be as well-known is that individual states have their own debt collection laws, some of which extend greater protection to residents. The New York debt collection regulations were…

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What is the difference between a creditor and a debt collector?

bill and people concept

When you’re burdened by debt and unable to make the minimum payments on your student loans and credit cards you’re probably going to hear from a credit collector or a third-party debt collector. Although dealing with both types can seem like the same frustrating experience to you, the truth is that the law has different…

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What can you do if the IRS files a lien on your property?

When you accumulate a certain amount of tax debt, the IRS may file a lien against your property, including your home. These liens effectively encumber everything you own, such as your house, motor vehicle, bank account, and real estate, and everything that you acquire while the lien is still in effect. Once a tax lien…

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How does bankruptcy stop an eviction?

eviction on door

If you are struggling financially, then you may fall behind in your rent payments. With New York rents being so high, it is not unusual for a distressed consumer to go into arrears simply to put food on the table. This means that you will eventually receive a notice of eviction from your landlord.  For many filers,…

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Bankruptcy and the SCRA

soldier and family

Anyone can run into financial difficulties, and members of the U.S. armed forces are no exception. However, because they are tasked with the monumental responsibility of defending the nation, laws are in place to protect them during civil matters like lawsuits, foreclosure, and even bankruptcy.  The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal law that evolved from…

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What is a reaffirmation agreement?

Bankruptcy Reaffirmation agreement closeup

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York, the goal is to seek relief from all of your debts. There are times, however, when you may want to remain responsible for a particular obligation. This possibility happens when the debt is secured by a significant asset that the creditor could seize if you…

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Why debt settlement companies are not the answer

man cuts debt word

How many times have you turned on your TV or radio and heard an ad proclaiming how a particular debt settlement company can negotiate with your lenders to lower your interest rate and reduce your monthly payments. Does it sound too good to be true? Chances are that it is. How debt settlement companies work…

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How will Chapter 7 bankruptcy affect your sole proprietorship

past due debt and credit cards

When you start your own business, you’re excited about the future possibilities. Ideally, it will be a success that allows you to support your family and even your future generations. Unfortunately, not every small business meets with success. Debt such as commercial leases, supplier contracts, and business loans can exceed income until bankruptcy is the…

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How will Chapter 7 bankruptcy affect a New York corporation

business finances

Many New Yorkers who start their own businesses, alone or with someone else, choose to incorporate. Their personal assets are differentiated from the company’s, offering greater protection, banks are more receptive to lending money to incorporated businesses, and having “Inc.” or “Corp” after the company name enhances credibility and opens up more opportunities. When an…

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Who will find out that you filed for bankruptcy in New York?

newspaper notices

Many New York residents who are contemplating bankruptcy worry that their friends, family, and employer will find out, causing them to lose respect and even their job. The bad news is that your bankruptcy filing is a public record, meaning that anyone can look it up—provided they know about it in the first place. In…

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Being “judgment proof” and bankruptcy

income on desk

Should you fail to pay your bills, your creditors can legally sue you for the money you allegedly owe them, but if you are ‘judgment proof’, they may not succeed in collecting it, especially if it is a credit card balance, medical debt arrears, or some other form of unsecured debt. In this blog, we’ll…

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What happens to your investments in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

If you are thinking of filing for Chapter 13, then you’re bound to have concerns about any investments you may have. Can creditors like the IRS touch them? Which ones are protected? It’s a complicated area that a New York bankruptcy attorney can clarify for you. 401(k) plans The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)…

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What to expect at a 341 meeting

bankruptcy court hearing 341 meeting

When you file for bankruptcy in New York, one of the conditions of a future discharge is that you attend a meeting of creditors known as the 341 hearing, named after a section of the Bankruptcy Code. Your trustee will attend and ask you a series of questions. Although creditors are allowed to attend, none…

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Is this for real? How to tell if a debt collector is legitimate

phone with debt collector concept

What’s worse than being chased by a debt collector? Being chased by a fake one! Across the country, people are being called by scammers who claim to be legitimate debt collectors but who are, in reality, anything but. These fraudsters usually do their research beforehand, accessing your personal information by pulling your credit report, hacking…

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Common issues clients must overcome when filing bankruptcy

warning sign

If you’ve decided that bankruptcy is the best solution to an overwhelming debt problem, you don’t want mistakes and missteps to prevent you from getting the relief you need. Below are some of the activities and transactions that may result in your petition being refused, as some debtors employ them to minimize the negative effects…

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Chapter 9 bankruptcy

bankruptcy law book

Chapter 9 bankruptcy is specifically structured to address the needs of financially distressed municipalities, which can include a broad range of government entities such as: Towns Cities Counties Taxing districts School districts Chapter 9 allows these entities to reorganize their debts, extend repayment timelines, reduce the principal / interest, or obtain refinancing. In order to…

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Title III bankruptcy: What it is and how it works

bankruptcy law

Hounded by creditors and low on financial resources, Puerto Rico recently filed a Title III petition in federal court. This is apparently the first time that an American state or territory has sought this type of relief from a crushing debt load (in this instance, $74 billion to creditors and over $40 billion in pension…

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Bankruptcy and child support

money bill

Imagine this scenario. Your ex has been ordered to pay you child support after your New York divorce, and she does—approximately half the time. As the months pass, many payments are missed and the amount of back child support due to you increases. Then you find out that she has just filed for bankruptcy to…

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What is Chapter 20 Bankruptcy?

When you file for Chapter 13 immediately after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge, it is known as a Chapter 20 situation. Its intended purpose is to allow you to discharge your unsecured debts via a Chapter 7 and then catch up on nondischargeable debts such as taxes and your mortgage in a Chapter 13 repayment…

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Social security disability and bankruptcy

bankruptcy consideration

When disability benefit recipients investigate bankruptcy as a debt solution problem, they are naturally worried about how a filing will affect their income. How much of an impact bankruptcy has on your disability payments will depend on which chapter you file and how the payments are structured. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Bankruptcy laws generally…

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When debt collectors call after your discharge

calling from debt collectors

When you file for bankruptcy in New York, all of your listed creditors are provided with a notice of your filing. They also receive notification of your discharge once you successfully complete all of your bankruptcy obligations. There are, however, occasions when debt collectors will attempt to collect a debt that was included in your…

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What debts cannot be discharged in a New York bankruptcy?

debt receipts

When you’re overwhelmed by debt and unable to pay it within a reasonable time from, bankruptcy may appear to be your only solution. In most instances, filing can give you the relief that you desperately need… depending on what debts you are struggling with. With Chapter 7, you may have to liquidate non-exempt assets to…

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Zombie debt

caught in debt

Although it sounds like the title from a bad movie, zombie debt is a real problem for modern consumers. It refers to a financial obligation that has been charged off or otherwise removed from a creditor’s books because the lender could not afford to pay it or could not be located. The majority of creditors…

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What if a relative dies in a New York bankruptcy?

bankruptcy court sign

When someone we love passes away, we grieve and celebrate their lives at a funeral or memorial session. Then we move on with our own futures. But if you are one of that person’s heirs and he or she died while in the midst of a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, then the estate distribution…

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Effects of bankruptcy on co-signers in New York


If you are considering a New York bankruptcy and have guarantors or co-signers on any or all of your debts, then you may wonder how filing may affect them. Once you are officially bankrupt, doesn’t it mean that your creditors will now go after the people who guaranteed those debts? These are usually family members…

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The Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that governs the actions of credit reporting agencies (CRAs) such as Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, and the individuals and businesses that supply the information used to compile your credit report. It also dictates the following: What the CRAs, creditors, and other authorized parties can (and…

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Credit card debt and bankruptcy in New York

The average credit card debt in New York state is approximately $6,390. For some, that can be managed. But if you are experiencing financial difficulties, it may be beyond your ability to cope with, especially if you have high-interest credit cards that make paying down the principal impossible. Credit card balances are unsecured debts, so…

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Chapter 13 bankruptcy explained

chapter 13 bankruptcy Plan

Chapter 13 has often been referred to as a wage earner’s bankruptcy plan, because those who file must earn a regular income and be able to prove to the court that they can repay some or all of their debts. Unlike Chapter 7, which can eliminate credit card bills, unpaid medical accounts, outstanding utility balances,…

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How can a serious diagnosis impact your financial situation?

There are many different implications for your life if you receive a serious medical diagnosis, particularly if this diagnosis is cancer. You may be feeling shock, confusion, grief, and an array of other emotions as you attempt to cope with this situation. Financially, even with solid health insurance, it can be overwhelming and confusing to…

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Should I try a debt consolidation loan before bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision, and it is worth your time to consider all your options before speaking with a New York bankruptcy attorney. That being said, there are plenty of advertised “solutions” out there that may not actually help you recover from a serious debt situation. In these cases, it is better…

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What to do when debt consolidation does not work for you

debt in bankruptcy person

You may have made the effort to go through debt consolidation or credit counselling in the hopes that it would repair your current financial situation. However, it can be even more frustrating when you emerge from debt consolidation without any significant progress forward. Many individuals considering filing for bankruptcy in New York are doing so…

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Handling a financial disaster after a major medical event

medical debt

A medical emergency can have significant ramifications for your life, particularly in the form of financial consequences. Did you know that medical expenses are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy across the United States? This is because even when you have health insurance, a sudden and expensive medical procedure can set you back for…

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What to do if a debt collector is harassing you

man on phone harassed by creditor

If you are buried in bills in the State of New York and you are the victim of creditor harassment, then you may have rights to make the creditors stop harassing you. One of the most important things you can do is to consult with a knowledgeable New York bankruptcy attorney. If you are feeling…

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How can you use the automatic stay to stop creditors?


Once you file for bankruptcy in New York, a special provision known as the automatic stay kicks in to protect you from recurring bill collectors and creditors. This stops any lawsuits filed against you by collection agencies, government entities or creditors that are looking for money from you. It is a powerful tool that can…

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Could an alternative help you and save you from bankruptcy?

bankruptcy and options concept

These days, there are so many ads about ways to avoid bankruptcy, but you need to proceed carefully if you want to protect your financial reputation. This is because although there are some legitimate programs out there, some risky programs out there could only serve to make your situation worse. If you are not sure…

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Debt collection in New York City

debt collector

There are some big benefits to living in New York State when it comes to debt collection, because the Empire State has some of the strongest anti-harassment laws around the country. The laws on the books are designed to protect consumers from being unreasonably harassed by debt collectors. If you’ve ever received a phone call…

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What is a lien?

liens and bankruptcy credit image

You may have heard the term lien before, but what does it mean exactly? Simply put, a lien means that there is a “hold” (a legal claim) on a particular property. This can be real estate property or personal property. This means that the property becomes collateral against the services or money that is owed…

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Hockey team files bankruptcy for an unconventional reason

bankruptcy team

The Erie Otters, a hockey team, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy recently according to an April 8, 2015 article on GoErie.com. The team owes $4.6 million to another team, the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers are trying to force the Otters to sell themselves in order to pay that debt. This bankruptcy would allow the Otters to…

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What happens to my credit card debts at bankruptcy?

credit cards in bankruptcy

Perhaps you’ve considered filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy but you’ve hesitated because you weren’t quite sure what will happen.  Can creditors come after you for repayment even after you file?  Will all credit card debt automatically be dismissed? Those are troublesome questions, to be sure.  A brief explanation of the Chapter 7 provisions can help…

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Shoddy debt collection agencies face penalties for their actions

bankruptcy documents

According to a January 8, 2015 New York Times article, one in seven Americans is currently dealing with a debt collector. In recent years, the debt collection business has created many shoddy lawsuits in which they try to collect money they claim is owed to them. These lawsuits are akin to many of those that…

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Supreme Court will hear case on bankruptcy and underwater second mortgages

under water house bankruptcy

In 1992, the Supreme Court determined that homeowners whose first mortgage was underwater could not have their bank’s lien cancelled. This especially applied to people filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. That ruling said that if someone had a mortgage on their home and the home was worth less than this mortgage, then the bank still owned…

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bankruptcy is debt elimination

We are offering 10% off legal fees for customers starting a bankruptcy between December 15, 2014 and January 31, 2015. A personal bankruptcy can eliminate many of your debts allowing you to get a fresh financial slate. Call 718-329-9500 to learn more and set up a free in-person consultation with attorney Jayson Lutzky who has…

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Century-old New England paper mill files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

factory bankruptcy

The Great Northern Paper Co. has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in court in Delaware. This business, which is approximately 100 years old, used to produce paper for books, newspapers and other uses. They recently stopped operations at their last plant in Maine, according to the Portland Press Herald on September 29, 2014 and the…

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Pension exceptionalism doctrine questioned in Stockton bankruptcy

The City of Stockton, which is in California, has been under federal bankruptcy protection for approximately two years. It seems that it will exit soon, but for now, its pension system, Calpers, is holding up the process. Calpers is California’s public pension system for municipal employees. Previously, it had seemed that in bankruptcy, debts to…

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New York must pay for failure to observe bankruptcy’s automatic stay

wage garnishment

When a bankruptcy petition is filed, what is known as an “automatic stay” is put in place on the debtor’s bankruptcy estate. A bankruptcy estate is the grouping of a person’s assets that they are put in their bankruptcy filing. The automatic stay prevents creditors from collecting on debts covered under the estate. This is…

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Is bankruptcy enough for Detroit?

bankruptcy case

Detroit’s bankruptcy trial recently commenced. This trial is expected to last for five weeks and deals, in part, with objections to the proposed settlement. Two of the city’s creditors do not want their debt restructured, but the city claims these creditors have a lower payback priority than the city’s pension funds. The city has $18…

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Man denied discharge after fraudulent bankruptcy filing

bankruptcy petition denial

One man filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2011 attempting to wipe out credit card debt and back child support owed. The man did not let the court know about money he earned in Russia in 2009 and 2010 according to a May 13, 2014 New York Law Journal article. Typically, when one files a…

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Bankruptcy petition improperly filed

bankruptcy plans

Bankruptcy is usually filed by the person or entity that is unable to pay its debts, and that is looking for either a discharge of such liability or to establish some sort of a repayment plan, as per a Chapter 11 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy respectively.  However, recently a few creditors filed a petition…

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What happens after the bankruptcy petition is filed?

bankruptcy filing

Bankruptcy is a very complicated process, and it involves a lot of steps and procedures. As a result, the person filing for bankruptcy might be a little overwhelmed and might need an explanation as to what will occur. After the bankruptcy petition is filed, a meeting of creditors is then scheduled, as reported by World…

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Bankruptcy law firm forced into involuntary bankruptcy wants its own bankruptcy case thrown out and wants to change which court its case is heard in

bankrtupcy decisions

Creditors of a personal bankruptcy law firm, Jacoby & Meyers Bankruptcy LLP, have forced the company into involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The firm had closed itself facing financial difficulties in December 2013. The firm formed a trust that would pay out the creditors of the firm. Legal Zoom, a legal document service company, is one…

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Dewey law firm bankruptcy case progresses update

bankruptcy postponed

Bankruptcy cases can take a while, especially when the court has to approve the discharge and the reorganization plan under a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing. The law firm Dewey and LeBoeuf filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy two years ago. Two members, who were responsible for running the company, requested that “discovery of a trustee…

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Paying down your debt quickly, Part II

credit card debt

It is common to receive credit card offers nearly every single day in the mail. If you already have a credit card, then it is wise to ignore them. It is especially wise to ignore these offers if you are already in debt as the offer will allow you to charge more and more items…

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Paying down your debt quickly, Part I

bankruptcy with credit cards

Let’s suppose you have a credit card and you have been making large purchases and living beyond your means. You don’t want to stay in debt, but you’re only paying the minimum required payments. According to AARP, credit card minimum payments are usually only 2% of the balance. By consistently paying minimum payments, you will…

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Why bankruptcy reduces one’s options

bankruptcy crisis

The city of Detroit, Michigan has filed for bankruptcy. Thus it needs to come up with a bankruptcy plan on how it intends to pay off its current debt. As a result, in a part of its bankruptcy plan it is thinking about selling its assets as reported by the L.A. Times in an October…

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Alabama is unsatisfied with bankruptcy plan


Jefferson County in the State of Alabama filed for bankruptcy nearly two years ago. Generally, when a municipality files bankruptcy, it needs to come up with a court-approved plan to reduce the debt it owes. Alabama is not satisfied with its current plan, and it is thinking about ignoring it if its creditors or debtors…

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Benefits of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy

bronx bankruptcy attorney

Going through a bankruptcy can be a stressful process to a person who is unaware of procedure, but it does not have to be. When deciding whether bankruptcy is right for your financial needs it is important to look into the risks and benefits of filing. Chapter 7 personal bankruptcies are more common than the…

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Cease and desist letter does not serve as an answer

In an article published by the New York Law Journal, dated May 29, 2012 (dec.nylj.com/1202555921081), a creditor, Pride Acquisitions made a motion for a summary judgment claiming they made their case based on “breach of contract and account stated.” Pride sought fought summary judgment based on the fact that they were treating a “cease and…

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A Brooklyn hospital prepares to file bankruptcy

hospital files bankruptcy

Recently, the Interfaith Medical Center, has decided to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The New York Times, on December 2, 2012, wrote that this Brooklyn hospital has had financial problems for decades. The hospital serves the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights neighborhoods and is having a difficult time paying its employees. Over the years, the hospital has…

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