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An overview of the Truth in Lending Act

interest rates

The Truth in Lending Act, or TILA for short, was passed 50 years ago to ensure protection and transparency for consumers in their interactions with creditors and lenders. Today, it is part of the more encompassing Consumer Credit Protection Act, but its echoes can be felt in the measures taken to help consumers avoid a…

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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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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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Approaching lenders after bankruptcy

credit card offer

Even if they are being called daily by creditors and facing collection lawsuits, many New Yorkers shy away from declaring bankruptcy because they believe doing so will prevent them from ever getting credit again. This is untrue: once the crippling debt load is discharged, you can build your way to a stellar credit score. You…

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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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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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Let this New Year be your fresh start

new years

For many of us, creating and sticking to a budget is a top New Year’s resolution. Mastering the ability to live within your means is especially important if you are in the middle of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or planning to file, because successful planning can help ensure greater financial success in the future. Here…

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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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Five reasons why New Yorkers declare bankruptcy

five reasons concept balloon

Last year, less than 800,000 people filed for bankruptcy throughout the country. At first glance, that seems like a lot, but in reality the number of filings for 2016 was the lowest for any year since 2006. Although filings appear to be in the decline, thousands of people throughout New York continue to seek bankruptcy…

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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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How the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act can affect your bankruptcy

houses in bankruptcy

When New York homeowners file for bankruptcy in New York, they are typically aware of the protections extended to them by the automatic stay. The calls and letters from creditors and/or third-party debt collectors stop and all official collection actions, such as wage garnishments or lawsuits, are brought to a halt. A comparative few-and even…

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Buying a home after a New York bankruptcy

houses

If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, then you may be wondering if you will ever be able to buy a home before the filing disappears from your credit report (10 years for a Chapter 7, seven years after a Chapter 13). The answer is a definite yes, but you should generally wait a…

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Filing a joint vs. individual chapter 7 bankruptcy

legal consultation with two people

If you are married and considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a debt crisis solution, then you and your spouse will have to discuss whether you want to file a joint petition, file your own separate cases, or have one of you file alone. There is no right answer that applies to all couples equally—it all…

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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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Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Here’s what you can keep

exempt sign bankruptcy

Chapter 7 is often referred to as the “liquidation bankruptcy” because it wipes out most, if not all, of your unsecured debts. This fact, combined with the relatively short duration of a typical filing, motivates a lot of people to use Chapter 7 to get a fresh financial start. There is a potential downside, however.…

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Meeting with a New York bankruptcy attorney: What to expect

When you’ve scheduled a consultation with an attorney to discuss a New York bankruptcy, it’s normal to wonder what to expect. Although every bankruptcy attorney has their own approach, there are questions and discussion topics that appear in the majority of first meetings.  There are also documents you should bring that will make the whole…

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How bankruptcy affects foreclosure in New York

mortgage

In times of extreme financial difficulty, many people fall behind on their mortgage payments. In some instances, the mortgage company or lender will work with the homeowner by modifying the terms of the loan or facilitating a short sale, but other times they will start the foreclosure process, which entitles them to repossess the house…

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Mortgage issues and bankruptcy in New York

When homeowners experience financial difficulties, meeting their mortgage obligations may eventually become impossible. For many of them, bankruptcy is an opportunity to get a fresh start by discharging all non-exempt debts or organizing them into an affordable payment plan. Each type of bankruptcy treats mortgage debt differently, however, so it is important to evaluate all…

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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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Is my credit ruined for life if I file bankruptcy?

credit score post bankruptcy

Once you have made the decision to file for bankruptcy and set up a meeting for New York bankruptcy attorney, it’s time to bust through some of the common myths associated with this practice of discharging your debts. One of the biggest misconceptions about bankruptcy is that it ruins your credit for the remainder of…

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Will I ever be able to buy a house again after I file for bankruptcy?

houses in bankruptcy

One of the most common questions asked by individuals who are contemplating bankruptcy filing in New York has to do with how this will impact their future over the long run. While many people are familiar with the short-term consequences of filing for bankruptcy like difficulty obtaining credit and an impact on your credit score,…

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Will bankruptcy eliminate all of my debts?

eraser for debt

For the most part, filing for bankruptcy will discharge the vast majority of your debts. There are some categories, though, that cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy, regardless of the type of bankruptcy you opt to file. This list includes: Loans you received by purposely providing false information to the creditor on the loan who relied…

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Homeowners still underwater with mortgages despite asking for help

homeowner foreclosure

The Home Affordable Modification Program was started by the federal government to throw a lifeline to homeowners who were at risk of foreclosure. First presented to borrowers in 2009, it was meant to allow homeowners the opportunity to ask for a loan modification. According to a recent report, however, it looks like those who asked…

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What you should know about bankruptcy and second mortgages

mortgages and bankruptcy concept

A recent decision from the Supreme Court is important for homeowners as it addresses second mortgages. The ruling specifically addresses concerns related to these second mortgages where homeowners find their homes underwater. According to the decision, homeowners should not be prepared to strip or otherwise anticipate wiping out their second mortgage completely in bankruptcy just…

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The most common reasons for bankruptcy

According to recent research, medical expenses are the most common reason for filing bankruptcy, but it is certainly not the only cause for people to get in over their heads financially. Overwhelming medical expenses influence two-thirds of people who ultimately file bankruptcy, even when health insurance was in place. Major events like a sudden medical…

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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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What Does It Mean For A House To Be “Underwater?”

financial distress illustrated underwater

Even though it sounds a little complicated, the term ‘underwater’ is not as difficult as it might appear at first. Underwater (alternative options include “upside down”) means that you owe more on your current mortgage than your actual home is worth. Even though it is a relatively simple concept, the truth is that it is…

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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 DISCOUNT: CUT YOUR DEBT FOR 10% LESS

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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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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Why there are fewer defaults on VA home loans than FHA loans

home mortgage problems

Loans guaranteed by the government’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) have, between 2000 and 2012, faced higher default rates than loans partially guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). When understanding the reason or reasons for the different default rates, one might assume it has to do with the type of borrowers the FHA lends…

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac face lawsuit over foreclosure procedures

foreclosure and banks

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, home mortgage agencies, take over or issue many American’s mortgages. The US government backs Fannie and Freddie mortgages. While some may think that Fannie and Freddie will always help borrowers in financial trouble that is not always the case. Some organizations, such as Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods (SUN), a Massachusetts non-profit,…

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Rihanna’s bankruptcy

bankruptcy singer

Rihanna filed for bankruptcy about five years ago, in 2009, because her accountants were unable to keep detail logs of her money or failed to inform her that she was heading downhill financially, as reported by AOL in a February 12, 2014 article. The well-known singer claims that “their poor advice saw her fortune fall…

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After a mortgage modification, many borrowers fall behind on payments

in debt

A credit reporting company recently analyzed about 5 million mortgages to determine, in part, if borrowers who received mortgage modifications kept up with their payments after the modification. TransUnion found that more than half of those who received a mortgage modification were behind on payments a year-and-a-half later. The June 21, 2012 New York Times…

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Anyone can file for bankruptcy

bankruptcy attorney

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is a hard choice or decision that one has to make. Filing for bankruptcy might mean giving up one’s home and car, and relocating to another neighborhood, as reported by The Week in a January 29, 2014 article. Moreover, when one has a family and has to tell his or…

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Borrower’s foreclosure not rescinded by the court

foreclosure

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) was signed into law in 1968. It requires banks and other lending institutions to layout terms and costs related loans in a specific manner. In one case covered by the New York Law Journal on January 8, 2014, a borrower asked the court for partial summary judgment relating to…

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Why do many people file for bankruptcy?

Medical debt

Many people think that the leading causes for filing for bankruptcies are credit card debt, student loan debt, and mortgage debt. However, this is not true today as growing medical bills are the main cause, as reported by Today Money in a June 25, 2013 article. Today, medical care is not cheap, and it is…

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Stricter reverse mortgage rules will be implemented

mortgage debt concept

Many people take out a mortgage, so that they are able to purchase or finance a home. Due to the economic crisis, many people are unable to pay their bills. As a result, many people are taking advantage of reverse mortgages and as a consequence, the laws governing them are becoming stricter.  A reverse mortgage…

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If one files for bankruptcy, does this reduce one’s mortgage?

Bankruptcy Bronx

Usually people file for bankruptcy when they are unable to keep up with their mortgage payments, credit card payments, medical bills, etc.  Many people file for bankruptcy because they are unable to keep up with their mortgage payments and they do not want to lose their homes. When one files for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy,…

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Does bankruptcy prevent one for acquiring a loan?

Bronx Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bankruptcy allows one to eliminate most of his or her debt, and it also allows one to obtain a “clean slate” as reported by Wicked Local Norwood in a May 19, 2013 article. When people file for bankruptcy, most people are worried about obtaining a loan  after the bankruptcy is filed,  which will be used…

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Courts rarely vacate foreclosure sales

Today many people are unable to keep up with their mortgage payments. As a result, the lender or the bank is stepping in and foreclosing on the property. A lender recently foreclosed on property when the borrower defaulted on his mortgage payment. The borrower wanted to “vacate the judgment of the foreclosure and the sale,…

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Court rules that fraud is not a ground to reopen a foreclosure case

A February 8, 2013 Reuters online article announced that Florida’s Supreme Court issued a ruling that prevented a homeowner from re-opening a voluntarily foreclosure even though it was found that the bank falsified documents. The Florida case involved a Florida homeowner who filed for foreclosure after receiving a past due mortgage notice. The homeowner agreed…

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Housing market growing strength with new mortgage rates

Bronx Bankruptcy Attorney

In a February 21, 2013 Bloomberg news article it was reported that the housing marketing is starting to stabilize and strengthen. New reports show that more people are showing interest in purchasing their home because of the low mortgage rates and unemployment rates are lowering. Last year roughly 4.66 million homes were sold, the largest…

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Bankruptcy filings down in 2012

According to the Boston Globe and the Times Union in articles published on January 22, 2013, bankruptcy filings were down in Massachusetts and the Albany region in 2012 as compared to previous years. Experts say that the number of bankruptcy filings often follows the economy. For example, in 2009, banks offered credit to many borrowers…

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