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My case just got filed. What happens next?

Okay. You just sat down and reviewed your petition, made any appropriate changes to make it speak the truth and then signed it. The fees are (finally) paid  (upfront fees if its a chapter 13), and the case was just filed electronically with the Bankruptcy Court. You have your bankruptcy case number. What’s next? It Read More

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Supreme Court Establishes Standard for Contempt of the Discharge Injunction

When a successful consumer bankruptcy case has run its course, the Bankruptcy Court issues an Order of Discharge. The discharge does a couple of very important things. It voids the future effect of judgments taken against the debtor prior to bankruptcy (except to the extent that the lien of a judgment has validly attached to Read More

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How much will my plan payment be in chapter 13?

This frequently comes up when discussing a possible chapter 13 case filing with a client. The answer depends on what kind of debt we’re discussing. Let’s start with unsecured debt, like credit cards, medical and (some) lawyer bills, the butcher, the baker, etc. (Not included here are priority claims, discussed below.) Some people guess that Read More

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How does the second half of the means test work?

If your median household income exceeds the median income for (New York) for your household size, then you haven’t passed the simple, straight-forward first half of the means test. So, its on to the second half. The second and more complicated part of this test deducts certain expenses from your current monthly income. Some of Read More

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What is the means test, and how would it affect me?

The means test is a financial gateway, which you must pass through to safely file for chapter 7 protection. It is found at Bankruptcy Code section 707(b), and supposedly tests for ‘abuse’ of the provisions of chapter 7.  Prior to the extensive 2005 re-write of the Bankruptcy Code at the behest of various deep-pocketed creditor Read More

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I’m Getting Divorced. Should We File Bankruptcy Together?

Many couples contemplating divorce or in the process of getting divorced are saddled with debt and want to begin their new lives with a fresh start. Bankruptcy is frequently a part of the ‘starting over’ process. Married partners often carry joint debt, from credit cards to personal loans, car loan and mortgages. Does it make Read More

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The Credit Card Collectors Keep Calling – What Should I Do?

This question comes up a lot. Direct collection calls; robocalls, all day long starting in the early morning. I owe the money, but I can’t pay the credit cards and also pay my car loan, my mortgage. I don’t know what to tell them . . . First things first. Never pay a past due Read More

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Paralysis: The Cost to You of Doing Nothing About Debt

The bills come in, and you can’t bear to see them. They end up in the trash. Your overtime was cut a few months ago, and that second job hasn’t materialized yet. But its okay, things will work out. You are sure that the answer is right around the corner. You keep telling yourself that, Read More

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Why Choose Me to Represent You?

The short answer is that I care. You are not a file, you are a human being with hopes and dreams, joys and fears, and this bankruptcy thing scares you just about as much as anything you have ever encountered. I have practiced bankruptcy law for over 30 years, representing banks, Freddie Mac, real estate Read More

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But I Was Taught To Pay My Bills

So many people feel shame when faced with bills that they cannot pay. That shame is the result of what we were told as children and young adults. Be responsible, live within your means, pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Self-reliance is so important to many of us, and when we can’t get out of Read More

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