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Michael D. Pinsky
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I’m filing chapter 13. How do I calculate my chapter 13 plan payments?

Chapter 13 plan payments are based on your projected disposable income (“PDI”). PDI is projected take-home pay (or net business revenue after taxes) minus average projected monthly household expenses plus income tax refunds in excess of $1,500 per year. If you don’t owe any past-due priority claims (like certain taxes) or past-due secured claims (like Read More

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I’m a contractor, and have to close my business. What about unpaid liens?

That makes you a candidate for what’s called chapter 20: a chapter 7 case followed by a chapter 13 case. Under Article 3A of the New York Lien Law, first moneys paid to a contractor for construction are received in trust for paying laborers, subcontractors, and material suppliers. Failure to keep records of these accounts Read More

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I discharged my unsecured debt in chapter 7. Can I now file chapter 13 to deal with secured debt?

A chapter 13 case following-on a chapter 7 case where the debtor received a discharge is called a “chapter 20”.  To be eligible for the second half of the chapter 20, i.e, the chapter 13 case, you have to come within the chapter 13 secured and unsecured debt limits, currently $1,184,200 secured and $417,275 unsecured. Read More

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Mortgage modification: In bankruptcy? In foreclosure? When is the right time?

Let me start by stating that the opinions set out in this post are my own. I can’t prove them; I just have the intuition that I’m right. Many of my clients have fallen behind on their mortgage payments and are facing a foreclosure action. And mortgage servicers are quick to shoot out loan modification Read More

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I need to file chapter 7 bankruptcy but I’m afraid I’ll lose my job.

Bankruptcy Code section 525(a) prohibits a government employer from denying employment to you, firing you, or otherwise discriminating against you solely because you either filed for bankruptcy protection, were (or are) insolvent, or didn’t pay debts that are or were discharged in bankruptcy. Section 525(b) does the same thing for private employers. That doesn’t mean Read More

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I have a power of attorney for [insert here]. Can I file a case for him/her?

Bankruptcy Rule 1004.1 permits a fiduciary to file a bankruptcy case on behalf of a minor or someone who is incapacitated. Here is the rule: “If an infant or incompetent person has a representative, including a general guardian, committee, conservator, or similar fiduciary, the representative may file a voluntary petition on behalf of the infant Read More

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I pay child support and/or spousal maintenance. How does that affect my case?

Child support and spousal maintenance (alimony) are called Domestic Support Obligations or “DSO’s” in bankruptcy, and these claims receive special treatment. Domestic support obligations are not dischargeable under any chapter. Regardless of chapter, the trustee in your case is required to notify the recipient of maintenance or support payments that you have filed for protection Read More

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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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