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Rochester New York Bankruptcy Law Blog

Understanding the means test in a New York Chapter 7 bankruptcy

For most people who think of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 is what comes to mind. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows those in debt to discharge their debts without a repayment period. There is also Chapter 13, which allows a person overwhelmed by debt to work with creditors. By creating a workable payment plan with a time limit, Chapter 13 allows for repayment and debt forgiveness for those who don't qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Generally speaking, in order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an individual must pass what is known as a means test. Those who can't pass the means test will generally need to consider Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7. Understanding the means test makes it easier to determine what kind of bankruptcy protections could work for your situation.

Foreclosure? Wage garnishments? An automatic stay might help

If you are facing an overwhelming amount of debt, you could be receiving constant calls from collection agents and creditors. You may feel like you are in an impossible situation and that there is no way to climb out of the debt hole that seems to be swallowing your life. However, there are options. Filing for bankruptcy may be the best course of action you can take to get your debt under control.

Bankruptcy comes with many benefits, including debt restructure that makes keeping up with monthly payments much easier. Another benefit is an automatic stay that applies to anyone attempting to collect a debt from you. To find out what an automatic stay can and cannot do for you, read below.

How to decide if bankruptcy is right for you

If you live in Rochester and have found yourself with more debt than you can handle, you are not alone. Many people find themselves in similar circumstances due to a sudden reduction in income or surprise expenses that drain savings and checking accounts. The most important thing you can do is to be proactive when it comes to getting your debt under control. For some this might mean a meeting with a mortgage lender to discuss options. For others, this could be filing for bankruptcy.

If you are looking for a solution to your debt problem, you might be wondering if bankruptcy is the right choice for you. The factors below might be able to help you determine if bankruptcy is the best option for your specific circumstances.

You have responsibilities in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

People who file for bankruptcy have specific responsibilities that they need to live up to. If you don't live up the responsibilities that you have in these cases, you can cause your bankruptcy to not be discharged as it should.

Ideally, you should learn about the responsibilities you have before you file your Chapter 13 case. Even if you are already in the process of filing or have turned everything in, including the required payment, you should still take a peek at this list to give you an idea of what you need to accomplish.

What’s the difference between Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy?

If you struggle to pay your bills each month, you are not alone. There are a number of situations which can contribute to financial problems for families in New York. Some people, used to a higher standard of living, can no longer survive on a reduced income after a job change. Others have simply accumulated far too much consumer debt, such as credit cards.

Up debt's stream without a paddle

Bank Account Restraint Minimum Balance Is Increasing in New York - But By How Much?

It's tax refund season: Over the next two months countless New Yorkers will be filing tax returns and claiming tax refunds.

Can a Bankruptcy Debtor in Rochester Exempt Property that is Both Residential and Commercial?

A colleague of mine reports that Rochester Bankruptcy Judge Paul R. Warren appears to be of the opinion that property can qualify for the homestead exemption even if it is used in part for non-residential purposes. The issue came up in a recent hearing before the judge; no formal decision was delivered, but Judge Warren, according to this source, said from the bench that the debtor could exempt mixed-use property.

So How Much Should a Bankruptcy in Rochester Cost?

One of the most common questions in a bankruptcy case is the fee: how much will it cost? My answer is it depends on the complexity of the case. The typical attorney fees in my cases range from $900 to $1,200 for chapter 7. Occasionally the fee is higher, for more complicated cases, or where extra work may be needed. My chapter 13 fees usually range from $2,500 to $3,500.

Underwater Mortgages Cannot Be Stripped Down in Chapter 7 - For Now at Least: Caulkett

The United States Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a junior mortgage that is 'under water' - that is, the value of the house is less than the senior mortgage - cannot be stripped down or removed as an unsecured claim in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. And yet, the opinion seems to invite a challenge to the very case the court is relying upon for its conclusion.

Unpaid Tuition Still Not a Student Loan - Judge Bucki

Section 523(a)(8) of the Bankruptcy Code states that student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. In 2000, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that unpaid tuition does not constitute a student loan. In a recently released case, Bankruptcy Judge Carl L. Bucki of Buffalo ruled that changes in the bankruptcy code in 2005 did not alter the results of the earlier Second Circuit case.

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