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Garnerville Bankruptcy Law Blog

Overview of how a foreclosure works in New York

No one in the Rockland County, New York area ever wants to get into financial problems and have to worry about losing their home to foreclosure. Unfortunately, though, even hardworking New York families can find themselves in a situation in which the bank begins the process of taking back their home. These sorts of situations often arise in the case of an unexpected job loss or a sudden health crisis.

New York is what is called a "judicial" foreclosure state. This is generally good news for debtors since the process tends to take longer than in "non-judicial" states and also requires the involvement and supervision of the local courts. Overall, the process lasts about one year and three months.

High Court rules it fair play to file outdated claims

After a recent Supreme Court ruling, Rockland County, New York residents who are contemplating a bankruptcy filing may need to pay more careful attention to the slew of paperwork that follows a bankruptcy.

To give context to the Court's recent opinion, a New York debtor is expected to list everything he or she owns and owes, including unpaid bills and other debts, on his or her bankruptcy paperwork. However, listing a debt only ensures a creditor will get notice of the bankruptcy. In order to get paid, a creditor has to file a claim for payment with the bankruptcy court. If there is money available, the creditor will get a portion of the proceeds.

What are the big differences between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7?

Most Garnerville and Rockland County residents who follow this blog probably know that Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are types of personal bankruptcy but that they are different. While Chapter 13 bankruptcy and Chapter 7 differ in many ways, there are a couple which really stand out.

Perhaps the most important difference between the two is that Chapter 13 allows a New York resident in financial trouble to keep most all of his or her assets during a bankruptcy but instead requires the person to turn over a set portion of his or her income each month for three to five years. This portion of income, which works a lot like a wage garnishment, goes to re-pay some of the person's debts.

We can help you hang onto your retirement savings

As a previous post on this blog discussed, Rockland County, New York residents who find themselves in financial difficulties can protect a lot of their retirement savings, at least the savings in qualified accounts like a 401(k) or an IRA, from creditors who may otherwise come after their bank accounts and other valuable assets.

Nevertheless, whether it is out of a sense of moral obligation or because they simply do not know how to handle a financial problem, many New York couples will, before going to see an area bankruptcy attorney, instead refinance their debts by taking out a loan against their retirement plan or, even more drastically, cash out their plans in order to pay down their debts.

If I file bankruptcy, will I be able to keep my retirement?

Many people in Rockland County, New York, particularly those who have a consistent work history, are likely to have some or even a large portion of their wealth wrapped up in a retirement plan like a 401(k) or an IRA. The idea behind these plans, which often come with tax incentives, is to encourage people to save money for retirement.

Despite this, when a New Yorker runs into financial problems, it may be very tempting to take a loan out or even cash in a retirement plan, even though cashing in will usually come with a substantial tax penalty. People in Garnerville and Rockland, therefore, should be advised that cashing out a retirement plan is often not necessary and may even be unwise.

Credit card debt on the rise throughout the country

The amount of debt United States citizens owe on their credit cards has crossed the $1 trillion threshold, meaning what some call a modern "debt trap" is showing no sign of ending and may, in fact, be getting worse. These numbers mean that those who do not pay their credit cards off in full each month, are carrying around balances of $9,600.

The increasing amount of credit card debt does not necessarily mean people in the Rockland County area of New York are spending more money and deciding to charge it. Instead, reports point to rising interest rates as the cause of the latest debt spike.

Can a bankruptcy really stop foreclosure?

People in Rockland County, New York may have heard, even on the television or radios, that a bankruptcy can save your home from a looming foreclosure. While such statements are true in a sense, it is very important that Rockland and Garnerville residents understand what is and is not being promised.

When a New York resident files either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, federal law ordinarily imposes what is called an automatic stay on all creditors and debt collectors which prevents them from taking further actions to collect a debt until told otherwise. This stay applies to financial institutions trying to foreclose on a person's home, so a bankruptcy can temporarily stop a foreclosure, which might be beneficial to a family trying to re-organize their finances and save their home.

An exemption plan is an important step we can help with

A previous post on this blog overviewed how bankruptcy exemptions work to help a Rockland, New York resident who is struggling with debt keep some of his or her property even after going through a bankruptcy. These exemptions are very important to Garnerville and Rockland County residents, as they enable a person to get a fresh financial start without winding up destitute.

Bankruptcy exemptions can be difficult to apply to a particular situation, and a mistake and doing so can be very costly, as it could mean a New Yorker finds that, although a piece of property could have been protected in the bankruptcy process, it is in fact subject to seizure by the trustee.

New York law protects struggling Rockland residents

This blog has previously discussed how, during the bankruptcy process, a Rockland resident can choose whether he or she wants to take advantage of either the state exemptions or federal exemptions set out in the bankruptcy code.

As a reminder, an exemption is a protection, provided for in the law, that allows a debtor to take a piece of property off the table when it comes to creditors trying to collect debts. The idea is that by allowing a debtor to keep some, but not all, of his or her property, creditors can get paid without leaving a person absolutely penniless and unable to support him or herself.

Prominent doctor's bankruptcy case has important lessons

A well-known New York doctor, whose patients have included the former governor of New York as well as noted television figures, recently filed for individual bankruptcy. The doctor states that while at one point he was a successful "anti-aging" doctor, he has fallen on hard times, in large part because of a heated and protracted divorce battle with his now ex-wife. He claims he owes $5 million in litigation and defense costs.

The doctor's ex-wife has a slightly different version of events, claiming that the real reason he filed for bankruptcy is to avoid alimony payments, of which, the wife claims, he owes $500,000 in back pay.

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Law Office of Ronald V. De Caprio 65 West Ramapo Road Garnerville, NY 10923 Phone: 845-406-4201 Toll Free: 866-936-8113
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