Recent Opinion Establishes Rule of Law in Chapter 13 Cases in the Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of New York.

In the case of In Re: Denis J. Coughlin, Case Number: 11-76202-AST (June 15, 2017) a client of the firm was threatened with the revocation of a bankruptcy discharge in a motion made by the court itself. The court had chosen this case to establish the effect of failure to pay post-petition mortgage payments on debtors’ rights to their discharge and the court’s authority to revoke a discharge. Over a five year Chapter 13 plan, the client had missed a few mortgage payments, but the bank did not complain of this until the end of the case. Although the Court determined that a discharge should not have been issued because of the missed mortgage payments, the Court found that the discharge could not be taken away absent fraud or mistake. Mr. Solomon successfully defended his client’s discharge and the Court found that neither fraud nor mistake was present. The client kept their discharge. Most importantly, Judge Alan S. Trust determined in this 31 page decision that a chapter 13 debtors’ direct payments to a secured creditor pursuant to a “cure and maintain” plan are payments “under the plan” and a debtor who fails to make such payments is not entitled to a discharge under §1328(a).

U.S. Household Debt Hit Record in First Quarter

U.S. Household Debt Hit Record in First Quarter

The total debt held by American households reached a record in early 2017, exceeding its 2008 peak after years of retrenchment against a backdrop of financial crisis, recession and modest economic growth.

Much has changed over the past 8½ years. The economy is larger, lending standards are tighter and less debt is delinquent. Mortgages remain the largest form of household borrowing but have become a smaller share of total debt as consumers take on more automotive and student loans.

Should I file for bankruptcy? Find out if bankruptcy is right for you

Should I file for bankruptcy? Find out if bankruptcy is right for you

Introduction

While the United States economy seems to be bouncing back from the recession of the early 2000s, many people are still saddled with debt that may be impossible to eliminate. This overabundance of debt can lead people to consider filing for bankruptcy as a last resort when debt consolidation, mortgage restructuring or selling personal property aren’t enough to help them out of a financial hole. Although it is often thought of as a sign of failure or an admittance of defeat, the truth is that bankruptcy gives many people fresh starts for new financial futures. This guide is designed to give people considering bankruptcy enough information to make the best financial decision for them. I cover the different types of bankruptcy they can file, the positive and negative aspects of filing for bankruptcy and the steps involved in filing for bankruptcy.

3 sneaky ways debt can change how you think

3 sneaky ways debt can change how you think

For some people, debt leads to sleepless nights and anxiety about incessant collections calls. But for others, it causes quieter changes that still leave them drowning in bills without a clear way out.

Understanding the ways in which your debt can affect the way you feel, think and act may give you perspective that’ll help you conquer it. Here are three subtle ways you may be responding to being in debt.

Americans are dying with an average of $62K of debt

Americans are dying with an average of $62K of debt

You’re probably going to die with some debt to your name. Most people do.

In fact, 73% of consumers had outstanding debt when they were reported as dead, according to December 2016 data provided to Credit.com by credit bureau Experian. Those consumers carried an average total balance of $61,554, including mortgage debt. Without home loans, the average balance was $12,875.

Student loan defaults are rising faster than you think

Student loan defaults are rising faster than you think

A new analysis of federal student loans reveals that the number of people severely behind on repaying their debt has soared in the past year, painting a bleak picture of one of the largest government programs.

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) released a study Tuesday that found that millions of people had not made a payment on $137 billion in federal student loans for at least nine months in 2016, a 14 percent increase in defaults from a year earlier. The consumer watchdog used the latest data from the Education Department, which manages $1.3 trillion in federal student debt owed by 42.4 million Americans.

Bankruptcy Becomes an Option for Some Borrowers Burdened by Student Loans

Bankruptcy Becomes an Option for Some Borrowers Burdened by Student Loans

Borrowers are beginning to win battles to erase some student loans in bankruptcy court, overcoming stiff obstacles that have generally blocked that path except in extreme cases of financial hardship.

Since March, several bankruptcy courts have allowed borrowers to cancel private student loans with a new legal argument that relies on vague wording about the legal definition of a student loan.

Bankruptcy law says that, without proving extreme hardship, a borrower can’t discharge a loan made for an “educational benefit.” This language has opened a window to cancel loans for students who argue their loans falls outside this category of debt. Such reasoning has been applied to loans obtained to attend schools without accreditation or to study for a bar exam.