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New York Law Blog

Can I repair my credit after Chapter 7?

After filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may have questions about your future creditworthiness. Certainly, your counselors advised you that bankruptcy would leave a temporary negative mark on your credit history, but you may be unsure how or when you can begin to rebuild your credit.

In fact, as each year passes, the bankruptcy becomes less of an issue to would-be creditors. While the bankruptcy remains on your report for 10 years, you do not have to wait that long to begin making repairs.

Bringing your foreign future spouse into the United States

The world is much smaller than it used to be, which means that your chances of meeting and falling in love with someone outside the country may be greater than in decades past. If the two of you decide to marry and live here in New York, you will need to get your future spouse into the country first.

As you plan your wedding, you will need to plan the time it will take to obtain a fiance visa. The wedding must happen within 90 days of his or her entrance into the country. This means that you could be planning the bulk of your wedding long distance, but at least he or she may be here for the final preparations.

Getting out from under your student loan debt

You did what everyone said you should do. You graduated from high school, went off to college and got your degree. Maybe you took a course of study that advisors said would be lucrative, or perhaps you followed your heart and graduated with a degree in a major you loved. Even if you were lucky enough to find work in your field, chances are the weight of your educational loans has never given you the chance to enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Like many in New York and across the country, you are under the debt of student loans, and this has created a snowball effect of debt. Perhaps during lean months, you used your credit card to make your loan payments or took out a personal loan to help you through until the next payday. Now you are considering bankruptcy to gain some relief from the debt, but how does the main culprit, the student loans, fit into that plan?

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court wants to know everything about you

You may have thought that making the decision to file for bankruptcy protection was the hard part of the process. After all, you make a valiant effort to meet your financial obligations, but they simply got out of control. You haven't had a moment's peace since you became unable to pay some or all of your bills, and debt collection efforts don't make it any easier.

When you decided to take advantage of this debt relief option, you had no idea the amount of information and paperwork that goes into it. This stems from the fact that the court wants to know as much about your financial situation as possible in order to determine whether to grant you a discharge. If you fail to provide everything, the court could dismiss the case.

Are you thinking of investing in commercial property?

If you are ready to take the plunge into real estate investment, you may be wondering whether to start with residential or commercial properties. Perhaps you already own a residential investment and wonder about the benefits of adding commercial real estate to your portfolio.

You may already know how much variety there is in the commercial property world, and that makes it a smart way to invest. If you are considering branching out beyond residential ownership, you will want to begin by gaining as much information as possible about your options.

Tricks that trap you into taking on credit card debt

If you have a credit card or two in your wallet, you may have thought nothing of pulling one out and charging an item you found on sale or something you need for the house. However, when you begin using the card for things like groceries, your electric bill or the payment on another credit card, you may have wondered how you got into this mess.

Credit card debt can overwhelm you before you know it. If you max out your card then miss a payment, you suddenly have over-the-limit fees, late fees, interest and perhaps additional penalties. Suddenly, your minimum payment may not take your balance low enough to avoid all those fees again the next month. This may be one more financial burden on your already strained budget.

How debt follows you through life

Debt is a way of life in the United States, and nearly 80 percent of people in New York and across the country carry some debt. You are likely among those who tread dangerously close to the edge each month while prices for necessities rise and your debt continues to climb.

If you have at least $38,000 in debt plus a mortgage, you are not alone. This is the average debt burden in America, and reports show that being in debt is now a lifetime status for most, beginning in the earliest years of adulthood and continuing well into the senior years.

Free Bankruptcy Screening for Taxi Medallion Owners

Every day I receive phone calls from taxi owners requesting information about bankruptcy. There are two most common types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13

Taxi Owner uses chapter 13 to eliminate $600,000 debt by paying $900 per month for 5 years.

He could not stand the pressure of the monthly note payments so he visited us for advice. We determined that he could not file chapter 7 bankruptcy because his house was worth too much. It appraised at $485,000 and he had paid down his mortgage to $63,000. That left $422,000 in equity. His wife owned half the house, so his share was worth $211,000, but he was entitled to a homestead exemption of only $165,000. That left $46,000 of equity that could not be protected. If we filed a chapter 7 case, the bankruptcy trustee would ask him to pay a lump-sum of $46,000, and if he could not pay it, the Trustee would sell the house.

Do you have a basic understanding of estate planning?

As New York readers know, there is significant benefit in having a strong estate plan. You may understand that it is important to plan for the future through certain estate planning tools, but you may not be sure what that means or how you can do this for yourself. Like many others, you may benefit from a basic understanding of what estate planning means and what it entails. 

The foundation of any good estate plan is a strong will, but there are many other things you can include in your plan to suit your needs and objectives. From setting aside assets for the care of a family member to planning for medical care in the future, a thoughtful estate plan can give you great confidence and security regarding your long-term interests.

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