He went to an attorney in Manhattan to stop the foreclosure sale of an investment property in Brooklyn. The attorney filed a chapter 13 case, failing to recognize that the client did not quilify for chapter 13 (owning three properties, his total mortgages exceeced the secured debt ceiling for chapter 13). As a result, the bankruptcy case was dismissed and the client lost the benefit of the automatic stay, which had stopped the foreclosure.
Afraid of losing his house because of his huge taxi medallion loan, he followed his friends' advice: he took his name off the deed, leaving his wife as the only owner. MISTAKE: There is now a 6 year wait, during which the transfer can be challenged. If he files bankruptcy during that period, the Bankruptcy Trustee will sell his house. If the taxi lender gets a judgment against him, they might do the same.
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.
Most Medallion Owners are feeling despair. No matter how hard they work, they cannot make their loan payments and also support their families. They see no hope and sometimes think there are no choices that can help them.
Taxi medallion owners face overwhelming challenges these days. After they make their loan payments and operating expenses, they have nothing left to support their families. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy (surrender your medallion and wipe out your debts) works if you have no other assets, there are times when filing Chapter 7 creates too much risk.
Taxi Medallion owners have been wrestling for solutions to refinancing demands of the lender. Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires that you be willing to surrender your medallion. Under the right facts, you will not have to repay the loan and can get your life back.
A taxi medallion owner, searching the Internet for options, called. "I heard you were helping a lot of people."
Times are hard, and your paycheck seems to stretch thinner each week. Your mortgage, medical bills and credit card debt would be burden enough, but the student loans overwhelm you. Perhaps they are from your own education, but more than likely, you took them on for your children or grandchildren.
He retired several years ago and leased out his medallion to the garage, which got him drivers and a steady stream of income to pay his note, with change to spare.