Department of Justice issues new guidelines to (hopefully) ease the process for discharging student loans in bankruptcy

The Bankruptcy Code provides that student loans may be discharged if repayment of those loans “would impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor’s dependents.” Unfortunately, for the past 35 years we’ve had to contend with the “Brunner Test” to determine what constitutes an undue hardship.  The Brunner Test is a three-part analysis to determine what constitutes an undue burden. First, a debtor must show Read More

New law increases debt limits in Chapter 13s and small business Chapter 11s

On June 21, 2022, President Joe Biden signed S.3823 into law, increasing debt limits for Chapter 13 and small business Chapter 11 (Subchapter V) reorganizations. The bill passed in the House of Representatives on June 7, 2022, and passed in the Senate two months prior. The law took effect immediately, so all bankruptcy filings going forward get the benefit of these higher debt limits. This is big news for anyone who Read More

Changes to the Bankruptcy Code Starting April 1, 2022

Every three years, adjustments are made to the figures in the Bankruptcy Code based on changes to the consumer price index during that period. As noted about a year ago when New York State exemptions were updated, the federal bankruptcy exemptions will adjust on April 1, 2022. The debt limits in small business Chapter 11 cases (Subchapter V) and Chapter 13 cases will also be adjusted. The rising costs of consumer Read More

When it May Pay to Wait

There’s an old saying that good things come to those who wait. In our previous post, we explained why you should not wait to address your debt. While this remains true, it’s possible you may be guided to wait as part of a comprehensive strategy planned by you and your attorney. Here are some examples of when you may benefit from waiting: 1. To Protect Assets In a bankruptcy case, assets are reviewed to determine Read More

Time is Not on Your Side

There have been a number of reports recently about the uptick in foreclosures. This is due to the end of the pandemic moratorium and the temporary forbearances that lenders have been offering to assist homeowners during the pandemic. At the same time, bankruptcy filings continue to decline. This can be confusing, and even misleading, for those facing financial hardship. Whether you are dealing with credit card debt, Read More

Happy New Year!

2021 is finally behind us. It's time to look ahead to 2022. You may have made some resolutions about smart spending and sticking to a budget. Follow this blog for strategies to address debt and check out our free resource for more tips and tricks. It's never too early to start thinking about taxes. In the coming weeks, we will all start receiving our tax forms. Those expecting refunds will try to file as quickly Read More

Buy Now, Pay Later… And You Will Pay Later

Happy November! The air is getting colder here in New York and holiday shopping is in full swing. Thanksgiving is coming, which means so is Black Friday. Just as we are thinking about our holiday shopping, we must also be smart about our holiday spending. November and December tend to be the most expensive months between gift shopping, holiday travel, and expenses related to hosting holiday Read More

Matthew D. Zimmelman, Esq. Was Quoted by AnyCredit

Matthew D. Zimmelman, Esq. was quoted in a recent article on AnyCredit. He discusses tips to negotiate credit cards. View the article here: https://www.anycredit.com/11-tips-on-successfully-negotiating-credit-card-debt/ Read More

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Expired: Weekly Unemployment Benefits to Decrease

For nearly a year and a half, unemployed Americans have been receiving additional unemployment benefits as part of the relief package in the CARES Act. Those who were eligible for unemployment compensation were able to receive extended benefits, in addition to a weekly supplement from the federal government. The federal supplement expanded state unemployment benefits to cover independent contractors, gig workers, and Read More

Matthew D. Zimmelman, Esq. Was Quoted by US News & World Report

Matthew D. Zimmelman, Esq. was quoted in a recent article on US News & World Report. He discusses the automatic stay protecting debtors. View the article here: https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/debt/articles/what-is-an-automatic-stay Read More