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

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

Not All Assets Are Protected in Bankruptcy. So What?

In prior posts, I explained how the bankruptcy exemptions can be used to protect assets and how they periodically get updated. While New Yorkers can choose between state and federal exemptions to protect assets, sometimes people find themselves with assets that cannot be fully protected or can only be partially protected. This post will explain what that means and the practical implications. Bankruptcy is a tool Read More

Happy Bobby Bonilla Day!

As a New York Mets fan, I’ve had my share of disappointment. Today, and every July 1st until 2035, are reminders of that. For those who are confused, Bobby Bonilla Day started July 1, 2011, and is an annual celebration ending on July 1, 2035. Don’t be fooled, this is not a good kind of celebration. Bobby Bonilla was a six-time all-star who played for the Mets. He was traded away in 1995 but brought back in 1999. Read More

Your Bankruptcy Attorney is Not Taking Advantage of You with Fees and Here’s Why

Legal fees are always a touchy subject. Many people think that overall, lawyers charge too much and bill at absurd hourly rates. There may be some truth to that, but bankruptcy attorneys are usually the exception. Most consumer bankruptcy matters are billed at a flat fee rather than on an hourly basis. If I charged my clients on an hourly basis, my fees would likely be double that flat fee. In short, legal fees for Read More

Pandemic Aid Disappearing in Some States

There’s an ongoing debate whether all of the government assistance is encouraging Americans to delay returning to work. Some argue that between the stimulus payments and federal unemployment supplements, people are no longer motivated to return to work. There may be a compelling argument there, as they may also qualify for low or no cost health insurance. The government has provided quite a bit of pandemic relief Read More

Our Brains and Spending

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article highlighting a study on how shopping with credit cards affects our brains. Conducted by MIT, the study compared brain activity when shoppers planned to pay with a credit card versus paying with cash. The results indicated that people were more willing to purchase expensive items using credit cards compared to cash and were also willing to spend more if using credit Read More

Bankruptcy Filings Down Nationwide Over 38%

For bankruptcy attorneys, it’s no secret that bankruptcy filings have dramatically decreased since the start of the pandemic. While we initially believed that it was merely a function of people not going out to see their attorneys (despite the rise of virtual meetings) or the closing of courts and therefore collections activity, the filings remained in decline. In fact, from April 1, 2020 until March 31, 2021, Read More

Speaking of High-Interest Loans

Two weeks ago we wrote about the dangers of high-interest loans. ESPN ran a story on the same topic, but from a different angle. The ESPN article focused on current and former professional football players who invested in companies that provided high-interest loans to borrowers with low incomes and poor credit. It turned out to be a terrible investment for these athletes, as the companies defaulted on their payment Read More