Did the Means Test get easier?
The means test is a method of determining a person’s eligibility to maintain a chapter 7 case. It plays a major role in determining if a person can file a chapter 7 bankruptcy or must file under a different chapter of the bankruptcy code.
On March 15th the New York median household income increased. This allows those looking to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy to make a little more money, but still pass the means test. Generally, what is meant by passing/failing the means test:
Passing the means test = you can likely file a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Failing the means test= you likely won’t be able to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
So, this increase should allow more people to pass the means test.
This is good news! However, the above is all very general information. You should discuss your specific situation with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney before deciding to file, or not file for bankruptcy.
We proudly assist residents of Long Island (Nassau county, Suffolk county) and New York City (Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan) with their bankruptcy filings. We are conveniently located in the heart of Nassau County, Long Island, at 393 Jericho Tpke., Ste. 208, Mineola, NY 11501.
Call (516) 858-2620 to arrange a FREE consultation with a bankruptcy attorney!
Bank won’t modify my mortgage, how can I use the chapter 7 bankruptcy I just filed to avoid foreclosure?
The following are “some” of the things you can do to avoid foreclosure if you just filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy:
“Maybe” filing a “chapter 20” bankruptcy, which is a chapter 7 followed by a chapter 13, will help you.
- make sure the ch. 7 discharge is granted;
- some time after discharge is granted in the 7, but before the sale date of course, file a ch. 13 to force the lender to accept the current payment + the arrears spread over 36 or 60 months.
- Note: There likely won’t be a discharge at the end of the Chapter 13. This really shouldn’t matter because you just received a chapter 7 discharge.
- Note: You should consider “stripping off” any judgment and/or wholly unsecured liens.
- Note: If this is investment property you can try to cram it down in a ch.13. However, the cramdown value has to be paid off by completion of the ch. 13 plan.
If none of the above will work, you could:
- After discharge, continue trying to obtain a loan modification from your lender (the foreclosure action will likely continue unopposed).
- Contest the foreclosure action in state court after the stay is lifted or terminates.
- Note: You may be able to defend the foreclosure even if a default judgment has been entered against you(see our earlier post “Fighting foreclosure after default judgment.”)
This is not legal advice!
The Law Firm of Vaughn & Weber, PLLC routinely represents homeowners facing foreclosure who have already filed or need to file for bankruptcy. We examine each homeowner’s specific situation to determine their best course of action.
We proudly assist residents of Long Island (Nassau county, Suffolk county) and New York City (Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan) with their bankruptcy and foreclosure matters.
Call (516) 858-2620 to arrange a FREE consultation with a bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney!
Will I lose my home or car if I file for chapter 7 bankruptcy?
In most cases you will not lose your home or car during your bankruptcy case as long as you can exempt the equity, if any exists, in your home or car. In New York, a person is currently allowed a fifty thousand dollar ($50,000.00) homestead exemption and a twenty-four hundred dollar ($2,400.00) motor vehicle exemption. If the property is exempt it may not be taken by the trustee.
However, bankruptcy does not automatically make a valid lien, mortgage or other security interest go away. Therefore, if you don’t make your payments on that debt, the creditor may be able to take and sell your home or car, during or after the bankruptcy case. Technically, a creditor can repossess your car even if your payments are current. The law requires you to redeem, surrender or reaffirm the vehicle (your bankruptcy attorney should advise you about this issue).
As always, The Long Island Bankruptcy Law Firm of VAUGHN & WEBER, PLLC is here to assist you. We are conveniently located in the heart of Nassau County, Long Island, at 217 Willis Avenue in Mineola, NY 11501. Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to arrange a consultation with a bankruptcy Attorney.
Remember: The law often changes, and each case is different. The above is meant to give you general information, and not to give you specific legal advice.
Tenant Files Bankruptcy
What happens if my tenant files bankruptcy?
If the tenant owed back rent and filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy, that debt is now likely discharged. This means that you will never be able to collect the rent that was owed to you at the time the tenant filed for bankruptcy. The tenant can voluntarily pay you, but you can not attempt to collect that past due rent while the automatic stay is in effect or after the debt is discharged. Such attempts would be either a stay or discharge violation.
If you were in the process of evicting your tenant when they filed for bankruptcy, that eviction action is now likely stayed. This means that you will have to make a “lift stay” motion and have it granted by a Bankruptcy Court Judge in order to continue with the eviction in Landlord-Tenant court. However, under certain specific circumstances you will be allowed to continue with the eviction despite your tenant having filed for bankruptcy.
Long Island Landlord Tenant Attorney
As always, the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC is here to assist you. Call (516) 858-2620 to arrange a FREE consultation with a Landlord Tenant attorney!