Who Can File For Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy Definition, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary: “a condition of financial failure caused by not having the money that you need to pay your debts”.

Purpose of Bankruptcy: to give the debtor a fresh start by eliminating debts AND fairly pay creditors the debts they are owed.

Bankruptcy Limitations: you must pass the Means Test in order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This test determines if your income is low enough to get most of your debts discharged. For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there is a limitation of how much secured and unsecured debt you may possess.

Advantages of Bankruptcy: filing for bankruptcy allows you, the debtor, to restructure and eliminate your debt and get a fresh start with your finances.

Consequences of Bankruptcy: bankruptcy severely damages your credit score and remains on your record for up to 10 years, making it difficult for you to take out new loans and possibly obtain good employment.

Who May File For Bankruptcy: individuals, business entities, municipalities. Some states can file for bankruptcy, but there are limitations and conditions.

Famous People and Companies Who Filed for Bankruptcy: 50 Cent, Betsy Johnson, Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt, SkyMall Magazine, Caesar’s Palace, Hostess, Wet Seal, DEB Shops, Delia’s.

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“Mortgage Payments & Foreclosure”

What to do if you are behind on your mortgage:

– Loan Modification: reduce the APR or the monthly amount due.

– Debt Consolidation: get a new, lower interest loan to pay off the old loan.

– Debt Settlement: reduce the amount owed via negotiating.

What is foreclosure?

A foreclosure if a lawsuit filed by a mortgage company when a borrower has not made payments. Through the foreclosure, the mortgage company asks the Court to sell the property so the mortgage company can recover its money.

What to do if I am served with papers of Foreclosure?

-Read the Summons & Complaint

-Hire an experienced attorney

-Write an answer to Complaint

-Have your lawyer file your answer with the Clerk of Court (within 20 days)

What is a foreclosure sale?

A foreclosure sale is the legal process in which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower who has stopped making payments by forcing the sale of the property.

What if I cannot afford to keep my house?

-Modify the loan

-Get a Settlement

-File for Bankruptcy protection

What is next?

-Reduce spending

-Always make payments on time

-Restore your credit

Credit restoration is not extremely difficult to do- but it does take time. If you end up filing for bankruptcy, you will have to start over, with bad credit history. First, always pay bills on time to avoid bad credit marks. Second, get a credit card or a CD and only spend what you have, making sure to not go over 20% allotted credit each month. Third, make sure to open a new account every so often and keep up with all payments. The more active accounts (that are up to date) you have, the higher your credit score will be. Lastly, change your lifestyle to a more modest one and slowly add in new rewards and activities over time.

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Radio Shack Bankruptcy Protection

This past February RadioShack, an American electronics retail chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The corporation is said to have baffled investors for years on how it managed to stay in business for so long, as its competitors, such as Apple, almost have a monopoly on the technology sold by Radio Shack. Eventually, the “changing technology and consumer habits” proved to be too much of a blow to conquer for the company and it was forced to file for bankruptcy. However, the future for RadioShack is not completely bleak. It has reached many settlements with other corporations such as Sprint and a decision has been made to keep many of its stores open.

The inconsistent economy and always changing developments finally dealt RadioShack a battle they could not win. Bankruptcy is a solution for years of hardships and difficult decisions, and is dealt with daily by hardworking people with unfortunate circumstances. A bankruptcy lawyer understands these conditions and can help anyone struggling. Call Elaine Fridlin, of Fridlin & Associates, at 718-372-4400 for a free consultation.

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How to Reduce Monthly Expenses and Pay off Debt

Cut Down Transportation Costs

-Carpool

-Use public transit

-Sell your car

-Take proper care of your car (oil checks, tires, etc…)

Control Your Debt

-Consider consolidating student loans

-Create automatic debt repayment plans

-Keep current on all bills

-Refinance house/ car

-Request credit card rate reductions

-Sell unnecessary items

-Transfer balance if possible to a 0% APR card

Reduce Energy Bills

-Air seal your house

-Invest in a programmable thermostat

-Reduce hot water heater temperature

-Replace old light bulbs with LED/ CFL bulbs

-Unplug electrical devices when not in use

-Use power strips

-Use timers

Decrease Entertainment Costs

-Cancel memberships you don’t need or don’t use every day

-Discover cheaper entertainment (ie. Netflix)

-Reduce or cancel your cable bill

-Reduce or eliminate unnecessary services

-Stop magazine/ newspaper subscriptions

Decrease Food Expenses

-Buy generic food when possible

-Consider building a small home garden

-Cook and bring lunch to work

-Purchase non-perishables in bulks

-Stop eating out/ take-out

-Take advantage of coupons

Reduce Insurance Bills

-Decrease homeowners insurance

-Increase your deductible amounts if you rarely make claims

-Research life insurance prior to signing up for anything

-Opt out for basic health insurance

-Shop around for auto insurance

Reduce or Eliminate Extras

-Discover cheaper child care options

-Reduce cell phone bill

-Reduce organized/ club child activities

-Relocate to a cheaper area

-Stop smoking/ drinking

-Stop outsourcing cleaning, laundry, grooming, etc…

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New Law to Protect Consumers- “Consumer Reporting Fairness Act”

“During the financial crisis, more than 50 million people saw their credit scores fall due to foreclosures and financial hardships. Many turned to bankruptcy, but are still haunted by debt on their credit report that they no longer owe” (Dubyak, 2015). A new law called the Consumer Reporting Fairness Act was newly announced. The purpose of this legislation is to change previous bankruptcy policy that allows previous paid or discharged debts to appear on citizens’ credit reports, widely referred to as “zombie debts” because of how they haunt these consumers. The Consumer Reporting Fairness Act would require that any of those debts are changed to a zero balance by banks and debt buyers on the credit report of any consumers that meet these conditions. The filing for bankruptcy would still remain on record for up to ten years, but once the debt is paid or discharged it is to be immediately removed from the file. If creditors fail to do so, legal action may be taken against them. “Every consumer should have a credit score that accurately reflects how creditworthy they are… When creditors fail to report that debt is no longer owed, they drive down consumers’ credit scores, costing consumers money and opportunities. The Consumer Reporting Fairness Act will help ensure that creditors fulfill their responsibility to provide correct and timely information about consumers’ credit” (Dubyak, 2015). The purpose of this new law is to help consumers get employed and obtain mortgage loans more easily.
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References:
Dubyak, M., & Vadala, G. (15 Jul. 2015). “Brown Introduces Bill to Strengthen Credit Reporting Accuracy”. NACBA. Retrieved from Web 17 Jul. 2015.

If you or someone you know cannot seem to make ends meet and are considering bankruptcy- give Elaine Fridlin, Esq. of Fridlin & Associates, P.C. a call today. We offer free initial consultations.

Fridlin & Associates, P.C.

1517 Voorhies Ave, Suite 4

Brooklyn, NY 11235

(718) 372-4400

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50 Cent Files for Bankruptcy.

Just a few days ago a famous rapper, 50 Cent, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The rapper officially filed for bankruptcy three days following a court order to pay a woman five million dollars for uploading a sex tape without her permission. In a statement to the public, the rapper said, “You know when you’re successful and stuff, you become a target, I don’t wanna be a bull’s eye. I don’t want anybody to pick me as the guy that they just come to with astronomical claims and go through all that.”


Although most people are not in the public eye as often as 50 Cent is, debt collectors and years of hardships can still target them. A bankruptcy lawyer understands theseconditions and can help anyone struggling. Don’t fulfill the ironic prophecy you created when you nicknamed yourself a value with less worth than a dollar. Call Elaine Fridlin, of Fridlin & Associates, at 718-372-4400 for a free consultation.

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Gary Busey Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy does not discriminate against race, sex, or religion, and it doesn’t matter if you are upper, middle or lower class. Bankruptcy can affect anyone, as in the case of Gary Busey. In 2012, Gary Busey, a well-known Hollywood actor, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Busey’s $1 million worth of debt far outweighed his assets of only $50,000. A multitude of bad choices and investments ultimately lead to his financial downfall.
Bankruptcy is usually the result of years of hardships and unfortunate situations. A bankruptcy lawyer is understands these circumstances and is there to help anyone that is struggling. If you are in need of legal assistance regarding debt and bankruptcy call Elaine Fridlin, Esq. of Fridlin & Associates at 718-372-4400 or
come in today for a free consultation.

Fridlin & Associates, P.C.

1517 Voorhies Ave, Suite 4

Brooklyn, NY 11235

(718) 372-4400

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