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5 days 1 hour ago


This article was first reported at Courthousenews. The url is https://www.courthousenews.com/drivers-sue-over-sky-high-nyc-taxi-licens...
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BROOKLYN (CN) — Taxi cab drivers are seeking more than $2.5 billion from the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission, saying they paid artificially inflated prices for their taxi medallions, collectively losing hundreds of millions as a result.

The class action RICO suit, filed Tuesday in the Eastern District of New York, accuses the TLC of running a 13-year scheme to defraud those who bought medallions, which are the metal plates required for taxi drivers to work legitimately.

New York City made $855 million from auctioning off medallions and charging a 5% transfer tax on each transaction, the 105-page complaint says.

Because of the scheme, prices rose drastically under former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a named defendant in the suit. Between 2004 and 2014, costs jumped from $200,000 in 2001 to more than $1 million in early 2014.

The sky-high prices, drivers were reassured, were worthwhile. Commission representatives told them that the medallions were as “good as gold,” the suit claims, and that the purchase was secure because TLC has a “monopoly” over taxis in New York.

The first named plaintiff, Alec Soybel, says that TLC Chief Executive Officer Matthew Daus had told him that buying a medallion was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to become a middle-class American and enjoy a “worry-free retirement.”

“Daus further stated that purchasing a medallion was ‘what the American dream is all about,’” the suit says.

The suit further alleges that TLC was aware that inflated prices were plunging drivers underwater.

According to the suit, an internal 2010 report by a TLC policy analyst found that medallion owners were barely earning enough to pay for their medallion loans and operating costs.

The report estimated that a driver would have to earn more than $91,000 annually to service a 15-year mortgage on the badge, plus costs.

“Thus, by 2010, it was already clear that medallions were grossly inflated, and that medallion loans at such inflated prices were unsustainable,” the complaint reads. But TLC did not release that report publicly until June 2019.

Now, drivers say they are at a loss. Soybel is “saddled with a suffocating debt that he has no way of ever paying off,” according to the complaint.

Last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James launched an investigation of the TLC, accusing the commission of charging inflated prices and forcing drivers who bought them to clock obscene hours to make ends meet.

“What’s worse is that the TLC knew their actions were affecting some of the city’s most financially exposed immigrant families,” the attorney general said at the time.

James dropped the matter in February of this year, saying that a lawsuit could take years, and that a bailout for the drivers would be a better option. State legislators have also discussed a potential bailout. The drivers are picking up where she left off.

“Our lawsuit seeks to finish the job that AG James started,” said Jon Norinsberg, attorney for the taxi drivers, in an email to Courthouse News.

Norinsberg said the attorney general “did a great job exposing the fraudulent and deceptive practices engaged in by the TLC and City of New York,” and that the plaintiffs’ own investigation confirmed and expanded upon those findings.

“We are seeking to recover full restitution for all medallion owners, many of whom owe hundreds of thousands of dollars because of TLC’s fraudulent scheme,” Norinsberg said, “which directly led to the collapse of the medallion market.”

Neither the TLC nor New York City’s legal department immediately responded to requests for comment on Tuesday afternoon.


1 week 2 days ago

In prison?  If You Are Going to File Bankruptcy, You Must Follow the Rules – No Exception.

dismissal of bankruptcy
In re Harrell, BAP No. EC-20-1091-BTL (9th Cir BAP, 3-20-21) Harrell is incarcerated at Folsom State Prison in California. He filed a “skeletal” chapter 7 bankruptcy case on March 2, 2020. Later that day, the  clerk issued a Notice of Incomplete Filing (“Notice”), instructing Harrell to file by March 9 a Statement of SSN (Form 121) and Verification and Master Address List, and to file by March 16 the Statement of Monthly Income, Schedules A-J, Statement of Financial Affairs, and Summary of Assets and Liabilities. The Notice stated that if two filing dates were shown, each date must be timely satisfied as to the documents governed by that date.
On March 10, Harrell filed all of the documents listed in the Notice, with the exception of the Verification and Master Address List, which was due March 9. On March 11, Harrell requested, and the bankruptcy court granted, an extension of time to file missing documents. Harrell was given until March 30 to file them.
On March 26, Harrell filed a “Request for Assistance Giving Notice to Creditors.” Harrell stated that he was unable to provide notice of his case to creditors, because he filed his only copy of his bankruptcy documents on March 10 and Folsom was on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 31, the clerk issued an Order Dismissing Case for Failure to Timely File Documents, stating that the case was dismissed for failure to comply with the Notice.
The Appellate Court affirmed the bankruptcy court’s decision, which means Mr. Harrell’s case stays dismissed.  But stated “Harrell is free to file another chapter 7 case if he so chooses.”

.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-1{width:100% !important;margin-top : 0px;margin-bottom : 0px;}.fusion-builder-column-1 > .fusion-column-wrapper {padding-top : 0px !important;padding-right : 0px !important;margin-right : 1.92%;padding-bottom : 0px !important;padding-left : 0px !important;margin-left : 1.92%;}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-1{width:100% !important;}.fusion-builder-column-1 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-1{width:100% !important;}.fusion-builder-column-1 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-1{margin-top:15px!important; margin-right:0px!important;margin-bottom:0px!important;margin-left:0px!important;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-1{margin-top:10px!important; margin-right:0px!important;margin-bottom:10px!important; margin-left:0px!important;}}MUSINGS BY DIANE:dismissalTo follow the rules, first you must know the rules. 
Bankruptcy is not a game.  If you file bankruptcy you must follow the rules, even if you are in prison.  This debtor wanted the Bankruptcy Court to help him file his list of creditors (a requirement to stay in bankruptcy).  The Court said “ah, no.  That is your responsibility, not the court’s”. 
I understand that people want to make their lives better and filing for bankruptcy protection may be one of those options.  But, if you are going to jump off the bankruptcy cliff, no one is there to catch you.  It is possible you will find hungry sharks in the dark waters below.  It is possible you will be forced to give up assets that are not exempt.  Understand that your family may be sued in order to take back the monies you paid them while you were not paying other debts.  These are just a few of the nightmares that could be waiting for you if you file bankruptcy without understanding the rules. 
Mr. Harrell does not know it, but now he has a bankruptcy on his credit, despite the bankruptcy being dismissed. Yes, he can file another bankruptcy, but then he will have two bankruptcies on his credit.  Oh, another surprise – there are rules about filing multiple bankruptcies.

Finances are confusing and everyone needs to take time to determine the best way to find a solution that works in the long run, not just today. Never rely on the Internet for advice – there is more bad advice than good. Always seek advice from at least two people who are experienced in the area you need help. Once armed with good information, then use your common sense to decide what is best for you.
@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-2{margin-top:0px!important; margin-right:0px!important;margin-bottom:6px!important;margin-left:0px!important;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-2{margin-top:10px!important; margin-right:0px!important;margin-bottom:10px!important; margin-left:0px!important;}}– Diane L. Drain.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-2{width:100% !important;margin-top : 0px;margin-bottom : 0px;}.fusion-builder-column-2 > .fusion-column-wrapper {padding-top : 0px !important;padding-right : 30px !important;margin-right : 1.92%;padding-bottom : 0px !important;padding-left : 45px !important;margin-left : 1.92%;}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-2{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-2 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-2{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-2 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}.fusion-body .fusion-flex-container.fusion-builder-row-2{ padding-top : 0px;margin-top : 0px;padding-right : 0px;padding-bottom : 0px;margin-bottom : 0px;padding-left : 0px;}.fusion-button.button-1 {border-radius:10px;}.fusion-button.button-1.button-3d{-webkit-box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);}.button-1.button-3d:active{-webkit-box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);}Click here for steps to your free bankruptcy consultation
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.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-5{width:75% !important;margin-top : 0px;margin-bottom : 20px;}.fusion-builder-column-5 > .fusion-column-wrapper {padding-top : 0px !important;padding-right : 15px !important;margin-right : 10px;padding-bottom : 0px !important;padding-left : 15px !important;margin-left : 10px;}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-5{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-5 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 10px;margin-left : 10px;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-5{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-5 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 10px;margin-left : 10px;}}.fusion-body .fusion-flex-container.fusion-builder-row-4{ padding-top : 0px;margin-top : 5;padding-right : 0px;padding-bottom : 0px;margin-bottom : 20px;padding-left : 0px;}
The post Even if You Are in Prison – File Required Bankruptcy Documents or Your Case Will Be Dismissed. appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney.


1 week 2 days ago

CFPB Compliance Bulletin Warns Mortgage Servicers: Unprepared is Unacceptable
Servicers Should Gear Up for Expected Surge in Homeowners Needing Assistance
(April 1, 2021 – reprint from CFPB) The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today warned mortgage servicers to take all necessary steps now to prevent a wave of avoidable foreclosures this fall. Millions of homeowners currently in forbearance will need help from their servicers when the pandemic-related federal emergency mortgage protections expire this summer and fall. Servicers should dedicate sufficient resources and staff now to ensure they are prepared for a surge in borrowers needing help. The CFPB will closely monitor how servicers engage with borrowers, respond to borrower requests, and process applications for loss mitigation. The CFPB will consider a servicer’s overall effectiveness in helping consumers when using its discretion to address compliance issues that arise.
There is a tidal wave of distressed homeowners coming and responsible servicers must be preparing now.
mortgage servicers“There is a tidal wave of distressed homeowners who will need help from their mortgage servicers in the coming months. Responsible servicers should be preparing now. There is no time to waste, and no excuse for inaction. No one should be surprised by what is coming,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “Our first priority is ensuring struggling families get the assistance they need. Servicers who put struggling families first have nothing to fear from our oversight, but we will hold accountable those who cause harm to homeowners and families.” The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides borrowers with federally- backed mortgages with access to forbearance, and private lenders have also provided similar assistance. As of January 2021, approximately 2.7 million borrowers remained in such programs, with 2.1 million borrowers in forbearance and at least 90 days delinquent on their mortgage payments. Another 242,000 mortgages not in forbearance programs were at least 90 days delinquent. Industry data suggest that nearly 1.7 million borrowers will exit forbearance programs in September and the following months, with many of them a year or more behind on their mortgage payments. Beginning with the expiration of the federal foreclosure moratoriums at the end of June 2021, mortgage servicers will need ramped-up capacity to reach out and respond to the large number of homeowners likely to need loss mitigation assistance. To meet this surge, servicers will need to plan now. In its oversight of mortgage servicers, the CFPB is focused on preventing avoidable foreclosures. The CFPB will pay particular attention to how well servicers are:

  • mortgage servicersBeing proactive. Servicers should contact borrowers in forbearance before the end of the forbearance period so they have time to apply for help.
  • Working with borrowers. Servicers should work to ensure borrowers have all necessary information and should help borrowers in obtaining documents and other information needed to evaluate the borrowers for assistance.
  • Addressing language access. The CFPB will look carefully at how servicers manage communications with borrowers with limited English proficiency and maintain compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and other laws.
  • Evaluating income fairly. Where servicers use income in determining eligibility for loss mitigation options, servicers should evaluate borrowers’ income from public assistance, child-support, alimony or other sources in accordance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act’s anti-discrimination protections.
  • Handling inquiries promptly. The CFPB will closely examine servicer conduct where hold times are longer than industry averages.
  • Preventing avoidable foreclosures. The CFPB will expect servicers to comply with foreclosure restrictions in Regulation X and other federal and state restrictions in order to ensure that all homeowners have an opportunity to save their homes before foreclosure is initiated.

Provided that servicers are demonstrating effectiveness in helping consumers, in accord with today’s compliance bulletin, the CFPB will continue to evaluate servicer activity consistent with the Joint Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Mortgage Servicing Rules in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency and the CARES Act on April 3, 2020, which provides flexibility on certain timing requirements in the regulations.
mortgage servicers
Read the April 1, 2021 compliance bulletin.
Read the interagency statement regarding flexibilities under Regulation X

.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-7{width:100% !important;margin-top : 0px;margin-bottom : 0px;}.fusion-builder-column-7 > .fusion-column-wrapper {padding-top : 0px !important;padding-right : 0px !important;margin-right : 1.92%;padding-bottom : 0px !important;padding-left : 0px !important;margin-left : 1.92%;}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-7{width:100% !important;}.fusion-builder-column-7 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-7{width:100% !important;}.fusion-builder-column-7 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-3{margin-top:15px!important; margin-right:0px!important;margin-bottom:0px!important;margin-left:0px!important;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-3{margin-top:10px!important; margin-right:0px!important;margin-bottom:10px!important; margin-left:0px!important;}}MUSINGS BY DIANE:mortgage reliefAll of us are frustrated by people who can’t or won’t do their job.  Especially when doing their job correctly is the difference between losing or saving our home.  The times of COVID have and will continue for years to bring mass-confusion to the homeowners, lenders and servicers.  But, there is no excuse for the lenders or servicers not doing their job or following the law (that is what they are paid to do).  Just because this is all new to them, so what this is your home that is at risk.  The only way you can combat lazy people who are not following the rules, is for you to KNOW THE RULES.  Do your own homework about the various programs available during and after COVID. 
I feel for the lenders and servicers, but that is their job – so they need to learn the rules and know their role in working through the disaster that COVID has wrought on hundreds of thousands of homeowners. 
Never default on your mortgage if you can afford to keep paying.  Do not assume any of the COVID laws will give you a free ride and wipe out several months of mortgage payments.  Trust me – you will have to pay the missing payments at some time – either immediately when your forbearance is over or (if you are really, really lucky) at the end of your mortgage or when you sell your home, whichever comes first.  Never trust the lender or servicer to give you competent advice.  Always keep written evidence of any discussions or communications (name, date and time, contact info and specifically was said).

This is a dangerous time for us all (yes, even us lawyers who have no idea how and what will happen with the various loan programs).

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.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-11{width:75% !important;margin-top : 0px;margin-bottom : 20px;}.fusion-builder-column-11 > .fusion-column-wrapper {padding-top : 0px !important;padding-right : 15px !important;margin-right : 10px;padding-bottom : 0px !important;padding-left : 15px !important;margin-left : 10px;}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-11{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-11 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 10px;margin-left : 10px;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-11{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-11 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 10px;margin-left : 10px;}}.fusion-body .fusion-flex-container.fusion-builder-row-8{ padding-top : 0px;margin-top : 5;padding-right : 0px;padding-bottom : 0px;margin-bottom : 20px;padding-left : 0px;}
The post CFPB Cracking Down on Mortgage Servicers appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney.


1 week 2 days ago

Bankruptcy Related Changes Under the CARES Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021
February 9, 2021 By Andreozzi Bluestein LLP  By: Daniel F. Brown, Esq. (provided here for educational purposes only).

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (the “Appropriations Act”) was passed by Congress and became law on December 27th, 2020, and addressed a number of specific bankruptcy issues which had not been addressed as a part of either the original Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) legislation or subsequent amendments or supplements to that Act.
A Quick Review of Bankruptcy Changes Under Original CARES Act
The original CARES Act provided for $1,200 stimulus payments to most individuals.   In Chapter 7 filings, the CARES Act also amended the definition of “income” to exclude coronavirus-related payments from the federal government.  It also excluded the coronavirus-related payments from “disposable income”.  The practical effect of these provisions was to prevent the stimulus payments from affecting a debtor’s eligibility to file under either chapter.
The CARES Act also provided relief to Chapter 13 debtors operating under a confirmed plan, as of the March 27, 2020 effective date.  The CARES Act allowed a debtor to request modification of a plan if the debtor is experiencing or has experienced a material financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Further, debtors may extend plan payments under the plan for up to seven years after the initial plan payment was due.  These changes apply to any case for which a plan was confirmed before the enactment of the CARES Act.
Both the income definition changes and the Chapter 13 Plan modification and extension provisions of the CARES Act will expire on March 27, 2021, so anyone needing to modify and extend a Chapter 13 plan because of COVID-19 must do so quickly.
The CARES Act also modified provisions of the Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA), which became effective in February, 2020 and which enacted a new Chapter 11 Subchapter V that was intended to allow small businesses to reorganize more quickly and less expensively.  As originally enacted, a business’s debts must be less than $2,725,625 in order to be eligible to file a case under Subchapter V.  This debt limit was increased to $7.5 million under the CARES Act, but that increased debt limit will expire and eligibility will return to its original dollar limit on March 27, 2021.
Changes Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021
The Appropriations Act became law on December 27, 2020.  That statute made a number of additional temporary changes to the Bankruptcy Code, all of which, by their terms, expire either one year or two years after the changes became effective.

  1. The Appropriations Act amends the Bankruptcy Code to expressly provide that stimulus payments are not property of a debtor’s bankruptcy estate. This provision expires December 27, 2021.
  2. The Appropriations Act amends the Bankruptcy Code to provide that no person may be denied relief under three enumerated CARES Act provisions solely because the person is or was a debtor in a bankruptcy case. The three CARES Act provisions are: (a) the foreclosure moratorium and right to request forbearance, (b) the forbearance of mortgage payments for multifamily properties, and (c) the temporary moratorium on eviction filings.  This provision expires on December 27, 2021.
  3. The Appropriations Act amends the Bankruptcy Code to give the bankruptcy court discretion to grant a discharge to a Chapter 13 debtor even though the debtor defaulted on or after March 13, 2020 in not more than three monthly payments under a residential mortgage because of a material COVID-19 related financial hardship. Furthermore, the court can also grant a discharge to a debtor whose confirmed plan provides for curing defaults on a residential mortgage and the debtor has entered into a qualifying loan modification or forbearance agreement with the lender.  This does not mean the debtor will be discharged of the mortgage debt, but a debtor will be eligible to receive a plan discharge of other debts even though the debtor did not pay all mortgage payments when due under the plan.  This provision expires December 27, 2021.
  4. Under the CARES Act, borrowers under federally-backed residential and multifamily mortgages can request payment forbearance because of COVID-19 hardships. In the case of federally-backed residential mortgage, the forbearance period can be as long as 12 months.  At the end of the forbearance periods, the borrower must pay the deferred mortgage payments in a lump-sum.  These deferred mortgage payments caused significant procedural and administrative complications in Chapter 13 cases.  To remedy these complications, the Appropriations Act allows qualified servicers to file a proof of claim for the deferred payments, even if the claims bar date has passed.  The Appropriations Act also authorizes debtors to modify a confirmed Chapter 13 plan to address the deferred payment plan.  If the debtor fails to modify his plan, the bankruptcy court (on its own motion), the U.S. Trustee’s office, the Chapter 13 Trustee and/or any party in interest may move for such a modification.  These changes expire on December 27, 2021.
  5. Ordinarily, a Chapter 11 debtor is obligated to timely make all post-petition payments and to perform all post-petition obligations under an unexpired lease of non-residential real property. The Appropriations Act amends the Bankruptcy Code to allow the court to extend a Subchapter V small business debtor’s time to perform under an unexpired lease of non-residential real property if the debtor is experiencing or has experienced a material financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to COVID-19.  These changes apply only to cases commenced under Chapter 11 Subchapter V and they expire December 27, 2022.
  6. The Appropriations Act also amends the Bankruptcy Code in cases under all chapters of the Bankruptcy Code to give the debtor (or trustee) 210 days after the order for relief to assume an unexpired non-residential real property lease. Existing law had provided Debtors or Trustees 120 days to assume or reject an unexpired non-residential real property lease.  This change expires on December 27, 2022.
  7. The Appropriations Act also amends the Bankruptcy Code to prohibit a debtor or trustee from avoiding payments made by a debtor during the preference period for “covered rental arrearages” and “covered supplier arrearages.” To qualify for the exemption, (a) the debtor and the counterparty must have entered into a lease or executory contract before the filing, (b) they must have amended the lease or contract after March 13, 2020, and (c) the amendment must have deferred or postponed payments otherwise due under the lease or contract.  This provision expires on December 27, 2022.
  8. The Appropriations Act also addresses the much litigated issue of the eligibility of bankruptcy debtors to obtain PPP loans, but regrettably only adds to the uncertainty. The CARES Act,  created the Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”), the now-familiar potentially forgivable loan program administered by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”).  Since the passage of the CARES Act, the SBA has taken the position that companies in bankruptcy are not eligible for PPP loans.  The SBA has consistently denied PPP loans for debtors, and the case law around the country has been inconsistent.  The SBA has doubled down on position in its January 6, 2021 interim rules, which are also supposed to cover PPP Round 2 loans.  The Appropriations Act amends the Bankruptcy Code to permit PPP loans to debtors in Chapter 11, 12 and 13 cases.  It also discusses how claims for such loans are to be paid, as a part of a debtor’s plan, if they are not forgiven.

However, the statute also says such PPP loans will be available only if the SBA Administrator sends a letter to the Director of the Executive Office for United States Trustee acquiescing to PPP loans in bankruptcy.  Therefore, the new statute seemingly delegates to the SBA administrator the discretion whether to approve PPP loans during bankruptcy, so we do not yet know whether these PPP loans will be available.
Assuming the SBA Administrator acquiesces to PPP loans in bankruptcy, the loans will be available: (a) only in cases pending on or filed on or after the date the SBA sends the aforementioned letter to the Office of the United States Trustee, and (b) only to certain types of debtors, namely, Chapter 11 Subchapter V small business debtors (regular Chapter 11 debtors are not eligible), Chapter 12 family farmer debtors, and self-employed Chapter 13 debtors.  This provision, if it becomes effective, will expire on December 27, 2022.
The bankruptcy changes brought about through the CARES & Appropriations Acts provide debtors a window of opportunity that may significantly impact the resolution of their bankruptcies, but that window may be rapidly closing.  The attorneys at Andreozzi Bluestein are well versed in how the CARES & Appropriations Acts can impact debtors in all forms of bankruptcy.  If you or a client need clarification on how these changes may impact your specific situation, call us today for a no obligation consultation.
(click here for the original article)CARES Act

.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-13{width:100% !important;margin-top : 0px;margin-bottom : 0px;}.fusion-builder-column-13 > .fusion-column-wrapper {padding-top : 0px !important;padding-right : 0px !important;margin-right : 1.92%;padding-bottom : 0px !important;padding-left : 0px !important;margin-left : 1.92%;}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-13{width:100% !important;}.fusion-builder-column-13 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-13{width:100% !important;}.fusion-builder-column-13 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-5{margin-top:15px!important; margin-right:0px!important;margin-bottom:0px!important;margin-left:0px!important;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-5{margin-top:10px!important; margin-right:0px!important;margin-bottom:10px!important; margin-left:0px!important;}}MUSINGS BY DIANE:To some extent Congress provided cash-strapped debtors some relief under the two new COVID Acts passed in 2020 and 2021.  The problem is that all of the provisions have expiration dates on the changes.  There at least to challenges: first, the expiration dates are going to ambush both debtors and their attorneys. Second, the new laws bring with them different interpretations.  It will take years for enough courts to determine the “proper” interpretations for that jurisdation.  One jurisdiction’s interpretation can differ dramatically from another jurisdiction.

My advice – never rely on advice from the Internet or your neighbor.   Understand that the “law” changes regularly, so a good answer today can be a bad answer next year.  Seek advice from at least two people who are experienced in the area you need help. Once armed with good information, then use your common sense to decide what is best for you. 
Lastly, never look for the easy out.  For instance, if you can pay your rent or mortgage, then do so.  In the long run, don’t assume you are going to get a free place to live.

@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-6{margin-top:0px!important; margin-right:0px!important;margin-bottom:6px!important;margin-left:0px!important;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-6{margin-top:10px!important; margin-right:0px!important;margin-bottom:10px!important; margin-left:0px!important;}}– Diane L. Drain.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-14{width:100% !important;margin-top : 0px;margin-bottom : 0px;}.fusion-builder-column-14 > .fusion-column-wrapper {padding-top : 0px !important;padding-right : 30px !important;margin-right : 1.92%;padding-bottom : 0px !important;padding-left : 45px !important;margin-left : 1.92%;}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-14{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-14 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-14{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-14 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}.fusion-body .fusion-flex-container.fusion-builder-row-10{ padding-top : 0px;margin-top : 0px;padding-right : 0px;padding-bottom : 0px;margin-bottom : 0px;padding-left : 0px;}.fusion-button.button-3 {border-radius:10px;}.fusion-button.button-3.button-3d{-webkit-box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);}.button-3.button-3d:active{-webkit-box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);}Click here for steps to your free bankruptcy consultation
.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-16{width:25% !important;margin-top : 0px;margin-bottom : 20px;}.fusion-builder-column-16 > .fusion-column-wrapper {padding-top : 0px !important;padding-right : 0px !important;margin-right : 10px;padding-bottom : 0px !important;padding-left : 0px !important;margin-left : 10px;}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-16{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-16 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 10px;margin-left : 10px;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-16{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-16 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 10px;margin-left : 10px;}}

.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-17{width:75% !important;margin-top : 0px;margin-bottom : 20px;}.fusion-builder-column-17 > .fusion-column-wrapper {padding-top : 0px !important;padding-right : 15px !important;margin-right : 10px;padding-bottom : 0px !important;padding-left : 15px !important;margin-left : 10px;}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-17{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-17 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 10px;margin-left : 10px;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-17{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-17 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 10px;margin-left : 10px;}}.fusion-body .fusion-flex-container.fusion-builder-row-12{ padding-top : 0px;margin-top : 5;padding-right : 0px;padding-bottom : 0px;margin-bottom : 20px;padding-left : 0px;}
The post Bankruptcy Related Changes Under CARES Act and Consolidated Appropriations Act appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney.


1 week 6 days ago

The Bankruptcy Chapter 11 Subchapter V debt limit of $7,500,000 has been extended for 1 more year to March 2022. The House passed a bill, which was signed by President Biden this week. Any clients, attorneys or accountants who have questions about Subchapter V Bankruptcy should contact Jim Shenwick 212 541 6224  jshenwick@gmail.com


1 week 6 days ago

Congratulations, you are almost the owner of a new home! It is an exciting time, and it is important to celebrate every step of the real estate buying process. 

Before you can move into your new home, there are a few critical steps to complete. As a buyer, it is essential to check off every requirement to avoid issues and delays at closing.

Buying a home is often the largest purchase a person makes in their life. Before signing any paperwork, you must review and understand the documents. A real estate lawyer is beneficial in explaining the complicated legal documents and inspecting the contracts. To assist with the buying process, Wisconsin real estate lawyer, Shannon Wynn, created this buying guide and buyer’s checklist to help new home buyers. This helpful guide will review the closing timeline, answer common questions, and provide a closing checklist for real estate buyers. 

house sale closing handshakeReal Estate Closing Timeline for Buyers

Buying a home is generally a long, complicated process with many steps and procedural formalities. The Offer to Purchase begins the process and includes the price the buyer will pay for the property, the closing date, contingencies that must be met, and other important terms and conditions for the transaction. Once an offer is accepted, it is time to prepare for closing. The purchasing process usually takes 30-60 days from when an offer is accepted.  

Hiring an experienced real estate lawyer and realtor make the closing process significantly smoother. These professionals are valuable in assisting you through the stressful contract-to-closing period. If you are looking for a Wisconsin real estate lawyer to help you with the closing of your new home, contact Wynn at Law, LLC at 262-725-0175 or send us a message.

Home Buyers Pre-Closing Checklist

Resolve Contingencies

The initial Offer to Purchase will have contingencies that need to be met before the transaction is finalized or closed. The most common contingencies are: home inspection, appraisal, and financing. The steps below will cover these contingencies and other common transaction conditions. 

Order A Home Inspection

It is highly recommended to have a professional home inspection conducted by a licensed home inspector. The inspection is the buyer’s opportunity to identify any significant issues, known as defects, before closing. The home inspection is also a chance for a buyer to learn more about the features of the home. There are many systems and features for the inspector to check. Below is a list of items that you may want to have the inspector review: 

  • Building structure and foundation
  • Roof and chimney
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Heating/cooling system (HVAC)
  • Windows, doors, floors, and walls
  • Land grading and drainage

Once the inspection is finished, the inspector will create a report that notes any defects that were identified during the physical inspection. 

Depending on the transaction, the Offer to Purchase may include additional tests which are separate from the home inspection, such as:  

  • Septic inspection
  • Radon test
  • Mold test
  • Well inspection
  • Well water test
  • Asbestos test

If the home inspection or test identifies defects in the property, it may be worthwhile to negotiate with the sellers for a credit/price reduction or for the repairs to be completed prior to closing. A Wisconsin real estate lawyer can advise buyers about inspection contingencies and prepare an Amendment to the Offer to Purchase to account for the repairs.

home inspector looking at house checklist before closingOrder An Appraisal

Lenders require the real estate to be appraised and will not commit or approve  a loan until the appraisal is completed. For this step, an appraiser may visit the property and ensure that the purchase price is considered fair market value. The buyer must check that the appraisal value is at or above the contract price before proceeding with the closing process. 

Order A Survey

As the buyer, you may be interested in having a survey of the property conducted. If listed as a contingency in the offer, the seller will typically pay for the survey. In some cases, there may already be a recent survey on record.

Get Final Mortgage Approval & Lock In Your Rates

Buyers usually finance their purchase with a mortgage from a bank, credit union, or other commercial lenders. Once your final contract has been signed, it is vital to provide your lender a copy. Before closing, it is beneficial to discuss the interest rate with the lender. Locking in the interest rate is important because even small fluctuations in the rate can increase your monthly payments. 

Shortly before closing, your lender will be able to provide you with a loan commitment; the commitment states that you will receive a loan from the lender in the amount necessary to purchase the real estate.  

Note: All interested home buyers should be pre-qualified for a mortgage loan before beginning a home search. Pre-qualification makes the offer to purchase and final approval process quicker.

Check The Property Title

Prior to closing, you need to conduct a full review of the property title to ensure that the seller is legally able to sell the property. A title search is an essential step in the pre-closing process. A title search verifies that the seller can legally transfer ownership of the property and that the property has no easements, disputes, or liens.

In this step, all existing records, including deeds, mortgages, paving assessments, divorce settlements, liens, and other public documents are thoroughly reviewed and examined. A property owner must fix errors, disputes, tax debts, and liens on the title prior closing. Buyers should have a real estate lawyer review the title insurance commitment for an additional layer of protection against issues with the title.      

Purchase Homeowners Insurance

All lenders require that buyers purchase homeowners insurance. This type of insurance protects the lender from a loss if the home is damaged or destroyed. Some lenders only require you to purchase homeowners insurance in the amount equal to your loan. It is recommended to have coverage equal to your property value and personal belongings replacement cost.

Conduct A Final Walk-Through Of The Home

The final walk-through allows the buyer to confirm that the condition of the property has not changed since the Offer was accepted. Typically, the final walk-through occurs in the 24 hours before the closing. This step enables buyers to check that the home is vacated, clean, and in the expected condition. During the final walk-through, take your time to verify all repairs and that all items/appliances/furniture included in the Offer to Purchase are correct. 

Review The Closing Disclosures (CD)

The Closing Disclosure is a document sent to a Buyer from their lender. This document will include important information about your mortgage, including your monthly mortgage payments, loan interest rate, length of your mortgage, and additional fees related to the closing. The buyer must sign the CD at least three business days prior to closing to ensure there are no issues.

Confirm The Closing & Move-In Dates

The closing date is set in the original Offer to Purchase. Most often, you are able to move in the same day as closing, but occupancy information is also in your Offer to Purchase.

Some additional steps may be unique to your home buying situation. Contact a local Wisconsin real estate lawyer to ensure that all legal documents, correspondence, and closing criteria are lawfully met.

family moving boxes into new house are closingBuyers Closing Day Checklist – What To Expect 

Once all the contract contingencies are met and the steps listed above have been completed, the transaction can close. At the closing, the buyer and seller will meet at the title company’s office at the agreed-upon date and time. Buyers should plan to sign numerous, complex legal documents and spend up to an hour at the closing.  

Below are some of the documents that buyers may sign at the closing: 

  • Promissory note
  • Closing Disclosure
  • Closing Statement
  • Mortgage
  • Title Company Disclosure

It’s wise to have your real estate lawyer attend the closing with you to explain the documents and to answer questions. Lawyers often spot potential problems that can be fixed and will assist with unanticipated issues that may arise. 

Items Buyers Should Bring To Closing

  • Photo ID (official government-issued ID, such as driver’s license or passport)
  • Proof of wire transfer, escrow account information, or cashier’s check
  • Checkbook 

couple celebrating as new home buyers after closingAfter Closing Checklist

After closing, the property deed is recorded at the county Register of Deeds office. The deed is then returned to the buyer via mail. This filing puts the buyer’s ownership of the property on the public record. After the closing, the buyer will also receive a copy of the title insurance policy for their records. 

Congratulations – once the closing process is completed, you have purchased your new home!

Do I Need A Lawyer For The House Closing Process?

Wisconsin does not require a real estate lawyer for real estate transactions, but it is highly recommended for buyers. Your Wisconsin real estate lawyer will protect your interests and make sure all legal documents, correspondence, and closing criteria are lawfully met. 

Wynn at Law, LLC Helps Buyers Throughout The Real Estate Closing Process

Buying a home is a detailed process that takes time to complete. As the buyer in a real estate transaction, it is always better to have a real estate lawyer on your side. By law, only a real estate lawyer can provide you with legal advice during the home buying process, not a real estate agent, loan officer, or closing agent. If you need a Wisconsin real estate lawyer when buying a property, please contact Wynn at Law, LLC by phone at 262-725-0175 or send us a message on our website’s contact page. Wynn at Law, LLC has law offices located in Lake Geneva, Salem, and Delavan, Wisconsin.

Continue Reading: Real Estate Closing Checklist for Sellers

Schedule a Legal Consultation
The post Real Estate Closing Checklist For Buyers appeared first on Wynn at Law, LLC.



2 weeks 19 hours ago

It is not simple to make a choice to file for bankruptcy. However, a bankruptcy filing could be the best approach to your debt and financial problems. Filing bankruptcy has several advantages that other debt-relief options do not offer.
There a lot of benefits when you file for bankruptcy but there are also few drawbacks. Our Washington & Oregon bankruptcy attorneys will go over all of the benefits and drawbacks of filing bankruptcy Chapter 7. This will help you weigh the available options for your bankruptcy case.

  • What are the benefits of filing bankruptcy under Chapter 7?

Struggling with debt problems is extremely stressful. By filing Bankruptcy Chapter 7, you can have emotional relief by reducing the anxiety that comes with worrying about how you will pay your debts and living expenses.
Filing Chapter 7 allows debtors to have a fresh start to rebuild their financial future. In a liquidation bankruptcy, the assigned bankruptcy trustee for your case will manage the sales of your nonexempt assets and allocate the funds to the creditors.
Liquidation bankruptcy could wipe-out an unsecured debt. Unsecured debts include medical bills, credit card bills, and personal loans. When you file under this chapter, it would usually take about four to six months (unlike a reorganization case that takes three to five years). Another benefit is that you will not be required to make monthly payments to your trustee in bankruptcy Chapter 7.
Benefits and DrawbacksOnce your bankruptcy petition has been approved by the bankruptcy court, an automatic stay shall be effective. It prohibits creditors to demand payments from you. An automatic stay will essentially stop wage garnishment and protect you from creditor harassment.
After a debtor files for bankruptcy, he will eventually be able to qualify for credit. The debtor may pay a much higher interest rate but as the credit rating improves, your ability to borrow loans with a lower rate will increase as well.
With filing a bankruptcy case, you would soon start increasing your credit score. Creditors will no longer be able to report missed payments on your credit report and the outstanding balances will be zero.
Seeking legal help with our Washington & Oregon bankruptcy attorneys is important to understand basic bankruptcy laws and to prevent issues during the bankruptcy process. 

  • What are the drawbacks of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy declaration?

A bankruptcy proceeding could be a great help for you to pay back your debts. There are a few disadvantages of bankruptcy filing but an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you in dealing with these situations.
One of the disadvantages of filing bankruptcy is that debtors may lose their assets. This is specifically in bankruptcy cases under Chapter 7. The bankruptcy trustee will examine your properties to see if there is nonexempt equity in the property (that he or she will sell to repay your creditors).
For you to be qualified to file under this chapter, you must first pass the bankruptcy means test. Your eligibility will depend on your monthly income and living expenses. For assistance on how to file bankruptcy and pass the means test, consult a credible bankruptcy attorney.
When you declare bankruptcy, you will be required to undergo a credit counseling and financial management course. The completion of the courses is needed to file bankruptcy Chapter 7 and receive a bankruptcy discharge. The courses usually take up to 90 to 120 minutes and will teach you valuable financial management skills that will help you restore your credit rating.
Keep in mind that not all types of debt can be discharged when you file bankruptcy. Secured debt, child support, alimony, tax debt, and student loan debt, and criminal restitution are some examples of non-dischargeable debt.
Also, a legal lien like car loans and mortgages would not be eliminated by Chapter 7. You should continue paying the debt if you want to keep the collateral for the loan. However, you may choose to give up the collateral and have the debt discharged if you believe that it is in your best interests. 
If you file for bankruptcy, the attorney’s fee and filing fee must be paid. Even if it may cost you a certain amount of money, it is definitely worth the excellent service they will provide.
Another drawback of bankruptcy filings is that they will stay on your credit report for ten years and will temporarily lower your credit score. But in a span of 1-2 years, the majority of debtors see an improvement in their credit score.
There may be advantages and disadvantages of filing bankruptcy depending on the financial condition of an individual. Trusted bankruptcy lawyers will go over the benefits and drawbacks of Chapter 7 as they apply it to your bankruptcy case. This will allow you to decide on how to resolve your financial problems.
For legal help and assistance, contact our Washington & Oregon bankruptcy attorneys at Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm for a free debt solutions consultation.
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The post Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: What are the Benefits and Drawbacks? appeared first on Vancouver Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm.


2 weeks 5 days ago

When you are behind on a bill or owe back taxes, it might not seem like a problem initially. However, once a creditor obtains a judgment and they garnish your wages or your bank account, it becomes a real nightmare. While there are things you can do to try and stop a garnishment, including working […]
The post How Fast Can a Garnishment Be Stopped In California? appeared first on The Bankruptcy Group, P.C..


2 weeks 5 days ago

For many California residents, filing for bankruptcy is a lifesaver. When someone eliminates most of their debt through Chapter 7 or reorganizes their debt, while maybe saving their home, by filing for Chapter 13, they remove a significant financial burden. However, bankruptcy is not a “get out of jail” free card. In the case of […]
The post Can I Go On Vacation While In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy In California? appeared first on The Bankruptcy Group, P.C..


2 weeks 5 days ago

There is a good deal of misinformation concerning bankruptcy. People hear different myths and bits of incorrect facts about bankruptcy from friends, family members, and co-workers. Unfortunately, over the years, many of these misconceptions have wormed their way into the public consciousness. One question that has come up lately regards the average monthly payment required […]
The post What is the Average Monthly Payment for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in California? appeared first on The Bankruptcy Group, P.C..


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