2 weeks 6 days ago

Prediksi Heidenheim vs Bayer Leverkusen 6 Februari 2019 – Melanjutkan pertandingan DFB Pokal tahun 2018/2019 akan segera menghadirkan dua timpapan tengah yaitu Heidenheim vs Bayer Leverkusen. Dipertandingan yang sudah memasuki putaran ke 3 pastinya akan membuat para penikmat bola penasaran. Sebagai tim juru kunci pastinya Heidenheim akan berjuang lebih maksimal lagi untuk meraih kemenangan. Namun kualitas mereka saat ini sedang gemilang sehingga akan mudah saat menjamu Bayer Leverkusen.
Mereka akan mencuri poin penuh di markas sendiri dengan dukungan penuh dari supporter setianya. Sementara laga tandang Bayer Leverkusen juga akan berjuang lebih maksimal lagi untuk mempermalukan tuan rumah. Kualitas Bayer Leverkusen juga tidak bisa dipandang sebelah mata saja. Pertemuan antara Heidenheim vs Bayer Leverkusen akan segera berlangsung pada tanggal 6 Februari 2019 yang diselenggarakan di Voith- Arena (Heidenheim an der Brenz) live pukul 00:30 WIB.
Mampukah tuan rumah Heidenheim meraih kemenangannya di markas sendiri? Bagi anda penikmat bola, jangan lewatkan tayangan berikut ini!
Prediksi Heidenheim vs Bayer Leverkusen 6 Februari 2019
Putaran ke 2 DFB Pokal, tuan rumah Heidenheim berhasil meraih kemenangan saat menjamu Sandausen dengan skor 3-0. Pemain Heidenheim yang berhasil mencetak gol adalah M. Schnatterer di menit ke 8’ dan N. Dovedan di menit ke 20’ & 86’.
Prediksi Heidenheim vs Bayer Leverkusen 6 Februari 2019 – Franks Schmidt sebagai pelatih Heidenheim akan berjuang lebih maksimal lagi untuk meraih kemenangan ini dengan menghancurkan tim tamu nantinya. Mereka juga telah mempersiapkan para pemain terbaiknya sebagai mesin pencetak gol yaitu N. Dovedan, K. Pusch, R. Glatzel, S. Griesbeck dan juga K. Lankford.
Sementara penampilan Bayer Leverkusen kini sedang diatas angin karena berhasil meraih kemenangan yang indah pada putaran ke 2 DFB Pokal saat menuju markas M’gladbach dengan skor 0-5. Pemain Bayer Leverkusen yang berhasil mencetak gol saat itu adalah J. Brandt di menit ke 5’, T. Tedvaj di menit ke 46’, K. Bellarabi di menit ke 67’ & 74’ serta K. Volland di menit ke 80’.
Bayer Leverkusen sangat optimis akan mudah menorehkan kemenangannya  dengan menampilkan  pemain bintang seperti K. Haverts, L. Alario, J. Brandt dan juga I. Thelin. Heiko Herrlich sebagai pelatih Bayer Leverkusen akan tetap mengupayakan kemenangan ini.
Dari hasil penjelasan kedua tim, diprediksikan laga nanti akan dimenangkan oleh tim tamu Bayer Leverkusen. Adapun hasil prediksi skor antara Heidenheim vs Bayer Leverkusen 6 Februari 2019 dalam bursa taruhan bola adalah 0-2. Demikian perkiraan prediksi sebagai acuan anda.
Heidenheim Win: 10%
Bayer Leverkusen Win: 80%
Draws: 10%
Prediksi Heidenheim vs Bayer Leverkusen 6 Februari 2019 Judi Rolet Online Endbillcollections adalah 0 – 2

2 weeks 6 days ago

“Can I be thrown in jail for not paying my credit card debt?” What about other unsecured debt like a broken apartment lease, a car repossession deficiency, medical bills or personal loans?jailed for contempt of court The short answer to this question is “no,” there is no debtor’s prison in the United States and an unsecured creditor like a credit card company cannot contact your local police department and have you picked up and thrown in jail. If a bill collector threatens you with incarceration, that bill collector is almost certainly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and you could sue that bill collector for money damages for making an idle threat.However…there are some circumstances where you could find yourself facing jail time if you ignore or refuse to cooperate with the litigation process. Here’s what you need to know.Collection Lawsuits are about Money OnlyFirst, if you owe money to a credit card company, or for a medical bill or any other unsecured debt, the only remedy that your creditor has is to “dun” you account (call you or write you to remind you of your obligation) or to file a civil action lawsuit against you to obtain a civil judgment against you.If a creditor files a collection lawsuit and wins by default (you failed to answer) or wins at trial, that creditor will obtain a judgment. They can take that judgment to your bank to seize whatever money you have in that account, or they can take that judgment to your employer and garnish your wages to the extent permitted by state law.Collection lawsuits to recover money are part of the civil justice system. Civil matters are about money only and involve one party (the plaintiff) suing another (the defendant). By contrast a criminal action occurs when a governmental unit like the State of Georgia or the United States of America files a criminal complaint against you. The government is represented by a prosecutor (i.e., the District Attorney, U.S. Attorney or equivalent) and the remedy is either a fine, jail time or both.Only the Government can File Criminal Charges Against YouThe government is the only entity that can start criminal proceedings against you. If a creditor like a credit card company or an apartment complex wants to pursue criminal charges they have to take their complaint to the District Attorney or U.S. Attorney and the prosecutor has to agree to pursue criminal proceedings against you.In very rare circumstances, an unsecured creditor can convince a prosecutor to take out a criminal warrant against you. For example if you are engaged in fraud like opening multiple credit card accounts in fake names or using fake Social Security numbers, you would be violating both state and federal law and you could face prosecution.Simply not paying a debt you owe because you don’t have the money is not a criminal offense.Avoid Contempt of Court by Responding to Post Judgment DiscoverySecond, you need to understand that the debt collection process can involve more than a lawsuit, and that’s where you can find yourself in trouble.If a creditor like a credit card company sues you and obtains a judgment, they have the right to conduct post-judgment discovery to force you to reveal where your money is located and where you work. Post-judgment discovery can take the form of interrogatories (written questions), requests for production of documents, and depositions (sworn testimony under oath recorded by a court reporter).If you refuse to respond to discovery questions, refuse to appear at a deposition or otherwise refuse to participate in discovery, the judgment creditor can ask the judge to hold you in contempt of court and to have you incarcerated.You would be jailed not for owing money, but you could be jailed for being in contempt of court for refusing to answer questions about where your money is located or where you work, or for giving false answers to these questions.Sometimes a defendant in a civil matter does not cooperate with discovery because he doesn’t know how to respond, or, in some cases because he never got served with any paperwork at all.Courthouses are very busy places and judges rely on lawyers to offer accurate information. If the lawyer for the judgment creditor sees that a person named “John Smith” was served with the lawsuit and post-judgment interrogatories and your name happens to be “John Smith” you could find yourself behind bars without knowing why.Aggressive Creditors Use the Court’s Contempt Powers to Threaten You with JailIn some busy jurisdictions, aggressive creditors (mis)use the contempt power of the civil court system to cause judgment debtors to be incarcerated. Needless to say, it can be very difficult to unwind a contempt action when you are sitting in a jail cell.This type of incarceration for contempt of court does not happen a lot but it does happen enough to mean that you should be aware of the problem.So, how do you protect yourself?The most important think you can do is to take action if you are ever sued. You will know that you have been sued if a sheriff’s deputy or a process server knocks on your door and hands you a stack of papers. Don’t ignore this – the problem will not go away.Second, review your credit reports every year. You can download a copy of your credit reports for free at Usually your credit reports will show that you have been sued.Finally, if you ever receive any sort of letter suggesting that you have been sued, take action to find out if this is true. Many courts have online access where you can look up pending lawsuits. Bankruptcy lawyers can also find out for you as well.If you owe money, you may be tempted to try to avoid dealing with your debt problems in the hope that creditors may go away. This is not a good strategy. You are always better off with a proactive approach and addressing your debt problems head on.The odds are very small that a creditor will use a court’s contempt power to have you thrown in jail. But it does happen and you should not assume that you are immune from this situation.If you are struggling with debt and want to speak to an experienced Atlanta area bankruptcy lawyer, please call our office at 770-393-4985.The post Can You be Thrown in Jail for Not Paying Your Credit Card Debt? appeared first on theBKBlog.

3 weeks 1 day ago

By John Aidan Byrne

New York City is officially the most financially distressed metropolis in America, according to local debt counselors and financial analysts.

The city’s credit card delinquency rates and level of bad personal debt are the highest in the nation, which saw household debt and credit soar by $219 billion, or 1.6 percent, to $13.51 trillion, in the third quarter of 2018 — a record $837 billion more than its previous peak in 2008.

Facing an environment of mounting personal bankruptcies and financial meltdowns, unprecedented numbers of local residents are just one paycheck away from total monetary disaster.

The latest surge in toxic debt is blowing a huge hole in New Yorkers’ personal finances, these experts say. Forty percent of Americans recently said they could not cover a $400 emergency — and that proportion may be even higher in New York City, analysts say.

“It’s really bad right now,” Kelly Figueroa, a consumer debt counselor in New York at GreenPath, a national nonprofit, told The Post.

“Like the rest of the nation, most New Yorkers are living paycheck to paycheck,” she added. “But in New York, the situation is even worse because of the city’s higher — and rising — cost of living.”

From low-income to highly paid consumers, Kelly says, local clients’ unsecured distressed household debt ranges from an average of $20,000 per individual to as high as $100,000.

Credit card debt troubles in particular have jumped in New York City, from 30 percent of client caseloads at GreenPath to 40 percent in the past few years, even as housing and mortgage stress cases stemming from the financial crisis have ebbed.

New York City is now its No. 1 metro market, followed by Atlanta and Los Angeles, as measured by the sheer volume of distressed consumers seeking assistance and relief, according to Money Management International, a nationwide credit-counseling network.

“New York has the second-most expensive housing market in the US; rents are rising along with interest rates and credit card and other debt, including auto loans,” said Thomas Nitzsche, a consumer debt expert at Money Management International, citing some of the nonprofit’s latest findings.

A large population with average wages well above the national average — and a low unemployment rate — can give residents the courage to take on large credit card balances and debt, analysts say.

However, since 2010, rents in New York City overall have jumped 31 percent — and even as much as 45 percent in some neighborhoods, according to the StreetEasy Rent Index in late 2018.

This may explain why many city consumers are sinking in card and other debt, say analysts.

A New York Fed study shows average credit card balances alone in Manhattan hit $7,400 by 2016, compared with the nation’s $5,400.

Credit card delinquency rates for holders 90 days late on payments reached a stunning 15.1 percent for the Bronx and nearly 10 percent citywide, compared with 8.3 percent nationwide.

Analysts figure those balances and delinquency rates have since ticked up further in New York.
© 2019 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

3 weeks 5 days ago

By Noah Manskar, Patch Staff

NEW YORK — New York City's turbulent taxi industry saw a massive spike in foreclosure sales last year as drivers struggled to make ends meet and some took their own lives, records show.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission recorded 381 foreclosure-related medallion sales in 2018 — more than 10 times the 37 seen in 2017. The numbers are based on Patch's review of the TLC's monthly lists of sales, some of which include more than one medallion.

The sales accounted for about two thirds, or 64 percent, of last year's 595 medallion transfer transactions, while only 33 percent of 2017's transactions were foreclosure-related, TLC records show.

The spike is both a good and bad sign, TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi said. While many individual drivers still face financial strain, the flurry of sales suggests buyers now see viability in an industry that has seen years of instability.

"When there are purchasers that are not the banks it's a signal that there are people that believe there is a value to this asset," said Joshi, who plans to leave her post in March.

The foreclosure figures include cases in which a bank took possession of a medallion on which someone could no longer pay the mortgage, and others in which a buyer purchased a medallion from a bank.

The "vast majority" of last year's increase comprises hedge funds buying up medallions at large public auction, said Robert Familant, the former treasurer and CEO of Progressive Credit Union, a medallion lender.

For instance, a hedge fund reportedly paid $170,000 each last June for 131 medallions once owned by Evgeny Freidman, an operator once known as the "Taxi King" who pleaded guilty to tax fraud last year.

Last year's unusually large number also reflects some sales that were made in 2017 but not recorded until 2018, according to Familant, whose company recently merged with Pentagon Federal Credit Union.

The spike came at a tumultuous time in the city's taxi industry. At least half a dozen professional drivers died by suicide last year, some of them facing hefty financial burdens amid competition from ride-hailing apps.

Hundreds of medallions held by individual drivers have been forced into foreclosure or bankruptcy in recent years as their owners have seen costs mount while their businesses suffer, Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said in a Jan. 16 court filing.

"Not only have they been unable to keep up with their mortgages, (they've) also just been unable to earn enough for day-to-day living," Desai said in an interview. "I honestly never imagined to have so many conversations with drivers about food stamps, really basic benefits."

Medallion prices have plummeted in from $1 million or more in 2014 to as little as $130,000 last month, TLC records show.

That drop in value helped drive the recent spike in foreclosure sales, along with declining revenues and a lack of confidence among some owners in city regulators' ability to address the prices, Familant said.

"When the value of collateral diminishes, financial institutions are put into a very difficult regulatory position," he said.

Recent changes to medallion rules have also contributed to recent movement in the market, Joshi said. One eliminated the requirement that certain medallion owners drive a certain number of hours each year. Another eliminated the distinction between independent and corporate medallions, making it easier for banks to take back those that were independently owned, according to Joshi.

The City Council also slashed the medallion transfer tax in 2017 from 5 percent to 0.5 percent. That made the tax less of a burden for buyers, according to Joshi.

To Familant, the large number of foreclosure sales reflects the start of a "cleansing process" that allows drivers and operators a way into a business in which they now see an opportunity.

"Everyone knows the industry has had a difficult time the last few years and it was sort of in free fall. Now that free fall has stopped," he said. "Buyers came back into the industry at a point and said, 'I think it's a good buy now. I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is now.'"

But Desai called that a "rosy description" of where the industry stands. It may be easier for institutional buyers like hedge funds to buy medallions but individual drivers still face barriers, she said.

She called for a "restructuring" of the loan market to reflect the value of medallions.

"If you know you're going to have to eventually take that medallion away from the current owner and then resell it at a lower rate, why not just forgive on some of the loan now and restructure it so the current people who've already paid so much into those medallions, even if they haven't paid off the whole thing, at least they can continue to work and live off of it," Desai said.

The TLC lacks the authority to regulate banks but has encouraged them to "right-size" medallion loans, Joshi said. The City Council also passed bills in November to bolster financial education for drivers and create a task force to review changes in medallion prices.

To Familant, it's important for lenders and medallion owners to find solutions to tough financial situations that don't involve foreclosure.

"You have to go there and you have to work together," he said. "No one's going to survive unless we work together."

© 2019 Patch Media. All Rights Reserved.

3 weeks 5 days ago

If you recently filed for bankruptcy, you might be worried about the ability to purchase a home after your debts have been discharged. Fortunately, there may still be a way to buy your dream home if you had to file for bankruptcy. If you or a family member are considering purchasing a new home after […]
The post How Long After Bankruptcy Can I Buy a House? appeared first on The Bankruptcy Group, P.C..

4 weeks 1 day ago

People in the US hold over $1 trillion in credit card debt. Credit cards are the most essential source of day-to-day financing for millions of Americans. Yet little is known about the true demographics of who owns credit cards, how much they charge on them, and whether they pay their balances on time. The information we have is based on surveys, and people are notoriously bad at accurately reporting their finances.
A new study by Federal Reserve economist Joanna Stavins sets out to fix this problem. Every year since 2008, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston conducts a nationally representative survey asking Americans how they pay for things. It includes a section on credit cards. In order to check the accuracy of their responses, Stavins compared respondents’ answers with administrative data from credit reporting agency Equifax,which holds their actual data.  Stavins found that people tend to overreport the number of credit cards they have, underreport their balances, and greatly undervalue their credit limits. But most importantly, by combining demographic data from the Fed’s survey with Equifax, we finally have accurate public data about how different groups of people use credit cards. The survey was conducted in 2015 and 2016.
The data show that whether a person owns a credit card diverges hugely by age, income, and education. Overall, 74% of adults have a credit card, but just 48% of those under 25 have one, compared with 87% who are 65 or over. The difference is even greater across education and income levels.
Credit card balances also vary hugely. While the average American maintains an average balance of $4,560, this is highly dependent on age. Balances are relatively low for the young, about $2,340 for those under 25, but grow as people get into middle age, reaching over $6,000 for people 45-54, before falling as they get older. At the peak of a person’s earning power, typically in middle age, they are given larger credit limits from card companies.
Finally, the analysis estimated the share of people who have “revolving” credit card debt—meaning they don’t pay off their balance in full at the end of the month. Stavins found that 44% of adults have revolving credit, and these people typically have an outstanding balance of $6,600. Revolvers are generally poorer and less educated than the typical American.
It is worrisome that financially strapped Americans are incurring high interest payments on credit cards that reduce their already modest incomes, writes Stavins. Yet she also notes that credit cards offer the poor a source of funds that may help them through tough times that would otherwise be worse.
© 2019 Quartz Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

1 month 8 min ago

Here at Shenwick & Associates, one of our goals when a client files for bankruptcy is to flag potential issues that may complicate their bankruptcy filing.  One of those potential issues is an action by the chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee to recover fraudulent conveyances.
A fraudulent conveyance is a transfer of the debtor’s assets to a third party with the intent to prevent creditors from reaching the assets to satisfy their claims against the debtor.  There are two types of fraudulent conveyances, involving either actual fraud (where the debtor intends to defraud creditors) or constructive fraud (where the debtor makes the transfer for less than “reasonably equivalent value”).  Fraudulent conveyances are governed by Article 10 of the New York Debtor and Creditor Law and § 548 of the Bankruptcy Code.
In a recent case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, a chapter 7 trustee commenced an adversary proceeding to recover allegedly constructively fraudulent transfers made by the debtors to or for the benefit of their two daughters.  Both the chapter 7 trustee and the daughters filed cross–motions for summary judgment of whether the debtors received “reasonably equivalent value” for the transfers for college tuition and expenses.
In his opinion, Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn examined the split among courts as to whether college tuition payments made by parents for the education of their children after they reach the age of majority are constructively fraudulent.  He held that the transfers to both daughters for college tuition and related expenses were avoidable as constructive fraudulent transfers if the debtors were insolvent at the times the transfers were made.  However, the transfers to one of the daughters for college tuition and related expenses while she was a minor were supported by reasonably equivalent value (not a fraudulent conveyance and not subject to claw back).
The lesson here is for parents who are considering bankruptcy not to pay college tuition for a child who is above the age of majority (in New York, the age of majority is 21) and file chapter 7 bankruptcy or risk a chapter 7 trustee trying to “claw back” tuition payments from educational institutions and their children.  For a smooth bankruptcy process guided by specialists in bankruptcy and debtor/creditor practice, please contact Jim Shenwick.

1 month 8 min ago

By Winnie Hu

The new fees were supposed to help fix New York City’s ailing subway by raising more than $1 million a day from those who could afford to take taxis and Ubers in Manhattan.
But before the $2.50 fees on rides could even go into effect as planned on Jan. 1, they were sidelined by a lawsuit brought by a coalition of taxi owners and drivers.
The opponents warn that the fee will add up for passengers, and will also deal a final blow to a taxi industry teetering on the brink. They say the surcharge will drive away customers when they are already losing business to Uber and other app-based services and struggling with enormous debt and bleak prospects.
Three taxi owners and five other professional drivers have committed suicide over the last year.
“If they put the surcharge on, that’s it, we’ve lost our whole life investment,” said Gloria Guerra, 62, who with her husband, William, owns a taxi medallion, the aluminum plate required to drive a yellow taxi in New York that once sold for more than $1 million. “The business will be bankrupt. All the medallions will be bankrupt.”
On Thursday, the Guerras and other taxi owners and drivers took their fight against what they call a “suicide surcharge” to a state court hearing in Lower Manhattan, capping off months of protests. Their lawsuit contends that by imposing the new taxi fee, state and city officials “seek to drive the final nail in the proverbial coffin by making medallion taxicab rides so financially unattractive to consumers that the industry is sure to collapse in its entirety.”
Last month, a state court judge temporarily blocked the fee until both sides could present arguments. At Thursday’s hearing, a judge continued the suspension of the fee until the next hearing, scheduled for Jan. 31.
The $2.50 taxi fee was passed by state lawmakers last year along with a $2.75 fee on other for-hire vehicles, including Ubers and Lyfts, and a 75-cent fee on shared pool rides. The fees are expected to raise more than $400 million annually, according to budget projections.
Every day those fees go uncollected means lost revenue for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the subways and buses. As a result, taxi drivers and owners have found themselves pitted against state officials, business leaders and transit advocates who see the new fees as crucial to the city’s transit system.
“Transit riders, individual taxpayers and business are all contributing toward the cost of modernizing our transit system and it is only fair that the taxi industry and their customers do the same,” said Kathryn S. Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, a group of influential business leaders that supports the fee.
The $2.50 taxi fee has also divided city officials and transportation advocates and complicated a renewed effort by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and transit advocates to push for a comprehensive congestion pricing plan for Manhattan that would charge all drivers a fee for entering the busiest neighborhoods at peak times. Mr. Cuomo and others have called the fees on taxis and for-hire vehicles the first phase of congestion pricing.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has also backed the new fees on for-hire vehicles.
But Meera Joshi, the commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, has criticized the fee, saying that it would be “potentially devastating” for the taxi industry. Ms. Joshi, who is stepping down in March, is named in the taxi lawsuit and declined last week to comment on the case.
The $2.50 fee will raise the minimum taxi fare to $5.80 — which is still lower than an Uber ride. The cost for Uber, which has an $8 base fare in Manhattan, will rise to a minimum of $10.75, including the new $2.75 fee.
Unlike the taxi industry, Uber and two other ride-app services, Lyft and Via, have supported the fees as a step toward addressing congestion and transit challenges in the city.
“In order to truly address these issues, it’s imperative that all vehicles, including personal and commercial, are included in this effort,” said Campbell Matthews, a spokeswoman for Lyft.
Danny Pearlstein, a spokesman for the Riders Alliance, a grass-roots group of transit riders, said most taxi riders in Manhattan can afford to pay the fees. They have access to more public transit options than in the other boroughs, he said, and should pay more if they choose to use a taxi or car service.
“There are a privileged number of people who take taxis and Ubers to get around the core of the city,” he said. “They can afford to support the transit system that makes New York what it is.”
But others said the new fees unfairly single out taxis and for-hire vehicles without a larger plan in place to charge all cars on congested streets — and by itself, will have little, if any, impact on reducing gridlock.
Marco Conner, a deputy director of Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group, said the taxi lawsuit — and the resulting court-ordered delay in fees — “shows the fallacy of taking baby steps to address a problem as tremendous as congestion and the M.T.A. crisis.”
In the lawsuit, taxi owners and drivers also claim that they should not be charged a so-called “congestion tax” because their numbers have been capped by city law at 13,587 “to prevent an overabundance of cars and congestion,” even as Uber and other ride-app services had been allowed until recently to expand exponentially. In August, the city declared a one-year moratorium on new vehicle licenses for Uber, Lyft and other ride-app services.
Bruce Schaller, a former city transportation official, said taxis and ride-app cars have contributed to Manhattan gridlock. In a study last year, he found equal numbers of taxis and black cars in the central business district during the weekday — together accounting for two-thirds of all the vehicles there. Making matters worse, the for-hire vehicles often drove around with empty back seats.
“You don’t just tax the last person in,” Mr. Schaller said. “You tax everyone causing the problem. It’s not like moving around Manhattan was la-dee-da before Uber.”
While Mr. Schaller agreed that the taxi fee would do little to reduce congestion, he said that it would raise badly needed money for the transit system. Chicago, Seattle and other cities and states have adopted similar per-ride fees to pay for public transportation and other services. “It’s a misnomer to call this a congestion fee,” he said. “It’s all about raising revenue.”
Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said the new for-hire fee would force more taxi owners into bankruptcy, while taxi drivers would earn less and could have to cut back on food, medical care and other necessities.
“I don’t know anybody who has savings left,” she said. “They will face foreclosures because payments simply won’t get made. I believe it will be this dire.”
Augustine Tang, 34, a yellow taxi driver who planned to attend Thursday’s hearing, said he makes about $240 after 10 hours of driving. That is about $100 less than he earned four years ago when he said he inherited a taxi medallion — and the remaining $500,000 loan on it — when his father died.
“It’s a little annoying that people are saying the lawsuit is costing public transportation,” he said. “We’re trying to save our lives.”
Copyright 2019 The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.

1 month 1 day ago

CFPB Report Shows Wells Fargo Charged Students Three Times More than Other Banks
Wells FargoWells Fargo in trouble again, again, and again
Washington, DC – re-posted from Senator Warren’s office (1/17/19) – A report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) prepared in February of 2018, but only recently released through a Freedom of Information Act request (Trump trying to slow down consumer access to information), reveals that the fees charged to college students by Wells Fargo for debit cards and other financial products were more than three times higher than the average charges by other financial institutions. The CFPB examined bank fees at 573 colleges. The students at the 30 colleges with Wells Fargo products paid an average of $46.99 in fees annually, the highest of the banks examined, and more than three times higher than other banks.
Wells Fargo Charged Student Exorbitant Fees.
Wells FargoAccording Senator Elizabeth WarrenWells Fargo has a history of aggressively and sometimes illegally squeezing its customers to boost its profits, and this report illustrates that the bank is deploying similar tactics on America’s college campuses to target vulnerable students.  When granted the privilege of providing financial services to students through colleges, Wells Fargo used this access to charge struggling college students exorbitant fees. These high fees, which are an outlier within the industry, demonstrate conclusively that Wells Fargo does not belong on college campuses.”
Low Income More Likely to Pay Excessive Overdraft Fees
“Worse still, the burden of Wells Fargo’s fees does not hit all students equally,” wrote Senator Warren. “Low-income students are more prone to overdraft on their accounts and to suffer from your bank’s excessive overdraft fees.”
Colleges Put on Notice About Wells Fargo Excessive Fees.
The Senator also sent a letter to the presidents of 31 colleges where Wells Fargo provides financial services to students, making the colleges’ leaders aware of the CFPB findings about Wells Fargo’s excessive fees as they make future decisions about campus-sponsored financial products for their students.
Other Actions Taken by Senator Warren Against Wells Fargo’s Management
Senator Warren has led the charge to hold Wells Fargo senior management accountable since the fake-accounts scandal came to light, as well as pressed to strengthen consumer protections:

  • On June 19, 2017, Senator Warren sent a letter to then-Fed Chair Janet Yellen urging her to remove 12 Wells Fargo board members following the fake accounts scandal.
  • At a Senate Banking Committee hearing on July 13, 2017, Senator Warren again called on Chair Yellen to remove implicated Wells Fargo board members.
  • Later in July 2017, Senator Warren renewed her call for the Fed to remove Wells Fargo board members after it was reported that more than 800,000 Wells Fargo customers were charged for auto insurance they did not need.
  • On August 16, 2017, Senator Warren again urged for the removal of Wells Fargo board members amid new evidence that the bank failed to refund money owed to car loan customers, that it overcharged small businesses for credit card transactions, and that it billed certain mortgage customers for unexpected, optional services.
  • During a March 1, 2018 Senate Banking Committee hearing, Senator Warren urged Fed Chair Jerome Powell to hold a public vote by the Federal Reserve Board on lifting growth restrictions for Wells Fargo instead of delegating it to staff. She also asked for the public release of the third-party review of how Wells Fargo is implementing reforms. Senator Warren followed up in April and again pressed Chair Powell to change course.
  • In a response to Senator Warren on May 10, 2018, Chair Powell reconsidered and announced he would require a Fed Board vote on whether to lift Wells Fargo’s growth restrictions. He also said he would consider releasing as much of the third-party review as possible.
  • In December 2018, the Senator joined Senator Jack Reed (R-R.I.) and signed onto a letter to the Education Department regarding the enforcement of federal rules governing campus bank accounts.

The post Wells Fargo Rips Off Students appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.

1 month 1 week ago

The 8th Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel has issued a new opinion that is really causing a lot of anxiety and uncertainty about the exemption status in bankruptcy cases of retirement accounts awarded to debtors during a divorce case.
If a debtor is awarded a portion of their ex-spouse’s retirement account in a divorce proceeding, is that account protected in bankruptcy? Until a few months ago the majority opinion was yes, but that is all changed since the BAP issued the Lerbakken opinion.
In Lerbakken, the debtor was awarded one-half of his wife’s 401(k) retirement account in a divorce proceeding. He subsequently filed Chapter 7 and the bankruptcy trustee claimed his interest in the retirement.  The bankruptcy judge ruled in favor of the trustee citing the United States Supreme Court’s opinion of Clark v Rameker, a case involving inherited IRA accounts.
To understand what the BAP was saying in Lerbakken, we need to review what the Supreme Court said about inherited IRA accounts in the Clarke opinion. In Clarke the Supreme Court said that inherited IRA accounts are not really “retirement funds” because they are designed more for current consumption than they are for future retirement needs. Why did the court say that?  The court focused on 3 key differences between inherited IRA accounts and real retirement accounts:

  1. Additional Contributions:  Inherited IRA accounts do not permit additional contributions. Traditional retirement accounts allow a person to make additional contributions so the fund grows in value during a person’s lifetime, but inherited IRA accounts do not. Thus, inherited IRA accounts do not appear to be focused on providing savings for the future.
  2. Required Withdrawals:  Inherited IRA accounts require recipients to withdraw funds from the account. Instead of preserving the account for future retirement needs, an inherited IRA account requires the funds to be withdrawn, typically over five years.
  3. No Tax Penalties:  There is no tax penalty for withdrawing money from an inherited IRA account. Traditional IRA accounts impose a 10% penalty for those who withdraw funds from the account when they are under age 59 & ½.  Real retirement accounts penalize those who rob the nest egg, but inherited IRA accounts do not.

Given the features of inherited IRA accounts that encourage and even demand current consumption of the funds, the Supreme Court in Clark decided that such accounts do not meet the statutory definition of “retirement accounts” and, consequently, they are not protected by federal exemption laws (although such accounts might be protected under state exemption laws).
With this background in mind, let’s now return to the BAP’s opinion in Lerbakken.
In Lerbakken the BAP court takes the Clark opinion one dangerous step forward: “The opinion clearly suggests that the exemption is limited to individuals who create and contribute funds into the retirement account. Retirement funds obtained or received by any other means do not meet this definition.”
Did you get that? The BAP is saying that a Fourth Factor is implied in the Clark opinion–the exemption is limited to only those debtors who actually EARN and CONTRIBUTE the retirement funds.  Accounts awarded to an ex-spouse in a divorce are not protected by the federal exemption because the ex-spouse did not earn or contribute the funds.
Wow!  I’ve read the Clark opinion over and over again, and I just don’t see where the court “clearly suggests that the exemption is limited.”  It does? Where? I cannot see a single line in that case “clearly suggesting” this result.
A retirement account received from a divorce settlement contains at least two of the three characteristics the Supreme Court focused on in Clark.  Although debtors may not be able to make future contributions to retirement accounts divided in a divorce proceeding (what are referred to as a Qualified Domestic Relation Orders), they would be able to make future contributions if the account is converted to a Rollover IRA account. Also, debtors are not required to withdraw funds until they reach retirement age.  Lastly, debtors do incur a 10% penalty if they withdraw funds before age 59 & ½.  All three factors highlighted in Clark are present suggesting that the accounts are indeed “retirement funds.”
Under the BAP’s reasoning when a working parent contributes funds to a retirement account and the other parent is a stay-at-home mom or dad, all the funds in such accounts are protected for the working parent after a subsequent divorce but none of the stay-at-home parent’s funds are exempt. Apparently a stay-at-home parent does not “earn” or “contribute” to the couple’s retirement funds. This reasoning is flawed but it is now the rule in the 8th Circuit.
For 10 years my wife elected to step away from her career to devote full-time attention to our 3 children, and I’ll guarantee you that she “earned” and “contributed” as much to those retirement accounts during those years as I.  The BAP’s opinion is not only wrong, it’s offensive.
In addition to the federal exemption, debtors in Nebraska can take advantage of the state exemption law protecting retirement accounts (Neb. Statute §25-1552). Does Nebraska’s exemption law protect retirement accounts awarded to an ex-spouses in bankruptcy cases?
Maybe. We don’t know yet since there is no prior case answering this question. Nebraska’s exemption law seems broader, but it is also vague in many ways. So, the answer will depend on who is interpreting the statute. In theory it should not make a difference who the judge is, but in reality it makes all the difference in the world which is why nominations to our nation’s Supreme Court are such controversial events.
The Nebraska exemption law protects accounts reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor or the debtor’s dependents. Is an ex-spouse a dependent? Do you look to when the account was established or to when the bankruptcy was filed? Nobody knows, and debtor’s should be warned that their retirement accounts obtained in a divorce proceeding may not be protected in the bankruptcy process.
At some point a Chapter 7 Trustee will attempt to seize a large retirement account awarded to a divorced debtor, and then we will have a precedent to guide us. Until then, beware of filing Chapter 7 when a large retirement account awarded in divorce exist.
Image courtesy of Flickr and Kevin Dooley.