Blogs

3 weeks 5 days ago

Three months later, Mike’s After Bankruptcy Credit Score is 681 Last Friday, Mike sent me this screenshot, showing his after bankruptcy credit score is 681.    A 681 credit score is, barely, considered a “good” score by Experian and CreditKarma.  Mike had filed bankruptcy with me in April and it was approved and done in September.  […]
The post Three months later, Mike’s After Bankruptcy Credit Score is 681 by Robert Weed appeared first on Robert Weed.


3 weeks 6 days ago

Filing bankruptcy is a huge decision. And, there are a lot of smaller, yet extremely important choices to be made regarding the process. Should you file bankruptcy? What type of bankruptcy should you file? When should you file bankruptcy?
The post Benefits and Disadvantages of Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy appeared first on Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney.


4 weeks 1 day ago

Here at Shenwick & Associates, as an adjunct to our bankruptcy and debtor/creditor practices, we also offer credit repair services.  Although the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) (“CRAs”) have received positive press recently for implementing the National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP) in March (which, among other things, prohibits reporting of medical debts until after a 180-day waiting period and prevents traffic and parking tickets or fines from appearing on credit reports), clients still complain about receiving credit reports that are riddled with errors, particularly after a bankruptcy filing.
The first step in the process is to obtain a copy of the credit report from each of the three CRAs.   AnnualCreditReport.comallows you to request a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each CRA.  Credit Karma also provides individuals with free Equifax and TransUnion credit reports. Credit reports need to be carefully reviewed and any erroneous information marked with a clear explanation of what is incorrect.
Once we have copies of the credit reports, we can analyze them and prepare letters to the CRAs requiring that errors on credit reports be corrected pursuant to federal law and/or New York State law.  CRAs are governed by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and the New York Fair Credit Reporting Act. These statutes detail the consumers’ rights to dispute information on their credit reports and how long negative information can remain on their reports.
Once we mail the CRAs a letter disputing the erroneous information, it usually takes about a month for the CRA to investigate the dispute and send the consumer the results of the investigation.  We then advise the client to obtain another credit report and review that credit report for errors. We’ve often found that it takes two or more letters to fully correct erroneous information.  Another option is to add a one hundred word personal statement to your credit report.
For more information about our credit repair services, please contact Jim Shenwick.


4 weeks 1 day ago

Here at Shenwick & Associates, our clients are both debtors and creditors. When a person or entity files for bankruptcy protection (such as in the recent Sears bankruptcy), we’re often contacted by creditors who are seeking to protect their claim against the debtor. Usually, this requires the filing of a proof of claim. In this post, we’ll examine some of the basics of filing proofs of claim.
1. In the context of a chapter 7 case, claims and proofs of claims are not usually a factor, since most chapter 7 cases are “no asset cases” (there will be no assets for the chapter 7 trustee to distribute from the debtor’s bankruptcy estate after the debtor’s personal property is exempted). However, if the chapter 7 trustee does find assets in the bankruptcy estate (so creditors can have some recovery on their claims), the chapter 7 trustee will file a notice of assets and request to set claims bar date (which will trigger the bankruptcy court to send a notice to all creditors listed in that bankruptcy case, and proofs of claim must be filed by the “bar date”).
2. In the context of a Chapter 11 case, § 1111(a) of the Bankruptcy Code provides that a proof of claim is deemed “filed” for any claim that appears in the schedules except if it is listed as disputed, contingent or unliquidated. Therefore, to know whether to file a proof of claim, an unsecured creditor must examine the debtor’s bankruptcy schedules to determine how their claim was scheduled, i.e., whether it was listed as disputed, contingent (the claim is dependent on another event) or unliquidated (the claim amount is uncertain). Many creditors will just file a proof of claim when they receive notice of a bankruptcy filing.
3. Therefore, unless a creditor’s attorney or a creditor can obtain the schedules by going to court or through PACER, the better practice is to file a proof of claim as soon as possible. The best practice may be to file a notice of appearance and a proof of claim as soon as an attorney is retained to represent a creditor in a chapter 11 case. If an attorney or a creditor does not file a proof of claim early in a case, then they must file the proof of claim on or before the “bar date.” If the proof of claim is not filed by the “bar date,” then that creditor is barred from receiving a distribution in the case, unless the creditor was listed in the debtor's schedules as not having a claim that’s disputed, contingent or unliquidated.  Creditors should review the instructions for preparing a proof of claim.
4. Once the proof of claim is signed, and backup (which will evidence the amount of the claim, such as invoices, a spreadsheet or collateral for the claim if the claim is secured, such as a mortgage) is attached to the proof of claim, the proof of claim should be filed with the bankruptcy court. It can be uploaded to the claims register for the case via ECF (Electronic Case Filing) or sent to the bankruptcy court by Federal Express or another delivery service with a short letter of direction requesting that the clerk file the proof of claim. In cases with many creditors (“megacases”), the bankruptcy court may require that the debtor retain a claims agent to process the proofs of claim instead of the bankruptcy court.
Anyone who has questions regarding the filing of proofs of claims or creditors’ rights in bankruptcy cases should contact Jim Shenwick.


4 weeks 1 day ago

By Danielle Furfaro and Gabrielle Fonrouge
Another debt-burdened New York City cabbie has committed suicide — the eighth for-hire driver to kill himself in the past year, Taxi and Limousine Commission officials confirmed on Wednesday.

Roy Kim, 58, of Bayside, Queens, hanged himself with a belt in his home on Nov. 5, according to the city’s medical examiner’s office. There was no immediate sign of a suicide note.

Kim, who had just purchased his taxi medallion last year, was more than $500,000 in debt from the deal and struggling to stay afloat, say friends.

“He was in a lot of debt from that,” said fellow driver Young Lee, who made friends with Kim while picking up fares from airports. “For a while he was making money but then it just went slowly down and down and down. All drivers are really struggling.”

For-hire drivers have been in a freefall for the past few years, and many blame the epidemic on the unchecked growth of ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft. The city enacted regulations this summer, but some critics called them too little too late.

TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi offered condolences to Kim’s friends and family and promised to look for more ways to help anguished drivers.

“This tragedy underscores the importance of finding new ways for government, the industry and lenders to work in unity to address the financial challenges that are weighing so heavily on our licensees,” she said. “Modifying, restructuring and lowering loans would go a long way in providing relief and keeping taxi services available to New Yorkers for years to come.”

Taxi driver advocates say the city and TLC need to do more to help.

“Owner-drivers have suffered a deep and vicious slide from the middle class into crushing poverty, in a just a few short years,” said NY Taxi Workers Alliance Executive Director Bhairavi Desai. “This crisis can be fixed. The struggle for owner-drivers is reminiscent of the 2008 housing crisis. In that crisis, the industry, government, advocates, and philanthropy came to the table to find solutions. Now, banks and lenders need to work with the city and philanthropy to write off 20 percent of outstanding debts, lower interest rates, and restructure contracts so that no owner-driver has to lose more than 20 percent of their monthly income to the mortgage.”

Kim is the fourth cabbie and eighth driver overall to commit suicide since November of last year.

In October, Uber driver Fausto Luna jumped in front of an oncoming A train.

In June, cash-strapped yellow cabbie Abdul Saleh, 59, hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment.

In May, another yellow cab driver Yu Mein “Kenny” Chow flung himself in the East River off the Upper East Side.

In March, Nicanor Ochisor, 65 — another yellow cabbie — hanged himself in his garage in Maspeth, Queens.

Corporate black car driver Douglas Schifter, 61, killed himself with a shotgun outside City Hall on Feb. 5.

In December, livery hack Danilo Corporan Castillo, 57, wrote a suicide note on the back of a summons he received — and then jumped out the window of his Manhattan apartment.

And in November, livery driver Alfredo Perez hanged himself.

The news of the suicide comes on the same day that the city council passed a bill introduced by council member Ydanis Rodriguez that will create a commission to look at falling taxi medallion values and come up with ways to help struggling drivers.

© 2018 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


1 month 14 hours ago

The news article headline in the Salt Lake Tribune this week says it all:
Average Utah payday loan interest rate rises to nearly 528% annually — double what Mafia loan sharks charged in the 1960s
And to think:  It’s legal.  Payday loans — avoid them.  Do something else to tide you over to the next paycheck.  If  you take out a payday loan, you’ll only be making your problem worse. If you’re maxed out and struggling, talk to a lawyer and examine all your options before you make uninformed decisions  and start rejecting effective solutions out of hand.
 


3 weeks 4 days ago

The recent rough economic times have placed millions of people under financial duress. Dealing with burdensome debt and the stress associated with it can certainly be hard. The situation can get worse when your house is on the line. However, bankruptcy can prove to be your best way to prevent foreclosure and protect your home. […]
The post Can You Declare Bankruptcy Without Losing Your House in California? appeared first on The Bankruptcy Group, P.C..


1 month 1 week ago

The October 2018 New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) sales results have been released to the public. And as is our practice, provided below are Jim Shenwick’s comments about those sales results.
1. The volume of transfers rose dramatically from September. In October, there were 106 unrestricted taxi medallion sales.
2. However, 99 of the 106 sales were foreclosure sales, which means that the medallion owner defaulted on the bank loan and the banks were foreclosing to obtain possession of the medallion. We disregard these transfers in our analysis of the data, because we believe that they are outliers and not indicative of the true value of the medallion, which is a sale between a buyer and a seller under no pressure to sell (fair market value).  One transfer was an estate sale for no consideration and another transfer was from an individual to an LLC for no consideration, which also does not reflect fair market value and which we have also excluded from our analysis.
3. The large volume of foreclosure sales (approximately 94%) is in our opinion evidence of the continued weakness in the taxi medallion market.
4. The five regular sales for consideration ranged from a low of $150,000 (one medallion), $160,000 (three medallions) and a high of $175,000 (one medallion).
5.  Accordingly, the median value of a medallion in October was $160,000, down 8.5% from $175,000 in September.
In Jim Shenwick’s opinion, the new NYC law restricting the number of Uber, Via and Lyft licensesdoes not seem to have yet increased the value of taxi medallions.
Please continue to read our blog to see what happens to medallion pricing in the future. Any individuals or businesses with questions about taxi medallion valuations or workouts should contact Jim Shenwick at (212) 541-6224 or via email at jshenwick@gmail.com.


1 month 1 week ago

Economists have always been fond of Uber. Its willingness to battle incumbents, use of technology to match buyers and sellers, and embrace of “surge” pricing to balance supply and demand make the ride-hailing giant a dismal scientist’s dream. Steven Levitt, the author of the bestselling “Freakonomics”, called it “the embodiment of what the economists would like the economy to look like”. But if economists subjected Uber and its competitors to a cost-benefit analysis, they might not be so impressed.

This might surprise customers. A study in 2016 by researchers from Oxford University, the University of Chicago and Uber itself found sizeable benefits from ride-hailing services for consumers. Using data from 48m Uber trips taken in four American cities in 2015, they estimated the difference between how much customers were willing to pay and their actual fare. Each $1 spent on UberX rides generated a “consumer surplus” of $1.60. Across America, that surplus was estimated to be $6.8bn a year.

Drivers also benefit. Few sign up for lack of anything else, as is true of some gig work: in America roughly eight in ten have left another job to get behind the wheel. The typical American Uber driver makes $16 per hour ($10 after expenses), higher than the federal minimum wage. In London earnings after expenses come to £11 ($14) per hour and a recent survey found Uber drivers reporting higher levels of life satisfaction on average than other workers.

But against these benefits, there are costs to weigh. Far from reducing congestion by encouraging people to give up their cars, as many had hoped, ride-hailing seems to increase it. Bruce Schaller, a transport consultant, estimates that over half of all Uber and Lyft trips in big American cities would otherwise have been made on foot or by bike, bus, subway or train. He reckons that ride-hailing services add 2.8 vehicle miles of driving in those cities for every mile they subtract.

A new working paper by John Barrios of the University of Chicago and Yael Hochberg and Hanyi Yi of Rice University spells out one deadly consequence of this increase in traffic. Using data from the federal transport department, they find that the introduction of ride-sharing to a city is associated with an increase in vehicle-miles travelled, petrol consumption and car registrations—and a 3.5% jump in fatal car accidents. At a national level, this translates into 987 extra deaths a year.

What could be done to tip the balance back to benefits overall? “Congestion pricing is the most direct solution,” says Jonathan Hall of the University of Toronto. Several cities, including London, Stockholm and Singapore, have moved in this direction, charging drivers for entering busy areas at peak hours. If ride-hailing firms tweaked their pricing to encourage carpooling, that would help, too.

One of the worst things a city can do, says Mr Barrios, is to cap the number of ride-hailing cars on their streets, as New York did in August. That marked a step back towards the days when barriers to entering the taxi market were high and competition was low. A dismal outcome, as most right-thinking economists would agree.

Copyright © The Economist Newspaper Limited 2018. All rights reserved.


1 month 1 week ago

By Ashley Cullins

Wesley Snipes must pay millions to the IRS after failing to convince a tax court that he doesn't have the assets to pay more than six figures.

After the IRS tried to collect $23.5 million in back taxes, the actor asked for an offer-in-compromise which would let him settle his debt for less than the amount owed and for the notice of federal tax lien that was filed against his home to be withdrawn. He put up just shy of $850,000 in cash as an OIC, but the IRS rejected the offer and sustained its lien. So Snipes filed a petition asking the tax court to overturn the decision.

U.S. Tax Court Judge Kathleen Kerrigan on Thursday upheld the IRS decision finding Snipes failed to provide sufficient proof of his assets and financial condition and the settlement officer didn't abuse her discretion in rejecting his request.

The lien was placed in August 2013, just a few months after the actor was released from prison following his conviction on related tax crimes. At the time, he owed $23.5 million for the years 2001 through 2006. Snipes then requested an installment agreement or OIC and made his cash payment. A settlement officer looked into his real estate holdings and assets but was unable to determine that he no longer owned certain properties that he claimed to have unloaded. Following the investigation, the officer determined that the reasonable amount that could be collected was about $17.5 million, but Snipes didn't increase his OIC offer.

During the proceedings that followed, Snipes claimed his financial adviser had taken out loans and disposed of assets without his knowledge and offered up an affidavit from the adviser admitting to misconduct — but he didn't provide documentation showing the diversion of the assets.

The settlement officer later reduced Snipes' estimated liability to $9.5 million, but Snipes stayed with his original offer.

"Given the disparity between petitioner’s $842,061 OIC and the settlement officer’s calculation of $9,581,027 as his RCP, as well as petitioner’s inability to credibly document his assets, the settlement officer and her manager had ample justification to reject the offer," writes Kerrigan in the opinion, also noting that Snipes failed to show paying the bill would result in economic hardship. "Accordingly, we conclude that the settlement officer did not abuse her discretion in determining that acceptance of petitioner’s OIC was not in the best interest of the United States."

© 2018 The Hollywood Reporter.  All rights reserved.


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