Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC is pleased to announce that partners Wendy Marie Weathers, Mary Aufrecht, and Erin K. Flynn will present “New York Foreclosure and Repossession Compliance” as a live webinar on August 31, 2021. They have been invited to address the topic of foreclosure due to their years of experience defending foreclosure actions.
More information on the program can be found here:
This trustee will be assigned to oversee your filing. The bankruptcy trustee administers your estate, will examine your paperwork, financials, and petition, and will preside at the meeting of your creditors.
Full disclosure is necessary when filing a bankruptcy. The trustee will require copies of all your bank statements, paystubs, profit and loss statements, tax returns, loan statements, and title and deed documentation. These documents will need to be provided to your trustee at least three weeks prior to your 341 Meeting. If you are worried about the potential of losing an asset, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney before filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
This stay halts creditors from taking further action to collect against you, including but not limited to:
The 341 Meeting is also known as the meeting of your creditors. This trustee will get to ask you questions about your property, financial circumstances, and bankruptcy paperwork. It is generally the only time you have a meeting and your attorney will be present with you. Creditors have a right to attend the meeting but generally do not. The trustee is not a judge and generally, the meeting will take place in a general room and not a courtroom.
It is possible if you own a home, car or boat that those creditors will reach out to you asking you to reaffirm the debt, so that it will not be discharged during the bankruptcy process. A creditor cannot compel you to enter into a reaffirmation agreement, but depending upon the creditor, it could be a requirement of keeping your car. It’s always important to speak to an experienced professional when it comes to reaffirmation agreements, as just because a creditor sends you one, doesn’t mean you should execute it.
You will be required to complete a personal financial management course before you receive your discharge. This course can be taken online or via telephone. This course is in addition to a credit counseling course you took before filing your petition.
Finally, you will receive your discharge. Your discharge gives you a fresh start and removes the legal obligation for you to repay any of your discharged debt.
If you are considering a bankruptcy filing, it’s important that you speak with someone who has knowledge about the field. Bankruptcy is incredibly procedural, and you do not want your filing dismissed or worse, loss of an important asset for a technicality. Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC have been practicing in this field for decades. Please give us a call to schedule a free consultation, 914.472.6202.
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) ordered a nationwide moratorium on residential evictions with the latest extension through July 31, 2021. The CDC has also announced that this will be the final extension of the moratorium. Since its inception, however, the moratorium has been the subject of numerous lawsuits with courts from across the country ruling on its constitutionality. Now, after much discussion, the Supreme Court has weighed in on the matter.
In the District of Columbia, an assortment of property owners and realtor trade associations filed suit against the CDC challenging the moratorium. In Alabama Assn. of Realtors v United States Dept of Health and Human Services, No. 1:20-cv-003377 (D.D.C. May 5, 2021), the District Court ruled that while CDC has comprehensive rulemaking powers, the moratorium on residential evictions surpassed its authority. In response, the CDC requested that the decision be stayed to allow time for them to appeal, which was granted by the District Court. This ruling was appealed by the Alabama Association of Realtors and eventually made its way to the United States Supreme Court.
In a narrow 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court left the eviction moratorium in place. Chief Justice Roberts along with Justices Breyer, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Kavanaugh voted to deny lifting the moratorium. In a separate concurrence, Justice Kavanaugh wrote that while the District Court was correct that the CDC had exceeded its existing statutory authority, the Court should not lift the eviction moratorium given the pending expiration of the moratorium on July 31, 2021. By allowing the moratorium to remain in place until then, “those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds.” He went on to write that any further extension of the eviction moratorium would require, “clear and specific congressional authorization.” Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Barrett would have granted the application to vacate the stay and have the order invalidated nationwide immediately.
Justice Kavanaugh in his concurrence was influenced by the CDC announcing that the moratorium will not be extended further. With the CDC not inclined to impose any further extensions, July 31, 2021, marks the end of the much-litigated nationwide eviction moratorium. As such, Landlords will be allowed to proceed with their evictions nationwide unless further prohibited by state restrictions.
While the CDC nationwide moratorium is ending soon, the state legislature in New York has added additional roadblocks for landlords. On May 4, 2021, Governor Cuomo extended the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020. This extension acts to prolong the moratorium on residential and commercial evictions until August 31, 2021 for tenants who have suffered a COVID-related hardship. It is unknown at this time if a further extension will be passed by the State.
Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC continues to monitor this ever-changing landscape. For additional questions regarding the implications of these decisions and related landlord/tenant issues, we invite you to contact Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC by calling 914-472-6202. We look forward to hearing from you.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has finalized new mortgage servicing guidelines. These new guidelines, known as the 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Rule, are designed to give homeowners who suffered hardship due to the pandemic a path to get back on track with their mortgage while also encouraging loan servicers to evaluate borrowers for loan modification instead of commencing a foreclosure action in 2021. This Rule is effective August 31, 2021, the day after New York’s foreclosure moratorium is scheduled to end.
The 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Rule encourages servicers to offer streamlined loan modifications, which are loan modifications offers made without a complete evaluation of the borrower’s financial situation. The Rule also prohibits interest accrual on any delayed portion of the loan, which is due at maturity, this is commonly known as a balloon payment.
The 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Rule includes additional procedural safeguards for the period of August 31, 2021 through December 31, 2021. During this period, a loan can only be referred for foreclosure if
The Rule applies only to the borrower’s principal residence and not to investment properties, second homes, or reverse mortgages. The Rule also does not apply if the loan was more than 120 days delinquent before March 1, 2020 or if the statute of limitations will expire before January 1, 2022.
We are an experienced real estate and loan modification law firm that has helped thousands of clients with real estate transactions and mortgage loans. We understand that the mortgage loan servicing guidelines can be a bit overwhelming, and that is why we’re here to help you. Please give us a call to schedule a free consultation at 914.472.6202.
President’s Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, put the repayment of federal student loans on pause, interest-free through the end of September for a total of 18 months. Over 44 million Americans have unpaid student loan debt totaling more than 1.6 trillion dollars, and as September is only a few months away, you may be wondering, if there is any way to eliminate that debt?
For a long time, if you had considered a bankruptcy filing to relieve your student loan debt, an attorney might have told you that your student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. While this statement is not accurate, the bar is high and the process is more burdensome than it is for other types of debt. In order to qualify for a discharge of this type of debt, the filer (aka “Debtor”) would have to bring a lawsuit (“Adversary Proceeding”) within the bankruptcy and have to prove an undue hardship as outlined in section 523(a)(8) of the Bankruptcy Code.
Under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, an adversary proceeding is “a proceeding to determine the dischargeability of a debt.” Effectively, it is a lawsuit within your bankruptcy, whereby you are suing the holder of your student loans for a discharge of your student loan debt.
In order to have the Court agree to discharge your student loans, you have to prove that repaying them would cause you an “undue hardship”. The Court will also consider if you’re seeking a discharge of your student loans in good faith. This means the Court will look at your history of payments to see if you tried to repay your loans, how many payments you made, etc…
In determining what constitutes an undue hardship, most Courts adhere to a three-part test created by the Second Circuit in Brunner v N.Y. State Higher Educ. Servs. Corp., 831 F.2d 395 (2d Cir. 1987). The “Brunner Test” provides that student loan debt can be discharged if the debtor establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that:
Courts have generally only granted a discharge of student loan debt through the Brunner Test based on dire circumstances. For example, a court may consider a minimal standard of living if:
The bottom line depends on your situation, as well as whether the student loan creditors are willing to work with you and acknowledge your undue hardship. These creditors are big companies with attorneys representing them, which is a good reason why you would want an experienced attorney representing you through this process.
If you are not sure if you qualify for a discharge under the “Undue Hardship Standard”, but are having difficulty paying your student loans, the United States District Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District recently created a program, as of January 27, 2020, to help resolve student loan disputes through a court-supervised mediation process. This new program has created a forum for debtors and creditors to discuss consensual repayment options for government student loans and possible workouts for private student loans.
The SLM Program facilitates two different types of Student Loan negotiations:
While you do not technically have to go through an attorney when filing bankruptcy on student loans, bankruptcy and the student loan process can be an incredibly complex process. It requires determining which type of bankruptcy you’ll file and bringing an adversary proceeding, or filing for the SLM Program. Going through it alone could mean extra time, incorrect filings and, possibly a lost case. We are an experienced student loan bankruptcy law firm who has helped thousands of people in financial distress. We understand that student loans can be overwhelming and daunting and are here to help you through the process. Please give us a call to schedule a free consultation at 914.472.6202.
Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC is proud to announce that Wendy Marie Weathers has once again been
recognized for her experience in the field and has been invited to lecture on bankruptcy before fellow
attorneys. Wendy will be presenting “The Means Test in Consumer Bankruptcy Cases” as a Live Webinar
on June 30, 2021.
More information on the program can be found here: https://www.lorman.com/training/banking/the-