Wednesday, August 31, 2011

4 Reasons to File Your Bankruptcy Sooner Rather than Later | John Skiba - JDSupra

4 Reasons to File Your Bankruptcy Sooner Rather than Later | John Skiba - JDSupra

Fantastic article for those of you trying to decide whether you should keep waiting or procrastinating about filing for bankruptcy. Most importantly is the first point:

"In order to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you must qualify under a means test. We are required to look at your income over the prior six months and take an average. We then compare what you earn to what the median income for a family of your size in [New York] makes. If you make about the same or less than the typical [New York] family of your size you will qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you make significantly more you will likely be required to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are currently experiences lower pay than you have in the past, or if you anticipate that your pay will be going up in the near future, it is often in your best interest to get your case filed sooner while you still qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Waiting may result in your income increasing and forcing you into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Suddenly Solo? Value Your Time | Lawyerist

Suddenly Solo? Value Your Time | Lawyerist

Some good quick points raised in this article about having your solo firm.

"Let’s say you spend two hours a day working on a case at a reduced rate. That’s two hours you could be spending on marketing, administrative tasks, or other cases. Sometimes the best case is the case that you decide not to take."

So true.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Law Office of Seth Schraier | New York, NY | Professional Portfolio on JDSupra

Law Office of Seth Schraier | New York, NY | Professional Portfolio on JDSupra

Here is my JD Supra profile...I'll periodically upload documents to this site so check it every so often.

Student Loans: Cancellation, Deferment, and Forbearance - Free Legal Information - Nolo

Student Loans: Cancellation, Deferment, and Forbearance - Free Legal Information - Nolo

In relation to my last post, you can see that there are very limited options to getting rid of your student loans. From the article, here are the only ways you can get your student loans cancelled:

Death of the borrower. If a former student borrower dies, the executor -- the person who collects and distributes the property left at death -- can cancel any federal student loan.

Permanent total disability. You can cancel any federal student loan if you are unable to work because of an injury or illness that is expected to continue indefinitely or result in your death.

Temporary total disability. If you, your spouse, or one of your dependents is temporarily totally disabled, you can defer the payments on most loans obtained before July 1, 1993, for up to three years.

Enrollment in rehabilitation program for the disabled. If you are enrolled in a rehabilitation program for the disabled, you can defer payments on most loans.

Unemployment. You can get a deferment on most loans if you are unemployed but looking for work.

Economic hardship. You can defer payments on federal loans obtained after June 30, 1993 (though Perkins loans can be from any time period) for up to three years if you are suffering an economic hardship.

  • You are automatically entitled to this deferment if you receive public assistance, such as welfare or SSI.
  • If you don't receive public benefits, qualifying is based on a complex formula that's a mix of your income, the federal minimum wage, the federal poverty level, and your monthly or annual federal student loan payments. You will have to provide documentation of your income, such as pay stubs.

Enrollment in school. If you return to school to study at least half-time, you can almost always defer the payments on your student loans.

Membership in a uniformed service. If you serve in the U.S. Military, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Corps, or the U.S. Public Health Service, there are several situations in which you may cancel or defer your loans. Check with your supervisor or commanding officer.

Teaching needy populations. Teachers who serve certain needy populations -- including low-income or disabled students -- may be able to cancel student loans or defer payments.

Providing other services to needy populations. People who serve needy populations (other than teachers) may be able to cancel student loans.

Performing community service. In many situations, you can partially cancel your student loans or defer your payments in exchange for performing community service. Opportunities range from serving in the Peace Corps to volunteering your time with an organization that assists low-income people in your community.

Working in the health care professions. Health care professionals, including nurses and physicians in their residency, sometimes can cancel their student loans or defer their loan payments.

Working in law enforcement. Full-time law enforcement and corrections officers can cancel some older Perkins loans.

Attended a trade school. If you attended a trade school that closed before you finished the program, or if the school officials falsely certified that you would benefit from the loan, you may be able to cancel 100% of your federal student loan.

Victim of identity theft. If someone forged your signature on a loan application or promissory note, you can cancel the loan.

Withdrew from school but never received a refund. Students who withdraw from a school or enroll and never attend can generally receive a refund for the portion of the course they did not complete (as long as the student completed less than 60% of the course). If you were entitled to, but never received a refund, you may cancel your loan up to the amount of the refund plus fees and interest.

Other discharges. Periodically, Congress adds additional conditions that allow students to cancel or defer loans. For example, Congress recently granted loan discharge to relatives of eligible public servants or eligible victims of the September 11 th tragedy.

In other words....very limited situations.

STUDENT DEBT: America's Next Bubble? |

STUDENT DEBT: America's Next Bubble? |

This isn't specifically law related, but I think fairly important for people to start taking note of. Of all the debts you can accrue, student loans are one of the few that can never be discharged through bankruptcy.

Now, think of all the college students and law graduates who have accrued $100,000 or more in student debt, who are now barely scrapping by and surviving with a job that quite possibly isn't in their field of study. It's quite possible we're going to hit a point that, like the mortgage market, people simply stop making payments on their student loans, and we will begin to see large economic ramifications.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

About this Blog

I often times get questions from people I know outside of the law community, those at work, family, friends, etc., about general questions of the law. Looking over my new law website it's clear that a lot of non-lawyers may still have questions about what kind of services I provide. So, I will be using this blog as a sort of FAQ to help explain different areas of my practice.