Live chat- online now

We are here to assist you. Chat with us now.

Chat Banner

Can We Help You?


contact us today

516-561-6645 718-350-2802 631-319-8262

free consultation

Filing Bankruptcy

Filing BankruptcyMany clients come to me who have tried to file bankruptcy on their own. The usual result of a client filing bankruptcy is that the bankruptcy gets dismissed. To start with, there is a prerequisite to filing a bankruptcy. The prerequisite is that an individual seeking to file bankruptcy must take a credit counseling course. If the individual does not take the credit counseling course his case can be dismissed. That is the first half of the requirement. The second half of the requirement is after the meeting with the bankruptcy trustee the individual who filed bankruptcy must take the second half of the credit counseling course.

Filing Documents with the Court

The filing of a bankruptcy requires the filing of a bankruptcy petition, a statement of financial affairs, a statement of current monthly income, supporting schedules, a means test calculation and a statement regarding the individual’s social security number. In theory a debtor must list his or her income, assets and debts and show that he or she has negative cash flow.

Chapter 13 or Chapter 7?

The person filing bankruptcy must decide whether a Chapter 13 or a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is appropriate. Individuals who seek to save their homes usually try to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, to qualify for filing a Chapter 13 the individual filing bankruptcy must meet certain financial requirements.

Re-affirmation of Debts

When an individual files bankruptcy he or she must provide the court with their intention as to whether they are going to re-affirm certain debts such as, mortgages on their home or car loans.

Hire an Attorney

While it may look like it is just involved with a series of filing a number of forms, extremely few individuals can correctly file a bankruptcy on their own and navigate the system through the court.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is the managing partner of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. Their office regularly files bankruptcies for individuals in the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at

Student Loan Considered A Special Circumstance Under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

new york bankruptcy lawyerA bankruptcy Judge in the Western District of New York found a debtor’s non-dischargeable student loan constituted “a special circumstance” under the Bankruptcy Law. A special circumstance could overcome the statutory presumption of abuse upon filing bankruptcy. This special circumstance would allow the student loan to be discharged in bankruptcy.

Student Loans Are Generally Not Dischargeable In Bankruptcy

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Consumer Protection Act of 2005 created barriers for debtors to file bankruptcy relief under Chapter 7. This law required debtors filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy who had monthly income higher than the median income in the State to be subject to a “means test“. This means test determines if the debtor is capable of paying back at least a portion of his or her debts. In this event the debtor cannot file bankruptcy under Chapter 7. For a debtor to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy when he or she can’t meet the means test, they must show “special circumstances” that prevents the debtor from having sufficient income to allow him or her to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and have a repayment plan.

In the case of a debtor named Jeffrey Powell, he decided to file bankruptcy because he could not pay back his student loans and his other unsecured debts. His disposable income was $697 and the student loan obligations were $658. In his case, if the student loans were paid, he would only have $40 left for payment of all other financial obligations. The court held a surplus of such a small amount did not amount to an abuse of the Bankruptcy Act. The court found the debtor did not have an extravagant lifestyle.

Student Loans Not Dischargeable

Student loans generally are not dischargeable in either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under the Bankruptcy Code, a student loan is dischargeable “if the obligation imposes an undue hardship on the borrower or the dependents.” However, the bankruptcy statute does not define the term “undue hardship”.

Bankruptcy Judges are increasingly finding if an individual files bankruptcy and the student loans are not discharged, the student loans accrue interest during the term of the filing of the bankruptcy. This conflicts with the intent of the bankruptcy statute to give the debtor a fresh start.bankruptcy assistance

How Debt Collections Work

debt-150x108If you have debt, such as credit cards, there is a timeline followed by your creditors in collecting these debts.

Thirty Days

If you miss a payment on one of your debts by more than thirty days, the creditors will immediately start making phone calls and sending you letters about paying the debt.In some situations, the lender will also report to credit reporting agencies that you were more than thirty days behind on the payment of a debt. If you should find that you cannot

make a payment, you should call the creditor and explain your financial circumstances and advise the creditor when a payment will be forthcoming.

Sixty Days

You now are two months behind in paying the debt. This will cause credit cards to go into collection activity. This is an area maintained by the creditor to deal with nonpayment of credit cards. The amount of collection activity will become more forceful. The creditors may warn you about some type of delinquency action to be taken against you. The creditor will contact credit bureaus and provide them with information that you are sixty days behind. It is still not too late to contact your creditor and try to work out some type of payment plan.

Ninety Days

You are now three months behind on paying your debt. The creditor, in most situations, will cancel or suspend your credit privileges. You will definitely be reported to a credit bureau concerning your delinquency. Late fees and interest will be charged to your account. This may be the last time you have an opportunity to reactivate your account by entering into a payment plan. The creditors will become confrontational if a payment plan is not worked out.

Charge Off and Litigation

After more than ninety days, a creditor can charge off your debt as un-collectable. This may trigger the matter being sent out to a third party collection agency or collection lawyer. The collection agency or collection lawyer will send aggressive letters and make very aggressive phone calls trying to motivate you to pay your debt. They will also threaten

you with legal action if the debt isn’t paid. Should the collection activity by the collection agency be unsuccessful, your debt may be turned over to a collection lawyer who will institute a lawsuit against you. Should you receive a summons and complaint with regard to the debt, it is important you either go to court and submit a written answer to the summons and complaint or retain counsel to represent you.


If you have multiple creditors chasing you regarding the payment of credit cards or other debts, bankruptcy may be an option for you. There are two types of bankruptcies available to individuals, which are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. The filing of a bankruptcy will stop debt collection activity, stop foreclosures from moving forward and assist you in re-establishing your credit in the long run. Chapter 13 bankruptcies, in certain situations, can also eliminate second mortgages.

There are many myths that people believe regarding bankruptcy that are simply untrue. Should you have questions regarding debt collection activity or bankruptcy issues, feel free to call the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo. Our office has filed hundreds of bankruptcies and assisted our clients in numerous lawsuits against them regarding alleged debts. Feel free to call us for a free consultation

Warren Buffet’s Advice: Buy a Home You Can Afford, Not Your Dream Home


Warren Buffet is the third richest man in the United States. He is a very frugal man. He purchased his home in 1958 for $31,500. It is a 6,000 square foot home. He still lives in it! In a recent interview, he stated, “our country’s social goals should not be to put families into the house of their dreams, but rather to put them into a house that they can afford.” In a February 26, 2011 letter he wrote to shareholders of his company, Berkshire Hathaway, he stated, “home ownership makes sense for most Americans, particularly at today’s low prices and bargain interest rates, but a house can be a nightmare if the buyers eyes are bigger then his wallet and if a lender, often protected by a government guarantee, facilitates his fantasy.”

Warren Buffet purchased his home for $31,500 when he was 29 years old. That is more then four decades ago. Imagine if you could purchase a 6,000 square foot home for that price today!

Home Services of America

Warren Buffet owns Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.  His company, in turn, owns Home Services of America through a subsidiary titled Mid American Energy Holdings Company. He also owns Clayton Homes, one of the largest companies in the United States, which is involved in the manufacture of environmentally friendly, factory built homes. Last year Clayton Homes produced more then twenty three thousand homes.

Warren Buffet Receives 2010 Medal of Freedom

The highest honor awarded to a civilian in the United States is the Medal of Freedom Honor. Warren Buffet was the recipient of this award from President Barack Obama in 2010.

Clayton, Mr. Buffet’s company, is very unusual. It holds the mortgages on the homes that it builds in its factories. Although Clayton was hit hard in the recession, it did better then most financial institutions. Mr. Buffet recently stated that if home buyers throughout the United States had behaved like Clayton’s buyers of manufactured homes, there would be no foreclosure crisis in the United States. Warren Buffet is a very wise man!

Warren Buffet lives modestly. He’s a very conservative investor who has been extremely successful in investing in non speculative investments. His strategy for homeowners, that they should only buy homes that they can afford and not their dream homes, reflects what the real estate industry will be moving towards in the future in the United States. The ownership of a single family home fulfills the dreams of many Americans. In the future they will need to have smaller dreams!

Foreclosure Lawyer

Our law office can help you with any of the following issues: mortgage modifications, mortgage modification programs that fail, foreclosure court conferences, foreclosure litigation, defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending issues, bad faith by financial institutions, defective mortgages, real estate related issues, Chapter 13 bankruptcies, Chapter 7 bankruptcies, stopping foreclosure, and advising you as to the types of bankruptcy that may apply to you. Please take a look at our foreclosure blog. Feel free to call us should you have foreclosure defense or mortgage modification problems or bankruptcy issues.

Bankruptcy, Foreclosure and Divorce


If one of the parties to a divorce action files for divorce, can he or she later file bankruptcy during the course of the divorce? The answer to this question is yes. Now let’s change the circumstances a bit. A husband and wife are involved in a divorce and during the course of the divorce, the husband is ordered by the court to make mortgage payments. Unfortunately, he falls behind in the mortgage payments. Is filing for bankruptcy the best route to stop the house from being foreclosed upon? The answer to this question in many instances is yes.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor sets up a plan to reorganize his or her debts. The plan is designed to bring the debtor up to date on his or her debts during a period of three to five years. The amount of the payment pursuant to the bankruptcy plan is based on the debtor’s income.

Debts are classified into various types within the plan. Unsecured creditors, such as debts related to credit cards, may be paid on a percentage of what is owed. Interest and penalty payments to these creditors are eliminated in the plan.

Mortgage Payments

Secured creditors, such as mortgage holders on real estate, are paid 100% of what they are owed under the plan. Banks holding mortgages who have refused to accept payments from the debtors are now forced to accept mortgage payments from the debtors under the bankruptcy plan.

Bankruptcy Protection for the Spouse

Under the bankruptcy law, child support and spousal maintenance payments are non dischargeable debt. This means a father obligated in the divorce to pay spousal maintenance and child support to his wife cannot eliminate these debts. Financial obligations of the payer’s spouse, under court orders of the divorce to make mortgage or home equity line payments, are considered to be part of the spousal maintenance and child support payments and these obligations are also non dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies can successfully be utilized to give a spouse who has obligations to make mortgage payments and pay spousal maintenance and/or child support an opportunity to come current in these obligations, save the home from being sold in foreclosure and comply with the state court order.


Foreclosure Defense

The foreclosure defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been representing individuals with financial difficulties for more than three decades. Our office helps our clients prepare mortgage modification applications. We also deal with mortgage modification programs that fail to meet our clients’ needs. We defend foreclosure lawsuits for our clients. We attend foreclosure court conferences, litigate defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending issues, defective mortgages and bad faith on behalf of financial institutions. We also assist our clients with other types of real estate litigation. Should bankruptcy be the route to dealing with our clients’ problems, we file both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies on behalf of our clients. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

New Bankruptcy Law Exemptions in New York

bankrupt1-150x150Homeowners previously had an exemption of $50,000 for the equity in their home. Now each party on the deed has an exemption on Long Island for $150,000 in equity on their home. Therefore, a husband and wife who own a home together have $300,000 in exemptions when they file bankruptcy. This means homeowners on Long Island can file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, have $300,000 of equity on their home and still beat their creditors!!

New Bankruptcy Exemption Law in New York

The new bankruptcy law went into effect on January 22, 2010. In addition to the home equity allowances, new rules concerning jewelry, art, a computer, a cell phone, pets and pet food have been listed to the exemptions. The new bankruptcy exemptions are designed to reflect the current valuation of homes and the costs of living in New York.

We’ve anticipated that there will be more bankruptcy filings in New York State due to the liberalized exemptions. With $300,000 in exemptions, most middle class families in financial trouble will be able to file bankruptcy on Long Island and still keep their homes. This will make filing a Chapter 7 ( or straight bankruptcy) a better option for homeowners with credit card debt and other financial obligations.

Under the new exemptions, renters can now use the homestead exemption and claim another $1,000 in personal property or cash as an exemption in their bankruptcy. The new law also allows New Yorkers to choose between the Federal Exemptions and the State Exemptions when they file bankruptcy. Homeowners facing foreclosure now have a better option when they file bankruptcy.

New York and Long Island Bankruptcy Attorneys

At the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo, we have been filing bankruptcy for our clients for more than thirty years. Our office has been involved in more than four hundred bankruptcy cases on behalf of our clients. We file Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. We discuss with our clients the type of bankruptcy that is best for them. We help our clients reestablish credit. We can, in some situations, eliminate second mortgage liens. The bankruptcies we file can be utilized to stop foreclosures. In addition we provide detailed foreclosure defense representation for our clients. We assist our clients in mortgage modifications. We maintain a foreclosure blog to provide information on foreclosure issues for our clients. We litigate defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending, defective mortgages and bad faith on behalf of financial institutions. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or 1-800-344-6431. Our phones are monitored 24/7.

Senior Citizens Filing Bankruptcy

CreditCard.bmpMany seniors no longer have sufficient assets to maintain their lifestyles. There is a tendency in these situations to go into debt. Seniors use credit cards to finance routine purchases with the hope that they will be able to pay their credit cards back at some point in the future.

In some instances, they are unable to accomplish this goal. Most seniors will not ask family, friends or charities for help. This is true even in cases where seniors have previously helped other family members. Most senior citizens are too proud to ask for help!

The credit card debt that seniors are maintaining has been growing. Seniors also require more medical treatment than younger Americans. In situations where the medical treatment is not covered by insurance, seniors find themselves in debt.

The average age of individuals filing bankruptcy has been rising for the past few years. The group with the largest increase in bankruptcy filings are Americans older than 55 years of age.

The primary reason for seniors filing bankruptcy has to do with their inability to pay credit card debt. The medium credit card debt for seniors filing bankruptcy is over $27,000. Medical expenses are the second largest cause for seniors to file bankruptcy.

In addition to problems involving credit card debt and medical expenses, more and more seniors in their late-fifties and sixties are still carrying mortgages on their principle place of residence. Today, 63% of all Americans in their late-fifties and sixties are still making mortgage payments. This is up significantly from the 49% of individuals in this category that were carrying mortgages in 1989. These figures were obtained from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

About Our Law Firm

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo represents individuals filing for Chapters 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. We are also involved in the preparation of wills and trusts. We probate wills and we represent individuals in contested will cases and estate proceedings.

Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and has been assisting New York seniors in dealing with all types of legal problems for over 20 years. Our phones are answered 24 hours-per-day, 7 days-per-week. Our phone numbers are 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. You may also contact us by email.

JP Morgan Chase Suspends Foreclosure Activities

foreclose-150x150JP Morgan Chase previously announced that it was seizing all further legal action on 56,000 pending foreclosure proceedings. The bank is taking this action due to the fact that its employees have improperly prepared legal documents related to foreclosure proceedings.

These suspensions took place in the 23 states where foreclosure lawsuits must be approved by a court.

New York is one of these states! Chase Manhattan has started an investigation examining their employees actions in foreclosure proceedings. Chase is the third financial institution to take this action. GMAC and Bank of America have already taken similar actions.

Chase has acknowledged that their employees who signed numerous documents related to foreclosure proceedings have signed so many documents that they are now referred to as “robo-signers”.

Lawyers in foreclosure proceedings representing homeowners have uncovered that individuals have signed as many as 10,000 affidavits a month. Query: Is it possible they actually read these affidavits? These affidavits indicate that the person who prepared them reviewed the mortgage file. There was not sufficient time to review the mortgage files.

The courts expect numerous foreclosure proceedings brought by Chase Manhattan to be contested by attorneys who represent the homeowners. Due do uncovering this new information, it is expected that courts will look more carefully at the documents in proceedings brought before them involving the foreclosures of these homes. The solution to this foreclosure crisis is for the banks to become more realistic, more accessible and more willing to provide the homeowners with mortgage modifications.

Our law office can help you with foreclosure defense, foreclosure conferences, mortgage modifications, Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Bank of America and Foreclosures

BankOfAmericaBank of America is the largest bank in the United States. They have recently taken action to stop moving forward with foreclosures throughout the United States. Allegations have arisen with regard to how the bank is handling the foreclosure process. Bank of America is among many large financial institutions which also include Chase Manhattan and GMAC that are reexamining how they handle foreclosures.

Document Problems

Bank of America, GMAC and JP Morgan Chase have uncovered problems with the documents they have utilized in processing foreclosure proceedings. Attorneys representing homeowners who homes have been foreclosed upon are developing new and innovative defense techniquess to deal with the document crisis created by the financial institutions.

Attorney Generals in California, Connecticut and Florida are investigating the materials submitted by various financial institutions in foreclosure proceedings. The Associated Press recently reported that a Bank of America official acknowledged that she signed up to 8,000 foreclosure documents per month without reading them. Consumer advocates claim that there are numerous problems with the foreclosure process.

Should you find your home in foreclosure, please call our offices 1-800-344-6431 or contact us by email. Our law firm has represented individuals in debtor/creditor matters for more than 30 years. We are experts in handling foreclosure defense, foreclosure conferences, mortgage modifications, Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

The Use of Incorrect Documents in Foreclosures

Numerous financial institutions are finding that the documents they anticipated using in foreclosure proceedings are flawed! GMAC and JP Morgan Chase are among two large financial institutions that have acknowledged that mistakes were made with regards to the processing of mortgages. Both companies have suspended all foreclosure proceedings.Attorneys in many states are demanding legal action to investigate foreclosure proceedings brought by financial institutions. The treasury department is looking into these new disclosures.

Motions In A Foreclosure Proceeding

The financial institutions have acknowledged that the affidavits that they have been supplying to their attorneys in summary judgement motions may not be accurate. These motions are made to obtain quick judgements in foreclosure proceedings. If the financial institution is not successful on a summary judgement motion, then the case must go to trial.
Lawyers representing homeowners have repeatedly indicated that there has been carelessness and fraud in the foreclosure proceedings brought by lenders. Defense counsel are pressing lenders with regard to the actions they are taking related to foreclosure proceedings. As a result, foreclosure defense counsel are causing the foreclosure machinery to slow down.

Contact us regarding foreclosure defense, mortgage modifications, filing mortgage modifications, foreclosure conferences, Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Slow Home Sales

The economic crisis in real estate in the United States is impacted by the number of foreclosed homes that come on the market. Home values are undermined when many homes in an area are foreclosed upon and sold. Throughout the United States, home values have gone down. Many homes are “under water”, meaning that the homes are worth less than the mortgages on them. Homeowners in some communities have simply given up and have stopped paying their mortgages.
Our office has been involved in representing individuals sued by creditors for three decades. We have numerous cases throughout the New York metropolitan area pending where we are defending homeowners from foreclosure proceedings. Our office has an expertise in handling foreclosure defense. There may be legal defenses available to you to stop your home from being foreclosed upon.

Feel free to call the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo at 1-800-344-6431 or contact us by email to discuss your personal situation concerning foreclosure defense, mortgage modifications, foreclosure conferences, bankruptcy and reestablishing credit.

  • banner-changes
  • image5
  • image6
  • image7