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

Marriage Laws Iraq Style

matrimonial lawyer The brilliant legislators in Iraq are considering a new law with regard to marriages. The new law would allow girls as young as nine years of age to be married. It would also place requirements on wives to submit to sex on demand by their husbands. These laws have been presented to cover the Shia portion of Iraq’s society. Hana Adwar, who is a well known Iraqi human rights activist, has recently stated, “That law represents a crime against humanity and childhood.”

This new law would be a significant modification of the current law concerning marriages in Iraq. The current legal age for marriage, without parental approval, is 18 in Iraq. However, girls aged 15 can be married with parents’ approval.

The proposed new law is known as the Jaafari Personal Status Law. This statute was presented by the Justice Minister in Iraq last year to the Cabinet. The Cabinet has recently approved this statute. This is in spite of opposition from human rights groups.

This new law, among other things, discusses the rules for divorces for girls who are nine years of age. It takes the position that all girls reach puberty at that age, therefore they can get married and divorced.

Under this new law, fathers determine who their daughters will marry. Presently about a quarter of all marriages in Iraq involve children under age 18. Underage marriages are more prevalent in the rural areas of Iraq than in the cities.

Sex Without Consent

One of the significant aspects of this new Iraqi marriage law allows husbands to have sex with their wives anytime they want even when the wives don’t consent. This new statute would stop women from leaving their husband’s household without their husband’s permission. The statute also would allow men to have multiple wives.


Iraq is looking into passing a child marriage law that would send women’s rights and children’s rights back to the Middle Ages.

protecting rights through a divorceElliot S. Schlissel has been practicing matrimonial and family law throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 35 years. Elliot and his associates represent clients in divorces, child custody matters, issues involving orders of protection and child support. The law firm offers free consultations to their prospective clients.

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

New York Debt Collection Proposals

debt collection defense lawyerFinancial regulators in New York State have recently proposed sweeping new reforms concerning debt collection practices. There have been more than 13,000 complaints filed against debt collection agencies in the State of New York within the past two years. Debt collection companies sometimes buy defaulted debts for a few cents on the dollar and proceed to collect them with very aggressive tactics. The complaints against debt collection companies range from harassing phone calls, providing information concerning the debts to third parties and trying to collect more than is due and owing.

Federal Regulations

There is a Federal Statute called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This law regulates the hours debt collectors can make phone calls, prevents them from making threats, using obscenities and making numerous phone calls for the purpose of harassing the debtor.

The New Regulations

The new regulations in New York would require debt collectors to verify all disputed debts. In addition, the debt collectors would have to advise consumers when the statute of limitations concerning their debt has expired. The debt collector would have to advise the consumer if a payment on a debt is made after the statute of limitations has expired that this would restart the statute of limitations running all over again. The new regulations would require debt collectors to provide debtors a “clear and conspicuous written document” confirming payment schedules on debts.

These regulations will go into effect upon publication in the State Register. Publication would take place after there has been a 45 day period of time for the general public to make suggestions and comments concerning these regulations. The purpose of these new regulations according to Ben Lawsky, the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services for New York State, was “to level the playing field for consumers.”

The Author

bankruptcy helpElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is an attorney practicing law in the metropolitan New York area. Elliot and his associates represent clients in bankruptcy matters. In addition, the firm has extensive experience in defending foreclosure lawsuits.

Strategic Defaults

Walking Away From Your House

Strategic default is the new concept in how homeowners are dealing with mortgages on homes that are underwater. A strategic default is simply when you stop paying your mortgages . Many homeowners are considering strategic defaults on their mortgages. It is estimated that over eleven million homes are now underwater in America. More than three and a half million homeowners are behind in their mortgage payments. There are already a million and a half homes currently in the foreclosure process.

The New York Federal Reserve estimates that there are an additional 3.6 million foreclosures that will be taking place in the next few years. Does it make sense to keep paying a mortgage on a home where it will be many years before the home regains its former value? A columnist named James Surowiecki recently wrote in the New Yorker Magazine that paying mortgage payments for a home that is underwater is “setting a pile of money on fire every month”.

Mortgage Payments: A Moral Quandary?

For some families there is a moral quandary in making the decision to stop making mortgage payments on a home that is underwater. Should families be embarrassed or feel they are going to lose respect as they break their mortgage contract obligations and stop paying their mortgage? Companies utilize the bankruptcy process to default on their financial obligations when they feel it is appropriate. So why shouldn’t individuals consider it is a business decision as to whether they should pay their mortgage payments when their home is underwater and it is unlikely it will ever get back to its former value at anytime in the near future?

Penalties For Not Paying Your Mortgage

Obviously the first penalty is that your home will eventually go into foreclosure. However the foreclosure process in the State of New York, as in most other states, is a slow process. This means you won’t be forced to leave your home in the short run.

The second issue involves your credit score. Not making mortgage payments will definitely have a negative impact on your credit score. It is estimated that your credit score will go down a minimum of 85 to 100 points if you default on making mortgage payments.

Strategic default is not something to be taken lightly. It should be considered as a last option. Your first option should be to make a mortgage modification. Mortgage modifications allow you to rework your mortgage to more favorable terms.

If you decide to strategically default you should save the funds that had formally been allocated to make mortgage payments. This will give you the ability to retain an attorney to fight the foreclosure in court. It will also give you money for a down payment on an apartment that you may need to rent down the line.

Tax Implications of Strategic Defaults

If a portion of your debt is forgiven by a financial institution the forgiven amount is considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service. You may end up receiving a 1099 from your bank that you will have to declare on your income taxes. You should talk to a tax professional with regard to how to handle this tax issue.

Strategic defaults are not for everybody but more and more people are making this choice!

Foreclosure Lawyers

If your house is in foreclosures we can help you. The Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel have been helping New Yorkers stay in their homes. To start with we can help you with the mortgage modifications. We are familiar with the problems mortgage modification programs have. We can also assist you with a forensic audit with regard to your mortgage. Should you be served with a summons and complaint we will appear in court for you and attend settlement foreclosure conferences. During these conferences we will press the financial institutions to cooperate in giving you a mortgage modification. We will submit answers to the formal compliant submitted by the banks. Our answers will allege defenses such as defective mortgages, defective foreclosure law suits, predatory lending, foreclosure fraud and other real estate related defenses.

We will advise you with regard to all of your foreclosure options. One of your options may be a foreclosure related bankruptcy. There are two types of bankruptcies that can be utilized in foreclosure. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. There are benefits and drawbacks to each of these bankruptcies. When you file bankruptcy it immediately stops creditor harassment. All debt collection activity has to come to an end when a creditor receives notice of a bankruptcy filing. Foreclosure proceedings also are immediately frozen upon the filing of a bankruptcy. At the end of the bankruptcy process you receive a discharge of your debts. We educate our clients with regard to reestablishing credit and the end of the bankruptcy. There are many bankruptcy myths such as you will never receive credit again that are simply untrue. At your initial free consultation with our office will we describe the bankruptcy process. We will explain to you what bankruptcy exemptions are and why it may be necessary to file bankruptcy. Feel free to call us for a free consultation 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 and 718-350-2802.

How To Deal With Student Debt?

student-loansBlogPic-150x150Students have been borrowing more and more money in recent years to pay for college expenses. Due to the downturn in the economy, many students have been unsuccessful in finding employment upon graduation. Even those who find employment often have difficulty paying off their student loans. Filing for bankruptcy can help with problems involving credit card, home or other types of debt; however, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. This is true even if the student loans are from a private lender, such as a bank or Sally Mae.

Congress is considering new laws to ease the burden on students who took out loans for educational expenses and are unable to pay them back. There are two types of student loans: loans underwritten by the federal government (such as Stafford and Perkins loans) and loans underwritten by banks.

Current Bankruptcy Law:

Under the current bankruptcy law, debtors can discharge students loans if they experience “undue hardship”. This condition is almost impossible to prove in bankruptcy court unless the debtor has become totally disabled.

There is concern that if the bankruptcy laws are changed to allow students to discharge loans underwritten by banks for educational purposes, then the banks will stop lending money to students.

In the event that bankruptcy laws are modified to allow the discharge of student loans, the cost of such loans in the future will most likely increase. Congress should liberalize the laws concerning the discharging of student loans but the statue should be carefully written. Student loans should become dischargable only under limited circumstances.

Should you find yourself in financial difficulty, bankruptcy may be a solution to your problem. Call the bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo at 1-800-344-6431 or by email to discuss your situation.

Congress Should Help Homeowners

house-underwater1The federal government has bailed Wall Street firms out to the tune of $700,000,000.00. This is a form of corporate welfare. The restructuring was done to prevent large Wall Street firms from going bankrupt. Instead of amending the Bankruptcy Law to help these Wall Street firms, the government simply gave them $700,000,000.00 in loans.

Recently, Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase and Lloyd Blankfein received millions of dollars in salary packages. The government bails out Wall Street and the Wall Street tycoons get richer and richer. During this period of time, between 7.1 million and 7.9 million households according to mortgage bond trader, Amherst Securities, fell behind in their mortgage payments and are subject to losing their home.

It is estimated that as many as 25% of all the homes in the United States have mortgages on them that are greater than the value of their home. The term used to describe this situation is calling the home “under water”. President Obama had initially asked that when individuals do mortgage modifications with their banks that the banks restructure their mortgage so they only have to pay an amount equal to the value of their home. The banks have refused to do this. The mortgage modifications by banks in the United States modify the payments but do not reduce the amount that is owed.?

The Bankruptcy Law Needs to Be Changed

The United States Constitution reserves all rights to make laws concerning bankruptcies to the federal government. Congress passes all laws that deal with bankruptcy.

Congress needs to strengthen the bankruptcy court’s ability to restructure mortgage loans when individuals file bankruptcy. Congress has already bailed out Wall Street. Now they need to bail out the American homeowner. Unfortunately, the large financial institutions in this country oppose any modifications to the Bankruptcy Law to help out homeowners.

Congress needs to help the American homeowner and modify the Bankruptcy Laws to deal with the issue of restructuring mortgages that are under water. Congress has already bailed out the financial industry to the tune of $700,000,000.00, now they need to bail out the American homeowner!

Should you have questions concerning bankruptcy or mortgage modifications, feel free to contact the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo to discuss these matters at 1-800-344-6431 or email us at

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.

Picture courtesy of grassland properties.

Foreclosure Rates Going Up in 2010

outstandingforeclosureswebg1111Projections have been made that there will be as many as 3,000,000 foreclosures in the United States in 2010. This will surpass the foreclosure rate for 2009.

The United States Treasury Department has been in negotiations with many of the country’s largest financial institutions regarding their participation in a new second mortgage program designed to modify foreclosures. Unfortunately, negotiations have not been successful up to this point.

New loan modification programs are necessary to help individuals going into foreclosure this year. Foreclosures have a negative effect on the value of real estate in local communities. In 2009, mortgage modifications set a record. However, foreclosure still were at an all time high in 2009. Hopefully, the new mortgage modification programs being proposed to the Treasury Department will stem the tide of new foreclosures.

If you need help with loan modification, foreclosure, or bankruptcy help, you can always e-mail us or call us anytime at 800-344-6431.

Foreclosure Rates Going Up in 2010

outstandingforeclosureswebg1111Projections have been made that there will be as many as 3,000,000 foreclosures in the United States in 2010. This will surpass the foreclosure rate for 2009.

The United States Treasury Department has been in negotiations with many of the country’s largest financial institutions regarding their participation in a new second mortgage program designed to modify foreclosures. Unfortunately, negotiations have not been successful up to this point.

New loan modification programs are necessary to help individuals going into foreclosure this year. Foreclosures have a negative effect on the value of real estate in local communities. In 2009, mortgage modifications set a record. However, foreclosure still were at an all time high in 2009. Hopefully, the new mortgage modification programs being proposed to the Treasury Department will stem the tide of new foreclosures.

If you need help with loan modification, foreclosure, or bankruptcy help, you can always e-mail us or call us anytime at 800-344-6431.

Foreclosure – Don’t Give Up – You Can Fight

foreclosure_sale_bank_mortgage_modification_attorney_lawyerMany Americans unfortunately find themselves having difficulty paying their mortgages. When a family falls behind on their mortgage payments, there are a number of ways to deal with the situation. Houses go into foreclosure for a variety of reasons. Loss of employment, divorce, injuries, illnesses and disabilities. In this situation, you have a number of options:

1. Mortgage Modification

An application to your financial institution can be filed for a mortgage modification. This is a long and difficult process and unfortunately in many situations, the request for mortgage modification is denied.

2. Forebearance Agreement

Forbearance Agreements are agreements to allow you to catch up on your Mortgage while either freezing or modifying the mortgage payments. They are very similar to mortgage modification arrangements.

3. Bankruptcy

You can file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court. Bankruptcies are Federal Proceedings whereas the foreclosure proceedings are initiated in state courts. The bankruptcy filing gives you an automatic stay (freezes) the foreclosure proceeding and allows you to enter into repayment plan thru the bankruptcy court concerning your debt. Deed in Lieu of

4. Foreclosure

You can simply deed your house back to the financial institution.

5. Sell Your House

You can sell your house, pay off the mortgage and keep the balance of the proceeds from the sale. If your house is worth less than the amount of your mortgage, you have to initiate a short sale with the permission of your financial institution.

6. Fight Back

Experienced Foreclosure Defense Attorneys can help you in defending foreclosure proceedings. Due to the large volume of cases, currently pending in New York State Courts, it could be 12 to 24 months for the foreclosure to be completed.?

7. Foreclosure

Does this mean the bank owns my house?

Foreclosure is the start of a process whereby a financial institution that has a mortgage or equity loan on your home seeks court intervention to have the house either sold or have the deed put back in the name of the financial institution. It is a long and detailed process. The foreclosure Is the start of the process and not the end of the process. The end of the process is the point at which you lose your home. The best way to deal with this process is to hire competent, experienced, Foreclosure Defense Attorneys.

Fighting foreclosures are difficult but they can be dealt with by experienced dedicated attorneys who understand the foreclosure process. Feel free to contact our office anytime for information or a free consultation regarding our mortgage modification, foreclosure, and bankruptcy services. We will help you decide which path is right for you and then we will help guide you through the entire process.

You can reach us 24/7 at 800-344-6431 or click here to e-mail us.

Picture courtesy of

Supreme Court Considers Congress’ Attempt to Regulate Attorney/Client Relationship


The Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday in the case of Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz v. the United States. The specifics of the case were discussed in a series of articles in the New York Law Journal Monday and yesterday by Marcia Coyle.

The Milavetz & Gallop firm, based outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, along with some of their clients, challenged certain provisions of the amendments to the Bankruptcy Code of 2005, called BAPCPA (Bankruptcy Abuse and Prevention Consumer [credit card company, actually] Act) on First Amendment grounds, only one month after it became law.

The Milavetz firm most prominently challenged provisions of the Code which demands that they place a notice on all Bankruptcy related advertising that indicates that the firm is a “debt relief agency,” thus equating law firms with the fly-by-night debt counselors you hear about on the radio. The firm argued that this is insulting to lawyers and an unconstitutional regulation of true, non-misleading speech.

They also challenged the Code’s new requirement that attorneys representing clients contemplating bankruptcy may not advise those individuals, if they are below a certain income level, to take on any new debt. Milavetz asserts that this rule unconstitutionally interferes with the lawyer/client relationship. It also prevents attorneys from advising clients to consolidate debt by taking out a new loan, a strategy which may help keep some people out of bankruptcy altogether.

Milavetz even said that if the high court doesn’t come down on their side, holding the challenged provisions of the Bankruptcy Code to be unconstitutional, “we will handle no more consumer bankruptcy cases…”

Hopefully the Supreme Court will indeed find these overeager provisions of the 2005 Bankruptcy Code amendments unconstitutional.

If you need help with a Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, and Mortgage Modification matter in the New York area, please give us a call at 800-344-5431 or you can click here to contact us by e-mail.

Picture courtesy of Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz, P.A.

  • banner-changes
  • image5
  • image6
  • image7