Jeffrey M. Rosenblum, P.C.
A Fresh Start

October 2015 Archives

Ninth Circuit ruling may help New York debtors

Reversing its own 2010 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit recently decided that debtors may seek attorney's fees incurred while prosecuting cases related to automatic stay violations. These fees may be sought and recovered even after the violation has been cured. According to the Bankruptcy Code, debtors are allowed to recover attorney's costs, fees and actual damages related to the violation of the stay.

Attempt to hide retirement account backfires on debtors

A North Carolina bankruptcy case illustrates how important it is for people in New York to honestly disclose assets when filing for bankruptcy protection. After investigating a complex bankruptcy case, a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina concluded that a debtor's hidden individual retirement account that held approximately $234,000 could be accessed by creditors because it was not revealed during the bankruptcy process.

IRS has collected more than $8 billion from offshore voluntary disclosure program

The IRS reminded U.S. taxpayers today that with more than 54,000 taxpayers coming in to participate in offshore disclosure programs since 2009, U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed offshore accounts should strongly consider existing paths established to come into full compliance with their federal tax obligations.
Both the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) and the streamlined procedures enable taxpayers to correct prior omissions and meet their federal tax obligations while mitigating the potential penalties of continued non-compliance. There are also separate procedures for those who have paid their income taxes but omitted certain other information returns. "The groundbreaking effort around automatic reporting of foreign accounts has given us a much stronger hand in fighting tax evasion," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "People with undisclosed foreign accounts should carefully consider their options and use available avenues, including the offshore program and streamlined procedures, to come back into full compliance with their tax obligations."

The effects of the 2005 bankruptcy overhaul

New York residents who are in the process of bankruptcy may be facing the negative effects of a 2005 overhaul of the bankruptcy system, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. Two panelists in an ABI webinar report that the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act actually created more difficulties for honest consumers. Another, however, argued that the act has succeeded in meeting its goal of reducing the increasing number of bankruptcies.

Ways to handle debt

As many New York consumers have found, filing for bankruptcy can often be an appropriate debt relief solution for those who are struggling with unmanageable financial obligations. There are two primary types of bankruptcy that are available for individual debtors, and knowing what they entail can be beneficial,

What is the job of a Chapter 7 trustee?

New York consumers who are struggling with their financial obligations may be interested in learning more about the role of the trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once the petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed, an impartial case trustee is appointed by the U.S. trustee. The impartial case trustee is responsible for administering the case and liquidating the nonexempt assets owned by the debtor. There is no distribution made to unsecured creditors if all the assets owned by the debtor are exempt or secured by valid liens.