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Scura, Wigfield, Heyer, Stevens & Cammarota Blog

Are Income Taxes Dischargeable in Bankruptcy?

One of the most common misconceptions in bankruptcy is that income taxes are never dischargeable. In fact, you can discharge some back federal and state income taxes in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy matters. Likewise, the penalties and interest attached to those taxes are dischargeable. However, the dischargeability of income taxes is limited to a specific set of circumstances that was recently clarified by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Thinking About Bankruptcy: Here’s What Not to do Before Filing for Bankruptcy

If you are considering bankruptcy, you probably find yourself in a difficult financial situation caused by a combination of loss of income and high debt. If you have concluded that bankruptcy is the only way to breathe some life back into your financial situation, it is important to avoid common mistakes that can be detrimental to your bankruptcy case. The bankruptcy process is not an easy process by any means, but avoiding these common mistakes can mean a smoother bankruptcy process for you.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Its Effect on Owning A Home

When contemplating bankruptcy, one of the biggest trepidations that people often have is how it will affect their home.  Will the bankruptcy cause their home to be lost?  Will the mortgage lender commence foreclosure as a result of the bankruptcy filing?  What are the legal consequences of all those documents they signed when purchasing the home?  This blog will explore those topics and how a bankruptcy will affect their home ownership.

Getting Personal Injury Help After a New Jersey Pedestrian or Bike Accident

A pedestrian is at a great disadvantage in a collision with a driver or passenger in a car or truck accident. The pedestrian does not have the benefit of a car body surrounding him or her, and is often injured badly. Hit-and-run accidents are not uncommon when a pedestrian is involved in a crash. An injured pedestrian often suffers a serious or catastrophic injury, and may be entitled to compensation to help cover loss related to the accident.

Enforcing Your Rights as a Non-Residential Construction Subcontractor

For most nonresidential construction subcontractors, the risk of non-payment on a job is a threat that, if realized, can cease the day-to-day operations of the business. Non-payment usually stems from a dispute between the general contractor and the subcontractor regarding the quality of the work. If you are a subcontractor, this article will explain your rights to lien property in efforts to ensure compensation for the work you have performed. Please note, the contents of this article only apply to liens involving non-residential construction contracts.

Will my 529 College Saving Plan Be Protected if I File for Bankruptcy?

A notable issue discussed in today’s news is the increasing costs of higher education in the United States. Congress has sought to help families pay for a child’s education by allowing them to pay into an entity frequently known as a Section 529 College Savings Plan. Parents can generally opt for one of two types of 529 Plans: a prepaid tuition plan that allows you to pay tuition at a particular university, or a tax-exempt savings account for a qualified beneficiary, generally a minor child or a grandchild.

Many parents and grandparents deposit large sums of monies into 529 Plans and understandably they are concerned whether a Chapter 7 Trustee will liquidate the child’s college education savings to pay creditors if they file for bankruptcy. Under Section 541(b)(6) of the Bankruptcy Code, assets in a 529 may or may not be protected from the reach of a Chapter 7 Trustee.

Child Support Obligations in Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy can help an individual get caught up on missed child support payments (often called “arrears”).  Child support is priority debt and is also generally non-dischargeable, meaning it gets paid before other types of debt if there are assets to distribute and the debt cannot be wiped out through bankruptcy.  The child support must be “in the nature of support” to be non-dischargeable.   The Bankruptcy Court cannot modify a family court order for support.  Modifications must be sought in the state court.  The bankruptcy automatic stay does not apply to actions in the family court to establish paternity or to modify child support obligations.    

Loan Modification vs. Bankruptcy Court’s Loss Mitigation Program

After the market crash of 2008, 2.6 million Americans lost their jobs, and 1.2 million properties were foreclosed in 2009 due to the recession. As a result, many of the mortgage lenders that accepted the government bail-out money were forced to offer loan modification assistance programs to help homeowners catch up on their mortgage arrears in an effort to avoid foreclosure.  

Mortgage lenders to the rescue, right? Unfortunately, oftentimes theories don’t work as well in practice. The influx of loan modification applications inundated the offices of ill-prepared and understaffed mortgage lenders, causing most applications to be denied or overlooked without even being properly reviewed. The failure of these loan modification programs, coupled with loan modification scams, only perpetuated the increasing foreclosure rates. But Why?

Why Debt Consolidation is a Bad Idea (or Worse, a Scam)

There is a huge stigma that goes along with filing for bankruptcy.  The word bankruptcy invokes a feeling of failure and immorality. People dread the thought that bankruptcy may be in their future.  But debt consolidation, debt resolution, credit management, debt relief, etc.; these terms invoke a completely different emotional response.  These concepts are marketed as an alternative to bankruptcy: a way out of financial hardship, but not shirking one’s responsibilities. 

Don’t be The Next Victim

Debt relief agencies are great at marketing, but are a poor choice in most circumstances.  Debt relief agencies promote that their services are an alternative to bankruptcy, but in truth they are praying on people’s emotions, spouting a false narrative, and creating false expectations.

Product Liability: Consumer Rights When a Defective Product Injures a Consumer

On a daily, weekly or monthly basis, consumers in New Jersey and elsewhere purchase goods for various reasons. In some cases, a product does not perform in the manner it was designed to. When this happens, it could lead to the product becoming dangerous and cause consumer injury.

When a dangerous product causes harm to a consumer, the consumer should understand their legal options. In order to make a product liability claim, the injured consumer should understand the different types of defect claims that are available.

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