About Me
Craig D. Robins, Esq. New York Bankruptcy Attorney, Longisland bankruptcy attorney

“ Craig D. Robins, Esq., has been a practicing Long Island bankruptcy attorney for over twenty-four years ”

Craig D. Robins, Esq.

Photographs of Max

What is a Bankruptcy Discharge?

Posted on Saturday (January 7, 2012) at 6:00 am to Bankruptcy Terms
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Photographs of Max

The bankruptcy discharge means freedom from debt.  That's my son, Max.

The bankruptcy discharge means freedom from debt. That's my son, Max.

Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.

 
The general objective in filing a consumer bankruptcy is to eliminate debts.  At the conclusion of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, the consumer receives a discharge.
 
The bankruptcy discharge releases the debtor from personal liability for most debts.  That means the consumer is no longer legally required to pay these debts.  Certain debts are non-dischargeable such as most taxes, student loans, alimony, child support and traffic tickets.
 
The discharge comes at the conclusion of the bankruptcy case.  For Chapter 7 filers, that is typically about three and a half months after the bankruptcy petition is filed.  For Chapter 13 filers, this typically occurs a month or two after the Chapter 13 payment plan is completed.
 
The actual discharge is in the form of a permanent court order, signed by the bankruptcy judge assigned to the case.  The Bankruptcy Court sends a copy of it to the debtor and all creditors and parties listed in the petition.
 
The order of discharge prohibits creditors from taking any action to collect a debt.  This means that it becomes forever illegal for creditors to phone the debtor, send collection letters, sue the debtor or take any other action to collect the debt.
 
If a creditor has a secured debt, such as a mortgage or car loan, the creditor is still prohibited from collecting the debt.  However, the creditor has the right to recover the collateral.
 
 
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About the Photograph:  This is one of my fine art shots of my son, Max.
 
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Homeowner Disqualified from HAMP Despite Making Payments and Being Told of Acceptance

Posted on Thursday (November 18, 2010) at 3:00 am to Mortgages & Sub-Prime Mortgage Meltdown
Photographs of Max

Max Robins illustrates problems with HAMP Mortgage ProgramWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
Over the past several months I have written several articles in which I addressed how HAMP, the Homes Affordable Mortgage Program, has utterly failed to live up to its expectations.  (For my most recent post, see:  Problems with HAMP — Too Many to Count? ).
 
I regularly receive comments from my blog readers across the country and wanted to share an e-mail which I just received from a very upset and frustrated homeowner in Hawaii who is seeking help in locating the appropriate agency to complain to about how his bank failed to accommodate him with his HAMP application.
 
The homeowner initially sent the following letter to someone at HAMP with no reply.  He also remarked that he unsuccessfully searched and searched online to find someone to make the complaint to.  He asked me to assist him in determining who can help him at this point.
 
What can be more upsetting than being told you’re disqualified from HAMP because you got laid off, then being told you were approved, and then being told again that you were disqualified.  Read on. . .
 
Actual HAMP Complaint Letter from One of My Blog Readers
 
Dear HAMP:
 
The reason for this email is simply this, why does the program only allow ONE chance to get on? Most of the people trying to get on this program are already underwater, already laid-off, already under heavy stress…can’t you allow at least two or three chances?
 
We applied for the HAMP program with our lender Carrington Mortgage Services and they told us that we needed to make 3 payments on time or else we will be disqualified for the program.
 
In this trial period I got laid-off of my job and my wife’s hours reduced. We tried selling things, even looked  into borrowing money but just couldn’t make the payment.
 
We were told that we were disqualified and that they (Carrington Mortgage Services) would be willing to help  us out if we can make 3 more payments of $2600 on time.
 
We made the three payments, then was later told they couldn’t help us and that the underwriters were not aware that we defaulted the first time.
 
A few weeks later we get a call from Carrington Mortgage, and now it’s a different representative named Michelle.
 
She tells us that she may be willing to help us out to get back on some kind of modification. Two days ago she calls and say we are APPROVED for the HAMP program!!
 
She then gives us the percentage rate, our new monthly etc., at this point my wife an I are moved to tears in joy…the very next day another person calls from Carrington notifying us that we were not approved and that Michelle wasn’t aware that we defaulted the first time. Now they will be foreclosing on our home.
 
Isn’t there something in this program that gives people in our situation another chance!!!? 
 
Not only have I been laid off, but our mortgage company mislead us twice into thinking we could get some kind of assistance!!!
 
Please help!!!
[name withheld]
 
What to Do If You’ve Been Unfairly Rejected for a HAMP Mortgage Modification and Who to Complain to
 
This is exactly what the above person needs to know.  I will cover this topic in a future blog article that I will post in the next day or two.
__________________________
 
About the Photo — That’s my son, Max Robins, in one of my fine art photos.
 
 
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Bankruptcy Judge Dennis E. Milton Funeral Service Information

Posted on Tuesday (June 8, 2010) at 11:15 pm to Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges
Current Events
Photographs of Max

Judge Milton will be interred in St. Patricks Cemetery in Huntington.  I took this image of my son, Max, there several years ago.

 

Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.

 

 

Judge Milton Funeral Information

The following is the latest information about the funeral service and visitation arrangements for the Honorable Judge Dennis E. Milton who passed away on May 31, 2010.

Obituary:  Please see:  Brooklyn Bankruptcy Judge Dennis E. Milton Passes Away

Home:  Greenlawn, NY

Date of Death:  May 31, 2010

Age:  59

Birthdate:  March 15, 1951

Place of Birth:  Staten Island, NY

Service Information:  Saturday, June 19, 2010; St. Patricks Church, Huntington, NY

Visitation:  M. A. Connell Funeral Home Inc., Huntington Station, NY

                            Thursday, June 17, 2010 7-9

                            Friday, June 18, 2010 7-9

Interment:  St. Patricks Cemetery, Huntington, NY

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I Can Now Legally Advise My Long Island Bankruptcy Clients to Incur Debt in Contemplation of Bankruptcy

Posted on Monday (March 8, 2010) at 8:45 pm to Bankruptcy and Society
Bankruptcy Practice
Issues Involving New Bankruptcy Laws
Photographs of Max
Recent Bankruptcy Court Decisions

Long Island Bankruptcy Attorneys can now advise clients to incur debt in contemplation of bankruptcyWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
High Court Issues Decision on Attorneys’ Ability to Give Legal Advice to Bankruptcy Clients
 
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that a provision of the 2005 Bankruptcy Act, which bars attorneys from advising clients to take on more debt before filing for bankruptcy protection, is permissible in certain situations.
 
I first wrote about this case, Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz v. United States, a year and a half ago when the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the provision was unconstitutional:  Portion of New Bankruptcy Laws Declared Unconstitutional. Court of Appeals Strikes Down Provision which Prevented Attorneys from Advising Clients
 
The Court of Appeals had ruled that the provision barring such advice was unconstitutionally broad and violated free-speech rights
 
Now, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed that ruling, but with a caveat.
 
Today’s decision, which was written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, said the provision prohibiting such advice was valid, but should be read narrowly.  She said that the law only prohibits attorneys from advising clients to abuse the bankruptcy system.
 
However, Justice Sotomayer indicated that it would be permissible for lawyers to advise clients contemplating bankruptcy to take on additional debt in certain situations.  She wrote that bankruptcy lawyers could advise clients to refinance a mortgage or purchase a reliable car prior to bankruptcy on the grounds that doing so would reduce the debtor’s interest rates or improve the debtor’s ability to repay.
 
“It would make scant sense to prevent attorneys and other debt relief agencies form advising individuals thinking of filing for bankruptcy about options that would be beneficial to both those individuals and their creditors,” Sotomayor wrote.
 
Professionals specializing in bankruptcy “remain free to talk fully and candidly about the incurrence of debt in contemplation of filing a bankruptcy case,” Sotomayor wrote.
 
How This Decision Affects Bankruptcy Attorneys and their Clients
 
I often encounter a situation where my client’s car lease is about to end.  Before the 2005 Bankruptcy Amendment Act (BAPCPA), I would have simply advised the client to immediately surrender the existing car and obtain a new car lease or car loan, as getting a new car is easier to do before filing for bankruptcy than after.
 
However, BAPCPA contained a provision which prevents attorneys from advising clients to incur debt in contemplation of bankruptcy.  So, for the last five years, I’ve been technically unable to give clients such advice.
 
Today’s Supreme Court decision now clarifies that as long as my advice is not meant to abuse the system, it is considered appropriate.  Of course, a bankruptcy attorney cannot advise a client to go out and charge up debt when the client has no reasonable expectation to repay it — providing such advice would be considered abuse, and therefore a violation of the statute.
 
I view the decision as a victory of sorts because it enables us bankruptcy practitioners to do what we’ve wanted to do all along:  give honest and appropriate advice to clients in order to reach a beneficial result, as opposed to taking advantage of the system and defrauding creditors.
 
Bankruptcy Attorneys Are Debt Relief Agencies
 
Justice Sotomayer also upheld the BAPCPA’s requirement that attorneys make certain disclosures in their advertisements and ruled that attorneys who provide bankruptcy assistance are debt relief agencies within the meaning of the law.
 
Having to label bankruptcy attorneys as “debt relief agencies” seems silly, and serves no useful purpose.  However, the requirement is rather benign, and more of a nuisance than anything else.
 
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About the Photo:  That’s my son, Max.  To see more Max, click:  Super Ninja Bankruptcy Attorneys
 
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Super Ninja Bankruptcy Attorneys

Posted on Monday (November 16, 2009) at 9:00 am to Bankruptcy Humour
Photographs of Max

Super Ninja Bankruptcy Attorneys -- Max Robins and Sam GelbergWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
What happens when you take two spirited six-year-old boys who love to use their imagination and pretend to be Power Rangers, and it also happens that both of their fathers are bankruptcy attorneys?
 
Why, you get Super Ninja Bankruptcy Attorneys!  
 
My son went through a faze where he couldn’t get enough of the “Power Rangers” television program.  He would often pretend to be a Power Ranger, which is a seemingly ordinary individual who morphs into a powerful, costumed superhero.
 
Add to the mix visiting Daddy’s bankruptcy law office, seeing Daddy come home “costumed” in his suit and toting his briefcase, and hearing Daddy talk a lot about this thing called, “bankruptcy.”
 
So about three years ago, my son, Max, while playing with his best friend, Sam, came up with the idea that they were Super Ninja Bankruptcy Attorneys.  Sam is the son of former Brooklyn Chapter 13 trustee Stuart Gelberg, who now is a Long Island bankruptcy attorney, like me.
 
I was never able to get Max or Sam to reveal exactly what the Super Ninja Bankruptcy Attorney does, as they explained to me that this was “top secret.”  However, I see them constantly trying to save the world. Or at least that’s what it looks like from where I sit.
 
The boys, now nine, are still hard at work, playing Super Ninja Bankruptcy Attorney.
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About Us

Craig D. Robins, Esq. is a Long Island bankruptcy lawyer, who is focused primarily on helping individuals and families, find solutions to their debt problems. Read more »

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Craig D. Robins, Esq.
35 Pinelawn Road, Suite 218E, Melville, NY 11747.

Tel : 516 - 496 - 0800

CraigR@Craigrobinslaw.com