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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.

Consumer Bankruptcy Update

Posted on Sunday (December 21, 2003) at 6:01 pm to Bankruptcy Legislation
Bankruptcy Practice
Suffolk Lawyer

Filing Fee Increase. The Judicial Conference raised a number of the filing fees effective November 1, 2003. The Chapter 7 filing fee increased from the nice, even, totally-rounded amount of $200 to the ridiculously inconvenient sum of $209. Since the clerk’s office requires exact cash, you cannot give them $210 and expect a dollar bill as change. The clerk’s office has expressed extreme displeasure over this odd amount. Chapter 13 fees have increased from $185 to $194. The fee to amend schedules of creditors increased from $20 to $26.

The U.S. Trustee Initiative Program. The United States Trustee Program recently launched a nationwide campaign, the “Civil Enforcement Initiative,” aimed at advancing and protecting the integrity of the bankruptcy system. The initiative was developed when, after years of proposed legislation to stop alleged bankruptcy abuse, none of the proposed bankruptcy reforms became law. You can therefore expect to see a heightened amount of activity out of our district U.S. Trustee’s office investigating cases to see if debtors have truly filed in “good faith.”

Individuals with higher incomes of about $75,000 per year seem to be the targets. If a debtor has a high income, and appears capable of making some payment toward his or her debts, the U.S. Trustee’s office may file a motion to dismiss the Chapter 7 case under Code section 707(b). Debtors at that point have the option of either disputing the U.S. Trustee’s position (which could result in extensive litigation and additional counsel fees for the debtor) or converting his or her case to one under Chapter 13. If the debtor converts the case to one under Chapter 13, the U.S. Trustee’s office will not pursue its inquiry of the debtor’s finances since the Chapter 13 Trustee’s office is capable of performing that function. The U.S. Trustee’s office also seems to be red-flagging all cases in which the scheduled unsecured debts add up to over $100,000. In either of these situations, your friendly U.S. Trustee Attorney will seek to audit and investigate the case before commencing any motions practice and will send out a highly-itemized document demand request. Practical ways of representing your client in light of the initiative will be the subject of a future article.

Filing Statistics. Records were broken when filings totaled 1,650,279 for the one-year period ending June 30, 2003, of which 1,613,097 were filed by consumers. Chapter 7, which has always been the most popular form of bankruptcy relief, also showed the greatest increase. With such record numbers, it appears that filings for calendar year 2003 may surpass 1.7 million.

About the Author. Long Island Bankruptcy Attorney Craig D. Robins, Esq., is a regular columnist for the Suffolk Lawyer, the official publication of the Suffolk County Bar Association in New York. This article appeared in the December 2003 issue of the Suffolk Lawyer. Mr. Robins is a bankruptcy lawyer who has represented thousands of consumer and business clients during the past twenty years. He has offices in Medford, Commack, Woodbury and Valley Stream. (516) 496-0800. For information about filing bankruptcy on Long Island, please visit his Bankruptcy web site: http://www.BankruptcyCanHelp.com.

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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

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