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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.

Judge Joel Asarch Passes Away. Funeral to be Monday March 4, 2013

Posted onSunday (March 3, 2013) at 11:48 pm to Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges
Current Events

judge-joel-asarch-2Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.

The Honorable Joel Asarch, a very personable Nassau County attorney who had been serving as a Nassau County Supreme Court justice, died of a heart attack this morning at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside.  He was 60 years old.

The funeral will be held Monday, March 4, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at Gutterman’s Funeral Home, 175 North Long Beach Road, Rockville Centre.

judge-joel-asarch- Nassau County Supreme CourtI personally knew Judge Asarch since 1984 when I met him at the Nassau County Bar Association.  At the time he was working for his father’s law firm in Lynbrook — Asarch and Asarch — and he had become an expert in New York state civil procedure issues and the C.P.L.R.  As such, his practice at the time was heavily devoted to civil litigation.

He often volunteered to teach seminars at the Bar Association and for years, while I was a young attorney, he was my go-to person for questions about issues involving the C.P.L.R.  He was always especially helpful and took pride in assisting newer members of the bar.  Once I specialized in bankruptcy law, it was his turn to ask me questions about bankruptcy issues.

judge-joel-asarch died March 3, 2013For many years, Judge Asarch wrote a monthly column about civil procedure and C.P.L.R. issues for the Nassau County Lawyer.
He eventually went on to serve as Dean of the Nassau Academy of Law.

He was also a keen film buff and hosted a number of seminars about law in the cinema, which were most entertaining.

Judge Asarch attended the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1975, and obtained his law degree from New York University in 1978.  He was admitted to the Bar in 1979.

He was elected to the Nassau County District Court in 2001 and to the Nassau County Supreme Court in 2007.  His political affiliation was Democrat.  He was also an adjunct professor of law at Touro Law School.

Judge Asarch was a long-time Long Beach resident.  He is survived by son Steven Asarch, a student at Baruch College in Manhattan; daughter Michelle Asarch, a student at Binghamton University; mother Helen Asarch, of Long Beach; and sisters Sharon Asarch, of Los Angeles, and Ilene Asarch, of Needham, Mass.

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Mortgage Lenders Resorting to Creativity to Avoid Foreclosure on Long Island

Posted onSunday (February 17, 2013) at 11:00 pm to Foreclosure Defense

Nassau and Suffolk County foreclosure defense optionsWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.

Faced with a wave of judicial sentiment against them, banks have begun seeking more creative ways to resolve delinquent mortgages than rushing to foreclose against the homeowner, which for quite some time was their remedy of choice.
Since a great number of troubled mortgages contain toxic documents that were improperly prepared or filed, judges here in New York, especially in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties, have gotten fed up with many of the mortgage banks and the attorneys who represent them.
Consequently, the mortgage lenders have been forced to consider other options which just years ago they refused to entertain.
These Creative Options to Foreclosure on Long Island Include:
Deed in lieu of foreclosure, which is when the homeowner surrenders the property back to the lender in good condition in exchange for the lender waiving any further recourse on the mortgage.
Short Sale, which is when the homeowner sells the property for less than what is owed on the mortgage and the bank agrees to accept the reduced amount as a full satisfaction of the mortgage.
Selling Delinquent Loans to Investors.  Sometimes banks just want to get rid of the headache of having bad mortgage paper so that they can collect some cash and ascertain a specific loss for their books.  Investors who purchase these loans.  Sometimes this can help the homeowner as the investor who now owns the mortgage having purchased it at a deep discount can afford to offer the homeowner more drastic modifications.
Utilizing Billion Dollar Settlements. As I recently wrote, many of the major mortgage banks have entered into various settlements with the government, (see What Does the $8.5 Billion Mortgage Settlement Mean For You), in which they must provide certain financial relief to homeowners.  This can include reducing principal or even writing off entire second mortgages.
Our Nassau and Suffolk County foreclosure defense office is currently helping many Queens, Suffolk and Nassau county homeowners resolve their mortgage arrears by working with mortgage lenders with some of these options.  Of course, there is also the possibility of mortgage modification.
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Suffolk County Bar Association Holds Foreclosure Defense Seminars

Posted onThursday (February 14, 2013) at 10:00 pm to Current Events
Suffolk Lawyer

Suffolk County Supreme Court Judge Peter Mayer, Judge C. Randall Hinrichs, Melville attorney Charles Wallshein, Judge Jeffrey A. Spinner and Melville attorney Richard L. Stern 
Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
After a wave of foreclosure proceedings hit Long Island during the past several years, a many members of the Suffolk County Bar Association took advantage of learning about advanced foreclosure defense issues by attending a two-part Suffolk Academy of Law seminar entitled “Behind the Curtain:  Advanced Standing Issues in Securitized Mortgage Foreclosure.”
The seminars were held on November 19, 2012 and January 14, 2013.  At the first session, attendees learned about the intricacies behind mortgage transfers and assignments.  The second session highlighted various defenses attorneys can assert on behalf of their homeowner-clients.
Pictured above during the January session (from left to right) are Hon. Peter Mayer, Hon. C. Randall Hinrichs, Charles Wallshein, Hon. Jeffrey A. Spinner and Richard L. Stern, who moderated both sessions.  Hon. Dana Winslow and Hon Arthur Schack were additional panelists for the November session.
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 March  2013 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 Mastic, Patchogue, Commack, West Babylon, Coram, Woodbury and Valley Stream.      Call  (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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Mafia Movie Producer in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Liable for Corporate Business Debt

Posted onFriday (January 18, 2013) at 4:00 pm to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Recent Bankruptcy Court Decisions

Long Island Bankruptcy Judge pierces corporate veil of Chapter 13 consumer debtorWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
Long Island bankruptcy judge pierces corporate veil to permit investor in movie about mafia member, to file claim against the individual debtor, even though the debtor had done business through a corporate entity
It is basic advice for individuals conducting business to set up a corporate entity to provide a mechanism to limit personal liability in the event the business is not successful. 
However, as was demonstrated in this Long Island Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, when the corporate entity is used for illegitimate purposes, the individual should not be permitted to insulate himself from the consequences of his fraudulent conduct.
The debtor, Georgios Stamou, in 2009, filed an individual Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York, located in Central Islip. The debtor’s 100% plan was thereafter confirmed.
The debtor probably thought everything was going well.  It was not.  A creditor of his corporate business entity was now seeking recourse on a business debt.  Several years earlier, the debtor created a corporate entity to handle his business of producing television programs and movies.  The debtor was the sole employee.
“Easy Street” Movie — A Troubled Child Drawn Into Life of Organized Crime
The wife of a self-proclaimed former member of an organized crime family wrote a script for a movie project, tentatively titled, “Easy Street,” about a troubled child who is drawn into a life of organized crime, based on her husband’s life.
She hired the debtor’s corporate entity to produce the movie and paid him more than $400,000.  When the project failed, she sued him in state court, alleging that the debtor improperly diverted $343,000 for unrelated business and personal expenses.
The debtor did not even schedule the potential claim in the bankruptcy.  The creditor learned of the bankruptcy filing during post-petition state court litigation against the corporate entity.  The matter soon landed before Bankruptcy Judge Robert E. Grossman who had presided over the Chapter 13 case.
After an evidentiary hearing, Judge Grossman concluded that the corporate veil should be lifted and that the debtor should be responsible for the harm to the creditor.  He then permitted the creditor to file a proof of claim in the individual case, although the decision did not address the amount of the claim or whether it should be dischargeable.
Corporate Veil Pierced by Bankruptcy Court
In a twenty-page decision that Judge Grossman issued on January 17, 2013, the Judge provided a detailed discussion with regard to piercing the corporate veil and stated that in order to succeed in piercing the corporate veil, the creditor must show that 1) the owner “exercised complete domination of the corporation in respect to the transaction attacked” and 2) “such domination was used to commit a fraud or wrong against the plaintiff which resulted in injury.”   In re Georgios Stamou  (8-09-78895,  Bankr.E.D.N.Y.).
Here, the debtor disclosed that he used the funds to pay for groceries, hotels, pet supplies, doctor bills, meals and entertainment, income tax, and 100% of the costs of operating the corporate office, even though the corporate entity simultaneously had other ongoing projects with other clients.
He also used the money for travel, flying to three European countries, claiming that he was scouting movie locations for the film.  Judge Grossman did not find the debtor to be credible with some of his explanations and determined that the corporate entity did not satisfy its implied duty of good faith and fair dealing under an oral agreement with the creditor. 
Once the creditor files the proof of claim, the debtor will have to decide whether to object to it.  In any event, he will need to modify his plan if he still has a feasible financial situation to cover the additional payments needed to satisfy the new claim.
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Why Some People Are Hounded by Bill Collectors More Than Others

Posted onWednesday (January 16, 2013) at 1:00 am to Benefits of Bankruptcy
Consumer Advice

Long Island Debt Collectors Are Stopped by Bankruptcy FilingsWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
What drives many clients to my Long Island Bankruptcy office is the constant harassment of debt collectors — daily phone calls, collection letters, contact at work and home, etc. 
Some delinquent consumers are actually hounded more than others.  This is because large collection companies pay for research on which credit card customers are more likely to pay an outstanding bill. 
Armed with such valuable data, the debt collectors can then use their resources more efficiently.  That means that some unlucky people will be harassed much more than others.
Collection Scores Are Often the Reason for Aggressive Bill Collecting Harassment 
The three main credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), as well as FICO, offer credit scores which most consumers are pretty familiar with.  The higher the score, the easier it is to obtain new credit.
However, what most people do not know is that these agencies also offer “collection scores.”  These are analytics based on a statistical analysis that they claim will help collection companies prioritize accounts to determine who they should concentrate their resources on to collect.
The Higher the Collection Score, the More Aggressive the Debt Collector Will Be
All large collection companies use highly specialized computer software that essentially determines what consumers to call (by using an account prioritization system that relies on these collection scores).  These debt collection mills actually have the software automatically dial the calls.  Debt collectors sitting in cubicles then take one call after another, all day long.
One company that sells these scores touts them as a great collection tool, stating that “collection scoring facilitates debt management decisions.  Used in debt collection systems, collection scoring helps improve collection and recovery efficiency, reduce write-offs and decrease staff costs.”
Of course, bill collectors can manually enter info into their debt collection system to increase the priority of going after a particular person.
Other Ways Collection Companies Become More Aggressive
Some of the credit reporting bureaus also offer services which alert debt collection companies to become more aggressive with an older delinquent account if there has been recent activity reflected in the consumer’s credit report that might indicate that the consumer may now have a greater ability to pay something.
The credit bureaus also offer “bankruptcy risk scores.”  Although these are most often used by lenders at the time they are processing a request for credit to ascertain the likelihood of default and subsequent bankruptcy, they can also be used by creditors to ascertain the likelihood of bankruptcy filing — which would mean that the creditor will not get anything.
Here’s some reasons why debt collectors are being forced to be more aggressive:  Six Reasons Why It’s a Tough Time for Debt Collection Attorneys
Filing for Bankruptcy Stops Debt Collectors Cold

Of course, filing for bankruptcy will enable a consumer to immediately stop all collection calls.  Usually, consumers can totally discharge all credit card debt through bankruptcy.

How Quick Will Creditors Stop Calling Me If I File Bankruptcy?  The minute a bankruptcy petition is filed, the automatic stay goes into effect, making it illegal for any creditor to continue to collect a debt.
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What is a Notice of Appearance in a Bankruptcy Case?

Posted onTuesday (January 15, 2013) at 10:00 pm to Uncategorized

Bankruptcy Court Notice of Appearance -long-island-bankruptcy-blogWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
There are a number of different documents that various parties may file with the bankruptcy court in a typical bankruptcy case.  One of them is a “Notice of Appearance.”
This is basically a document, usually filed by an attorney for a creditor, indicating that the attorney is representing the creditor in the bankruptcy case, and that the attorney, on behalf of his client, would like to be served with copies of all documents that the debtor and other parties may be required to serve in the case.  A notice of appearance usually contains language requesting service of papers.
A notice of appearance is a very standard and routine type of filing, and is very common in all bankruptcy cases.  In consumer cases, they are most often filed by secured creditors, especially mortgagees, who have a vested interest to follow the events in a bankruptcy proceeding.
Bankruptcy Rule 2002 creates certain statutory requirements for how counsel should serve notice, and this section provides that creditors may designate certain addresses by providing notice.
Bankruptcy Rule 9010(b) provides that an attorney appearing for a party in a case shall file a notice of appearance with the attorney’s contact information unless the attorney previously filed a document containing that information.
A creditor will often file a notice of appearance at the same time it files a motion or proof of claim.  Frequently, attorneys who file motions for relief from the bankruptcy stay will also contemporaneously file a notice of appearance if they didn’t do so previously.
Generally, if you are an individual consumer debtor in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you do not need to take any action if a creditor files a notice of appearance in your case.  However, if you serve a motion, you must serve it on all parties in interest (typically the trustee, U.S. Trustee, and all creditors listed in the petition) including those who filed a notice of appearance.
If you are a creditor, and you want to be assured of receiving notices in a bankruptcy case, you should file a notice of appearance and demand for service of papers.
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Can You Pay Bankruptcy Attorney’s Fees with a Payment Plan?

Posted onMonday (January 14, 2013) at 2:00 pm to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Attorney's fees on Long Island for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 BankruptcyWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
Bankruptcy fees practically doubled when Congress drastically changed the bankruptcy laws eight years ago, making bankruptcy more complex by creating a new means test and imposing a much greater burden on the attorney to verify information and prepare the bankruptcy petition correctly and accurately.
Most of our Long Island bankruptcy clients are able to pay the fees as they are working, but we are always asked if the fees can be paid over time. 
With the most common type of bankruptcy, which is Chapter 7, the Bankruptcy Code requires the attorney’s fee to be paid in full before the petition is filed. 
Otherwise, any balance owed on the fee is technically discharged and the attorney is prohibited from collecting it.  In addition, if the client still owes any funds to his or her attorney, there is a conflict of interest, as the attorney is now a creditor of the debtor as well. 
The bankruptcy laws were designed to give the debtor an absolute fresh, new financial start with no prior debts still outstanding, even those owed to bankruptcy counsel.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy law does not contain any provision that provides for payment of part of the fee after the petition is filed.
Bankruptcy fees on Long Island — When we have a Chapter 7 bankruptcy client who doesn’t have the full bankruptcy legal fee easily available, we are very amenable to working out an informal payment plan over a reasonable period of time.  We just need to make sure the full legal fee is paid before the petition is filed with the bankruptcy court.
With Chapter 13, a payment plan for legal fees can be entered into, as the essence of this type of case is having a payment plan to pay creditors.  A Chapter 13 plan, in addition to providing for the distribution of payments to creditors, can also provide for the payment of part of the bankruptcy attorney’s legal fees.
Such payment plans are typically over a period of three to five years.  One of the reasons such payments are permitted is that the court and trustee have the ability to review the balance owed for reasonableness.
Keep in mind that once you decide to seek bankruptcy relief, you will no longer be paying any of your credit card bills, so additional funds often become available.
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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