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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.

Long Island Economy

Long Island Has the Highest Foreclosure Rate in New York State

Posted on Sunday (May 17, 2009) at 11:48 pm to Long Island Economy
Mortgages & Sub-Prime Mortgage Meltdown

Long Island homeowners have the highest mortgage foreclosure delinquency rate in New York stateWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
Whatever benefits that Long Island homeowners received from sub-prime mortgages several years ago are now being taken away, and then some
There was a very intriguing article in the Long Island section of today’s New York Times which explored the extent of the foreclosure problem on Long Island: “Foreclosures Rise, With No End in Sight.”
The high cost of sub-prime borrowing is now causing mortgage default to rapidly  spread across the metropolitan area.  Most sub-prime mortgages contain adjustable rate provisions that are now causing the mortgages to be unaffordable.
The Long Island Foreclosure Rate Is Worsening
Several years ago, once-blighted neighborhoods became gentrified when sub-prime mortgage funds easily flowed in.  Now, however, the tide has turned, and these areas are suffering an epidemic of default, as homeowners simply cannot afford to pay their mortgages. Now, thousands of homeowners stand to lose lifetimes of savings as well as their homes.
Data shows that Long Island’s housing problems appear to be worsening. Long Island’s foreclosure rate is 3.7 percent, with at least 31,000 homes in some stage of foreclosure during the period 2005 through 2008.  This is higher than the 3.3 percent rate for the tri-state region.
Additional data shows that more than 6 percent of Long Island mortgages are 90 days or more past due, which is substantially greater than the 3.5 percent amount for the same period last year.
Some Long Island Communities Are Suffering Greater Foreclosure Defaults than Others
Certain communities had the greatest level of default: In Nassau County there was Hempstead, Freeport, Uniondale and Roosevelt.  In Suffolk County there was Brentwood, Central Islip, Wyandanch, Islandia and Mastic Beach.
Suffolk County had the most foreclosure activity.  Now huge swaths of Suffolk are experiencing mortgage defaults, mostly the blue-collar communities of Shirley, Mastic and Ridge west to Centereach and Ronkonkoma.  In addition, the rates more than tripled in the area around Central Islip and Brentwood, and the foreclosure problem has also spread south into Bay Shore.
Many of these homes are “under water” and no longer have any equity.  The homeowner owes the mortgage company more than the home is worth.
The article quoted my friend, Garden City Bankruptcy Attorney Roy J. Lester, who said that while it might appear noble to go down fighting to save a house, people should make sure that it is worth saving.
My office has been especially busy the past year helping Long Island homeowners  litigate and defend mortgage foreclosure proceedings and filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop foreclosure.   When a homeowner is in trouble, the best thing he or she can possibly do is meet with bankruptcy attorney and mortgage foreclosure defense lawyer.
Making decisions about whether a house should be saved are best done after consulting with legal counsel.
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Chrysler Bankruptcy Will Lead to Many Long Island Personal Bankruptcy Filings

Posted on Thursday (May 14, 2009) at 11:35 pm to Bankruptcy and Society
Current Events
Long Island Economy

Many Long Islanders will become unemployed by the Chrysler Bankruptcy, leading to personal bankruptcy filings

Many Long Islanders will become unemployed by the Chrysler Bankruptcy, leading to personal bankruptcy filings

Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.

Ripple Effect will hit Nassau County and Suffolk County
Chrysler, which is undergoing this nation’s largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, announced today that it is ending franchise agreements with 789 dealers across the country, about one-quarter of the company’s dealership roster. The terminations are to take effect on June 9.
According to Chrysler’s CEO, the aim is “to create a dealer network that is stronger, more profitable, and better able to meet and exceed the high expectations of today’s car and truck buyers.”
However, this will have predictable negative consequences on Long Island that will certainly result in financial hardship to numerous consumers.  The ensuing ‘ripple effect”  that will inevitably cause many of them to file their own personal bankruptcies.
We already know that Chrysler is closing four Long Island dealerships:  ABC Motors in Valley Stream, Eagle Auto Mall in Riverhead, Thomas Dodge in Port Jefferson and Island Jeep in Lindenhurst.
Once these dealers are out of business, perhaps a hundred employees in Nassau and Suffolk Counties will be without work.  Local vendors who supplied these dealers will lose sales and may have to lay off some of their own staff.  Even the local deli down the street will suffer.  This is the ripple effect.
To make matters worse, these dealerships aren’t the only ones who will be receiving bad news this week. General Motors Corp. says it is notifying 1,100 dealers that it will not renew their franchise agreements next year.
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Long Island Bankruptcy Lawyers Have Been Very Busy

Posted on Thursday (April 23, 2009) at 12:00 pm to Bankruptcy and Society
Bankruptcy Practice
Benefits of Bankruptcy
Current Events
Long Island Economy

 Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq. 

The recession is driving so many Long Island consumers to seek bankruptcy relief that Long Island bankruptcy attorneys are working long hours

My staff and I have been working hard these past few months helping an increasing number of Long Island consumers file for bankruptcy relief







I’ve reported several times recently that bankruptcy filings have zoomed up over the past year.

(See my post from last month:  Rate of National Bankruptcy Filings Now Over One Million a Year   and my post:  Bankruptcy Filings Surged in 2008  ).

Consequently, my Long Island bankruptcy attorney colleagues and I have been quite busy helping Long Island consumers who need to eliminate debts and stop foreclosure.

 For me, that has meant finishing up client appointments as late as 11:00 p.m. on some nights, skipping many a dinner, and spending less time with family. However, during these difficult economic times, many clients need urgent help.

 My two full-time associate attorneys, Jason Leibowitz, Esq. and Dean Weber, Esq., have also been burning the midnight oil with me on many an occasion and I am grateful for their contributions to my firm and their dedication to helping our clients file for bankruptcy on Long Island.

My Personal Observations about Bankruptcy Cases on Long Island So Far this Year

From the types of bankruptcy cases we have been getting this year, I have observed that although job loss has affected some Long Island consumers, I have not yet seen a big bump in bankruptcy filings that are strictly the result of massive layoffs.

Instead, we are filing bankruptcy petitions for a steady but greatly increasing influx of typical Long Island consumers who are suffering from overwhelming credit card bills that are the result of some financial calamity – a failed business, loss of work as the result of illness, massive medical bills, unemployment, inability to work overtime, or divorce and separation.

There is no doubt that many of these clients have debt problems that are the result of the current recession.

However, in the coming months I anticipate seeing the impact of layoffs in the greater New York metropolitan area which will likely have a trickle-down effect on Long Island in which event there will be even more Nassau County bankruptcy filings and Suffolk County bankruptcy filings.  Last month I wrote about how the recession is affecting everyone on Long Island (Long Island Economist Provides More Grave Commentary About the Long Island Economy ).

In addition, there are a much greater number of Chapter 13 filings from Long Island homeowners who are seeking to save their homes from foreclosure. This is directly attributable to the great number of sub-prime mortgages that were issued between two and four years ago.

Typical Bankruptcy Debt Levels Have Increased Substantially

Another observation is that the average amount of family debt is now much greater than ever before. Where many families would have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy a few years ago with $20,000 to 40,000 in typical credit card debt, the figures now routinely approach $100,000 and sometimes more.

I find many consumers are consulting with us in order to learn what their options are if their financial situation does not improve, in which case they will likely need bankruptcy relief down the road.

Many Long Islanders are Suffering from the Emotional Burden of Overwhelming Debt

I also regularly witness first hand the emotional toll my bankruptcy clients have suffered from overwhelming financial obligation.

The emotional cost of reckoning for people drowning in debt is high. However, so many clients have commented to me at the end of the initial bankruptcy consultation that they feel so relieved that there is an available debt relief solution, that they will now be able to sleep at night. This is a shame because many of them have been holding off calling a bankruptcy attorney for months.

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If I Make Over $100,000 a Year, Can I Eliminate Credit Cards Debts in Bankruptcy?

Posted on Friday (March 20, 2009) at 12:02 am to Bankruptcy Means Test
Bankruptcy Tips Consumers Should Know
Long Island Economy

Many High Income Families on Long Island are Eliminating Debts with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy by Passing the Means Test
Many high-income families on Long Island can eliminate credit card debt in Chapter 7 bankruptcy by passing the means test
Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
The recession has driven many hardworking Long Island families seeking debt relief to my office, and a good number of the them have family incomes that are in the six-figures.
Believe it or not, many of these families qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief and are able to eliminate all of their debts. 
The Means Test Actually Helps Some People Become Eligible for Bankruptcy
When Congress toughened the bankruptcy laws in 2005, they sought to make it more difficult for some people to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  They did this by requiring anyone seeking Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief to demonstrate eligibility by passing the means test — a bunch of calculations designed to weed out those who appear to have the ability to pay something to their creditors.
The Means Test Helps Long Island Homeowners
In preparing the means test, debtors can deduct certain expenses.  The greater the deductions, the easier it is to qualify.  The amount that a debtor can deduct for living expenses is very limited unless they own a home that has a mortgage.  In that case, they can deduct the full amount of the mortgage. 
Since mortgages on Long Island are usually several thousand dollars a month, this often has the effect of enabling a family  with a six-figure income to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Since so many Long Island consumers own homes with high mortgages, many of them qualify for Long Island Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings.
There Are Other Factors Which Make It Easier to Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on Long Island
There are many other variables in the means test that enable consumers with high incomes to qualify.  Having many children or dependants, at least two cars with loans or leases, high childcare expenses, high insurance expenses, or high monthly religious donations are all factors that facilitate qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
Experienced Bankruptcy Counsel Can Assist Long Island Consumers with Deciphering the Bankruptcy Means Test
In the past few months I have filed a number of Chapter 7 bankruptcies for Long Island families who had incomes in the range of $100,000 to over $150,000.  Knowing exactly how to guide the client through the intricacies of the means test can mean eliminating many tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt through bankruptcy with a Chapter 7 filing. 
If you are a high-income earner on Long Island, there is a good possibility that you may qualify to eliminate all debts through Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you can utilize the right deductions on the means test.  Feel free to contact our office for a free confidential appointment.
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U.S. Consumers Can’t Pay Their Bills

Posted on Wednesday (March 18, 2009) at 12:30 am to Credit
Long Island Economy

Creditcard defaults reaching all-time highs 

U.S. credit card defaults rise to 20 year-high

Credit card defaults rose last month to their highest level in at least 20 years according to a report just issued by Reuters. This is just one additional indicator of the deepening recession.

American Express, the largest U.S. charge card company by sales volume, reported that its net charge-off rate rose to 8.70 percent in February from 8.30 percent in January. A “charge-off” means the company has written the debt off as a loss for accounting purposes.

Meanwhile, Citigroup — one of the largest issuers of MasterCard cards — reported that its default rate soared to 9.33 percent in February, from 6.95 percent a month earlier.

Some experts believe that there will be a continued deterioration. Trends in credit cards will get worse before they start getting better. Some analysts estimate credit card charge-offs could climb to between 9 and 10 percent this year from 6 to 7 percent at the end of 2008.

With so many consumers unable to pay their credit card debt, it is no surprise that bankruptcy filings have increased dramatically on Long Island. Bankruptcy permits consumers to discharge and eliminate credit card bills.

Credit card lenders are trying to protect themselves by tightening credit limits, raising standards, and closing accounts. They have also been slashing rewards, raising interest rates and increasing fees to cushion further losses.

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Long Island Economist Provides More Grave Commentary About the Long Island Economy

Posted on Monday (March 16, 2009) at 10:45 am to Long Island Economy

Long Island economy is graveRecession Hitting Long Island Job Market Hard
Highly-regarded Long Island economist, Pearl M. Kamer, provided some more insight about the extent of the Long Island recession in a New York Times article published March 12, 2009, entitled, “Feeling Stung by a Layoff; Sowing One’s Own Hope,”
“The reason this is not your usual recession is that it’s hitting everybody; no one is safe in their job,” cautioned Pearl M. Kamer, the chief economist for the Long Island Association, a nonprofit group that monitors the health of the business sector.
“It’s the end of the economy as we know it,” added Ms. Kamer, speculating that between 35,000 and 50,000 more jobs — on top of 24,100 private sector jobs lost last year — will disappear on Long Island before the economy hits bottom. “Employers are in survivor mode: they’re shedding employees, not hanging on to them.”
The New York Times article profiled several Long Islanders who had lost their lost long-time jobs.  She suggested that these Long Islanders and others be prepared for the contagious aspects of the “economic Armageddon,” as the Times reporter referred to our economy.
Ms. Kamer said that as of January, 102,200 people were out of work on Long Island, a drastic increase from the 68,800 unemployed a year earlier.
I previously detailed some of Ms. Kamer’s comments about the Long Island economy in one of my posts last month, Long Island Economist Predicts Prolonged Long Island Recession .
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Bankruptcy on Long Island in 2009

Posted on Tuesday (March 10, 2009) at 10:00 pm to Issues Involving New Bankruptcy Laws
Long Island Economy


Bankruptcy Revisited — Three Years After the Laws Changed
Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
It was just over three years ago when Congress enacted the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, also known as the 2005 Bankruptcy Amendment Act.
Bankruptcy filings surged in September and October 2005 as struggling consumers rushed to beat the law’s implementation. Filings then fell for the next two years.
Filings decreased so much in 2006 that some bankruptcy courts across the country had to lay off staff.  My colleague, Chapter 7 trustee Andrew Thaler, commented at that time that the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court was like a morgue because there was so little activity.
However, that is certainly not the case today.  As I reported last week, filings have again soared, with more than 1 million consumers seeking debt relief through bankruptcy across the country in our struggling economy.  The calendars for hearings held in the Long Island bankruptcy court have very busy so far this year.
With the recession impacting Long Island, continued economic pain will drive consumers from Nassau County and Suffolk County to the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court in large numbers.  Fortunately, my four Long Island bankruptcy law offices are ready to handle them.
Despite the passing of tougher laws in 2005, most individuals still qualify for Chapter 7 relief.  Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy and it is typically used to wipe out credit card debt.  Those consumers filing Chapter 7 on Long Island make up the largest number of cases filed in the court.
There are also a great number of Chapter 13 cases in the Central Islip bankruptcy court filed by Long Island homeowners seeking to stop foreclosure.
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Long Island Quarterly Foreclosure Statistics — Fourth Quarter 2008

Posted on Friday (February 27, 2009) at 12:15 am to Long Island Economy

Almost half a billion dollars of Long Island mortgage loans were put into foreclosure from September through December 2008.

Here are the latest statistics showing the number of lis pendens filed on Long Island.

  Long Island Lis Pendens Filings  
Fourth Quarter – 2008
 Location Amount  Median  Average 
 Long Island 1,292  489,244,801  325,350  378,672 
 Suffolk County 769  281,844,636  304,000  366,508 
 Nassau County 523  207,400,165  368,000  396,559 
 Babylon Township 128  43,628,248  303,525  340,846 
 Brookhaven Township 289  85,646,995  275,600  296,356 
 East Hampton Township 19  9,678,000  517,500  509,368 
 Huntington Township 61  26,830,676  382,500  439,847 
 Islip Township 180  68,084,964  300,000  378,250 
 Riverhead Township 18  9,273,746  243,125  515,208 
 Shelter Island Township
 Smithtown Township 33  12,194,797  370,000  369,539 
 Southampton Township 34  22,976,210  505,000  675,771 
 Southold Township 3,531,000  400,000  504,429 
 Hempstead Township 364  127,350,408  356,675  349,864 
 North Hempstead Township 60  30,812,990  463,500  513,550 
 Oyster Bay Township 99  49,236,767  391,623  497,341


A foreclosure proceeding is started when the mortgagee files a document called a lis pendens with the county clerk.

The median mortgage being foreclosed is in the $300,000 to $400,000 range, which is a hefty amount for many Long Islanders to afford.

Many of these homeowners may be able to save their homes by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
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Attorneys As Waiters in Restaurants???

Posted on Tuesday (February 24, 2009) at 9:00 pm to Lawyer to Lawyer
Long Island Economy

Long Island lawyers are huring from the economy and filing for bankruptcy

Some Long Island lawyers are suffering from a lack of business, ending up in a black hole of debt, and filing for bankruptcy

The souring economy is affecting the legal profession and a number of attorneys are filing bankruptcy on Long Island

Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.


Many attorneys are being laid off according to an article in the New York Law Journal last week.

For months, headlines have been filled with stories about large, national companies laying off workers by the thousands. Now, many New York and Long Island law firms are making tough decisions on how to survive the economic crisis by laying off attorneys, too.

Many solo practitioners are hurting as well. Those attorneys who were previously overwhelmed with real estate business just a few years ago are now suffering big time as the glum economy has led to a dearth of business. Real estate attorneys have reported to me that they have virtually no business.

Attorneys who did well handling volume sub-prime mortgage closings are now victims of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown themselves.

Wall Street layoffs, mortgage foreclosures on a massive scale and a freeze in the financial transaction sector have affected Long Island attorneys across all practice areas, some more than others. Often, the smaller the law firm, the bigger the impact. There have been stories in the news about attorneys having to wait tables in order to make ends meet.

“Buyers are backing out of deals, walking away from down payments, banks are requiring 50 percent equity when it used to be 30 or 20 percent,” said Eric C. Rubenstein, a partner in Long Island, New York’s Ruskin Moscou Faltischek lawfirm, who co-chairs the firm’s real estate practice. Corporate and retail Long Island bankruptcy filings have also led to reduced legal work for many lawyers.

“I believe every project is affected by the recession,” said Steven R. Schlesinger, an Long Island attorney partner in Garden City, N.Y.’s Jaspan Schlesinger.

Many Lawyers Filing Bankruptcy on Long Island

I have regularly represented Long Island lawyers who, themselves, have needed bankruptcy relief. See my blog post about Long Island lawyers filing for bankruptcy.

However, I have never experienced so many attorneys seeking my bankruptcy advice as I have in the past year. The most common type of bankruptcy that my lawyer clients file is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which enables them to eliminate debts and get a fresh financial start.

If you are a lawyer and overwhelmed by debt, you should consider obtaining debt relief by filing for bankruptcy.

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Long Island Economist Predicts Prolonged Long Island Recession

Posted on Thursday (February 19, 2009) at 12:06 am to Long Island Economy

In a Business Beat blog post on Newsday.com’s website, columnist Carrie Mason-Draffen interviewed Pearl Kamer, chief economist for the Long Island Association, to shed some light on how long the recession affecting Long Island will be.   Here are Ms. Kamer’s predictions for Long Island’s economy.
Recovery will take a long time.  Ms. Kamer believes that the recession will have a flat recovery, which means the recovery will be quite prolonged and extremely gradual. She believes employment will take a long time to recover, and went so far as to say that initially we may not even recognize that we are in a recovery.  The Long Island economy will most likely bottom out next year.
The Stimulus package will not be very effective.  Ms. Kamer believes that there will NOT be a lot of immediate stimulus in that package, and certainly not enough to cause a rapid route out of the recession.
The Long Island employment market will not recover quickly.  The reason is because even after the economy bottoms out, we could see continued job losses.  Employers will not resume hiring unless they see that a sustainable recovery is occurring.
Photo of Pearl KamerConsumer spending will be slow.  Ms. Kamer suggests that consumers are very concerned about the economy and are heavily indebted. Whatever extra spending power they get from the Stimulus Package will be used to pay down existing debt, and that relatively little under the Stimulus Package will be spent.   Thus, she does not expect an immediate consumer rebound.
The Long Island housing market will take over a year to recover.  Ms. Kamer believes the Long Island market will bottom out the middle of next year and then begin to recover, but only if the government keeps its promise of helping those facing foreclosure.  She thinks Long Island real estate values will continue to decline, until it bottoms out next year.
High unemployment will affect home sales.  Mr. Kamer said that even though mortgage rates may be low, there will be a big problem with potential buyers qualifying for a mortgage based on tighter lending criteria.  This, in turn, would have the effect of stalling recovery as Long Island unemployment could rise to 10 percent by early next year.  With high unemployment there are a lot of loan defaults, which then reduces the number of potential buyers who would qualify for a conventional home mortgage.
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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