Buffalo, NY – The total number of bankruptcies filed in November were the lowest Western New York has seen since 2006. Excluding the four months after the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BABCPA) went into effect in October 2005, filings in November were the lowest. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of New York has seen a steady decline in year-to-year filings since 2009. As 2013 wraps up the trend continues with the lowest number of filings to date since BABCPA. During the past five years, bankruptcy filings in Western New York have typically been highest during March and April and lowest during December through January. While several factors may cause this trend, many presume income tax refunds are a major cause of the increase in filings after February, while the holiday season delays consumers from filing. “Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their finances,” said Jeffrey Freedman, Managing Partner, Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC. “As unemployment rates continue to decrease and credit becomes more readily available, consumers need to stay cognizant of their budgets and be careful to keep from overspending – especially during the holidays.” While the trend in the number of monthly filings continues on a… Continue Reading November Bankruptcy Filings Continue to Decline
By: Matt Glynn Article appeared in The Buffalo News – September, 11th 2013 Bankruptcy filings in Western New York continue to fall. The number of new filings in August dropped 17 percent from a year ago, to 446, according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York. It was the seventh straight month of year-over-year declines in the 17-county district. Through August, the number of filings this year was down 11.5 percent from last year, to 3,900. Brad Davidzik, of Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, said two factors continue to fuel the decline in filings: lenders being careful about extending credit, and consumers being conservative about their spending. “Every time we look at the (filings) statistics, they continue to go down by large chunks,” Davidzik said. The eight-county Western New York region accounted for 68 percent of the cases filed, while the nine-county Rochester area accounted for 32 percent. Of the 304 cases filed in the Buffalo region in August, 207 were Chapter 7 cases, according to court statistics. Under Chapter 7, debtors can liquidate their assets to pay off debts and then erase any remaining amounts owed so they can start over. The 446 filings in Western New… Continue Reading WNY bankruptcy filings drop 17 percent in August
Buffalo, NY – A faulty mortgage scheme has caught the attention of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC recently filed suit in federal court to stop a scheme that allegedly deceived homeowners with false promises of rescue from foreclosure. The defendants in the case charged homeowners $2,000 to $4,000 in fees and did not deliver on promises to lower interest rates and monthly payments. The defendants allegedly did not follow through on promises of lower rates and legal help with foreclosure. Instead, they drove consumers deeper into debt by charging high fees. This is in addition to violating federal law by charging upfront fees for these services. Jeffrey Freedman, Managing Attorney of Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC said: “Unfortunately in recent years many consumers have struggled financially due to the downturn in the economy. These mortgage relief companies prey on people’s hopes of holding onto their homes and in truth deliver little or nothing to the consumer.” The companies named in the suit used a combination of online ads, radio ads, telemarketing, and television ads to target consumers. The advertisements offered such services as credit counseling, debt relief, and “forensic mortgage audits.” These “forensic mortgage audits” promised to find lending… Continue Reading FTC Takes Action to Halt Faulty Mortgage Scam
Bankruptcy filings in Western New York decreased 6 percent in July, continuing a pattern fueled partly by tighter available credit, a bankruptcy attorney said. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York reported 476 new petitions were filed last month in Buffalo and Rochester, which was down from 506 a year ago. The number of cases filed in the 17-county district has dropped on a year-over-year basis for six straight months. Through the first seven months of this year, the number of cases filed in the district was down 10.6 percent from the same period in 2012. Bankruptcy attorney Jeffrey Freedman said the drop in filings in Western New York is in line with national trends. Part of the decline is due to a change in credit available: pre-approved credit cards are no longer widely distributed to consumers, and the days of prospective homebuyers easily obtaining mortgages for homes they can’t actually afford are over, he said. The lack of growth in Buffalo Niagara’s population is another factor in the falling number of new cases being filed, Freedman said. The eight-county Buffalo area of the Western District of New York accounted for 59 percent of the July… Continue Reading New bankruptcy filings in Western New York continue to decline
Buffalo, NY — Nationwide and in the Western District of New York as a whole, consumer bankruptcy filings continue to decline. This month’s breakdown of the numbers, however, shows a departure from the trend in the Rochester area, according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York. During June 2013 compared to June 2012, filings were as follows: Western District down 6.5 percent; greater Buffalo down 11.3 percent; and greater Rochester up 4.5 percent. This is the second increase for the Rochester area during 2013. “ We will have to see how things unfold for the rest of the year before we can determine if this is a real trend in Rochester — or why the situation there differs from the rest of the District and the country,” said Jeffrey Freedman, managing partner, Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC. Year-to-date, filings in the District declined 11.4 percent. Nationally in May, consumer filings were down 11 percent for this year compared to May 2012. “We’ve had a long period of sustained low interest rates, tighter lending and lower consumer spending,” Freedman said. “With mortgage rates and consumer spending on the rise, however, the future may hold some changes in… Continue Reading Bankruptcies continue declining trend
By Matt Glynn | News Business Reporter Artcle appeared in The Buffalo News – June 5, 2013 Bankruptcy filings in Western New York dropped nearly 15 percent in May from a year ago, continuing a recent trend of declines. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York reported 542 new petitions were filed last month in Buffalo and Rochester, down from 636 a year ago. It was the sixth consecutive year-over-year decline in new filings. Buffalo accounted for 337 – or 53 percent – of the new petitions, while Rochester accounted for the other 205. Across the district, the number of new filings for the first five months of the year was down 12 percent from the same period in 2012. In Buffalo alone, the total was down 13.4 percent. Brad Davidzik, an attorney with Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, said he believes a few factors are contributing to the ongoing drop in new filings. One factor, he said, is the fallout from the housing crisis that spawned a wave of foreclosures. Davidzik said tougher scrutiny of lenders’ foreclosure practices has slowed the process dramatically, and, by extension, could be prompting more individuals to delay filing for bankruptcy. “Even a foreclosure… Continue Reading New bankruptcy filings continue to decline
Buffalo, NY –– Kevin Bambury, lead attorney of Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys at Law offices in Rochester, will discuss the student loan crisis on WFKL-FM’s Rochester Speaks Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 6 a.m.; Sunday, May 5, 2013 on WZNE-FM at 6 a.m., and on WRMM-FM at 7 a.m. “Student loan debt, which reached a record high of $904 billion in the first quarter of 2012, may be the source of the next financial crisis, in large part because current bankruptcy laws offer no relief in managing this type of debt,” Bambury said. “Students who are struggling under the burden of this debt must take a look at their whole financial picture and the options available that can help them.” Bambury is chair of the Monroe County Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Committee. He has been with the Freedman firm for 17 years and practices from the firm’s Greece, Henrietta and Canandaigua offices, focusing on bankruptcy filings and Social Security Disability cases. Bambury lives in Fairport.
Buffalo, NY — Unemployment is at a five-year low, consumer spending is growing, and Americans are enjoying an economic climate where fewer consumers are seeking bankruptcy for relief from serious debt problems. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York reports filings for the District in March 2013 dropped 13.4 percent compared with the same month in 2012, with the Buffalo area down 5.5 percent and the greater Rochester area down 27.4 percent. “The Federal Reserve Bank has held interest rates down for an extended period of time which has stimulated the economy and reduced the availability of credit for consumers. This is reflected by fewer bankruptcy filings,” said Jeffrey Freedman, managing attorney, Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC. Over-extended use of credit is a big factor in consumer bankruptcy, although it is not usually due to extravagant spending, Freedman said. In many cases consumers use credit to pay for uncovered medical expenses when they are ill, or living expenses when they have lost a job or are going through a divorce. “We are only seeing significant growth in debt among one demographic group, and that is seniors. Seniors seem to be spending more on housing, plus they have… Continue Reading Unemployment and spending rise, bankruptcies remain at low levels
Buffalo, NY — Mark Laudisio, an attorney with Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys at Law appeared with Todd Anderson on WBLK and WYRK’s Issues and Views programs Sunday, March 10. Laudisio discussed the fact student loan debt topped $1 trillion in 2012, and the default rate on student loans is now at 9.1 percent. “Since student loans cannot generally be discharged in bankruptcy and students are incurring such high levels of debt, we could be facing another national crisis the likes of the sub-prime lending crisis within a few years,” Laudisio said. “Congress has started to look at this issue and recognize that many students are facing a life sentence trying to repay of these loans.” Laudisio also spoke about what students who do default on their loans might face in regard to collection efforts and rehabilitation of loans.
Buffalo, NY — The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York reports bankruptcy filings in February 2013 fell into line with national trends after an atypical increase in January. Numbers for February showed a decrease in the overall district of 21.2 percent compared with the same month in 2012, with the Buffalo area down 22.2 percent and the greater Rochester area down 19.1 percent. In January the District was up 1.4 percent, with Rochester up 17.8 percent. Nationwide during 2012 the numbers of filings continued to decrease, as they have since the beginning of the recession. Consumer bankruptcy filings across the country totaled 1,127,540, a 14 percent drop from the total of 1,305,243 during calendar year 2011. During December 2012 (the last month for which national numbers are available) there was a total of 71,817 consumer filings, representing a 21 percent drop from the December 2011 filing total of 90,958. These were the lowest totals since 2008, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. “Experts continue to explain the national declines by low interest rates, reduced consumer spending and continued deleveraging by households,” said Jeffrey Freedman, managing attorney, Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys at Law, PLLC. An economist for the… Continue Reading Local bankruptcy filings in line with national trends for month of February