Archive for the tag 'daniel gershburg'

Strauss Discount Auto at 2570 Coney Island Avenue.

Telling Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

I remember years ago, passing by R & S Strauss Discount Auto at 2570 Coney Island Avenue on my way to get bagels from Hot Bagels (what’s it called now?) and getting a movie at Blockbuster (also, gone). The neighborhood constantly changes as businesses open up and close down.

R & S was in the community for quite some time, but the economic climate changed so dramatically in the past few years that every brick and mortar outlet is having a tough time paying the rent.

What happens if it happens to you? What happens if you’re a small business owner and you just can’t afford to keep the lights on anymore? You, like many other businesses around you, can file for Bankruptcy. However, there are some things to keep in mind.

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Source: Ian Muttoo/Flickr

Telling Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

In New York, there is what seems an almost endless debate between buying and renting a home; between owning a piece of property that you can say is yours, versus paying someone for the privilege of living in theirs.

There are pros and cons to both approaches, but if you’re going to go along with the theory that buying is the best way to spend your money, then you better know what’s in the Contract of Sale. And if you’re going to want to know what’s in the Contract of Sale, you better have a clear understanding with your attorney.

Far too often I find clients are simply ready to sign on the dotted line. If they’re buying a Dyson on Home Shopping, they’re certainly checking out the warranty to see what it covers. But if they’re putting down hundreds of thousands of dollars, many of them simply trust that the lawyer has done what the lawyer should do, and they sign away.

This, my friends, is a terrible mistake. A client should always know (and in my opinion has the responsibility to know) what it is that they’re agreeing to.

“But a lawyer should tell the client what they need to know when they buy real estate,” you say. Granted. Yes. But I find that sometimes clients will feel too intimidated to ask, and it’s to their detriment.

Here are some of the common questions you should ask your attorney if you’re buying some real estate in New York:

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Source: 401K/Flickr

Telling Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

Okay, so let’s be real here. Whenever anyone discusses Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, inevitably, someone thinks, “Oh, I know what these people do. They max out their cards right before they file and then they get to keep all their stuff and get rid of the debt.”

Let’s address these two assumptions separately.

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Telling Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

A client came to us recently in our Brooklyn office.  She was being sued by Mel S. Harris & Associates, a collection law firm in New York. Her bank account (actually her husband’s bank account) was frozen. The story is all too familiar.

She never received any summons and complaint. She never received any Notice of Motion for Default Judgment (which is an action a creditor takes in Court when you don’t respond to a summons and complaint in New York). She received no court papers at all. She wasn’t even aware that any debt existed under her name. All she knew was that she could no longer access her husband’s account, which had thousands of dollars in it.

We were able to unfreeze the account and have the case dismissed in less than 48 hours. That doesn’t guarantee that the same result will happen in each and every case. In fact, its an aberration in some respects. The lawyers there, after we showed them proof that our client did not live at the address where she was allegedly served, were quite courteous and did the right thing.  However, I need to stress that if your account is frozen in New York by a credit collector, the last thing you should do is call them immediately and try and settle the debt.

Keep reading to find out what you should do.

Source: danielmoyle/Flickr

Telling Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

Governor Paterson was one of the greatest governors in this state’s history. What’s that? I’m insane? Okay, fine. But here’s the thing: the last bill that Governor Paterson signed into law before leaving his post was a windfall to debtors that want to file bankruptcy and keep their stuff. Perhaps the most radical change to the bankruptcy laws since 2005, this bill has, and will continue to, change the way that people across New York, and especially Sheepshead Bay, will approach the topic of Bankruptcy for some time to come.

Keep reading to find out how.

Tuesday Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

A reader sent Sheepshead Bites the following letter this week:

I live in a two bedroom apartment in a Voorhies Avenue co-op. I wanted to discuss unfair rents where some people are charged $1,700 for a two bedroom, which is fair – a bit much, but fair – and others are charged up to $2,400. Let’s not forget the fact that the landlord (not the porter or the super) is lazy and won’t get anything done! He’s in it for the money – he owns half the building’s apartments!

The question basically is if it is okay for a landlord to charge $1,700 for a two bedroom apartment, and charge $2,400 for another, comparable apartment? In other words, is it legal to have such a large discrepancy in rent?

Well, is it? And what can you do if your landlord isn’t keeping up his side of the bargain? Find out.

Tuesday Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future. Today it comes on Wednesday. Live with it.

So you just got a summons on the door of your Sheepshead Bay apartment saying you owe $15,000 to a credit card from 2002. What are you going to do?

On my website, I’ve previously discussed what happens when you get sued by a creditor in New York and the available defenses you have. But let’s say the creditor served you correctly, and that you actually recognize the debt and it is an amount you owe. What in the world do you do now?

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Tuesday Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

You might have done a double take on the title of the column, as I did an inner double take when I decided to write it.

I write to you after spending four hours in Bankruptcy Court in Long Island this morning. I’ve been to Bankruptcy Court countless times with my clients. It’s quite difficult to sit there and wait while client after client goes forth and occassionally stammers through answers. There are several lawyers that I know by face. Lawyers that are there each day. Lawyers that sit there for hours waiting for their case to be called. The same is true for lawyers dealing with your personal injury cases, or your real estate closings, or your worker’s comp claims. It doesn’t matter. The job is, at times, excruciatingly frustrating.

But its also, most of the time, amazingly rewarding. We are an industry. A profession. When people lose jobs at a clothing store, as an executive assistant, they are unsure if they’ll ever get their job back. We can land on our feet much easier in most circumstances. In my case, and in many others, we are a business in and of ourselves. We can, as the saying goes, “hang up a shingle.” If we sign up a few cases a month, we can generally be okay.

So why in the world am I saying this? Because, as I go to Court, more and more I see that sometimes the pressure gets to us. Sometimes lawyers lash out at their clients – grown men and women – like they are children. Lashing out at someone that has paid you thousands of dollars to get a job done isn’t just morally wrong to me, it’s bad business.

And so here’s my point: If your lawyer isn’t taking your calls, it’s an issue. If you’re lawyer isn’t responding to emails, that’s an issue. If, when you walk into a lawyer’s office, you feel as if they are doing you a favor by simply sitting there and answering questions while life-impacting issues hang in the balance, it’s an issue.

I say this because, in our neighborhood, there are just… so… many… lawyers.

Sheepshead Bay Road: sushi restaurants and lawyers. Kings Highway: pharmacies, restaurants and lawyers. Brighton Beach: bazaars, babushkas… and lawyers. There are too many of us around for you to ever be unhappy with your lawyer. If I don’t return a number of emails, you should fire me. If I’m making you feel horrible about yourself, you should fire me. If I can’t explain why something hasn’t been filed even though I told you it was, you should fire me.

There are an amazing number of great lawyers out there. Lawyers who, despite being somewhat jaded with the practice of law, are eager to help you, are pleasant to speak with, and know what they’re talking about. Find them. Do research online. Ask a friend. Check with the Bar Association. Do something.

After seeing what I see in Court, there are just too many instances of people who may or may not have given up some time ago. I am not saying they’re bad people, or that they need to stop practicing, or that they don’t know what they’re talking about. They could be legal geniuses for all I know. I just think that in this profession, people tend to overlook that there is competition everywhere.

If you go to a restaurant and order food and the waitress is rude and the food is bad, you’re probably not going to go back there. It should be no different with a lawyer.

Daniel Gershburg Esq., is a real estate and bankruptcy attorney with offices in Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan. The practice was specifically set up to change the way people view attorneys, by incorporating radical ideas like calling people back quickly, returning emails, giving clients ’round the clock access to their cases and charging low fees. For more information please visit Brooklyn Real Estate Attorney Daniel Gershburg‘s website.

Tuesday Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

A debt collection agency froze your bank account and you didnt know about it? And you never got served? Just something in the mail months after a judgment had been entered against you? You’re kidding!

Welcome to the world of debt collection in Brooklyn. Far be it from me to say whether or not service was correct, but I literally have hundreds of clients that have called me with the same problem. Out of nowhere, their bank accounts have been frozen by debt collection agencies. Many of my clients in my Sheepshead Bay office also have social security payments going into these accounts, making it completely illegal for creditors to freeze the accounts, but they do so anyway.

Find out your rights, and how to protect yourself from a debt collector.

Gone bankrupt? You may be able to keep your home, says Sheepshead's expert.

Tuesday Tips, a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

For everyone scared to file for bankruptcy because you own a home or a car and would like to keep it, finally, the government has some good news for you.

Under a new law that is just a short time away from reaching the governor’s desk, you can now file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Sheepshead Bay and elsewhere in New York while keeping your home if it has under $300,000 in equity.  Under the old law, the exemption limit for a house was $50,000 in equity for a single filer, and $100,000 for joint filers.

Keep reading to find out what this means.

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