Ask the Expert

December 30, 2013 | by Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. in Ask the Expert

Maximize Your Social Security Benefits Part 2

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When, exactly does retirement happen? While the answer to that question for many is, “as soon as possible, please….” – the bottom line is that the current full retirement age to start receiving Social Security benefits varies depending on the …

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December 15, 2013 | by Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. in Ask the Expert

Maximize Your Social Security Benefits Part 1

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While the latter isn’t likely to occur, there are two “lesser known” strategies that can help married couples maximize their Social Security benefits. Here’s how they work: Claim Now & Suspend. This generally applies to married couples where one partner …

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June 11, 2013 | by Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. in Ask the Expert

HELP! Someone Stole My Identity!

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Identity theft is on the rise. In 2012 alone, 12.6 million Americans were victimized by this crime, according to a survey conducted Javelin Strategy and Research. Identity theft is when someone steals your personal information and uses it without permission. …

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June 7, 2013 | by Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. in Ask the Expert

Is Your Credit Report Wrong?

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So, you finally requested your credit reports, and now you see that they have incorrect information. There is a remedy. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Credit Reporting Act requires that both the credit reporting company and …

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May 28, 2013 | by Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. in Ask the Expert

Help Is Still a Long Ways Away For Student Loan Borrowers

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A bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois would require that privately issued student loans be treated the same as other types of private debt and be dischargeable in bankruptcy. The Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2013, …

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May 21, 2013 | by Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. in Ask the Expert, Firm News

Do You Know What is in Your Credit Report?

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A recent Federal Trade Commission study discovered that one in five consumers had an error on one or more of their three credit reports. “These are eye-opening numbers for American consumers,” said Howard Shelanski, director of the FTC’s Bureau of …

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May 16, 2013 | by Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. in Ask the Expert, Bankruptcy

Sequestration Affects New York Courts

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What is Sequestration? It is a U.S. legal procedure in which automatic spending cuts are triggered. UScourts.gov reports that sequestration has reduced the federal judiciary’s overall funding levels by almost $350 million, which is equivalent to a 5 percent cut. …

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May 14, 2013 | by Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. in Ask the Expert, Bankruptcy

What Do Mickey Mouse and Bankruptcy Have in Common?

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Walt Disney. Walt Disney, the man who created Mickey Mouse, the Disney theme parks and many blockbuster movies, experienced financial ups and downs like most people, including bankruptcy, according to justdisney.com, a website that is not affiliated with The Walt …

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May 2, 2013 | by Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. in Ask the Expert, Bankruptcy

What Do Filing for Bankruptcy and Winning the Nobel Peace Prize Have in Common?

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Despite his remarkable achievements, Jean Henry Dunant, who in 1901 received one of the first Nobel Peace Prizes, endured periods of ups and downs in his life, including bankruptcy, according to www.nobelprize.org, the official website of the Nobel Prize. Dunant …

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April 22, 2013 | by Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. in Ask the Expert

How Long Should You Keep Financial Records?

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It may be tempting to get rid of bank statements and other financial documents that seem to clutter your home or office. But don’t be too quick to dispose of them. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation provides guidelines about how …

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