Attorney Nicholas W. Hicks
Nicholas Hicks - Two Ways to Reduce or Eliminate Crushing Debt With Lawyer Nicholas Hicks

Two Ways to Reduce or Eliminate Crushing Debt With Lawyer Nicholas Hicks

Lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains the difference between bankruptcy and debt settlement in New York.

People can find themselves in crushing debt for several reasons. Family emergencies, medical bills, or unemployment can take a toll on a person’s finances in a very short amount of time. In other instances, an accumulation of debt can be the result of poor spending habits and lack of budgeting. If you find yourself in this situation, Lawyer Nicholas Hicks of New York explains debt relief options to consider.

Bankruptcy and debt settlement are two common ways to clear debt that cannot be repaid. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that these options are only to be considered when all other avenues have been exhausted. Although these options can reduce or eliminate debt, there are other consequences to consider.

Bankruptcy

In New York, Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates most unsecured debt, no matter how much the amount. These include debt from medical bills, credit cards and personal unsecured loans. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks of New York notes that a disadvantage of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the possibility of surrendering certain non-exempt assets as a trade-off to eliminating debt. The Chapter 7 option take approximately 4 months to complete.

Unlike Chapter 7, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to keep all of your assets. However, you have to agree to pay back some, if not all, of the debt over a 36-60 month period. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that Chapter 13 also helps some people get caught up on mortgage arrears and in some instances can eliminate or reduce second mortgages/home improvement loans. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that if you default on the Chapter 13 repayment plan, your case can be dismissed, which could result in loss of monies paid and creditors may resume collection and foreclosure activity against you.

Debt Settlement

In some cases, it is better to work with a lender to negotiate a debt settlement. Once you can prove to the lender that there are no means to repay the debt, they may accept a lump sum less than the principal which is owed or set up reduced payments with you. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks of New York explains that it is common to settle for around 35 to 75 percent of the total balance. This choice may have less of a negative impact on your credit rating compared to bankruptcy. Attorney Nicholas Hicks further explains that you should also request that the lender report a favorable payment history with the various credit reporting agencies once you have completed your end of the agreement.

Lawyer Nicholas Hicks recommends contacting a debt relief attorney for help with obtaining financial freedom from debt. Learn more about debt relief from Lawyer Nicholas Hicks on his YouTube page at https://youtu.be/OrUyZvnQWOchttps://youtu.be/OrUyZvnQWOc

About Nicholas Hicks:

Starting from an early age, Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care at the age of 5 years old. Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private school where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School. Nicholas Hicks has been in private law practice in New York for over 20 years.

Nicholas Hicks - Child Support in New York

Attorney Nicholas W. Hicks on Child Support in New York

Before applying for child support in New York, Attorney Nicholas W. Hicks explains key facts you need to know.

When a couple files for divorce or otherwise share children in common, one of the first issues to address is who gets primary custody over the children. The noncustodial parent, who does not have primary custody, will, in most cases, be required to pay child support.  Attorney Nicholas W. Hicks explains how child support is handled in New York.

In New York, Family Court Officials determine the amount to pay. Parents are held accountable for supporting their children, in most cases, until the child is 21 years old.  Attorney Nicholas W. Hicks notes that any parent, guardian, or caretaker can petition for child support.

Attorney Nicholas W. Hicks encourages individuals to contact a attorney if they need help in locating noncustodial parents, establishing paternity, support determination, support collection, support enforcement, medical coverage for the children or enforcement, adjustment of child support amounts, or modification of child support orders. 

When working with a new client, Attorney Nicholas W. Hicks often hears, “How much will I be expected to pay in child support”? The New York courts use a general guideline to calculate the payment for the noncustodial parent. Factors include adjusted gross income and number of children requiring support. Attorney Nicholas W. Hicks notes that general guideline percentages under the Child Support Guidelines in New York.  Support is calculated on gross income (only allowing for the deduction of FICA). The support percentages are as follows:

  • 17% – One Child
  • 25% – Two Children
  • 29% – Three Children
  • 31% – Four children
  • 35% or more – Five + Children.

When filing a support petition, Attorney Nicholas W. Hicks recommends providing as much information as possible to the attorney.  

Information about the noncustodial parent should include full name, birthday, contact information, social security number, income records, and health insurance documents. Other useful information, if applicable includes a copy of the marriage license, current and/or previous child support orders, child-related expenses, divorce agreement, etc.

About Nicholas Hicks:

Starting from an early age, Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care at the age of 5 years old. Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private school where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School.

Attorney Nicholas Hicks Explains Grounds for Divorce in New York

Filing for divorce can be difficult. However, attorney Nicholas Hicks helps people in New York navigate through the process.

Ending a relationship isn’t as quick and easy as it used to be, before marriage that is. There are a million different reasons why a couple would choose to get divorced. However, when it comes time to file, the Plaintiff (person seeking the divorce) must establish the ground(s) for wanting the divorce. Attorney Nicholas Hicks helps people by explaining legal grounds for divorce in New York.

Legal Grounds for Divorce in New York

In 2010, New York implemented “no-fault” divorce, where the couple can claim a broken relationship that has lasted for a period of at least six months. However, attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that there are many other options which fall under fault-based grounds for divorce in New York.

1. Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage (no-fault)

Under this, the newest ground for divorce in New York, the Plaintiff must state under oath that the marriage is irretrievably broken and has been for a minimum of 6 months prior to the filing of the divorce action.

2. Cruel and Inhuman Treatment

Divorce can be filed under this category when there has been physical, emotional, or verbal spousal abuse. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that it creates an unsafe environment endangering someone’s physical or mental well-being. A judge will require evidence of those bad acts within the past five years.

3. Abandonment

One spouse (the defendant) must have abandoned the other (plaintiff) for more than one year. Attorney Nicholas Hicks describes abandonment as someone moving out of the home or changing the locks. If one party unreasonably refuses to engage in sexual relations, it can be considered “constructive abandonment.”

4. Imprisonment

If one spouse (the defendant in the divorce) has been imprisoned for three consecutive years or longer after the marriage, a divorce can be filed.

5. Adultery

Divorce can be filed if one partner committed adultery by cheating on the other. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that the adultery must be proven in a court of law. Proving adultery is often very difficult because, in New York, the evidence is needed from a third party.

6. Separation for a year or more in accordance with a filed written Separation Agreement.

Interestingly, parties do not have to physically separate and can in fact still reside in the same household after the execution of the Separation Agreement. However some Courts have held that the agreement is null and void if the parties begin living as spouses again (which has usually been interpreted as resuming sexual relations).

7. Separation for a year or more in accordance with a Judgment of Separation issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

About Nicholas Hicks:

Starting from an early age, Nicholas Hicks was rescued from N.Y.C. foster care at the age of 5 years old. Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private school where he eventually graduated from E.C.C., U.B. & U.B. Law School.

Lawyer Nicholas Hicks Shares 3 Things to Know Before Divorce in New York

Many people think approaching an attorney is the first step in a divorce, however, lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains three things you should do beforehand.

Divorce can be a complicated and emotional process to go through, even if it’s not a surprise. Those who are trying to navigate divorce in New York for the first time often turn to a lawyer. However, there are certain things to consider before making that initial contact. With more than 20 years of experience in private law practice, Lawyer Nicholas Hicks reveals three things to know before seeking a divorce lawyer.

1. Residency

Before filing for divorce, lawyer Nicholas Hicks recommends meeting the New York residency requirement. One spouse needs to have been living in New York for at least one year before starting the divorce or two years if from another state. Even if you were married in a different state, lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that you may still be able to file in New York-based on other criteria. Before contacting a lawyer, Nicholas Hicks recommends confirming dates of residency and preparing all relevant paperwork showing proof of such.

2. Legitimacy

Recently, New York incorporated “no-fault divorce,” where one spouse claims the marriage has been broken for six months or longer. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that previously, the legal grounds for divorce were based on someone committing offensive acts like adultery or abandonment.

However, if both people can agree about all issues related to the separation, lawyer Nicholas Hicks recommends proceeding directly with “no-fault” divorce. Issues that need to be settled usually include child custody, finances, and property. If those issues still need to be negotiated, you may need the help of a professional attorney, like Nicholas Hicks of Buffalo, NY.

3. Prepare Records

Even if both parents agree on a 50/50 split custody arrangement, lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that this does not excuse the higher earner from paying child support. In New York, children have the right to financial support from both parents until they turn 21 years old. Both total income and expenses calculate child support. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that generally, people can expect to pay around 17% income for one child, 25% for two children, and 29% for three. To make the process easier, prepare all financial records before meeting with an attorney.

About Nicholas Hicks:

Starting from an early age, Nicholas Hicks was rescued from N.Y.C. foster care at the age of 5 years old. Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from E.C.C., U.B. & U.B. Law School.