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What are cram-downs and stripoffs and why would I want them?

The term "cram-down" describes a way to reduce your debt on property in a chapter 13 bankruptcy. For example, if you owe $10,000.00 on a car that's only worth $6,000.00, the lender has no true collateral on $4,000.00 of the debt (he is "unsecured" on $4000.00 of your debt). A Cram-Down can change the terms of the loan so that you are now paying down the fair market value of the collateral ($6,000.00) over the course of a 5 year period (as opposed to $10,000.00 over whatever time was left on the original loan). The unsecured $4,000.00 difference has the lowest priority for payback, and it is often settled at a large discount. The cram-down is not applicable to primary residences, but is applicable to secondary residence (vacation homes). Also, if you have a second home loan that has become unsecured (due to losses in the home's value, for one example), you may be able to "strip off" the second loan because it is unsecured (the stripped off debt goes into the pool of unsecured debt and is paid at a fraction of face value and as a last priority over five years, with the final balance erased. This answer, of course, is an oversimplified short version. Please give a call for further discussion.

Attorney Paul B. Sherr serves clients in the following areas:

New York: Albany, Troy, Rensselaer, Saratoga Springs, Clifton Park, Schenectady, Hudson, Glen Falls, Washington County, Schoharie County, and Greene County.


Massachusetts: Berkshire County, including Pittsfield, Dalton, Washington, Otis, Becket, Hinsdale, Richmond, Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Alford, Sheffield, Tyringham, Monterey, Egremont, Cheshire, Adams, North Adams, Hancock, Williamstown, and Lanesboro.

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We hired Attorney Sherr for litigation with great results. His work is outstanding and to this day, he is my business attorney.
With my sincere thanks,
- - Mary A Busch

Dear Paul, I just want to take a few moments to express my gratitude for all the support and expertise you provided me in a situation I was certain had no solution. You were wonderful Paul. Thank you for my peace of mind.
- - Rose M.


I recently enlisted his help in a home owners insurance claim issue. He was very quick to get to the heart of the matter and had it settled in a very timely manner.
- - George and Carol Karlewicz


I needed advice about a financial problem, and I needed advice about bankruptcy. Attorney Sherr is accountable, thorough, and down to earth. I recommend him without hesitation.
- - N. Lowe

Paul Sherr made a difficult situation easy and understandable. I highly recommend his services. He took care of my case is a quick and efficient manner, while being generous with his time and fair with his fees.
- - Kathryn Levin
149 Main Street
Ravena, New York 12143
Phone: 518-533-5982
Fax: 312-253-1173

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