Bankruptcy And Creditor Relief Solutions In Dutchess County And The Hudson Valley
Although many economists say that we’re in the midst of economic recovery, many people in New York and beyond have yet to feel any significant financial relief. As a result of job losses and other calamities, many are struggling with debt to the point of considering filing for bankruptcy. Depending on your situation, bankruptcy may or may not be the right solution to your debt problem.
Our bankruptcy attorney can inform you of your options and protect your long-term interests. Call 845-846-8262 today to discuss your situation in a free consultation.
How To File For Bankruptcy In New York
When you are faced with filing for bankruptcy, you may feel a sense of anxiousness or become overwhelmed by the bankruptcy process. Our attorney understands that this is a difficult time for you and your loved ones.
It is important to follow these steps when filing for bankruptcy in New York:
- Collect a record of all financial documents such as pay stubs, bank statements, and financial documents.
- Complete necessary bankruptcy forms
- File your forms in court
- Attend a 341 meeting between you and your creditors
New York Debt Relief And Bankruptcy
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy: This is known as a “liquidation bankruptcy.” Notwithstanding its name, with almost all Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, the debtor (the individual who files for bankruptcy) does not have his/her property “liquidated” as will be explained below.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy: If your income is more than the means test maximum, you can still file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you would have to pay back a percentage of what you owe over a period of three to five years. It has many benefits such as stopping foreclosures and protecting collateral from repossession.
How Are Taxes Handled In Bankruptcy?
Have questions regarding how the U.S. government deals with taxes when someone files for bankruptcy? We have written several blogs addressing this:
- Discharging IRS Debts Under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcies
- You Can Discharge Income Taxes in Bankruptcy
Still have questions? Our bankruptcy lawyers are here to help! Call today to discuss your situation in a FREE consultation.
What Debts Are Discharged In Chapter 7?
Generally, all unsecured debts are discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Unsecured debts are any debts incurred by the debtor without a security interest.
Examples of unsecured debts include:
- Credit cards debts
- Medical bills
- Student loan debts
- Most other bills
The goal of Chapter 7 is to give the honest debtor a “fresh start” by eliminating dischargeable debts and giving the debtor an opportunity to continue to be productive members of society. Chapter 7 debtors are allowed to file a petition every 8 years.
Hear From Our Happy Clients!
“Mr. Fakhoury took away all my worries when I needed to file for bankruptcy. I went to several lawyers around the county and none of them compared to how Mr. Fakhoury explained and went about working on my case. He made me completely understand what my bankruptcy was about and best of all he saved my home!!!”
– A Happy Client
What Happens When You File For Bankruptcy?
Once you file bankruptcy, the bankruptcy law grants you an “automatic stay” which is a prohibition against any creditor from calling you or billing you, or suing you in their attempts to collect on a debt.
In other words, once you file a petition in bankruptcy, it is against the law for your creditors to harass you. Further, if your bank account is “frozen” or if your paycheck is being garnished, the creditor must immediately “unfreeze” your account and stop any garnishment or any lawsuit once you file.
Many people fear that they will “lose everything” if they file for bankruptcy. This fear keeps people who should file for bankruptcy from doing so. New York and federal bankruptcy laws have property exemptions that provide protection for various kinds of assets.
For example, in most instances, your house, car, furniture, and personal property are exempt. In other words, nothing happens to your property if your property falls within the exemption parameters.
Generally, within 18 to 24 months of your discharge, your credit rating can also be good enough again for you to be able to finance a house or car at a competitive interest rate.
Can I File For Bankruptcy In New York Without A Lawyer?
Yes. Technically, anyone can file for bankruptcy without a lawyer to represent them. However, there are several reasons why having a bankruptcy lawyer on your side can be beneficial:
- An experienced lawyer can guide you through the process quickly and efficiently, without having to worry about errors
- Complex Chapter 7 cases and most Chapter 13 cases are difficult to file on your own because of the amount of work that goes into preparing the appropriate forms and plans- a bankruptcy lawyer in New York can handle all of the preparations for you
- Our firm offers free initial consultations, which means you don’t lose money by simply discussing your case with us; we’re here to help you recover!