Fishkill Bankruptcy Lawyer
Helping Consumers Find Bankruptcy Debt Relief in Dutchess County
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.
A Fishkill bankruptcy attorney can inform you of your options and protect your long-term interests. Call (845) 795-3326 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
Your Options for Bankruptcy and debt relief
- 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 3 or 5 years. It has many benefits such as stopping foreclosures and protecting collateral from repossession.
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.
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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 bankruptcy. This fear keeps people who should file for bankruptcy from doing so. New York and Bankruptcy Laws have property exemptions which 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 - 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.
We are a debt relief agency and we help people file for relief under the bankruptcy code. Call our firm at (845) 795-3326 if you need assistance in Dutchess County.