Long Island / Suffolk Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys
Our Long Island / Suffolk Law group Can Help You Find Debt Relief Are you struggling to make your loan, mortgage, or car payment? When the financial aspects of your life become too difficult to manage, it is essential to learn about the options available to you to regain financial stability.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a great option for you if you are facing:
- Wage Garnishment
- Creditor Harassment
As soon as you file, an automatic stay is put into effect, which prevents creditors from taking further collection actions. Known as the liquidation form of bankruptcy, this is a process that allows you to completely clear away your debt and keep your exempt property. You can obtain a fresh financial start in a relatively short amount of time.
Are You Eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Long Island / Suffolk?
To determine your eligibility for Chapter 7, and decide if this process is right for you, the first step you should take is to speak with a New York bankruptcy attorney. The means test is a necessary evaluation of your income level compared with others within your area. It assesses people's true need for significant debt relief.
Due to the nature of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is most often appropriate for individuals who can no longer keep up with their debt—however, it is not always the solution for those with a regular income or those with a lot of assets that they would rather not lose. If you have little to no income, you may be a perfect candidate.
To determine whether or not you qualify for Chapter 7, you should have your financial situation evaluated by a skilled bankruptcy lawyer in New York. They will be able to see whether or not you have enough debt to justify filing or whether it would be better for you to file Chapter 13 and repay it over time with a repayment plan.
If you are unsure of how this process will affect you, you should discuss your financial situation during a free case evaluation with our law firm.
What Types of Debts Can Be Discharged? Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the following debts can often be discharged:
- Credit Card Debt
- Medical Bills
- Unsecured Loans
However, the following debts usually cannot be discharged:
- Student Loans
- Child Support / Alimony
- Unpaid Taxes
- Secured Loans
Will I Lose Everything That I Own?
For most people, the scariest part of Chapter 7 is the fear they will lose everything. While liquidation is part of Chapter 7, it does not mean everything will be taken away.
In fact, assets such as the following are often exempt:
- One motor vehicle
- Primary place of residence
- Life insurance policies
- Personal items such as clothing
- The Benefits of an Automatic Stay
After you file, you will experience some immediate relief.
An "automatic stay" will go into effect, preventing creditors from heckling you and trying to collect your debts. For the time being, these creditors will not be legally allowed to garnish your wages, go after your home or car or empty your bank account. This will buy you some time to reassess your financial situation. After all, how are you supposed to find a new job if you don't have a car or a house?
What to Expect After You File
When you file for Chapter 7, you are technically signing over your property and debts to the bankruptcy court. You won't be able to sell your property or settle your debts without the court's permission. However, you will be allowed to do what you please with the income and possessions you obtain after you file. The court acts through bankruptcy trustees whose primary duty is to ensure that you pay the creditors as much of what you owe them as possible.
They will go through your paperwork to see if there is any nonexempt property that you can sell to pay off your debts. They may also go through your financial transactions from the past year to determine if anything can be undone to free up some of your property to apportion to your creditors. Chances are, most of your property will be exempt from the bankruptcy process because of its insignificance to your creditors.
A couple of weeks after you file, you will be summoned to bankruptcy court for a "creditors meeting." Your appointed bankruptcy trustee will helm the meeting and question you about your bankruptcy and all the paperwork you filed. Typically, this will be the only time you will be required to visit the Long Island / Suffolk courthouse.