Mount Laurel, NJ Bankruptcy Lawyers
While filing for bankruptcy can be an emotional experience, there are many benefits that follow. For starters, it relieves the stress of facing the repossession of a home. It also eliminates the fear of a vehicle being repossessed, utilities being turned off, and those pesky phone calls from creditors.
The highly skilled attorneys and staff at Young Marr & Associates are devoted to providing our clients with superb legal services. With our combined and diverse legal expertise, our attorneys are ready to assist you with any bankruptcy-related needs.
Whether you’re seeking advice on what to include in the paperwork for a Chapter 7 or you’re not sure whether you’re eligible to file, we want to help!
We stand with our clients. Before filing, our attorneys will work with you to first determine if bankruptcy is your best option. If bankruptcy is the answer, we will advise you on what type of bankruptcy to file, assist you in assuring all important facts are included in the paperwork, and make sure your documents are filed promptly.
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal process used to help liquidate a person’s assets who owes money to creditors they can’t pay back. The main purpose of filing for bankruptcy is debt restructuring, which allows the person to reduce, renegotiate, or eliminate their delinquent debts.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 ultimately offers protection from creditors. Unlike a chapter 13, a chapter 7 bankruptcy does not involve filing a plan of repayment, rather, the bankruptcy trustee gathers and sells the debtor’s nonexempt assets and uses the proceeds to pay creditors back. Under state law, some of the property is considered exempt and can be kept by the debtor. Following a chapter 7, whether the loan has been paid off or not, creditors can no longer attempt to collect money.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 also offers protection from creditors, but with a chapter 13 filing, the debtor works with the court to create an approved plan for the repayment of debts. This means property is not given up, but some or all creditors need to be paid back within a set time based on the person’s financial circumstances and determined by the judge.
When Should I File For Bankruptcy?
To be eligible for bankruptcy a filer must have a permanent residence, own property, or have a place of business in the United States. The filer must also complete a financial counseling course (although some filers may be exempt). U.S. citizenship and insolvency are not prerequisites of a bankruptcy filing.
Filing for bankruptcy makes sense in several situations. If you’ve attempted to negotiate a repayment plan with one or more creditors, but they aren’t willing to be paid out over time; your monthly liabilities exceed your assets; or you’re concerned your IRA is at risk of being liquidated; bankruptcy is a viable option to protect your assets.
If you’re unclear whether you’re qualified to file for bankruptcy, a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney from Young, Marr, and Associates will provide you with sound legal advice on the most beneficial option for you.
What to Expect
When you arrive at your scheduled appointment with one of our bankruptcy attorneys, you will be asked to fill out some paperwork to go along with other information you have provided. The attorney will then complete a bankruptcy petition and schedules. Most of the paperwork includes information about your assets, debts, income, and expenses.
When the schedules are complete, you will review and sign them. Your attorney will then file the documents with the appropriate bankruptcy court. Once the petition is filed, an automatic stay goes into effect immediately, which means collection activities must stop. Under the automatic stay, creditors are not allowed to call you or send collection letters. They also can’t repossess your car or other assets or continue legal action against you. An automatic stay also stops garnishment of your wages and IRA funds.
Within a few weeks, you will receive notification of the date, time and location of your bankruptcy hearing. It’s imperative you attend the hearing or your case could be dismissed. If for some reason a conflict in scheduling occurs, it’s important to consult your attorney or the bankruptcy court clerk as soon as possible.
At the meeting, the court-appointed trustee will verify you are eligible for bankruptcy and that your paperwork is accurate and in order. You should arrive about fifteen minutes early, bring a state issued photo I.D., your social security card and the notice you received from the court.
During the hearing, the trustee will call you forward and ask you a few basic questions such as whether you listed your debts and assets in the paperwork.
If you’re filing a Chapter 7, you’re finished unless the bankruptcy trustee requests additional information. If you’re filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will receive a discharge order after you have finished your court arranged payment plan. It’s important to keep the discharge paperwork in a safe place as proof that you’ve been cleared of previous debts.
The choice to declare bankruptcy is difficult, but the process is quick and the outcome is a fresh start with your finances.
Our Mt. Laurel, NJ Bankruptcy Attorneys Can Help
If you would like to set up an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney at Young, Marr and Associates, please contact us at (609) 755-3115. We are in Burlington County at 3000 Atrium Way, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054, near the Sage Diner and Copperfield’s Restaurant. From the New Jersey Turnpike, the Ramblewood and Ellipse shopping centers are on the left.