Atlantic County, NJ Bankruptcy Lawyers

Sometimes in life, we might face difficult situations that require us to take on debt to survive. However, if the weight of debt becomes too much to bear, filing for bankruptcy can provide some much-needed relief.

There are many situations that could lead you to file for bankruptcy, but ultimately, it could be the best decision for your financial future. The good news is that there are various options available depending on your assets and circumstances. Whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you, there are customized solutions to fit your specific circumstances. Beyond determining the right option for you, our team can help with many other aspects of your case to help you regain your financial security.

For a free case review, contact our bankruptcy lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane today at (609) 755-3115.

Types of Bankruptcy That You Can File For in Atlantic County, NJ

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Atlantic County, you have two options to choose from: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Although both options can help with debt relief, it is crucial to understand that each chapter has its unique benefits and can have a significant impact on your assets. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate your situation carefully and determine which plan is more suitable for your specific needs.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you are seeking a quick and simple way to settle your debts, Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be the ideal option. This form of bankruptcy, also referred to as “liquidation,” involves selling the petitioner’s assets to repay their creditors. You might be concerned about losing valuable possessions that are critical to you and your family. However, the federal government and the state of New Jersey provide exemptions to safeguard specific types of property. These exemptions ensure that the petitioner does not become entirely destitute following bankruptcy proceedings. Bear in mind that only one set of exemptions can be applied to your case.

If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is important to know that qualification is not a guarantee. Before filing, you must pass a “means test,” which evaluates your income to determine if you are unable to pay off your debts without bankruptcy relief. Our team of skilled bankruptcy attorneys can evaluate your case and recommend the best course of action for you. Additionally, we can offer support in preparing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy claim.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If an individual wishes to retain ownership of their property while going through bankruptcy, Chapter 13 is often the preferable choice. This option allows the petitioner to keep their assets as long as their repayment plan is sanctioned by the court. The plan must detail how the debts will be settled and what resources are available to attain this objective. An added perk is that the debts are often combined under the plan, resulting in smaller monthly payments at a lower interest rate. However, these plans can last from three to five years, and failure to make payments can negatively impact the case.

In order to qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, like with Chapter 7, passing a means test is necessary. The court will evaluate your circumstances to confirm that you possess adequate income to meet the requirements stated in your payment plan.

Ways That Our Bankruptcy Attorneys Can Help Your Case in Atlantic County, NJ

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is a difficult choice, and it is understandable that residents of Atlantic County might be uncertain about whether it is the right solution for their financial problems. Our bankruptcy lawyers are here to help you through these challenging times in various ways. We will carefully evaluate your case to determine the best bankruptcy claim to file and provide guidance on which debts can be discharged. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you choose, there might be a need to surrender some of your property, but we can help you take advantage of specific exemptions to protect your assets.

Determining the Type of Bankruptcy Claim to File

As mentioned, there are various options you can consider for bankruptcy, depending on your specific situation. If you have limited funds to repay creditors but own assets that can be sold to cover your debts, Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be a viable solution. However, keep in mind that this option could potentially put your valuable assets, including your home, at risk of being sold off. Alternatively, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be a better fit if you have a stable income and can make regular payments. With this option, you can retain your property after filing, but you must meet certain qualifications, regardless of which bankruptcy option you choose.

Automatic Stays

After your bankruptcy filing is approved, an automatic stay will be issued, which will immediately put an end to any creditor harassment. This implies that creditors will be prohibited from reaching out to you via phone, email, or any other means, and they will not be allowed to begin new collection efforts. The automatic stay will give you the necessary respite to concentrate on organizing your finances. Moreover, any lawsuits against you regarding the debts in your bankruptcy case will need to be put on hold. If your bank accounts have been frozen, they will be unfrozen too.

Determining Which Debts You Can Discharge

It is important to understand which debts can and cannot be discharged, and we can assist with that. Discharged debts will no longer hold you legally responsible, allowing you to focus on managing the ones that cannot be discharged. If you choose Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your assets will be sold to settle your debts, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan requires monthly payments for debt discharge.

In Atlantic County, some debts that might qualify for discharge include credit card bills, medical bills, alimony, homeowners association fees, and certain student loans and child support payments. The specific types of dischargeable debts vary depending on the bankruptcy type and requirements met. Once discharged, these debts are eliminated and no longer owed. However, some debts might not be eligible for discharge through bankruptcy, such as certain student loans and child support payments.

Evaluating Exemptions

When filing for bankruptcy in Atlantic County, you have the choice between two types of exemptions: state or federal. If you decide to go with New Jersey exemptions, you are allowed to protect up to $1,000 worth of general personal property through a wildcard exemption. However, if you opt for federal exemptions, you can apply up to $1,475 to any property, along with any unused portion of a homestead exemption up to $13,950. Keep in mind that depending on which exemption system you choose, some of your property might be inaccessible to creditors.

If you are married, you can typically take advantage of both options. When filing for bankruptcy in Atlantic County or anywhere in New Jersey, married couples who file jointly can claim a complete set of exemptions for each individual. Working with our proficient bankruptcy lawyers can enhance your chances of using your exemption options efficiently for you and your loved ones.

Our Atlantic County, NJ Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help

Call our bankruptcy attorneys at Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane at (609) 755-3115 for a free case review today.

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