Burlington County, NJ Bankruptcy Lawyers
Being unable to keep up with your debts is always a stressful situation. When your bills keep piling up and you find yourself avoiding your phone or mailbox for fear of another notice from your creditors, the basic tasks of day-to-day life can turn into a nightmare of anxiety and fears about you and your family’s future. If you’ve reached a point where you’re constantly worried about how you’re going to pay back your financial obligations, it may be the perfect time to start considering bankruptcy as your solution. With the power of consumer bankruptcy on your side, you can stop your creditors from contacting you, postpone collection actions, eliminate or pay off your debts, and even start to rebuild your damaged credit.
However, while filing offers debtors numerous advantages and useful tools, it is also a highly complex and technical legal process. Let the dedicated Burlington County, New Jersey bankruptcy lawyers of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates help. Our committed and knowledgeable legal team has more than 20 years of experience filing over 5,000 cases, and in many instances, our clients are able to leap forward financially by as much as five to 10 years. To arrange for a completely free and private legal consultation, call our law offices at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania today.
How Can Bankruptcy Help? Why Should I File?
Bankruptcy suffers from an unfair and undeserved negative reputation. Contrary to popular belief, filing does not necessarily mean you will lose your home, or that your credit will be damaged forever. So what are some of the benefits of filing?
- Erase Debt — For most people, this is the biggest and best advantage of all. Regardless of which chapter you opt for, you can discharge or eliminate many of your major debts, including medical bills, credit cards, personal loans, and utility bills.
- Repair Credit — While filing initially has a negative impact on your credit, the long-term effects tend to be highly beneficial. If you’re behind on your debts, your credit is already damaged — but when you pay off or get rid of those debts through your discharge, you’ll be able to start fresh and make gradual improvements.
- Silence Creditors — For many debtors, little is more stressful and aggravating than the constant phone calls and letters from persistent creditors and collection agencies. When you file, you will be protected by the automatic stay, which freezes collection actions against you. Unless a creditor can manage to persuade the courts to lift the stay, it will remain in effect for the duration of your case. Not only does this help eliminate stress, it also gives you valuable time to help catch up and plan a strategy.
Are There Different Types of Bankruptcy?
There are many different types of bankruptcy. Some forms are reserved for large companies, while others are intended for use by individual debtors like yourself. There are two categories you may be able to file under, known as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. So how are these forms different from one another?
To begin with, Chapter 7 is a much more rapid process than Chapter 13. While Chapter 7 takes as little as four to six months to complete, Chapter 13 is a slower and more gradual process which a debtor completes over the course of three to five years. This is because unlike Chapter 7, Chapter 13 involves a long-term repayment plan. As a result, Chapter 13 is sometimes referred to as reorganization.
Chapter 7 completely cancels most debts instead of utilizing a repayment plan, and as a result, certain nonexempt property may be sold by the bankruptcy trustee in order to help pay off your creditors. For these reasons, Chapter 7 is generally reserved for debtors with the greatest degree of financial need, whereas Chapter 13 is more appropriate for debtors with enough disposable income to satisfy the terms of an ongoing repayment plan.
Before you file, you’ll have to submit to Means Testing to help determine which chapter is more appropriate for you. Fortunately, the Means Test is very simple and compares your income against the median income for a New Jersey household of your size. If your income is lower than the median, you qualify for Chapter 7, but may still be able to file for Chapter 13 if you can realistically accommodate a repayment plan. If your income is higher than the median, you will have to file for Chapter 13 unless you are able to make enough deductions to qualify for Chapter 7.
Our Burlington County, NJ Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help
The process and preparation work can be complicated to navigate, but our highly experienced Burlington County, New Jersey bankruptcy attorneys will guide and counsel you at every step of the way. To schedule a confidential case evaluation totally free of charge, call our law offices at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online today.