Gloucester County, NJ Bankruptcy Lawyers
If you are struggling financially and require relief from debt, filing for bankruptcy can provide the path you need to wipe the slate clean in Gloucester County.
When filing for bankruptcy, you will have to take the means test to determine if you are best suited for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Gloucester County. Either chapter can result in a debt discharge, but Chapter 7 will allow you to erase debt sooner than Chapter 13. You might choose to file for bankruptcy jointly with your spouse, depending on your situation. If you file independently, only your credit will be impacted. While the impact on credit is something to consider, it should not deter you from entering bankruptcy, especially if it is necessary to improve your financial well-being in Gloucester County.
Call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115 and schedule a free and confidential discussion about your case with our Gloucester County, NJ bankruptcy lawyers today.
How to Take the Means Test for Bankruptcy in Gloucester County, NJ
When entering into bankruptcy, debtors in Gloucester County will have to take the means test. The outcome of this test will sort you into one of two bankruptcy chapters: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
In order to prepare you for bankruptcy, our attorneys will begin by gathering your income information from the last six months. The means test takes your income information and compares it to the debt you have. If your income is high enough to allow you to gradually pay off your debts over time without causing you severe financial distress, you will not qualify for Chapter 7. This chapter of bankruptcy calls for an immediate discharge of many common unsecured debts, which is what makes it appealing to many debtors.
If the means test results confirm that you are ineligible for a bankruptcy discharge right away, you will most likely have to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Gloucester County. This is not necessarily a negative thing, as Chapter 13 bankruptcies stay on credit reports for less time and can still involve debt discharge after the requirements of a repayment plan are met.
How to Get a Bankruptcy Debt Discharge in Gloucester County, NJ
For many people living in Gloucester County, most of their debts are actually dischargeable. This means they can be erased by bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is such an effective tool in addressing debt because of the discharge. Certain unsecured debts, namely credit card and medical debt, are eliminated when a debtor files Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gloucester County. However, other debts are not dischargeable and must be repaid, regardless of the chapter of bankruptcy you file. If you file Chapter 7, dischargeable debts will be erased immediately. You can then identify assets for liquidation if you have remaining debts you need to pay off. Secured debts are typically not dischargeable, whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows for more debts to be discharged than Chapter 7. Debtors will have to wait for this benefit, as a debt discharge only happens in Chapter 13 bankruptcies once repayment plans are complete. Our bankruptcy lawyers will submit a repayment plan to the court within two weeks of your filing for bankruptcy in Gloucester County so that the process can start quickly. From there, it may be between three and five years until you get your discharge, depending on the size of your debt.
How to File a Joint Bankruptcy with Your Spouse in Gloucester County, NJ
You do not have to enter bankruptcy alone in Gloucester County. In fact, you and your spouse can declare bankruptcy together if it suits your financial situation.
In some cases, especially if you and your spouse both have dischargeable debt, it may be prudent to enter into bankruptcy together. Whether you do will depend on the size of your debt and your unique situation. If you would like to protect your joint assets from liquidation or ensure one of you has an unaffected credit score, you can file for bankruptcy independently, even if you are married.
Furthermore, you will not inherit your spouse’s credit or bankruptcy history once you marry in Gloucester County. While you might share credit cards or merge your finances in other ways that ultimately impact each other, your financial health is, in theory, separate from one another. So if you or your spouse file for bankruptcy independently, that decision will not impact the other.
Bankruptcy and Credit Scores in Gloucester County, NJ
Many people fear bankruptcy because of the impact they think it will have on their credit scores. While it is true that bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for some time, the benefits this process provides are typically reason enough for many to file in Gloucester County.
A bankruptcy can stay on a person’s credit report for up to ten years in Gloucester County, depending on the chapter they file. This does not mean that you will be unable to rebuild your credit after you exit bankruptcy, but that lenders or creditors will be aware of your financial history when you try to make large purchases or qualify for loans.
The longer you are unable to repay creditors or get a bankruptcy discharge, the worse your credit might become. As interest rates rise on your owed debts, your inability to pay them can also reduce dramatically, creating a cycle that can be hard to break if not for bankruptcy. Once you file in Gloucester County, you can put a plan in place to repay creditors and forge an intentional path forward to improve your credit and handling of finances so that your financial health can strengthen over time.
Learn More About Bankruptcy Today
Call (609) 755-3115 and get help with your case from the bankruptcy lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates today.