Princeton, NJ Bankruptcy Lawyers
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey reports that in 2013, a total of 30,210 bankruptcies were filed in the state of New Jersey. Fewer than 1,000 of these filings were made by businesses, while the vast majority — a total of 29,245 — were made by individuals. Among the 29,245 consumer filings made throughout the state, a total of 1,109 were filed in Mercer County. In other words, Mercer County accounted for nearly 4% of all consumer bankruptcies in New Jersey in 2013.
Consumer bankruptcy is far more common than most people initially realize. This is because bankruptcy is an immensely powerful financial tool which can be utilized not only to erase or mitigate debt, but also to halt creditor contact, stop collection actions, and end wage garnishment. Consumer bankruptcy offers petitioners a wide variety of benefits and advantages which can make a dramatic positive difference in a debtor’s day to day life.
Furthermore, the benefits of filing for bankruptcy often extend well into the future. Thanks to the clean financial slate which bankruptcy affords, debtors are often able to rebuild good credit in a short period of time. Many individuals with bankruptcies in their pasts even go on to purchase cars, or to buy a new home. Bankruptcy is not the end of your independence or stability. It’s the beginning.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy can be an extremely powerful weapon against debilitating debt, but only when a case is successful. While it is perfectly legal to file without an attorney, is extremely difficult for pro se (self-representing) debtors to resolve their cases successfully. The rules which govern consumer bankruptcy filings are notoriously technical, and their interpretation and application is complicated further by confusing discrepancies between state and federal regulations.
For example, debtors filing in Princeton are given a choice between claiming the New Jersey exemptions, or the federal exemptions. It is frequently difficult to determine which is the better option, and making the wrong choice could dramatically diminish the assets which you are allowed to keep.
Making a decision which is simply unfavorable represents the “best” case scenario. In the worst case scenario, a case could actually be completely dismissed. Any number of seemingly minor omissions or errors can result in total case dismissal, leaving the debtor without any of the protections or benefits which bankruptcy provides. To quote the official website of the United States Courts, “Bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences — hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended.”
End Creditor Harassment
In addition to eliminating numerous debts, filing for bankruptcy also invokes significant debtor protections under an “automatically” effective injunction called the automatic stay. Thanks to the powers of the automatic stay, consumers who file for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy can expect an immediate end to:
- Creditor contact. Creditors are legally prohibited from continuing to contact you. If creditors do attempt to contact you once your bankruptcy is in motion, they are in violation of the automatic stay.
- Collection attempts. Creditors cannot continue to make collection attempts against you. This means that any foreclosure actions or utility service shut-offs must freeze.
- Wage garnishment. If your wages are being garnished, your full wages must be returned to you under the automatic stay.
Eliminate Your Debts
Consumer bankruptcy has the power to reduce or completely eliminate many common and substantial sources of debt. Debts which can be eliminated through bankruptcy are referred to dischargeable debts, while debts which cannot be relieved through bankruptcy are called non-dischargeable debts.
Non-dischargeable debts include:
- Child Support
- Student Loans
- Tax Debt
If the bulk of your debt is rooted in alimony, for example, bankruptcy may not be the best option for you. However, many major debts can be discharged.
Dischargeable debts include:
- Credit Card Debt
- Medical Bills
- Personal Loans
- Rent Backpayments
- Social Security Overpayments
- Utility Bills
Our Princeton, NJ Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help
At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, our bankruptcy attorneys have over 20 years of experience representing the people of Princeton and New Jersey in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy cases. We have filed over 5,000 cases, and our seasoned attorneys are frequently able to advance clients financially by as much as five to 10 years. If overwhelming debt and harassment from persistent creditors is having a negative effect on your life, you may be an excellent candidate to file for consumer bankruptcy. If you or someone you love is interested in filing, or has questions about the filing process, a Princeton, New Jersey bankruptcy attorney from Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates is here to help.
Bankruptcy has helped millions of Americans to regain their footing, restore their self-esteem, and rebuild financial independence. If you are interested in learning more about how bankruptcy may be able to help you, call the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Princeton, New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer. You can also contact us online.