Somers Point, NJ Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy can be a frightening prospect, and people tend to emphasize the consequences more than the potential benefits. If you are in significant debt, a bankruptcy attorney can work with you to figure a way out.
Filing for bankruptcy begins with a call to a qualified lawyer. Your attorney can help you determine if you are eligible for bankruptcy and get your case filed to initiate an automatic stay. The automatic stay prevents creditors from harassing you or taking legal action. Depending on which bankruptcy chapter you file under, your case might be completed in as little as a few months or as long as a few years. Even if your case takes a longer amount of time, there may be various pros and cons, and you should evaluate all of them with your attorney.
You can schedule a review of your potential case for no charge with our bankruptcy lawyers by calling Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115.
How to File for Bankruptcy in Somers Point, NJ
While people often talk about the effects of bankruptcy, many do not understand how to actually file a case. While bankruptcy cases may involve a court and a judge, they are not exactly trials, and there is no jury. Your first step toward filing your case is to find an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to help you.
Your attorney can help you figure out if you qualify for bankruptcy. Not everyone is eligible, even if they have significant debts. Petitioners must pass a means test that measures their income and assets against their debts. In New Jersey, your household must earn less than the median household income for the entire state. If you earn more, you might have to file under a different bankruptcy chapter or explore other options.
You should begin the filing process as soon as possible, especially if you believe creditors might soon take legal action against you. Once your case is filed, the courts should issue an automatic stay. This stay will prevent creditors from trying to collect on debts, filing lawsuits, or repossessing property. This is especially important for people facing foreclosure, as foreclosure proceedings must halt in the face of an automatic stay, at least for a while.
How Long Does Filing for Bankruptcy Take in Somers Point, NJ
The time it takes to complete a bankruptcy case depends on multiple factors. First, the duration of your case varies by which bankruptcy chapter you file under. The most popular options for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy focuses on liquidating assets and using proceeds to pay debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often completed in only a few months. Chapter 13 does not involve the liquidation of assets but rather a reorganization of debts and the implementation of an effective payment plan. Chapter 13 filers might be on their payment plan for several years before their case is complete.
Possible objections or concerns from creditors also influence how long your case takes. For example, when a petitioner files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and proposes a payment plan, creditors can review the plan and object if they have concerns. If creditors object, you might need to revise the plan. Multiple objections might extend the timeline of your case.
Pros and Cons of Bankruptcy in Somers Point, NJ
As discussed earlier, people often highlight the negative consequences of bankruptcy over the benefits. Remember, bankruptcy is a solution to financial problems, not a punishment for poor financial decisions. Talk to our bankruptcy lawyers about the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy in your case.
One of the biggest benefits of bankruptcy is that some of your debts might be discharged. When the courts discharge your debts, you are no longer legally responsible for paying them. In short, the debts are legally cleared. This can be a huge relief for petitioners who lack the income to pay back large debts. Debts eligible for discharge may include credit cards, medical bills, and overdue utility bills.
If enough debts are discharged, a petitioner might be able to handle their remaining debts better and get a fresh financial start. Without overwhelming debt looming over your life, you might finally be able to start living your life without worrying about money.
Depending on how you file for bankruptcy, you can keep important assets. Petitioners are often concerned about their homes, vehicles, and other properties. If you file under Chapter 13, you can keep these assets while working on your debts. If you are okay with parting with these assets, Chapter 7 might better fit your needs.
While bankruptcy can be a big help, you should be aware of the potential consequences and drawbacks. Again, bankruptcy is not a punishment, but certain aspects of it are uncomfortable and might have lasting effects.
One of the biggest downsides to bankruptcy is the hit your credit takes. Many petitioners see their credit scores take a significant dip after filing for bankruptcy. Low credit scores might make it hard to take advantage of future financial opportunities.
For example, after filing for bankruptcy, people often have a hard time securing loans or being approved to rent a home or apartment. This makes finding a place to live, buying a car, or even opening a business difficult. It is possible to plan ahead for this and take steps to counteract the effect on your credit.
Another disadvantage is that not all debts are eligible for discharge. Some debts can never be discharged, and petitioners must make different plans to pay them back. For example, tax debts, spousal or child support, and various debts to the government cannot be discharged. Often, petitioners focus on ways to repay these debts while others are discharged.
Call Our Somers Point, NJ Bankruptcy Attorneys Today
You can make an appointment to review your potential case for no charge with our bankruptcy lawyers by calling Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115.