North Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you were injured in a car crash, everyone you know has a lawyer for you. However, if you are facing significant financial troubles, the offers of legal help rarely come. This is partially true because people avoid talking about economic woes. Loneliness and helplessness accompany overwhelming debt, enforcing the thought that you have no good way to get out of debt. At Young, Marr & Associates, we are sympathetic to those challenged by personal financial crises. We are also aware that there are several solutions available – one of the most valuable ones being personal bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy can be a scary word, but our North Jersey bankruptcy attorneys have over two decades of experience assisting residents of North Jersey with the complex labyrinth of the Bankruptcy Code. Call Young, Marr & Associates at (609) 755-3115 to speak with an attorney. Your initial consultation is completely free.
What Filing for Bankruptcy in North Jersey Does for Your Debt
The first thing to realize is that bankruptcy is a federal system explicitly designed to help – not punish – individuals and businesses devastated by debt. The relevant provisions of the Bankruptcy Code allow debtors to either eliminate a significant portion of their debt or enter into a three- or five-year restructuring plan to pay their creditors. These laws also afford them many other protections. Our experienced North Jersey bankruptcy attorneys will thoroughly evaluate your income, assets, and financial goals and assist you in determining if bankruptcy is your best option.
There are several different types or “chapters” of bankruptcy available to individuals. The most effective chapter for you will depend on the kind of debt you have, your household income, and what you hope to achieve. Most people in North Jersey file under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in North Jersey
For individuals with limited income and primarily unsecured debt, such as credit cards or medical bills, Chapter 7 might provide the best option for eliminating debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as “liquidation” or “no-asset” bankruptcy and takes approximately five to six months to complete.
Through Chapter 7, you can eliminate a significant amount of your debt. The Bankruptcy Code divides debt into two distinct categories: dischargeable and nondischargeable debt. Most debt is dischargeable, including debt from credit cards, medical bills, utility bills, and personal loans. This means that the debt is entirely eliminated when you receive your discharge order from the court.
Nondischargeable debt survives a bankruptcy filing. There are particular types of debt that the Bankruptcy Code designates as nondischargeable, including alimony, child support, certain taxes, personal injury liabilities arising from drunk driving accidents, and criminal restitution.
A potential disadvantage to filing for Chapter 7 is the requirement to sell your personal assets through a court-appointed trustee to pay your creditors. However, in many cases a debtor’s property is protected from sale by provisions in the Bankruptcy Code called exemptions. These exemptions list specific property the debtor can keep during the bankruptcy. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys will assist you in determining what property can be kept and what property can be sold. If your Chapter 7 case would require selling a significant amount of your property, our North Jersey attorney might advise filing for Chapter 13 instead.
Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in North Jersey
For individuals with significant household income or facing foreclosure of their house, Chapter 13 provides both financial benefits and the means to save your home. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can reorganize your payments to creditors and halt any actions against your home, giving you time to breathe as you pay back what you owe.
One of the documents filed in Chapter 13 is your proposed bankruptcy plan. This plan will list the creditors you plan to pay back and the monthly amount you will pay to a court-appointed trustee.
Every creditor is required to file a detailed proof of claim providing evidence of the amount due. Our bankruptcy attorneys will carefully review every creditor’s claim filed in your case to ensure that each debt is valid and appropriately addressed.
If your home is in foreclosure or scheduled for sheriff sale, Chapter 13 allows you to maintain possession of your home. In the meantime, you can pay back your mortgage delinquency through your bankruptcy plan. In many instances, such as when a sheriff sale is pending, Chapter 13 is the only available option to save your home.
If your income is too high to qualify for Chapter 7, Chapter 13 could still be a helpful tool for dealing with overwhelming debt. Through a complex calculation, your monthly income will be evaluated along with some of your actual expenses and predetermined deductions to establish your available disposable monthly income. You will be required to pay this amount towards your unsecured debt.
There are significant advantages to paying your creditors through bankruptcy as opposed to other options, such as a consolidation loan or debt settlement. First of all, you will usually pay substantially less than the total amount you owe. For example, if you owe a total of $80,000 in credit card debt and medical bills but your available disposable monthly income is $500, you will ultimately pay only $30,000 ($500 each month for 60 months). Any remaining balance is discharged at the end of your bankruptcy. Additionally, you will not incur any income tax consequences when debt is eliminated through bankruptcy. If debt is instead forgiven through a settlement agreement, it is treated as taxable income.
Call Our North Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyer for a Free Consultation
When you are struggling with financial stress, you might feel there is no one available to help you. At Young, Marr & Associates, we recognize the emotional strain associated with that feeling of helplessness. Our attorneys have worked with North Jersey residents for two decades, providing compassionate, respectful representation in times of economic crisis. Call (609) 755-3115 to schedule a free, confidential legal consultation.