Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Life has a way of unsettling the best laid plans. Sometimes, dealing with unforeseen circumstances becomes the norm rather than the exception. Even the most financially-responsible people among us can be overwhelmed by the costs arising from an accident, an illness, a loss of employment, a reduction of hours at work, a spike in interest rates, a loss of overtime wages, a bill for an unexpected repair job, or some other change in circumstances.
The results of spiraling debt can be devastating: depression, relationship trouble, anxiety and sleepless nights, can affect an otherwise perfectly grounded individual whose expenses have grown unmanageable. This is why it’s essential not only for your mental, but also your physical well-being that you act to reduce your debts as quickly and prudently as possible by hiring a New York Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney. The longer one waits to take care of unpaid bills, the more a catastrophic outcome is likely to occur, such as the loss of a home, a car, or other cherished property. Not to mention the health risks posed from coping with long-term stress.
Don’t Let Financial Worries Overshadow Your Life
If you’re eager to restore a sense of balance to your life, then you may wish to acquire legal representation from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer. We, at the Law Offices of David I. Pankin, P.C., have helped thousands of people protect their property and obtain a new financial start. We invite you to contact our office by phone at 888-529-9600 to arrange for a free, initial consultation with one of our chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers. We have 3 convenient locations in Midtown Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn and Melville, Long Island. We have helped clients from all five boroughs, Westchester, as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Simply put: Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code is a provision under Federal law designed to assist individuals and businesses who cannot repay their debts. When a person files a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York, he or she is taking the initiative to reestablish control over their financial situation. Put another way, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help people turn over a new page in their financial history. The Chapter 7 New York filing frees an individual from having to pay dischargeable debts. These include credit card balances, bank loans, personal loans, court judgments, and medical bills. Of note, there are certain non-dischargeable debts that typically must be paid. These generally include tax debts, student loans, government fines, court fines, as well as child and spousal support.
A person who files a successful claim under Chapter 7 bankruptcy is able to retain all property categorized as exempt. Commonly exempted property includes:
(1) a certain amount of equity in your home, (2) a certain amount of equity in a motor vehicle; (3) most household items and personal property such as clothing, a wedding ring, or the tools of your trade; (4) most public benefits such as social security, disability, veterans benefits, worker’s compensation, (5) alimony and/or child support; (6) qualifying retirement accounts, pensions, and life insurance; (6) a limited amount of cash. Additional information regarding property exemptions can be found in our Property Exemptions in Bankruptcy article.
Typically, a New York Chapter 7 bankruptcy results in the sale or liquidation of the debtor’s nonexempt possessions or assets. A person known as the bankruptcy trustee is authorized to evaluate and sell off the debtor’s nonexempt assets. The proceeds of this sale are used to pay off creditors.
Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in NY
Recent changes in the bankruptcy laws require people who earn above the average income in their geographical area go through a means test to see if they qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York. A two-step income and expense analysis, the means test can be somewhat complicated for a person unfamiliar with its criteria to determine on his or her own. Not to worry. Our attorneys can guide you through the means test and help you to determine if you are an eligible candidate for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In the event you are not eligible, we can help you to explore other options such as Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Once you hire one of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys from our office to represent you, we begin working on your case immediately. It’s our privilege and duty to represent you throughout the entire bankruptcy process, from beginning to end. Once you inform the collection agencies that you’re represented by an attorney, they are required by law to stop contacting you. In some instances, declaring bankruptcy can stop home foreclosure proceedings as well as deter the repossession of property.
Contact our office by phone at 888-529-9600 to arrange for a free, initial consultation with a New York Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney.
We have 3 convenient locations in Midtown Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn and Melville, Long Island. We have helped clients from all five boroughs, Westchester, as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Remember,“bankruptcy is not the end, it’s a new beginning.”
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