Be The Kings & Queens Of Your Bankruptcy Lawyer

You’re drowning in debt and you’ve realized that you have no other option but to declare bankruptcy. Creditors are calling you left and right, you’re sick of getting nothing but calls for you to pay up. You’re scared to seek the legal assistance of a bankruptcy lawyer because you don’t want to fall into more debt. You’re wondering what a lawyer could possibly do for you at this point. A LOT! Here is what a bankruptcy lawyer can do for you:

Assist in putting your finances into order

Budgeting, accounting, payment plans, income and expenses: these are things that may have been too overwhelming for you to take care on your own. A bankruptcy lawyer can help make sense of your financial situation so that you understand exactly what kind of position you are in and what you can do about it. They’ll help you organize your financial records and explain how you can fix this mess.

Help you choose which bankruptcy chapter to file under

Bankruptcy cases vary depending on the available assets and the desires of the individual who wishes to file for bankruptcy. Individuals seeking to file for bankruptcy will file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. If you are in a hurry to be rid of your debts, you could file under Chapter 7, however it will liquidate most of your assets such as your home, jewelry, or anything of value that you own. If you have a steady income, and want to keep your assets, Chapter 13 might be more suitable for you. This bankruptcy allows you to pay off your debts within a span of 3-5 years and provide relief from interest rates and creditors. There are certain conditions to fulfill before filing under either chapter. An experienced lawyer can help you gather the paperwork needed for each case and recommend which would be more beneficial in the long-run.

Give assistance during court hearings

As you are filing for bankruptcy the court may require you to make an appearance. Not only will a bankruptcy lawyer accompany you to court, but they will make sure that you have all the documents you need to present to the judge. They will give you a briefing on courtroom etiquette, advice you on what to say and what not to say, and talk on your behalf when necessary.

Collaborate with your Creditors to help pay off your debts

Once you’ve hired an attorney and begun procedures for filing for bankruptcy, creditors are no longer allowed to harass you for payment. Your attorney will negotiate with the creditors on your behalf, setting payment schedules and rates, and establish how long it will take for you to pay off your debts. After the conditions have been agreed upon, it is illegal for creditors to contact you for money as it would be in violation of the “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act” which was established to protect consumers from being harassed by collection agencies.
Filing for bankruptcy isn’t the end of your financial independence, but it can be a very long and tiresome procedure. With all the pressure of having to face creditors and court hearings, it can get very difficult to think straight. With a Bankruptcy & Debt Lawyer by your side, the process can become more streamlined and you can focus on working to slowly but steadily pay off your debts while leaving the details to someone else.

 

R.A Bankruptcy Lawyer Queens NY 71-26 172nd St, Fresh Meadows, NY 11365 (718) 206-2512

The Basics of Bankruptcy in Queens, NY

We associate the word “bankruptcy” with dread and loss, and would fight to avoid declaring it, but the lawful function of this word is far from it. Many people believe bankruptcy is filed by companies, governments, and organizations that have failed, and is not something to be filed by individuals. In truth, there exists laws for personal bankruptcy to protect people who are struggling with crippling debt. If your finances are beyond your control you need to start taking steps to rectify your financial problems.

Gather your financial information and analyze it

You need to compile and organize all your finance-related documents to see how much money you are earning versus what you are spending and what you currently owe. Do you have several creditors? Are you constantly being contacted by collectors? Is your credit card bill going up faster than you are paying it? You need to make a tally of all the assets you have such as bank accounts, bonds and stocks, retirement funds, real estate, and anything you have of value. Once you have this, compare it to all the debts you owe, and any interest you may accumulate in the future. If your debts and liabilities are higher than your total assets, you may have to consider filing for bankruptcy because you would be considered “insolvent”.

Filing for Bankruptcy

As soon as you believe you need to file for bankruptcy, you can do so right away on your own volition. However, there are times when your creditors may also ask you to file. Bankruptcy laws vary depending on state therefore it is more advantageous to contact a Debt & bankruptcy lawyer to help with your case. A bankruptcy lawyer will look at your personal situation and help you navigate through the process while abiding by your state’s laws. In general, most people end up filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 type of bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy under Chapter 7

This type of bankruptcy is pretty simple. Should you receive approval for this type of claim, your assets are liquidated and are used to pay off as much of the debt as possible. Basically, whatever valuable assets you have are sold and the money is used to pay off your creditors. This type of bankruptcy frightens most people because they end up losing most of their assets, however a lot of people are able to rebuild their lives from this point and aren’t held back by their debt anymore.

Bankruptcy under Chapter 13

Filing bankruptcy under chapter 13 allows people to keep most of their assets but is a bit more complicated to file. Individuals who have a consistent income are allowed to pay off their debts over the course of three to five years. This type of bankruptcy is more suitable for people who have business, properties, and other important assets they want to keep and protect. Creditors are not allowed to harass and contact the debtor once a judge approved this bankruptcy claim. In turn, the debtor must work and pay off the debts during the period allotted to them.

Filing for bankruptcy isn’t as scary as it sounds. To be able to negotiate the best terms for your bankruptcy and figure out which type of claim is better in your situation, you may want to consider hiring a specialized bankruptcy attorney to guide you through this ordeal. Ignoring the situation won’t help it, but taking it head-on will allow you to find a way to clear this problem and live with less anxiety and more ease. Be free of stressful debt and protect what you truly care about!

Bankruptcy Law: Chapters 7, 11 & 13 Explained

bankrupt monopoly man NY Bankruptcy is an option for resolving financial problems of individuals and businesses who cannot meet their financial obligations and to lessen the financial burden of some or all of their debts.

The United States Code or the Federal Bankruptcy Code has four bankruptcy filings in its Title 11, namely:

Chapter 7 on Liquidation;
Chapter 11 on Reorganization;
Chapter 12 on Adjustment of Debts of a Family Farmer with Regular Annual Income;
and Chapter 13 on Adjustment of Debts of an Individual with Regular Income.

In this article we are going to discuss only the three most commonly filed bankruptcy: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy – Liquidation:

This is the most common of all bankruptcy cases being filed as it is applicable to married couples, individuals, and companies. A debtor who files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy aims to start over paying his debts by writing off as much as possible and starting with a new clean slate.

In chapter 7, a trustee or administrator takes charge of the sale of the debtor’s assets to pay the debtor’s obligations. However, the federal and state laws provide a few exemptions to the sale of the debtor’s assets. The debtor may keep his own primary residence and other personal belongings.

Upon liquidation, the trustee acts as the administrator and gives partial payment to some creditors from the proceeds of the money raised from selling of the assets. After liquidation, it is not surprising that many creditors will not be paid so these financial obligations from them are considered “forgiven”. Those who file for Chapter 7 cannot file again within seven years and the remaining debts from the previous filing will not be discharged in the succeeding filing.
Alimony, child support and taxes are among the payables that cannot be discharged under any bankruptcy filing. Even student loans are rarely forgiven in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

 

Chapter 11 bankruptcy – Reorganization:

Organizations with heavy financial burdens often file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In Chapter 11, debtors propose a repayment plan for their debts as well as present a post-bankruptcy profitability plan such as searching for new sources of income and reduction of expenses. Once a debtor-company files for Chapter 11, the creditors are held at bay, and the company is protected from them for quite some time until the bankruptcy is approved and the repayment plan starts.

The debtor-company gets to keep his business, keeps creditors on hold, while preparing for the repayment plan of its debts. This is different with Chapter 7 because in Chapter 7, the debtor-company liquidates their assets to pay debts and start again after liquidation. For those who qualify for Chapter 11, they enjoy certain advantages as compared with the other types of bankruptcy filing.

Filing a petition for the Chapter 11 process

Once the debtor or the creditor has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the debtor’s obligations and collections are put into automatic stay. No creditors and collections can pursue any collection activities for the unpaid debts because of the automatic stay issued by the court. During this time, the debtor drafts a reorganization plan to negotiate a more achievable repayment plan and the debtor ceases worrying about their payables.

Chapter 11 Reorganization plan

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is meant to dispose the debts and obligations of the debtor. Chapter 11, which is good for businesses, is meant to give chances to the debtor to repay debts and at the same time, remain profitable.

To start with the repayment plan, the debtor renegotiates leases and contracts which results to debts either being discharged or being paid lower than the original debt totals or establish a different payment plan. At this point, creditors may work with the debtor and compromise on the payment terms.

A payment reorganization plan classifies creditors into different classes depending on how their claims are handled. They are ranked according to the most priority to the least priority. First priority payables are the state and federal tax agencies, the owed salaries and the stockholder interests — these are put into the first priority class. Secured creditors belong to one class, unsecured claims in another class and so on and so forth. There may be modifications in the plan as to the amount and terms of payment. Creditors vote on the reorganization plan and the court approves it.

As long as the reorganization plan is done in good faith, is reasonable, and complies with the law, the court usually confirms it. Once confirmed, the debtor starts to repay creditors according to the plan.

 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy:

To some extent, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are similar as they both allow debtors to pursue business operations, propose a reorganization plan for their debts, and formulate a profitability plan for their business. The only difference between the two is that while many can be qualified to file for Chapter 11, not many businesses, especially the smaller ones, are eligible to file for Chapter 13.

Chapter 13 can be filed by individuals with a regular income. An owner of a sole proprietorship business can file a Chapter 13 petition for his business. Small businesses that are operating through partnerships and other entities do not qualify for Chapter 13.

Chapter 13 has debt limitations that are periodically changing. At one period of time, Chapter 13 may be allowed only for debtors who owe not more than $350,000 in unsecured debt and $1,100,00 in secured debt. This amount may change from time to time. It is always best to consult a BAR authorized bankruptcy attorney regarding changes and regulation in the law.

A trustee is always appointed in Chapter 13 and their role is relatively limited. The trustee reviews the plan and other documents, presents recommendations to the court on how the plan will proceed. The trustee is also responsible for gathering the collection plan payments and takes charge of distributing the proceeds to the creditors.
Depending on what suits your needs, eligibility and preferences, please take as much time as needed to weigh your options wisely.

Books For Bankruptcy Lawyer In NYC

Filing For Bankruptcy: Attorney Costs & More

According to United States Bankruptcy Courts, 1,000,083 bankruptcy cases were filed in the period between June 30, 2014-2015. In these dire economic times, many people may be forced to declare bankruptcy in order to start anew.

But filing for bankruptcy is a big decision and you should carefully consider all of your options before you do so. There are people who file for bankruptcy don’t actually need to and end up going through a difficult process that would have otherwise been unnecessary.

If you decide that you do need to file for bankruptcy, you should know that there are costs associated with successfully navigating the bankruptcy process.

Filing Fee

Here’s a quick run-down of the costs you may incur when filing for the two main types of bankruptcy:

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: $335

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: $310

This data is from the Fee Schedule of the United States Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of New York. There are other types of bankruptcy, but they are not the ones that are commonly filed by individuals.

But the fees above only cover the fees of filing for bankruptcy. You might also have to pay a professional to help you navigate the process.

Hiring an Attorney

If you are reading this guide and are considering filing for bankruptcy, it should go without saying that you are strapped for cash. If that is the case, you are likely considering doing the whole thing by yourself to save money. Actually, some Chapter 7 filings may be simple enough for you to handle on your own.

In many cases however, things may become too complicated for you to handle.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies and some Chapter 7 cases involve processes that may be too difficult to learn in a short period of time. If you make a mistake during the process, you could end up having your case dismissed.

The success rate of self-representation (Pro Se) in the Central District of California for example, is at 60.9%, while the success rate with attorney representation is at 94.5%. The chances of success for a bankruptcy filing significantly increase with attorney representation.

Another thing you should consider is the opportunity cost of learning about the process yourself. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will go through paper work much faster than you can.

The time you spend filing the bankruptcy yourself can be spent earning money or trying to find other ways of improving your situation.

According to the National Bankruptcy Forum, attorney fees in New York City range from $1 000 to $2 200 for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This may vary however depending on the complexity of the case. The national average for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is about $3 000, but as in the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it may vary depending on the complexity of the case.

What If I Don’t Have Enough Money?

Many of us will at some point go through the experience of having nothing but spare change in our pockets. If you need to file for bankruptcy but don’t have the money to go through the process, there are ways to get the process done for free.

If you can’t afford the filing fee, you can get it waived if your household income is less than 150 percent of the income poverty line.

If you don’t have enough money to get an attorney there are a lot of places that offer free legal assistance to people in need.

The NYC Bankruptcy Assistance Project for example, assists New Yorkers with lower income to get the education and legal help they need. You can also go to the Bankruptcy Resources Website of the American Bankruptcy Institute to find help in your state.

Getting Creditors Off Your Back

Many people don’t often realize the urgency of their financial problems until they start getting phone calls and notices from their debtors. Once reality starts to sink in, many will have to find a good debt management strategy to start paying back their loans.

One of the most popular debt management strategies is debt consolidation. It is often seen as an easy way to simplify your payment by taking out a loan from a third party to pay back all of the smaller loans that you may have taken out.

Here are some of the reasons that people choose to consolidate their debt:

  • It takes away the hassle of making multiple payments.
  • It lets you preserve your reputation and protect your credit rating.
  • It usually gives you lower interest rates than when you pay for multiple debts.

There are, however, some disadvantages to consolidating your debt. The first is you need to have a stable source of income in order to qualify for debt consolidation. It can become even more costly to you if you fail to make your payments. You also have to have good credit history in order to qualify for debt consolidation.

Bankruptcy

Unlike debt consolidation wherein you still end up paying all of the money you owe, bankruptcy gives you the chance to eliminate or restructure your debt.

One of the best things about bankruptcy is that something called ‘Automatic Stay’ comes into effect. It stops most lawsuits and any collection activity that anybody may be trying to engage.

Through automatic stay, you will be protected from having your utilities taken away, foreclosure, eviction, the collection of overpaid public benefits and multiple wage garnishment.

The two main types of bankruptcy that people usually file are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy,  your unsecured debt ends up getting eliminated. This includes credit card debt and medical debt. When you file for this type of bankruptcy, a trustee is appointed to sell of your assets that aren’t included in your state’s bankruptcy exemptions.

This type of bankruptcy is best for people who don’t mind living frugally for a few months and just want to get rid of their debt and start anew.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If your income is too high to qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will have to go for chapter 13 bankruptcy. When you file for this type of bankruptcy, you will have to pay back a at least a portion of your debt through a repayment plan. The main advantage of chapter 13 bankruptcy is that you get to keep all of your property and not only the ones that are up for exemption.

To sum it all up, here are the biggest pros and cons of declaring bankruptcy:

Pros

  • Protection of automatic stay
  • Discharge of most if not all unsecured loans

Cons

  • Bankruptcy is on your public record
  • Your Credit rating takes a hit

Being in a bad financial situation is very stressful. Having creditors constantly contacting you adds to that stress. Bankruptcy is the best way to get creditors off of your back so that you can focus on finding ways to make the best of your situation.

And though you might take a reputation hit, the chance to begin anew is likely worth the effort of building yourself back up again.

past & future in NYC bankrupty

Debt Lawyer: Declaring Bankruptcy Vs. Debt Consolidation

According to data from the American Enterprise Institute, the economy of the United States generated 5.6% more output in the year 2013 than back in the fourth quarter of 2007. In addition, corporate profits now exceed pre-recession peak levels by more than 40%.

The bad news is that output is being produced at the cost of the jobs of two million workers.

In these tough economic times, it is becoming harder and harder to find, let alone, keep a job. If you find yourself unemployed and with more debt than you can hope to pay off, you might have to choose between these two debt management strategies.

 

Debt Consolidation

For people who want to maintain a good reputation and credit score, debt consolidation is usually the way to go.

When you consolidate your debt, you take out a loan that you use to pay for all of the smaller loans that you have. Supporters of this strategy present it as being easier than having to manage multiple debts.

Pros

It’s Simple

As mentioned above, simplicity is one of the main reasons that people like debt consolidation. The psychological benefit of not having to juggle multiple loans is immense.

Your Reputation is Protected

Anyone who puts in enough effort is sure to find out about your history with bankruptcy. Debt consolidation on the other hand, can’t be found on public records. Debt consolidation also usually doesn’t affect your credit score

Cons

There a Chance Your Property Will Get Taken Away

If you end up defaulting on your loan payments, any property that used as collateral may end up getting taken and used to satisfy debtors.

Hidden Costs

Though debt consolidation gives you a chance to pay less per month and have a lower interest rate, staying in debt for too long could make you end up spending more than you originally planned.

 

Bankruptcy

If you file for bankruptcy, you could either end up eliminating or repaying your debts with the supervision of a bankruptcy court. There are generally two main kinds of bankruptcy: liquidation and reorganization.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is classified as liquidation. That is because a trustee will sell your property to pay back your debt. Not all property can be taken and sold as some of it is protected under the law.

Though there are three different kinds of reorganization bankruptcy, they all share something similar. All of them reorganize your debt and allow you to repay your debt under a repayment plan.

Pros

Protection

Once you declare bankruptcy, you are under the protection of the law. The ‘automatic stay’ prevents your creditors and collectors from trying to collect from you. You will be protected from lawsuits, phone calls, repossessions, foreclosures and garnishments.

A Clean Slate

Though your credit rating may take a hit, filing for bankruptcy gives you the chance to eliminate most of your unsecured debt and start anew. Building your credit score back up is easier than having to live from hand to mouth for a few years.

Cons

Your Reputation Takes a Hit

Because bankruptcy records are available at the courthouse where you filed, anyone who searches hard enough is going to know. There is also the inevitable hit that your credit score will take.

credit card bankruptcy debt

Four Debts You Cannot Eliminate When Filing for Bankruptcy

Many individuals considering bankruptcy are often under the assumption that virtually all their debts are included if they file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation) or Chapter 13 bankruptcy (debt restructuring).

Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are some debts that cannot be eliminated even if you go the drastic route of filing bankruptcy. These include:

  1. Student Loans

In most cases, student loans are not discharged when you file for bankruptcy. This, unfortunately, includes all types of student loans. Whether federal loans, private loans, or school loans, it’s not as easy to get rid of especially since these types of loans are exempted from bankruptcy law.

The only way around this is if you can somehow prove at the time you file for bankruptcy that you will never be able to acquire work due to disability and that it is impossible for you to pay off the loan. It is, however, very difficult to qualify for exception so most bankruptcy lawyers advise against following this course.

One option to decrease the burden of student loans is to apply for an Income-Based Repayment Plan or the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. Those who qualify for either plans still have to pay off their student loans but payments are reduced based on financial ability to pay. Loans can also be forgiven after 10 or 25 years of payments either based on one’s career choice or if under the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan, regardless of career choice.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Plan is another way to ease the burden of student loans. Under this plan, eligible candidates can apply for employment in government agencies or nonprofit agencies to pay off their loan. Those who can prove that their income is less than 150% of the federal poverty level will have $0 loan payments for as long as they remain within that income margin. However, 120 monthly payments is still required before the loan is forgiven. It is also worth noting that this plan only applies to federal direct student loans.

  1. Child Support

Both child support and alimony are exempted from bankruptcy law. All dues payable for this purpose cannot be discharged even after filing bankruptcy.

  1. Secured Debt

Secured debt is also exempt from bankruptcy. This applies to consumer debts like vehicles and other expensive items like jewelry. Once you file for bankruptcy, you either have to forfeit or pay off your remaining balance to your lender.

You can, however, surrender the item to the lender to wipe off your existing debt.

  1. Divorce Legal Fees and Ex-Spouse Credit Card Debt

Any legal fees acquired during a divorce and any credit card debt under your name or your ex-spouse cannot be wiped out with bankruptcy. If you are the party who agreed to settle all legal fees and debts acquired during your marriage, you will still have to settle all debts even after filing for bankruptcy.

It is important to check if your type of debt can be discharged to avoid unnecessary filing of bankruptcy.

Robert Aronov Esq: Call 877-529-6699: Bankruptcy lawyer in Queens, NYC, Brooklyn, Long Island & Manhattan. Cheap & inexpensive chapter 7-11-13 in NY

bankruptcy & debt law sign

Filing Bankruptcy: Part With Credit Card Debt

Buried in Credit Card Debt? What Are Your Options?

Credit card debt is one of the most common types of debt in the United States next to mortgage and student loan debts. As of September 2014, the average household credit card debt in the US (those with outstanding credit card debts) is about $15,607.

While these are large numbers, they are still manageable for those with stable employment but what happens if your credit card goes way beyond manageable numbers?

Many people have succumbed to bankruptcy because they owe more than they have or more than they earn in a year. This is why people are advised to use their credit cards responsibly. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

While no one wants to admit that they owe more than they can manage, if you have a large amount of credit card debt, there’s nothing else you can do but to look for ways to fix it before interest charges spiral out of control. If you have more credit card debt that you can manage it may be a good idea to speak to a local bankruptcy lawyer. Before that though, it may be a good idea to get acquainted with some of the legal options relating to debt & bankruptcy:

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you only have credit card debt, one option is to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you declare chapter 7 bankruptcy, your assets will be liquidated to pay off your creditors with the exception of some exempt property.

It is worth noting, however, that chapter 7 only takes care of unsecured debt like credit card debts, utility bills, and medical bills. These debts will be discharged if you file chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If you have other types of debt like mortgage debts and car loans, chapter 7 might not be a suitable option for you because this type of bankruptcy does not discharge secured debt liens.

To be eligible for chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to pass a means test to determine if your income is not enough to cover your debts.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

This is a suitable option for people with credit card debt and other types of debt. Chapter 13 does not involve liquidation of your assets, but rather a restructuring and consolidation of your current debt. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to restructure your debt and come up with a payment plan and timeline that will allow you to settle all your debts within reasonable means.

However, to be eligible for chapter 13 bankruptcy, you need to pass certain parameters (more than $1,149,525 of secured debt and $383.175 of unsecured debt).

Debt Settlement Plans

Since bankruptcy can significantly ruin your credit score, it is not to be taken lightly. Before considering bankruptcy, you should try to work out a repayment plan with your creditor. If you have significant debt and working out a repayment plan on your own is not an option, you can look through other debt settlement options like signing up for a debt settlement plan with an accredited firm. The firm will help you negotiate with your creditors and will help you assess your monthly income and finances so you can come up with a feasible plan to pay off your debt every month.