Filing Bankruptcy? What to Expect
When individuals and business owners throughout Long Island, including Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Queens, are in need of a bankruptcy lawyer, they know they can depend on Richard S. Feinsilver, Esq. In his 25 years of practice, Mr. Feinsilver has successfully helped more than 7,500 people overcome their financial hardships. Whether you are interested in debt consolidation, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, this highly reputable bankruptcy attorney can assist you so that you can start fresh and get back on your feet financially.
Filing bankruptcy isn’t an easy decision to make; but, if the bills are piling up, your credit is crumbling, and you see nothing but darkness in your financial future, bankruptcy can help you finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even if you know that it can be the lifesaving solution to your troubles, filing can seem like a daunting and downright harrowing process. By being prepared for what awaits after you decide to file, you’ll have an easier time working through the process. Furthermore, being familiar with what to expect can help to make your future even brighter, as you’ll be able to establish an effective plan that will help you avoid trouble thereafter.
Wondering what to expect when filing bankruptcy? Below, you’ll find an overview that will help guide you through the process.
When declaring bankruptcy, there are two main options:
- Chapter 7. This bankruptcy plan liquidates all of your assets, thereby discharging your debts. With this option, you may have to forfeit some of your belongings, such as your home, your cars, and any other assets that you own, including jewelry, fine art, or even your business. Doing so will allow you to settle your debts and completely clear a large portion of your financial slate.
- Chapter 13. Also known as the wage earner’s plan, with Chapter 13, your debts will be consolidated and you’ll repay at least a portion of them. You’ll make a single monthly payment to a trustee, who will then distribute the funds to your creditors. Under the Chapter 13 plan, you are able to keep your assets, including your home, your vehicles, and other property that you own. What’s more, some of your unsecured debts, such as credit card balances, may be forgiven once the life of the bankruptcy plan expires.
The Filing Process
Once you decide that you would like to move forward with bankruptcy proceedings, you will need to fill and file all necessary paperwork and issue all requested documentation.
After your case has been filed, you will be assigned a trustee, who will review the paperwork you have provided, as well as your debts in what is referred to as a “means test”. This test assures that you aren’t committing an act of fraud, which could negatively impact creditors and result in serious ramifications. An example of fraud would be opening up several new credit cards and charging them to their limit right before you file. Try not to worry about the means test; as long as you are honest and have supplied all of the necessary information, everything should turn out fine. Ultimately, the results of the means test will determine that you are, in fact, eligible to file and which type of bankruptcy you should be filing under.
Important Things to Note
Don’t assume that bankruptcy is a free pass to a clean start on your financial life because it isn’t. Some of the most important things that should be noted when you file include the following:
- You’ll still have some debt. You won’t walk away scot-free; you’ll still be responsible for some of your debts. Things like federal student loans and court-ordered child support cannot be discharged; neither can any tax debt that you owe. This is true whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. If you are filing for the wage earner’s plan, you will be responsible for paying back your debts, as this plan does not liquidate your assets; but, your payments will be lower and more manageable.
- All debts must be filed. Don’t try to hide any of your debts; you need to share them all. However, if there is a debt that you would like to continue paying a specific debt, discuss it with your attorney, who will be able to enter a reaffirmation agreement for you.
- You may be accountable for new debts. In an effort to protect creditors, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) has established stringent rules and regulations; one of them being the way in which new debts are handled. If, for example, you take out a new credit card and max it out right before you file, the charges may be deemed fraudulent, in which case the debt won’t be discharged. In the best case scenario, you’ll be responsible for the charges, but in the worst case, your entire case may be nullified.
Need Help Filing Bankruptcy?
While you can file bankruptcy on your own, hiring a lawyer is highly advisable. An attorney will be able to assist you with the process and ensure that it goes as quickly and easily as possible. Instead of wasting time searching “bankruptcy attorney near me” on the internet and coming up empty-handed, contact Richard S. Feinsilver, Esq as soon as you decide you want to file. This highly regarded, experienced attorney specializes in bankruptcy law and is dedicated to helping his clients achieve the best results possible. To schedule a consultation, call 516.873.6330 at your earliest convenience.