If you are like many people, you may have reached a juncture in your life at which your debts have become unmanageable. Try as you may, you have found yourself deep in a sea of red with no hope for bettering your financial situation on the horizon.
Like many people, you may be in the sites of multiple creditors. Not a day may go by during which you are not receiving telephone calls and letters from collection agencies. All of this can be highly disruptive of your life.
If you have tried a number of different alternatives to bring financial stability to your life without success, the time may have arrived to pursue a bankruptcy. There are two options available to you when it comes to pursuing a bankruptcy in New York City.
You can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court establishes a plan through which you pay off some, or all, of your creditors over a period of time.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are able to obtain what is called a discharge of most or all of your debts. Discharge means that you will no longer be held responsible for certain debts at the conclusion of your bankruptcy case.
Filing for Bankruptcy
The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process formally commences with the filing of a petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court. Although you can file a petition on your own, many people in your position elect to retain the services of a bankruptcy attorney in NYC.
When the petition is filed, the bankruptcy court issues what is known as an automatic stay order. This is a decree from the court that requires all of your creditors to stop taking action against you to collect debts. Your creditors can do nothing further to pursue or collect money from you without specific permission from the bankruptcy court.
Qualifying for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Not ever consumer qualifies for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Before you file a petition seeking Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, you need to make certain that you actually qualify.
A major element of determining whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is what is known as the means test. The means test is a consideration of your income and expenses to ascertain what funds you have available, if any, to satisfy your obligations to various creditors.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Code changed in 2005, making it a bit more difficult to pursue a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A skilled, experienced NYC bankruptcy lawyer can assist you in determining whether or not you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Typically, a NYC bankruptcy lawyer will schedule what is known as an initial consultation to discuss your case. There normally is no charge for this preliminary meeting with a bankruptcy attorney in New York City.
Not long after you file a petition for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, what is called a creditor’s meeting is held with the bankruptcy court trustee. The creditor’s meeting provides your creditors an opportunity to appear in front of the bankruptcy trustee to ask you questions, under oath, about your assets and debts.
Bankruptcy Discharge Hearing
The last step in a bankruptcy case is the discharge hearing. It is at this proceeding that the bankruptcy court formally issues a decree relieving you of your legal obligation for some, or even all, of your outstanding debts. Provided there are no last minute issues associated with your case, the discharge hearing is a quick process. Indeed, in most instances, the bankruptcy court schedules a docket of multiple Chapter 7 cases that are ready to be discharged.
Please let the attorneys at Morgan Legal Group PC help. Give us a call, day or night, and one of our specialists will be able to help guide your path.