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Roman & Associates, PLLC Attorneys at Law

Filing Bankruptcy in New York City

Every individual, married couple, and business has the legal right to file bankruptcy in the event they become unable to pay their bills and feel crushed under the weight of accumulating debt. For many, bankruptcy can be a fresh start after tough financial times.

From the moment you file a bankruptcy, you’re granted an automatic stay, meaning your creditors can’t make any further collection attempts and your home is protected from foreclosure proceedings until your debts are discharged by the federal bankruptcy court. In New York, certain assets are exempt, including certain amounts of equity in your car and home; most of your clothing, furniture, and household items; items you need for your job; and benefits like child support, Social Security, retirement funds, and other forms of public assistance.

Though bankruptcy has many benefits, including a clean financial slate, it’s a serious step and should only be taken once alternative options have been considered with the guidance of an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney. Bankruptcy might not be the best option if you:

  • Have debts that aren’t dischargeable, such as child support, student loans, and criminal fines
  • Are likely to get into debt again soon after your discharge
  • Have non-exempt property that you don’t want to lose
  • Have mostly exempt assets and income
  • Have not filed your income tax returns.

Consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney here in New York is the best way to determine the right financial course for you.

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Types of Bankruptcy

Your personal bankruptcy attorney can help you determine which type of debt relief is best based on your unique financial circumstances and goals for the future.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code is the most popular choice for those who file—it saves you from having to pay bills you can no longer afford and eliminates many of your debts through discharge and liquidation. When you file Chapter 7 in New York, your personal assets are sold to pay creditors, and your remaining debt is wiped out, often in as a little as 90 days. Chapter 7, or liquidation bankruptcy, is probably the best choice for you if you:

  • Live in New York
  • Earn less than $55,000 per year
  • Do not own your home
  • Have less than $10,000 in assets.

Your eligibility to file Chapter 7 is determined through a means test that compares your average monthly income over the last six months to the median income for New York. If your income exceeds the median, you might need to file Chapter 13 instead. The state of New York also requires you to complete a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course administered by an approved agency. Your certificate of completion must be filed with your New York City bankruptcy forms.

While you’re not legally required to have a lawyer help you file, a knowledgeable Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer can help you best determine how to protect certain assets through federal or state exemptions.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13, also known as debt readjustment, allows the debtor to consolidate their debts into one monthly payment. The debtor continues to pay from wages until their debt is reduced after a period of three to five years, which must be outlined in a court-approved payment plan.

While Chapter 13 requires priority claims (like taxes and child support) to be paid in full, unsecured debts (like credit card and medical bills) can often be paid in part, some for as little as ten cents on the dollar. The general rule is that unsecured creditors should be paid as much as they would have received had you filed Chapter 7.

Chapter 13 is the better option for you if you:

  • Own your own home
  • Are facing foreclosure
  • Earn a stable and relatively high income.

It’s wise to consult with a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer to discuss whether you can afford to pay an additional payment to reduce your outstanding bills on top of your current monthly expenses.

Chapter 11

Chapter 11, also known as reorganization bankruptcy, is mainly the choice of businesses interested in staying operational while keeping creditors at bay and restructuring their debt. While Chapter 11 is available to individuals, it’s not as popular an option as Chapter 7 or 13, which are both simpler and less expensive. In a Chapter 11, debts are repaid under a creditor- and trustee-approved plan. There is no limit to the amount of debt that can be reorganized.

A Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Lawyer can help you determine whether this is a viable financial option for you or for your company.

Before filing any chapter of bankruptcy, you will need to gather all relevant financial documents. Your attorney will then guide you through pre-bankruptcy planning to identify your assets and look for possible exemptions. They’ll work with the court-appointed trustee in your case to ensure your paperwork is accurate and filed correctly. Afterwards, they can devise strategies to assist you as you get back on your feet and work to repair your credit.

New York requires you to attend a 341 Meeting of Creditors around a month after filing. If there are no challenges, your dischargeable debts will be discharged within three to six months. Those who file Chapter 13 will also be required to attend a hearing before a bankruptcy judge, and if your repayment plan is confirmed, your dischargeable debts will be eliminated once you’ve made good on your plan.

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Roman & Associates – Your Financial Lifeline

Attorney Bryant Roman has been helping New Yorkers seek a fresh start through bankruptcy for the last 15 years. No one should suffer crushing debt and worry month to month how they’ll ever pay it off—if that’s you, Roman & Associates will throw you a financial lifeline.

We’ll determine your best option for relief after performing an in-depth debt analysis, negotiate with your creditors, file all the necessary paperwork, and represent you in bankruptcy court. If keeping your home is important to you, we’ll negotiate with your mortgage holders to create a loan modification plan.

Bankruptcy is a complex process that should only be entered with the expert guidance of a trustworthy, qualified attorney. At Roman & Associates, our priority is to protect as much of your property as possible while settling your accounts with creditors and restoring your creditworthiness. Our goal is for each and every client to feel an immense sense of relief after filing.

We are here to answer all of your questions about bankruptcy and will support you through the entire process, from the pre-planning stage to the moment you’ve regained your financial footing.

Brighten your financial future by scheduling your free consultation with our qualified New York City bankruptcy lawyer today.

New York Office

305 Broadway
Suite 720
New York, NY 10007

Phone: (212) 228-4427

Fax: (646) 349-3222

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Phone IconFREE PHONE CONSULTATION (212) 228-4427

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