After I file for bankruptcy, will I have the right to own property?

After I File for Bankruptcy in New Jersey,  Will I Have the Right to Own Property?

In addition to the property that is exempt under New Jersey law, you will be able to come into possession of property after the filing.  However, if you receive income or property in the form of a life insurance payment, inheritance, or settlement, you may have to turn it over to pay creditors if the receipt is within a certain time period.  An experienced bankruptcy attorney can discuss anticipated payments or other potential transfers of properties and help you determine the timing of a bankruptcy filing or whether bankruptcy is not the right decision for you.

SOUTH JERSEY  BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY ANDREW CARROLL IS HERE to ANSWER YOUR DEBT RELIEF QUESTIONS

Although this blog and website provides some general NEW Jersey bankruptcy information, the process of filing for bankruptcy can be very complex. It is advisable to seek an experienced lawyer to discuss all of the legal nuances to assist you in preparing your bankruptcy filing. Working with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer is certain to accomplish your goals and help you achieve all the benefits that a bankruptcy filing was defined to provide.

To schedule an appointment to discuss your situation, please call us today at (609) 400-1302 to schedule your free debt relief and chapter 7 bankruptcy consultation.

ANDREW CARROLL
1228 Berlin Road
Voorhees, NJ 08043
Phone: (609) 400-1302
Fax: (856) 997-1031
Hours: Monday – Friday: 8AM to 6PM
(After hour and weekend calls accepted)

Bankruptcy Lawyer in New Jersey

Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New Jersey

Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New Jersey

When is a Chapter 7 the right choice for me?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filings, known as straight bankruptcy, may be the right option if you meet the income requirements.  This action basically wipes the slate clean, discharging most debts.

In exchange for this fresh start, you give up ownership of all property that is not exempt under New Jersey law.  This property is then sold to satisfy your creditors based on priority.

If you have a home or car that you want to retain but you are behind on payments, then this may not be the best solution for you since mortgage lenders or the holder of a car loan can take possession of your property in order to collect amounts due and owing.

Here is a list of New Jersey’s Bankruptcy Exemptions.

ANDREW CARROLL
1228 Berlin Road
Voorhees, NJ 08043
Phone: (609) 400-1302
Fax: (856) 997-1031
Hours: Monday – Friday: 8AM to 6PM
(After hour and weekend calls accepted)

Bankruptcy Attorney in New Jersey

Where to File Bankruptcy in New Jersey By County

U.S. Bankruptcy Court – District of New Jersey

WHERE TO FILE – BY COUNTY

As your bankruptcy lawyer, I will handle all of the aspects of your bankruptcy filing in New Jersey so that you can move on and get back to your normal daily activities. As my client, you can leave all of the time burdens and stress of the bankruptcy process to me.

As an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney in New Jersey, I try to ensure that new and potential clients have access to all of the information and tools they may be interested in obtaining. For example, below is a list of the counties in New Jersey where you file bankruptcy in the state of New Jersey.

Here is a list of the New Jersey counties and offices in which to file. As your attorney, it may be appropriate and easier to for you to file in a particular county in New Jersey that is closest to you. In some cases, I would be able to file your bankruptcy petition locally, however the bankruptcy hearing and court process would be held in the county in which you reside.

If you are filing a Chapter 7 Business Bankruptcy, the court hearing would take place in the county in which your main business office resides.

Below are a list of the New Jersey Counties and the offices in which the bankruptcy petitions are filed for that county. 

Camden Office: Atlantic County, Burlington County (Only the following areas: Cinnaminson, Delran, Edgewater Park, Evesham/Marlton, Maple Shade, Moorestown, Mt. Laurel, Palmyra, Riverside, Riverton), Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Gloucester County, and Salem County.

Newark Office: Bergen County, Essex County, Hudson County, Morris County, Passaic County, Sussex County, and Union County.

Trenton Office: Burlington County (The remainder of county – except the townships of Cinnaminson, Delran, Edgewater Park, Evesham (Marlton), Maple Shade, Moorestown, Mt. Laurel, Palmyra, Riverside, Riverton), Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Somerset County, and Warren County.


Shared Zip Codes:

07060

  • Plainfield/Union County = Newark

07062

  • Plainfield/Union County = Newark

07063

  • Plainfield/Union County = Newark

07069

  • Plainfield/Union County = Newark;
  • North Plainfield/Somerset County = Trenton;
  • North Plainfield/Somerset County = Trenton;
  • North Plainfield/Somerset County = Trenton;
  • Watchung/Somerset County = Trenton

07747

  • Matawan/Monmouth County = Trenton
  • Strathmore/Monmouth County = Trenton

07840

  • Hackettstown/Warren County = Trenton;
  • Mansfield/Warren County = Trenton;
  • Mt Olive/Morris County = Newark

08010

  • Aberdeen/Monmouth = Trenton;
  • Allamuchy Twp/Warren County = Trenton;
  • Washington Township/Morris County = Newark;
  • Beverly/Burlington County = Trenton;
  • Edgewater Park/Burlington County Exclusion = Camden

08037

  • Hammonton/Atlantic County = Camden;
  • Blue Anchor/Atlantic County = Camden;
  • Elm/Camden County = Camden;
  • Nesco/Atlantic County = Camden;
  • Sweetwater/Atlantic County = Camden
  • Batsto/Burlington County = Trenton

08075

  • Ancora/Camden County = Camden;
  • Braddock/Camden County = Camden;
  • Folsom/ Atlantic County = Camden;
  • Rosedale/Atlantic County = Camden;
  • Riverside/Burlington County Exception = Camden;
  • Delran Burlington County Exception = Camden;
  • Delanco/Burlington County = Trenton

08215

  • Egg Harbor City/Atlantic County = Camden;
  • Egg Harbor/Atlantic County = Camden;
  • South Egg Harbor/Atlantic County = Camden;
  • Green Bank/Burlington County = Trenton;
  • Bridgeboro/Burlington County = Trenton;
  • Devonshire/Atlantic County = Camden;
  • Germania/Atlantic County = Camden;
  • Weekstown/Atlantic County = Camden;
  • Lower Bank/Burlington County = Trenton

Clerk’s Offices: 

Newark Clerk’s Office
Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Building
50 Walnut Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone (973) 645-4764

Camden Clerk’s Office
U.S. Post Office and Courthouse
401 Market Street
Camden, NJ 08101
Phone (856) 361-2300

Trenton Clerk’s Office
Clarkson S. Fisher US Courthouse
402 East State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
Phone (609) 858-9333

My name is Andrew Carroll and if you have any questions about your debt problems, simply call me at (609) 400-1302 and I would be glad to discuss your debt relief options with you. We will review non-bankruptcy and bankruptcy options. I am here to help you stop the debt collection harassment letters and phone calls. I will help you to understand the differences between a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.

ANDREW CARROLL
1228 Berlin Road
Voorhees, NJ 08043
Phone: (609) 400-1302
Fax: (856) 997-1031
Hours: Monday – Friday: 8AM to 6PM
(After hour and weekend calls accepted)

Bankruptcy Attorney in New Jersey

Does My Spouse Have to File for Bankruptcy if I File for Bankruptcy in New Jersey?

Does My Spouse Have to File for Bankruptcy if I File for Bankruptcy in New Jersey?

You may file for bankruptcy without your spouse.  However, you should remember that your spouse’s salary and wages will be included in determining your income and your spouse will remain liable for any debts that are owed by the two of you.

As a New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer, I answer your debt relief questions over the phone or in person at my office. We will review all of your debt relief options – both non-bankruptcy and bankruptcy. I will help you to understand the differences between a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing to help you determine which of these is right for you. If filing for bankruptcy is the right choice overall in your situation, we can discuss the next steps in the process. Please contact me at (609) 400-1302 for your free New Jersey debt relief and bankruptcy consultation.

What Benefits Could I Receive From Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey?

What Are the Benefits of Filing for Bankruptcy in New Jersey?

The first thing that filing a bankruptcy action does is impose an automatic stay, which means that all creditors must stop all collection efforts, including a mortgage lender who may be trying to foreclose on your home.  In addition, bankruptcy can:

  • Discharge most, if not all, of your debts so that you no longer are legally obligated to pay them;
  • Force the return of repossessed property under certain circumstances;
  • Prevent the loss of utilities or provide the mechanism to get utility services restored;
  • Create an environment in which debt reorganization can be negotiated;
  • Provide a forum to challenge fraudulent debt; and
  • Present you with “breathing room” so that you can approach your situation with the goal of resolution rather than avoidance.

An experienced New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer, I will sit down with you and explain the differences between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 and help you determine which of these is right for you, if bankruptcy is the right choice overall. In order to schedule a time, please contact me at (609) 400-1302 to schedule your free New Jersey debt relief and bankruptcy consultation.

What is a Bankruptcy Action in New Jersey?

What is a Bankruptcy Action?

Bankruptcy is a legal action where a person who has incurred debts in an amount that he cannot pay, whether that is from the total accrual of debts during the course of every day events or the happening of an unexpected occurrence, can reorganize the debt or have it discharged without any further liability. Frequently, people who have experienced a major life event, such as a job loss, medical emergency, or divorce need to file for bankruptcy in order to get a fresh start.

An experienced New Jersey bankruptcy attorney, such as Andrew M. Carroll, can explain what all of this means for you and your unique circumstances.  I will sit down with you and explain the differences between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 and help you determine which of these is right for you, if bankruptcy is the right choice overall. In order to schedule a time, please contact me at (609) 400-1302 to schedule your free New Jersey debt relief and bankruptcy consultation.

Freedom from Your Second Mortgage Under a New Jersey Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Can You File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy on a Second Mortgage But Keep the House in New Jersey?

by New Jersey Chapter 13 Lawyer Andrew M. Carroll

In the aftermath of the real estate crisis, many Americans have found themselves underwater in their mortgages. In fact, a recent study revealed that a shocking 6.4 million homeowners are still upside down in their mortgages, despite the fact that overall home prices have risen dramatically. Nationally, there are over 48,988,792 outstanding mortgages. Over 6,000,000 are considered negative equity mortgages, in which the homeowners owe more than the property is worth. Another 1,548,082 are near negative equity. In New Jersey, of the 321,260 outstanding mortgages, 18,618 are underwater. Another nearly 9,000 homes are considered to have near negative equity.

For the tens of thousands of individuals trapped in upside down mortgages, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may offer significant relief. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide a tool to “strip” junior mortgages. Often, underwater homeowners took out second mortgages on their property, to be used for home improvement or to simply pay down debts. In the lagging housing market, it is frequently these second, or even third, mortgages that cause the overall debt to exceed the value of the home.

Under Chapter 13, a debtor can file a lawsuit during the bankruptcy process asking the court to modify the rights of the junior mortgage holder. Generally, all mortgages are considered secured debts, with the home acting as security. However, the Bankruptcy Code states that the second mortgage is only secured against the property if the value of the property is more than the first mortgage. For instance, if the debtor has a home worth $200,000 and has two mortgages, the first for $211,000 and the second for $40,000, then the second mortgage is not secured. Accordingly, the bankruptcy court can “strip” the second mortgage from the home and turn it into unsecured debt. Some or all of the unsecured debt can then be discharged under a successful Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Home Appraisal is Critical for Saving Your New Jersey Home from Foreclosure

The most important element to achieving the stripping of your second mortgage is the home appraisal. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13, obtain a full appraisal of your home before you file. Housing prices have behaved so erratically over the past few years that many homeowners lack an accurate understanding of their home’s true value. It will cost you some money for the appraisal, but the potential savings well justifies the expenditure. With the appraisal in hand, your bankruptcy attorney can better advise you as to whether your junior mortgage may be stripped.

You should not expect your mortgage to be stripped automatically—it may involve a courtroom battle. The mortgage company holding the junior lien will be significantly affected by the discharge of the debt, so they will challenge an action to strip. The bank can order a separate appraisal and offer it to the court as evidence the mortgage should not be stripped. From there, it is up to the bankruptcy court to decide which appraisal to accept.

Although it can take some effort and outlay of costs, obtaining a discharge from your junior mortgage through Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide substantial financial relief. Homeowners left underwater from the recent housing collapse should approach a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney for a thorough evaluation as to their potential options under Chapter 13.

Free New Jersey Bankruptcy Chapter 13 Consultation – Save Your Home

New Jersey Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Andrew M. Carroll is committed to ensuring each of our clients receives unparalleled legal representation. Attorney Carroll will fully explore your bankruptcy options and select the best means of helping you achieve a bright financial future. Call us today at (609) 400-1302 to schedule your free debt relief and chapter 13 bankruptcy consultation.

The Top Four New Jersey Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Myths Dispelled

The term bankruptcy tends to evoke much opinion and emotion. Many Americans hold a bleak image of bankruptcy and those who declare it. For most, their belief in bankruptcy is clouded by numerous misconceptions concerning both the process and those who utilize it. We have all likely heard some of the following “facts” about bankruptcy, such as: bankruptcy will ruin your credit forever; you will lose everything if you declare bankruptcy; only disreputable people declare bankruptcy; and bankruptcy is too difficult to pursue. The reality is, however, for millions of Americans struggling to stay afloat in the midst of oppressive debt, bankruptcy provides a fresh start without the negative repercussions many accept as reality without researching.

The Following is a List of the Top Myths Concerning Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

It is our hope that in debunking these misconceptions, you can form an accurate picture of the bankruptcy process and make an informed decision as to whether bankruptcy might be right for you:

Myth #1: Bankruptcy will destroy your credit for life—this myth seems so ingrained in the American psyche that it is rarely even questioned. However, it is grossly inaccurate. Bankruptcy will significantly impact your credit, causing a drop in your credit score of 200 points or more. For 10 years following the date on which you declare bankruptcy, it will be visible on your credit report. However, you can begin to rebuild your credit immediately after filing for bankruptcy, and achieve good credit in as few as two years. For many debtors, bankruptcy will actually be the quickest way to achieve good credit. When you are behind on bills, this information is continuously provided to the credit agencies, damaging your score constantly. When you file for bankruptcy, all negative reporting stops and you obtain the chance to build positive credit.

Myth #2: Filing for bankruptcy is too difficult to pursue—while bankruptcy will involve much paperwork and planning, a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney will make the process smooth and simple. An attorney with experience in the field will be able to answer all of your questions and navigate you seamlessly though the process to completion.

Myth #3: You will lose everything if you declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy—there seems to be a common belief that by declaring bankruptcy under Chapter 7, you will lose your home, car, jewelry, personal effects, and most other property. The reality is that many of these possessions are in fact considered exempt, and therefore not subject to seizure. Exemptions vary by state, but some of the most common include: motor vehicles, up to a certain value; your homestead; earnings of the head of household; life insurance; reasonably necessary clothing, household furnishings, or goods; appliances; personal effects; pension; tools of your trade or profession; and public benefits. With proper planning, your bankruptcy attorney can help to protect those assets you value most.

Myth #4: Only disreputable or unsuccessful people declare bankruptcy—some of our world’s greatest thinkers, inventors, sports players, talk show hosts, and leaders have declared bankruptcy and went on to astonishing success. Take a look at the following list of individuals: Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Walt Disney, Burt Reynolds, Henry Ford, Mickey Rooney, Larry King, and Willie Nelson. These individuals all share three traits: 1) they achieved great financial success, 2) they achieved fame, and 3) they declared bankruptcy. Millions of hardworking Americans turn to bankruptcy each year. Most of these individuals are not in debt because they refuse to work, spend frivolously, or make poor financial decisions. Rather, they are victims of a poor economy and lagging job market.

Free New Jersey Bankruptcy Chapter 7 Consultation – A Fresh Start

New Jersey Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Andrew M. Carroll is committed to ensuring each of our clients receives unparalleled legal representation. Attorney Carroll will fully explore your bankruptcy options and select the best means of helping you achieve a bright financial future. Call us today at (609) 400-1302 to schedule your free debt relief and chapter 7 bankruptcy consultation.

Glossary of Common Bankruptcy Terms

One of the things that most people find very confusing about the bankruptcy process is the number of terms and definitions that are routinely used in these cases. These words often are not used in other contexts, so their meaning may not be clear. Although this is not a comprehensive listing of all bankruptcy terms, it does include the more common words that you may see in doing your research.

Absolute Priority – This is the priority applied to creditors and the type of debt, as established in the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Adversary Proceeding – This action is initiated by a person involved in the bankruptcy case by the filing of a complaint. The trustee may bring this action to recover property or take issue with the actions of a creditor. The debtor also may file for an adversary proceeding if a creditor has done something to violate the automatic stay. These actions are not common in consumer filed Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases.

Automatic Stay – This provision takes effect as soon as the bankruptcy action is filed and serves as an injunction against any further actions to collect on the debts owed by the debtor, including through debt collection agencies, repossessions, garnishments, lawsuits, and foreclosures.

Bankruptcy – This is a formal statement that the debtor no longer has the ability to pay creditors. There are a number of different bankruptcy options available to individuals and businesses. A person who wants to discharge debt and satisfies the income requirements may file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy action. An individual who is behind in payments on a house or car, but wishes to retain possession if possible may file a Chapter 13 action where debt is reorganized and a payment plan is filed with the court.

Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) – This broad reform of existing bankruptcy law was enacted in 2005 in order to correct abuses of the bankruptcy system, but imposed many more restrictions on bankruptcy filings and was not viewed as beneficial to individuals needing the protections that bankruptcy afforded.

Bankruptcy Code – In accordance with the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, this was the designation given to the federal body of bankruptcy laws that directs how United States bankruptcy courts manage cases.

Bankruptcy Estate – This is the property of the debtor that falls under the control of the bankruptcy trustee during the course of the case. It can be assets that the debtor had at the time of filing or property that the trustee recovers during the course of the case and may include:

  • Personal property, including clothes, jewelry, furniture, artwork, other household goods, and automobiles;

  • Real estate, including the debtor’s residence;

  • Insurance policies;

  • Ownership interest in a business;

  • Business income;

  • Trademarks, copyright, goodwill, and other intellectual property;

  • Tax refunds;

  • Retirement plans, accounts, and pensions;

  • Personal injury settlements;

  • Payments from government programs; and

  • Property that was recovered from by the trustee from third-parties after a pre-filing transfer from the debtor.

Claims – These are filed by creditors who are seeking a payment from the debtor. Claims can fall into many different categories that establish the order in which they are paid. These classifications include secured, unsecured, matured, unmatured, liquidated, unliquidated, subordinated, fixed, contingent, legal, or equitable.

Credit Counseling Briefing – This is an information source about the types of credit counseling, which is mandatory for individuals filing for bankruptcy, that are available. It also provides support for those doing a budget analysis.

Creditor – A person or business who is owed money.

Debtor – A person or business who has outstanding financial obligations to a creditor.

Discharge – The wiping out of debt and conclusion of a bankruptcy case.

Dismissal – The termination of a bankruptcy case before there is a discharge of debts.

Exemptions – These are established under state and federal law and list the assets that are not subject to liquidation for the payment of debts in a bankruptcy case.

Foreclosure – The action taken by a mortgage holder to take possession of real property when the borrower has breached the terms of the mortgage agreement.

Garnishment – This is the process by which a creditor can claim a portion of the money being paid to a debtor in order to satisfy an outstanding obligation.

Lien – This is the claim against property that is taken in exchange for the provision of credit.

Liquidation – This is the action by which an asset of the debtor is converted into cash to settle debts, frequently through the sale of the asset.

Means Test – This was created by the BAPCPA and is used to determine who may file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy action. It calculates the current monthly income (CMI) of the debtor, which may be sufficient to qualify for Chapter 7 protections if the CMI is less than the applicable median income. If the CMI is above the median income, it is still possible to file for bankruptcy once the income is adjusted based upon accepted deductions and disposable income is calculated and compared to the outstanding debts of the individual. Chapter 13 involves a means tests of sorts used to calculate reasonable payments for the Chapter 13 plan.

Petition – The court filing that commences the bankruptcy action and triggers the automatic stay.

Predatory Lending – This is the term applied to lenders who take advantage of borrowers and lock them into agreements with interest rates and repayment terms that are extremely unfavorable to the borrower. Also applies to actions where fraudulent practices are used in procuring the loan.

Schedules – These are the documents that are filed with the initial bankruptcy Petition that detail information about the debtor’s assets, liabilities, income, and other financial information that is relevant to the disposition of a bankruptcy action.

Section 341 Meeting – Also referred to as a 341 Meeting or §341 Meeting, this is the first meeting of the creditors and the debtor and is scheduled by the bankruptcy trustee assigned to the case.

Trustee – The bankruptcy trustee is the individual who is assigned to a bankruptcy case once it has been filed. The trustee has the obligation to oversee all the activities of the bankruptcy case and ensure that all parties have satisfied their obligations. The United States Trustee in a Chapter 7 or 13 action is the employee of the United States Department of Justice who is charged with discharging the duties of the bankruptcy court.

Unsecured Debt – This term applies to any debt that is not protected by an interest in collateral that can be redeemed in the event of a default.

Free New Jersey Bankruptcy Consultation – Get Your Fresh Start

New Jersey Bankruptcy Attorney Andrew M. Carroll is committed to ensuring each of our clients receives unparalleled legal representation. Attorney Carroll will fully explore your bankruptcy options and select the best means of helping you achieve a bright financial future. Call us today at (609) 400-1302 to schedule your free debt relief and bankruptcy consultation.