ARE YOU CONSIDERING FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY IN NEW JERSEY?
Attorney Andrew Carroll is dedicated to giving you the answers that you need in order to make an informed decision about whether bankruptcy is the best decision option for you and, if it is, what bankruptcy action works for your specific circumstances.
If you are looking for a bankruptcy attorney in New Jersey, Andrew M. Carroll and his staff of legal professionals will use their years of experience in order to find practical solutions for your problems and will work with you to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy action if this is in your best interest. The focus of my practice is providing personal service and clear alternatives. I want to be sure that when you make a choice, it is based on all the information that you need to understand what you are doing.
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WHAT IS BANKRUPTCY?
Bankruptcy was created to be a fresh start for debtors by discharging debts while simultaneously allowing creditors to collect money that was owed to them from the available assets of the debtor. Bankruptcy law largely is based on federal regulations, although there are some issues that are governed by state law, including exemptions.
In order to commence a bankruptcy action, the debtor files a Petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the district in which the debtor resides. However, it is not as simple as filing a Petition. The debtor must prepare and submit a series of documents and schedules. These documents provide the details about the debtor’s liabilities, assets, income, property, both personal and real, expenses, contracts that involve possible financial gains or losses, and miscellaneous items pertaining to assets or debts.
As soon as a bankruptcy Petition is filed, there is an automatic stay that goes into effect. This stay is the legal mechanism that stops all collection actions against the debtor. The actions might include foreclosures, garnishments, property seizures, repossessions, collection agency efforts, lawsuits, judgment enforcements, and even the harassing telephone calls and letters sent by creditors. As soon as the stay is in place, the bankruptcy trustee will be assigned and begin the administration of the case. Once all the legal requirements have been met, the debt will be discharged in accordance with the rules of the bankruptcy court and the creditors will have no further ability to collect on that debt.
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South Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyer
With Bankruptcy Law Offices Near Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Gloucester County, and Ocean County.
When you are faced with a series of facts and financial realities that make you consider bankruptcy, it is likely that you are overwhelmed by the number of choices and considerations that loom in front of you. At a time like this, you need an experienced and dedicated attorney who will prioritize your needs and make sure that your questions are answered and that you comfortable with the legal strategy that has been selected.
South Jersey bankruptcy lawyer Andrew M. Carroll can help you determine the option that will get the creditors to stop harassing you while finding a way to manage your debt effectively. However, we are not going to push you into a bankruptcy action if this is not the right thing for you. With his years of experience, Andrew M. Carroll understands that every situation is unique and the legal choices that we make together must reflect your needs.
Free New Jersey Chapter 7, 13 and Business Bankruptcy Consultations
South Jersey bankruptcy lawyer Andrew M. Carroll focuses on meeting the needs of each individual client in order to help him or her get control of debt. I, Andrew M. Carroll, have created a practice where I can focus on a specific area of the law in order to develop the expertise to provide the right advice at the right time. In order to make sure that my clients are confident in their choice to retain the services of South Jersey Bankruptcy Attorney Andrew M. Carroll, I offer a free initial consultation. This first meeting is your chance to tell me what has happened in your life to make you consider a bankruptcy filing. I will review your financial information and help you to make a decision that works for you and your family. I decided to offer this as a free service because I did not want economic concerns to prevent you from learning about what I can offer you.
Although I have many years of experience in representing people in bankruptcy actions, I do not automatically recommend a bankruptcy case. There are many different factors to consider, including the amount of debt, whether the debt primarily is secured by collateral such as a house or car, and what your goals are in going through a bankruptcy action.
During the free initial consultation, we also will discuss what circumstances in your life have resulted in an inability to pay your debts. This includes whether you recently lost your job, experienced a serious medical condition that prevented you from working or resulted in serious medical bills that overwhelmed you and your ability to pay, or have gone through some other life-changing event. We also will focus on whether you have attempted to negotiate payment plans with any of your creditors. Often, the creditors will resort to bullying tactics in order to scare a person into paying a bill. However, these same creditors are willing to discuss alternative arrangements when an attorney gets involved in the process and bankruptcy is a real possibility.
One of the things that you may not have considered in thinking about filing for bankruptcy is whether the creditors for your long-term debt, specifically including your mortgage lender, did something wrong in issuing the loan in the first place. There are many regulations that a lender must satisfy and over the past few years, we have seen how many ways these lenders have violated the laws through the use of predatory lending practices. If you have been the victim of this type of loan, we may be able to use this information as leverage in negotiating a loan modification that will reduce the interest rates that apply to the loan and might even result in a decrease in the total principal loan amount.
BANKRUPTCY IS AN OPTION IN NEW JERSEY
Although I am committed to providing you with all of the legal remedies that may be available to you, I am confident in my ability to obtain relief for you through the filing of a bankruptcy action if your circumstances justify this path. Some of the issues that may have driven you to this site and your contemplation of various bankruptcy options may include:
- A pending home foreclosure;
- The threatened or actual repossession of your vehicle;
- Garnishment of your wages to satisfy a debt;
- Creditors obtaining judgments against you;
- A sudden and unexpected loss of income, whether from a job loss or a divorce;
- Collection agencies regularly call your home demanding payment of debts; and
- Credit card debt that continues to build.
There is relief for these financial hardships through the filing of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy if this is the best solution for you. Depending on the type of debt that you have and your motivation in filing the bankruptcy, you may choose different individual bankruptcy paths. In order to file a Chapter 7 case, you will need to satisfy the income requirements. This option is not available to everyone, but more people qualify for this “straight bankruptcy” than realize it from an initial review of the criteria.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will serve to wipe out the debt of a filer, with some limited exceptions. This filing is the “fresh start” that the Bankruptcy Code was intended to provide. However, by initiating a Chapter 7, you may not be able to maintain possession of your home or car. There is a homestead exemption under Kansas law, but this does not prevent a mortgage holder from exercising its right to take possession of the collateral that secures its loan. We will discuss whether you are in a position to go this route during the initial evaluation of your case.
The filing of a Chapter 13 action is a reasonable alternative to Chapter 7 for many people. This action permits the reorganization of debt and allows a homeowner to retain possession of the home or car if a suitable Chapter 13 plan can be created. This action does allow for the discharge of some debt at the conclusion of the case. With this action, the debtor is committed to a repayment plan that lasts from 36 to 60 months (3 to 5 years), so it is a long-term commitment.
When you are ready to take the next step and speak with an attorney to learn about your rights and how you can start on the path to financial solvency, we are here for you. South Bankruptcy Lawyer Andrew M. Carroll represents clients in throughout New Jersey.
TYPES OF BANKRUPTCY IN NEW JERSEY
There are many different types of bankruptcy, but only two of which are generally available to individuals based upon income level and the nature and amount of the debt. The types of bankruptcy include:
- Chapter 7 – This is the bankruptcy filing that liquidation of debts for people who fall within the limited income category;
- Chapter 7 Business Bankruptcy;
- Chapter 9 – Governmental entities that need to file for bankruptcy do so under this chapter;
- Chapter 11 – A business will file for Chapter 11 when it seeks to reorganize existing debt in order to keep operating as a going concern;
- Chapter 12 – The filing option for fishermen or family farmers who need to adjust debt;
- Chapter 13 – This is the other filing typical for individuals who want to discharge some debt and adjust other amounts owed without having to satisfy low income requirements;
- Chapter 15 – The rare cases where there are cross-border or other ancillary issues.
ELEMENTS OF BANKRUPTCY COMMON TO CHAPTERS 7 AND 13 FILINGS
Although there are differences between the various types of bankruptcy actions, there are common elements in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings. Once a case is filed, a bankruptcy panel trustee is assigned to the action. The case administration is overseen by the United States Trustee, which is a division of the United States Department of Justice.
At the beginning of the case, the trustee calls a Section 341 meeting of the creditors of the bankruptcy filer. In these types of cases, this is the only time a debtor will have to appear at court. During this meeting, the creditors have the opportunity to put the debtor under oath and ask questions relating to the debt; however, this rarely is done. This is more of an informal legal proceeding wherein the trustee reviews all the information that was provided in the initial filing and asks the debtor questions in order to clarify the details of the case. If the filing was a Chapter 13, the trustee will use this opportunity to gather information about how much money and other assets the debtor has to satisfy outstanding debts.
WHAT IS A BANKRUPTCY TRUSTEE?
A trustee is assigned to each case, but there also is a bankruptcy judge assigned to each file. Most individual filers never have to appear in court before the judge, but it is possible that a dispute between the debtor and the trustee, creditors, or third-parties will arise and the judge is available rule on matters arising out of the bankruptcy case.
A bankruptcy filing results in the creation of an “estate” that includes any assets of the debtor or any property that was recovered by the trustee. Once the action was commenced, the property of the debtor belongs to the estate and is controlled by the trustee. This control does not mean that the debtor will lose the property. The debtor will be able to keep certain property depending on the exemptions that are in place.