Below is a general outline of what you can expect when declaring bankruptcy – the experienced South Jersey bankruptcy attorneys at McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC will be there to guide you through every step of the process.
- Get in touch with a New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer, who will determine if you qualify for bankruptcy and which type of bankruptcy is right for you. You’ll qualify for Chapter 7 if your income is below the median income for New Jersey – otherwise, you must declare Chapter 13. However, you still have the option of filing Chapter 13 if you qualify for Chapter 7.
- You’ll be required to provide your lawyer with financial paperwork documenting your current sources of income, monthly cost of living, major financial dealings within the last two years, debts , real estate and all other property and possessions.
- You’ll also take a required consumer credit counseling course from home within six months before declaring bankruptcy.
- Determine with the help of your attorney what assets are exempt from confiscation. Your attorney will then draft a three-page petition and other necessary documents and prepare you to file for bankruptcy at your New Jersey bankruptcy court. If you are filing for Chapter 13, your attorney must also propose a repayment plan on your behalf.
- Upon filing, the automatic stay begins. The court will be granted control of your debts and non-exempt property and creditors can’t contact you directly or threaten to seize any of your assets. If you declared Chapter 13, you must immediately begin paying off your debt in accordance with your payment plan. The Chapter 13 trustee will oversee your case to ensure that your creditors are being paid back as much as possible
- Approximately 30-60 days after filing, you’ll meet with the trustee to discuss your assets, liabilities and other financial matters.
- You will next take a mandatory financial management course.
- After you take the class, you’ll wait for your discharge to be approved – Chapter 7 filers will receive an approval about three months later. If you declared Chapter 13, your lawyer will attend a confirmation hearing for you, where your payment plan will either be confirmed or denied. If approved, your debt relief will be made permanent – this can take up to three to five years.
- Your lawyer will then assist in repairing your credit and answering questions.
Seek bankruptcy advice with a free phone consultation
If you think bankruptcy may help you through your financial problems but are wary because of the social stigma, the knowledgeable and compassionate South Jersey bankruptcy attorneys at McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC are here to put you at ease. We will explain all your options, detail how bankruptcy will impact your life, and dispel the myths you may have heard about bankruptcy. Call us today or fill out our contact form to schedule a free phone consultation and learn more about how bankruptcy can help.