Dedicated Bankruptcy Services on Long Island, NY
Helping Clients Attain the Debt Relief They Need
If you’re considering filing bankruptcy, you are likely in an extremely stressful position. Financial adversity affects all aspects of our lives, wreaking havoc on our ability to properly enjoy life and fulfill our needs. If you have children or other dependents, mounting debt could threaten the wellbeing of your entire family.
Due to the stigma surrounding bankruptcy, you may have spent months or years avoiding this procedure at all costs. While bankruptcy is typically the last resort for many people, it is not as devastating as many would believe. In fact, bankruptcy serves as a path to a brighter future for countless debtors throughout the country. Congress created bankruptcy law to rescue those in severe financial distress, and, if it suits your situation, you deserve to take full advantage of this form of debt relief. At Robert H. Solomon, PC, we are ready to stand by your side from beginning to end.
Reasons to Consider Filing for Bankruptcy
There are various reasons a person/family may decide to file for bankruptcy. The most common being losing a job and a large medical debt. Health problems make it impossible to keep your job, your options are either to be let go or quit.
There are many other reasons a person may want to file for bankruptcy. They include the following:
- You are getting/in the process of a divorce
- You are being sued by creditors because you were unable to make debt payments
- You are only able to pay for essentials using a credit card
- You are paying off a credit card amount by using another
- You are looking to withdraw from your 401(k) to pay your bills
What Our Team Can Do for You
Bankruptcy is a legal procedure in which individuals and businesses restructure or discharge their debt. Typically, a federal bankruptcy court oversees the entire process and/or appoints a trustee to manage all arrangements. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you file, your creditors may or may not have a say in your plan. They will not, however, be allowed to continue any debt collection actions during the bankruptcy process.
While bankruptcy is an effective solution to monumental financial strain, you may not reap the benefits if you attempt to go through this process alone. Since 1990, our firm has guided clients through bankruptcy and assisted with all related issues. We have the experience, skills, and legal resources you need to minimize the risks and maximize the benefits of bankruptcy.
Come to Robert H. Solomon, PC for assistance with:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is a 4-6-month process that liquidates assets to pay creditors. If you have multiple high-value assets, you may lose these in the process. Most people who file Chapter 7, however, keep their possessions and discharge most or all of their debt. To qualify, you will need to pass a means test, which demonstrates whether you have a low enough income to qualify for relief.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Rather than liquidating assets and discharging debt, Chapter 13 allows you to repay your creditors in 3-5 years. The court establishes a reasonable payment plan and discharges what your disposable income cannot cover in that period. Chapter 13 may be right for you if you don’t qualify for Chapter 7, you have a steady income, and/or you have valuable assets you want to keep.
- Understanding and navigating the bankruptcy process. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you file, the value of your assets, and the type of debt you owe, the bankruptcy process may require extensive preparation, step-by-step guidance, and in-court representation. Knowing exactly what to expect can help you take the steps you need to guarantee an effective and efficient bankruptcy process.
- Finding alternatives to bankruptcy. While bankruptcy is a powerful solution for many people, it may not be best for your situation. We can help you determine whether you could take advantage of other forms of debt relief. For every case, our goal is to provide highly personalized legal and financial counsel.
- Delaying or preventing foreclosure. When a homeowner falls behind on their mortgage, the lender may initiate foreclosure proceedings. This involves taking possession of the property, evicting the previous owner, and selling the home. Even if you are behind on payments or default on your loan, you still have options to delay foreclosure or prevent it entirely. We can help you develop the plan of action you need.
At Robert H. Solomon, PC, we believe you deserve relief from years of financial struggle. Let us help you find the path to a brighter future and a solution to what feels like a never-ending problem.
Q:Will my creditors continue to harass me if I file bankruptcy?
A:Bankruptcy triggers an automatic stay, which prohibits creditors from attempting to collect your debt or pursuing legal actions (e.g. wage garnishments, repossessions, lawsuits, etc.) against you. If your creditors have already initiated these actions, the automatic stay freezes them. Additionally, creditor harassment is illegal. Whether or not you have filed bankruptcy, creditors and collection agencies cannot engage in certain collection actions that are abusive, violent, or deceptive. If you believe your creditor has harassed you, contact us right away.
Q:How will my creditors know that I filed for bankruptcy?
A:Within 7-10 business days of filing the petition, the bankruptcy court will notify all creditors listed in your petition. You may want to contact them personally if you need immediate relief from collection actions.
Q:Can I discharge any type of debt?
A:No. Alimony, child support, and debts related to fraud or other crimes are not dischargeable. Additionally, very few people successfully discharge tax debt and student loans. You may be able to pay the IRS less than what you owe by making an Offer in Compromise, and you could potentially discharge student loans if you pass an undue hardship test.
Q:What about my utility bills?
A:Bankruptcy can discharge utility bills, as well. The Public Service Commission prohibits utility companies from cutting off your services simply because you file bankruptcy, but the company may require a security deposit after the bankruptcy process is complete.
Q:What happens when my debt is discharged?
A:If/when bankruptcy discharges your debt, your creditors can no longer attempt to collect it from you, and you no longer have any legal obligation to pay it back. Bankruptcies will typically remain on your credit report for several years (7 for Chapter 13 and 10 for Chapter 7), but they become less significant as time passes.
Q:Will bankruptcy ruin my credit?
A:Many people who file bankruptcy already have poor credit due to missed payments and other negative marks. Bankruptcy will likely not worsen this score, and the discharged debt may even improve it. While you should expect your credit rebuilding process to take several years, you will have ample opportunity to obtain secured credit cards or loans.
Q:Will I lose all my possessions if I file bankruptcy?
A:Some of your possessions will be exempt, meaning they cannot be liquidated to cover your debt. Property exemptions differ depending on whether you claim state or federal exemptions, but they typically include clothing, household furnishings, certain retirement accounts, and a level of equity in a vehicle or home. Due to these exemptions, many people walk away from bankruptcy with most (if not all) of their possessions.
Q:Will I have to go to court?
A:In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, you will need to attend the Meeting of Creditors. If you file Chapter 13, you may need to attend a Confirmation Hearing, where the court determines whether to officially approve your repayment plan.