How Bankruptcies Work on Long Island, NY
Deciding to file bankruptcy is the first step on your path to a successful future. The next step is understanding as much as you can about the bankruptcy filing process. At Robert H. Solomon, PC, we are deeply passionate about helping our clients not simply file bankruptcy but learn as much as possible about this complex intersection of finance and law.
While bankruptcy involves thorough preparation and a substantial number of steps, our skilled and experienced guidance can simplify the process and provide invaluable peace of mind. We have helped countless clients file bankruptcy since 1990, and we want you to benefit from these decades of dedication to our practice.
Understanding the Bankruptcy Filing Process
Congress enacted federal bankruptcy laws to allow honest debtors to obtain fresh starts, new opportunities, and futures free from the pressure of crippling debt. Bankruptcy accomplishes this goal through debt discharge, which frees debtors from the legal obligation to repay their creditors. It also prevents creditors from attempting to collect the debt once it is discharged. Each chapter of bankruptcy has its own requirements, advantages, and intended debtors, and our team at Robert H. Solomon, PC can help you determine which chapter is right for you.
All bankruptcy cases are governed by both the Federal Bankruptcy Code and the rules of each local bankruptcy court. These codes describe the procedures the court will use to evaluate, restructure, and/or discharge your debt.
Here are the 10 basic steps of the bankruptcy process:
- Gathering all financial documents
- Determining property values and exemptions
- Determining whether you qualify for your chosen chapter (e.g. passing the means test)
- Completing an approved credit counseling course
- Filing the bankruptcy petition
- Paying the fee/requesting a fee waiver
- Submitting all documents to the bankruptcy trustee
- Attending the Meeting of Creditors
- Disputing creditors’ claims/eliminating liens
- Completing a debtor education course
Bankruptcy cases require meticulous attention to detail and comprehensive legal knowledge, not just because of the number of required steps but because of the nature of the adjudication process. In each bankruptcy case, the judge makes final decisions for every bankruptcy-related matter, from determining whether you are eligible to deciding how much debt to discharge. You will have very limited contact with the judge, however, and a vast portion of the process is purely administrative (i.e. conducted outside of court).
As such, it is vital that you complete every step of the bankruptcy process properly. Mistakes and missing information can lead to heavy scrutiny from the court and, in some cases, automatic denial. At Robert H. Solomon, PC, we can help you file your petition free of error, ensure you file the right chapter for your situation (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13), or help you find alternative solutions! We can help you keep the assets that matter most, and recover as soon as possible after the filing.