Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney on Long Island, NY
Chapter 7 is one of the most common types of bankruptcy in the United States. Even so, it is widely misunderstood. Pervasive and harmful myths portray bankruptcy as financial ruin, wherein the government leaves nothing to the debtor’s name.
If you successfully file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, however, you will likely find yourself looking toward the future with renewed hope and confidence. Without the weight of debt, you can live your life more fully, take care of those you love, and begin to build better financial foundations for your future. No matter what led to your decision to file bankruptcy, you deserve a fresh start, and Robert H. Solomon, PC is here to help you find it.
How Does Chapter 7 Work?
Otherwise known as liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 7 will liquidate (i.e. sell) all your non-exempt property to repay your creditors. The court will then discharge any debt that cannot be covered through your non-exempt assets.
A non-exempt asset is any property you do not or cannot claim as exempt from the bankruptcy. Many people are surprised to learn they can keep most (if not all) of their assets when they file Chapter 7. Bankruptcy was created to rescue debtors—not punish them. As such, state and federal exemptions allow debtors to protect what they need to maintain their home and job.
Like most states, New York allows people to choose between state and federal exemptions when filing bankruptcy. If you choose NY state exemptions, you can likely keep:
- Alimony and child support
- Up to a certain value of tools of your trade
- Certain public benefits and retirement accounts
- 90% of earned wages received within 60 days of filing bankruptcy
- Other personal property, up to a certain value
- Up to $170,825 in residential property equity, depending on the property’s location
- Up to $4,550 in motor vehicle equity (nearly twice as much if you have a disability)
When the court discharges your debt, you are no longer legally obligated to pay. As such, your creditors are prohibited from attempted to collect it from you.
Contact Us to See if Chapter 7 Is Right for You
Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for this powerful form of debt relief. Chapter 7 is likely right for you if you do not have high-value assets or a steady income, and you will need to pass a means test to demonstrate that your income is low enough to qualify. If you cannot file Chapter 7, Chapter 13 may be an effective alternative. Our bankruptcy law team at Robert H. Solomon, PC can closely evaluate your situation to determine the best possible course of action.