Hiring a competent New Jersey bankruptcy attorney is highly recommended to assist with Chapter 7 bankruptcy issues. While it is possible to file a bankruptcy case without the assistance of an attorney, it is extremely difficult to do so successfully because the relief available to you, the obligations imposed on you and the ramifications associated with the bankruptcy are extremely complex.
Bankruptcy attorneys specialize in bankruptcy law, which allows people who are in an extreme amount of debt to get a “fresh start” by either working out a plan to repay the money over time or completely eliminating the debt. Your attorney can advise you on what chapter you may file, when the best time to file is, whether your assets will be safe if you file, what bills are allowed to be eliminated, the length of time that payments can be extended, the possessions that are allowed to be kept, and all of the other details concerning bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy in the United States and is also referred to as “liquidation.” It strives to completely eliminate all of your legal liability to pay unsecured debt such as debt from medical bills, credit cards, and unsecured personal loans. You are allowed to keep certain exempt property, although most liens (such as real estate mortgages and security interests for car loans) survive.
It is recommended to have an attorney assist you with your Chapter 7 petition because of the multiple documents you will need to file. These include:
- Schedules of assets and liabilities, current income and expenditures, and executor contracts and unexpired leases
- A statement of financial affairs and of monthly net income and any anticipated increase in income or expenses after filing
- A certificate of credit counseling and a copy of any debt repayment plan developed through credit counseling; evidence of payment from employers, if any, received 60 days before filing
- A record of any interest you have in federal or state qualified education or tuition accounts
- A list of all creditors and the amount and nature of their claims
- The source, amount, and frequency of your income
- A list of all your property, and
- A detailed list of your monthly living expenses, i.e., food, clothing, shelter, utilities, taxes, transportation, medicine, etc.
Filing a petition under Chapter 7 stops most collection actions against you or your property. For advice on bankruptcy issues, contact a New Jersey bankruptcy attorney to schedule your initial consultation.
To learn more about bankruptcy law, click here.
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