Bankruptcy in Trenton, NJ
Are you contemplating bankruptcy or hiring a bankruptcy attorney in Trenton, New Jersey? Are you tired of creditors calling for payments you can’t make? Maybe looking for a way to get out of debt and have you exhausted all other options? Then bankruptcy might be the solution you seek. It is a legal option that can erase a portion or all of your debts.
Types of Bankruptcy in Trenton, New Jersey
Bankruptcy is a legal process that helps individuals and businesses get a fresh financial start. It eliminates a portion of or all of their debts or financial liabilities. In Trenton, NJ to be approved, individuals must prove they have a hardship that prevents them from staying current on their financial obligations. Keep in mind that not all debts qualify. Some liabilities, such as child support arrears, delinquent taxes, alimony, and student loans generally do not qualify for discharge. Consumers who find themselves falling behind in debt can file either Chapter 7, 11, or 13. To determine which option is right for you, you’ll need to assess your goals, assets, and income. You should also consider working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Trenton bankruptcies are under the jurisdiction of the US Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey. There is a court located at the Clarkson S. Fisher US Courthouse in downtown Trenton.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Many people find Chapter 7 to be the right solution for their circumstances because it provides them with the opportunity to start over financially. However, before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should thoroughly assess your income and ability to repay what you owe. You should also speak with a bankruptcy attorney in Trenton who can help you to decide if a liquidation plan is right for you.
Typically, individuals approved for Chapter 7 lack stable income or have experienced a change in circumstances that has resulted in an inability to manage their debts. Though Chapter 7 erases debts, the tradeoff is you may have to give up certain possessions, such as your home, car or some other assets. However, once you file your petition, an automatic stay goes into effect that requires all collection activity against you like foreclosures and garnishments, to stop temporarily. However, the automatic stay does not prevent all collection attempts. For example, if you owe child support or restitution for a criminal case, you are still liable for those payments.
According to the District of New Jersey US Bankruptcy Court, you must complete credit counseling prior to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Trenton. If you fail to do so, you risk having your case dismissed. If your case is dismissed, you may not be allowed to file another petition for at least 180 days. Furthermore, if you refile within one year after dismissal, your automatic stay protection from creditors may be limited to only 30 days. For convenience, the US Department of Justice provides a list of approved credit counseling courses for use in Trenton.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is more complex than other types of bankruptcy. It is often used by businesses and certain types of people. It allows petitioners to restructure their debts with a reorganization plan, so they are easier to manage over a determined length of time, usually four to 18 months. The main benefit of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that it does not require petitioners to sell off or liquidate their assets to pay what they owe. It does allow debtors to negotiate with their creditors a reorganization plan that enables them to stay current on their debts moving forward.
Filing a Chapter 11 case in Trenton can begin with completing a Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy. Currently, Filing Fees of $1,738 should accompany the Petition. However, if you are reopening a Chapter 11 case, the filing fees are currently only $1,167. Keep in mind, you can file an Application and Order for Individuals to Pay the Filing Fee in Installments.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a debt restructuring or wage earners plan. In Trenton, NJ after you file, the courts will assign a trustee to examine your liabilities and assets and ability to pay bills. Unlike other types of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 involves you restructuring your debt with a three to a five-year repayment plan. The flexibility of this repayment plan will depend on what property you want to keep and how steady your income is. It may also give you the opportunity to have some or most of your debts discharged.
In Trenton, the Chapter 13 process can start by filing a Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy. You must also pay Filing Fees, typically $313 if it is a new petition, and $235 if you are reopening a case. You will also need to file a Chapter 13 Plan within 14 days of filing the Petition. The Plan must provide for payments of fixed amounts to the trustee on a regular basis. Once the plan is approved by the Court in a Confirmation Hearing, the trustee will distribute the funds to the appropriate creditors.
The Bankruptcy Process in Trenton, New Jersey
There is never an ideal time to declare bankruptcy. However, if you are unable to pay off what you owe within five years, filing for bankruptcy can help you to lessen the negative impact on your situation and help you get back on track.
In Trenton to begin the filing process, gather all of your financial records, including monthly expenses, debts, assets, and annual income. This information is crucial to give the courts an accurate picture of your circumstances. Failure to provide all necessary information can result in your petition being denied.
Unlike most states, New Jersey bankruptcy exemption laws contain no specific exemption for the homestead. However, there is still hope if you want to file for bankruptcy in Trenton and protect home equity. New Jersey allows debtors to choose between state and federal exemptions. Under US Code, a $25,150 federal homestead exemption is currently available to New Jersey debtors. Keep in mind, if you choose to use the federal homestead exemption, all other exemptions that you claim must also be federal.
At least six months before you file for bankruptcy, eliminate unnecessary spending. Do not run up the balances on your credit accounts. You’ll also need to complete an approved credit counseling course, usually online or over the phone. Credit counseling is necessary to help you learn financial literacy and help you learn better financial habits. Once you complete the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion to include in your filing. If you don’t have the certificate of completion from the credit counseling course that you took, the courts will reject your bankruptcy petition.
Work With an Experienced Trenton, New Jersey Lawyer
Hiring a local bankruptcy lawyer in Trenton during this process can help reduce the costly risks of self-representation in court. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer understands state and federal bankruptcy laws. He or she can help you understand which laws apply to your case, especially which debts can be discharged or can’t be discharged. An experienced New Jersey attorney can also offer you guidance to improve the outcome of your case.
Keep in mind that there are debt management alternatives and financial resources that may benefit you more than bankruptcy, such as debt consolidation. Though bankruptcy is an attractive solution, it is best as a last resort. Do you need immediate help? Then one of our experienced lawyers in Trenton can guide you through the entire bankruptcy process. We can even help you connect with an attorney across New Jersey state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!