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New York Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys Work to Eliminate Debts

Manhattan lawyers help clients restore financial stability

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a federal court proceeding involving a person or business that is unable to repay outstanding debts. Many individuals and families take advantage of the powerful tool because, at the end of the process, nonexempt debts like money owed to credit-card companies and healthcare providers are eliminated. From our office in Midtown Manhattan, Goldberg & Lindenberg, P.C. provides knowledgeable counsel on every aspect of Chapter 7 discharge so that you can relieve your debt burden and move ahead with confidence.

Do you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Many people are hesitant to file for bankruptcy, but we make it as easy as possible for you to understand each important aspect of this life-changing program, including:

  • Means test —A review of a debtor’s income, known as the “means test” must be conducted to determine if a filer qualifies for Chapter 7 debt discharge. Should your income fall below the New York median income for a household of your size, you are eligible. However, even if your income exceeds that median amount, you might still qualify once specific regular expenses are deducted.   
  • Prior filings — You must wait eight years from a previous debt discharge to file again for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. An individual cannot file under Chapter 7 or any other chapter if, during the preceding 180 days, a prior Bankruptcy petition was dismissed due to the debtor’s failure to appear before the court or comply with orders of the court, or the debtor voluntarily dismissed the previous case.
  • Timeframe — In most cases, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case takes between four to six months from start to finish. During this period, the trustee convenes a meeting of your creditors to discuss how any available funds will be dispersed. Otherwise, the process typically does not require any other in-person appearances.
  • Amount of debts — Individual debtors who qualify for relief under Chapter 7 may file for Bankruptcy regardless of the amount of their debts.
  • Debt discharge — The primary purpose of bankruptcy is to discharge debts in order to give an honest individual debtor a fresh financial start. Following the bankruptcy proceeding, the debtor has no liability for the discharged debts.
  • Obligations that are not discharged — Most taxes, back child support and certain other debts cannot be discharged. When you meet with us, you will understand exactly what filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can do for you.

Issues associated with the preparation and filing of a bankruptcy case are complicated and time-consuming. You should speak with a seasoned New York bankruptcy lawyer before deciding how to proceed.

Experienced counselors advise on liquidation of assets to repay creditors

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy means that creditors will not be recovering all of what they are owed, the bankruptcy trustee carefully reviews a filer’s assets to determine if any should be liquidated in order to partially satisfy their debts. We have a strong grasp on the types of property that are exempt from liquidation and advocate for clients before trustees when a dispute arises over what can be liquidated. If you have not made the decision to file, our firm can advise on the best way to protect your interests.

What can you keep if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York?

Though certain property might be liquidated so that funds can be dispersed to creditors, the law recognizes that taking away some assets can put a filer and their family in a difficult position. Accordingly, exemptions exist that give debtors the ability to retain key items valued up to a certain amount. In New York City and the nearby suburban counties, a homestead exemption allows Chapter 7 filers to hold onto approximately $180,000 of the equity in their primary residence and $6,000 in cash. Statewide, you may retain up to $4,825 of your vehicle’s value.

What happens to student loan debt in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Federal law excludes most student loan obligations from bankruptcy protection, so if you are considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy but have extensive debt related to education costs, one of our knowledgeable attorneys can discuss what the best solution might be. In cases where forcing someone to pay back what they owe on their student loans would lead to undue hardship, these debts might be discharged.

Contact a New York City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney to set up a free consultation

Goldberg & Lindenberg, P.C. in Manhattan advocates for New York residents in Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. To make an appointment for a free consultation with a dedicated bankruptcy lawyer, please call 212-921-1600 or contact us online