Frequently Asked Questions about New Jersey Bankruptcy Law

Answered by Morris County Bankruptcy Attorneys at Ast & Schmidt, P.C.

Helping clients in Florham Park, Dover, Boonton, Denville, Cedar Knolls, Budd Lake, Morristown, Montville, Flanders, Mount Arlington, Rockaway, Madison, Whippany and the surrounding cities

Image of Bankruptcy troublesIf you are currently facing the possibility of bankruptcy, you likely have a number of questions running through your head. Bankruptcy can be a complicated and stressful process. To help ease your mind during the bankruptcy process, answers to the following frequently asked questions have been provided by Morris County bankruptcy attorney Ast & Schmidt, P.C.

What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as they relate to benefits?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy consists of liquidating non-exempt assets to repay debts, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves setting up a plan to pay off debts, in whole or in part, within a three to five year period. Often, individuals will file Chapter 13 bankruptcy to avoid Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

What must be done to file for bankruptcy?

To file for bankruptcy, you must first file a petition with the Bankruptcy Court. Once a petition is filed, the court will appoint a trustee and the court will provide notice of the bankruptcy proceeding to all creditors. Prior to filing for bankruptcy, it is important that you contact a bankruptcy attorney to ensure that you have included all of the proper information in your bankruptcy petition.

How long does a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case take?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case typically takes four to six months.  A Morris County chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can help you file your case.

How long does a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case take?

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy case can take anywhere from three to five years.

What property am I entitled to keep if I file for bankruptcy?

You are entitled to keep any and all property that is considered exempt from bankruptcy in New Jersey. Exempt property in New Jersey includes up to $1,000 of personal property. You may also elect to apply federal bankruptcy exemptions in lieu of New Jersey exemptions.

Which debts are not dischargeable in bankruptcy?

Student loans, tax deficiencies, criminal restitution, child support and alimony, and court fees are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Which debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy?

Generally, any debts that are not specifically labeled as not dischargeable, may be discharged in bankruptcy.

What does a discharge do?

A discharge prevents a creditor from bringing any further action against a debtor to collect on a debt. A creditor is prevented from bringing a lawsuit against the debtor, sending letters, or making telephone calls to collect the debt.

How long will bankruptcy remain on my credit report?

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it will remain on your credit report for ten years. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it will remain on your credit report for seven years.

Will bankruptcy affect my ability to obtain a job in the future?

No. The Bankruptcy Code contains a provision that strictly prohibits any discrimination in employment practices, for both public and private employees.

Does bankruptcy affect my ability to attain, or maintain, a professional license, such as lawyers, accountants, or those in the insurance industry?
No. The Bankruptcy Code also prohibits discrimination in licensing by the various licensing authorities.

When does the automatic stay start and what does it do?

Automatic stay begins as soon as the bankruptcy petition is filed. It generally prevents all creditors from bringing action, or otherwise seeking to collect debt from the debtor’s income or assets.

If You Are Facing the Possibility of Bankruptcy

If you are in need of assistance from an experienced Morris County Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney or Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer, contact the attorneys at Ast & Schmidt, P.C. today for a free initial consultation. Our attorneys have the experience you need to help you resolve your bankruptcy issues.