eNewsletter for Our Morris County Bankruptcy Law Firm

State Exemptions Versus Federal Exemptions in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can protect certain assets by claiming them as exempt. Exempt property is property that you get to keep after bankruptcy. Non-exempt property is property the bankruptcy trustee can sell to pay back your creditors. An important decision that all bankruptcy filers must make is whether to use federal bankruptcy exemptions or state bankruptcy exemptions. Choosing between state and federal exemptions can be extremely complicated and requires a deep understanding of bankruptcy law. A Morris County Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney has the knowledge and experience to help you determine which exemptions will best protect your assets. Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions Some states allow debtors to choose federal bankruptcy exemptions, which are outlined in the Bankruptcy Code. New Jersey is one of those states. Below are some of the assets you can protect using federal bankruptcy exemptions: Homestead or burial plot, up to $21,625 One…
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Our Morris County Bankruptcy Attorneys Explain What To Do If a Creditor Harasses You While You Are in Bankruptcy

When you file for bankruptcy, unless you have had one or more prior cases pending and dismissed within the past year, an automatic stay goes into effect immediately upon filing that prevents most creditors from continuing collection activities while the case is pending. They cannot proceed with foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishment or lawsuits, and they are not allowed to contact you by phone, email or mail. The automatic stay does not stop criminal proceedings, child support actions, IRS audits or payroll deductions for retirement loans, however. In order to resume collection efforts while the bankruptcy case is pending, a creditor must obtain bankruptcy court permission by seeking an order lifting the stay. Creditors who violate the automatic stay may be subject to sanctions by the court. If a creditor keeps contacting you while your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case is pending or refuses to stop other prohibited collection activities,…
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Filing Bankruptcy Under Chapter 11

While unmanageable debt has become an increasingly common problem for individuals, many people are able to find relief by filing for bankruptcy under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. When a business finds itself in a similar situation, it too has options. Small business owners who find themselves facing overwhelming debt and struggling to meet their payroll, taxes, ordinary expenses and other financial burdens should consider reorganizing their debts under a Chapter 11bankruptcy. Individuals can also file Chapter 11 if they make too much money or have too many valuable assets to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy but have too much debt to file Chapter 13. A Morris County bankruptcy attorney can help individuals decide if Chapter 11 is right for them. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available to every business, whether organized as a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship. The upside of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that it allows the business to keep its…
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What are Alternatives to Reaffirmation?

Despite the public perception that Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves losing everything, the reality is far less negative. Firstly, bankruptcy is a sign of improving one’s financial standing and credit history, not going down the hole. Second, a person filing for bankruptcy does not necessarily have to lose all of their assets—in fact, in most Chapter 7 bankruptcies, this does not happen at all. If you file Chapter 7, you can decide to reaffirm certain assets and their associated debts in order to keep the asset. This is most commonly done with automobiles. Reaffirmation consists of a contract between a debtor and lender permitting the former to assume responsibility for an asset and its associated debt. Usually, debtors reaffirm assets pledged as loan collateral, such as motor vehicles. The decision to reaffirm an asset is made at a reaffirmation hearing. The debtor appears before a judge who must ensure that the…
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