Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New Jersey.
People suffering overwhelming debt in New Jersey can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy as one solution that may relieve debt and give an individual an opportunity to start fresh. The right to file for bankruptcy is provided by federal law, and all bankruptcy cases are handled in federal court. (New Jersey Court Directory) Filing bankruptcy immediately stops all of your creditors from seeking to collect debts from you, at least until your debts are sorted out according to the law. Common events that push people to the brink of bankruptcy can come up suddenly such as the loss of a job, a divorce, a death in the family of the person who brings in the most income, a medical emergency, or some type of catastrophic event that diminishes a person’s financial security.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a means to eliminate unsecured debt within a short period of time, and much of the time you would still be able to keep your car and house. Common debt that is discharged in this type of bankruptcy includes:1) credit card balances; 2) personal loan balances; and 3) medical bills. There are even events that allow for IRS back taxes, and New Jersey State taxes to be discharged. When dealing with this tax debt, it may be in your best interest to hire a bankruptcy attorney to make certain that you meet the criteria of: 1) the tax debt is older than three years; 2) the tax return was filed over two years before filing bankruptcy; 3) the tax amount was assessed over 240 days before filing bankruptcy; and 4) the action is not an attempt to evade personal income taxes.
If you file for Chapter 7, you will still be responsible for repaying the following types of debts after your discharge: 1) child support and alimony; 2) student loan debt; 3) debts related to personal injury or death caused by drunk driving; 4) penalties related to violations of law; 5) tax debts unless you meet exception criteria and any debt you do not list in petition for bankruptcy filing.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you will be able to outline the debts you wish to be discharged and how you will handle those that you do not list on a Schedule C bankruptcy form. It is prudent to seek legal counsel who specializes in bankruptcy law to make certain you understand your protections for: 1) homestead; 2) insurances; 3) pensions; 4) public benefits such as disability; and 5) tools of the trade items.
One of the biggest advantages to filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition is that the debt collectors will have to stop harassing you with phone calls, letters and potential law suits. Once you have filed a bankruptcy petition with the courts, all attempts to collect a debt by the creditors to whom you owe money, must stop.
Steps to Take.
Steps to take as you prepare for bankruptcy: 1) construct a master list of all debts and assets, this will help to decide which debts you will want discharged, and what assets you need to protect for future livelihood, like a house or car; 2) do not apply for additional credit or maximize current open cards or personal loans close to the bankruptcy filing; 3) do not pull money from retirement accounts that you will need later as they may be protected; and 4) do not transfer assets close to the time of filing a petition because the court may discern this as a way to hide them.
Hire a Lawyer.
Bankruptcy laws and procedures are intricate and have a variety of exceptions. Hiring an attorney is the best action to take to may certain your Chapter 7 Petition for Bankruptcy is done correctly.
Stuart M. Nachbar, Esquire
354 Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 2025
PO Box 2205 Livingston NJ 07039
Phone: (973) 567 0954
Fax: (973) 629 1294