During our first consultation, we will review the steps needed to file for bankruptcy in New Jersey. These include:
- Determine what kind of bankruptcy to file. For consumers, the choices are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. If you have minimal assets, you should be able to wipe out most if not all of your debts in a Chapter 7. However, if you are behind on your mortgage or you cannot exempt your assets, a Chapter 13 repayment plan is the best option for you.
- Gather information on your debts. This would include the name and address of each creditor, the amount owed and the account number. We can order your credit report if you do not have it, to ensure you don’t miss anything.
- Once we know your assets and debts, we will make the best use of your bankruptcy exemptions to make sure that you keep as many of your assets as possible.
- If you own a car that is financed, you will reaffirm the car loan in order to keep the car. But the car and the car loan always must be disclosed on the bankruptcy petition. You must be current on your car payments at the time of filing to keep your car in a Chapter 7 case.
- Before you can file, you must take a credit counseling course. And before your case can be closed, you must take a financial management course. I will share a list of approved providers of these courses to you.
- Once I prepare and file your bankruptcy petition (which you will review before we file), you will attend a meeting of creditors. The trustee assigned to your case will ask you a series of questions about your finances, and I will be right next to you to assist.
- Within 60 days of that meeting of creditors, assuming that neither the trustee or a creditor has raised an objection, you will receive your bankruptcy discharge. That means that all dischargeable debts have been wiped out. For example, student loans or income taxes may not be dischargeable, but most consumer debts are. When your debts have been discharged, you are no longer obligated to pay the creditor, and your creditors are no longer allowed to demand any payment from you.
Filing for bankruptcy in New Jersey is complicated but having an experienced New Jersey bankruptcy attorney beside you throughout the process will minimize your stress and get you to the finish line. Call me today for a free consultation.