I have extensive experience in Chapter 7 bankruptcies. I offer free consultations and will provide all options for you.
My bankruptcy fee for a Chapter 7 is $1,600, including filing fees. I can offer payment plans, but all fees must be paid in full before filing. I cannot accept your own credit card for bankruptcy fees. You may arrange for a third party to pay my fee, as long as such amount is a gift, not a loan.
You will need your last 6 months of pay stubs, before I prepare your petition. I will obtain your credit report and tax transcripts electronically. If you own a home, it should be appraised.
Automated appraisals are available and I can obtain them for you instantly while preparing your bankruptcy petition and schedules. I will provide full information at the initial consult as to what else you will need.
Many debtors can keep their home in Chapter 7 (as long as there is no equity in the home), and most can keep their automobiles.
The means test
The current law establishes limits on the relief a debtor may receive. Many debtors who might have previously qualified for Chapter 7 relief will now need to repay some of the debt.
Specifically, debtors who can earn $100.00 per month, or $6000.00 over 5 years no longer qualify for Chapter 7 relief and must file under Chapter 13.
The bill creates a “safe harbor” for low-income debtors. To qualify for the “safe harbor,” such debtors must earn less than the median income for their state of residence.
Credit counseling and financial education
All debtors are required to obtain credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy.
In addition, all debtors will need to complete a course in personal finances before receiving a discharge from bankruptcy. I will make those arrangements for you.
A debtor may not receive a second discharge from bankruptcy until 8 years after the previous discharge. The new law extends the limit to 8 years. There is a limit of 5 years between Chapter 13 filings.
What does it all mean to you?
The current bankruptcy law was supported heavily by the large credit card companies, many of which contributed large sums of money to political campaigns.
Many consumer groups opposed this legislation because it disadvantages those legitimate debtors who simply fall on hard times due to illness or unemployment.
The bottom line is that many debtors who previously could be candidates for a Chapter 7 discharge will be forced into Chapter 13 plans.
All debtors will now have to take the time to get the credit counseling and complete the course in personal finance. In short, the current law is much less favorable to small consumer debtors.
Of course it is best to avoid bankruptcy if possible. Once you get a discharge in Chapter 7, such a remedy is unavailable again for 8 years.
For that reason, I will discuss all alternatives before filing. Alternatives can include debt consolidation, debt settlement, or negotiating with individual creditors on your own or with the help of an attorney.
Legal advice since 1998
Arthur David Malkin, Esq. is your friendly lawyer in Parsippany.
All bankruptcy files attending creditor’s meetings must provide a photo ID and also proof of Social Security Number (Social Security Card, pay stub, etc.).
If you do not have these proofs, your creditor’s meeting will be adjourned and the disposition of your case will delay as a result.
Therefore, at the time of filing, please make sure you will have these proofs available.
I have the bankruptcy forms on computer to automate the process. After filing, the debtor will receive a notice of a creditor's meeting.
The debtor must appear at the meeting. In most instances involving individuals, the creditors will not appear.
Usually the creditors will not object, and in most cases, the debtor will have nothing left over after exemptions to pay the creditors.
After expiration of the period in which the debtors may object, the debtor will be discharged under Chapter 7.
Chapter 13 debtors will be subject to a plan to repay the debts over a period of time.
WE ARE A DEBT RELIEF AGENCY. WE HELP PEOPLE FILE FOR RELIEF UNDER THE BANKRUPTCY CODE.