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Debt Assistance with a New Jersey Bankruptcy Attorney

Get Your Debt Discharged with the Help of a New Jersey Bankruptcy Attorney at Helmer, Conley and Kasselman

Our bankruptcy attorneys have helped numerous clients recover from financial distress by getting RID OF THE DEBT so that they can return to living financially healthy. Contact our firm today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer.

Common Questions Answered by a New Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyer

Q: Does filing for bankruptcy protection affect my credit?

Yes, but in a positive way! Most personal bankruptcies are filed after a person has not paid his or her secured creditors (like a mortgage lender) and/or unsecured creditors (like credit card companies) for a period of time. As a result, his or her credit score is usually already very low.

Once a bankruptcy is filed and the case is closed by a Discharge Order and Final Decree, the person filing the bankruptcy will see his or her credit scores start to rise. With a Discharge Order, all debts are discharged (meaning your legal obligation to pay that debt is gone) and the elimination of your debt allows your credit scores to start rising again.

Q: Does bankruptcy mean I will lose my home and car?

No. It is extremely rare to lose any property, vehicles, furniture or possessions when filing for bankruptcy under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, unless you choose to surrender a particular piece of property. There are sections of the bankruptcy law called “exemptions” that protect your home, cars, pensions, clothing, jewelry and other personal belongings.

The only way you would lose your home or car is if you stop paying for it. Even then, you can put all of the owed back payments into a Chapter 13 payment plan. Even if you have too much equity in your home, instead of losing your home, you would file under Chapter 13 and pay a percentage of your unsecured debt pursuant to a three, four or five-year plan. This percentage is often very small, but it varies based on each person’s individual situation.

Q: Can I apply to have my driver’s license restored if I file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy regarding my Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) surcharges?

Yes. If you have MVC surcharges that are stopping you from having your driving privileges restored, you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, take the filing proof and your bankruptcy petition number to MVC, and have your driving privileges immediately restored. Additionally, depending on your budget in the bankruptcy filing, you will likely pay only a small percentage of the actual surcharges that are due spread out over a 36 to 60-month period.

 Q: Will my creditors stop harassing me?

Yes. Under Federal law, all collection efforts must stop immediately once you file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. This means all lawsuits, wage garnishments, bank levies, letters and phone calls must stop. A bankruptcy filing will even stop a sheriff’s sale of your home.

Q: Does my spouse have to file along with me?

No, not if your spouse has separate debts from those you wish to have discharged. Many married couples share credit cards and therefore, it is a benefit to file a joint bankruptcy. It is the same cost to file jointly as it is to file individually. However, if you file for bankruptcy individually and your spouse does not share any of your debts, your spouse will not be affected by your bankruptcy filing.

Q: Will my friends, relatives and neighbors know I filed for bankruptcy?

No, not unless you tell them. There is no sign that pops up on your lawn saying that you filed and no scarlet letter to wear on your lapel that tells the world you filed for bankruptcy. In fact, a New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer can file on behalf of people who live on the same street or come from the same family or work at the same job, and they do not know about each other’s bankruptcies. Your future lenders and landlords will know since your bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for approximately seven years; however, they will not be concerned if you have developed new and steady credit after your discharge.

Q: Can I be fired for filing for bankruptcy?

  1. Federal law prohibits any employer from discriminating against you because you filed for bankruptcy.

Q: Can the court deny my bankruptcy?

No, not if you file an appropriate bankruptcy petition under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 that fits with your income, assets and needs, and not if you cooperate with the court. Rarely are bankruptcy petitions denied. Although, some cases will be converted from a Chapter 7 to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or vice versa. If you're facing a denial, however, it's best to consult with a New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer.

Q: Do I have to go to court?

No. Under both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, only one appearance is necessary, and this is for you to meet with the bankruptcy trustee. It is a simple meeting called a, “meeting of creditors,” although it is extremely rare for any creditors to actually show up. This is the only mandatory meeting, and it is a simple one that occurs in a conference room and not a courtroom. Your New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer will prepare you for the meeting and be there with you. For Chapter 13 filings, your attorney will also go to a confirmation hearing at the Federal courthouse to confirm your Chapter 13 payment plan with the trustee, but you are not required to attend.

Q: Why do I feel like a failure for even considering filing a bankruptcy petition?

While this is fairly common, you should not feel this way. The Federal bankruptcy laws are designed to protect people who run into financial trouble. It is a right you have to reorganize your financial life and start over without unmanageable debt. More than one million people file for bankruptcy each year, so you are not alone.

Simply look at “famous people who filed bankruptcy” to see that Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Ford, Charles Goodyear, Milton Hershey, Walt Disney, Mark Twain, Jerry Lewis, P.T. Barnum and many other famous and wonderful inventors, politicians and good people have filed for bankruptcy – some numerous times – in order to start a new financial life without debt.

Speak with a New Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyer for Free

If you would like more information about securing financial relief by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, please feel free to contact us for a complimentary initial consultation. To speak with one of our experienced New Jersey bankruptcy lawyers in confidence, call 877-435-6371 or request an appointment online today.

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