Life throws everyone curveballs, and sometimes those curveballs leave people unable to meet their financial obligations. Although bankruptcy has received a bad rap, in reality, it is a way for people that are in dire financial straits, many times through no fault of their own, to receive a fresh start. At the Law Office of Jace C. McColley, LLC, we help our clients find their new beginning to support themselves and their families once again financially.
The two most common types of personal bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is the liquidation chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. A Trustee is appointed to collect and sell any property I own that is not exempt or protected from creditors. All my unsecured debts are wiped away and discharged with minor exceptions. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a reorganization through a court-approved plan which permits individuals to repay their creditors with future income. Other similarities include the issuance of an automatic stay, which goes into effect when the bankruptcy petition is filed. An automatic stay stops creditor collection proceedings and is a huge relief to many people who file bankruptcy. The automatic stay stops:
- Foreclosure actions
Both types of bankruptcy also protect property that is considered “exempt.” Creditors cannot take exempt property. A bankruptcy filing does not discharge certain types of debt and does not protect non-exempt property.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee sells or liquidates certain property. Proceeds are used to pay creditors, and later, unsecured debt is discharged.
There is a means test a person must meet to qualify to file for Chapter 7. The test is used to determine whether or not a person is able to pay back their debts. If it is determined through the means test that a person cannot file for Chapter 7, there may be other options available, such as a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 is appropriate when a person has substantial income and debts that do not exceed a certain amount. A person who files Chapter 13 is allowed to retain their property, but they enter into a plan to repay their debt over time. The bankruptcy trustee is involved in creating this plan, and payments are sent to the trustee, who then distributes the funds to the creditors pursuant to the terms of the plan the filer agreed to. Once all payments under the plan have been made, the remaining debt is discharged.
Other Services We Provide
In addition to filing bankruptcy, our firm offers other services to clients who cannot meet their current financial obligations. One of these services is assisting our clients in loss mitigation, which is where a mortgagor unable to make their mortgage payments enters into an agreement with their lender to avoid foreclosure.
A Local New Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyer On Your Side
If you find yourself in a financial hole and are unsure how to climb out, bankruptcy may be the solution to your problems. Schedule a consultation with our firm, and we can meet and determine your best way forward.