In today's COVID-19 epidemic a limited budget can leave many individuals and businesses feeling hopeless as bills and expenses begin to pile up. Desperate times lead to desperate measures, causing many of us to make ill-advised financial decisions. Such financial decisions include, but are not limited to:
1. Taking loans from family and friends that breakdown those relationships
2. Mistakenly selling assets protected from creditors
3. Taking out cash advances on credit cards that cause further financial harm
4. Liquidating retirement accounts unnecessarily to make bill payments
5. Writing bad checks that can be prosecuted or cause high bank fees
6. Securing loans from payday loan companies at interest rates upwards of 300%
7. Engaging in gambling or fraudulent/illegal activity
It’s crucial that all of your options are weighed before making any hasty financial decisions. In most cases, the consequences of your actions could prevent you from achieving financial stability for a very long time, much longer than recovering from a properly planned bankruptcy. If you’re feeling shackled by debt, the best course of action is to contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can examine your unique case and help you determine the best route to take moving forward.
Are you the owner of a small business that is experiencing financial problems? Is overwhelming debt threatening your dreams of a successful business? Business bankruptcy may be an option for you and your business. We can find a way to protect what is important to you, and in some cases help your business continue operating.
Is Business Bankruptcy Right for Your Company?
Our lawyers help family-run businesses, construction companies, contractors and other small businesses that have encountered overwhelming debt. Business bankruptcy help can be found through filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is debt liquidation; Chapter 11 is debt reorganization. Business bankruptcy chapter selection will depend upon your business's goals and whether or not your business will remain in operation. Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides an organized way to close the business. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a reorganization of debt - it often enables businesses to continue running.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If medical bills, credit card debt and other obligations have gotten to the point where you simply cannot make payments, it may be time to consider bankruptcy as a way to get your finances back on track. A Chapter 7 filing could be the fastest, most effective way to get the fresh start you are looking for.
How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work?
One of the first things we will do is analyze your finances to determine the type of consumer bankruptcy for which you qualify. You may have heard that it is very difficult to qualify for Chapter 7 due to recent changes in the law. This is simply not true. Most people who qualified under the old law still qualify today. And, even if you have too much income or resources for Chapter 7, there may be nothing that would prevent you from seeking relief under Chapter 13.
If you do qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, our law firm can help you with the complex filing requirements so that you begin to reap the benefits of bankruptcy protection. Some of these benefits include:
Complete elimination of unsecured debts such as medical bills and credit card debt
Putting a stop to home foreclosure
Eliminating older tax debts
Stopping creditor harassment such as phone calls and threatening letters
Stopping wage garnishments and vehicle repossessions
Can I Save My Home or Car?
Chapter 7 is sometimes referred to as "liquidation" bankruptcy because some assets are sold to pay debts. This does not mean you will lose everything. Through the use of exemptions, we may be able to help you hang onto important items like your house or car. However, this is a time to be realistic, which means realizing there are some things that are not affordable right now. Many people, therefore, decide to surrender their home or car, which frees them from the debt associated with those items.
When you visit us, we will advise you of all your options and develop a strategy that resolves your debt issues while also maintaining as much personal property as is reasonable.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Across the nation, more and more hardworking people are finding themselves in serious financial trouble, often due to circumstances beyond their control. A gap in income, perhaps from a job loss or a medical emergency, can quickly cause you to get behind on your obligations. By the time income is restored, it may not be possible to get things back under control without help.
Finding Room to Breathe
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing sets in motion a complex set of events. Essentially, it boils down to this: You work with our attorneys to analyze your finances, then we submit a debt reorganization plan to the court. The debt reorganization plan rolls all of your debts - both secured, like your mortgage, and unsecured, like your credit cards - into one manageable payment. Once the court approves, you will make payments under the plan for a three- to- five-year period. Payments can be applied to your secured debts. At the end of the payment period, any remaining unsecured debts are eliminated and you are considered current on secured obligations.
Other Benefits of Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Much like Chapter 7, many immediate benefits come with filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. These include:
Stopping home foreclosure
Stopping wage garnishments
Stopping creditor harassment
Eliminating older tax debts
Possibly eliminating second mortgages and home equity loans
Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a major decision. There may actually be alternatives to bankruptcy that are better suited to you. When you come to our office, we will make sure you fully understand your options and give you our opinion about the best course of action.
Medical Debt Relief
Unpaid medical bills and unpayable medical bills are one of the leading causes of insurmountable credit card debt in New York and across the United States.
The National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently found that one in four U.S. families struggled to pay medical bills.
A separate study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 70 percent of people with medical debt problems were insured.
High deductibles and inadequate insurance policies are a major problem in America, but such health insurance plans are often all that most Americans can afford. By now, you know that health providers and credit card companies are aggressive debt collectors. If your medical bills are on your credit card, you no doubt are drowning under the burden of high interest rates that make your bills impossible to pay off.
Legal Solutions To Medical Debt
Whether you have a chronic condition or illness, went into debt following an unplanned surgery, recently recovered from a life-threatening condition or are trying to pay off bills for high-priced medical tests, we can help you.
Medical debts are a significant strain on your entire budget, but they are unsecured debts, just like credit card debt. Struggling to pay off unaffordable medical debt does not make sense when you have other debt obligations or an income that only allows you to barely keep up with interest fees.
In many cases, debt consolidation and debt settlement are just not enough. While bankruptcy has a certain stigma in our society, it is often the most effective way to eliminate debt and regain financial stability. Depending on the level of your medical debt and your ability to pay it off, bankruptcy might be a very good option in your situation.
The benefits of bankruptcy include:
An immediate stop to garnishments and levies from your bank account and paycheck, attachments to property, foreclosure, repossessions, lawsuits and other collection actions
An immediate stop to creditor harassment
Elimination of all other unsecured debts along with the possibility of negotiating more affordable payment plans for secured debts
The ability to resume payments or more easily afford payments on secured loans such as your mortgage, car and education
The ability to begin rebuilding your credit score
Speak with one of our experienced lawyers about the best option considering your unique financial situation.
Financial Stability, Debt Relief And Mortgage Modification Through Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy places an immediate halt on all collection actions and creditor abuse. It gives you increased negotiating power as your remaining debts (those that cannot be discharged) are prioritized in an affordable three- to five-year repayment plan that all creditors, including your mortgage lender, must agree to abide by. Your repayment plan will also help you pay arrearages and catch up on your mortgage payments and other remaining debts (which may be reduced) by removing a second mortgage or possibly home equity loans.
Repayment of your debts proves good faith to lenders and creditors, and any remaining unsecured debt following the repayment plan will be eliminated and your secured debt obligations will be current. It is critical that you go through this process with an experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney.