Chapter 7 for Individual Consumer Debtors

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New York City

Bankruptcy laws are offered by the federal government to help individuals and businesses who are no longer able to pay off their creditors. While incorrect myths abound—causing a negative stigma to be associated with bankruptcy—it is crucial to understand that many times bankruptcy can only help your financial condition. Some of the most successful people in history have utilized bankruptcy as a solution for dealing with debt. In fact, the U.S. Courts reported there were more than 37,000 business and non-business bankruptcy filings in the state of New York in the twelve month period from June 2013 to June 2014.

If you are interested in filing for bankruptcy, you will first have to decide which chapter of bankruptcy is suitable for you. Bankruptcy laws provide two ways for individuals to get a fresh start: liquidating assets to pay off debts or creating a repayment plan. Chapter 7, which is also known as “straight bankruptcy,” is a liquidation proceeding; it is the most common form of bankruptcy used today. Chapter 7 is a viable option for individuals, as well as married couples who would like to file jointly.

The Chapter 7 Process

Interested in filing for Chapter 7? You should schedule an initial consultation with our firm. During this time, Robert M. Fox will be able to evaluate your financial situation—including your debts, income, expenses, and personal property—which will allow us to determine whether or not Chapter 7 is the best course of action for you. If we determine that Chapter 7 is the right choice, we will begin to gather all relevant information and documentation so we can prepare your Bankruptcy Petition and Schedules.

Once we have finalized the preparation of your Bankruptcy Petition and Schedules and you review and sign them, we will file them with the appropriate court. A bankruptcy trustee will be appointed to your case immediately after it is filed. Your respective trustee will be responsible for the liquidation of your non-exempt property to pay off your creditors. This, however, does not mean that you will lose everything that you own. In fact, New York State Law permits bankruptcy filers to keep a limited amount of property exempt from liquidation.

The following are examples of assets which are exempt in New York State:

  • $150,000 in equity in your primary residence ($300,000 for married couples filing jointly)
  • $4,000 in-car equity ($8,000 for married couples filing jointly)
  • Most household items (ex: furniture, TV, radio, appliances, etc.)
  • Personal property (ex: clothing, wedding ring, and a limited amount of jewelry)
  • Most public benefits (ex: Social Security, disability, veteran’s benefits, unemployment, etc.)
  • Qualified retirement accounts & pensions
  • Up to $12,000 in any property if the New York State Homestead is not claimed

This list is not all-inclusive. For a complete list of exemptions please consult with our law office.

Immediately after filing, you will be granted an automatic stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362 of the Bankruptcy Code; this prohibits creditors from harassing you in an attempt to collect a debt. In addition to the peace of mind you will achieve from the automatic stay, you will also benefit from a stop to any attempt to garnish your wages and mortgage foreclosures. You will truly be given the time you need to breathe and get your finances in order.

Anywhere from 30 to 40 days after the filing of your case, you will attend a Section 341(a) Meeting of Creditors along with Robert M. Fox or one of his associates. During this meeting, you will be asked several questions pertaining to your financial condition. Roughly 60-90 days after your 341(a) meeting, you will receive a discharge of your debts, releasing you from personal liability.

Chapter 7 Business Filings

Partnerships, corporations, and other business entities can seek relief under Chapter 7. If, for example, you are a business owner, you can file for Chapter 7 either on behalf of your business or for yourself personally. There are several benefits to filing business bankruptcy under Chapter 7. The first benefit is the protection of the automatic stay. After the filing of the businesses’ petition, creditors will have to cease all litigation against the company. You can use a Chapter 7 filing to find a quick and easy way to close and liquidate your business without the hassle of handling it all yourself.

Finding a Solution with The Law Offices of Robert M. Fox

At The Law Offices of Robert M. Fox, we are committed to helping clients start a new chapter in their life. We proudly evaluate each client’s financial situation on a case-by-case basis and can help to simplify the bankruptcy process. As an experienced New York City bankruptcy attorney, Robert M. Fox can bring clarity to your situation and hope into your life. By hiring our firm, you can rest easier knowing you are not alone and that you have an advocate on your side who can help guide you to a fresh start.

Call us today for a FREE consultation!

We can help:

  • STOP wage garnishments!
  • STOP harassing phone calls!
  • STOP letters from collectors!
  • STOP foreclosure!
  • STOP car repossession!

To schedule a free consultation with our firm, please contact us today.

Informally called “straight bankruptcy,” Chapter 7, a liquidation proceeding, is the most common form of Bankruptcy filed in the U.S. today. This form of bankruptcy may be right for you if you meet the above criteria.

The Chapter 7 Process – What should I Expect?

First, an initial consultation is of utmost importance in order to evaluate your financial situation. Your debts, income, expenses and personal property will be assessed in order to ascertain whether a Chapter 7 filing is the best course of legal action for you. Once we obtain all of your relevant information and documentation, we can start preparing your Bankruptcy Petition and Schedules and subsequently file them with the appropriate court. Shortly thereafter, a bankruptcy trustee will be appointed, to whom you will turn over all non-exempt property (if any such property exists) and who will then convert it to cash for distribution among the creditors. You are entitled to keep a limited amount of property which qualifies as exempt and is protected.

The following are examples of assets which are exempt in New York State:

  • A portion of the equity in your home
  • One car of limited value
  • Most household items such as furniture, TV, radio, appliances
  • Personal property such as clothing or a wedding ring
  • Most Public Benefits such as Social Security, Disability, Veterans Benefits, Worker’s Compensation
  • Alimony, Child Support
  • Qualified Retirement Accounts and Pensions

The Trustee is responsible for selling or “liquidating” those assets that do not fall within the allotted property exemptions, in order to repay your creditors.

From the moment your bankruptcy petitions, schedules and related documents are filed with the court, you are granted an automatic stay, which in essence is protection under 11 U.S.C. § 362 of the Bankruptcy Code. From that moment and through the duration of your bankruptcy proceeding, it is strictly prohibited for creditors to harass you. In addition, during this period, your wages cannot be garnished (any current garnishments are lifted) and mortgage foreclosures are halted.

Roughly 30-40 days after your Bankruptcy filing, you will attend a Section 341(a) Meeting of Creditors with the Bankruptcy Trustee. This meeting is brief and the trustee will ask you several questions on the record.

Usually 60 days after your Section 341(a) Meeting of Creditors you will receive a discharge of indebtedness in the form of a discharge notice for all dischargeable debts, releasing you from personal liability for those debts.

For a more detailed list and for specific questions and amounts call for a free consultation. 212-867-9595 9:00 am to 5:30 weekdays //
800-473-1581 24 hrs a day, seven days a week