Guiding Clients Through The Bankruptcy Process in New Jersey
Experienced Monmouth County Bankruptcy Lawyers
If you are in financial trouble and are having a hard time paying your bills, bankruptcy may be a remedy to give you a fresh financial start, and to help people who are unable to pay their bills. Thus, the bankruptcy lawyers at Garland & Mason, L.L.C. have worked with many people, like you, who have been hit hard by the economic recession. Talk to us about your options when it comes to bankruptcy in Monmouth County and the rest of New Jersey, including:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which will liquidate debts
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which will reorganize your debts in an effort to save your home, car and other assets
What Do I Have to Do to File for Bankruptcy?
The bankruptcy process in New Jersey can be lengthy, frustrating and sometimes confusing. There are many parts to the process as well as a schedule that you must follow before the courts grant your bankruptcy petition. Because of this, you should contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney to get a full understanding of the bankruptcy process. In addition, you need to understand how it relates to your specific situation.
First, at Garland & Mason, L.L.C., we will start with a questionnaire that will help us evaluate your financial situation and then allow us to assist you in choosing the best options for you. This questionnaire will also be the basis for preparing you for your 341 meeting so you know what to expect.
Broadly, however, there are steps that anyone filing for bankruptcy must take:
- Eligibility requirements. Bankruptcy law now has eligibility requirements for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 based on your income, assets and expenses. The requirements also include external requirements such as showing how your income compares to the median income level for other New Jersey similarly sized families.
- Credit counseling. The New Bankruptcy Laws require that debtors (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) participate in a credit counseling course.
- Financial advice meeting. Debtors must participate in a financial advice course before a bankruptcy discharge. This is for people filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 protection.
- File petition. You have to start your bankruptcy by filing a petition. The petition includes all your assets and expenses.
- Trustee’s meeting (called a 341 meeting). The Bankruptcy Court Trustee will hold a meeting to go over your financial situation, which you must attend. Creditors have the right to question you at this hearing.
- Reorganization. If you are filling for Chapter 13, you must prepare a five-year reorganization plan. This plan will outline how you will pay off the arrears on secured debts and a percentage of unsecured debts. The trustee and the Bankruptcy Court Judge must then approve the plan.
How Long Does Bankruptcy Take in New Jersey? Debt Discharge Timeline
If you are filing for Chapter 7 protection, in most cases, your bankruptcy debts will then be discharged in about six months after the filing of your petition.
With a Chapter 13 petition, the process can take up to five years. Your bankruptcy will then be discharged assuming you meet the terms of your reorganization plan. If you don’t meet the terms, your bankruptcy may face dismissal.
Don’t Go Through Bankruptcy Without an Experienced Attorney
We have helped many people like you get through the bankruptcy process and begin a fresh financial start. We will be with you every step of the way – from filing your bankruptcy petition to the 341 Meeting to helping you restore your credit.
Contact Garland & Mason, L.L.C. by filling out our convenient online form or by calling (732) 358-2028 to request your free initial consultation with experienced bankruptcy lawyers. Our office is handicap-accessible and is conveniently located just 15 minutes from the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.