Bankruptcy Lawyer Trenton
Welcome to the Bankruptcy department at the Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. Our goal is to meet and exceed every client expectation, and that starts with our consultation. In our experience, we have found that bankruptcy clients in New Jersey have some common concerns when it comes to bankruptcy. Let us walk you through a typical bankruptcy consultation.
The first question bankruptcy clients ask is “so, how does bankruptcy work?” Bankruptcy helps individuals eliminate certain debts, rebuild their credit, and start anew. In the United States, our constitution has empowered Congress to enact “uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States.” (Art. I, Sec. 8 U.S. Constitution – http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html). Congress has responded by enacting various laws regarding bankruptcy, from the Nelson Act in 1898 to the most recent Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. The bottom line of bankruptcy law in the United States is that citizens have a right to debt relief, but only if they are truthful about their income, their assets, and the extent of their debts. Moreover, citizens have a right to debt relief, but the rights of the creditors must also be considered.
The second question Bankruptcy clients ask is “ok, so what does that mean for me?” It means that you also have a right to debt relief, as almost any person does, but your circumstances dictate the type of debt relief available to you. For example, if you make a lot of money, or have a lot of liquid assets, it would be unfair to creditors if the government forgave all your debts and snubbed the creditors. Therefore, if you make above a certain threshold, or if you have liquid assets like a home that is free and clear, or paid in full cars, you must repay a portion of your debt before the rest is forgiven. Generally that means that the debtor must make a manageable monthly payment to the courts for five years, at the end of which the remainder of the debt is forgiven. That’s relief under Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code, which is also known as “debt reorganization.”
Some debtors are truly at their wits’ end. The bankruptcy code is more forgiving on those individuals, like the elderly who are on a fixed income, individuals who have had health problems, have divorced, have had a catastrophic business failure, or otherwise people whose circumstances have left them with categorically no income, no assets, and only debts. Most of those individuals are allowed to get out of their debt and receive a discharge within a matter of months, without any repayment.
There are debts that cannot be wiped away in Bankruptcy. Typically those include domestic support obligations like child support or alimony, student loans, criminal liabilities like fines or restitutions, recent tax debts that have been incurred in the past three years, and personal injury judgments where alcohol played a role, among others. Again, it is best to discuss these details with our lawyers.
Corporations can file for bankruptcy too. As it was once famously said, corporations are people, my friend. They file under Chapter 11, and the proceedings are similar to Chapter 13 except that creditors get to vote on who gets repaid how much.
Trenton Bankruptcy Lawyer
Finally, bankruptcy clients ask “so where do I start?” The best place to start is at our Trenton, New Jersey office. We will sit down with you at your free consultation, and give you an idea of how your particular case will play out. It’s important to know what you’re getting into before you sign the paperwork, and that is precisely why you should speak to our attorneys first. We are familiar with the bankruptcy process in New Jersey, we have practiced before all the judges and trustees in Trenton, and we will ensure that your case is handled with the care that it deserves. You have taken risks before, but don’t gamble with your bankruptcy lawyer. Give us a call.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.