Filing bankruptcy in New York – what is the process #new #york #bankruptcy #lawyer


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New York Bankruptcy Process How to File Bankruptcy in New York

2005 Bankruptcy Act Credit Counseling
The 2005 Bankruptcy Act requires all individual debtors who file bankruptcy on or after October 17, 2005, to undergo credit counseling within six months before filing for bankruptcy relief and to complete a financial management instructional course after filing bankruptcy.

2005 Bankruptcy Act Means Test
Under the 2005 Bankruptcy Act your income and expenses will be analyzed to determine if you qualify to file a Chapter 7 or if you must file Chapter 13. To apply the means test, the courts will look at the your average income for the 6 months prior to filing and compare it to the median income for New York. If the income is below the median, then you may choose Chapter 7. If your income exceeds the median, the remaining parts of the means test will be applied to determine if you can file Chapter 7 or if you must file Chapter 13. (See New York Means Test )

Gathering Paperwork
To begin the bankruptcy process you must itemize your current income sources; major financial transactions for the last two years; monthly living expenses; debts (secured and unsecured); and property (all assets and possessions, not just real estate). You should also collect your tax returns for the last two years, deeds to any real estate you own, your car(s) titles, and the documents for any loans you may have.

Filing Bankruptcy
Once you have gathered this information, either on your own or with the help of an attorney, you should then determine which property you believe is exempt from seizure based on the New York exemptions. To actually file, either you or your attorney, will need to file a two-page petition and several other forms at your New York district bankruptcy court. These forms, collectively are referred to as the schedules and ask you to describe your current financial status and recent financial transactions (typically within the last two years). If your creditors or the judge feel or find out that you have not been entirely forthcoming in your bankruptcy filing, it could jeopardize the outcome of your petition.

The cost for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $306. This fee may not be waived but you may be able to pay it in installments. The fee of $281 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy cannot be waived.

Chapter 13 Requirements
If you are filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a proposed repayment plan must also be submitted. After reasonable monthly expenses have been paid, how much money will you have left over to put toward your outstanding bills? And how will this money be divvied up among those you owe? Priority claims (such as taxes and back child support) must be paid in full; unsecured debts (like credit card debt and medical bills) are usually paid in part. Depending upon the judgments of those involved with your case, unsecured debts can be paid off for as little as 10 cents on the dollar.

In addition to the general requirements listed above, the repayment plan must pass each of the following three tests:
1) It must be delivered in good faith.
2) Unsecured creditors must be paid at least as much as if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy had been filed. Generally, this is the value of all the nonexempt property you own (see New York bankruptcy exemptions ).
3) All disposable income must be paid into the plan for at least three years (you may use up to five years in order to meet the second test that you pay at least as much as in a Chapter 7).

If you have filed Chapter 13, you must begin making your plan payments. Generally these payments will be withdrawn directly from your wages and you or your attorney should arrange with the court for these payments to be deducted from your wages.

Automatic Stay
Once you have filed your paperwork with the bankruptcy court, an automatic stay immediately goes into effect. This provision prevents creditors from making direct contact with you or staking a claim on any of your property from the day of filing forward. This will stop any foreclosure proceedings.

Bankruptcy Trustee
Upon filing, the court will assume legal control of your debts and any property not covered by your New York exemptions. A trustee will be appointed to your case by the court. The job of the trustee is to see that your creditors are paid as much as possible. This person will thoroughly review your paperwork, particularly the assets you have in your possession and the exemptions you wish to claim, and can challenge any element of your case.

341 Meeting of Creditors
Approximately a month after filing, the trustee will call a first meeting of creditors, which the debtor must attend. This proceeding is also referred to as the § 341 meeting, named after the corresponding section of the bankruptcy code. Creditors rarely attend a Chapter 7 bankruptcy meeting; one or two creditors may attend a Chapter 13 meeting, especially if there is a question as to the legitimacy of some aspect of the plan. Objections are typically resolved by negotiation between the debtor or the debtor s counsel and the creditor. If a compromise can not be reached, a judge will intervene.

The meeting of creditors typically lasts about five minutes. You will receive notice of the location of the meeting but you may contact the court to confirm the address and time. (see New York Bankruptcy Court Directory ) Most Chapter 7 filings involve no non-exempt assets, however, if you filed for Chapter 7 and do have non-exempt assets, you will have to turn over non-exempt property (or its fair market value in cash) to the trustee after the meeting. The trustee will sell this property and distribute the proceeds to your creditors. If the property isn t worth a great deal or would be hard to sell, the trustee may decide to abandon the property (and return it to you). Trustees and creditors have 60 days to challenge the debtor s right to a discharge. If there are no challenges, you will receive a notice from the court that your dischargeable debts have been discharged within three to six months.

Chapter 13 Plan Confirmation
If you filed a Chapter 13 plan, you will need to attend a hearing before a bankruptcy judge who will either confirm or deny the repayment plan. If your plan is confirmed and you make good on it, the balance (if any) on the dischargeable debts you owe will be eliminated at the end of your term.

Are you struggling with debt and feeling overwhelmed? Talk to a local attorney and get a free case review.


Where to file for bankruptcy #where #to #file #for #bankruptcy


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The two most common consumer bankruptcies are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, our sponsoring lawyers handle these types exclusively so you can be sure you are getting accurate legal advice when you file bankruptcy. Our Bankruptcy attorneys will fight to protect your rights and your property, fight the aggressive and annoying creditors for you, and they can help you keep your home, vehicles and other property.

A lawyer will be committed to getting you debt relief and providing you with valuable information, services and advice to get you a better financial future. There are many convenient locations to make filing bankruptcy or learning about the alternatives we offer, even easier.

Recent Bankruptcy Articles

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If you have equity on your house, then it is possible to use that equity in order to pay off your Chapter 13 bankruptcy at a much faster pace.
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    San Diego, CA Bankruptcy Attorneys – Debt Relief Legal Clinic, debt relief bankruptcy.#Debt #relief #bankruptcy


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    San Diego Bankruptcy Attorneys

    How do you choose between paying your bills and feeding your family? At the Debt Relief Legal Clinic (DRLC) in San Diego, we don t think you should have to make that choice.

    Debt from credit cards, medical bills, mortgages and other loans are a major cause of stress for American families. If you are one of the many people suffering from overwhelming stress caused by debt, contact us to schedule a free initial consultation with a San Diego bankruptcy lawyer today. Attorney John C. Colwell and the rest of his staff at the DRLC are dedicated to helping you find the right solution to solving your debt problems.

    Over 29 Years of Exclusive Bankruptcy Experience, a CA Bar Board of Specialization Certified Expert in Bankruptcy

    Attorney Colwell has been practicing in the field of consumer and small business bankruptcy for 30 years. These are not combined years as trumped up or boasted by some supposed long term practitioners. 30 years of doing one thing, helping hard working San Diego residents deal with the overwhelming pain of burdensome debt. Attorney Colwell is recognized by the State Bar of California as one of only 12 certified legal specialists in San Diego County in the area of Bankruptcy Law. Sometimes, it is hard even to pay the monthly interest, much less pay down the balance on your debt. But if you are facing foreclosure, car repossession, collection harassment, lawsuits, back taxes, student loan debt or wage garnishments, you do have options. We will explain the Chapter 7 straight bankruptcy and Chapter 13 repayment plan, as well as bankruptcy alternatives that can help you get debt relief.

    Helping clients throughout Southern California and San Diego County get the debt relief they deserve through bankruptcy since 1975, our entire practice is dedicated to making your life better. When you don t have to worry about overwhelming debt, you can spend more time on the important things in life. Let us explain how the new bankruptcy laws can work for you.

    Contact the Debt Relief Legal Clinic for a San Diego Debt Relief Attorney

    Our experienced San Diego bankruptcy attorneys can help you get a fresh start. Our firm has been helping clients find answers to their debt problems continuously for over 35 years. With offices in San Diego, Bonita, and Vista, we are ready to provide all San Diego County residents with simple and straightforward advice. Call 877-663-3287 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.

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    The Law Offices of Neil Crane #lawyer, #attorney, #bankruptcy #lawyer, #debt #relief, #tax #law, #connecticut


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    “. To recover from debt, to be homeowners, to move forward, while you guys did all the hard work and extra efforts in order to provide us with this blanket of comfort and security, that we enjoy now and ever since we called your office.”

    “. thank you and your vigilant and brilliant team for successfully understanding and then executing my bankruptcy. It was an exhausting journey, made less harrowing by the skill and excellence of your fine practice.”

    “. I was nervous and experiencing feelings of being a failure so it was very difficult to meet and discuss an unpleasant situation. I was greeted and met just a few of the staff before I met with Mr. Crane and immediately realized that this was going to be a non-judgmental and comfortable experience for me.”

    “One of the most difficult decisions of my life was filing for bankruptcy. After being in business for over 30 years and with the downfall of the economy, I knew it was the only choice I had. What I didn’t realize was how important the choice of a bankruptcy attorney would be. After meeting Neil Crane I knew I had again made the right choice. “

    “. Going through bankruptcy was such a difficult decision. We want you to know that you have helped us in so many ways, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for getting the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy finished and the best of all ways.”

    Focused On Fixing Your Bankruptcy and Tax Issues

    With offices in Hamden, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Rocky Hill and Ridgefield, The Law Offices of Neil Crane, LLC, is one of the leading providers of bankruptcy and tax debt relief in Connecticut. Since 1983, we have dedicated our services to creating legal solutions for individuals and small businesses facing financial problems.

    Our founding attorney, Neil Crane. is a renowned Connecticut bankruptcy and tax relief attorney. Attorney Crane receives continuing referrals from advocacy groups, accountants, attorneys and other professionals. Referring professionals and past clients know that Attorney Neil Crane has the full scope of knowledge and long-term experience that enables him to provide all his clients with the best possible solutions for every type of difficult financial problem. Attorney Crane has consulted with over 50,000 Connecticut residents. Attorney Crane has been featured in various national publications, including the BBC and The New York Times.

    We have staff members fluent in Spanish to best assist our Spanish-speaking population.

    Chapter 7, 11 and 13 Bankruptcy Services

    If you’re struggling with credit card bills, medical bills, mortgage problems, wage garnishments, business finances or other debt problems, we have the answers. We assist a broad range of clients every day with professionally tailored and personalized services, advising them on the best debt relief and tax resolution options for their particular situation, including:

    Tax Debt Services

    We have a 30-year history of resolving all forms of tax issues. Our success includes all types of problems involving state and federal tax debt, from simple tax resolutions to even the most complicated personal and business tax ordeals. We can help you understand all tax debt options available and find a solution customized to your specific needs.

    Accountants and other tax professionals rely on our knowledge and experience in referring us even their most complicated, seemingly unsolvable tax dilemmas. We understand the full plethora of available options. It’s never too early or too late. Tax problems are often the most daunting, but solvable in the right hands.

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    Why Us for All Types of Tax and Debt Solutions?

    If you need help regaining control of your personal or business finances, or are struggling with tax problems, credit card debt or mortgage problems, our law firm has the knowledge and long-term experience to provide customized debt solutions. We offer the following:

    • Thirty years of Connecticut experience. We’ve solved over 10,000 financial problems with a dedicated team of specialized attorneys and long-term professionals.
    • Cost-effective services: We realize that people in financial trouble often worry about the additional costs of hiring an attorney. We offer free initial consultations and easy payment plans.
    • Comfortable office environment: People are often nervous about interactions with a lawyer when they have financial trouble. In our comfortable office setting, you can find confidential, reassuring financial advice in easy-to-understand terms. Our main office is conveniently located right off the Merritt Parkway and I-91 in Hamden, Connecticut. Our welcoming, knowledgeable staff of experienced attorneys and friendly, competent assistants will make you feel at home and in good hands – we even have an office dog who will be happy to see you.
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    Contact Our Connecticut Bankruptcy and Tax Law Firm

    We offer a free initial consultation. Please do not hesitate to call us today at 203-230-2233 or toll free at 888-249-3027, or complete our online contact form to discuss your questions and concerns with an experienced attorney. When you call us, you will always speak to a live person, not our voicemail. We are here to listen to and assist you.


    Tennessee Bankruptcy Laws – Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy? #bankruptcy #lawyers #in #murfreesboro #tn


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    Tennessee Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Tennessee Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

    There are several situations where a Chapter 13 is preferable to a Chapter 7. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the only choice if you are behind on your mortgage or business payments and you want to keep your property, either in Tennessee or another state, at the end of the bankruptcy process. A chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to make up their overdue payments over time and to reinstate the original mortgage agreement. In general, if you have valuable property not covered by your Tennessee bankruptcy exemptions that you want to keep, a chapter 13 filing may be a better option. Also, people file Chapter 13 bankruptcy because they have too much income to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or have the kind of debt that is non- dischargeable in a Chapter 7 (e.g. certain taxes).

    However, for the vast majority of Tennessee residents who simply want to eliminate their heavy debt burden without paying any of it back, Chapter 7 provides the most attractive choice.

    For a more on the two types of bankruptcy see:

    A quick overview of the advantages and disadvantages of a the two types of bankruptcy:

    Advantages to a Tennessee Chapter 7 filing:

    1. You receive a complete fresh start. After the bankruptcy is discharged the only debts you owe will be for secured assets on which you choose to sign a Reaffirmation Agreement.
    2. You have immediate protection against creditor s collection efforts and wage garnishment on the date of filing.
    3. Wages you earn and property you acquire (except for inheritances) after the bankruptcy filing date are yours, not the creditors or bankruptcy court.
    4. There is no minimum amount of debt required.
    5. Your case is often over and completely discharged in about 3-6 months.

    Disadvantages to a Tennessee Chapter 7 filing:

    1. You lose your non-exempt property which is sold by the trustee. If you want to keep a secured asset, such as a car or home, and it is not completely covered by your Tennessee bankruptcy exemptions then Chapter 7 is not an option.
    2. If facing foreclosure on your home, the automatic stay created by your Chapter 7 filing only serves as a temporary defense against foreclosure.
    3. Co-signors of a loan can be stuck with your debt unless they also file for bankruptcy protection.
    4. If you filed a prior case and received a discharge of your debts, you can only file a second Chapter 7 bankruptcy case eight years after you filed the first case.

    Advantages to a Tennessee Chapter 13 payment plan:

    1. If you choose and you can afford the payment plan, you can keep all your property, exempt and non-exempt.
    2. While debts are not canceled as in a Chapter 7 discharge they can be reduced under a Chapter 13 payment plan.
    3. You have immediate protection against creditor s collection efforts and wage garnishment.
    4. More debts are considered to be dischargeable (including debt you incurred on the basis of fraud and credit card charges for luxury items immediately prior to filing).
    5. If the Chapter 13 plan provides for full payment, any co-signers are immune from the creditor’s efforts.
    6. You have protection against foreclosure on your home by your lender as long as you meet the terms of the plan.
    7. You have more time to pay debts that can t be discharged by either chapter (like taxes or back child support).
    8. You can file a Chapter 13 at any time.
    9. You can file repeatedly.
    10. You can separate your creditors by class where different classes of creditors receive different percentages of payment. This enables you to treat debts where there is a co-debtor involved on a different basis than debts incurred on your own.

    Disadvantages to a Tennessee Chapter 13 payment plan:

    1. You create a payment plan where you use your post bankruptcy income. This ties up your cash over the Chapter 13 plan period.
    2. Legal fees are higher since a Chapter 13 filing is more complex.
    3. Your plan and therefore your debt will last for 3 to five years.
    4. You are involved in the bankruptcy court process for the term of the 3-5 year plan.
    5. Stockbrokers, and commodity brokers cannot file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.

    Bankruptcy lawyers in little rock ar #bankruptcy #lawyers #in #little #rock #ar


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    $6.9 Million Fraud Embezzlement Verdict – Civil Litigation

    In 2009, Sanford Law Firm secured a verdict in excess of $6.9 million for a corporate client in the Circuit Court of Pope County, Arkansas. A complex case with multiple defendants, the claims included multiple counts of breach of contract; breach of duty of good faith; breach of fiduciary duty; tortious interference with business contract and business expectancy; fraud; conversion; trespass to personal property; misappropriation; unjust enrichment; and civil conspiracy.

    FLSA Lawsuits and Settlements – Civil Litigation

    In 2012, Josh Sanford and others secured a $32,000 settlement for a Sharp County, Arkansas, bar manager who had been misclassified by her employer as “exempt” from the overtime requirements of the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act (AMWA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers do this so that they can work the employee more hours but not pay additional money. This is an all-too-common apporach to “cost savings” by employers. It is illegal unless the employee fits into some narrow categories of applicable exemptions to the overtime requirements. Collectively, cases filed by the Sanford Law Firm since 2009 have resulted in more than $9,000,000 in settlement money for wage and hour violations for more than 300 clients.

    Over $300,000 Awarded in Corporate Dissolution Case – Civil Litigation

    In 2010 and 2011, Sanford Law Firm represented three members of a four person limited liability company during the disputed and contentious dissolution lawsuit. After several hearings, we secured a judgement for our clients in excess of $300,000.

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    Salt Lake Legal – Legal Support Services #salt #lake #city #bankruptcy #attorneys


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    Responsive
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    Company

    About Salt Lake Legal

    Since 2001, Salt Lake Legal has provided legal support services to law firms and businesses in Utah and throughout the West. Whether you need document production, scanning, or state of the art electronic discovery; Salt Lake Legal will provide exceptional quality and service. Our experienced employees have supported corporate, large law firms, and solo-practitioners with services that can t be duplicated.

    Please give our team a try! You won t be disappointed.

    About Salt Lake Legal

    Salt Lake Legal began in 2001, specializing in Legal Services. Today it has turned into the industry s finest and most responsive Legal Service company. We utilize the most current and up-to-date technologies to support any size of law firm or legal counsel. Salt Lake Legal is a trusted name in the industry with a loyal customer base, experienced employees, and certified technicians to handle any job, anywhere. We are committed to provide our clients with services that will exceed expectations.

    Have A Question?

    Get In Touch with Salt Lake Legal

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    ✓ On-Site Scanning

    ✓ Color Copies

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    (E-Discovery)

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    Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Overview and Process #oregon #chapter # #bankruptcy


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    Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

    A chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as a debt liquidation. It wipes out all of the debt that the law permits to be discharged.

    Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed as an orderly, court-supervised procedure by which a trustee collects the assets of the debtor(s), reduces them to cash, and makes distributions to creditors, subject to the debtor s right to retain certain exempt property and the rights of secured creditors.

    Because there is usually little or no nonexempt property in most Chapter 7 cases, there may not be an actual liquidation of the debtor s assets. These cases are called no-asset cases. Usually a debtors with assets that they wish to keep and that are not covered by exemptions file Chapter 13 bankruptcy .

    Home Mortgages, Car Loans, and Other Secured Debt

    When you borrow money and give the lender a mortgage or lien on your property, you have a secured debt. If the money you borrowed was used to purchase the secured property, the lender is entitled to recover the security if you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy.

    The debt will be discharged you will not owe any additional money to the creditor but unless you take additional steps, you will lose the property. If you have a mortgage loan, the lender will eventually be allowed to foreclose your mortgage. If you took out a car loan and gave a lien on the car to the lender, the lender will eventually be able to repossess the car. You can always choose to surrender the property rather than dealing with the hassle of a foreclosure or repossession.

    You do have alternatives under chapter 7 that allow you to keep your secured property. Before you file your chapter 7 petition, you can negotiate with the lender to reaffirm the debt. The lender might be willing to extend your loan so that the payments are more affordable. The lender might also be willing to rewrite the loan to include delinquent payments in the new loan balance.

    If discharging your other debts will free up the funds you need to make payments on your secured debt, the lender might agree to reaffirm your loan despite your bankruptcy filing. It is important that you negotiate with your lender before you file bankruptcy, because it is more difficult to negotiate the terms of a reaffirmation agreement after you file your chapter 7 petition.

    Another alternative allows you to keep your property if you pay its current value to your lender. For instance, if you owe a $5,000 balance on a car that is only worth $2,000 due to depreciation, you can keep the car by paying a lump sum of $2,000 to your lender.

    Unsecured Debt

    Most debts you owe that are not secured by collateral, including most credit card debt, can be fully discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some loans for which you gave collateral might also be treated as unsecured if you did not purchase the collateral with the loan proceeds.

    Debts That Cannot be Discharged

    Some debts cannot be discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy, including most taxes, judgments for damages resulting from drunk driving accidents, alimony and child support arrearages, and (except in rare instances) student loans.

    The Bankruptcy Estate and Exempt Property

    Unless it is exempt, all property you own (and all property your spouse owns if you file jointly) becomes part of the bankruptcy estate. The bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case can sell property in the bankruptcy estate and use the proceeds to pay your creditors.

    State and federal laws define the property that is exempt. You can keep exempt property. Most states allow you to keep a certain amount of equity in your home. You can usually keep one or more vehicles up to a specified value. Household goods, clothing, and personal effects of ordinary value are usually exempt, along with a certain amount of cash. Since exemptions vary from state to state, you need to consult with your bankruptcy attorney to determine which exemptions apply to you. In many cases, debtors who file a chapter 7 bankruptcy can keep everything they own.

    Before You File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

    After you consult with your bankruptcy attorney, you can begin to plan the steps you need to take to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Before you file, you need to:

    Make sure you are eligible. Only debtors who can pass a means test qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your attorney can help you perform the calculations to determine whether you are eligible to file under chapter 7.

    Plan the timing of your bankruptcy. Sometimes it makes sense to delay filing bankruptcy, particularly if delay will allow you to keep a tax refund.

    Negotiate to reaffirm secured debts. If you have a mortgage and want to keep your home, or if you want to continue making payments on a car loan so you can keep your car, you need to negotiate a reaffirmation agreement before you file your chapter 7 petition.

    Attending credit counseling. With the six months prior to the date on which you file bankruptcy, you must attend credit counseling provided by an approved credit counseling agency. Consult your bankruptcy attorney so you can avoid credit counseling services that will try to sell you services you don t need.

    Prepare the bankruptcy petition. You will work with your attorney to prepare a bankruptcy petition to file with the court. In the petition, you will list all of your income and debts. You will also list all of your assets and their approximate value. If you claim an asset is exempt from inclusion in the bankruptcy estate, you must specify the exemption in the petition.

    Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Procedure

    The chapter 7 petition is filed with the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court. This is what you should expect after you file your petition:

    Entry of automatic stay. As soon as the petition is accepted for filing, an automatic stay goes into effect. The Bankruptcy Court mails notice of the stay to each creditor you listed in your petition. The stay prevents your creditors from making further efforts to collect the debt from you unless they can persuade the court to lift the stay.

    First meeting of creditors. A few weeks after you file the petition, you and your attorney will attend a meeting with the bankruptcy trustee appointed to your case. The trustee will ask you some questions about your petition to verify that it is accurate and complete. Your creditors are entitled to attend the meeting and to question you, although they rarely do so unless they suspect that you are hiding assets or committing some other form of fraud. Typically, your participation in a First Meeting of Creditors will last only a few minutes.

    Review claims of creditors. Your creditors must file a claim with the court if they want to get paid. If you object to the amount of the claim or dispute the debt, you can file an objection that the trustee or the Bankruptcy Judge will resolve.

    Adversary proceedings. In rare cases, a creditor might challenge your right to discharge a certain debt, or there might be a dispute about the value of certain property or your right to claim an exemption. In those cases, the court will hold a hearing to resolve the dispute.

    Debtor education course. Within 60 days after you file your chapter 7 petition, you must attend a debtor education class. The class teaches you how to live within a budget and how to manage debt responsibly.

    Wait for your discharge. A few months after you file your chapter 7 petition, the court will enter an order that discharges all of your dischargeable debts. You can then take advantage of your fresh start, free from the burden of unmanageable debt.

    Find Information About Your State:


    Bankruptcy in Colorado #colorado #bankruptcy #law


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    Bankruptcy in Colorado

    Bankruptcy is a legal procedure governed by federal law and handled in the federal court system. It helps people who cannot pay their debts get a fresh start. There are two types of bankruptcy procedures for individual debtors:

    • Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the courts can liquidate your nonexempt assets to pay your debts
    • Under Chapter 13, you file a plan with the court detailing how you will pay off your debts over a specified time period. Living in Colorado impacts certain aspects of your bankruptcy case.

    Where to File for Bankruptcy in Colorado

    You must file your bankruptcy case in Denver, Colorado’s only federal district court, by mail or in person. If you have an attorney authorized as an electronic filer, he or she may file your case documents electronically. Four satellite locations exist for holding creditors meetings, in Pueblo, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins.

    Who Can File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

    You are eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Colorado if your average monthly income for the past six months is less than the state’s median monthly income of $4,071 ($48,856 annually) in 2012 for a single-person household. If your income is greater, you may file for Chapter 7 only if you pass a strict, complicated means test.

    How Long Will You Be in Chapter 13?

    The duration of your Chapter 13 repayment plan will depend on your average monthly income. If it is less than Colorado’s median income, you will have to repay your creditors within 36 months, and the court may extend that time to not more than 60 months if it finds good cause. If your income is at least as high as the state median, your Chapter 13 repayment plan may cover 60 months, but the court may agree to a shorter plan if you can pay your unsecured debt in less time.

    Exemptions Available in Colorado

    Exemptions are assets that you may legally exclude from bankruptcy. Federal law allows states to opt out of the federal exemptions and set their own, and Colorado has done this.

    Colorado’s exemptions include personal items such as clothing, jewelry, family pictures and school books up to a maximum value set by law. You may also exclude burial sites, tools of your trade and one motor vehicle, subject to statutory equity limits mdash;the amount of money you have invested in the property as opposed to its market value.

    The state also exempts up to $60,000 of equity in a homestead occupied by the owner or the owner’s family. If occupied by elderly or disabled persons, the maximum homestead exemption in Colorado is $90,000 of equity. Special rules apply if you have moved recently, if you have lived in Colorado for less than two years, your previous home state’s exemptions may apply.

    Talk to an attorney


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