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Category: Bankruptcy

The living room of a rental apartment.

How Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Save You From Apartment Eviction

Struggling to make your rent payments? If so, you’re probably on edge anticipating an eviction. However, if you’re considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it may protect you from getting kicked out of your apartment.

In the state of New Jersey, a tenant can only be evicted if the landlord obtains a Judgment for Possession. But filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection will stop a Judgement for Possession immediately, thanks to The Automatic Stay provision.

How Filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Save Your Apartment

Normally, The Automatic Stay is used to stop creditors from trying to collect debts and prevents them from pursuing legal action against you. It can also halt foreclosure and repossession proceedings, which can include apartment eviction.

In other words, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you get out of debt and keep your apartment. The process has its share of intricacies and an attorney can help guide you through the process, but here’s a general overview of how it works:

  • If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy before the Judgment for Possession is entered, you can keep living in your rental apartment while paying back any missed payments.
  • Even if a Judgment for Possession has been entered, it still might be possible to stay in your apartment by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Contact us today to learn more!
  • Past-due apartment rental payments can be discharged through Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Beyond saving your home, Chapter 13 can help relieve your financial burdens and protect your short-term and long-term finances. If this sounds like an option you want to take, you need to be fully prepared before filing. A qualified New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer can help you through this tough time.

Contact an Experienced Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Now!

At Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP, we provide friendly, caring, and affordable legal services. We serve clients throughout central and south Jersey with offices in Collingswood, Mount Holly, Vineland, and Freehold. If you need an experienced bankruptcy attorney, call 856.963.5000 right now to schedule your free consultation with one of our skilled lawyers.

3 Things a Case Trustee Does During Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Image of a wallet being squeezed shut to demonstrate chapter 7 bankruptcy.

When a person files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a case trustee is appointed to manage the bankruptcy estate. This role is filled with a multitude of tasks and responsibilities and it’s complicated to try and offer a brief summation.

The following are three of the biggest tasks a case study handles during the course of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (Based on this article by the Federal Courts).

1) Liquidation

Sells the debtor’s non-exempt property and other belongings in order to pay off creditors. Filing Chapter 7 means you’ll most likely be selling off your home.

Selling a house may be perfectly fine for many, but for others, it’s a deal-breaker. If you’re thinking of bankruptcy but still want to keep your house, it’s better to consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

2) Recover Money and Equity

Trustees have the power to do a number of things in an effort to reclaim some of the debtor’s money or estate. This includes setting aside preferential transfers to creditors, undoing security interests and other prepetition transfers of property, and pursuing non-bankruptcy claims such as fraudulent conveyance and others. Learn more here.

3) Operates Business

If it helps with the process of paying off creditors and the liquidation, the trustee might run the debtor’s business for a brief period. This includes undoing security interests among other pursuits and remedies.

These are only a few of the many things case trustees do and these descriptions do not serve as complete descriptions. In addition, this article should not be taken as legal advice.

If you’re considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy or another legal option, you need to consult an attorney for guidance. If you’re in New Jersey and seeking legal assistance, we can help you.

Request Your Bankruptcy Consultation Today!

Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP is a New Jersey law firm that is dedicated to helping families find relief from the burden of debt and other financial woes. For more than 35 years, our bankruptcy lawyers have provided effective guidance on all debt relief matters to clients throughout Central and South Jersey.

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7 Debts You Can’t Discharge Through Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy can be a proper solution to people feeling the massive weight of financial burdens. It can provide a clean slate that allows someone, with few caveats, to get a fresh start and regain power over their financial situation and life.

But while bankruptcy is extremely helpful in relieving financial stress, it’s definitely not a complete reset button. Here are seven types of debt that won’t be discharged through bankruptcy:

1) Child Support and Spousal Support

Despite the best interests, child support and spousal support payments can make a difficult financial situation worse. It’s a necessary obligation that most would like to pay, but other debts and common bills can pile up. Add to that the high fixed costs of child support and/or spousal support, and it’s a recipe for financial disaster. But while bankruptcy can help alleviate some debt, take note that child support and spousal support are not dischargeable.

2) Student Loans

Student loans aren’t generally discharged in bankruptcy, especially not when the loans are recent or school has just been completed. For student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy, you must prove that the loans have caused undue hardship. This usually involves showing proof that you’ve made a constant effort to stay on top of payments and proof of extremely low income.

3) More Recent Credit Card Debt

A common misconception is that someone planning on going bankrupt can go on a shopping spree only to have the charges wiped away as though they never happened. Bankruptcy is a serious decision made when debt has grown to a point that finances have become an insurmountable burden. It’s not uncommon for a court to determine those latest charges aren’t a cause of the current financial situation and may even be classified as attempted fraud.

4) Back Taxes

Taxes can be a hairy situation in bankruptcy. Income taxes, tax penalties, unpaid withheld taxes, and even Social Security taxes cannot generally be discharged. There are few exceptions to this, one of which is if the taxes due are for a return due more than three years ago. Depending on the nature of the taxes, it could be possible to discharge some tax debts, but not usually.

5) Criminal Restitution

Fines and penalties imposed for breaking the law are not dischargeable in bankruptcy under any circumstances.

6) Divorce Legal Fees

Legal fees related to a divorce can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. This also includes debts from a marriage. For example, if one of the terms agreed upon in the divorce was for one spouse to pay their ex-spouse’s credit card debt, the spouse will still be liable for that debt.

7) Mortgage

Bankruptcy will not discharge your mortgage.

Despite the things bankruptcy cannot discharge, it may be an extremely helpful option to regain control of your finances. Don’t let this list of restrictions deter you from getting the help you need.

Get Your Free Consultation With Our Bankruptcy Attorneys

Are you or a loved one in New Jersey is looking for financial relief and are considering bankruptcy, but don’t know where to start? Let our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys help.

Contact Our Lawyers Today to Schedule Your Consultation

How to Decide if Bankruptcy is Right For You

Bankruptcy can be a helpful strategy to escape insurmountable debt. It gives those in debt a new lease on life and more control over their financial situation. Still, not all situations are created equal – though your debt may seem daunting, bankruptcy may not always be the answer. Here are some factors to consider before going through with bankruptcy:

Assess Your Situation

Take a hard look at your finances and income. In some cases, a simple budget and a solid plan can help lighten the load of seemingly unbeatable debt. It can also help to simply talk to your creditors and let them know that your financial situation has changed. Remember, they want their money, too. In some cases, they can work with you if you work with them – try to negotiate a payment arrangement or see about settlements.

Know Which Debts Will and Won’t Be Canceled

Bankruptcy can clear a substantial amount of debt, but it rarely cancels everything. Alimony, child support, and criminal restitution do not qualify for a bankruptcy discharge. If any of these are the primary reason you’re considering bankruptcy, it’s worth taking into account that they won’t be discharged and you should evaluate your financial burdens without these in mind.

Consider Your Cosigner

If you have any debts that relied on a cosigner for approval, your bankruptcy may affect their credit. Particularly with Chapter 7 bankruptcy where you’re absolved of your part of the debt, but the co-signer is still financially responsible for the entire debt.

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13

“Bankruptcy” is used as a blanket term, but the two most common types are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. While both have their intricacies, they can be boiled down to the following concepts: Chapter 13 bankruptcy is basically a payment arrangement option in which you use your income to pay down debt in a set amount of time up to five years. Chapter 7, the most common, is the bankruptcy option that strives to cancel most debts altogether and help people start fresh.

Make Sure You Qualify

After deciding which bankruptcy is right for you, take the time to make sure you qualify. Both chapters 13 and 7 bankruptcies have their own set lists of requirements.

This could take into account your current income, the value of any assets you may own, and of course, the amount of debt you’re in.

Contact Our NJ Bankruptcy Attorneys

Eligibility can be the trickiest part of a bankruptcy. You may be left with all sorts of questions regarding the qualifications. We’re here to help! If you or a loved one is looking for financial relief and are considering bankruptcy, but don’t know where to start, let our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys help.

Request Your Free Bankruptcy Consultation Here!

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Can Foreclosure Be Stopped?

Picture of a stack of credit cards.

Being in debt is horrible. You spend sleepless nights trying to figure out which bills to pay and how to pay them. Meanwhile, your mortgage is in arrears and your head is filled with questions like:

  • “Will the bank take my home?”
  • “Do I have to file for bankruptcy?”
  • “Can filing for bankruptcy protection save my home from foreclosure?”

Your home is likely the biggest investment you’ve ever made. It’s the place where you and your family feel safest. But uncontrollable debt is a threat to that security.

The mortgage company wants its payments, and when a homeowner gets into significant arrears, it can be tough to avoid foreclosure. Your fears are justified, but it’s important to know you have options.

So, How Can You Stop Foreclosure and Save Your Home?

To stop the foreclosure of your home, the options include filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debt negotiation/settlement, or obtaining a loan modification.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Also called reorganization bankruptcy, Chapter 13 enables a person to pay back creditors in smaller amounts over a longer period of time (usually three to five years). This includes paying back mortgage arrears and getting current with your loan.

Debt Negotiation/Settlement: In a general sense, this is when you work with your creditors to reduce the total amount owed or restructure your payment plan in your favor. In theory, this is a great option, but it can negatively impact your credit score and it requires an agreement from your debtors to even do it. You’ll definitely need the help of an experienced attorney to try this route.

Loan Modification: In this program, you may be able to restructure your loan and reduce monthly payments. You may also be able to take some of your equity to pay down debt so you avoid bankruptcy.

Contact Us to Help Save Your Home from Foreclosure

You can get through these challenging financial times — we can help. At Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP, we provide friendly, caring, and affordable legal services. We serve clients throughout central and south Jersey with offices in Collingswood, Mount Holly, Vineland, and Freehold. If you need a friendly lawyer who truly cares about you, call (856) 963-5000 today to get your free consultation.

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