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Rochester New York Bankruptcy Law Blog

Can you keep your home in a New York bankruptcy filing?

It only takes one serious incident to put your family in a position of financial hardship. Divorce or a sudden layoff from work could leave you charging all your expenses for a few weeks. That can result in struggling to catch up on your mortgage, credit card bills and monthly car payment. You may find yourself struggling to make the monthly minimum payment while the principle balances of your accounts grow.

As your debt increases, you will also have to pay more interest and, potentially, fees as well. This can be a devastating cycle, leaving you on the cusp of losing your home and unable to meet your basic financial obligations. For many people, bankruptcy offers protections. However, there are limits to the assets you can maintain and still discharge through bankruptcy. Many people worry that they will not be able to keep their home.

4 common reasons why people file for bankruptcy

When an individual becomes overwhelmed with debt, it can seem impossible to recover. If you have found yourself in this position, you are not alone. Many people in the Rochester area have found themselves struggling to make ends meet due to out-of-control debt. Fortunately, there are options available to help you get your finances back on track.

While credit counseling may be enough for some people to conquer their money troubles, others require more drastic measures. For many, the only way to truly get their finances under control is to file bankruptcy. Here are some of the common reasons why people file for bankruptcy.

Understanding the means test in a New York Chapter 7 bankruptcy

For most people who think of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 is what comes to mind. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows those in debt to discharge their debts without a repayment period. There is also Chapter 13, which allows a person overwhelmed by debt to work with creditors. By creating a workable payment plan with a time limit, Chapter 13 allows for repayment and debt forgiveness for those who don't qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Generally speaking, in order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an individual must pass what is known as a means test. Those who can't pass the means test will generally need to consider Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7. Understanding the means test makes it easier to determine what kind of bankruptcy protections could work for your situation.

Foreclosure? Wage garnishments? An automatic stay might help

If you are facing an overwhelming amount of debt, you could be receiving constant calls from collection agents and creditors. You may feel like you are in an impossible situation and that there is no way to climb out of the debt hole that seems to be swallowing your life. However, there are options. Filing for bankruptcy may be the best course of action you can take to get your debt under control.

Bankruptcy comes with many benefits, including debt restructure that makes keeping up with monthly payments much easier. Another benefit is an automatic stay that applies to anyone attempting to collect a debt from you. To find out what an automatic stay can and cannot do for you, read below.

How to decide if bankruptcy is right for you

If you live in Rochester and have found yourself with more debt than you can handle, you are not alone. Many people find themselves in similar circumstances due to a sudden reduction in income or surprise expenses that drain savings and checking accounts. The most important thing you can do is to be proactive when it comes to getting your debt under control. For some this might mean a meeting with a mortgage lender to discuss options. For others, this could be filing for bankruptcy.

If you are looking for a solution to your debt problem, you might be wondering if bankruptcy is the right choice for you. The factors below might be able to help you determine if bankruptcy is the best option for your specific circumstances.

You have responsibilities in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

People who file for bankruptcy have specific responsibilities that they need to live up to. If you don't live up the responsibilities that you have in these cases, you can cause your bankruptcy to not be discharged as it should.

Ideally, you should learn about the responsibilities you have before you file your Chapter 13 case. Even if you are already in the process of filing or have turned everything in, including the required payment, you should still take a peek at this list to give you an idea of what you need to accomplish.

What’s the difference between Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy?

If you struggle to pay your bills each month, you are not alone. There are a number of situations which can contribute to financial problems for families in New York. Some people, used to a higher standard of living, can no longer survive on a reduced income after a job change. Others have simply accumulated far too much consumer debt, such as credit cards.

Up debt's stream without a paddle

Bank Account Restraint Minimum Balance Is Increasing in New York - But By How Much?

It's tax refund season: Over the next two months countless New Yorkers will be filing tax returns and claiming tax refunds.

Can a Bankruptcy Debtor in Rochester Exempt Property that is Both Residential and Commercial?

A colleague of mine reports that Rochester Bankruptcy Judge Paul R. Warren appears to be of the opinion that property can qualify for the homestead exemption even if it is used in part for non-residential purposes. The issue came up in a recent hearing before the judge; no formal decision was delivered, but Judge Warren, according to this source, said from the bench that the debtor could exempt mixed-use property.

So How Much Should a Bankruptcy in Rochester Cost?

One of the most common questions in a bankruptcy case is the fee: how much will it cost? My answer is it depends on the complexity of the case. The typical attorney fees in my cases range from $900 to $1,200 for chapter 7. Occasionally the fee is higher, for more complicated cases, or where extra work may be needed. My chapter 13 fees usually range from $2,500 to $3,500.

Peter R. Scribner, Esq | 1110 Park Avenue | Rochester, New York 14610
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