We understand the great economic hardship so many of our fellow neighbors are experiencing, through no fault of their own. Our office if is here to provide financial counseling to assist you in navigating thru these uncertain economic times, advising how to preserve as many assets and as much of your legacy as possible, while simultaneously assisting with financial relief options. Please give our office a call for a now free, honest consultation, so that you can make informed decisions. We are offering flexible payment options and flat fee pricing, along with a 20% reduction in our legal fee, in an effort at assist as many people in need as possible. The Bankruptcy Code was enacted to give citizens a fresh start. With over 25 years of Bankruptcy experience and intimate knowledge of the Bankruptcy Code and Rules, please give our office a call to discuss your financial circumstances. Even if you have filed Bankruptcy before, or believe you would not qualify, call us to ensure you have exhausted all your options in order to best protect your home, investments and legacy. Our office has successfully handled hundreds of Bankruptcy filings and provide representation to individuals in Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties.
There are four basic Chapters in the Bankruptcy Code:
- Chapter 7 - Personal liquidation
- Chapter 11 - Business Reorganization
- Chapter 12 - Family Farmer
- Chapter 13 - Personal Reorganization
If you believe you may benefit from another Chapter, please give our office to discuss your options.
The following is for information purposes only and should not serve as legal advice or a substitute for meeting with a professional to discuss the merits of your case.
The most commonly used Chapter in the Bankruptcy Code is a Chapter 7, which is usually the Chapter people imagine when discussing Bankruptcy. Sometimes called a "Liquidation", upon filing your petition, your property becomes part of the bankruptcy estate (subject to turnover) and trustee is assigned to examine the debtor under oath and administer the nonexempt assets of the estate. However, the Bankruptcy Code allows individuals to keep a certain amount and type of property that is exempt from the bankruptcy estate, but there are limits on the amount of property you may have and the type of property you may exempt. Again, while most unsecured debts (i.e. credit card and medical bills) are dischargeable in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, there are exceptions to this, which may be based on when the debt was incurred and the identity of the creditor. Further, in 2005, the Bankruptcy Code was amended, placing income limits on your ability to file a Chapter 7 based on household size (commonly called a means test) and other requirements, such as credit counseling, turnover of tax returns documents, and filing pay stubs from your employer.
Also, certain debts are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means even after your case is complete you may still owe these debts, which are commonly called priority debts. These debts include most back taxes and student loans, child or spousal support obligations, criminal restitution, debts owed to the government (i.e. alleged overpayments on benefits), court fines, and debts incurred by fraud. Also, should you wish to retain property secured by a loan, such as a home or automobile, you would continue to be responsible for those obligations.
Typical debtors that file a Chapter 7
- have a larger amount of unsecured debt (such as credit cards and medical bills);
- maintain household income over the last 6 months that are below the income limits;
- have exemptions available which protect most of their of property; and
- current with their mortgage payments.
Please call our office to set up an appointment to examine and analyze your income, expenses, assets and debts to ensure that a Chapter 7 would provide the relief that you expect.
- Stop Foreclosures
- Stop Tax Auctions
- Payback debts on a reduced basis
- Pay mortgage arrears over 60 months
- Protect Co-Signors
- Stop Repossessions
- Retain your property
The other Chapter of Bankruptcy often used by individuals is a Chapter 13, commonly called a "reorgainization". Unlike a Chapter 7, you are allowed to retain all your property. However, also unlike a Chapter 7, you are required to pay your debts back at a reduced basis. Typically priority debts, such as mortgage arrears and taxes, are paid back in full under the plan, while unsecured debts, such as credit cards and medical bills, and paid back at a reduced percentage. The amount of the payment varies depending on several factors, including the amount of debt, type of debt, household income, allowable expenses, and amount of assets owned (you cannot pay less into a Chapter 13 than would have been received by your creditors under a Chapter 7 liquidation - called a "reconciliation test"). Upon filing a Chapter 13, a trustee is assigned and your proposed repayment begins, pending examination before the Trustee and the Judge. Following examination by the Trustee, of the debts, assets, income and expenses, the repayment plan may be adjusted. The debtor then appears before the assigned Judge to be examined to ensure that all the laws and rules are satisfied and the repayment plan is feasible and in the best interest of both the debtor and the estate.
The Chapter 13 repayment plan lasts a minimum of 36 months and a maximum of 60 months. After the debtor has made all his payments under the Chapter 13, the remaining unsecured debt is discharged, similar to a Chapter 7. However, certain debts are still owed following the Chapter 13, such as secured payment (i.e. mortgages) as well as remaining balances on student loans.Typical debtors that file Chapter 13 have one or more of the following:
- household income over the last 6 months exceeds household limits allowed;
- owe mortgage arrears;
- in foreclosure;
- owe significant tax debt;
- own notable nonexempt property.
341 Meeting of Creditors Locations
(Meeting usually held in the County of Debtors Residence on filing date)
300 Pearl Street
Buffalo, NY 14202
4th Floor (CHAPTER 7, 11 & 12)
***NOTE*** CHAPTER 13 CASES ARE HELD AT
ROBERT H. JACKSON FEDERAL COURTHOUSE
Niagara Falls Municipal Complex
1925 Main Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14305
Genesee County Courthouse
7 Main Street
3rd Floor Courtroom
Batavia, NY 14020
Cattaraugus County Courthouse
1 Leo Moss Drive
Olean, NY 14760
Gerace Office Building
North Erie Street
Mayville, NY 14757
DISCLAIMER: My firm is in the business to help people and companies (debtors and creditors alike) obtain protection and provide services offered by and under the bankruptcy law, code and rules and to navigate the extremely complicated process of bankruptcy. As we provide and assist people to file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code, we are considered a debt relief agency. 11 U.S.C. Sec. 528