What Does Pro Bono Mean
“Pro bono” is a Latin term that refers to lawyers who are willing to provide assistance for free. Bar associations like to talk about the fact that lawyers do ‘pro bono’ but, in fact, very few actually do, and the need for legal services is far greater than the amount of pro bono help available. Nevertheless, some court websites will direct you to pro bono services instead of simply providing the information you need.
Pro bono services can be uneven. Some can be excellent while others may be done by lawyers with little expertise in bankruptcy law. If you read a good book on how to file for bankruptcy before you meet with your pro bono lawyer, you will be better able to gauge their knowledge of bankruptcy law.
How Often Can I File For Bankruptcy
If you are evaluating filing bankruptcy and have already done so before you will have to wait a few years.
Lets look at some cases:
You want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy now, but you cannot do so if:
- in the last eight years you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
- in the last six years you filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy
Now you want to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you will not be able to do so if:
- in the last four years you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
- in the last two years you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy
Generally, you can file for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy as soon as the last bankruptcy has concluded.
If you have never filed for bankruptcy before, you may do so without any time restrictions.
Western District Of New York Requirements
The Western District of New York is one of the few districts in the nation that requires people filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York without an attorney to provide the court three full copies of all bankruptcy forms in addition to the original signed forms upon filing their case. It has offices in Buffalo and Rochester but holds 341 meetings in a variety of locations within the district. If you have to update any information in your forms by filing an amendment, make sure to file this coversheet along with the amended documents, and follow the instructions regarding service on the bottom of the form.
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When To File For Bankruptcy
There is no exact date or ideal time to file for bankruptcy. The only clue as to when you should file bankruptcy is if you can no longer pay your debts. Here you can review how to find out if you have debts in the United States.
At Ortiz & Ortiz we can advise you and evaluate your financial and credit situation to determine if filing bankruptcy is your best alternative.
Mail Documents To Your Trustee
You will receive the name and contact information for your bankruptcy trustee a few days after your bankruptcy case is filed. The trustee’s job is to administer your case, make sure that youâre not hiding anything, and review the circumstances surrounding your case to determine whether your creditors are entitled to a disbursement. Even though your tax returns are not actually filed with the court, you must provide a copy of your most recent federal income tax return to the bankruptcy trustee
Additionally, some trustees mail out a letter requesting certain other documents, such as paycheck stubs and bank account statements. Keep an eye out for any such request from your trustee and make sure you follow the instructions provided with respect to how and when to submit everything to the trustee’s office.
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Can I File For Bankruptcy More Than One Time
While you may file for bankruptcy as many times as you wish, there are requirements on the amount of time that must elapse before you may receive multiple bankruptcy discharges. If you have already been granted a Chapter 7 discharge you must wait eight years to receive a second Chapter 7 discharge or four years for a discharge under Chapter 13. If your discharge was ordered under Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code then generally you must wait six years for a Chapter 7 discharge or two years for a second Chapter 13 discharge. Because there are time limits on how often you can have your debts wiped away clean you should always consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney and declare bankruptcy when it is most advantageous.
Dealing With Your Car
Unless you happen to live in New York City, chances are you need your car to get around, whether that’s to and from work, school, the grocery store or wherever. Filing bankruptcy in New York gives you the opportunity to deal with your car in a way that makes sense for you. If youâre struggling to make the payment every month and/or the balance owing on the car loan far exceeds the actual value of your vehicle, it may make sense to give the vehicle back to the bank.
If you like your car and the loan makes sense both in terms of your ability to make the monthly payments and the balance left owing, you can keep everything the way it is by entering into reaffirmation agreement. Since this means that youâll continue to be responsible for the full balance left on the loan, you should only do this if the car is in decent condition and you can make the payment every month without problem.
If you own your car outright, then everything stays the same as long as the available exemption is high enough to cover its full value.
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New York Bankruptcy Forms
Since New York bankruptcy cases are filed in federal court, a majority of the New York bankruptcy forms are national forms used in bankruptcy cases across the United States. While the clerk’s office may not be able to provide you with the official forms, you can each one of them, for free, as a fillable PDF. Additionally, each one of the bankruptcy districts in the Empire State has created certain local forms for use in cases filed within each district. These New York bankruptcy forms are available for download on the individual web pages for the four districts.
Debts That Can And Cant Be Discharged In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 should dismiss most of the debts you owe, but there are some hard-and-fast debts that cant be discharged in Chapter 7.
The list of non-dischargeable debts includes:
- Child support
- Student loans must prove undue hardship
- HOA fees if you surrender your home or condo
- Any other form of unsecured debt.
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Determine Whether To Hire An Attorney To File Bankruptcy
Once you understand the cost, you can now determine whether to hire an attorney to file bankruptcy. Most attorneys will send you a retainer agreement that will outline the terms of the engagement. You will most likely need to submit information like pay stubs and tax returns for them to file the bankruptcy petition.
You may want to be aware of these 5 things when hiring a bankruptcy attorney.
United States Bankruptcy Court
Filing Fee: $338.00 Payable By : Attorneys may pay by check money order certified bank check cash or credit card . Personal and Third Party Checks cannot be accepted. Pro-se debtors must make all payments in cash or money order made payable to CLERK, U.S. BANKRUPTCY COURT. Do NOT send cash through the mail.
If the debtor is an individual the fee may be :– Paid in installments. A signed application must be filed for the courts approval or– Waived. The debtor must file a signed Official Form 103B: Application to have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived and Schedules I and J for the courts approval.
DOCUMENTS MUST BE FILED WITHIN 14 CALENDAR DAYS OF FILING THE PETITION UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED. YOUR CASE MAY BE DISMISSED IF YOU DO NOT FILE THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS ON TIME.
Requirement : Original plus 1 copy of all documents submitted.
- Certificate of Credit Counseling and Debt Repayment Plan or a request pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 109)
- List of Creditors Typed LBR 1007-1
- Notice to Individual Debtor with Primarily Consumer Debts under 11 U.S.C. § 342, if applicable.Required if the debtor is an individual with primarily consumer debts. Certification that the notice has been given must be FILED with the petition or within 15 days. 11 U.S.C. §§ 342, 521, 707. Part 7 of Official Form 101 contains spaces for the signature and certification.
Discharge Eligibility :
You May Also Need to File :
If you paid a petition preparer or you are represented by an attorney :
Please Note :
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Estimate Whether You Will Qualify For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In New York
As stated above, you often have to qualify to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Qualification is based on US means testing. The means testing is based on the household income and size of the household for New York.
Bankruptcy Means Test In New York
The bankruptcy means test in New York often changes every 6 months. To help, we built the following bankruptcy means test calculator to help you estimate qualification, understand the cost and compare bankruptcy alternatives.
New York Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Income Limits
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How To File For Bankruptcy In Ny
To declare bankruptcy to protect itself from a wave of lawsuits filed over past. A roman catholic diocese in new york city’s suburbs thursday became the largest in the u.s.
Barneys begins to raise financing for potential bankruptcy
- In order to file bankruptcy in new york, you will first have to decide if you want to hire a new york bankruptcy lawyer.
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Will I Lose All Of My Property If I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
After filing for Chapter 7, your property will go into a bankruptcy estate held by the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee appointed to your case. However, the chapter 7 trustee can only liquidate your assets to the extent those assets are non-exempt.
In New York, there is a homestead exemption of $170,825 for each debtor/owner, and 100% of life insurance, retirement annuities, and pension plans, among others. The bankruptcy process can be complicated and thats why its important to seek legal advice from an attorney that understands the intricacies of bankruptcy.
How To File For Bankruptcy In New York In 2021
Just hearing the word bankruptcy scares many people. If this is your case, dont worry. In this article we will clarify your doubts and guide you through the process. Therefore, before going into detail on how to go through the process of filing for bankruptcy in New York, we will clarify some key points.
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The Average Timeline Of A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Every bankruptcy case is unique, and it is impossible to estimate precisely how long your bankruptcy will take. Generally, the process of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes around four to six months. Within that time frame, the debtor petitioning for bankruptcy needs to complete the initial credit counseling, file all of the necessary schedules, attend the meeting of creditors, and wait for the court to discharge the remaining debts.
The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process could take longer than six months if there are discrepancies in your petition, missing information, or the trustee requests additional documents. If you have to sell the property to repay creditors, doing so can add additional time. Likewise, if you would like to have your student loans discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is possible, but the process is difficult and can require a lengthy trial. You will need to gather evidence and submit evidence on your behalf during this trial. Nonetheless, in many cases, the debtor can move from submitting the initial bankruptcy petition to discharging debt within six months.
Determine Whether You Need Help To File Bankruptcy In New York
Did you know that some people file for bankruptcy without an attorney? Many people prefer using a bankruptcy lawyer given the complexity of filing bankruptcy, but it is possible to often file Chapter 7 bankruptcy without an attorney. Filing Chapter 13 without an attorney may be much more challenging.
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Bankruptcy Statistics In New York State
As you may know, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an onslaught of bankruptcy filings throughout New York State, though perhaps surprisingly, there were not quite as many bankruptcy filings as there were in 2019. That being said, Chapter 11 bankruptcies, typically used for struggling businesses, were up around 13% in the past year. Please continue reading and speak with our knowledgeable New York bankruptcy lawyer to learn more about the 2020 bankruptcy trends here in New York State and how our firm can help if you are currently looking to file for bankruptcy.
How Long Does It Take To Complete Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The time it takes to complete Chapter 7 bankruptcy varies depending upon your situation. In general, you can expect it to take around three to four months on average to complete Chapter 7 bankruptcy and have your debts discharged. However, if there are objections from creditors or other complications, it could take much longer. An experienced Melville, NY bankruptcy lawyer will do everything possible to ensure you complete Chapter 7 bankruptcy as quickly as possible so you can move on with your life and begin to rebuild your credit score. Call Ronald D. Weiss, P.C. today to learn more about how you can get help to complete Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
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Let Us Help You Through The Bankruptcy Process
At Hayward, Parker & OLeary Esqs., our attorneys know that selecting a competent, experienced attorney is one of the most important decisions you can make as you embark on the road to financial health. From our Middletown office, we have helped thousands of New York residents file for bankruptcy to reduce or eliminate their debt. For your free consultation, please call us at or contact us online today.
If I File Bankruptcy In New York What Happens To My Property
What property or assets you can keep after filing bankruptcy will depend on what chapter you filed under. However, lets review some of them.
- If you are thinking about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can keep all of your exempt assets. What are these assets? Review them in detail here.
- Keep in mind that once you have determined if the property is exempt, the value of the property will be what it is worth now. And not what you paid for it when you bought it. This also applies to furniture and cars as well as real estate.
Filing bankruptcy brings up a lot of questions. Can I buy a house after filing bankruptcy?Can I buy a car?Can I refinance my house after bankruptcy?
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How To File Bankruptcy In New York For Free
Not everyone who needs to file bankruptcy can afford to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. The good news is, you donât have to. What follows is a guide on how to prepare to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York. This option is not right for everyone, but if you donât have any expensive property and your income is below a certain amount, you can absolutely do this on your own!
Preparing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Theres some protocol to follow in the months before filing for bankruptcy. Failing to follow these instructions could undermine your efforts.
Dont Pay Creditors It seems counterintuitive and you should definitely make routine payments. But any large or unusual payments could be viewed as preferential transfers. That means one creditor has benefited unfairly over others.
No New Debt A new creditor could claim you took out a loan or ran up the balance on a credit card without intending to pay it back. Legally, thats fraud and it will not be forgiven.
No Unusual Transactions Dont stray from the routine. Dont transfer titles of cars or homes. Dont buy luxury goods. Dont transfer your business or remove your name from it. They can all be classified as fraud.
Be Truthful You are required, while filing for bankruptcy, to provide full and complete information. You must disclose any debt, assets, accounts or other financial information. Failure to comply could lead to fraud and potential criminal charges.
Dont Touch Retirement Funds You are generally allowed to keep retirement plans and accounts, so keep them safe while considering bankruptcy and dont use those funds to pay down debt.
Never think you can get away with something sneaky or dishonest. Your bankruptcy lawyer is always a good resource for what you should and shouldnt do.
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How To File A Second Bankruptcy Case
Bankruptcy is a complex legal process, and anyone considering it should proceed carefully.NEVER attempt to file for bankruptcy without a legal representative. While filing the first time is hard enough, filing a second time can often be even more complicated.
You also have a better chance at financial recovery if you pursue bankruptcy with the help of an attorney. Bankruptcy does negatively affect your credit but building up your credit score is not impossible. If you are still in a tough spot after your first case, speak to an attorney before choosing to file again. There may be other options available for you.
Schedule a FREE case consultationwith the Law Office of Seni Popat, P.C. Our compassionate legal counselors are here to help!
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