Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not mean you have to give up all your property. Debtors will typically allow you to retain some of your assets. It is important to note that these assets may only be exempt up to certain caps. New York bankruptcy law allows for exemptions such as:
- Equity in one motor vehicle
- Tools necessary for your profession
- A portion of equity in your permanent residence
- Clothing, household goods, and furnishings deemed reasonably necessary
- Pensions and public benefits, such as Social Security and welfare
- Damages awarded for personal injuries
For questions regarding exempt vs. non-exempt assets, contact us today.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy & The BAPCPA
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), which took effect on October 17, 2005, requires many cases that once were eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief to be filed as Chapter 13 bankruptcies. The new law set income limits for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This will require debtors to pay back a portion of their debts through a Chapter 13 plan. Additionally, debtors will be required to complete a course in financial management prior to getting a Chapter 7 discharge.
How We Can Help
Our team at Harris-Courage, PLLC is prepared to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on your behalf in federal bankruptcy court. This immediately stops all creditors from contacting, billing, or suing you, or trying to attach your wages. Instead, your creditors will work through a trustee, with whom you must meet. The trustee will assess your income and any non-exempt assets. We’ll be there to represent you at this meeting and handle all negotiations with the trustee.
The federal judge will then review the petition and any objections that have been filed and discharge your debts. The entire process usually takes a few months. Once discharged, you can never again be asked to pay those debts.
When you’re ready for a fresh start free of debt, contact us at Harris-Courage, PLLC for a free phone consultation. We are proud to serve clients throughout the Syracuse, New York, area, including Binghamton, Oneida, and Watertown. Let’s work together to wipe your slate clean.