This website answers many questions that people often have about bankruptcy. Chances are, you will find an entire page devoted to some topic of interest to you. If you are looking for a customized path to the debt relief you need, Goldman & Beslow encourages you to contact us to schedule a consultation. If you do not see your own questions or concerns addressed here, a conversation with one of our lawyers is recommended.
Below are brief answers to some of our clients’ most frequently asked bankruptcy questions. (See our other page entitled “Bankruptcy Questions” for several other common questions and answers to them.)
- Is bankruptcy immoral or a sign of failure? Bankruptcy, or periodic debt forgiveness, is a time-honored form of debt relief that dates back to the Bible, as described in Deuteronomy, Chapter 15. More recently, bankruptcy provisions were included in the Constitution of the United States. Many famous Americans have filed bankruptcy and have gone on to achieve great successes in their fields. For these illustrious Americans, bankruptcy was a stepping stone along the path to success, not failure in the long run.
- Will bankruptcy ruin my credit score? Although this is certainly an intelligent question, it quickly becomes irrelevant for many debtors. If you are approaching bankruptcy and your credit score is still intact, you may be acting in time to escape the worst damage that would otherwise lie ahead for your credit score. A great many of our clients are already behind on payments and have already experienced a decline in their credit scores. Filing bankruptcy will leave a mark on a credit score for up to 10 years, but the elimination of debts brings about a financial fresh start. Improvement in one’s credit rating occurs substantially within the first six months to a year after bankruptcy for many individuals. Most of our clients receive offers for auto loans and credit cards within a very short time after bankruptcy. Some qualify for mortgages at market rates within two years.
- Will bankruptcy ruin my reputation? In most cases, bankruptcy is a private financial matter unless you share with friends, relatives and colleagues that you are going that route. It is true that information about your bankruptcy is available through court records, but only those who conduct background investigations about you will know.
- Can I lose my job for filing bankruptcy? It is expressly against federal law for an employer to fire you because you have filed bankruptcy.
- What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 results in debt discharge and takes a few months.
Chapter 13 involves restructuring and repayment of debt over three to five years.
- How can I best prepare for bankruptcy? It is no exaggeration to say that the one most important thing you can do is to get good legal advice as soon as possible, relevant to your individual circumstances.
- I cannot afford to pay attorneys’ fees, but I really need to file bankruptcy. What can I do? At Goldman & Beslow, we are very familiar with this question. We have helped many clients discover workable solutions by which they paid for their bankruptcy more readily than they had imagined they could. We offer installment plans for paying legal fees. In Chapter 13 cases, a substantial portion of the legal fees in most instances can be paid through the repayment plan. What this means is that we need less of a retainer to file a Chapter 13 and take the balance of our fees through your Chapter 13 payments to the trustee.
- What will happen first, second and third when I file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy? First, you will list all your debts, assets and income. When all requirements are ready, you will file bankruptcy – and all debt collection will cease. You will attend a bankruptcy hearing with an attorney. Finally, you will receive notification of your debt discharge.
- What is the automatic stay? The automatic stay is a provision of bankruptcy that prohibits creditors from attempting to collect debts. It goes into effect immediately when a debtor files with the bankruptcy court. Many debtors have been able to stop foreclosure because of the power of the automatic stay.
- What will happen at my bankruptcy hearing, and how can I prepare? You will meet with a bankruptcy trustee, who will verify the information in your bankruptcy filing. In most cases, this hearing is very brief.
- I’m still nervous about filing bankruptcy. Is there any alternative? Debt settlement may be a good option if you owe only one or two creditors, such as a health care provider or one credit card.
- I’m ready to talk about bankruptcy and my debts. What should I do next? There is no risk in requesting a confidential free consultation.
Bankruptcy FAQ: For A Free Consultation, Contact Our Northern And Central New Jersey Law Firm
Let us get you back on your feet, so you can get on with your life. Call our experienced Essex County, New Jersey, bankruptcy lawyers today for a free one-half hour consultation at 973-414-8069. Our lawyers serve Essex, Union, Hudson, Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Middlesex, Sussex and other New Jersey counties.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.