We carefully explain and consult how the law applies in your case, and the legal options available to you, our main goal is to help you make informed decisions and understand how they will impact your case.
Our experienced Bankruptcy Attorney at Hanson Law firm can help you decide if filing for Bankruptcy is right for you. Our free consultation at one of our convient locations will help you understand the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 and what the best choice for your circumstance is. We stop the harrasing creditors from calling and can also stop foreclosures. Visit our Bankruptcy page for more information.
1801 Altamont Ave
Schenectady NY 12303
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The decision to file for bankruptcy is often one of the hardest choices that a person has to make in his or her lifetime.
Poor planning can often make the process even harder. It goes without saying that filing for bankruptcy should be a last resort, and should only be done when all other methods of satisfying one's financial obligations have been exhausted. However, if your situation has become so severe that you are in danger of foreclosure, garnished wages or repossessions, or are facing debts that you are in no position to pay, putting off the inevitable can have devastating consequences. Procrastination can cost you your car, your wages, and even your home. Filing your case in a timely fashion can spare you these losses.
Persons Seeking to File Will Now Be Required to Seek Counseling
Under the new law, you are required to go into credit counseling (at your own expense) with an approved government agency at least six months before filing for bankruptcy. The first session should be at least 90 minutes in length, and give you an idea if bankruptcy is really right for you or if you can get out of debt by simply following a repayment plan that the credit counselor proposes. While you are not required to agree with the final opinion of the counselor or follow any repayment plan they propose, you will still be required to submit any repayment plans or bankruptcy alternatives that the agency has suggested to the court before being allowed to file. Once you have filed, you will then have to attend additional counseling and/or a money management class. Your debt will then be discharged when you submit a certificate of successful completion of these classes. Counseling is required even if a payment plan isn't possible or realistic for your financial situation or you are facing debts that you are disputing and do not feel you should have to pay.
Fewer People Will Be Eligible To File Under Chapter 7
The new law makes it much more difficult for people to prove that they should be allowed to clear their debt entirely under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a more pro-debtor option that allows filers to wipe out all of their debt entirely. When you file a Chapter 7, whatever assets you have (with the exception of your home and others assets protected in your state) are liquidated and given to your creditors and your remaining debts are discharged, giving you a "fresh start." Under the old rules, most filers could choose the type of bankruptcy that seemed best for them, and almost always chose Chapter 7. It was then up to the judge to use his or her discretion to decide if your case qualified for Chapter 7. Under the new law, you will only be allowed to file under Chapter 7 if your income is lower than the median income in your state or if you can prove that you do not have enough disposable income to pay your debts. In order to determine if you qualify for Chapter 7, the first thing you will need to do is calculate your average monthly income over the last 6 months prior to filing and compare it to your state's median income for a household of your size. If your average monthly income is equal to or less than the median in your state, you are automatically allowed to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you earn more than the median, then you will need to pass a means test in order to determine if you will still be allowed to file. If basic expenses like rent, food, utilities, clothing etc. and priority debts such as back taxes, child support and alimony, leave you with less than 100 dollars at the end of the month, then you pass the means test and can still file for bankruptcy even if you make more than the median income in your state. If you are left with an amount of money between $100 and $166.66, you may still be able to pass the means test if you do not have enough money over at the end of the month to pay off more than 25% of the remainder of your outstanding bills. If you are left with more than $166.66, you will not pass the means test and will have to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead.
More People Will Be Required to File Under Chapter 13
If you are deemed ineligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will now have to file for Chapter 13, which requires you to go on a repayment plan and devote all of your disposable income to repay your creditors for the next five years. In addition, the new rules do not allow you to deduct your actual living expenses (the amount you are actually spending on rent, food, etc.) from your disposable income. You will have to use allowed expense amounts according to what the IRS believes to be a reasonable amount to pay for basic living needs. Making matters worse, your allowed expenses have to be subtracted from your average income during the last six months before filing, and not from your actual earnings each month. As a result, you will have to devote much more money to your repayment plan than before.
Committee Member: NYSBA Committee on Standards for Attorney Conduct 2001-Present
Committee Member: Schenectady County Bar Association,Grievance Committee 2012-Present
Committee Member: NYSBA Committee on Professional Discipline 1998-2011
Alternate Delegate NYSBA 2011-2012
Delegate to NYSBA 2012-2013
Alternate Delegate NYSBA 2013-Present
Current Member: Capital District Women's Bar Association
Current Member: National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
Current Member: Albany County Bar Association
Current Member: Woman's Bar Association of New York
Current Member: National Organization of Social Security Claimants
Current Member: National Organization of Bankruptcy Attorneys
Current Member: New York State Bar
Current Member: Texas State Bar
Current Member: Schenectady County Bar Association
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