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THE SICURANZA LAW FIRM, LLC

CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY LAWYER

YOUR AFFORDABLE CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY LAWYER

Although a bankruptcy may be the only choice left when debt repayment appears unachievable, it should be looked at positively, as a fresh start and a way to regain a strong financial rebound and future. 

YES, there is hope of a bright financial future and a steady way to a health rebound after bankruptcy!

CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY CRITERIA

Experienced Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers at The Sicuranza Law Firm, LLC

At The Sicuranza Law Firm, LLC, our team of experienced attorneys has a proven track record of success Chapter 7 Bankruptcies.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a “second chance” to regain control of your finances by having most of your unsecured debt, including credit card debt, medical bills, and personal loans legally discharged by a bankruptcy court. In virtually all cases, however, it does not discharge student loans, tax debt, alimony, or child support.

Chapter 7 is known as “liquidation bankruptcy.” It is the quickest, simplest, and most common type of bankruptcy. Not all Chapter 7 applicants qualify for bankruptcy; the court applies a “means test” to each Chapter 7 filing. The bankruptcy means test examines financial records, including income, expenses, and secured and unsecured debt to determine if your disposable income is below the median income (50% lower, 50% higher) for your state. The means test income level varies by state.
Applicants sometimes are required to sell any nonexempt assets, though several online sites claim 96% of Chapter 7 filings are “no asset” cases, meaning there is not enough equity or value in the property for a trustee to sell it and pay off creditors.
Generally, the Chapter 7 process takes time, but can be completed in 4-6 months.

HOW DOES CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY WORK?

Successful applicants for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are able to wipe out a host of unsecured debts, while others, by law, stick like flypaper. Still others fall into gray areas that are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Dischargeable debts under Chapter 7 include:
  • Credit card balances (including overdue and late fees)
  • Collection agency accounts
  • Medical bills
  • Personal and payday loans (unsecured)
  • Mortgage or automobile loans for which you are unable to pay (but creditors can reclaim the house or vehicle)
  • HOA fees (if you surrender the home or condo)
  • Utility bills
  • Civil court judgments (not based on fraud)
  • Social Security overpayments
  • Veterans’ assistance loans and overpayments
Non-dischargeable debts under Chapter 7 include:
  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Student loans
  • HOA fees (if you keep the home or condo)
  • Personal injury debts owed resulting from an event while you were      intoxicated
  • Unsecured debts intentionally unaccounted for in your filing
  • Tax liens**
  • Secured debts
*Must prove undue hardship for student loans to be discharged. **Income tax debt that is at least 240 days old and meets other restrictions.
Here’s a brief overview of the Chapter 7 Process:
  1. Begin by filling out a lengthy series of forms that detail records of assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and overall financial standing, as well as any existing contracts or leases in the debtor’s name.
  2. Pre-bankruptcy credit counseling ($20-$100) is the next required step for debtors filing under Chapter 7. These courses typically are offered by nonprofit credit counseling agencies, who look at your financial situation to determine if there are other avenues (debt management, debt consolidation, debt settlement, nonprofit debt settlement) that could resolve the issue without having to file bankruptcy.
  3. If it’s determined bankruptcy is your best solution, you must take the forms you filled out in Step 1 and file a petition for bankruptcy at      the local bankruptcy court.
  4. From there, it’s time to reach into your wallet (what’s left of it) and start paying for the process. Yes, bankruptcy involves costs of its own. There’s a fee for petition filing ($335), court fees (vary by state) and, unless you’re still self-represented, attorney fees (averaging $1,250, and paid up front, according to the National Bankruptcy Forum).
  5. Bankruptcy generates a small mountain of paperwork, which becomes      public record. Bankruptcy court participants often are listed in newspapers and online, so there’s a potential loss of financial control and privacy. dispute as efficiently as possible.

CHAPTER 7 PROPERTY EXEMPTIONS

Long Island Bankruptcy Attorney / Affordable $999 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

We mentioned above that Chapter 7 often is referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy,” which suggests everything the debtor owns is available for one big yard sale to help satisfy creditors.
Only rarely, however, does the extreme liquidation scenario meet reality.
The process can be punishing, but the impetus behind bankruptcy law is getting consumers out of crushing debt and providing a fresh start. Taking everything from Chapter 7 applicants would do nothing to get them back on their feet, ready to become financially successful contributors to their communities.
With this in mind, bankruptcy law exempts property that qualifies as necessities of life.
Property exemptions include:
  • Motor vehicles (to a certain value).
  • Reasonably necessary clothing.
  • Reasonably necessary household goods and furnishings.
  • Household appliances.
  • Jewelry (to a certain value).
  • Pensions.
  • A portion of equity in the debtor’s home.
  • Tools of the debtor’s trade or profession (to a certain value).
  • A portion of earned, but unpaid, wages.
  • Public benefits, including public assistance (welfare), Social Security, and unemployment compensation, accumulated in a bank account.
  • Damages awarded for personal injury.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY?

Even if you are in dire financial straits, Chapter 7 may not be for you. Applicants must clear a gauntlet of hurdles before a bankruptcy court approves the filing. This is why it makes sense to hire Ross Sicuranza, an experienced and inexpensive $1,099 Long Island Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney. Among these obstacles debtors must face in successfully filing for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy are as follows:
  • As mentioned above, applicants must complete a debt counseling course with an approved credit counseling agency no more than 180 days before filing.
  • You cannot have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy within the previous eight years.
  • You cannot have filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the previous six years.
  • Filers for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy whose cases were  dismissed must wait at least 181 days before another attempt.
  • Also as mentioned above, filers must undergo a test of financial scrutiny. Either your average monthly income for the previous six months must be less than the median income for a household of the same size in your state; or you must pass a means test to determine whether you have sufficient disposable income to make partial payments to unsecured creditors.
  • Filers who fail the means test may still be able to file a Chapter 13 (personal reorganization) bankruptcy.
  • Even if you are able to file, but the court determines you’re attempting to defraud your creditors, the court may dismiss your case.

WHEN TO FILE CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY?

Experienced $999 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney

Filing for bankruptcy may well be the right choice to relieve you of your burdensome debt. But but because the successful discharging of your debts will heavily on your financial future for several years, Let Ross Sicuranza, an affordable Long Island Bankruptcy Attorney assist you to make the proper decision. The Sicuranza Law Firm will help you to make certain you have scrutinized the five warning signs before you make your final choice.
For instance, if creditors are harassing you may need to consider Chapter 7 as a last resort after your best efforts to pay your debts fail
Five strong signs that indicate filing for Chapter 7 may be the correct remedy include:
  1. Your unsecured debts total more than half your annual income.
  2. It would take five years (or more) to pay off your debt, even if you took extreme measures.
  3. Your debt creates stress in essential aspects of your life, such as relationships, ability to focus on work, and your ability to sleep.
  4. Despite your best efforts to follow a budget, you have little to no disposable income.
  5. Your monthly income is below the median level in your state.

Let Ross Sicuranza, an Experienced $999 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney help you to make that decision.

HE STEPS TO FILING A LONG ISLAND CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY

Affordable $999 Nassau County Bankruptcy Lawyer

Although there are do-it-your yourself steps for filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the success of your bankruptcy petition may well depend on the assistance of an experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer and his or her advice. most Ross Sicuranza, an experienced Suffolk County Bankruptcy Lawyer will help you the make the decision that is right for you. Once you file your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition you can refer those harassing creditor calls to The Sicuranza Law Firm, your Affordable Nassau County Bankruptcy Lawyer. You see, your filing of your Chapter7 Bankruptcy Petition will trigger an “automatic stay’’ which means creditors can’t pursue lawsuits, garnish your wages or contact you about your debts. Let’s see how it works.
Here is a potential timetable:
  1. The process begins with the debtor filling out a series of forms detailing records of assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and overall financial standing, plus any existing contracts or leases in the debtor’s name.
  2. Pre-bankruptcy credit counseling Typically conducted by nonprofit credit counseling agencies, certified counselors examine the debtor’s financial situation to determine if there are other, less radical, solutions, such as debt management, debt consolidation, or debt settlement.
  3. If bankruptcy emerges as the best fix, you, or your attorney, must take the forms you filled out in Step 1 and file a petition for bankruptcy at the local bankruptcy court.
  4. Fees to formalize the filing are described above.
  5. Once your case is filed, the court appoints a trustee to verify the documents you submitted. The trustee will want to see copies of bank statements, paycheck stubs, tax returns, etc., to check the accuracy of your documents.
  6. Next up: a meeting with the trustee and creditors, if any creditors decide to pursue the debts you are trying to discharge. The trustee (and possibly the creditors) may have questions about some of your documents; you are required to respond. The trustee has 30 days to object to property the debtor wants to retain. Other creditors have 90 days from the meeting to file suit alleging their debt should not be eliminated in the bankruptcy. It’s possible the trustee will say the Chapter 7 case should have been filed as a Chapter 13.
  7. The next step is to make sure if you made promises about secured debt – usually a home or automobile, but sometimes a personal loan – you fulfilled those promises.
  8. Then comes a second counseling session called “debtor education,” lessons on handling debt and other personal finances presented, again, by nonprofit credit counseling agencies. The goal of debtor education is to help you make a success of your fresh start. Unless you’re a high-stakes real estate developer, one bankruptcy is enough for a lifetime.
  9. If all goes well – and, as noted earlier, in the vast majority of attorney-represented cases it does – the judge will discharge your qualified debts, eliminating your legal obligation to repay your creditors.
Once you have been granted a discharge of your debts, you can start on the road back to financial freedom with a fresh start. At that point, after discharge of your debts, you and begin to rebuild you credit, with the beginning steps of responsibly setting up a budget and, within those guidelines, applying for a secured credit card, to begin the process of rebuilding your credit.

CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY DISCHARGE

$999 Chapter 7 / Queens Bankruptcy Lawyer

The successful conclusion of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy results in what is known as a “discharge,” what the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts describes as a “release [for] individual debtors from personal liability for most debts and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any collection actions against the debtor.”
Remember though, the limits of the sorts of debts that can be discharged only within the limits of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Filers who have retained an attorney to see them through the process will have an opportunity to review what, if any, obligations remain after a successful discharge.
As noted earlier, all but a tiny percentage of attorney-supported Chapter 7 filings are discharged. However, the court takes an aggressively dim view of Chapter 7 applicants who are found to be pulling a fast one.
Nevertheless, Chapter 7 filings can be rejected for a variety of reasons, which may include the following: debts for money/property acquired by false pretenses; debts for fraud; debts for malicious injury when contested by the injured creditor; or debtor, without satisfactory explanation, makes a material misstatement or fails to provide documents/information related to an audit of the debtor’s case.

THE PROS AND CONS OF FILING A CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY

Affordable Suffolk County Bankruptcy Attorney

Filing for bankruptcy might very well be the right choice. But the successful discharging of your debts will weigh depend on your financial future for several years. You have to be very cautious and make certain you have seriously considered the five warning signs before you make your final choice.
Unfortunately, sometimes, with all of the pressure of financial trouble individuals and couples follow an emotional impulse to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy at the very first sign of trouble; however that is not always wise.
Here, at the The Sicuranza Law Firm, we help you to take a step back and look at it from a concerned and prudent friend’s perspective. To this point, we with care about our clients. Your are not a number; you are a person who needs to be heard.
So, if creditors are harassing you, garnishing your wages and bank accounts and you have no way to pay off the debts we will help you to determine if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you.
And, as a last resort after your best efforts to pay your debts failed, we will help you with filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
In other words, filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a big decision, which must only be entered into after you know the “Pros and Cons.”
The following are just some of pros and cons must be carefully considered before you arrive at a decision to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Pros of Chapter 7
  • Filing Chapter 7 immediately ends lenders’ aggressive collection actions.
  • Chapter 7 is easily understood and explained to curiosity-seekers and future lenders. Sure, they might have questions about bankruptcy and how it will affect your credit. But if you talk yourself out of Chapter 7 when it could be the right decision, consider a future of trying to explain missed debt payments,      defaults, repossessions and lawsuits. All of those will pound your credit, too.
  • You will be forced to be more disciplined financially. If you ever intend to borrow again, you will need to be frugal and demonstrate responsibility in repaying debt. Even though you might be able to open new lines of credit as soon as one to three years after filing for bankruptcy, your interest rates will be much higher. Demonstrating ability to pay those debts on time is the only way to get the interest rates down.
  • In many states, exemptions will allow you to keep many of the things you own, including more property than you probably need. After you file, you will be able to keep any salary you earn and any property you purchase. Take a look at the Chapter 7 home equity exemption to see if your house is at risk.
  • Whether you are successful with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are able to file bankruptcy again after the time limit has passed.
  • You get the benefit of a fresh start, which is not to be underestimated. “As your debts get discharged, you become financially free,” Counselor Solomon says. “This further leads to being emotionally free. You no longer need to worry about how to pay off your debts or make ends meet. When the stress and anguish go away from your life, you can make better decisions and can further handle your financial life better.”
Cons of Chapter 7
  • Bankruptcy can hurt your credit score. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years — though if bankruptcy is a viable option, chances are your credit is already tarnished.
  • You will lose all of your credit cards.
  • You may lose luxury possessions, like a boat or second home, depending on how much equity you have.
  • You may, under certain circumstances, lose your car; and under some circumstances surrender your house to the bank.
  • You will need to wait 2-4 years (depending on the type of loan) before you are able to get a mortgage.

FIVE STRONG SIGNS THAT FILING FOR A CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY MAY

Suffolk County $999 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Five strong signs that filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be right for you may include the following:
  1. Your unsecured debts total more than half your annual income.
  2. It would take five years (or more) to pay off your debt, even if you took extreme measures.
  3. Your debt creates stress in essential aspects of your life, such as relationships, ability to focus on work, and your ability to sleep.
  4. Despite your best efforts to follow a budget, you have little to no disposable income.
  5. Your monthly income is below the median level in your state.

ALTERNATIVES TO AN AFFORDABLE $999 CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY

  • Know your rights — If you’re chiefly concerned about aggressive, even harassing, actions by creditors, explore your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and consumer protection statutes in your state. Abuses can be alleviated by filing an action against the perpetrators.
  • Working with creditors — If you’re up to the challenge, contact your creditors and attempt to work out a repayment plan that better fits your circumstances. Explore with them reducing the amount owed; if you file Chapter 7, they’re likely to get nothing.
  • Debt Management — If you shrink from the idea of taking on your creditors or debt collectors — and there’s nothing wrong with that — but you still like the idea of reducing payments while getting out of debt, contact a nonprofit credit counseling agency. You’re going to be talking to one eventually if you do file for Chapter 7; might as well do it while you’re keeping your options open.
  • Debt settlement — Only for the thick-skinned, debt settlement typically involves a third party that will attempt to negotiate cut-rate payoffs to creditors using money you have deposited into an escrow account over a period of 18-36 months. While the account is being built, you’ll be directed to make no further payments to creditors, incurring late fees, mounting interest charges, and unceasing collections attempts. Ultimately, however, what creditors agree to accept to wipe out your debt may be a fraction of what you owed.
  • Debt payoff planning — Whenever viable, do-it-yourself debt payoff schemes are well worth exploring. Requiring stubborn budgeting and fiscal discipline, debt-payoff plans can make you the master of your financial future. Methods of accomplishing debt payoffs include:
  • Debt snowball, in which you make minimum payments on all your unsecured debt except the smallest. That one you target to pay down to zero, then continue to pick off the next smallest in turn until all your debts are satisfied.
  • Debt avalanche, in which you target your debts based on interest rates, highest to lowest; pay minimums on all, but target the highest interest rate for elimination. Then work your way through the rest of your debts in similar fashion.
  • Debt consolidation loan — If you’re able, get a personal loan from a debt consolidation company, like a bank, credit union, or online lender that’s large enough to pay off all your unsecured debt. You’ll likely score a lower overall interest rate, and you’ll have a date-certain when the loan will reach zero.
  • Mortgage refinancing — You may be able to use some of the equity in your home for a cash-out refinancing that will enable you to pay off your unsecured debt and end up with a single monthly payment that is smaller than the combination of credit card minimums plus your current mortgage.
  • Help from family or friends — For some, avoiding bankruptcy means putting everything on the table, even hitting up family and/or friends for help. If you have loved ones who are just as keen to keep you out of bankruptcy court, one or more of them may need only to be asked for aid — a loan, or even an outright donation.
  • Increasing income — Kind of a no-brainer, right? If you had more income, you might not be in a financial crisis. What to do? Ask the boss for a raise, not because you need it, but because you have studied the market and discovered you are underpaid for the product you deliver. … Or you could fit in a part-time job. … Or you have skills that could be useful in the gig economy, or by freelancing. Explore: Opportunity for raising your income abounds.
  • Decreasing expenses — If your financial predicament is a result of undisciplined spending, and not some unforeseen calamity, you’re not going to want to hear this. Nonetheless: Getting your budget in balance by eliminating weight on the spending side absolutely must happen, and certainly will happen if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Get ahead of the process, and perhaps avoid it altogether, by carving out all but absolute necessities.

POST CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

Long Island Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer

The Sicuranza Law Firm encourages a bankrupt individual to reevaluate their finances in the hope to develop a new way of thinking about finances after their bankruptcy discharge
For this reason, there is also a mandatory Chapter 7 debtor education course with a deadline to file the course certificate within 60 days after the 341 meeting of creditors. In Chapter 13, the deadline to file the financial management course certificate is simply before the filer makes the last Chapter 13 repayment plan payment.
In other words, a successful post-bankruptcy life will involve careful (and realistic) budgeting, prudent spending, diligent earning and investing, keeping your accounts current, and otherwise overseeing an orderly financial house.

LONG ISLAND CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY

A Long Island Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Overview

At The Sicuranza Law Firm, LLC, our team of experienced attorneys has a proven track record of success Chapter 7 Bankruptcies
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a “second chance” to regain control of your finances by having most of your unsecured debt, including credit card debt, medical bills, and personal loans legally discharged by a bankruptcy court.

In virtually all cases, however, it does not discharge student loans, tax debt, alimony, or child support.
Chapter 7 is known as “liquidation bankruptcy.” It is the quickest, simplest, and most common type of bankruptcy. Not all Chapter 7 applicants qualify for bankruptcy; the court applies a “means test” to each Chapter 7 filing. The bankruptcy means test examines financial records, including income, expenses, and secured and unsecured debt to determine if your disposable income is below the median income (50% lower, 50% higher) for your state. The means test income level varies by state.
Although applicants sometimes are required to sell any nonexempt assets, the vast majority of Chapter 7 filings are “no asset” cases, meaning there is not enough equity or value in the property for a trustee to sell it and pay off creditors.
Additionally, although the Chapter 7 process takes time, it can generally be completed within 4 to 6 months.