Paying off a Chapter 13 Plan Early in a NJ Bankruptcy

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide much-needed relief if you’re struggling with debt. But what if your financial situation improves, and you want to pay off your bankruptcy plan early? Paying off a Chapter 13 plan is not as simple as merely paying off the remaining balance. Here’s what you need to know. The…

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4 Ways to Prepare for Your New Jersey Bankruptcy

Are you considering bankruptcy? It might just be one of the best decisions you make this year.  Once you are sure bankruptcy will be right for you, it’s time to start taking steps.  #1) Stop accumulating debt. You must stop accumulating debt at least 90 days before your bankruptcy.  The creditor will have grounds to…

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

US Courthouse

One of the first steps in the bankruptcy process is to choose which bankruptcy chapter you’ll be filing under. Choose the wrong Chapter, and you can have significant problems down the line.  Each Chapter serves a different purpose and is the right choice for different scenarios. Chapter 7 In Chapter 7, you give up your…

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What is a Reaffirmation Agreement, and When Do You Use One?

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If your home equity, car equity, or both are low enough to be protected by bankruptcy exemptions, then neither of these assets would necessarily be sold off to pay off debts. Instead, you would have an avenue for declaring Chapter 7 and then reaffirming these specific secured debts, so you may remain in your house,…

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What is New Jersey Lien Stripping?

Lien stripping is a process that can occur in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It applies when the following is true.  The mortgage on your home is greater than the value of the home. You have a second or even a third mortgage on the home. Second mortgages are secured debts. Normally, a second mortgage holder…

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5 Myths About Bankruptcy Cases

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If you’re overwhelmed with debt, bankruptcy can help you achieve a fresh financial start. Yet here in New Jersey, bankruptcy is often poorly understood.  Here are five of the most common bankruptcy myths. #1) Filing for bankruptcy makes you a failure. People file for bankruptcy for all sorts of reasons, none of which make you…

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How Often Can You File for Bankruptcy in New Jersey

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We’d all love it if someone could file for bankruptcy once, obtain a fresh start, and never have to worry about filing again. Unfortunately, wages haven’t kept up with inflation, and many companies seem more interested in price-gouging consumers than in raising wages. Many New Jersey residents will eventually be forced into bankruptcy a second…

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What Does a Bankruptcy Trustee Do?

Every bankruptcy case will have a trustee, so it’s important to understand this individual’s role.  A trustee is a court-appointed administrator. They are selected by the DOJ’s U.S. Trustee program. Lawyers and certified accountants are the most likely candidates.  Their job is to oversee the debtor’s estate. They work on behalf of the court. They…

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How to Find All Your Debts for Your NJ Bankruptcy Case

A stack of financial paperwork

Every bankruptcy case requires you to list all of your debts. If you fail to do so, a creditor could come back to you after the bankruptcy case and demand payment because the discharge didn’t cover them. In some cases, failing to disclose a debt can also lead the courts to conclude you’re attempting to…

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The Most Common Bankruptcy Filing Errors

A woman holding a stack of files

Bankruptcy is a complex legal matter. It is very easy to make mistakes.  Here are five of the most common mistakes we see.  Failing to List All Income and Assets It can be difficult to gather all of your income and asset information. Yet, if you don’t, the courts can accuse you of attempting to…

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What Happens to Your Credit Score After Filing for Bankruptcy?

credit cards

Many sources will scream to the rooftop that your credit score will plummet after bankruptcy. That may even be true for some people—it depends on your credit score before bankruptcy and when you filed it. But for most debtors, the reality of credit score shifts is somewhat different than the prevailing narrative. Their credit score…

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5 Illegal Things Debt Collectors Do

When debt collectors contact you, it’s important to remember that you have rights. Those rights are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which protects you from unfair, deceptive, and abusive debt collection practices.  If a debt collector takes the following actions, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You…

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What Happens After a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Gets Paid Off?

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Completing your Chapter 13 plan is a wonderful feeling. You’re finally at the end of a long and involved process that has intertwined with your financial life for three or more years. But what happens next? What should you expect? The Final Payment After you make the final payment, the trustee audits your case. Assuming…

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Can You Rent an Apartment in Newark, NJ, After Bankruptcy?

An apartment building

Renting an apartment after bankruptcy can seem daunting, but it’s important to remember that you’ve got options. Regardless of whether you filed a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, it’s possible to find a rental unit that fits your needs and budget. The housing market may be tougher than ever, but there’s no reason why…

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What Newark, NJ Residents Need to Know About the Bankruptcy Means Test

Thinking about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?  It’s not available to everyone. Anyone who wishes to file Chapter 7 must pass the means test. The means test was first established in 2005, under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA).  The means test is a two-part test. The Income Limit Test The first test…

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