White Plains Chapter 7 Lawyer
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Also known as liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 7 provides the means of discharging your personal liability for many debts and often while keeping all of your assets. There are no repayment plans and you are able to keep your future income. In effect, Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides a clean, debt-free slate for individuals who are facing debts they cannot afford.
However, not everyone can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Individuals who wish to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy must meet certain income criteria. As an experienced chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer, I can offer insightful legal counsel and unwavering representation to help you overcome your bankruptcy dilemmas.
To find out if you qualify for liquidation debt relief, contact Natasha Meruelo, Attorney at Law today to schedule a free case evaluation!
Unlike other forms of bankruptcies, Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not have a maximum debt limitation. Additionally, in New York State, you have a choice of exemptions you can apply to protect your assets. In many cases, an individual filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is able to keep the property that is important to them.
Benefits of declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy may include:
- An immediate halt to creditor harassment/wage garnishments
- A much shorter process so you can begin rebuilding your credit
- No monthly paperwork or repayment plans
- Complete discharge of unsecured debt (i.e.credit card debt)
- You may not have to appear before a bankruptcy judge
What Happens When You File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
First, you are required to take a credit counseling course. Your case cannot be filed until you complete this course, so it is important to take it as soon as possible. In the meantime, an attorney can prepare your case for filing.
The Automatic Stay in Chapter 7
Once your case is filed, you are entitled to the protection of the "Automatic Stay". This protection means creditors are not permitted to collect pre-filing debts from you by calling you or communicating with you. Additionally, any garnishment of your paycheck stops, any freezes on your bank account are lifted, and lawsuits come to a halt. Creditors may petition the court to continue certain lawsuits, such as foreclosure actions, however, they must first obtain permission to lift the Automatic Stay.
“Natasha Meruelo is professional, knowledgable and a solid attorney. She made sure I was well informed, prepared, and empowered throughout the court process. Having her support was invaluable. I am so grateful I followed my intuition and chose her to represent me. I highly recommend her!”
Your attorney will communicate with the Trustee's office and provide certain documents, such as:
- A copy of your signed petition
- Pay stubs
- Tax returns
- Appraisals of assets
Your attorney may also engage in communications with certain creditors regarding your filing.
The Meeting of Creditors
The next step is what is known as the Meeting of Creditors or "341a Hearing". At this hearing, you meet the Trustee assigned to your case. The trustee may ask you a wide range of questions regarding your assets, income, expenses, financial history and how your difficulties arose.
What happens at your hearing depends on the complexity of your case, whether you have assets that could be distributed for the benefit of your creditors and whether the Trustee has any additional questions or requests additional information. If your hearing is "closed", you are one step closer to obtaining your discharge.
After your hearing is over, you should make sure you take the second required course, known as the Financial Management course. You cannot obtain your discharge without taking this class.
There are many other events that could happen between the 341a Hearing and obtaining your discharge. For example, creditors technically have until 60 days from the date of your hearing to object to your discharge or the dischargeability of any particular debt. The Notice of Meeting of Creditors that you receive in the mail will state the last day for anyone to object.
It is very important you discuss what additional requests or supplemental services you may want your attorney to provide you with ahead of time. In our court, for example, if you wish to participate in the Loss Mitigation Program, you must request this before your case closes. The same goes for stripping a judgment lien.
Typically, a person is eligible to receive a discharge 60 days after their 341a hearing and many courts will close a case the same day or within a few days of entry of the discharge. Once your case is closed by the Court, your case is officially over.
Call Natasha Meruelo, Attorney at Law Today!
All bankruptcy cases require certain legal steps to be followed and certain requirements to be met in order for a discharge to be granted, especially when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Not having skilled legal counsel guide you through the process can cause your petition to be rejected and jeopardize you from receiving a discharge of your debts.
As a skilled Westchester County Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer, I have helped numerous individuals and business owners regain financial stability through bankruptcy. At Natasha Meruelo, Attorney at Law, I am committed to providing the supportive and individualized representation you need to successfully navigate through each step of your proceedings.
Are you looking for a financial fresh start? Find out if filing for Chapter 7 is right for you. Contact my firm in White Plains today!
* This is Attorney Advertising. Natasha Meruelo, Esq., designated as a Federal Debt Relief Agent by an Act of Congress and the President of the United States, proudly assists consumers seeking relief under the US Bankruptcy Code. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome; see attached- 342b and 527a/b .
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