Deciding to file for bankruptcy protection in New York is a difficult and personal decision. Several factors should be considered before you make take the step. Are you making only the minimum payments on your credit card bills? Have you suffered a recent financial setback, such as loss of job, divorce or costly illness? A New York bankruptcy lawyer can help you to evaluate your personal financial situation and make the best decision to fit your needs.
The State of New York is served by bankruptcy court four districts. The Northern District of New York Bankruptcy Court serves Albany, Syracuse and Utica; Eastern District of New York Bankruptcy Court serves the five counties of Richmond (Staten Island), Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Nassau and Suffolk; Western District of New York Bankruptcy Court serves the Buffalo and Rochester areas; and Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court has clerk's offices in New York City, White Plains and Poughkeepsie.
Choosing to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy can wipe out most of your unsecured debt and provide you with a fresh start free of debt and harassing creditor phone calls.
By filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, New Yorkers can set up a repayment plan to pay back their debts over a 3 to 5 year period.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law on April 20, 2005, by President George W. Bush, puts some limits on an individual's access to U.S. bankruptcy courts. It requires that everyone who files for bankruptcy protections to receive consumer credit counseling. A qualified New York bankruptcy attorney can guide you through all the requirements of the law.
A bankruptcy starts with the filing of the official petition, schedules and a statement of financial affairs with the bankruptcy court. As soon as you file for bankruptcy, your creditors are prevented from trying to collect on your debts through what's called an "automatic stay." The stay is designed to preserve your property and protect you from litigation.
A trustee will take control of any property you do not get to keep. That property will be sold, and the proceeds will be used to pay off your creditors, according to priority.
Consulting a quality New York bankruptcy attorney will provide you with more detail about the limitations and benefits of bankruptcy protections.
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