Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers in Morristown
Serving Morris County and All Surrounding Areas
Chapter 7 bankruptcy (also known as a “straight bankruptcy” or “liquidation bankruptcy”) allows individuals and businesses to discharge most unsecured debt, including medical bills and credit card debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcies are sometimes referred to as liquidations because the debtor's assets are sold to raise the funds needed to pay creditors. However, several important exemptions are in place to prevent a situation where an individual is left without nothing to their name. These exemptions may allow you to keep your home, car, and personal possessions.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be right for you if:
- You have mounting medical bills or credit card debt and are seeking debt discharge
- You cannot keep up with bills and expenses, and you want to eliminate unmanageable debt
- You want to stop wage garnishment or repossession actions
- You want to put an end to creditor harassment
- You want to protect your home
At Ast & Schmidt, P.C., we can help you determine whether Chapter 7 is the right path for you. If so, we can guide you every step of the way. Our goal is to impart knowledge, provide resources, and advance your best interests throughout the entire process.
Call (973) 363-2260 to learn how our Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys can help you during your Morris County filing.
Recent Changes in Bankruptcy Law
In October of 2005, Congress enacted changes to our nation's bankruptcy laws. Chapter 7 bankruptcy law now requires individuals to meet specific income requirements before filing. Individuals with incomes that fall below the state median will qualify, but you may still qualify even if your income is higher than the median. Additionally, many are surprised to learn that they can still file even if they have multiple assets and a job.
At Ast & Schmidt, P.C., we understand the complexities of these laws and can guide you through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, even if your income exceeds the median requirement.
The Means Test
The “means test” will evaluate your disposable income minus certain expenses. If your disposable income falls below a specific level, Chapter 7 may be available to you. If your income, based upon the prior six months, is lower than the median family income for a household of comparable size, you will likely be a good candidate for Chapter 7.
When your household income is higher than the New Jersey median, then detailed expense calculations must be performed. These calculations deduct allowable expenses from your current monthly income to accurately calculate your disposable income.
The key to passing the means test is to identify all the allowable monthly expenses. If you have high mortgage payments or car loans, you may be allowed to deduct these payments. Our legal team is very familiar with the means test, and we know how to calculate the maximum allowable expenses to make you eligible for Chapter 7. We invite you to meet with us in a private appointment to discuss your situation and learn more about your rights under the federal bankruptcy laws.
Most people and couples are found to be eligible for Chapter 7, especially in New Jersey, which has one of the highest median family incomes in the country. Many people qualify in Morris County who would not qualify to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in other states. As such, we believe you can experience the powerful benefits of this form of debt relief. If you succeed, you may discharge most or all of your debt.
It is extremely important, however, to have an attorney who knows bankruptcy law and can do the math to help you pass the means test and fight for your interests. At Ast & Schmidt, P.C., we have the knowledge, skill, and dedication to guide you through this process correctly.
Our team of bankruptcy attorneys at Ast & Schmidt, P.C. can take the right actions to help you achieve relief from crushing debt. We promise you, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
How Long Will Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take?
Chapter 7 takes approximately four months from filing to discharge. As soon as we file your bankruptcy petition, an “automatic stay” takes effect. This is a court injunction that halts all creditor actions and debt-related lawsuits. As such, you will experience immediate protection from your creditors. You will no longer experience calls, letters, or wage garnishment.
As with any financial decision, there are several issues to consider, and we will make sure you are fully informed regarding your rights and obligations under Chapter 7, as well as the process of rebuilding your credit after filing Chapter 7.
When Chapter 7 is Not an Option
In a limited number of cases, our clients file Chapter 13 bankruptcy because they do not meet the requirements for disposable income under the means test. Chapter 13 is often the better choice for people facing home foreclosure who have significant equity in the property.
Know the Law, Know Your Rights
There is a lot of misinformation about Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the media and issued by credit card companies. Many people who believe they do not qualify are, in fact, eligible. As your trusted guides and advocates, our bankruptcy attorneys can provide accurate and trusted legal advice—based on facts, not rumors or false information.
Filing Bankruptcy in Morristown: Contact Us Today
If you are considering bankruptcy, our team of bankruptcy attorneys at Ast & Schmidt, P.C. can take the right actions to help you achieve relief from crushing debt. Our lawyers have helped residents of New Jersey regain control of their financial health. We are available to help you determine if you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy can free you from almost all unsecured debt, including credit card debt, unsecured loans, medical bills, and more.