Chapter 7

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers in Morristown

Comprehensive Bankruptcy Assistance in Morris County

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.

Discover Your Debt Relief Options: Call (973) 363-2260 for a Consultation with Our Morristown Attorneys.

Assessing Your Eligibility for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be right for you if:

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.

Understanding the 2005 Bankruptcy Law Amendments

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.

Why Choose Ast & Schmidt, P.C.?

  • Personalized Services Tailored for You
  • Over 25 Years of Bankruptcy Experience
  • Free Initial Consultations
  • Available After Hours by Appointment

Navigating the Bankruptcy Means Test in New Jersey

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.

Passing the Means Test

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.

  • "..Thank you Ast and Schmidt for all that you do!"
    I have personally used Ast & Schmidt and have recommended them to friends and family members as well. Robert and Antoinette are always responsive, timely, and available to go over any questions or concerns I might have in what could be an otherwise stressful process. I can confidently say that I 100 percent trust Robert's guidance and quality of work. He and the staff go above and beyond to make sure I understand all of my options as well as the process from beginning to end. Antoinette always makes me feel comfortable when I call with questions and Robert's guidance and services have truly been a blessing in helping me transition out of some rough times so that I could move forward in my personal and professional endeavors. I can not recommend this firm highly enough. You will be well taken care of. Thank you Ast and Schmidt for all that you do!
    - Rena Z.
  • "Throughout our experience with Ast & Schmidt, my husband and I were treated with the utmost respect and compassion."
    Throughout our experience with Ast & Schmidt, my husband and I were treated with the utmost respect and compassion. Whenever there was a question (even during COVID), Rob Schmidt was most accessible and helpful to us during this difficult time. We would recommend them to anybody who is undergoing financial challenges. Everyone associated with the company is attentive and a pleasure to deal with, even regarding the most trivial matters. Certainly, when addressing the complicated issues that arise during legal proceedings, Ast & Schmidt provides seamless and impeccable attention to every detail.
    - Iris G.

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.

What to do 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

We offer flexible hours, Monday through Friday. Our office is across the street from the Morris County Mall. Contact us at (973) 363-2260 to schedule an appointment today.

Your Fresh Start Begins Here

Contact Us Today

We’re Ready to Help
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy