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Morristown Bankruptcy Blog

How can I create a bankruptcy budget?

When faced with massive debt, bankruptcy may be the best option to get your finances back on track. With chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must make payments as obligated by the court to ensure you remain in good standing. This entails creating a reasonable budget, which can be difficult for many people. In this case, U.S. News & World Report offers the following tips. 

The first step is to track your expenses. This will give you a good idea of your debt to income ratio. If you commonly use cash to make purchases, try switching over to a debit card for the period you're tracking. That way you can use your bank statement as a guide for how much you typically spend. It's best to get a general idea of your finances, so don't worry about tracking every little expense at this point. 

What can I do about debt collectors?

The actions taken by debt collectors in New Jersey may cause you embarrassment and countless sleepless nights. What is perhaps even more heartbreaking is that Forbes notes for consumers 62 and older, debt collection tops their complaints at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. When moving into retirement, the last thing anyone wants to be grappling with is debt collection and the threats that often follow.

Sometimes you already know you owe your creditors when that first call comes in. Other times, the debt may not make sense to you at all. This may result from a clerical error, past identity theft or current fraud. In other words, the people on the phone could be trying to steal your information right then by taking advantage of your desperation to avoid repercussions.

Issues that prompt financial trouble for New Jersey residents

The cost of living in New Jersey is quite high. Any number of extenuating issues may spark a financial crisis in your life. How quickly you can resolve such problems depends on numerous factors, including whether or not you have any savings and how much you know about possible debt relief options that may apply to your situation.

If you're currently struggling financially, you're definitely not the first person in this state to do so nor will you be the last. In fact, most people encounter financial problems at some point in life. You may be able to solve a minor financial crisis by adjusting your spending habits and reorganizing your budget. However, a more serious problem may require additional debt relief support.

What should I know about an automatic stay?

People swamped with debt often face constant harassment from creditors plus the threat that unpaid utility companies will switch off their power or water. That is why many people file for personal bankruptcy. If you find yourself in a debt crisis, the automatic stay provision that bankruptcy offers can be just what you need to stop the harassment and give you greater peace of mind as you seek to rebuild your financial situation in New Jersey.

Per FindLaw, an automatic stay can put a stop to a number of creditor actions. You may be granted an extension on your electricity, telephone, water or gas services. It can also halt foreclosure actions or efforts to evict you from your apartment. Additionally, automatic stays stop your wages from being garnished. During the stay, you will be able to acquire your entire salary when you are paid. Also, if you were overpaid by a government agency, an automatic stay stops the agency from trying to collect on the overpayment.

What do the means test results mean for your bankruptcy filing?

If you are one of the numerous New Jersey residents who is struggling financially, you have probably been doing some research on debt relief options. That search has led you here. While bankruptcy may not have been your first choice, it may be your best option.

Before you start a bankruptcy filing, you have to figure out for which type of bankruptcy protection you qualify. The means test is typically used for this purpose.

Americans borrowed this much to pay their medical bills in 2017

As healthcare policy continues to be a political controversy in the United States, it may help our readers to get a little perspective on the cost of medical treatment in this country. In 2017, Americans spent $3.7 trillion on healthcare – or exactly $10,739 for each man, woman and child.

Few of us can afford to pay out of pocket to treat a sudden health emergency or chronic illness. Still, it may be shocking to hear that Americans had to borrow $88 billion to pay for healthcare in a single year. Nobody expects people to do without necessary treatment, but when the bill comes, what are patients who cannot afford to pay supposed to do?

Going over some advantages of Chapter 7

From Chapter 11 to Chapter 13, there are different options on the table for those who are considering bankruptcy. In this blog, we will examine some of the reasons why Chapter 7 can be advantageous for some people in Morristown and across the state of New Jersey. Even though a number of benefits may come with taking this route, it is pivotal to carefully assess all of your options and make sure that you have found the best direction forward given your personal circumstances.

Unlike Chapter 13, Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not require a court-approved payment plan. As a result, those who file for Chapter 7 will not be required to continue making payments after the bankruptcy is complete. Moreover, future income is typically not considered part of the bankruptcy estate (although some property that is acquired in less than 180 days after filing for bankruptcy is included in the bankruptcy estate, such as death benefits, inheritance and funds from a life insurance policy).

Is it possible to slow down the foreclosure process?

If you are about to lose your home in New Jersey, one of the key questions you may want an answer to is if you can stall the process. The short answer to the question is yes. The long answer requires more explanation.

To be clear, if you have received a Notice of Delinquency, this is no guarantee that you are going to lose your home. However, to prevent this scenario from playing out, or to stall the process so you can make other living arrangements, here are a few things you can try.

What a Chapter 13 trustee does for you

When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New Jersey, you can expect to deal with a trustee throughout much of the process. The duties of a trustee are going to be different depending on the type of bankruptcy. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, per FindLaw, the trustee would be handling the liquidation of the debtor’s property and paying the creditors the proceeds. But since Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not involve liquidation, the duties of a trustee under Chapter 13 will be different. Instead, you can expect a Chapter 13 trustee to primarily be concerned with taking care of your debt payments.

Once you have completed a plan to repay your creditors, the trustee will look over it. If the trustee has any problems with the plan, the trustee will bring these objections to your attention. Afterwards, when the plan is ready, it will be submitted to the bankruptcy court for approval. Once the repayment plan is approved, the trustee will take charge of receiving money from you, which will be distributed to your creditors according to the conditions of the plan.

Are you experiencing creditor harassment? You can fight back.

Owing a significant amount of debt can be overwhelming. It can lead to significant stress in many areas of your life, especially if you are also experiencing harassment from creditors and debt collectors. While phone calls and other types of contact from creditors are normal, there are times their behavior goes over the line and violates your rights. 

Harassment from creditors is not only stressful and frustrating, but it is also illegal. You may think this is something you have to deal with because you owe a significant amount of debt, but this is not true. No matter how much you owe or what types of debt you have, you do not have to put up with threats and other types of harassment. You can speak out against this treatment and seek a beneficial outcome to your current financial situation.

Ast & Schmidt, P.C.

Ast & Schmidt, P.C.
222 Ridgedale Avenue 3rd Floor
P.O. Box 1309
Morristown, New Jersey 07962

Phone: 973-984-1300
Fax: 973-984-1478
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