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Bankruptcy

The prospect of declaring bankruptcy is a daunting one, and something you shouldn’t have to face alone. Whether you’re looking at Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew L. Miller can help you during this stressful time in your life.

Helping You Through This Tough Time

At The Law Office of Andrew L. Miller, we know that while every bankruptcy proceeding is unique, most people feel intimidated when filing. The paperwork involved in bankruptcy cases can be quite confusing, and, more often than not, your creditors will have teams of lawyers behind them. Our objective is to make the bankruptcy process as simple and painless as possible for our clients. Depending on how far you are into the process, our bankruptcy attorneys may be able to:

  • Help you understand eligibility requirements and the different types of bankruptcy

  • File your petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court

  • Negotiate with your creditors at your 341 Meeting

  • Argue on your behalf in bankruptcy court, if necessary

  • Help you regain control of your finances and get a fresh start

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 work wonders.

For example, under Chapter 7, all credit card debt, personal loans, income taxes (over three years old - see "questions and answers"), car repossession deficiencies, and other types of debt are forever forgiven. And, all possessions including bank accounts, cars, pension and IRA plans (in all cases) and real estate are protected from creditors provided the value or equity falls within your "exemptions" Call to discuss exemptions. If money is owed on a car, the debt can be reaffirmed and the payments continued as if no bankruptcy were ever filed regarding the car.

Chapter 13 is even a more powerful tool.

It forces a mortgage company to reinstate a mortgage and accept back payments over a period up to a 5 years. See the "question and answer" section for a discussion on DMV surcharges and income taxes. Car payments can be stretched out and if the car loan is more than 2.5 years old, the payoff can be lowered to retail value considering the age and condition of the car.

Any kind of "refinancing," "debt consolidation," or "debt counseling" plan is not recommended. A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 can take care of the problem much more efficiently, as described above.

Debt Law

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), consumers have rights that protect them from illegal debt collection practices. If a creditor violates your rights by engaging in illegal debt collection tactics, it is considered creditor harassment, and the creditor can face significant legal consequences..

You're Not Alone

If you’ve been dealing with a creditor that is harassing you to collect debt, you may feel scared, hopeless, and unsure of what you can do to put an end to the maltreatment. When a creditor calls you at work, makes phone calls to your family members, verbally insults you, or threatens to take certain types of legal action against you, it’s time to consult with a debt collection attorney at our firm.

At The Law Office of Andrew L. Miller we advocate for you when you are too frightened to deal with your creditors on your own. Once engaged, we will intervene on your behalf and inform your creditors of your rights under the FDCPA. If your creditors continue to unlawfully harass you, we will take legal measures to put an end to their abuse and report their illegal behaviors.

Let Us Help

If you’ve been a victim of illegal debt collection practices, you do not have to suffer alone. Contact our law firm today and speak with an attorney who will help put unruly creditors in their place.

Bankruptcy Questions & Answers

1. Do I keep my casino license if I file bankruptcy?

Yes. Section 525 of the Bankruptcy Code clearly provides that no government unit such as the Casino Control Commission, private employer such as a casino can discriminate against a licensee or employee who files bankruptcy.

2. How does a bankruptcy filing affect my house?

Section 522 of the Bankruptcy Code provides very liberal "exemptions" so no assets are lost to creditors in most cases. The homestead exemption is $40,400.00 for a married couple, and half that for a single person, assuming that no exemptions are needed above the standard values for other assets. Remember, the Bankruptcy Code affords debtors a "Fresh Start" free of debt and creditor calls. This means that if you qualify for Chapter 7 protection, you hold on to your exempted assets and continue to earn and save money in the future as if no bankruptcy were filed.

3. How does a bankruptcy affect my automobile?

The automobile exemption when added to the unused portion of the homestead exemption is very liberal, so cars are usually not affected by the bankruptcy. Call to check.

4. How does a bankruptcy affect my cash on hand, bank accounts and jewelry?

The cash and bank account exemption is up to $22,400.00 for a married couple, and $11,200.00 for a single person, assuming that no exemptions are needed above the standard values for other assets, and one half the homestead exemption is needed. In addition, the jewelry exemption is $1,350.00 plus any of the unused exemptions mentioned above.

5. How does a bankruptcy affect my household goods and furnishings?

The household goods and furnishings exemption is $21,550.00 for a married couple and $10,775.00 for a single person. If the used value for a single item exceeds $525, a portion of unused homestead exemption applies. The values are based on a yard-sale type situation, not replacement cost.

6. How does a bankruptcy affect the personal injury claim that I have?

The personal injury exemption protects up to $20,200.00 of what you receive in a personal injury case after expenses and professional fees for the personal injury lawyer and experts. If no more than half of the homestead exemption is used, $11,200.00 can be added to this for total protection of $31,400.00. If the personal injury recovery replaces future income necessary for the support of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor, the exemption is the amount of the recovery. So a bankruptcy can hold off creditor calls and lawsuits, or discharge the debts owed to creditors while your personal injury claim is in the courts.

7. How does a bankruptcy affect the tools I use in my trade or profession?

The tools of the trade exemption is $2,025.00 plus the unused portion of the homestead exemption.

8. How does a Bankruptcy affect the cash surrender value in my life insurance?

The cash surrender value exemption is $10,775.00 plus the unused portion of the homestead exemption. Term life insurance without cash surrender buildup is fully exempt. Remember, the value of an insurance policy is not what the payment would be to a beneficiary, but the present cash in hand, or loan value of the policy.

9. How does a bankruptcy affect my checks for monthly social security, unemployment compensation, disability, unemployment benefit, alimony and support, and pensions?

Section 522 of the Bankruptcy Code exempts the right to receive any of the above checks free of creditor claims. In the case of checks for alimony, support, private pensions, and the like, the payments must be reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor, which is usually the situation.

10. Do I have to give up my financed automobile if I file bankruptcy?

No. You have choices here. You can continue making your payments as if no bankruptcy were filed and everything stays the same. Or you may return the car to the lender without a repossession bill if the cost of the payments, insurance and upkeep are taking too large a chunk out of your paycheck. Remember, if you traded in a car that had a payoff, the car is probably not worth the amount of the payoff because you are still paying off the old car with the new car payments.

Click Here to Read More Bankruptcy Questions & Answers

When you’re having financial problems, time is of the utmost importance. Acting quickly and hiring an attorney when you miss credit card payments or when your business starts failing is the first step in gaining control over your finances.

Contact the Law Office of Andrew Miller, Esq. for a free, confidential consultation.
See if you qualify and if bankruptcy is right for you.

THE LAW OFFICE OF ANDREW L. MILLER

1550 New Road, Suite A,

Northfield, NJ 08225

Phone. (609) 645-1599

Fax. (609) 645-7554

Email. clientcare@almlaw.com

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