Copiague is a Long Island hamlet with a population of nearly 23,000 people. It sits about 35 miles east of Manhattan and is home to several businesses, school, and other amenities you would expect from a community of its size – and just like other similar communities, people and business in Copiague experience financial problems that can sometimes be alleviated through bankruptcy.
Ronald D. Weiss, P.C. is a New York law firm that serves all of Long Island, including the hamlet of Copiague. Mr. Weiss and his colleagues are qualified to represent individuals and businesses, and regularly represent parties in Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 proceedings. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office to 631-271-3737 or send us an email through our online contact form.
Chapter 7 is the most common form of consumer bankruptcy filed in the United States. While it not for everyone, this type of bankruptcy can substantially benefit many people who are deeply in debt and unable to keep up with their monthly payments. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a debtor’s nonexempt assets are liquidated and the proceeds are used to pay back creditors.
While this description may make it sound as if filing for Chapter 7 will result in the loss of all of your assets, the bankruptcy exemptions available under New York law are fairly generous, and most people who file for Chapter 7 are able to claim most, if not all, of their assets as exempt – resulting in what is referred to as a “zero-asset bankruptcy.” In this type of bankruptcy, debtors are able to enjoy all of the benefits of bankruptcy – most notably, the discharge of debt – without having to part with any of their existing assets. In fact, the only significant downside to a zero-asset bankruptcy is the fact that the bankruptcy will appear on the filer’s credit report for a number of years. But, as most people who can benefit from bankruptcy are already behind on their bills, their credit score will actually improve shortly after they file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can eliminate many different types of debt, including the following:
Whether Chapter 7 is a good idea in your situation depends on a variety of factors, including your income, your debt level, the types of debt you carry, and your assets. For this reason, you should always speak to an attorney familiar with the Chapter 7 process before taking any steps that may affect your legal rights.
If you have gotten behind on your payments but make regular income that is too high to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can still be a positive option for you. Chapter 13 is a type of reorganization bankruptcy that allows a debtor to keep his or her property while making regular payments to the court. Notably, Chapter 13 is only available to individuals. The debtor proposes a repayment plan that will last three to five years, and the payments are based on a formula that takes into account his or her income and allowable expenses. In a Chapter 13 plan, certain debts must be paid off in full, while others will be discharged when the bankruptcy concludes. This type of bankruptcy is often used by homeowners who are trying to stop foreclosure, as it allows them to bundle their mortgage arrears into their plan and pay it off over the period of the bankruptcy. So long as they are able to stay current on their mortgage, they can stop foreclosure and stay in their home. This is only one of many benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy resembles Chapter 13 in many ways but is utilized primarily by businesses that wish to remain in operation while straightening out their finances. While it is available to individuals, the high cost of filing and the onerous reporting requirements make it much more attractive to business. Similarly to Chapter 13, a Chapter 11 filer enters into a court-approved repayment plan. While payments are being made, the debtor is protected from ay collection activity from creditors, including lawsuits, repossessions, and foreclosures. In addition, the debtor can obtain financing on favorable terms because new creditors receive priority when lending to a party in Chapter 11.
In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the debtor remains in control of the business as a “debtor in possession,” which means that the debtor acts as its own bankruptcy trustee. Certain decisions, such as those regarding the sale of major assets, entering into a lease, stopping or expanding business operations, entering into or changing vendor, licensing, or union contracts, or the payment of fees to professionals, must be approved. Chapter 11 is a complicated type of bankruptcy, so it is highly advisable for anyone who believes that they or their business would be able to benefit from it should discuss their options with an attorney familiar with this type of bankruptcy.
Financial problems can be stressful and significantly affect your outlook and quality of life. Fortunately, the bankruptcy code provides debtors with various options to legally reduce or eliminate their debt while taking steps to take control of their finances. Bankruptcy is not appropriate in every situation, however, and it is important to carefully consider all of your options before making the decision to file. At the Law Office of Ronald D. Weiss, P.C., we will take the time to fully evaluate your financial situation and advise you as to your legal options and their respective costs and benefits. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Copiague bankruptcy attorneys, call our office today at 631-271-3737 or contact us online.