Long Island is ripe with history, and the Hamlet of Hauppauge is no exception. Algonquian for “Land of Sweet Water,” what is now Hauppauge was a favored destination for Native Americans because of the abundance of freshwater streams. Accordingly, it remains one of Long Island’s earlier settlements. At the intersection of Motor Parkway and Old Willets Path lives one of the oldest houses in Suffolk County, dating back to 1731, and the old “King’s Highway” (now portions of Route 111) ran through Hauppauge as it connected historic New York City to the “settlements” on Long Island during the colonial period.
With a population of approximately 20,000, Hauppauge, New York is one of the seats of Suffolk County government. Shared by both Central Islip and Smithtown, highlighting the reason for the aptly named “Townline Road,” the Hamlet of Hauppauge boasts a unique blend of individuals from all walks of life and economic backgrounds. Although the median household income in Hauppauge is approximately $105,000.00, its per capita income is only $43,000, and only 60% of the population is working. With Hauppauge averaging approximately three persons per household, but with almost 25% of the population under the age of 18, Hauppauge’s soaring housing prices and steep property taxes have left some residents facing financial difficulties.
Hauppauge’s median home value is $455,700, with rent averaging $1,900 and mortgage payments close to $3,000 a month. Accordingly, those who are not living in a two-income household might find life in Hauppauge has become more difficult over the years despite all it has to offer. With its proximity to the District Court, Suffolk County town offices, hospitals such as St. Catherine’s and the renowned Stony Brook University Hospital and College, Hauppauge offers a pleasant commute for many works. Even within its convenient location, sitting on the entrance of both the Long Island Expressway and Northern State Parkway, many towns covet its beauty. In Hauppauge sits Blydenburgh County Park, a 627-acre county park that offers freshwater fishing, equestrian trails, camping, hiking, boat rentals, playgrounds, extensive dog runs, and a historic district with an old gristmill. Accordingly, Hauppauge offers a unique balance of lifestyles for working individuals looking for an easy commute but also a forested getaway.
Whether you live off Old Willets Path, closer to the beaches of Smithtown, or on the Nissequogue River, you can choose from unique historic homes, park-side properties, and more. Fine Italian dining, state of the art medical facilities, top-tier education, forests, rivers, and beaches are all available in the Hauppauge vicinity, and many residences may be willing to make sacrifices in order to avail themselves to all that Hauppauge has to offer. However, property taxes in Hauppauge are close to 2%, and the average homeowner pays about $9,000 in taxes alone each year. This is like having a second mortgage, but one that only goes up and never goes away. For this reason, many people in and around the Hauppauge area may need assistance with debt relief, which can include filing for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is not the only option to find relief from your debts and get back on track with your finances. At the Law Offices of Ronald D. Weiss, we can explore many options. If you major debts are credit cards, we may be able to negotiate a fair settlement to help you pay off your balances. If your mortgage is in default, we can strive to obtain a mortgage loan modification for you. In some cases, however, bankruptcy is the best option to help you regain control of the situation.
Bankruptcy Help in Hauppauge
If you’re a resident or business owner in Hauppauge and are considering filing bankruptcy, your petition must be brought in federal bankruptcy court. Because Hauppauge is located in the “Eastern District of New York,” which is the federal designation for all of Long Island, you must file your petition the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York. More specifically, your petition will be brought in the Central Islip Division, which covers all of Suffolk County. In fact, 4,636 people filed for bankruptcy in Suffolk County in 2017 under the following designations:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy – 2,710
- Chapter 11 bankruptcy – 41
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy – 1,885
When compared with Nassau County, which had more Chapter 13 petitions than Chapter 7 petitions in 2017, Suffolk residents have often opted to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Although this is the more traditional, and popular, type of bankruptcy, it may not be the best option for you and your family, especially if you are a wage earner in Hauppauge interested in remaining in your historic, park-side home. Chapter 7 bankruptcy generally means you must liquidate all non-exempt assets, and because homes in Hauppauge seldom fall under the New York Homestead Exemption, which only covers homes valued at a fraction of Hauppauge’s median home value, you will have to sell your home in settlement of your debts. For this reason, many people may find Chapter 13 to be the preferable route, which can stop a foreclosure in its tracks, silence your creditors, and help you keep your home. Not everyone is eligible for each category of bankruptcy, however, and an experienced Hauppauge bankruptcy lawyer can review the facts of your case in order to help you decide what option is best for you and your family.
Representing Hauppauge Clients Throughout the Bankruptcy Process
Bankruptcy has been a tenant of American jurisprudence since Hauppauge residents were traveling along the King’s Highway en route to their Lake Ronkonkoma vacation homes. Stemming from the biblical concept of a debt “jubilee,” lawmakers understood that debts, especially high-interest debts, could be overwhelming, destroying lives and families in their wake. Accordingly, the concept of bankruptcy was written into the United States Constitution itself, which gave Congress the power to establish uniform laws of bankruptcy throughout the United States. Thus, the United States Bankruptcy Code and Bankruptcy Courts were born. It is also why bankruptcy is a federal matter. Whether your debts are due to poor financial management, failed business endeavors, a serious illness or injury, or divorce and custody disputes, you should not be afraid to discuss your options with a highly experienced Long Island bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. You may be surprised at the benefits bankruptcy can offer.
If you’re drowning in debt and don’t see a way out, call the Law Office of Ronald D. Weiss to discuss your options. He may be able to help you get a fresh start on life the right way, without trading one creditor for another or falling for TV debt consolidation schemes. For Hauppauge and nearby residents, we have an office conveniently located on Motor Parkway – 150 Motor Parkway, Suite 401, Room 424, Hauppauge, New York, 11788, right off of 495.
Deciding to File for Bankruptcy
It’s no secret that, although bankruptcy can give you a fresh start in life, it truly is a fresh start. Declaring bankruptcy will generally result in a reset of your credit, meaning you may find it difficult to get approval for a loan or credit card in the future. It will also result in a significant lifestyle change no matter the type of bankruptcy you file for. Accordingly, a qualified Long Island bankruptcy attorney typically also specializes in other types of debt management and foreclosure law, and he can analyze the facts of your case to see if there are other options available to you. In some situations, debts can be resolved with a phone call from your attorney to your creditor or a simple loan modification through your bank. In addition, not all debts are dischargeable in a bankruptcy proceeding, most notably, your student loans. If you are struggling mostly with high-interest student loan debt, bankruptcy may not be right for you. Attorney Ronald Weiss will review your circumstances and carefully discuss whether bankruptcy is the best choice in your situation, and if not, he may still be able to assist you in finding another debt relief option.
Selecting the Best Type of Bankruptcy for Your Situation
If, after speaking with Attorney Weiss, you and your family decide that declaring bankruptcy is the right option, you must determine which type of bankruptcy is right for you. However, not everyone is eligible for each type of bankruptcy. For example, if your debt is above a certain secured and unsecured threshold, you may be ineligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy even if you are a wage earner. Likewise, if your income potential is too high, you may be ineligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and may have to structure your debts as a wage earner. Attorney Ronald Weiss will initially look at the following factors to determine what type of bankruptcy you are eligible for:
Income – Chapter 7 bankruptcy is largely reserved for those people who have lower income, no income, or do not have a steady income. If you are an individual or married couple and your income is above a certain threshold, whether for your job, stocks, bonds, or rental property, you will not pass the “means test,” and you will likely have to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. However, there are a lot of assets that courts cannot consider when analyzing your means, and Attorney Ronald Weiss can help ensure that you are taking advantage of all available asset exemptions.
Assets – Chapter 7 bankruptcy works by liquidating, i.e., selling, your property, the total value of which is then pooled and paid out to your creditors in priority order. Whatever dischargeable debts remain after asset liquidation are generally discharged. In most cases, this means selling your home, vehicle, personal property, and even jewelry. In many Chapter 7 cases, exemptions can be used to protect your property; however, if you have many assets or property that you want to keep, such as an expensive book or wine collection, you may be better off filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as these assets will generally not be exempt from liquidation.
Types of debt – Most individuals who file for Chapter 7 relief are burdened with unsecured consumer debt, such as credit card and medical debt. If the majority of your debt is unsecured, i.e., there is no property linked to the debt as in the case of your car loan, Chapter 7 will likely provide the needed relief.
Business filings – If you are a business owner, you have two primary choices when it comes to bankruptcy—Chapter 7 liquidation or Chapter 11 restructuring. If you choose Chapter 7 liquidation, this typically marks the end of all business operations. Accordingly, if you are a Hauppauge business owner struggling with business debt but wish to continue business operations, you should discuss your option for filing a Chapter 11 petition with Attorney Weiss.
This list of factors is non-exhaustive, but it is important to keep your goals in mind before filing for bankruptcy on Long Island. Whether you want to keep your house, move away and start fresh, or save your businesses, Attorney Ronald Weiss is ready to discuss each option with you in detail.
Guiding You Through Every Step of Your Case
If you’ve decided that bankruptcy is right for you and your family, you’ll next want to consider what type of bankruptcy to file for:
Chapter 7: If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are essentially asking the court to help you start fresh. If you pass the “means test” such that the court determines that you would not be able to make structured payments on your debt, a Chapter 7 trustee will be appointed for your case. He or she will then determine which of your property and assets may be seized and liquidated, with the proceeds going toward certain priority debts. After the liquidation phase, the court can discharge the rest of your qualified debts. But remember, this still excludes certain debts such as your student loans.
Chapter 13: This is also referred to as “wage earner’s” bankruptcy because it means you have a steady income and the ability to make certain debt payments. After your attorney files a petition with the court, any foreclosure proceedings are automatically stayed. The bankruptcy trustee then determines a reasonable payment amount and term (usually three or five years) based on your income, expenses, and debts. You will make a single payment to the court, and the court will distribute that payment to your creditors in order of priority. Once your plan is complete, any remaining qualified debts can be discharged. This type of bankruptcy can help you pay off your mortgage and auto arrears to avoid foreclosure or repossession, but be careful not to default or your case may be converted to Chapter 7 liquidation.
Chapter 11: Business owners who wish to remain in operation most often elect to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In these cases, debts are reorganized but not immediately discharged, and the court names the business owner or filer as a “debtor in possession.” He or she will need to report significant information to the court and may need to follow the court’s instructions about operations and finances. This can be a complex case and can be converted into a Chapter 7 case if the debt reorganization is not successful. Accordingly, it is essential to have a Long Island bankruptcy attorney on your side if you are planning to file a Chapter 11 petition in order to keep your business afloat and employees employed.
Contact a Hauppauge Bankruptcy Lawyer to Discuss Your Options Today
Sometimes it’s best to start anew, and sometimes you just need help getting on your feet after an illness or unexpected job loss. In any case, please schedule a free case estimate by calling the Law Office of Ronald D. Weiss at 631-223-4810 or contact us online today. We have an office conveniently located at 150 Motor Parkway, Suite 401, Rm 424 Hauppauge, NY 11788
Law Office of Ronald D. Weiss, P.C.
150 Motor Parkway
Suite 401, Rm 424
Hauppauge, NY 11788