What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
There are multiple ways an individual or entity can file for bankruptcy in NYC. The most common of these ways is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The popularity of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is due to the fresh financial start that this bankruptcy process offers to residents of NYC.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation process found in Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The debtor, unable to repay outstanding debts and behind on payment obligations, is required to sell all non-exempt property – or “liquidate” its assets. The funds obtained from the sale of non-exempt assets are used to pay off creditors and pay down outstanding debt.
All debts may not be repaid during an NYC Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If the sale of assets doesn’t cove the total debt, then here could be creditors left with unpaid loans or other obligations. Yet, once a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is complete, these remaining amounts are discharged – and the debtor is able to start with a clean slate.
Walking away without any debt or late payments is a major incentive for individuals and companies alike to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in NYC, but as NYC bankruptcy lawyer, Michelle Labayen, can explain, Chapter 7 bankruptcy isn’t the right choice for everyone.
Who Can File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Both individuals and entities can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in NYC. There are some restrictions and eligibility requirements that anyone wanting to liquidate must meet to file under this chapter of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
- Must be an individual, partnership, corporation, or other business entity.
- Individuals must meet the “means test” in the State of New York.
- Individuals cannot file within 180 days of a bankruptcy case ending in dismissal for due to the debtor’s willful failure to appear or voluntary dismissal.
- Individuals must receive credit card counseling within 180 days of filing for bankruptcy.
While these eligibility requirements are the baseline requirements for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in NYC, or elsewhere in the United States, there are other considerations. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a major life decision that should be discussed with a knowledgeable NYC lawyer.
What Is the Means Test for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Individuals that want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in NYC are only eligible if qualified under the means test. The purpose of the means test is restricting Chapter 7 bankruptcy to individuals that don’t have the disposable income and financial resources to repay their debt in full.
This means test is defined in the federal bankruptcy laws but requires information on income and salaries in the State of New York.
- If your annual income is less than the median income for the State of New York, then you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without any further investigation, but
- If your annual income is more than the median income for the State of New York, then you must determine if you have sufficient disposable income to repay your debts or not. Your disposable income is the amount of money you have left after paying regular expenses. If your disposable income is too high, you fail the means test.
As a NYC bankruptcy lawyer, Michelle Labayen has the experience to accurately calculate your disposable income, advise you on the outcome, and work with the courts to file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, plus much more.
How Do You File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
You should file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with the assistance of an NYC lawyer. Not only does Michelle Labayen have an office accessible from all parts of NYC and Newark, but a commitment to bankruptcy clients that is unyielding. She works tirelessly for Chapter 7 clients – to ensure their bankruptcy is reviewed correctly the court, handled efficiently by the trustee, and results in the best possible outcome for you.
Michelle Labayen is by your side as you complete all requirements of Chapter 7 bankruptcy – from filing to discharge of your debts. You won’t be alone, confused, or uncertain as you tackle the procedural requirements of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, including:
- File a petition with the bankruptcy court in NYC;
- Collect and file the required documents for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, such as a schedule of assets and liabilities, current income and expenditures, certificate of credit counseling, and tax returns;
- Understand the impact of an automatic stay and ensure creditors don’t violate this procedural requirement;
- Meeting of the creditors and questioning under oath;
- Liquidation of assets and determination of non-exempt property for sale by the case trustee; and
- Obtain a discharge of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Contact an NYC Chapter 7 Lawyer
If you need effective and efficient legal counsel for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, look no further than the Michelle Labayen. Our law office focuses on a client-first approach that emphasizes your understanding of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process and guides you through each and every step of an NYC bankruptcy.
We believe a smooth bankruptcy process is vitally important to the outcome and place significant emphasis on client satisfaction and communication throughout any NYC Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or student loan forgiveness case.
Ready to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?