The Law Offices of Michael McLaughlin, LLC is one of New Jersey’s most experienced and respected in the field of bankruptcy representation. The firm represents for both debtors and creditors. The Law Offices of Michael McLaughlin was founded by the firm’s principal attorney – Mr. Michael McLaughlin on March 2012. Where his father Late John J. McLaughlin (also known as Dr. McLaughlin) assisted him as Staff Counsel for two years. Dr. McLaughlin practiced Bankruptcy law for 38 years. Mr. McLaughlin began his career with a small family firm headed by his father located in Millburn, New Jersey. Michael practiced here for seven years. Michael McLaughlin and Late John J. McLaughlin worked together for 9 years.
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What Does It Mean To File Bankruptcy In New Jersey?
Bankruptcy is a legal procedure where a person who is unable to pay his or her bills can seek out a fresh start, financially. It is not a simple procedure and should only be explored with the assistance of a trusted bankruptcy attorney in Somerville, NJ. Federal law provides us all with the right to file bankruptcy, which means that all bankruptcy cases are matters to be handled in federal court. Filing bankruptcy will immediately stop your creditors from actively trying to collect debts from you, until all your debts have been dealt with according to bankruptcy law.
Types of Bankruptcy:
There are four different types of bankruptcy to discuss with your Somerville, NJ bankruptcy attorney:
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Also known as a straight bankruptcy or liquidation bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires you to give up any of your property that exceeds certain limits, which are called exemptions. The property will then be sold to pay off your creditors.
- Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Also known as a reorganization bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy is usually used by businesses, along with a few individual debtors who have a very large amount of debt.
- Chapter 12 Bankruptcy: A very specific and limited type of bankruptcy reserved for family farmers only.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Also known as a debt adjustment bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy requires you to file a court approved plan to repay your debts at your current income level.
Most individuals filing personal or joint bankruptcy will need to file under either chapter 7 or chapter 13. It is important to speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before attempting to file bankruptcy in Somerville, New Jersey.
How Can Bankruptcy Make My Life Easier?
Filing bankruptcy in Somerville, NJ with the help of a skilled bankruptcy attorney may open up several possibilities to assist you in dealing with your debt:
- Legally free you from the obligation to pay some of your debts. This forgiveness of debts is called a discharge.
- Stop the foreclosure process on your home and give you a chance to catch up on your missed payments.
- Prevent repossession your personal property or force a creditor to return repossessed property.
- Stop any wage garnishments and debt collector harassment.
- Restore or prevent the shutoff of your utility services.
- Provide you with the chance to challenge the claims of any of your creditors who have committed fraud.
What Are The Limits To Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is not a cure-all for every financial problem and it is not the right answer for every person in debt. A qualified bankruptcy attorney should be consulted before taking bankruptcy action in Somerville, NJ. Even in bankruptcy, there are limits. Bankruptcy cannot:
- Eliminate the rights of secured creditors. A secured debt is attached to collateral. You may be able to force secured creditors to accept payments over time through the bankruptcy process, but you cannot keep the collateral without continuing to pay on the debt.
- Discharge certain special types of debt, such as child support, alimony, student loans, criminal fines, restitution, and certain taxes.
- Protect your cosigners. If someone has co-signed your loan and you discharge that loan in bankruptcy, your cosigner may still have to repay the loan.
- Discharge debts that are created after bankruptcy has already been filed.
How Much Will It Cost Me To File Bankruptcy In New Jersey?
The current cost to file for bankruptcy under chapter 7 in New Jersey is $306. It costs $281 to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy. The price is the same whether the bankruptcy is for one person or a joint married couple. It is possible that the court will allow you to pay this filing fee in monthly or weekly payments, if you are not able to pay it all at once. If you hire a Somerville, NJ bankruptcy attorney to handle our bankruptcy, you will also have to pay his or her fees, which are generally a very worthy investment.
Can I Own Property After My Bankruptcy?
Many people are under the impression that they will not be allowed to own anything at all for a certain period of time after they file for bankruptcy. This is not the case. You are entitled to keep your exempt property and any new property that you obtain after your bankruptcy is filed. However, if you receive certain assets, like an inheritance, a property settlement, or benefits from a life insurance policy within 180 days after your bankruptcy, those funds or assets may have to be given over to your creditors. You should always ask your New Jersey bankruptcy attorney when unsure of which assets are exempt and which are not.
Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights
On the other side of the coin, creditors have rights when attempting to collect a debt that is owed to them. A Creditor is entitled to object to the elimination of a debt owed to them during a chapter 7 bankruptcy. By seeking out a Somerville, NJ bankruptcy attorney to file a complaint for the non-discharge ability of debt, a creditor can allege that the debtor committed fraud when acquiring the debt. The court will determine whether the debtor intended to pay the debt at the time that they acquired it. Some of the factors the court will consider include whether the purchase was necessary, the state of the debtors’ income when they took on the debt, and how close the purchase was to the date of the bankruptcy filing.
In a chapter 13 bankruptcy, a plan outlines a debtor’s monthly payments, which are to be paid to the creditor. A creditor can object to a chapter 13 bankruptcy plan if there is nonpayment or insufficient payment. Attempts to collect a debt can quickly become expensive and take up valuable time. Being unable to collect debts can have a devastating effect on a business. Bankruptcy Attorney, Michael McLaughlin counsels creditors about their rights and the remedies that can be made available to them regarding debt collection in bankruptcy in Somerville, NJ.
The Law Offices of Michael McLaughlin, LLC specializes in bankruptcy representation and law. It is conveniently located at 72nd West End Avenue in Somerville, New Jersey, and serves Somerville, Central and northern New Jersey, including, but not limited to the counties of Somerset, Morris, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Essex, Union, Warren.
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