Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Piscataway

Experienced New Jersey lawyer offers sound advice and reliable service

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is for individual consumers or married couples who’ve taken on debt they have no reasonable chance of repaying. Chapter 7 is often called “clean slate” bankruptcy, because it allows the consumer to sell off assets and discharge most, if not all, debt. As with any legal remedy, there are advantages and disadvantages. If you’re considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should consult an attorney who is:

  • Ethical — Many “debt relief” law firms have one solution they fit to every client. Choose an attorney who performs the due diligence necessary to determine which remedy is best for you.
  • Compassionate — Remember, you’re seeing an attorney to serve you, not to process you. Make sure your attorney sees you as a human being.
  • Dedicated — Many bankruptcy filings are swift and smooth, but others hit snags, like objections from creditors and even allegations of bankruptcy fraud against the filer. “Debt relief” firms often cut and run when the going gets tough. Find a reputable attorney who sticks with you.
  • Experienced — The last thing you want to hear your attorney say is, “Wish I’d known that.”

For more than 14 years, the Law Office of Michael P. Otto has built a solid reputation for honesty, genuine concern and hard work on behalf of our clients.

The pros and cons of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Jersey

The greatest advantage of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the “automatic stay,” which prevents your creditors from contacting you directly to collect on your debts and from taking legal actions such as wage garnishments to recover funds. Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy, which means that you must surrender your cash assets and sell your property, except those items that are exempt under bankruptcy law. (New Jersey allows filers to choose between state exemptions and the more generous federal exemptions) Proceeds of the sale go to pay your creditors. The court then discharges you from any obligation to repay the remaining debt, except for debt that is not dischargeable under bankruptcy law.

One disadvantage of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that not everyone qualifies. You must pass the means test. After filing Chapter 7, your credit rating takes a hit, making it harder for you to get a credit card, a car loan or a home mortgage. Federal and state exemptions for home equity are very low, so if you’ve been paying on your mortgage for any length of time, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can make it very hard to keep your home. (Consumers who are determined to keep their home should consider filing under Chapter 13.)

A knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney in Piscataway can answer questions specific to your circumstances. If you're wondering about how to file a business bankruptcy, you should read about Chapter 11.

Contact an ethical and dedicated Piscataway bankruptcy attorney for Chapter 7 filings

The Law Office of Michael P. Otto serves clients throughout Middlesex, Union, Somerset and Morris counties. Mr. Otto is available on weekends and in the evening on a case-by-case basis. Call 732-819-7000 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation.