Stop Collections. Eliminate Your Debt. Get a Fresh Start and Breathe a Lot Easier.

Bankruptcy is an opportunity to eliminate your debt and get a fresh start. Congress passed bankruptcy laws known as the Bankruptcy Code to assist hard-working people eliminate debt and move on with their lives. There is a reason they call it bankruptcy relief. Bankruptcy provides protection from your creditors from the moment your case is filed, and a federal court order (the discharge order) protects you from any collections actions after your case is completed. Bankruptcy is a great tool to eliminate your debt with federal and state law to protect you and your assets. You can eliminate your debt and the stress that is weighing on you and your family.

If you’re behind on payments, debt collectors will begin with a friendly phone call but it quickly gets more frequent and less friendly. Letters may come next, and collections lawsuits will follow. Too often, people ignore all the warnings and finally get woken up by a wage garnishment or frozen bank account. Bankruptcy can stop all of that so you can feel more comfortable answering the phone again.

The two most common types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Both can help eliminate debt, and both have their pros and cons. Once a bankruptcy petition is filed, you are immediately afforded a major protection called a “bankruptcy stay” or the “automatic stay.” This is a huge benefit in that it will stop all collections efforts including lawsuits and wage garnishments, release any frozen bank accounts, and even put a foreclosure action on hold. In most cases you can go through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy and protect your primary residence, vehicles, and most (if not all) of your assets. Zimmelman Law has over ten years of experience handling bankruptcy matters and has assisted thousands of New Yorkers in eliminating their debt.

Chapter 7: Commonly referred to as a liquidation, in a Chapter 7 case a bankruptcy trustee reviews your assets to determine whether anything is not protected under state or federal law (exemption laws). Any assets that are not protected can then be sold by the trustee and the proceeds are distributed to creditors. Most Chapter 7 cases are “no asset” cases where all assets are protected and nothing gets distributed to creditors. A typical Chapter 7 case lasts about three months from filing until the discharge order that formally eliminates your obligations. Most Chapter 7 cases do not involve any payments to creditors. Not everyone can file for Chapter 7 relief — you must qualify for this type of relief. Chapter 7 is also a good option for businesses looking to close and quickly liquidate assets to pay creditors.

Chapter 13: A Chapter 13 case is a reorganization, where you can manage and eliminate debt through a repayment plan over 36 to 60 months. People file for Chapter 13 relief to catch up on mortgage arrears, pay back debt that cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7, or simply because their income is too high to qualify for a Chapter 7. A Chapter 13 is a great way to save a house from foreclosure. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also provide an opportunity to pay back credit card debt, personal loans, and medical bills for pennies on the dollar based on your household income and expenses. In a Chapter 13 case, you make one monthly payment to your bankruptcy trustee who then distributes those funds to your creditors. You remain protected from your creditors while in a Chapter 13 repayment plan. 

Chapter 11 is an option for businesses (in addition to Chapter 7) and for individuals with too much debt to obtain Chapter 13 relief.

Zimmelman Law can help you eliminate your debt with dignity and get you a fresh start. You can rest easier knowing that we are working with you on your path towards a debt-free and healthier life. Take that first step to a fresh start today and give us a call or send us an email.