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Paterson Bankruptcy Law Blog

Protecting a vehicle from repossession during financial problems

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  • October
    2014

When financial challenges hit, New Jersey residents often question how the situation might affect their life and the belongings they currently have. While it is very common to seek asset protection of the individual's home when debt becomes an issue in their life, debtors may also seek to keep their automobile. Automobile repossession is a possibility for those unable to meet their financial responsibilities. There are various ways a debtor could address this type of asset forfeiture and could even take steps to avoid or stop repossession.

Because vehicles are often highly relied on by their owner, those at risk for losing their automobile should understand the process they could face. Furthermore, if the debtor seeks debt relief, they might have options to stop any repossession against them.

Adjournment Requests

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  • October
    2014

In the District of New Jersey, most uncontested chapter 13 bankruptcy matters are managed by the chapter 13 trustee. Few cases are held to be heard for the judge.
This practice has led to some relaxation of court rules, such as requests to adjourn matters. Until recently, it was not unusual to email the trustee with a request to adjourn a matter the day before the scheduled hearing date. The trustee has found that some attorneys abused the leniency and has now mandated strict compliance with Local Rule 5071.
Pursuant to Local Rule 5071-1 all requests for adjournments of matters must be made at least 3 days prior to the hearing date. Before requesting an adjournment, the requesting party shall attempt to obtain the consent of the other parties and inform the Court of their position, including the reasons for any opposition. If a request cannot be presented to the Court within the time period provided the parties shall appear on the hearing date and the adjournment request will be considered at that time.

Do you have student loans and feel trapped? Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may be an option for you.

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  • October
    2014

While in all likelihood, your student loans will not be discharged through a bankruptcy proceeding, a chapter 13 bankruptcy may be an option that can help you manage your debt.  Through the chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can put together a plan to allow you to make payments based on your disposable income over the pendency of the bankruptcy.  Any wage garnishments that are ongoing will need to halt immediately due to the automatic stay.  While this will not cause the loan obligation to go away, it can make your life more manageable as you rebuild your finances.  Additionally, you can arrange to cure the arrears that you may have accumulated through the plan, if that is what you want.  You can structure a plan to meet your needs based on your individual situation.

Contact a Lawyer

If you are considering bankruptcy, contact a lawyer so you can be guided accordingly as to what your options are and what option is best for you. The bankruptcy process can be difficult to navigate, so it is important that you have someone representing you who is familiar with the process to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Considering personal bankruptcy to address debt

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  • October
    2014

Dealing with money issues is already a tough situation, but a debtor could go through more financial problems and deal with more complications when they are receiving calls from creditors. Our firm understands that addressing debt problems is difficult, but there are valid and rational options for debtors to eliminate debt for New Jersey residents. No matter what caused the individual's current financial issues, a debtor could initiate their debt relief through the bankruptcy process. By understanding the steps involved, debtors could avoid common pitfalls and better prepare themselves for the process and the possible future outcomes.

When filing for bankruptcy, individuals might have tried other process prior to reaching this step. While debt counseling and restructuring finances and spending could help, if unexpected life changes caused these financial problems, filing for personal bankruptcy might be the best option. Although these alternatives to bankruptcy could provide the debtor with pertinent information for the future, in order to completely address the current debt situation, the individual might want to consider a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.

What processes help homeowners avoid foreclosure?

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  • October
    2014

It is not uncommon for a small problem to snowball into larger issues, especially when an individual does not know how to properly address the initial problem. With regards to financial problems, if an individual or a family is unable to take proactive measures, this could result in even more straining debt issues. When debt continues to grow, residents in New Jersey might fear some repercussions, such as foreclosure of their home. This leads many to question what they could do to avoid or stop the foreclosure of their house.

The thought of losing a home due to financial issues is one that is terrifying to most, and the Obama Administration implemented various programs to assist homeowners in these predicaments. These various programs help current and future homeowners avoid foreclosure while also stabilizing the housing market and further improving the nation's economy.

Deficiency Judgments Post-Foreclosure

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  • October
    2014

Recently, Michele Conlin published an article for Reuters Online, which can be read here http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/14/us-usa-housing-foreclosures-insight-idUSKCN0I30BU20141014, stating that many Americans are struggling with banks coming after them for a deficiency judgment years after foreclosing on their property.  A lender has the option of suing a borrower for a deficiency on the mortgage, if the post-foreclosure sale of the property does not fullfil the lender's claim.  If you are facing a foreclosure, it is important to think about bankruptcy as an option because you can discharge your personal liability on the debt owed to your lender.  Thus, the lender would not be able to pursue a deficiency judgment against you post-bankruptcy. Fortunately for residents of New Jersey, a lender must commence a deficiency action "within 3 months from the date of the (foreclosure) sale, or, if confirmation is or was required, from the date of the confirmation of the sale of the mortgaged premises" pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:50-2. However, there can also be tax implications post-foreclosure, which can be aided through discharging the debt through a bankruptcy regardless of whether the lender pursues a deficiency action against a borrower.

Contact a Lawyer

If you are considering bankruptcy, contact a lawyer so you can be guided accordingly as to what your options are and what option is best for you. The bankruptcy process can be difficult to navigate, so it is important that you have someone representing you who is familiar with the process to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Obtaining debt relief through Chapter 7 bankruptcy

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  • October
    2014

When residents in New Jersey struggle with their bills or feel like they are drowning in debt, they often seek ways to solve these financial issues. This is often accomplished by getting a new job, an additional job, downsizing or going through debt counseling. While these options could serve the individual well, some are not able to fully address their debt situation. This leads some to question their options regarding bankruptcy and whether it could help them eliminate their current debt.

If a debtor seeks to erase some or all of their current debt rather than establishing a payment plan to pay their creditors, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good option. In these matters, the bankruptcy trustee in the case compiles all of the debtor's nonexempt assets and sells them. The proceeds of these sales would be used to pay back creditors.

Protecting assets and property when filing for bankruptcy

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  • October
    2014

It can be a difficult decision to make when individuals in New Jersey decide to address their financial issues. Filing for bankruptcy could be a major choice in their life, and our law firm understands how the process could impact their life. Prior to and during the process, individuals should understand how exemptions could work in their favor to keep nearly all their belongings.

When filing for bankruptcy, it is important to establish which type of bankruptcy to file for. Each type could offer the debtor debt relief in a different way, and has its pros and cons. Understanding how each one works could benefit the individual when determining what type of bankruptcy files for, especially if it could offer asset protection.

Managing the Risk of Purchasing Investment Property

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  • October
    2014

Many people look to real estate investment as a way to invest their money and supplement their income through renting the properties. However, like any investment, these investments have risks. First and foremost, you can limit your personal risk by starting an LLC and putting ownership of the property in the LLC and by not signing any personal guarantees. That way a lender's recourse is in the LLC. If you have not done that and the property is being foreclosed upon, you may become personally liable for the money owed to the lender. In that case, a chapter 7 bankruptcy or a chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a good option for you to discharge yourself of the debt owed to the lender.

Contact a Lawyer

If you are considering bankruptcy, contact a lawyer so you can be guided accordingly as to what your options are and what option is best for you. The bankruptcy process can be difficult to navigate, so it is important that you have someone representing you who is familiar with the process to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Does filing for bankruptcy stop wage garnishment?

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  • October
    2014

For some New Jersey residents, their issues with finances and debt could go from good to bad to awful rather quickly. Even when they take steps to reduce or prevent these financial problems, matters could get worse, particularly when it comes to dealing with debt collection. One of the most challenging and burdensome types of debt collection is wage garnishment, and many debtors seek a type of mechanism to stop these collections.

Those dealing with serious debt issues, especially wage garnishment often question whether bankruptcy is their best debt relief option. Does filing for bankruptcy stop garnishment? When an individual files for bankruptcy, there is an immediate stop on the wage garnishment. It also puts a stop on any current or future collection activity until the bankruptcy court says otherwise. This is called an automatic stay and will remain until it is discharged or lifted by the court.

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Hoboken, NJ 07030
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Scura, Mealey, Wigfield & Heyer, L.L.P. Attorneys at Law

John Scura of Scura, Wigfield, Heyer & Stevens, LLP, serves clients in New Jersey communities including Wayne, Hoboken, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Edison, Camden, Clifton, Passaic, East Orange, Newark, Union City, Bayonne, Irvington, North Bergen, West New York, Bloomfield, Paramus, Fair Lawn, Ridgewood, Saddle Brook, River Edge, Emerson, Englewood, Ramsey, Tenafly, Glen Rock, Teaneck, and Hackensack, and in counties including Bergen County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Hudson County, Union County, Passaic County, and Morris County.

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