New York Lawyers practicing Bankruptcy Law, Gershburg Law P.C. Law Firm is located in New York, NY
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When you’re overwhelmed by debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to start over financially. In exchange for surrendering any non-exempt property, you receive a discharge from unsecured debts like medical bills, credit cards, and personal loans. To qualify for Chapter… READ MORE
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Gershburg Law P.C.
Bankruptcy Lawyer NYC
It can happen to anyone.
During a time when the cost of living keeps rising but salaries don’t, many people are struggling financially. At Gershburg Law, P.C., we understand that a job loss, an illness, a separation or divorce, or just a home that has become a little too expensive can cause serious financial issues. It is our job to ensure you know what your options are, and how a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing may be able to help you obtain a fresh financial start.
What is Personal Bankruptcy?
Personal bankruptcy is a legal process that offers financial relief to consumers (as opposed to businesses) who are overwhelmed by debt. If you are caught in a difficult financial situation, understand that there is no shame in seeking bankruptcy relief. The most common types of expenses that lead to insolvency are:
- Credit card bills: According to Debt.org, over 189 million Americans have at least one credit card. (Most have four.) Each household with a credit card carries an average of $8,398 in credit card debt.
- Medical debt: Research shows that about 137.1 million Americans faced financial hardship in 2019 because of medical bills. In fact, an estimated 66.5% of all personal bankruptcies are related to medical problems.
- Student loans: At over $1.5 trillion, student loan debt in the U.S. is at an all-time high. College tuition has more than doubled since the 1980s, and it isn’t just young graduates who are affected: over three million senior citizens are still paying off their student loans!
- Mortgages: Americans now have more mortgage debt than ever before. In mid-2019, the total was over $9.4 trillion.
- Car payments: Americans currently owe over $1.2 trillion on auto loans, which is the highest in U.S. history. The number of outstanding auto loans has also gone up by 39% since 2010.
The overwhelming majority of Chapter 7 filers are honest consumers who simply encountered hard times. If you are having difficulty paying your bills and options like debt consolidation or negotiating with creditors are either inaccessible or failed to work for you, working with a bankruptcy lawyer in NYC can give you the fresh financial start you need.
When Should I File for Bankruptcy?
No one plans to encounter the kind of financial difficulties that can lead to bankruptcy, but it can happen. According to the U.S. Courts website, every year thousands of consumers turn to bankruptcy to get relief from a debt burden that has become too much.
Although everyone’s case is unique, below are some signs that you should discuss your situation with an experienced New York bankruptcy lawyer:
- You’ve lost your job and have been unable to find another one in a similar income bracket.
- You can only afford to make the minimum payments on your debts and it’s becoming too much to keep up.
- You are totally reliant on credit and forced to use your credit cards to cover daily expenses like groceries and gas because you have no money left over after paying your debts.
- You have reached your borrowing limits and your bank will not provide additional financial assistance.
- You are so stressed and overwhelmed by your financial situation that it’s affecting your mental and physical wellbeing.
At Gershburg Law, P.C., we will answer your questions and address your concerns so that you can decide if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right choice for you.
Most Chapter 7 bankruptcies are straightforward. You file your paperwork, abide by the terms of your bankruptcy, and receive a discharge at the end. Unfortunately, there is always the possibility that one of your creditors, your trustee, or even you will file an adversary proceeding, which is a civil lawsuit arising from your bankruptcy.
Only certain people can file an adversary proceeding. They are:
- A creditor: Creditors may file an adversary proceeding for reasons that include getting a debt to be declared nondischargeable. They may claim that you provided false information to get access to credit or incurred the debt while knowing that you would eventually file bankruptcy.
- The Bankruptcy Trustee: Trustees typically file adversary proceedings to recover property that they believe to have been fraudulently transferred, recover funds paid to a creditor before the bankruptcy filing, or force someone to surrender property that they have been holding for the debtor.
- The debtor: You can initiate litigation proceedings if you believe your rights have been violated by a creditor. If they are contacting you to demand payment after you file and/or have been discharged, it is a violation of the automatic stay and discharge injunction. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer in NYC can help you protect your rights and in some cases recover damages if a creditor goes too far.
If you have filed Chapter 7 and the trustee or one of your creditors initiates bankruptcy litigation against you, it is strongly recommended that you have legal representation. If an attorney is handling your bankruptcy case, they can also represent you during the adversary lawsuit, but some bankruptcy lawyers do not handle adversary proceedings. At Gershburg Law, P.C., we will represent you in any adverse actions that arise in the course of your Chapter 7 case.
Do I Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Under the New York Laws?
In order to file Chapter 7 in New York, you have to pass the means test, which compares your income to the state median income for a household the same size as yours.
For example, if there are three people in your household, the median income for bankruptcy purposes as of May 2020 is $7,353.33 per month or $88,240 per year. If you live alone, the limit is $4,761.42 per month or $57,137 per year. A bankruptcy lawyer in NYC can help you determine the median income for your family size.
If your monthly income, based on an average from the last six months, is equal to or lower than the specified median income for your household, you pass the means test and can file for Chapter 7. If it is higher, you proceed to the second part of the test, which looks at your reasonable expenses like food, housing, clothing, and medical care. If you don’t have enough disposable income left over to pay your bills after covering your necessary expenses, you qualify for Chapter 7. If you have a surplus, you may be required to repay your debts in a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Under some circumstances, you may be exempted from the means test. For example, if you are a disabled veteran of the U.S. military who incurred most of your debt while on active duty or participating in homeland defense, you may be allowed to file Chapter 7 without having to pass the means test. A bankruptcy lawyer in NYC can show you how to apply for any appropriate exemption.
If your filing is approved, Gershburg Law, P.C. will help you prepare and file the necessary paperwork, identify and claim the exemptions that let you keep your cherished assets, and represent you during any necessary court appearances. Our goal is to make the bankruptcy process as smooth as possible for you and ensure that no mistakes occur that could jeopardize your discharge.
Let’s Work Toward a Fresh Financial Start
If you’re overwhelmed by medical bills, credit card debt, high mortgage, and car payments, student loans, and other types of consumer debt, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York can be the best way for you and your loved ones to get the fresh start that you need.
Why? Because filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to discharge all of these debts and start over while keeping your most important assets. Let Gershburg Law, P.C. protect your best interests as you take the legal steps necessary to start over.
When you hire our firm, you get the following advantages:
- Unlimited phone calls to a New York City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney who will answer all of your questions
- Unlimited emails to a New York City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, most of which are usually returned in a few hours.
- Preparation of your entire bankruptcy petition.
- Preparation for your meeting with the Trustee, also known as the 341 hearing or the “Meeting of Creditors.”
- Representation at the 341 hearing.
- Assistance with cease and desist letters for your creditors, helping to ensure that all of the harassing communication from debt collectors comes to an end.
At Gershburg Law, P.C., we provide every client with personalized and attentive service that includes quality legal guidance and honest advice. We know that contemplating bankruptcy is a difficult situation, and will make sure that your final decision is a fully informed one. We are a New York bankruptcy law firm dedicated to supporting clients as they regain solvency and resume their lives on stronger financial footing. For a no-obligation consultation, call 212-390-8866 or contact us online.
What our clients say about us
“Daniel and Danielle were both a pleasure to work with. They handled my case very quickly and professionally. They return emails and phone calls promptly (without charging you for them!), and take the time to answer all questions. I would definitely recommend them!”- John D.
“He always responded to everything promptly and made me feel like my case was just as much of a priority as anyone elses. I could not have asked for more or better. If you want a GREAT attorney, Daniel is your man.”- Brenda
“Daniel is not only an impressive lawyer, he is genuine and personable. I have now worked with Daniel on 3 apartment closings. All have went smoothly and when there was confusion or problems with the other parties, he handled it professionally and in a timely manner. Buying and selling apartments can be stressful and I want a lawyer who is experienced and confident representing me.”- Angela P.