New York Bankruptcy After Sandy

I hesitate in writing this post.  I know, as with any other disaster, after a period of time people will, in one way or another, try and use the disaster for their benefit.   To add to that, my local Acura dealer just sent something in the mail labeled “Hurricane Sandy Disbursement Check” made to look like a check from FEMA.  Nice form, Acura dealer.  In any event, this rather short blog post is specifically and solely meant to inform you that if you’re going to be filing for Bankruptcy in New York or New Jersey as a result of Sandy, as many NYC business owners who have contacted me since the storm seem to be, the rules are different.  You can protect up to $4,000 or so in the equity of your vehicle, but if your vehicle flooded in the disaster and you get a big check from your insurance company, some of that money may not be protected. Same goes for a house that has been ruined.  New York has one of the best homestead exemptions in the Country, but that doesn’t apply to money you’re receiving for the house as a result of the disaster.  I know it’s a rather cliche thing to say, but you really do need to speak to a New York City Bankruptcy attorney if you’re filing as a result of Sandy and you have some cash coming in or some property that you’re holding onto.  Despite what LegalZoom or other companies may see, the process isn’t that simple, and you’re risking what you have left if you file without speaking to someone.  I wish you all the best in this holiday season, and for those who continue to rebuild your lives, I have nothing but the utmost pride and respect to call you neighbors and fellow New Yorkers (and New Jersey-ers).  Happy Holidays to you all.