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Bankruptcy


It is no secret that the economy has been very sluggish the past few years and just when someone feels they are finally digging themselves out of debt, another major expense comes their way, whether it is a medical expense, an increase in your mortgage payment due to an adjustment in the interest rate, divorce, a wage garnishment or a major car repair. Even if you are working full time or have two jobs, you simply can't make ends meet and you are just barely making your mortgage or rent payment. A sudden, unexpected bill comes and that puts you even more behind and it seems you can only pay for the bare necessities, even though you truly want to meet your obligations. This financial pressure adds stress to your life and affects your relationships with your family and loved ones. You are not alone. Many people throughout New York and the United States are suffering from insurmountable debt and feel this kind of hopelessness. 

Bankruptcy was designed to help honest, hard working people achieve a fresh financial start. My firm assists people who have become so straddled with debt that they don't know where to turn for help. I want to help you get the fresh financial start that you desire. Contact my office today at (585) 546-7410 to schedule a time to meet so that you can take the first step towards getting your fresh start.

Types of Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy refers to the federal court process of eliminating or restructuring a person’s debt. The two most common forms of bankruptcy available to individuals and families are Chapter 13 bankruptcy and Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The most common form of bankruptcy is filed under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code and is often referred to as "liquidation" or "straight bankruptcy."  This chapter of bankruptcy is designed for debtors whose prospective income does not generate a monthly surplus in excess of their basic necessities like rent, utilities, groceries, car payments, insurance, etc., so they really cannot afford to pay any part of their dischargeable debts.  Chapter 7, however, does not necessarily discharge all of a person’s debt. Certain debts cannot be discharged under Chapter 7, such as:

  • Most tax debts (but there are exceptions) 
  • Child Support
  • Student Loans (unless extreme hardship can be proven)
  • Court fines or penalties
  • Alimony/Spousal Support 
  • Parking tickets
  • Personal injury caused by drunk driving or under the influence of drugs.

 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is different from Chapter 7 bankruptcy in that in Chapter 13, your debts are consolidated into one monthly affordable payment to the Chapter 13 case trustee. Chapter 13 debtors are those whose prospective monthly income does to some extent exceed their monthly expenses for necessities, except not enough to pay what is required to be paid.  These types of people are able to pay at least the minimum payments on their credit cards, but find themselves left with no money for food, gas and other expenses at the end of the month, so they end up charging those items.  They then find that their credit card balances go up and up every month until their credit limits are maxed out, then the problems start.  Unlike Chapter 7, in Chapter 13, at the end of the payment period, you receive your "discharge" of debts from the bankruptcy Court. Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will have a set amount of time, usually three to five years, to pay off your consolidated debts (usually the consolidated amount is substantially less than the total amount you owe). This type of bankruptcy completely eliminates your debt; however, the payments that are made over time result only in a fractional part of your debts being paid. Why is this something you should consider? It is because Chapter 13 is an affordable method of paying back missed mortgage payments, tax debts and other debts in a much more comfortable way than through wage garnishment, foreclosure, tax liens and child support enforcement proceedings.

Bankruptcy for Businesses

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available to businesses and individuals who do not qualify for Chapter 13 due to the total amount of their debt. Under Chapter 11, a business may still operate while it restructures its debts. Many businesses favor this form as bankruptcy as it allows them to continue to operate during the reorganization and restructuring phase. In Chapter 11, a businesses can repay their creditors in an orderly and fair manner, while it continues to operate.  Many small businesses in financial trouble seek the protection of Chapter 11, so it does not have to close its doors, lay off its employees and liquidate.

Contact Rochester, NY Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you are struggling with overwhelming amounts of debt and are considering filing for bankruptcy, call my office at (585) 546-7410 and speak to me, an experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. I have over 20 years of experience representing individuals, families, and businesses in the Bankruptcy Courts in Rochester, Buffalo and throughout Western New York. I will review your financial situation, and help you determine whether or not bankruptcy is right for you. If bankruptcy is the best course of action for you, I will help you decide if Chapter 7, 11 or 13 is best for you.  I prepare all of the appropriate legal documents, and represent you at every meeting and court appearance. My goal is and always has been to help my clients overcome their financial troubles, so they are free to enjoy a fresh start in life without the stress and worry caused by overwhelming debts. 

If you are interested in setting up a free consultation with an experienced, knowledgeable, and highly skilled Rochester, NY bankruptcy lawyer, please contact us at the Law Office of Ronald S. Goldman, Esq. (585) 546-7410. 

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