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Do I Qualify For Chapter 7 New York

Western District Of New York Requirements

Do I Qualify For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? What Is The Means Test?

The Western District of New York is one of the few districts in the nation that requires people filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York without an attorney to provide the court three full copies of all bankruptcy forms in addition to the original signed forms upon filing their case. It has offices in Buffalo and Rochester but holds 341 meetings in a variety of locations within the district. If you have to update any information in your forms by filing an amendment, make sure to file this coversheet along with the amended documents, and follow the instructions regarding service on the bottom of the form.

The Chapter 7 Discharge

A discharge releases individual debtors from personal liability for most debts and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any collection actions against the debtor. Because a chapter 7 discharge is subject to many exceptions, debtors should consult competent legal counsel before filing to discuss the scope of the discharge. Generally, excluding cases that are dismissed or converted, individual debtors receive a discharge in more than 99 percent of chapter 7 cases. In most cases, unless a party in interest files a complaint objecting to the discharge or a motion to extend the time to object, the bankruptcy court will issue a discharge order relatively early in the case generally, 60 to 90 days after the date first set for the meeting of creditors. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 4004.

The grounds for denying an individual debtor a discharge in a chapter 7 case are narrow and are construed against the moving party. Among other reasons, the court may deny the debtor a discharge if it finds that the debtor: failed to keep or produce adequate books or financial records failed to explain satisfactorily any loss of assets committed a bankruptcy crime such as perjury failed to obey a lawful order of the bankruptcy court fraudulently transferred, concealed, or destroyed property that would have become property of the estate or failed to complete an approved instructional course concerning financial management. 11 U.S.C. § 727 Fed. R. Bankr. P. 4005.

Re: Do I Qualify For Chapter 7 If Recently Laid Off Due To Coronavirus

Go ahead and talk to a few attorneys.

So many folks get hung up on income, when high income CH7s happen every day.

Even lazy attorneys will try to push folks into a 13 that could actually get a 7.


I am trying to understand Chapter 7 qualification. If I was laid off in March and was above the median income, do I need to wait until my 6 month average is below the median to qualify for a Chapter 7?

I found this Chapter 7 Means Test Calculator helpful as well to estimate Ch7 qualificatoin as it got really granular into income and expenses.


I went thru a few pages of that site. I didnt see where you chose your state. Google your states means test and it will show the lastest updated income required to pass to file a 7. But like said. Get with some lawyers to work it out. Or theres many companies hiring right now to get by until you can land another job. Get your unemployement plus the possible extra $600 a month from the stimulus bill passing. Let the BK for now be placed on the back burner. Good Luck!



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How Do I File For Bankruptcy In New York

New York bankruptcy is not an easy process for the debtor and if you find yourself in need of a bankruptcy,, then it may behoove you to have legal representation monitoring your bankruptcy filing. Here are some of the steps youll need to take to have your bankruptcy filed with the court:

  • Collect and submit all of your financialdocuments
  • Take credit counseling
  • Mail all necessary documents to your appointed trustee
  • Attend a 341 meeting

How Much Will It Cost To File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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How Much Will It Cost to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

During your free consultation with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, we will discuss your options regarding debt relief, including potential bankruptcy protection. At Jeffrey B. Peltz, P.C., we determine our fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on the facts of your particular situation. We consider such factors as whether:

  • You are filing with your spouse
  • The total amount of your debt
  • The type of debts you have
  • The amount of money you earn
  • You own real estate or a business
  • Where you live

Fees and Expenses Associated with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in which you have less than $25,000 in debt, less than 10 creditors, don’t own real estate, a business, or a car with loan that you wish to reaffirm* , and live in New York City, will cost a total of $1,595. If you are filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy with your spouse, and you have less than $25,000 in debt, less than 10 creditors, don’t own real estate, a business, or a car with loan that you wish to reaffirm*, and live in New York City, will cost a total of $2,095. These prices include the cost of the bankruptcy court filing fee, a credit report from all three major credit reporting bureaus, and the two required online classes that you need to do.

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Will I Lose My Assets If I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

  • Cash, U.S. savings bonds and tax refunds up to $13,900
  • Household furniture up to $13,400
  • All wearing apparel up to $13,400
  • Appliances and household goods up to $13,400
  • Equity in a motor vehicle up to $4,000
  • Equity in a house, condo, or co-op up to $170,825.00
  • Most pensions and retirement plans

There are several more exemptions in New York and some valuables can be exempted using multiple exemptions, increasing the amount of protection. One example would be a married couple filing jointly could potentially protect $32,800 of equity in a car. Just because something is not completely protected does not mean that you will lose it. You can often buy items back from a trustee and in many cases a trustee will abandon items that are not worth selling.

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How Much Does Bankruptcy Cost In Nyc

Currently, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in NYC costs $335.

Additional fees for completing a mandatory credit counseling course and a debtor education course add to the overall cost of filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy in NYC.Debtor Education and Credit Counseling courses cost between $0 to $500, depending on where the course is taken. Some chapter 7 filers take free online courses, however some bankruptcy attorneys in NYC are known to charge unsuspecting clients up to $500 by including the courses in their overall fee. At the law offices of William Waldner, clients are offered various options for taking these courses, most of which range between $15 to $25 per course.

An extensive credit report is critical when preparing a consumer bankruptcy petition.Many attorneys try and save money by using a basic 2-bureau credit report. This is risky because simple credit reports leave out important debts that must be included in the paperwork for filing chapter 7 bankruptcy. To ensure clients receive the most helpful credit report for filing bankruptcy, William Waldner provides an ultra-comprehensive 3-bureau credit report as well as a thorough public records search. This report is undoubtedly one of the absolute best when filing for chapter 7, however, it can be very expensive. Mr. Waldner does not charge clients for this service, and individuals who are represented by him receive this extensive credit report free of charge.

Debts That Can And Cant Be Discharged In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

How much cash can you keep in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New York

Chapter 7 should dismiss most of the debts you owe, but there are some hard-and-fast debts that cant be discharged in Chapter 7.

The list of non-dischargeable debts includes:

  • Child support
  • Student loans must prove undue hardship
  • HOA fees if you surrender your home or condo
  • Any other form of unsecured debt.

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Median New York Household Income

The median income varies depending on household size and changes over time. As of November 1, 2019, according to the New York federal bankruptcy courts:

  • For a household of one person, the median monthly income is $4,677, and the median annual income is $56,120.
  • For a household of two people, the median monthly income is $5,946, and the median annual income is $71,349.
  • For a household of three people, the median monthly income is $7,223, and the median annual income is $86,670.
  • For a household of four people, the median monthly income is $8,803, and the median annual income is $105,636.

Reach out to a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney for information on the median income for households of other sizes.

What To Do After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Push the re-start button on your financial life.

Thats the first thing anyone should do after having debts discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Hopefully, that re-start button includes a plan for reduced spending and paying all bills on time.

The easiest way to do that is to draw up a budget that realistically accounts for your income and expenses.

If youre not good at that, call a nonprofit credit counseling agency and get some free assistance from their professional certified counselors. Helping consumers come up with an affordable monthly budget is their specialty.

They can give you the benefit of their training and experience at drawing up monthly budgets, plus tips on how to make the bottom line come out in your favor every month.

If you get in the habit of paying bills on time, you will begin to , and youll regain favor with lenders and credit card companies. A few years of good practice and you and your creditors will forget this ever happened.

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Can I Keep My House In Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a 120-day process that eliminates most debts, and is the type of bankruptcy that makes the most sense for most people. But how do you know whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is even an option?

The short answer is to call me or another experienced Cleveland-area bankruptcy attorney, who should be able to answer your Chapter 7 questions quickly and accurately after a few quick questions.

That being said, here are the most common things that prevent people from being able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

New York Bankruptcy Exemptions And Law

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If you are a New York resident struggling to pay your bills and don’t believe your situation will improve, filing for bankruptcy could help. It will give you the breathing room you need by stopping debt collection actions while providing you a roadmap for paying down or erasing your debt.

If you are a New York resident struggling to pay your bills and don’t believe your situation will improve, filing for bankruptcy could help. It will give you the breathing room you need by stopping debt collection actions while providing you a roadmap for paying down or erasing your debt.

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Chapter 7 Eligibility Requirements

Certain income guidelines determine whether a debtor qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The means test compares your income to New Yorks median income, and is meant to determine whether you are truly bankrupt or whether you actually have disposable income after paying your monthly expenses to make minimal payments through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If your income is lower than New Yorks median income, you can likely file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Successfully Passing The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test

Passing the means test is not the last step in the process, as it is not the only qualifying factor. In New York, petitioners will be required to also submit two forms. These forms are known as Schedule I and Schedule J . If the individual has an income surplus, he or she will be court ordered to pay creditors monthly. This changes the case to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Finally, qualifying for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not mean that a petitioner must file one. The test will simply determine that the petitioner can file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is important to explore all the available alternatives prior to making a decision. A qualified bankruptcy attorney versed in the laws local to New York is a invaluable resource for determining if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best decision.

Need Help with the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test?

Despite the wealth of information available to help us understand the Means Test and who qualifies, the particular circumstances of individual filers can greatly vary. A qualified New York bankruptcy attorney at your side can help fully allay your concerns, and help you understand how you can pass the means test and file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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How To File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The most important factor in filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is finding an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Once you decide on an attorney, you can refer creditors to your lawyers office. Filing the petition will trigger an automatic stay, which means creditors cant pursue lawsuits, garnish your wages or contact you about your debts. Heres a potential timetable:

If youre qualified, it will take 4-6 months to complete the bankruptcy process.

Here are the steps you must take when filing for bankruptcy:

  • To start the process, the debtor must fill out a long series of forms that detail records of assets, liabilities, income, expenses and overall financial standing, plus any existing contracts or leases in the debtors name.
  • Pre-bankruptcy credit counseling is the next required step for debtors filing under Chapter 7. These course typically are offered by nonprofit credit counseling agencies, who look at your financial situation to determine if there are other avenues that could resolve the issue without having to file bankruptcy.
  • If its determined that bankruptcy is your best solution, then you, or your attorney, must take the forms you filled out in Step 1 and file a petition for bankruptcy at the local bankruptcy court.
  • The next step is to make sure that if you made promises about secured debt usually a home or automobile you fulfilled those promises.
  • Dealing With Your Car

    Will I Qualify For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? – Bankruptcy Questions Answered

    Unless you happen to live in New York City, chances are you need your car to get around, whether that’s to and from work, school, the grocery store or wherever. Filing bankruptcy in New York gives you the opportunity to deal with your car in a way that makes sense for you. If youâre struggling to make the payment every month and/or the balance owing on the car loan far exceeds the actual value of your vehicle, it may make sense to give the vehicle back to the bank.

    If you like your car and the loan makes sense both in terms of your ability to make the monthly payments and the balance left owing, you can keep everything the way it is by entering into reaffirmation agreement. Since this means that youâll continue to be responsible for the full balance left on the loan, you should only do this if the car is in decent condition and you can make the payment every month without problem.

    If you own your car outright, then everything stays the same as long as the available exemption is high enough to cover its full value.

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    New York Bankruptcy Law

    Bankruptcy cases take place in federal courts and are governed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. However, the Code lets states make some of their own rules about which property is exempt from bankruptcy and protected from creditor claims. In other words, exempt property is the property you can keep to help you restart your life after bankruptcy.

    New York has created its own exemption rules but also lets you choose the exemptions included in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code if those are more helpful to you. This does not mean you can pick and choose between the New York and federal bankruptcy exemptions for your property. You must pick either the state or federal exemptions for all of your assets.

    To understand how the exemption process works in bankruptcy, it is helpful to know there are two kinds of personal bankruptcy:

    One important benefit offered by both types of bankruptcy is the automatic stay that will be issued when you file. The stay will stop collection by your creditors, including court cases and foreclosures. The stay gives you some time so that you can resolve your debt problems through the bankruptcy process without worrying about being harassed by your creditors.

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