Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a versatile, powerful legal tool that affords both immediate and long-term financial benefits to high-income debtors who wish to manage excessive debt while simultaneously protecting real and personal property. When carefully managed by a skilled attorney who possesses extensive experience handling bankruptcy cases in New Jersey, filing for Chapter 13 can be a profoundly positive financial turning point for single or married debtors filing jointly or individually. Chapter 13 can also aid small business owners in New Jersey who are seeking to manage business-related debt.
Allow the New Jersey Chapter 13 attorneys of Sadek & Cooper Law Offices to bring our years of knowledge and experience to your joint, individual, or business bankruptcy case. We have helped thousands of clients restore solvency and eliminate stress by filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 in counties across Southern New Jersey. We will be there to counsel and represent you efficiently and effectively at all stages of your case, and, if we determine that Chapter 13 is not suited to your financial circumstances, we may be able to assist you with Chapter 7 or various alternatives to bankruptcy. To start discussing your options in a free and confidential consultation, call Sadek & Cooper Law Offices at (856) 354-3310 today.
How Does the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process Work in New Jersey?
There are considerable differences between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7, which are the two primary types of consumer bankruptcy utilized by individually or jointly filing debtors in New Jersey. Depending on factors like your assets and disposable income, Chapter 13 may be the more suitable and productive filing option.
Speaking generally, Chapter 13 cases are longer and subject to more complex regulations than Chapter 7 cases. While a Chapter 7 case typically concludes in a matter of four to six months, Chapter 13 cases continue for anywhere from three to five years before the ultimate discharge. Moreover, Chapter 13 cases prominently feature a component which is absent from Chapter 7: the “reorganization” plan, from which Chapter 13 bankruptcy’s nickname is derived.
The following is an oversimplification; but stated succinctly, the reorganization plan is a three- to five-year plan, subject to approval by the bankruptcy court, which includes provisions for the gradual repayment of your creditors, who are prioritized based on the nature of your debts. Compliance with this reorganization plan will allow you to keep your property. If you are a homeowner, you will even receive the opportunity to save your home from foreclosure by catching up on delinquent mortgage payments, which is a major advantage Chapter 13 has over Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
That being said, Chapter 13 is neither available nor appropriate for all filers. For instance, if you have minimal disposable income and possess few or no substantial assets, you may be required to file under Chapter 7. The experienced South Jersey bankruptcy attorneys of Sadek & Cooper Law Offices can make a determination about which type of bankruptcy is more appropriate for your situation considering your resources, future plans, and financial objectives, and help you act on that determination accordingly.
What Debts Are Dischargeable in a Chapter 13 Reorganization Case?
Assuming there have been no instances of fraud or other discrepancies in your financial paperwork, the bankruptcy court will discharge your case after a period of three to five years, or 36 to 60 months. When your bankruptcy is discharged, you will be released from further liability for certain debts as addressed by your Chapter 13 reorganization plan.
Regardless of whether a debtor files under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, his or her debts will be designated “dischargeable” or “non-dischargeable.” Fortunately, most debts are treated as dischargeable debts under both chapters of bankruptcy. In fact, Chapter 13 features broader provisions than Chapter 7, allowing for the discharge of several types of debt which cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 cases – for instance, certain marital debts arising from divorce proceedings. Additional examples of dischargeable debts in Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New Jersey include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Certain Lawsuit Judgments
- Certain Tax Debts
- Credit Card Debt
- Medical Debt
- Personal Loan Debt
- Property Settlement Agreements
- Utility Bills
New Jersey Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyers for Small Businesses and Individual Filers
Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a single individual, married individual, or sole proprietor is a challenging task, particularly in light of the rigorous bankruptcy regulations created by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), which introduced significant restrictions and requirements for filers using Chapter 13. If you or your husband or wife has been thinking about declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New Jersey, it is in your best interests to approach the matter with personalized guidance from a knowledgeable attorney who is highly qualified to handle Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in courts throughout Southern New Jersey.
The Chapter 13 lawyers of Sadek & Cooper Law Offices have represented thousands of clients during our many years practicing bankruptcy law. We handle cases arising throughout South Jersey, including locations in Ocean County, Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County, Atlantic County, and Salem County. To start discussing whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be right for you or your loved one in a free and confidential legal consultation, contact Sadek & Cooper Law Offices as soon as possible at (856) 354-3310.