FAQ About Bankruptcy

Over more than 30 years of practice, I have never found two bankruptcy cases to be exactly alike. Every set of financial circumstances are different because every individual, family or small business is different. But there is one thing in common in every bankruptcy: Everyone with a debt problem starts the process by needing clear, honest answers to some very basic questions.

Here are a few questions that the staff and I answer at The Ugell Law Firm, P.C., in New City, New York, everyday. Please call the office at 845-521-7841 or contact the firm by e-mail to arrange a consultation to discuss your particular circumstances and to get answers to your specific questions.

Can I avoid foreclosure and keep my house?

Depending upon the specific circumstances of your debt problems, in most cases the U.S. bankruptcy code allows petitioners to keep their home. You will, of course, be required to continue your monthly payments. By filing Chapter 13, it is possible that I can help you remove a second mortgage or judgment lien you may have against the property. On the other hand, some people find that keeping their home is not in their best long-term financial interest. I will provide a clear, honest evaluation of your circumstances and help you make a decision that is right for you and your family.

What will happen to my credit rating?

The truth is, your credit report will reflect a bankruptcy and you will experience some difficulty getting credit for a period of time following the discharge of your debts. Credit counseling is a required part of the bankruptcy process. I will show you ways to begin rebuilding your credit immediately. Generally speaking, you may face some loan rejections and/or pay higher interest rates on bank loans , but credit will not be impossible, and your difficulties obtaining credit can be limited to as little as 12 months or less.

Can I discharge all of my debt?

Most people seeking to discharge their debt - to start over - file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Most types of consumer debt, such as credit cards , medical bills and unsecured loans can be completely eliminated. Tax debt can be eliminated after certain conditions have been met. Some kinds of debt, however, cannot be discharged. Do not expect to eliminate your student loans. You will typically be able to discharge secured debts such as a boat or car loan, but expect the bank to repossess the item. You may choose to 'reaffirm' payment on the secured vehicle, which means you will keep the item, but agree to continue monthly payments.

Will creditors continue to harass me?

Debtors have rights. From the day you hire a lawyer, creditors are required by law to work only through your attorney. The first stages of the process will include making phone calls or writing letters to your creditors to inform them that you have hired me to represent you. I will give you my office contact information to give any bill collector who calls. You give them my phone number; then hang up.

Will I lose my job if my boss finds out?

There is a section of the U.S. bankruptcy code that protects petitioners from job discrimination based on a successful bankruptcy. However, some employers may check the credit ratings of job candidates prior to hiring. If an employer fires an employee, or refuses to hire someone because of bankruptcy, it may be very difficult to prove discrimination. I promise complete confidentiality and discretion whenever it is necessary to call with questions about your case.

How long will this take?

If you work diligently to provide full disclosure and financial information, you can generally expect your Chapter 7 to be discharged within four months. Your Chapter 13 restructuring plan will generally be approved within three months, with the length of supervised plan stretching over three or five years. I understand the court process and can see the hurdles down the road. I will do everything possible to help you avoid problems that lead to common delays. The more effectively we work together for full disclosure and records, the more efficiently we will move your case through the legal system.

How much will this cost?

To be fair and ethical, I do not answer that question until I have had an opportunity to meet with you to discuss your circumstances. Every bankruptcy is complex and involves a series of decisions and maneuvers. My staff and I do everything possible to work efficiently and effectively to keep our fee structure competitive with other bankruptcy attorneys in the region. With the experience I provide, you will not expect to pay for a learning curve or mistakes and do-overs.

Competitive Fees · Flexible Appointments · Se Habla Español

From my offices in New City, New York, I represent families, consumers and small businesses, because that is who I am, and that is who I care about. I work to protect citizens in the Greater Hudson Valley area. To arrange an initial consultation with an experienced New City bankruptcy attorney who cares about resolving your legal problem, call 845-521-7841 or contact my office by e-mail today.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.