So, you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Brooklyn, NY. I get it, it’s a tough decision. But here’s the thing – you’ve got rights. And I’m here to make sure you know exactly what they are.

First off, let’s talk about the automatic stay. This legal protection kicks in as soon as you file, and it’s like a force field against your creditors. They can’t harass you, sue you, or even try to collect on your debts. It’s a game-changer.

But what about your stuff? Your car, your house, your prized collection of vintage comic books? Well, that’s where exemptions come in. In New York, you can keep certain assets safe from the bankruptcy process. It’s like a get-out-of-jail-free card for your most important possessions.

How a Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help You Navigate the Process

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Brooklyn, NY, you’re not alone. Many people find themselves in financial hardship and need a fresh start. But the bankruptcy process can be complex and overwhelming. That’s where an experienced bankruptcy attorney comes in. They can guide you through every step of the process and help you make informed decisions. Did you know there are different types of bankruptcy? Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most common for individuals. A skilled bankruptcy attorney can explain the differences and help determine which one is right for your unique situation. For example, Chapter 7 is known as a “liquidation” bankruptcy. It can wipe out most of your unsecured debts, like credit card balances and medical bills. But you may have to give up some of your property. On the other hand, Chapter 13 is a “reorganization” bankruptcy. You get to keep your property, but you’ll need to make payments to your creditors over a 3-5 year period. It can be a good option if you’re behind on your mortgage or car loan.

Determining Eligibility

Not everyone qualifies for bankruptcy. There are income and asset requirements you’ll need to meet. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can assess your financial situation and determine if you’re eligible. For Chapter 7, you’ll need to pass a “means test.” This looks at your income, expenses, and family size to see if you have enough disposable income to repay your debts. If you don’t pass, you may still be able to file for Chapter 13. Filing for bankruptcy involves a lot of paperwork. You’ll need to disclose all of your assets, debts, income, and expenses. It’s crucial that this information is accurate and complete. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you gather the necessary documents and ensure everything is filled out correctly. They’ll also file the bankruptcy petition and other required forms with the court on your behalf. Making a mistake on your bankruptcy paperwork can have serious consequences. It could lead to your case being dismissed or even accusations of bankruptcy fraud. That’s why it’s so important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side.

Representing You in Court

Filing for bankruptcy isn’t just about submitting paperwork. You’ll also need to attend a hearing called the “meeting of creditors.” This is where the bankruptcy trustee and your creditors can ask you questions about your finances. Having an experienced bankruptcy attorney represent you at this hearing can make all the difference. They’ll prepare you for the types of questions you’ll be asked and make sure your rights are protected. If any issues come up during your bankruptcy case, your attorney will be there to advocate for you in court. They can handle objections from creditors, negotiate on your behalf, and work to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

Steps in the Bankruptcy Process in Brooklyn, NY

Filing for bankruptcy can feel daunting, but understanding the process can help ease your fears. Here’s a general overview of what to expect when you file for bankruptcy in Brooklyn, NY. The first step is filing your bankruptcy petition and other required forms with the court. This is typically done electronically. Once your petition is filed, an “automatic stay” goes into effect. The automatic stay is a powerful tool that stops most collection actions against you. That means creditors can’t call you, send letters, garnish your wages, or foreclose on your property. There are some exceptions, which your bankruptcy attorney can explain.

Attending the Meeting of Creditors

About a month after filing, you’ll need to attend the “meeting of creditors.” Don’t worry – in most cases, your creditors won’t actually show up. It’s primarily an opportunity for the bankruptcy trustee to ask you questions under oath. Your bankruptcy attorney will attend this meeting with you. They’ll help you prepare and make sure you understand what to expect. The meeting usually only lasts a few minutes. Before your bankruptcy case can be closed, you’ll need to complete a financial management course. This is in addition to the credit counseling course you took before filing. The purpose of this course is to educate you on making responsible financial decisions in the future. Your bankruptcy attorney can provide resources for approved courses in your area.

Receiving Discharge

If all goes well, you’ll receive your bankruptcy discharge a few months after filing. This is a court order that eliminates your eligible debts. Creditors can no longer try to collect on discharged debts. Some debts, like student loans and child support, generally can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. Your attorney can advise you on which debts are eligible for discharge in your case. Receiving your discharge is a huge relief and a chance at a fresh financial start. Your bankruptcy attorney will be there to guide you through the process and help you rebuild.

Protecting Your Assets and Property During Bankruptcy

One of the biggest concerns people have about filing for bankruptcy is losing their property. The good news is that bankruptcy exemptions can help you protect your most important assets. Bankruptcy exemptions determine what property you can keep in a Chapter 7 case. Each state has its own exemption laws. In New York, you can choose between the state exemptions or the federal bankruptcy exemptions. Some of the most common New York bankruptcy exemptions include: – Up to $179,975 in equity in your home – Up to $4,825 in equity in a vehicle – Personal property like clothing, furniture, and appliances – Retirement accounts and pensions – A portion of your earned but unpaid wages An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you determine which exemptions apply to your property and guide you through the process of claiming them.

Reaffirming or Redeeming Secured Debts

If you have secured debts, like a mortgage or car loan, you’ll need to decide what to do with that property in your bankruptcy case. You generally have three options: 1. Reaffirm the debt and continue making payments 2. Redeem the property by paying the creditor the current value 3. Surrender the property and discharge the debt Each option has its pros and cons. For example, reaffirming a debt means you’ll still be responsible for the payments after bankruptcy. Redeeming property usually requires coming up with a lump sum of cash. Your bankruptcy attorney can help you weigh your options and choose the best path forward for your individual circumstances.

Chapter 13 Repayment Plan

If you’re filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll need to propose a repayment plan. This plan will outline how you’ll pay back a portion of your debts over a 3-5 year period. Your repayment plan must be feasible based on your income and expenses. It also needs to pay certain debts in full, like priority debts and secured debts you want to keep. Proposing a confirmable repayment plan is crucial to the success of your Chapter 13 case. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you create a plan that works for your budget and satisfies the requirements of the bankruptcy code.

Understanding the Automatic Stay and Its Limitations

Filing for bankruptcy triggers an automatic stay, which is a powerful protection against creditor harassment and collection actions. But it’s important to understand how the automatic stay works and its limitations. One of the most immediate benefits of filing for bankruptcy is that the automatic stay prohibits creditors from contacting you. That means no more phone calls, letters, or other attempts to collect on a debt. The automatic stay also stops wage garnishments, bank levies, and other collection actions. It can provide much-needed breathing room while you navigate the bankruptcy process. If a creditor violates the automatic stay, they can face serious consequences. Your bankruptcy attorney can take action to enforce the stay and hold creditors accountable.

Halting Foreclosure and Repossession

The automatic stay can also temporarily halt foreclosure and repossession actions. This can give you time to catch up on missed payments or explore other options to keep your property. However, the automatic stay doesn’t eliminate your obligation to make ongoing payments on secured debts, like your mortgage or car loan. If you fall behind on these payments during your bankruptcy case, the creditor may be able to get permission from the court to proceed with foreclosure or repossession. Your bankruptcy attorney can advise you on how to protect your property and negotiate with secured creditors during the bankruptcy process.

Exceptions to the Automatic Stay

While the automatic stay is a powerful tool, it doesn’t apply to all types of debts or legal actions. Some common exceptions include: – Criminal proceedings – Child support and alimony actions – Tax audits and some tax collection actions – Loans from certain pensions Additionally, the automatic stay may be limited if you’ve filed for bankruptcy multiple times in a short period. In some cases, creditors can ask the court to lift the stay for specific debts or property. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can explain how the automatic stay applies to your unique situation and help you navigate any exceptions or limitations.

Life After Bankruptcy: Rebuilding Your Credit and Financial Future

Filing for bankruptcy can feel like a low point, but it’s actually an opportunity for a fresh start. With the right strategies and support, you can rebuild your credit and create a stable financial future. It’s true that bankruptcy can have a significant impact on your credit score. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can remain for up to 7 years. However, many people find that their credit score actually starts to improve after filing for bankruptcy. That’s because bankruptcy eliminates many of the negative marks on your credit report, like late payments and collections. Plus, you can start taking positive steps to rebuild your credit right away. Your bankruptcy attorney can provide guidance on how to responsibly manage your finances and improve your credit over time.

Steps to Rebuild Credit

Rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy takes time and effort, but it’s definitely possible. Some steps you can take include: – Reviewing your credit reports for errors and disputing any inaccuracies – Opening a secured credit card or credit-builder loan – Making all of your payments on time, every time – Keeping your credit utilization low (aim for less than 30%) – Avoiding new debt and only applying for credit when necessary It’s also important to be patient. Negative marks on your credit report will have less impact over time, and positive actions will start to outweigh past mistakes.

Budgeting and Financial Management Tips

One of the most important things you can do after bankruptcy is to create a realistic budget and stick to it. This will help you stay on top of your expenses, build savings, and avoid falling back into debt. Some budgeting and financial management tips include: – Tracking your income and expenses – Cutting unnecessary costs and finding ways to save – Building an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses – Setting financial goals and creating a plan to achieve them – Seeking out financial education and resources Remember, bankruptcy is a chance to start over and make better financial choices moving forward. With the right mindset and tools, you can create a stable and successful financial future. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Brooklyn, NY, know that you’re not alone. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can guide you through the process, protect your rights, and help you rebuild after bankruptcy. Don’t hesitate to seek out the support and expertise you need to take control of your financial situation and start fresh. A brighter future is possible, and bankruptcy may be the first step on that journey.

Key Takeaway: 

Bankruptcy might seem tough, but with the right lawyer by your side, you can navigate it smoothly. They’ll help pick the best bankruptcy type for you and handle all the tricky paperwork. Plus, they’ve got your back in court.

You’ve got options to save some of your stuff during bankruptcy thanks to exemptions. And if Chapter 13’s your path, crafting a solid repayment plan is key.

The automatic stay from filing gives you breathing room from creditors, but know its limits. Post-bankruptcy? It’s time to rebuild that credit score and set yourself up for financial stability with smart budgeting and money management strategies.


Listen, I know bankruptcy can feel like the end of the world. But it’s not. It’s a chance to hit the reset button and start fresh. And with the right legal protections in place, you can do it with confidence.

The automatic stay, exemptions, and the discharge of your debts – these are your legal rights during and after bankruptcy in Brooklyn, NY. Embrace them. Use them to your advantage.

And when you come out on the other side? That’s when the real work begins. Rebuilding your credit, creating a budget, and learning from your mistakes. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

So, chin up, Brooklyn. You’ve got this. And if you ever need a reminder of your legal rights during and after bankruptcy, you know where to find me