Will I Lose My Law License if I File Bankruptcy in New York City?

Anyone regardless of their profession can find themselves in serious financial trouble in the blink of an eye, especially in an expensive place like New York City. You could be on top of the world one day then suddenly slip into financial despair with one medical problem or one financial miscalculation. Even attorneys have problems with toxic debt. They might need to seek bankruptcy protection too, and we have indeed helped attorneys file both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 in New York City. Attorneys have the same right to bankruptcy relief as New Yorkers of other professions, and none of the attorneys we have assisted have had any issues with their law licenses or with the disciplinary committee in New York for filing bankruptcy.

If you think about it, attorneys with their own practices are small business owners that have similar issues and the same cash-flow problems as any other small business. Money ebbs and flows for attorneys just like everyone else, and they may suddenly find themselves in need of serious financial relief from their toxic debts. Attorneys will receive the same fair treatment in bankruptcy as anyone else, but since trustees themselves are often familiar with how law firms operate they may be a bit more scrutinizing of an attorney’s bankruptcy petition than the average Joe’s. The process for an attorney with the trustee is similar to what other small business owners will go through, but knowing the legal business themselves a trustee might dig especially deep on another attorney.

Beyond this increased difficulty, we have seen some attorneys file pro se unsuccessfully because they simply didn’t anticipate the difficulty of filing for bankruptcy after the 2005 changes to the law. Fellow attorneys that need to file bankruptcy usually understand that if they don’t practice bankruptcy law themselves it makes sense to consult with a colleague who does.

Whether you work for a large law firm or run your own practice you will be able to continue practicing law in the same fashion as before regardless of your bankruptcy. Numerous factors like monthly income, monthly expenses and the assets in a case will have a bearing on the outcome, but a Chapter 13 filing will normally provide the best result for an average New York City attorney. If you live in New York City and have questions about filing bankruptcy please contact the Law Offices of William Waldner online or at 212.244.2882 to arrange a free bankruptcy consultation today. We only practice bankruptcy law and maintain a 99% Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge record in New York City as of 8/31/16.

**** DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for educational purposes only. By reading no attorney-client relationship has been created. Our current perfect track record for Chapter 7 discharges in New York City does not guarantee a similar result for future clients.