Filing for NJ Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a decision that can set you up for a brighter future by eliminating your outstanding debts. Being aware of the next steps can encourage you to feel confident and put you at ease in your decision. Understanding what happens after you file your initial petition for NJ Chapter 7 bankruptcy will ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
As soon as your NJ Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition is filed, there is a stay or hold on all collections from your creditors. This means that your creditors can no longer contact you or take action to collect any outstanding debt balances. If any foreclosure proceedings are pending against you, those will be frozen as well until the bankruptcy process has been completed. Also, if any wage garnishments are in place, they must cease immediately upon filing your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
In New Jersey, you will have to go through one credit counseling session before you are able to proceed with your bankruptcy. This ensures that you have exhausted all of the options available to you to reduce or eliminate your debt. This credit counseling session is quite simple and can be done online. Then there will be a final online course that must be completed within 75 days of filing your Chapter 7 NJ Bankruptcy. Both of these take about 2.0 hours.
Approximately 30 days after filing your initial petition, there will be a meeting of creditors with the Bankruptcy Trustee. During that time, if any creditors have a reason to object to your bankruptcy, they can appear and express their concerns. If you have answered all questions regarding your bankruptcy petition honestly and to the best of your knowledge, the process will go well. Your attorney will have reviewed any issues and will work with you throughout the process so the meeting of creditors goes smoothly. Usually, the meeting of creditors takes not more than 20 minutes. It is so important to have an experienced NJ Bankruptcy attorney so that he has prepared, reviewed and worked with you so that your bankruptcy goes smoothly with no delays.
After this meeting, any creditors or party of interest has the option of objecting to your bankruptcy discharge. Reasons that they may do this, is that you did not tell the truth on your petition or you failed to disclose an asset such as an accident case that is pending or the ownership of something not listed on the bankruptcy.
After this waiting period, approximately 60 days, your attorney will be sent a Notice of Discharge which indicates that you no longer required to pay any of your debts that were listed in the bankruptcy petition.
The good news is that assets such as you home, bank accounts and personal property such as clothing is generally not eligible to be liquidated since there is an amount that you can exclude from the bankruptcy. Also, your retirement accounts are not affected.
Now you are on your way to a fresh start, keep in mind that any debts you incurred after your bankruptcy petition was filed are not discharged.
Bankruptcy is a debt reduction option that should not be taken lightly and an attorney can give you the best advice if this is the correct option for you. If you are thinking about going through bankruptcy, you must understand what it entails. For any additional questions regarding a NJ Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing contact Ralph Ferro Jr., Esquire today!