In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many families and businesses have faced significant financial challenges. If you are struggling with debt that appears to have no end in sight, filing for bankruptcy may give you the fresh financial start you need to get your life back on track. Of course, it’s natural to have reservations about filing for bankruptcy, especially as images of losing your home or other worst-case scenarios play out in your mind. However, Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief can offer you a path forward to a brighter financial future, and you can still keep many types of property even after filing for bankruptcy. Here’s a brief overview of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process in New York.
The Goal of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Relief
The underlying goal of bankruptcy is to allow you to wipe away (discharge) your debts. Dischargeable debts include credit card debts, loans, and medical debt. Some debts are not dischargeable, such as student loans, most taxes, debts arising from fraud, and child support obligations. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief, you list everything you own and there are exemptions that protect your property.
Defining Exempt Property in New York
For the most part, those who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are able to keep their property. Common types of exempt property include your car (if it’s not too valuable), your savings account, household goods, clothes, and retirement benefits. Additionally, most people end up keeping their homes, as long as there is not an extraordinary amount of equity in it. While there are federal bankruptcy laws governing exemptions, each state also has its own set of exemptions. In New York, you can use either set of exemptions, so discuss your situation with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney for a more detailed assessment of your case.
Guiding You Forward With Confidence
The prospect of filing for bankruptcy can be overwhelming. Enlisting the support of an experienced New York bankruptcy attorney can give you the reassurance and confidence you need to follow through with the process and move forward to a brighter future. You do not have to go through this stressful period on your own—your attorney will answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you obtain the new financial start you need.