FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BANKRUPTCY

You have questions - we have answers! We know how difficult it can be difficult to get the facts straight about bankruptcy.

In order to address the most frequently asked questions from bankruptcy clients, we have compiled the library below. Check back for regular updates. If there are other questions that you would like to see answered below, let us know. Please keep in mind that the information is limited to, and applicable to, the practice of bankruptcy law in New York.

​Bankruptcy is a complex process. Our lawyers help make it easy to file .

Do you qualify for Bankruptcy? Have legal questions?


Speak to a New York Bankruptcy Lawyer

CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A FREE EVALUATION

Or Call (888) 301-0584 for a Free Case Review


  1. What debts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy? Certain debts are generally non-dischargeable such as: most student loans, criminal penalties, unpaid alimony & child support, traffic fines, and incomes taxes less then 3-years old.
  2. Do I qualify for Bankruptcy? A chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy will require the petition to complete the means-test calculation based on recent income. If the chapter 7 is for "primarily business debts", then the petitioner may avoid the means testing requirements.
  3. Timeline between filing for bankrupcy. If you've received a discharge in a prior bankruptcy, you will have to wait a certain amount of time before becoming eligible for a new discharge. The time between bankruptcy's will vary based on the type of bankruptcy originally filed, and the type of bankruptcy seeking to be filed (i.e. Chapter 7, or Chapter 13).
  4. What is the bankruptcy means-test? The means-test uses income calculations to determine whether a debtor would be a candidate to discharge elegible debt in a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  5. Fees to file bankruptcy in New York. Learn about bankruptcy court filing fees, legal fees, and miscellaneous costs such as credit reports, real estate appraisels, and other due diligence reports.
  6. Can I get credit after bankruptcy? It may be possible to be approved for a new credit card, a car loan, or even a mortgage after filing for bankruptcy. It's important to take steps to rebuild credit after bankruptcy to build positive payment history.
  7. Can I keep my house after filing bankruptcy? For many people, the answer is yes. If the house is the primary residence, the homestead exemption in New York City allow for generous exemption amounts.
  8. Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Learn about the difference between the two most popular chapters for consumer bankruptcy. Chapter 7 allows for a liquidation of unexempt assets for repayment to the creditors, or in a case where assets are fully exempt, it allows a qualified debtor to discharge their debts without requiring any repayment. Chapter 13 is a reorganization wherein the debts will be paid back, in full or in part, in payments spanning 3 to 5 years. Once of the big benefits of a chapter 13 bankruptcy is lien-stripping.
  9. Benefits of filing for bankruptcy? There are common misconceptions about the consequences of filing for bankruptcy. Qualified filers can benefit from the automatice stay to stop all collection activities, lawsuits, and foreclosure actions. However, if filing for chapter 7 while possessing unexempt assets, such as real estate, the unexempt portion may be liquidated (sold) by the trustee for the benefit of the creditors.
  10. What are the downsides of filing for bankruptcy? Without conducting proper diligence and preparation, a bankruptcy filer runs the risk of having unexempt property liquidated by the trustee. Not all types of debts are dischargeable, there are negative credit ramifications, and certain costs involved in hiring a debt relief attorney and paying the court filing fees (unless the filer is indigent).
  11. How to dismiss a bankruptcy if you change your mind. Filing for bankruptcy should be decision made with sufficient planning and due diligence. When a bankruptcy is filed, the entire estate of the debtor belongs to the trustee, outside whatever has been properly exempted. For a chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is no right to automatically cancel or dismiss a bankruptcy, although the case might be permitted to be converted to a chapter 13. In contract, a debtor that filed a chapter 13 can seek dismissal via motion, however this would not result in a discharge of the debt, and the borrower would no longer have the benefit of the automatic stay.
  12. Cheap bankrupcy lawyer in Brooklyn. Think twice before hiring a cheap bankruptcy lawyer. When handling a delicate legal matter, you want the best representation that you can afford. You deserve an attorney that will explain to you the necessary details, will be available to answer your questions, and is qualified to handle your bankruptcy case from inception to completion.
  13. What are the effects of Bankruptcy? It's important to understand that when a person files bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect immediately pausing all collection attempts and lawsuits. Furthermore, bakruptcy can have serious affects on the debtors credit score, but it can help discharge a large amount of debt in a relatively short amount of time.
  14. Best bankruptcy lawyer in New York. What does it mean to be the best bankruptcy lawyer? Learn how to identify how to select the best lawyer to handle your New York bankruptcy filing.
  15. Filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York. Learn about the process and documentation needed to draft and file a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.
  16. Bankruptcy Lawyers in Brooklyn, NY. Hiring the right bankruptcy lawyer can make all the difference between getting a dismissal or a discharge in a bankruptcy filing. Our experienced attorneys guide our client's towards their best options, we provide reasonable fees, and we offer a unique approach to customer service.
  17. Can I keep credit cards in bankruptcy? A debtor must disclose all debts in bankruptcy. Even if the debtor chooses to re-affirm the debt, the creditor may still elect to close the account upon notice of the bankruptcy filing. Our attorneys usually suggest that debtors take advantage of discharging all elegible debts unless they have special circumstances and are certain that they can repay the debt.
  18. Can I discharge medical bills in bankruptcy? Medical bills are generally dischargeable in bankruptcy. A bankruptcy filer can include debts owed to medical physicians, hospitals, ambulances, and laboratories. Filing for bankruptcy can be one of the most cost-effective and expeditious ways of eliminating a large amount of healthcare related bills.
  19. What is the Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy? When a person files for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an automatic stay immediately goes into effect that prohibits creditors from continuing their debt collection activities. An automatic stay is a court imposed injunction that provides debtors relief from collection efforts.
  20. How will bankruptcy effect my credit? Filing for bankruptcy does not mean that a debtors s a result of discharging a debt in bankruptcy, the credit reports should reflect that the balance was discharged.
  21. How to avoid bankruptcy? Our office assists with a variety of debt relief options that may be available outside of filing for bankruptcy, such as debt reduction and lawsuit defense.
  22. How to file bankruptcy while living abroad? Filing for bankruptcy in USA while residing in another country may be permissable if the debtor has property in the USA. Some districts might allow a filing even if the debtor only has a bank account as property. Although many of the challenges with filing a U.S. bankruptcy from abroad can be addressed, quite frequently, it's simply not worth it. Some debtors might be able to avoid bankruptcy entirely, and with others, they have to be ready to bare the expenses involved with filing bankruptcy from a foreign country, including flying to the U.S. to attend the Trustee Meeting and any other required hearings.
  23. Filing bankruptcy due to divorce. Divorce is one of the most common reasons cited by bankruptcy filers, in part due to the potentially large fees and expenses that can be associated with divorcing in New York City, along with property divisions, alimony, and child-support obligations that can leave a person feeling that they have no other choice other then to seek protection from their creditors through bankruptcy.
  24. Eliminating income tax in Bankruptcy. Most taxes are generally non-dischargeable in a chapter 7 bankruptcy, with the exception of income taxes that are at least 3-years past due. If the tax debt was accrued as a result of a filing a return, and it is not a result of fraudulent activity, it may qualify to be included in a peition for bankruptcy relief.
  25. Can I discharge social security overpayments in bankruptcy? If the social security administration is seeking the return of payments that were not due, bankruptcy may be an option to eliminate that debt. The filer would need to be qualified for bankruptcy relief, based on means-testing, income, household size, assets, etc. Furthermore, if the SSA can prove the the bankruptcy petitioner knew that they weren't entitled to the payments, but continued to collect and retain payments in a fraudulent manner, the social security debt may become non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.
  26. Can I discharge gambling debts in Bankruptcy? If the debts were not incurred as a result of fraud, or bad-faith, and assuming that prefential payments have not been made, the debtor qualified for relief, and no other issues exist, debts incurred as the result of gambling, including taking casino markers, may be dischargeable in bankruptcy.
  27. How to choose a Bankruptcy Lawyer in NYC? When hiring an attorney in NYC, it's important to make sure that they are qualified, competent, trustworthy, and otherwise a good personality fit. First, call the law firm and have your circumstances evaluated to learn if you qualify for bankruptcy relief. During the evaluation, you'll get to learn more about the firm, their attorneys, and how they operate. You should also research the attorney and read their online reviews to see if prior client's were satisfied with the attorneys performance. It may also be important to hire an attorney in proximity to your home or place of employment.
  28. How to improve my credit after bankruptcy? It can take time to restore your positive credit standing after filing for bankruptcy. It's important to try to establish new accounts with creditors and make all payment timely. A consistently positive payment history will ultimately result in an increased credit score post-bankruptcy. Also, beware of credit repair scams. As the old saying goes, if its too good to be true, it probably is.
  29. How to file bankruptcy on student loans? If a debtor is experiencing substantial hardship sufficient to reach the threshold required to meet the Brunner Test or the Totalty of Circumstances Test, then a discharge of some or all of the student loan debt may be attainable. Although many debtors are not qualified for such relief, the people that do qualify stand to benefit greatly by extinguishing their student loan obligations.

New York City Bankruptcy Lawyers

If you are interested in learning more about filing bankruptcy in New York, call our brooklyn lawyers to learn your options. Where applicable, Bankruptcy could be a relatively quick and affordable way to discharge a large amount of unsecured debts, such as credit cards and medical debts.

We assist with filing chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, which include, in part, the 5 boroughs of NYC, including:

  1. Brooklyn,
  2. Queens,
  3. Bronx,
  4. Staten Island,
  5. New York City, and
  6. Nassau County, Long Island.

Fill out an online form or call (888) 301-0584 today to schedule your confidential case review.

Contact Our Firm

Have questions? Fill out the information below to receive an immediate response.

Submit Your Message
New York Debt Collection Defense Attorney

Office Location:

Law Office of Simon Goldenberg, PLLC
New York Debt Collection Defense Attorney
818 E 16th Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11230
Local Phone: 347.389.0245
Directions [+]

Call for a free consultation

888.301.0584

Follow Us On:

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.