Filing Bankruptcy in Ocean County, NJ
The thought of filing for bankruptcy can be a daunting experience for many hard-working residents in Ocean County, New Jersey. If you are suffering from financial hardship, you may feel harassed by creditors and debt collectors. Perhaps they threatened lawsuits against you. Maybe you are afraid you will lose your house because you cannot pay your bills.
A bankruptcy lawyer at Garland & Mason, L.L.C. can help. We can help determine if filing for bankruptcy in New Jersey is in your best interests. If you decide to go that route, we will be with you every step of the way. No more harassing phone calls.
Some see bankruptcy as a sign of failure when it is really the beginning of a whole new financial start. This is especially true if your financial difficulties are not your fault such as divorce, losing a job, medical bills and even the economy.
At Garland & Mason, L.L.C., we believe in second chances and will explain the bankruptcy process you can make choices based on information.
How Can I Stop the Collection Agencies from Calling?
Bankruptcy provides Automatic Stay Protection. You can immediately stop all collection activity for most debts by filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The only requirement before filing is that you take a quick credit counseling course (online, on the phone, or in person). Once you file the bankruptcy petition, the clock stops on most collection activity.
Creditors and collection agencies can’t harass you, they can’t send threatening letters, they can’t repossess your assets, they can’t attach your wages, they can’t institute tax levies. There are some exceptions. Family child support has to be paid. Criminal prosecutions and tax audits can proceed. Student loans have to be paid.
Which Choice is in Your Best Financial Interest – Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
Chapter 7 is for when debtors (after considering any New Jersey or federal exemptions) have little or no assets worth saving. Here, debtors:
- File a bankruptcy petition,
- Show that their income is below the New Jersey state average or that their income, assets and debts pass a “means test.”
- Attend a creditors’ meeting,
- Attend a financial management course
- And then they’re discharged.
The whole process takes about six months.
Chapter 13 is for when debtors want to protect their secured assets such as a home or an automobile. Here debtors:
- File a petition which includes a reorganization plan to pay the arrears on secured debts in five years and to pay a percentage of unsecured debts.
- Show that they have enough income so they can meet the terms of the plan.
The whole process can take up to five years.
Where will my Ocean County Bankruptcy Case be Handled?
Ocean County residents attend a creditors’ meeting in Trenton or Robbinsviille, New Jersey. Most of the time creditors don’t show up at the creditors’ meeting. If they do, our law firm prepares for the questions.
Some of the locations in Ocean County are Barnegat Township, Berkeley Township, Jackson Township, Lacey Township, Lakewood Township, Manchester Township, Stafford Township, and Toms River Township.
Cases in Ocean County are heard in the Trenton, New Jersey Bankruptcy Court located at the Clarkson S. Fisher US Courthouse located at 402 East State Street in Trenton, New Jersey 08608. The other two New Jersey Bankruptcy Courts are in Newark and Camden.
Bankruptcy Lawyer Helps Ocean County Residents Choose the Right Bankruptcy Option
If you are having financial difficulties, bankruptcy and credit advice may be an option for you. Bankruptcy laws immediately stop aggressive collection tactics. We can help you analyze your assets, income and liabilities so you can decide which bankruptcy option is best for you. You may be able to save your house and your car.
At Garland & Mason, L.L.C., we have the resources and the experience to guide you through the bankruptcy process, while protecting your best interests. For more than 20 years our bankruptcy lawyer, Gary L. Mason, has helped people like you obtain a fresh financial start. Call us at (732) 358-2028 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.
Our office is handicap-accessible. It is conveniently located just 15 minutes from the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. Parking is free.