Bankruptcy proceedings can be life-changing for debtors who are looking to get back on their feet, free from crushing debt. But bankruptcy proceedings are not right for everyone. In order to benefit from filing bankruptcy, debtors must be willing to live with certain hardships, at least temporarily.
If you are considering filing bankruptcy, one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys in New Jersey can advise you as to the various bankruptcy chapters available and help you determine which one, if any, would be appropriate for your circumstances.
When is bankruptcy not the correct option?
Not everyone will benefit from filing bankruptcy and for some debtors, it is not an appropriate choice. Those for whom bankruptcy may not be truly appropriate include individuals who are not prepared to forego their previously lavish lifestyles and those who want to avoid exposing their finances to scrutiny by the bankruptcy trustee.
Lavish lifestyles and bankruptcy
It is not uncommon for debtors struggling to pay their bills and expenses to have lived lavish lifestyles and possess expensive assets. Some debtors have gotten deeper into debt by living above their means, while others were previously wealthy but have fallen on hard times due to economic setbacks, failed investments, a poor real estate market, or simply overspending.
Our New Jersey bankruptcy attorneys are sympathetic to these difficult circumstances and have worked with many families of great wealth who nonetheless find themselves in bankruptcy proceedings.
Still, it is important to understand that in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it will not be possible to retain all of your assets, as any non-exempt property will likely be sold to pay creditors, at least in part. There are many exemptions available to debtors who wish to keep their primary homes, tools of trade or hobbies, musical instruments, sporting equipment, wedding jewelry, and other personal items that may be of sentimental value. Debtors must be willing to part with some assets, however. Vacation homes and third vehicles frequently do not make the cut, for instance, if their values exceed the exemption limits.
Bankruptcy and financial privacy
It is important to note that a bankruptcy is a public record, and any filings related thereto are publicly accessible. Debtors are required to disclose their assets and liabilities in their entirety, and any listed creditors will be automatically notified by the Court. In addition, the bankruptcy will be listed on the debtor's credit report for seven to ten years, depending on which chapter was filed.
Consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney in New Jersey
If you are interested in learning more about the bankruptcy process and whether filing bankruptcy may be the right choice for your family, one of our experienced attorneys can help with your New Jersey or Clifton Bankruptcy. Contact us today for help.