Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy

At Macco & Stern, LLP, our attorneys focus their practice exclusively on bankruptcy law. This allows us to provide our clients with tailored, thorough advice about their debt options. That way, our clients can make informed decisions about their debts and have a clear plan for the future.

For advice about your specific situation and for representation throughout the bankruptcy process, call our firm at 631-479-2869 to schedule a free consultation. You can also read answers to some common questions about bankruptcy below.

Should I File for Bankruptcy?

Your situation is unique to you. The best way to determine if bankruptcy is right for you is to speak directly with a lawyer who has experience in these matters. However, it may be beneficial to file for bankruptcy if you can answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Are you being harassed by creditors for overdue payments?
  • Do you have overwhelming credit card debts, medical bills or other debts that you cannot pay?
  • Are you facing foreclosure on your home?
  • Is your car or other property being repossessed?
  • Have you been sued and cannot afford the judgment?
  • Are your wages being garnished?

These are just a few of the issues we commonly see with clients who are considering bankruptcy. If you are facing any type of overwhelming debt, bankruptcy may provide you with the relief you need.

Are There Alternatives to Bankruptcy?

Depending on the type of debt, there may be other solutions available to get you the relief you need. For example, if you are facing foreclosure, mortgage modification may be an option to help you avoid foreclosure as well as bankruptcy.

However, while many individuals fear the aftereffects of bankruptcy on their credit report, bankruptcy can actually put you in a strong position for the future. Through bankruptcy you can begin rebuilding your credit. Also, during bankruptcy, creditor harassment, foreclosures and other collections practices will be stopped. This can help you get a fresh start for the future.

What’s the Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often referred to as the "fresh start" bankruptcy, because it allows you to discharge your unsecured debts and get a clean slate. Unsecured debts include debts that are not attached to property such as credit card debt, medical debt and personal debts.

If you do not qualify for Chapter 7 or if you have significant assets, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you reorganize your debts. In Chapter 13, you develop a payment plan to help you get back on track with your debt payments. These payment plans typically last three to five years.

What Can Be Discharged in Bankruptcy?

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most unsecured debts can be discharged. This includes credit card bills, medical bills, personal loans and some judgments. Student loans and support payments cannot be discharged. Similarly, at the end of your payment plan in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, any remaining debt on unsecured loans can be discharged.

What Will Happen to My Credit When I File for Bankruptcy?

While filing for bankruptcy does have an impact on your credit score, it is the first step toward improving your credit. Individuals who are facing bankruptcy already have poor credit scores from unpaid debts and credit card bills. After filing for bankruptcy, many of these debts can be resolved and you can get back on track to making regular payments. Regular, timely payments will improve your score over time.

Why Do I Need an Attorney to File for Bankruptcy?

The bankruptcy process can be complicated, and failure to follow the proper procedures could result in unresolved debts. An attorney can help you make sure that you get the relief you need from all types of debt. Your lawyer can also help guide you through the process and act as your advocate at every stage.

Get Answers to Your Bankruptcy Questions

If you have additional questions about the process or how to resolve your debt issues, speak with an attorney at our firm. You can contact us by e-mail or call us at 631-479-2869 for a free initial consultation.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people obtain relief under the Bankruptcy Code.