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Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a way to solve your financial problems, but it is not the only way. Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidates nonexempt property to equitably distribute your wealth to your creditors. If you own a small business or sole proprietorship, you can file under Chapter 11 to liquidate a few nonexempt assets to pay settlement amounts on your delinquent accounts, make extra payments to reduce the principal, or extend the duration of your loans, sales contracts, or leases. Under Chapter 11 or Chapter 13, you can reduce your installment payments by paying for three or five years. You may be able to increase your cash flow by removing encumbrances from your mortgage or your primary business property. If you owe primarily taxes, child support, student loans, or accounts secured by collateral, you can’t discharge or liquidate them. You can file a Chapter 13 repayment plan to repay your secure creditors over three to five years.

Pass the Bankruptcy Means Test

The means test calculates your disposable income. You must pass the test to qualify for liquidation of your nonexempt assets and discharge of your past due accounts. High income does not disqualify you. High income individuals with unusual expenses, such as, high mortgage or car loan payments, delinquent taxes, school loan payments, child support arrears, and medical bills qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Official Chapter 7 Means Test calculation

The official Chapter 7 means test calculation form attached to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court website begins with your monthly income adjusted with your spouse's monthly income. It considers the number of exemptions on your federal income tax form, and asks for your specific costs of food, clothing, health care, monthly mortgage or rent, other loans secured by your home, ownership and operating costs of vehicles, taxes (federal, state, local, self-employment, Medicare, and social security), telephone, and other necessary expenses. Your disposable income is your combined monthly income minus the summation of all your living expenses. Lastly, if your disposable monthly income times 60 is less than $7,700, you pass the test. If your disposable monthly income times 60 is more than $12,850, you are presumed to be abusing the Chapter 7 process.
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When Long Island borrowers fall behind on bills and can no longer make their minimum monthly payments, they usually consider calling a Long Island bankruptcy attorney and filing for relief. The two bankruptcy options available are Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Depending on your situation, either option may be the answer you need to move forward and repair your financial life.

One of the mistakes many people make is waiting too long to seek out help. You can stop aggressive collection action before you have your car repossessed or a bank account frozen. These types of disastrous events can be prevented by seeking relief by the courts.
Facing debts that you cannot afford to pay can be frightening, stressful, and overwhelming. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code offers debt relief for individuals, couples, and businesses. The bankruptcy system is designed to give a debtor the relief from debt he needs to recover from a financial crisis and rebuild his finances without the worry of debt collections. It is also designed to protect some of the equity in a person’s property so that the person has the means to recover and rebuild after completing a bankruptcy case.

There are several chapters of bankruptcy available to individuals, including filing under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Our Long Island bankruptcy lawyers can help you determine if filing bankruptcy under Chapter 7 is your best debt relief option.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy in the United States. It involves the discharge and or liquidation of a debtor's assets in order to settle outstanding debts. However, it can have some negative consequences. Thus, a decision to file should be taken carefully.

If you decide to proceed, hiring bankruptcy attorney to help you navigate the sometimes complicated procedures involved is typically the best forward. With our experienced bankruptcy attorneys, we strive to educate you, as well as make the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process as easy as possible. We will also determine if you are eligible to file at all. If you have had a filing in the previous 6-8 years, then you are barred from doing so.

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