03.01.11 - The Senate and House of Representatives are drafting legislation allowing individuals to REDUCE (cram-down) the principal balance of their mortgage to the current value of their home...
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The Yehl Law Group comprises a network of Bankruptcy Attorneys throughout the United States.

If you are a Bankruptcy Attorney who is interested in joining our growing team, contact us to discuss your qualifications and desire to help those clients in your area who have reached out to us.



Are there alternatives to filing for bankruptcy?

Yes, there are many alternatives depending entirely upon your personal financial affairs. To discuss viable options, please complete the Free Evaluation or call 716-573-4980

Can my assets be protected?

Generally speaking, bankruptcy law provides protections (known as exemptions in bankruptcy law) of certain assets or items of property that you own. It depends on the specific asset as to whether it is protected. Bankruptcy law permits debtors to protect assets based on the necessity of the asset. Note: If there is an asset not qualified for an exemption, it may still be protected. To learn more about specific assets and how to protect assets, please review the questions below or refer to the Free Evaluation page to have your specific questions answered.

How is my Property Affected by filing for Bankruptcy?

Typically, your house can be protected. It depends on the amount of equity of in your home. Bankruptcy law in New York affords a $50,000.00 exemption in equity to each debtor. Generally, equity is defined as the value of your asset minus the loan secured by the asset. For example, if you are the sole-owner of a home and the value is $100,000.00 with a mortgage of $50,000.00, you have $50,000.00 of equity in your home. Using this example, your home would be protected under bankruptcy law. Also, in the event you have more than $50,000.00 equity in your home, you may be eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy which would protect your home as well.

What about my car, can I protect it in Bankruptcy?

Generally, your automobile will be protected if you file for bankruptcy. New York law allows a $2,400.00 exemption of equity in a automobile. This means that if you own a vehicle and the value is not greater than $2,400 over the secured loan, your vehicle will be protected. If your value exceeds the $2,400 equity amount, your vehicle can still be protected under a buy-out option or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If it is determined that your car cannot be protected and you owe more than the car is worth, you may be able to reduce the loan amount to the current value of the car.

What debts are included in Bankruptcy?

In most situations, all of your unsecured debt will be cancelled (discharged) in bankruptcy. Unsecured debt consists of credit cards, store cards, medical bills, personal loans not secured by assets, etc.

What about Child Support and Alimony?

Generally, divorce obligations will not be discharged in bankruptcy. It depends on the particular obligation. Child Support and Alimony will not be likely be discharged by the court. If you have other unsecured debt that makes it difficult to pay Child Support or Alimony, the bankruptcy could eliminate those responsibilities instead, making the Divorce Obligations easier to pay.

What about Student Loans, can they also be cancelled?

Contrary to popular belief, student loans can be discharged in bankruptcy. However, it can be quite difficult. To qualify for student loan discharge, one must meet a hardship test created by the Court. This test has a very high standard, but not impossible to meet. The answer depends on your particular circumstances. For more specifics and to have your circumstances evaluated, fill out the Free Evaluation.

Can I discharge my Tax Obligations?

Typically, certain tax debts can be discharged in bankruptcy. This will depend on how old the tax debts are and whether the taxes were timely filed. Generally speaking, if the debts are three years old, they may be discharged. This does not necessarily occur in all situations.

Can I transfer my property to family and/or friends?

Transfers of property within one year of filing bankruptcy can be cancelled by the Bankruptcy Court. However, the Court can look back farther than one year under certain circumstances. This may or may not be problematic depending on the asset and its value.

Can I stop a Wage Garnishment?

Typically, wage garnishments will be stopped upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition. In other words, when a bankruptcy is filed, all creditors must cease from taking any action against you or your assets. Creditors are refrained from any collection activity on your account. This includes: phone calls, lawsuits, mailings and any other form of collection.

Can I stop Foreclosure Proceedings?

Foreclosure sales will be prevented upon the filing of bankruptcy as long as they are filed timely. It may be possible to file bankruptcy on the eve of a foreclosure sale to prevent the sale. However, this is not recommended as bankruptcy planning tools may not be implemented based on the shortage of time. It is crucial that you contact an attorney to plan properly either before or at the onset of a foreclosure proceeding.

Can I stop Nagging Creditor Phone calls and other correspondence?

Nagging creditor calls must cease upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition. This means that those harassing creditors are prevented from any contact with you once your petition is filed. As a matter of fact, once you retain an attorney, creditors must cease communication upon notification of the retention.

I own a Small Business, do I qualify?

Small businesses do qualify for bankruptcy protection.

What if I have High Income?

High income does not bar an individual from filing for bankruptcy. It may be taken into consideration when seeking to qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, high income does not necessarily mean one has high disposable income. A typical high wage earner has high expenses. This means that a high wage earner may not be in a better financial position than a low wage earner.

Will my spouse be affected if I file?

Typically, if you are married and the debt is entirely in your name, your spouse will not be affected by your filing for bankruptcy protection. It is not uncommon for one spouse to file for bankruptcy while the other chooses not to do so.

How long does the process take?

It varies by state, and also varies based on whether it is a Chapter7 or Chapter13 filing. A Chapter 7 filing will typically take 3 months from filing to discharge. In Chapter 13, the legal proceedings will take 2 to 3 months as well, but the discharge does not occur until 3 to 5 years after filing date.