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Andrew M. Doktofsky is an experienced bankruptcy attorney representing individuals on Long Island, New York in the areas of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debt collection defense, foreclosure defense and consumer law. If you have a question that you would like answered, please fill out the form below.
Note that the answers provided are intended as general information only and should not be considered legal advice. Please call (631) 673-9600 if you would like to begin taking the steps towards resolving your legal problems and achieving a fresh start.
My home is in foreclosure. Will bankruptcy help me?
The answer depends on what chapter bankruptcy you file. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy only temporarily stays a foreclosure action. Once your bankruptcy case is closed, the foreclosure action will continue. The bank can also ask for “relief from the stay” to allow it to continue the foreclosure action in state court. Generally, then, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will not help you if there is a foreclosure action pending.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, on the other hand, allows a debtor to repay mortgage arrears over a five year period. However, this is a feasible option only if you and your spouse have sufficient income to repay the arrears as well as your current mortgage payment. In addition, in Chapter 13, you will most likely have to repay some or all of your other debts, such as credit card debts.
Will bankruptcy resolve judgments that I have against me?
Yes. A bankruptcy filing discharges your obligation to pay judgments. Keep in mind that this applies only to debts that may be discharged. For instance, if you have a judgment against you for a domestic support obligation, your obligation to pay the judgment will not be discharged. Bankruptcy will also stop all creditor actions to collect judgments, such as wage garnishments and bank account seizures.
If you own a home, judgments entered against you become liens on your real property. A bankruptcy filing on its own will not remove these judgment liens. However, a motion can usually be filed in the bankruptcy proceeding to remove the lien.