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Should I File for Bankruptcy?

Many people are hesitant about filing for bankruptcy, or believe that bankruptcy is not an option for them. Some people have simply been misinformed about bankruptcy, or think that filing for bankruptcy is not worth the effort. However, for people with too much debt, bankruptcy is often the best alternative. Before making a decision about filing for bankruptcy, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Long Island Bankruptcy Attorney Explains When to File for Bankruptcy

Contact The Law Office of Andrew M. Doktofsky, P.C. at 631-812-7020 for a free consultation about whether filing for bankruptcy is right for you. Attorney Andrew M. Doktofsky’s practice is focused on consumer bankruptcy law and he possesses the knowledge and experience necessary to guide you through a successful bankruptcy filing in Suffolk County or Nassau County. Call The Law Office of Andrew M. Doktofsky, P.C. today if you have questions about filing for bankruptcy in Deer Park, Babylon, West Islip, Bay Shore, Brentwood, Hauppauge, Huntington, and surrounding areas.


Information Center for When to File for Bankruptcy in New York


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When to File for Bankruptcy in New York

People who decide to file for bankruptcy frequently wait longer than they should. They may have lost their home in foreclosure, had their car repossessed, their wages garnished, and their lives torn apart. They have more debt than they know what to do with, and are at their financial wit’s end. If you are in debt, with no solution in sight, do not put off consulting with a bankruptcy attorney. Filing for bankruptcy before you reach this stage can prevent the loss of your home, bank accounts and other property. And, just as important, filing for bankruptcy at the right time can save you from the stress associated with unbearable debt. If you are in debt and are considering bankruptcy, now is the time to speak to a bankruptcy attorney about your options.

It is generally good financial planning to have at least three months of income saved up in case of financial trouble, loss of a job, reduced work hours, or if a large unexpected expense arises. In reality, most people are living paycheck to paycheck, and are not prepared for any of these situations. When you can barely make ends meet, it can often become impossible to repay your debts. Bankruptcy is available to help people in these situations. If you are having trouble paying your debts, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney to find out if bankruptcy can help you and, if so, what chapter of bankruptcy is right for your situation.

If you are afraid to answer your phone because you believe a creditor may be calling you; you are barely able to make the minimum payments on bills that you owe; or you have been, or are about to be, sued by your creditors, it may be the right time to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney in New York about your bankruptcy options.


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Timing is Critical

The timing of a bankruptcy filing is often of critical importance. In some circumstances, a bankruptcy should be filed as soon as possible. For instance, a foreclosure sale or entry of a civil judgment may be imminent. This is why it is important to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before your situation spirals out of control.

At other times, a bankruptcy filing should be delayed. This is especially true with debts for income taxes, which generally become dischargeable three years after the taxes were due, as long as the returns were filed on time. Only an experienced bankruptcy attorney can advise you on the proper timing of a bankruptcy filing.


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Most Common Reasons People File for Bankruptcy

Credit Card Debt – Many people who file for bankruptcy have accrued credit card debts that they are unable to repay. Credit card companies often target college students, or young people in their early twenties, who need immediate credit, but who do not have the ability to repay their debts in full. Credit card debt can accumulate very quickly, especially with interest rates approaching 30%. Often, people simply do not have sufficient income to pay off their credit card balances. No matter the situation, if you find that you have too much credit card debt, or other types of debt that you cannot repay, it is important to retain an attorney who is experienced in bankruptcy in New York.

Small Business Losses – Another common reason for filing for bankruptcy is debt accumulated from operating a business. Many small business owners have taken out personal loans to start up their businesses. If the business does not perform well, these people are often unable to repay the loans. Business owners often use credit cards to pay for ongoing business expenses, or to pay for personal expenses because they are not earning sufficient income from the business. Even if the business is incorporated, almost all small business debt is personally guaranteed by the business owner. Consequently, the individual business owner is usually personally liable for the company’s debts.

Loss of Income – Many people file for bankruptcy because they have lost their job, or they have had their work hours cut back. If you do not have enough income to pay your debts, it may be time to call an experienced New York bankruptcy attorney who can help you determine if filing for bankruptcy is the right option for you.

Injury or Illness – Some people are forced to file for bankruptcy because they have suffered from an injury or illness. Many people are uninsured and have incurred large debts for medical treatment. Even if insured, a person’s insurance might not completely cover all the expenses of treatment. If you are facing debts incurred due to injury or illness that you are unable to pay, you should contact an experienced New York bankruptcy attorney.


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How to File for Bankruptcy

Some people believe that filing for bankruptcy in New York is a long and expensive process, and are deterred from doing so. However, this is usually not the case.

Your first step should be to contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney who will explain the bankruptcy process to you and provide you with the information you need in order to make the right decision.

You will need to gather all of your financial information, including assets and liabilities, your current credit report, your most recent tax return, and documentation of your income.

Once you have spoken to an attorney, and determined that bankruptcy is your best option, your attorney will prepare all the necessary documents to file a petition with the bankruptcy court under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

Approximately four weeks after the bankruptcy petition is filed, you will appear at a meeting with a bankruptcy trustee where you will be asked questions about your assets, debts and income. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a discharge is usually granted 60 days after the meeting. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a discharge is granted after successful completion of a repayment plan. Read more about the bankruptcy process in New York.


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Bankruptcy Filing Resources in New York

Federally Approved Credit Counseling Agencies – This link is to a list of all the federally approved credit counseling agencies in the Eastern District of New York. Before filing for bankruptcy, individuals are required to complete a federally approved credit counseling course.

Annual Credit Report – This site provides consumers with a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Consumers are permitted to obtain a free credit report once every twelve months.

U.S. Trustee Program – This link has general information about the federal bankruptcy system, and about the U.S. Trustee Program. This branch of the Department of Justice oversees the administration of bankruptcy cases and appoints and oversees bankruptcy trustees.


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The Law Office of Andrew M. Doktofsky, P.C. | Long Island Bankruptcy Attorney

Contact The Law Office of Andrew M. Doktofsky, P.C. today for a free consultation about filing for bankruptcy in Suffolk County and Nassau County in New York. This includes North Bay Shore, Lindenhurst, Commack, Huntington Station, Wyandanch, Amityville, and surrounding communities. Call 631-812-7020 for a consultation about whether you should file for bankruptcy in New York.

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