Do you have questions about bankruptcy, but
not sure where to start? Today I’d like to go through some of the most common questions
we get about bankruptcy and give you the direct, straightforward answers that you need. Hi, I’m Jim Keaveney of Keaveney Legal Group.
We’re a New Jersey and Pennsylvania based law firm that focuses on helping clients facing
bankruptcy. Every day we talk to people who have questions about what bankruptcy is, how
it works, and what impact it can have on their financial future. So, here are a few of the
most common questions we receive: So, what exactly is bankruptcy? Bankruptcy is a federal legal process designed
to help people eliminate their debts or repay them on more affordable terms. It’s a financial
fresh start. It allows you to hit the reset button. What are the different types of bankruptcy? The two most common bankruptcies are a Chapter
7, which is a liquidation, or a Chapter 13 which is a reorganization. Under a Chapter
7, the liquidation, you ask the court to wipe out or discharge the debts you owe. Under
a Chapter 13, which is the reorganization, you file with the bankruptcy court proposing
a plan to repay your creditors. Depending upon your ability to pay, sometimes debts
have to be repaid in full, or partially repaid, or not repaid at all. So how does bankruptcy stop collection activities? When you file a bankruptcy, a court order
called an “automatic stay” goes into effect. The automatic stay prohibits most creditors
from taking any action to collect on the debts you owe and prevents almost all other debt
related legal actions from going forward. Does bankruptcy apply to all kinds of debt? There are some debts that cannot be discharged
in bankruptcy; for example, child support, alimony, criminal penalties, and certain kinds
of tax debts. Also, student loans are usually not dischargeable. How often can I file for bankruptcy? Under a Chapter 7, you can only file after
8 years have passed since your last Chapter 7 discharge. For a Chapter 13, you must generally
wait 6 years. In both cases, if your case is dismissed rather than discharged, you can
often re-file immediately. If I’m married, does my spouse have to file
for bankruptcy, too? Strictly speaking, no. But, if you have any
financial obligations together, like both of your names on a mortgage, then it would
make sense for both spouses to file for bankruptcy or the other spouse may end up owing the entire
debt. These are just a few of the many questions
we answer every day at our practice. We understand that bankruptcy can be very confusing, so
we are happy to help you understand the process. Pittsburgh Office
Phone: (412) 927-3866 301 Grant Street, Suite 4300
Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Philadelphia Office
Phone: (215) 710-0713 1650 Market Street, Ste. 3600
Philadelphia, PA 19103 Iselin Office
Phone: (732) 733-6025 33 Wood Avenue South, Suite 600
Iselin, NJ 08830 Mt. Laurel Office
Phone: (856) 270-7292 309 Fellowship Road, Suite 200
Mt. Laurel, New Jersey 08054 Basking Ridge Office
233 Mt. Airy Road, 1st Floor Basking Ridge, New Jersey, 07920
908-926-6884 East Brunswick Office
197 State Route 18 South, Suite 3000 South Wing
East Brunswick, New Jersey, 08816 732-733-6025 Hackensack Office
411 Hackensack Avenue, 2nd Floor Hackensack, New Jersey, 07601
201-417-9588 Jersey City Office
Harborside Financial Center 2500 Plaza 5, 25th floor
Jersey City, New Jersey, 07311 201-417-9588 Parsippany Office
2001 Route 46, Waterview Plaza, Suite 310 Parsippany, New Jersey, 07054
973-559-6787 Princeton Office
103 Carnegie Center Drive, Suite 300 Princeton, New Jersey, 08540
609-751-0398 Red Bank Office
125 Half Mile Road, Suite 200 Red Bank, New Jersey, 07701-6749
732-733-6025 Short Hills Office
51 JFK Parkway, First Floor West Short Hills, New Jersey, 07078
973-559-6787 Totowa Office
999 Riverview Drive, 2nd Floor Totowa, New Jersey, 07512
973-559-6787 Woodcliff Lake Office
50 Tice Blvd, Suite 340 Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, 07677
201-417-9588 We also do business in and around: Jersey
City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Edison, Woodbridge, Lakewood, Toms River, Hamilton, Trenton, Clifton,
Camden, Brick, Cherry Hill, Passaic, Middletown, Union City, Old Bridge, Gloucester, Township,
East Orange, Bayonne, Franklin, North Bergen, Vineland, Union, Piscataway, New Brunswick,
Jackson, Wayne, Irvington, Pasippany, Howell, Perth Amboy, Hoboken, Plainfield, West New
York, Washington, Township, East Brunswick, Bloomfield, West orange, Evesham, Bridgewater,
South Brunswick, Egg Harbor, Manchester, Hackensack, Sayreville, Mount Laurel, Berkeley, North
Brunswick. To Learn more about this topic, and others,
visit our educational legal blog at