Everyone possesses something that carries with it great emotional value. It can be a possession we cherish, put on display, tell others its worth, and maintain even as years – decades, even – pass. Some are willing to spend extraordinary amounts of money to get a hold of a collector’s item. Old Civil War weapons, old car models, old film props – all are collector’s items worth thousands to the average collector but worth all the money in the world to those who treasure them.
A lot of uncertainty comes when filing for bankruptcy. You set out in life with dreams of financial prosperity, only to need bankruptcy relief when life gets in the way. There are several anxieties and fears that will emerge and overwhelm you when you as an individual initially file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Relief. Even though you know this is the best decision for you in the current moment, you cannot help but think of the future and what negative ramifications might sprout from his decision.
One of the most common concerns is that filing for bankruptcy will damage or decrease your credit score. Will declaring bankruptcy bring your credit score down far enough to the point where you will be denied loans and mortgages? What other elements of your life will this impact? While bankruptcy will unavoidably impact your credit score, many do not know in which ways it will be affected. The reality, however, is far less frightening than whatever imagined apocalyptic scenario you imagined. While it might take years to purge a bankruptcy record from your credit history, the reality is you can raise your credit score to a solid level within months of your filing.
Property is the ultimate form of collateral. In New Jersey, when you take out your mortgages and pay your taxes, you offer up your property and home as collateral in case you fail to meet said payments. You have title to the property but the lender or creditor has a lien on the property. If you cannot pay your lender, then said lender will be within their legal rights to go and collect on their collateral. That means you might lose your house and home when the authorities – led by the county sheriff -- set out to sell our property. This process, referred to as a sheriff sale, is a means to pay off the outstanding debt to the lender that you have accrued.
However, each state conducts sheriff sales in a different manner. The rules that govern each sale depends on the state the property is owned in. Sometimes, court decisions or changes in the laws drastically alter how sheriff sales are conducted, as well as how this alters how sales can be conducted.
Such is the case for New Jersey. The rules for adjourning sheriff sales changed significantly on July 28, 2019, when the New Jersey statute was modified impacting the rights and options of borrowers under New Jersey foreclosure law. N.J.S.A. 2A:17-36, governs the rules on adjournments of sheriff sales and provides:
Unlike other financial issues such as credit card debt, medical debt is not caused by unwise monetary choices, but rather it is often caused by unforeseen circumstances. The issue is cyclical: You are in debt because of unforeseen medical circumstances and the financial stress that comes with these additional medical expenses causes you to get sicker and deeper into medical debt.
The most beneficial protection provided to individuals and corporate entities filing during bankruptcy proceedings is the “automatic stay”. The automatic stay is immediately invoked upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition and prevents any creditor from taking actions to collect a pre-petition debt. This article will explore whether any other individual or corporate entity also obligated to the same debt (also know as a “co-debtor”) is protected by the automatic stay, even if they did not seek bankruptcy relief.
While individual debtors are permitted to use power of attorneys during bankruptcy proceedings, there are rare circumstances that obtaining a guardian ad litem for an incompetent individual may be beneficial to administering the bankruptcy estate. As such, this blog will analyze the law and rare request for a guardian ad litem for purposes of a bankruptcy proceeding.
Update as of 6/14/2021
Jamal Romero, Esq: The Moratorium is almost over which means a lot of you are thinking what happens next. Will there be a new program that allows me to roll my forbearance payments to the end? What steps should I take to ensure my house does not get sold at a foreclosure sale?
This blog might answer most, if not all of your questions.
Most homeowners don’t pay enough attention to educating themselves about the foreclosure process. Look at it this way, if you’re buying a home and don’t know the foreclosure process and your options, you’re like a soldier without a rifle - you are flying blind my home-owning friend. Educating yourself about the foreclosure process and your options should be one of the first things a homeowner should do before or after buying a home. This blog will explore the foreclosure process and how you could save your home or investment property through a bankruptcy.
When filing for bankruptcy, you must file a bankruptcy petition. The Bankruptcy Code requires that the bankruptcy petition contain all of your assets. An asset, which you might not think is an asset, includes a lawsuit or potential lawsuit that arises from an event that occurred prior to your bankruptcy filing.
Recently, I successfully represented a debtor in an adversary proceeding brought by creditors (the Plaintiffs) seeking to have the debt owed to them declared non-dischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6). In this case, my client’s entity, in which he was the sole shareholder, formerly owned and operated a bar in Colorado for a short period of time. During the time that his entity owned the bar, employees complained of sexual harassment at the hands of the bar’s manager, who was the Debtor’s brother-in-law. This blog will explore the facts and circumstances of this case along with the legal standard to explore why the Judge ultimately found that the Debtor was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
In a recent experience with a client (“Jane Doe”), she began by telling me that after six months of infusing her franchise with cash directly from her retirement accounts, the franchise was doing poorly and she had no idea how to get out of the hole. To add salt to the wound, she had personally guaranteed i) the lease to the commercial space; ii) the franchise agreement; and the small business loan that the business needed to get started. This is obviously a worse case scenario for a business owners, especially if the business isn’t making any profit because its only a matter of time before the business shuts down and the creditors start coming after the business owner. After an hour of getting a sense of her personal and business finances, I began to explain to Mrs. Doe, the different options she had and how these “Executory Contracts” would be treated within her bankruptcy.