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Scura, Wigfield, Heyer, Stevens & Cammarota Blog

How Do You Rent a New Apartment After Filing for Bankruptcy in NJ?

When you file for bankruptcy, you often feel marked by the filing. Whether you’re buying a new car or looking for a new apartment to rent, you remain conscious that your bankruptcy will follow you. Bankruptcy remains reported for a time on your credit score.

If you intend on finding a new apartment or a new house to rent, you will need to be open about your financial history. This includes any past bankruptcy filings or prior evictions. Some landlords will obviously reject people if they do not feel your records satisfy their needs for a tenant. This can be highly stressful for people who needed bankruptcy relief.

If you are looking for a new place to live and are afraid that bankruptcy will hold you back from success, then you may want to consider a few factors before moving forward in order to know where you stand and how you can convince a landlord to give you a new lease on an apartment.

Is it Better to File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in New Jersey?

When someone researches bankruptcy for the first time, they come across individuals discussing their experiences with two entirely different forms of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Bankruptcy, with its numerous chapters and subchapters, might be an overwhelming to an ordinary person. It might take hours of research, for example, before one realizes that Chapter 11 is usually only an option for businesses and not private individuals trying to eradicate debt.

Without an experienced bankruptcy professional guiding your way, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 might seem like nebulous concepts. How do you know, for example, whether you should consider liquidation? How do you know which option can better help you reorganize your credit and dispel unsecured debt? In cases like these, you need to consider what Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy both bring to the table, how they can help you understand and navigate your financial situation, and what you should do when and if you choose to file for bankruptcy as an individual in New Jersey.

The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Engagement Ring Scandal – Can a Ring be Liquidated?

Marriage is a life-altering event for so many people. However, so is bankruptcy. When the two become embroiled in one another, things can quickly unravel into a complicated, involved mess. Such is the case with one of our clients, who we refer to as Moon, who wished to file for bankruptcy, only for one conditional gift to fall into a legal gray area.

Moon wished to be married. He had already proposed to his bride-to-be, who wore an engagement ring on her finger. The ring was valued at $30,000, making it quite the valuable stone. However, in the months following his proposal, Moon realized he might need to consider filing for bankruptcy. Specifically, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Often referred to as the Liquidation Chapter, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy involves the filing debtor to retain certain assets while the remaining assets, if any, are sold and distributed pro rata to his/her creditors in an effort to partially satisfy the debts that are not wiped thanks to filing. The filing debtor’s assets are determined at the time of filing.

While Chapter 7 Bankruptcy would erase all of Moon’s financial woes, filing introduced a new concern: would he be forced to sell-off the engagement ring he gave to his fiancé to settle his debts?

How Will NJ Bankruptcy Affect My Credit Score?

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.

Do I 'Qualify' for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New Jersey?

Clients often ask if they qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  People may not know much about bankruptcy before calling my office, but there is a general anxiety as to whether they will be "forced" into repaying some of their debt.

Are All Debts Dischargeable in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

credit card bill

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be an extremely helpful way to get back on your feet financially after you have been struggling. It allows you to “start fresh” and try again. In that process, most of your debts can be forgiven entirely, which means that those harassing phone calls and intimidating letters will stop coming. It results in significant freedom for many individuals and companies that are stressed financially.

Surrendering NJ Real Property In Chapter 7

person surrendering property by signing papers

It’s common that many clients surrender their real property in Chapter 7 cases, and assume that surrendering the property will alleviate any issues or obligations owed by them. Unfortunately, the term “surrender” does not automatically mean a debtor is free and clear of any responsibility concerning the real property. The act of surrendering collateral simply means that the debtor no longer intends to make the loan payments, or as stated by the First and Fourth Circuit courts “means not taking an overt act to prevent the secured creditor from foreclosing its interest in the secured property.” In re Calzadilla, 534 B.R. 216, 218 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2015).   However, receiving a bankruptcy discharge does eliminate the debtor’s personal obligation to repay the note and mortgage.

Can a Debtor Avoid a Condo or HOA Lien in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

newly built condominiums

During the course of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding, a debtor may seek to avoid a lien filed by a condominium or homeowner association against the debtor’s real property for failure to pay maintenance fees. However, it’s important to examine the classification of the lien prior to determining whether the lien can avoidable in bankruptcy.

How to Find the Right Attorney for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New Jersey

man searching for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney on laptop

Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Jersey can be an extremely stressful and personal experience. You need to have the right person to walk you through the process. Having an experienced, compassionate, and understanding attorney will make the process easier. Your lawyer will also help you decide how you should treat specific property and which options will be the best for your family and your personal finances. However, there are so many options when it comes to lawyers. How can you tell which attorney and which firm is the right choice for you?

Business New Jersey Chapter 7 Bankruptcies

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Sometimes businesses just fail. The debt can become overwhelming and creditors can begin exercising their rights for repossession of equipment (leased or financed), levies on bank accounts, and enforcement of personal guarantees against the business’ shareholders/members.  An insolvent business has two bankruptcy options: Chapter 11 and Chapter 7. 

Chapter 11 is a good option for businesses looking to restructure their debts under a plan of reorganization, while continuing to operate during that process.  Chapter 7 is a good option for businesses who choose to close, liquidate their assets, and dissolve the corporate structure.  

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