Bankruptcy is a court proceeding which lets a person or business have some or all of their debts absolved. It should normally only be considered as an option of last resort, because it can have serious long-term consequences, even if it can stave off financial disaster. This means that the costs and benefits need to be carefully considered before filing. Being a product of federal law, bankruptcy will go through federal courts. Accordingly, the procedure for filing for bankruptcy in New York is basically the same as the procedure anywhere else in the United States. However, individual courts in Buffalo, New York will have particular rules for exemptions, so you should speak with a local attorney before filing.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Buffalo, New York
There are 2 main forms of consumer bankruptcy in Buffalo, New York: Chapter 7 and 13. Chapter 7 requires that a certain percentage of the debtor's property be liquidated to pay off at least a small part of their debt. However, many types of property are exempt, and do not need to be liquidated, such as cars, homes, insurance policies, and retirement accounts.
Once the non-exempt property is sold, the rest of the dischargeable debt is eliminated. Some types of debt, however, is non-dischargeable, including student loans, criminal fines, and others. If most of your debt in Buffalo, New York is not dischargeable, Chapter 7 may not be the best option.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Buffalo, New York
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Buffalo, New York differs substantially from Chapter 7. It might be a better option than Chapter 7, depending on the facts of your case. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy involves a court setting up a modified payment plan, which allows the debtor to pay off most or all of his debts over a prolonged period of time, through monthly payments that should, assuming that the debtor is willing to make a few sacrifices, be manageable.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Buffalo, New York
The answer to this question depends heavily on your particular situation. If you have enough steady income to manage a payment plan, and a lot of non-exempt property that you are unwilling to part with, Chapter 13 might be a good option. If you don't have much steady income, and most of your property is exempt, Chapter 7 might be better.
In any case, it would be a good idea to consult a local bankruptcy Attorney in Buffalo, New York. Your Attorney can make an educated judgment as to what your best option is, and advise you accordingly (of course, the choice to file for bankruptcy is ultimately yours).