Bankruptcy is a court proceeding which lets a person or business have some or all of their debts excused. It should typically only be considered as an option of last resort, because it can have significant 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. Since it's a creation of federal law, bankruptcy is handled in federal courts. Therefore, the rules and procedures governing it in New York will be the same as everywhere else in the country. Distinct courts in Oneonta, New York will have some unique rules, however, so you should consult with a local lawyer before you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Oneonta, New York
There are 2 typical forms of consumer bankruptcies in Oneonta, New York: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 liquidates part of the debtor's assets. It requires a certain percentage of the debtor's assets to be sold off to pay as much of his or her debt as possible. However, many forms of property that most people own are exempt, meaning that they don't need to be sold. This often includes houses, vehicles, insurance policies, and necessary personal items, like clothing. These assets are not available to creditors.
Once the non-exempt property is sold, the rest of the dischargeable debt is excused. Some forms of debt, however, is non-dischargeable, including student loans, criminal fines, and others. If most of your debt in Oneonta, New York is not dischargeable, Chapter 7 may not be the best option.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Oneonta, New York
In Oneonta, New York, Chapter 13 is substantially different from Chapter 7. Chapter 13 may or may not be the best choice for you; this depends on the facts of your specific situation. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy involves a court setting up an altered payment plan, which allows the debtor to pay off most or all of his debts over an extended 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 Oneonta, New York
The answer to this question depends strongly on your distinct situation. If you have enough stable income to manage a payment plan, and a lot of non-exempt property that you are unwilling to part with, Chapter 13 may be a good option. If you don't have much stable 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 lawyer in Oneonta, New York. Your lawyer 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).