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 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. Since it's a product of federal law, bankruptcy is handled in federal courts. Therefore, the rules and procedures governing it in New York will be the same as anywhere else in the country. Distinct courts in Schenectady, New York will have some unique rules, however, so you should consult with a local lawyer before you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Schenectady, New York
There are 2 typical types of consumer bankruptcies in Schenectady, New York: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves a liquidation of some of the debtor's assets, which pays off part of his or her debt. Once this is done, the remaining debt is excused. Fortunately for debtors, many types of property are exempt from liquidation, including homes, vehicles, necessary personal items, and retirement accounts.
Once the appropriate property is sold, and the funds transferred to the creditors, the dischargeable debt is absolved. Some types of debt, however, can't be excused in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Schenectady, New York. These include student loans, criminal fines, and taxes, among others. If most of your debt can't be excused, Chapter 7 might not be the best choice for you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Schenectady, New York
Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Schenectady, New York is markedly different. It may or may not be a better option than Chapter 7, depending on the facts of your specific case. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not absolve debt, it restructures it. This involves a court coming up with an adjusted repayment plan designed to be manageable for the debtor. This new plan sets aside the terms of the original arrangements that created the debt in the first place. This creates a new payment structure, typically involving a single monthly payment, that the debtor should find manageable.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Schenectady, New York
Whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the right choice for you depends heavily on your distinct situation. If you have a steady income stream, and a lot of non-exempt property, Chapter 13 might be right for you. If you don't have a steady income, and most of your property is exempt, Chapter 7 might be a better way to go.
Of course, you should always seek the counsel of an experienced local Schenectady, New York bankruptcy attorney before you make the decision to file. He or she will be able to advise you of your options, and suggest the best possible course of action for your specific situation.