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Dispelling Fears

At Genova & Malin, Attorneys at Law, we offer a free bankruptcy evaluation to: review a potential client's financial situation: review alternatives to bankruptcy, clarify any misconception about bankruptcy, and dispel any unreasonable fears a person may have about bankruptcy law.
The following are some of the more common fears people voice at an initial consultation:

"I will lose everything"

This fear keeps people who should file for bankruptcy from doing so. New York law and the Federal Bankruptcy Code exemptions will provide for protection for various kinds of assets. Usually your car, furniture, clothes, and jewelry will be exempt. There are limits to these rules. If you file a bankruptcy, you must list your assets and give a reasonable value for all items. Each individual debtor filing for bankruptcy can exempt certain property from the claims of creditors.
With the filing of a bankruptcy petition, the court will order an automatic stay in debt collection efforts against you. As a consequence, the following will happen:
» Wage attachments stop
» Car repossessions stop
» Mortgage foreclosures stop
Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy the court can approve a debt reorganization repayment plan that will allow a debtor to payoff taxes or the arrearages on his mortgage over a period of up to five years. Your house can be saved.

"I'll never get credit again"

This is definitely not true! Before long you will be getting credit card offers again. They'll just be from lenders that will charge very high interest rates. We don't advise our clients to run up a lot of bills, but if you need to get an automobile you will be able to get credit. If you have a credit card with a zero balance on the day you file for bankruptcy, you don't have to list it as a creditor since you don't owe any money on it. That means you might be able to keep that card even after the bankruptcy. The bottom line is that there is life after bankruptcy! You earnings to debt ratio should be better after a Chapter 7 consumer debt liquidation bankruptcy. You should be able to get credit.

"Everyone will know I've filed for bankruptcy"

This is not very likely. Unless you're a famous or a prominent person, the only people who will probably know about your bankruptcy filing are your creditors. This is not an opportunity for your proverbial 15 minutes of fame! While it's true that bankruptcy is a public legal proceeding, there are so many people who file, publications do not have the space--or inclination--to publish all of them, and other media do not care. If you are indeed famous or prominent, or you represent a company filing for a business reorganization bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, we can discuss this further.
At Genova & Malin, Attorneys at Law, our two principal lawyers, Thomas Genova and Andrea B. Malin, combine for more than 33 years of bankruptcy experience. One of our attorneys will personally meet with you to discuss your financial situation, and what you can expect in a bankruptcy filing, if you choose to take that path. In the process, your unreasonable fears about bankruptcy should be dispelled.
Contact us now to arrange an appointment.