Mount Vernon Bankruptcy Lawyer
For more than four decades, bankruptcy attorney Michael H. Schwartz has helped individuals and businesses in Mount Vernon and throughout Westchester County New York to get a fresh financial start through the bankruptcy process. Over the course of his career, he has filed more than 5,000 cases on behalf of clients – with not a single discharge denied or a home lost to foreclosure.
If you are facing staggering debt or the threat of foreclosure, why look anywhere else for help with your bankruptcy or foreclosure defense in Mount Vernon? At Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., we are ready to talk with you right away and help you to understand and pursue all debt relief options available to you. Get started today. Call or reach us online for a free and confidential consultation.
How Can a Mount Vernon Bankruptcy Lawyer Help You?
Michael H. Schwartz knows how easy it is for people to encounter financial problems. You may have lost your job, or you or a loved one may have suffered an injury or illness that left you with a pile of medical bills. We are not here to judge you. Instead, we want to chart a course that will lead you to a financially stable future.
At your initial consultation, Michael will carefully evaluate your situation and make recommendations based on your income, assets, debts and expenses. After this evaluation, you should have a firm understanding of your rights and options as well as a clear idea of what strategy will work best for you as you move forward.
At Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., we know that time is of the essence for our clients. We will take immediate steps to file your bankruptcy petition and handle all other aspects of your case, including preventing or stopping the foreclosure process. Within a matter of months, your case could be resolved, and you will have a fresh financial start.
Throughout your case, you can count on Michael and our professional staff to keep you informed and answer all of your questions. Our goal will be to ensure that the bankruptcy process goes as smoothly and painless as possible for you.
What Types of Bankruptcy Cases Do We Handle?
The type of bankruptcy which is right for you will depend on many factors. Michael H. Schwartz will look at your case from all angles and help you to choose the right path to a healthier financial future. In Mount Vernon, the most common types of bankruptcy which we handle for our clients are:
Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code provides a good solution for most people who face an overwhelming amount of unsecured debt such as credit card bills, personal loans and medical bills. If you pass the Chapter 7 “means test” and are eligible to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can obtain a discharge of most if not all of those debts. However, you won’t be able to discharge debts such as those from alimony, child support, student loans and unpaid taxes. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can immediately halt debt collection actions against you. At the end of the process, you should be able to keep the equity in your home and car.
If you have fallen behind on your car payments or home mortgage payments, filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be appropriate for you. You should also have steady income and, after paying off your expenses each month, enough money left over to put towards your unsecured debts. This is why some people refer to Chapter 13 bankruptcy as the “wage earner’s plan.” Many people consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if they fail to pass the Chapter 7 “means test.” However, it is important to consider all of your options before you go through with a Chapter 13 filing. For instance, by simply retiring and reducing your income, you could end up being eligible for Chapter 7.
Individuals or businesses who have piled up excessive debt may find protection in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy allows individuals or businesses to work out a repayment plan with creditors – a solid alternative for individuals who do not qualify for a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy or for businesses that expect to be profitable after they get through a rough patch.
Michael H. Schwartz can provide a comprehensive review of your case and provide a frank assessment of your options. He will help you to decide which type of bankruptcy is the best fit for you. Depending on your circumstances, Michael may even recommend a solution that lies beyond bankruptcy.
What Happens During a Bankruptcy in Mount Vernon?
The steps that you go through in a bankruptcy in Mount Vernon, New York will depend on the type of bankruptcy that you file. However, no matter what type, you should expect the following:
1. Credit Counseling
Before you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to first complete a credit counseling course. The agency which administers the course must be accredited and approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, which serves Westchester and Rockland counties. Go here to find a credit counseling agency in Mount Vernon.
2. Filing a Petition
After you complete your credit counseling course, you can go forward with filing a bankruptcy petition in:
U.S. Bankruptcy Court – Southern District of New York
300 Quarropas Street, Room 248
White Plains, NY 10601
At Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., we will take care of collecting all of your financial documents and complete all of the paperwork that your bankruptcy filing requires. Once you file the petition, an automatic stay takes effect. In other words, all of your creditors must immediately stop trying to get money from you, including your mortgage lender and the company behind your car loan.
3. Creditors Meeting
After you file your bankruptcy petition, the court will send notice to your creditors. The notice will tell them to stop collection activities, give a time limit for filing objections to your bankruptcy and set a date for a creditors meeting. This meeting typically will take place within three-to-five weeks after you file your petition. The bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case will preside over the meeting. You must attend the meeting, and your creditors can attend as well – even though they rarely do.
4. Liquidation or Reorganization
The next stage in your bankruptcy will depend on what type of bankruptcy that you file. Here’s how it works:
- Chapter 7 – The bankruptcy trustee will sell your non-exempt assets to pay off your creditors. Under New York’s generous exemption laws, most of your assets should be protected, including your retirement accounts, the equity in your home and car and the tools you need for your occupation or business.
- Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 – You will work with the trustee to create a repayment plan that will allow you to fully or partially pay off your unsecured debts over a period of time. Under Chapter 13, for instance, the plan will last between three to five years. A Chapter 11 plan usually is more complex.
At the close of the bankruptcy process, your unsecured debts will be discharged, including debt arising from credit cards, medical treatment and personal loans. However, some types of debt will remain in effect such as student loans and unpaid taxes. If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it will take 60 days for your eligible debts to be discharged. In a Chapter 13 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy, your debts will be discharged once you complete your repayment plan.
Can a Lawyer Help with Your Foreclosure Defense?
If you fall behind on your mortgage payments in Mount Vernon, your first step should be to contact Michael H. Schwartz. For more than 40 years, he has helped clients and their families to fight off mortgage lenders and loan servicing companies and stay in their homes. He will put that experience to work for you and start your foreclosure defense right away by taking steps such as:
- Seeking a voluntary loan modification – Most banks want you to stay in your home. Michael can meet with the bank and seek a modification of your mortgage terms. For instance, he may be able to get your interest rate reduced and extend the term of your loan, which can reduce your monthly payments and make them more affordable for you. He can also work out a plan that allows you to pay off your mortgage arrears over time.
- Representing you in a mediation – If the bank sues you in foreclosure, you will go through mediation, which has a more focused and formal structure than voluntary loan modification negotiations. During mediation, a neutral third party, or mediator, will work with you and the bank to hammer out an agreement.
- Guiding you through bankruptcy – If mediation fails to produce an agreement, your next option would be to go through with filing a bankruptcy petition. Even if you file for bankruptcy, Michael can take steps that will help you to keep your home.
Michael H. Schwartz has helped thousands of homeowners in Mount Vernon and throughout New York state to retain their homes and preserve their future financial well-being. He has a record of obtaining loan modifications that have never been done before. He is ready to fight for you, too.
Get Help from an Experienced Mount Vernon Bankruptcy Attorney
Timing is everything when you face mounting debt and the risk of losing your home to foreclosure. Don’t wait to act. Run – don’t walk – to Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., and get the experienced and passionate legal help that you need to get through this difficult time. Contact us now for a free consultation.