New Rochelle, New York Bankruptcy Attorney
Did you lose your job? Did you or a family member suffer an injury or illness that has led to overwhelming medical expenses? Are you suddenly facing financial stress because of some other event that you never saw coming? If so, run – don’t walk – to Michael H. Schwartz, P.C.
For more than 40 years, attorney Michael H. Schwartz has helped people to use the bankruptcy process to get their lives back on track in New Rochelle, New York and throughout Westchester County. He has earned a reputation for helping his clients to wipe out their debts while preserving their homes, their cars and, ultimately, their dignity. Contact us now and learn more about how we can help with your bankruptcy or foreclosure defense in New Rochelle.
- 1 How Can a New Rochelle Bankruptcy Lawyer Help You?
- 2 What Types of Bankruptcy Cases Do We Handle?
- 3 Will a Bankruptcy Affect Your Credit Score?
- 4 New Rochelle Bankruptcy Resources
- 5 Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Foreclosure Defense in New Rochelle?
- 6 Get Help from an Experienced New Rochelle Bankruptcy Lawyer
How Can a New Rochelle Bankruptcy Lawyer Help You?
Many people in New Rochelle who walk into their first meeting with Michael H. Schwartz are embarrassed about their financial troubles and nervous about their future. By the time they walk out, we want them to have a strong understanding of how and why filing for bankruptcy may be right for them, a clear vision of what lies ahead and, ultimately, a reassurance that things will work out.
Over the course of his career, Michael has filed more than 5,000 cases on behalf of his clients – without a single home lost to foreclosure or a single discharged denied. He is ready to put that experience to work for you by taking steps such as:
- Conducting a comprehensive evaluation of your financial situation, including a review of your income, assets, debts and expenses. He can help you to determine which chapter of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code is right for you.
- Identifying the debts that you should be able to discharge and which types of property you should be able to protect from creditors.
- Crafting a strategy that will address your unique circumstances and meet all of your objectives.
- Filing your bankruptcy petition without delay and putting an immediate halt to any foreclosure proceeding or attempts to seize your other property.
- Making the entire bankruptcy filing process as stress-free and painless of an experience as possible for you and your family.
At Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., we believe that nobody should ever feel ashamed about filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is essentially a business tool. Corporations use it. Why shouldn’t you?
What Types of Bankruptcy Cases Do We Handle?
No two cases are alike. The type of bankruptcy protection that is right for you will depend on your unique circumstances. At Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., we will take the time to understand your situation. Based on our review, we can chart a course that leads to a more stable financial future for you. In most cases, the strategy will involve filing for bankruptcy under one of three chapters of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code:
Most of the individuals that we assist in New Rochelle file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. If you qualify for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can obtain an automatic stay of debt collection activities against you and seek a total discharge of your debts, including credit card bills, medical expenses and personal loans. A discharge means that those debts will no longer exist, and you will no longer have to pay them. However, you cannot obtain a discharge of certain types of debt under Chapter 7 such as unpaid tax bills, alimony, child support or, generally speaking, student loans. In most cases, people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can use New York or Federal exemptions to keep their house and car.
If you have steady income, but you are struggling to make your mortgage payments and handle your other monthly expenses, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the right step for you. As with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can obtain an automatic stay of collection activities against you, including bringing a halt to a foreclosure proceeding. Then, Michael H. Schwartz can work with you to develop reasonable plan that will allow you to pay your debts within a three-to-five-year period without hurting your ability to maintain a household and support your dependents. This is why many people call a Chapter 13 bankruptcy a “wage earner’s plan.”
In certain cases, filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 could be an option as well. Chapter 11 allows individuals or businesses to continue with life while working out a repayment plan with their creditors. Typically, Chapter 11 is appropriate for businesses that project profitability in the future or for individuals whose debt is too high to qualify for filing under Chapter 13.
For some individuals and businesses, filing for bankruptcy of any kind may not be the best strategy. That is why you should consult with experienced New Rochelle bankruptcy lawyer Michael H. Schwartz before you make any decisions that could affect your financial future.
Will a Bankruptcy Affect Your Credit Score?
The three-digit FICO score that a credit bureau such as Equifax, Experian or TransUnion gives to you represents the degree of risk that a creditor assumes by giving you a loan. The higher your score, the lower risk you present. Typically, a “good” credit score is 670-739, while a “fair” score is 580-669.
If you file for bankruptcy, it will hurt your FICO score. There’s no getting around it. Usually, a person’s credit score will drop between 160 to 220 points. So, your credit rating could fall from “good” to “fair,” or it could go from “fair” to “poor.”
However, filing for bankruptcy won’t affect your credit forever. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will remain on it for up to seven years. In the meantime, you can gradually raise your FICO score. If bankruptcy allows you to improve your situation, then you should be able to pay your debts on time and rebuild your credit. Eventually, you may find your financial health is as good as it’s ever been.
New Rochelle Bankruptcy Resources
If you file for bankruptcy in New Rochelle, your case will be litigated in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, which serves Westchester and Rockland counties. In other words, your creditors meeting and court hearing will be held at:
U.S. Bankruptcy Court – Southern District of New York
300 Quarropas Street, Room 248
White Plains, NY 10601
With few exceptions, you will need to receive credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency before you file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can go here to find an agency near you in New Rochelle.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Foreclosure Defense in New Rochelle?
If you fall behind on your mortgage payments in New Rochelle, you can expect to get a warning letter from the lender (or loan servicer). If you can’t pay enough to make your account “current,” the lender’s next step will be to write a letter informing you that it will “accelerate” the loan. In other words, you will need to pay the entire loan balance – immediately. Unless you can do that – in reality, few borrowers can – the lender may start a foreclosure action and try to seize your home.
If you find yourself in this position, don’t panic. Contact foreclosure defense attorney Michael H. Schwartz instead. He knows how to fight banks and protect his clients’ rights. Over the course of his 40-year career, he has never lost a home to foreclosure.
When you meet with Michael, he will review all of your debt relief options, which may include:
- Voluntary loan modification – He can meet with your lender and try to negotiate an agreement that changes the terms of your mortgage, allows you to make payments that you can afford and, ultimately, keeps you in your home.
- Mediation – Even if you are sued in foreclosure in New Rochelle, you and the lender will still need to go through mediation before the lender can take any further action. In mediation, a neutral third party (or mediator) will work with you and the lender to reach an agreement.
- Bankruptcy – As soon as you file your bankruptcy petition, it stops the foreclosure process. During this pause, Michael can help you to seek a modification of your mortgage. The modification may include changes such as a lower interest rate, extended payment terms, reduction or elimination of the past-due amount (or arrears) or a plan that tacks on the arrears and allows you to pay it off over a three-to-five-year period.
In some circumstance, it may be a person’s best interest to simply walk away from the home. For instance, some people choose this route if they have an “underwater” mortgage, where the person owes more than what the home is worth on the market. You can count on Michael to give you honest advice and to do whatever he can to keep you in your home.
Get Help from an Experienced New Rochelle Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you face debt problems in New Rochelle, don’t wait to get legal help. Get in touch today with Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. We are passionate about helping people to overcome their debt issues and find a brighter financial future. Call or reach our Bankruptcy Attorney in Westchester County online now for a free consultation.