Rockland County Foreclosure & Bankruptcy Lawyer
Rockland County is one of the fastest growing parts of the New York metropolitan area. Located 15 miles northwest of Manhattan, the county has thriving businesses in the healthcare, retail, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and research industries. But its towns and villages are also home to countless family-owned operations with longtime ties to their communities, making them valuable contributors to Rockland County’s economy and also beloved friends and neighbors.
Even for people living in these flourishing areas, life doesn’t always go as planned. Whether it’s due to a sudden family illness, job layoff or poor investment decision, some Rockland County families and businesses suffer tremendous financial losses and consider filing for bankruptcy. But many people don’t fully understand what bankruptcy means. That’s when it’s time to talk to an experienced debt relief attorney. Contact our Rockland County bankruptcy lawyer today.
Consumer bankruptcy attorney Michael H. Schwartz has been representing clients in bankruptcy matters for more than 30 years. He has helped thousands of individuals in Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties to save their homes, stop wage garnishments and keep their possessions. Mr. Schwartz also helps businesses file for Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection to resolve financial disputes and plan for the future.
At Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., our mission is to get you back on track, one step at a time. We know the decision to file for bankruptcy is not an easy one. But people who believe that bankruptcy is bad have a misconception of how the laws work. Bankruptcy law is complicated and not the right choice for everyone, but at our debt relief firm, you can count on getting solid legal counsel that will help you decide what your next steps should be. Let us help you. Call (800) On My Side or use our online contact form for a free consultation.
Bankruptcy Court for Rockland County
If you are a resident of Rockland County or have most of your assets in the county, then the Bankruptcy Court you MUST go to is the White Plains Division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The Court’s only other Divisions are located in Bowling Green and Poughkeepsie.
The Bankruptcy Court for Rockland County is located in White Plains, New York at 300 Quarropas Street, just over the Tappan Zee Bridge and about one mile off Exit 6 on I 287 East.
Why? Because, Bankruptcy is handled exclusively by the Federal Courts and there are simply not as many Federal Courts as there are State Courts. So even though every County in New York has a State Court located in that County, Federal Courts handle several Counties in a State. It is not uncommon to confuse the State Courts with the Federal Courts. Even law school students have to learn it.
So, it makes sense to contact a Bankruptcy Lawyer who is close to the Court in White Plains, New York.
Myths and Realities of Bankruptcy
Nobody likes debt. Constant phone calls from creditors make it even more stressful. And if you’re like many people, you may also feel embarrassed to be struggling financially. Here are myths that people tell themselves about bankruptcy:
- I’m a failure. Not so. Sometimes forces beyond our control can wreak financial havoc. Recessions have caused even the most well-established businesses to fail, and a personal situation such as an illness or divorce may be unavoidable and costly.
- I am going to lose everything. On the contrary, bankruptcy may erase thousands of dollars in debt that you owe to creditors and enable you to avoid foreclosure, repossession and legal problems. However, there are debts (such as alimony, government fines, some student loans and others) that cannot be discharged.
- My credit is ruined beyond repair. It’s true that your credit rating will take a hit. But if you’ve been delinquent on paying your bills, it’s probably already suffering. Filing for bankruptcy will show on your credit report for 10 years, but does not mean you will be prevented from obtaining credit cards and loans in the long term. Bankruptcy may actually provide a new financial beginning for you.
- I must file jointly with my spouse. Many couples file for bankruptcy together because they share debts and assets, but you can file on your own without affecting your spouse’s credit.
- No one is going to hire me. It is illegal for an employer to refuse to hire you because you’ve been through a bankruptcy. If they ask to review your credit during the interview process, it may be wise to disclose the bankruptcy before they see it on their own and make incorrect assumptions. Remember, filing for bankruptcy may be the most responsible thing to do based on your circumstances.
- I don’t need an attorney for bankruptcy proceedings. You can file for bankruptcy on your own in New York. But it is advisable to speak with a lawyer first. The process is heavily laden with paperwork that must be completed in specific ways. Bankruptcy laws are also complex, and recent changes in 2005 made it more difficult for people to successfully file for protection without the assistance of an experienced attorney.
What to Expect from a Rockland County Bankruptcy Lawyer
No two bankruptcy cases are alike. Reading general information about bankruptcy is a great way to educate yourself. It can also help you formulate questions to ask an attorney during an initial consultation. But your circumstances will be unique. Deciphering how they apply to the bankruptcy code is not necessarily simple.
At your first conference with a bankruptcy attorney, you should expect:
- No judgment. A good lawyer is there to help you, not criticize your situation or how you got there.
- No expectations to file. If you walk in the door with an attorney who’s ready to file bankruptcy before seeing the facts, walk away. Bankruptcy is not the only path to relief, nor is it always the best choice. Plus, you must receive credit counseling before you can file for bankruptcy protection, so very few people will be able to act automatically.
- Information gathering. For an honest appraisal of your finances, you will need to have documentation of your bills, property, bank account statements, household income, property, other assets and current debts. Other common information to bring along would be deeds, titles, pay stubs and any court documents regarding child support. You will probably be asked for more information than you remember to bring, but you will be able to provide more later.
- A general walkthrough of the process. Your attorney may recommend what type of bankruptcy to file and then give you an idea what to expect in terms of court hearings, debtor’s education requirements and potential complications that might arise.
- An opportunity to ask questions. You need to trust your attorney and feel comfortable asking questions, no matter what. A lawyer may have an impressive résumé, but if you don’t feel confident in the representation for any reason, you should trust your instincts. You don’t want to pay for a lawyer you don’t believe in.
Can Any Lawyer Handle a Bankruptcy Case?
Most lawyers focus their practices on specific areas of the law. They develop a vast wealth of knowledge within their practice areas (for example, personal injury, corporate law, criminal law, etc.), but no one can possibly know the intricacies of every type of law on the books.
Sometimes people consider hiring another type of lawyer for their bankruptcy case. For example, they have a friend who is a family lawyer and will charge them a reduced fee or handle their bankruptcy for free. That is perfectly legal. But we strongly advise that you hire someone who focuses exclusively on your type of case. There is a lot to lose in a bankruptcy action, and small errors may have a significant effect on the outcome of your case.
Contact Us for Rockland County Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Lawyer Services
Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. is a debt relief firm serving clients in the New York City and Hudson Valley areas in bankruptcy matters, foreclosure defense and debtor-creditor disputes. In his three decades as a bankruptcy attorney, Mr. Schwartz has helped more than 4,000 individuals and businesses and has never had a discharge denied or lost a house in foreclosure. If you’re struggling, call our law office at (800) On My Side or complete our contact form for a confidential, no-cost consultation.