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Trusted Bankruptcy Law Firm in White Plains, New York

Bankruptcy laws are meant to give a fresh start to consumers with large amounts of debt. The White Plains bankruptcy lawyers of Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., views bankruptcy as an opportunity for a new financial beginning. We have helped thousands of individuals and businesses completely wipe out their debt. And we did it all without losing any property our clients did not want to give up. Contact our White Plains bankruptcy law firm today.

How Often Can You File for Bankruptcy in NY?

The road to financial health can get rocky at times. Some people who file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may run into circumstances that lead them to file another bankruptcy – maybe just a few years or even months after the first one. The good news is that, unless a court bars you from doing so, you typically can file for bankruptcy as often as you need in New York.

However, there’s a catch. While you can file multiple bankruptcies, you will need to wait a period of time between bankruptcies until you can receive a discharge. To determine how long you must wait,Gavel in front of a petition for bankruptcy in White Plains, NY. you need to answer four questions:

  • What prior bankruptcy did you file – Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
  • On what date did you file the prior bankruptcy?
  • What was the outcome of the prior bankruptcy – discharged, dismissed, or dismissed without prejudice?
  • What current bankruptcy are you filing – Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

A prior bankruptcy can also affect whether you are eligible to receive an automatic stay and prevent the collection of your debts, including your mortgage. For this reason, run, don’t walk, to the New York bankruptcy law firm of Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. We will help you to understand the wait periods in your case and how multiple bankruptcies work in New York state. Call or reach us online today.

How Much Time Until You Are Entitled to a Discharge?

The two most common types of bankruptcy cases in New York are filed under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can lead to a total discharge of your debt. Chapter 13 allows you to propose a plan to restructure your debt and repay creditors. Even with a Chapter 13 plan, you can still discharge most of your debt.

Barring a court order, you can file multiple Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcies. But if your debts were discharged in the prior bankruptcy, you will need to wait until you can get a discharge in the current bankruptcy case. Some people call it the “2-4-8 Rule.” Here’s how it works:

  • 2 – If you received a discharge in a prior Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must wait two years from that filing date until you can get a discharge in a second Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
  • 4 – If you received a discharge in a prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait four years from that filing date until you can get a discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
  • 8 – If you receive a discharge in a prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait eight years from that filing date until you can get a discharge in a subsequent Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Of course, there may be exceptions in your particular situation.

Bankruptcy lawyer Michael H. Schwartz can review your situation and help you to understand the wait times that apply to your case as well as any exceptions that may allow you to avoid a waiting period before you are eligible for a discharge.

What If Your Prior Bankruptcy Was Not Discharged?

Bankruptcy law in New York state.The above rules deal with what happens if your bankruptcy results in discharge. If a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge dismisses your bankruptcy action with prejudice, then the judge may also restrict when you can file again. For instance, if a judge finds that you ignored court orders or tried to abuse the United States bankruptcy system, the judge may bar you from filing a subsequent bankruptcy for 180 days or longer.

When you work with Michael H. Schwartz, he will review your prior bankruptcy and determine whether you may be barred from filing again in the near future. At Michael H. Schwarz, P.C., we will take on even the toughest cases.

Can You Get an Automatic Stay for Your Bankruptcy Claim?

A bankruptcy filing can provide immediate relief. As soon as you file, an automatic stay takes effect. The stay prohibits creditors from bothering you. Collections must stop. You can also put a halt to foreclosure activities. However, if you filed a prior bankruptcy, you may not get that automatic stay while your case is active.

If the judge dismissed your bankruptcy, then you will not get the normal automatic stay for any bankruptcy that you file within one year after the date of that dismissal. Instead, you will get only a 30-day automatic stay. If you had two bankruptcies dismissed within the previous year, you would get no stay.

However, attorney Michael H. Schwartz can review your situation. If possible, he can still get you an automatic stay that will allow you to breathe a sigh of relief while working through your case.

Protect Your Assets and Your Future

Life is unpredictable. If an unexpected event such as illness or injury causes you to face financial stress, filing a second bankruptcy action in New York may be the best thing you can do to protect your assets and your future.

Our law firm is the largest filer of cases for people living in Westchester and Rockland counties. In any given year, Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., will file 100 or more bankruptcy cases on behalf of our clients. Over the years, we have helped thousands of individuals and businesses to completely wipe out their debt.

We can help you to understand whether filing a second bankruptcy action is right for you, and we can handle every aspect of the process. Don’t wait. Contact us today and get started with a free consultation.


What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy laws are meant to give a fresh start to consumers with large amounts of debt. The NY bankruptcy law firm of Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., views bankruptcy as an opportunity for a new financial beginning.


Answers to Popular Questions

The New York bankruptcy attorney of Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. is committed to supplying you with the information and services you need to secure a better financial future.

  • How does the whole process work?
  • How long does the whole process take?
  • How long will bankruptcy stay on my credit and will I get credit again?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does the whole process work in New York?

    For over 35 years I have been constantly revising and streamlining the process to make filing bankruptcy as fast and painless as possible.

    Our time proven process works like this:

    1. Call me.

    You will have a free consultation, either on the telephone or in person. In-person consultations are preferable and necessary in many cases.

    Whether we speak on the phone or in person I will ask you a brief set of standard questions to make sure that bankruptcy is the right decision for you AND which Chapter is best for you, such as:

    You will be given a guaranteed written fee quote and two copies of a retention agreement and all of the notes from our consultation along with the information required to be provided by Congress.

    2. You return one copy of the agreement signed with a deposit (at least $200) towards the total legal fees and costs.  We accept cash, personal checks, money orders, etc.  You can also pay online at any time by clicking the Payments button on this website. (You do not need a PayPal account to pay us online)

    3. We will send you a simple package containing:

    • Document checklist;
    • Credit report order form;
    • Simplified questionnaire;
    • Pre-filing counseling course information (you can take the course on the phone or on the internet: it only takes about 90 minutes);

    4.  After the fees and expenses are paid, we will contact you to review the documents and the questionnaire.

    5. Your case will be prepared, reviewed by you and me and usually filed within the same month.

    6. Of course, we can file cases in One day when necessary.

    7. In about 3 to 5 weeks after your case is filed you will be interviewed at a meeting by a lawyer called a trustee.

    8.  We will send you in advance of the meeting, the standard questions that will be asked of you by the trustee.

    9. You will meet with me in my office prior to the meeting and review all of the questions you will be asked and also review all of the papers that we filed for you. I am the ONLY attorney that does that.

    10. I will be at the meeting with you.  If the case is not filed in White Plains, I may hire an attorney at my expense that will be familiar with your file to attend the meeting. I remain fully responsible for your case and in the event any issues arise at the meeting I will resolve them at No Charge.

    11.  In over 90% of our cases the trustee will recommend that you be granted a discharge of your debts within a day or two of the meeting.

    12.  I will email you notice of the trustee’s recommendation as soon we receive it.

    12. In about 60 days after the meeting you will be granted your discharge.

    13.  I will email you as soon as we receive notice of the discharge.

    14.  Occasionally, the trustee will require additional information. We will assist you at No Charge in satisfying the trustee.

    15.  Sometimes a car loan needs to be “reaffirmed”.  We will assist you and attend the Court hearing for the reaffirmation at No Charge.

  • How long does the whole process take?

    Once your case is filed, it is closed in about 4 months.

    The time it takes to get the case filed depends on how fast you pay the fees and expenses and provide us with the necessary information.

  • How long will bankruptcy stay on my credit and will I get credit again?

    And even if I don’t ever want to see a credit card again, can I buy a house in a couple of years.

    The short answer is that a bankruptcy filing will stay on your credit report for 7 to 10 years.

    BUT you more than likely get credit card offers right away.

    A recent law school law review article stated that on average after you receive your bankruptcy discharge (no later than when your case is closed), you will receive an average of 14 credit card applications per month for the next 12 months. Generally, the offers are sent from the same lenders who claim you will not get credit if you file bankruptcy.

    AND  there are home lenders and car dealers that will put you into a nice new home or car right away at reasonable interest rates.

    How is this possible?

    It is all because of the way credit works in this country.

    Before 1999, when you wanted credit, you went to the bank or lender and fill out an application, a credit report was done and the lender decided whether or not to lend you its money.

    Everything changed with the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act in 1999. The Glass-Steagall Act had been passed into law after the great depression to keep separate investment banking which issued securities and commercial banks which accepted deposits.

    Today, with the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, banks sell their loans and your credit card purchases to debt buyers who then sell them to debt aggregators who bundle them into bonds, cut them up into smaller bonds and sell them on Wall Street. The bond funds are called collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and mortgage-backed securities (MBSs).

    In essence, when you apply for a credit card, loan, home loan, etc., the lender gives you credit on paper and then makes its profit from selling off your promise to repay the purchase or the loan.

    The lenders who give you new credit after bankruptcy have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving you the new credit.  The lenders make their profit in selling off your promise to repay the credit card purchase, car loan or mortgage to the debt buyers on Wall Street.

  • How long until I can get my life back on track?

    1. Once you hire us as your attorney, stop making payments to your creditors.

    Once we receive your signed agreement and the deposit you can stop making payments on all of your credit cards and loans (except of course for secured loans such as a car or house that you want to keep or a non dischargeable loan such as student loan).

    If you have given any of the creditors or collection agents post dated checks, stop payment on the checks or close your bank account. If you have set up an automatic payment plan with the collector and your bank account, stop it immediately even if you have to close your bank account.

    2. When can I use my bank accounts or get new credit?

    Subject to certain exceptions, once your case is filed you can use your checking and savings accounts, open new checking and savings accounts, get new credit cards and otherwise get back on track on with your life.

    3. What do I do about that debt consolidation program or debt resolution program I signed up with?

    Stop making any payments to those so called “debt consolidation programs” or “debt resolution programs”. If you have given any of the programs post dated checks, stop payment on the checks or close your bank account. If you set up an automatic payment plan with the program and your bank account, stop it immediately even if you have to close your bank account.

  • What about those creditor calls?

    These creditors and collectors call me day and night, what can I do to stop them?

    1. As soon as you hire us as your attorney by sending us a signed agreement and a deposit, the next time a creditor or collection agent calls, say three simple things:

    • I am filing for bankruptcy;
    • My attorney is Michael H. Schwartz, P.C.;
    • My attorney’s telephone number is 800-666-9743.

    And hang up.

    2.  If a debt collector calls you again, he or she has violated Section 11 USC. Section 1692  (The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).

    Get me his or her name and address.

    I will take it from there.

  • How much does filing for bankruptcy cost?

    In reality, nothing, because the cost to file bankruptcy is a small fraction of what you would repay to your creditors if you did not file bankruptcy.

    In actual dollars, our fees start at $1899. There are also about $400 in costs involved, such as the Government’s filing fee, credit report fee, and fee for the credit counseling courses.

  • How do I pay this fee?

    It starts with a deposit of $200 or more.

    You can pay the balance monthly. The only requirement is that we are required by law to receive the entire payment before the case is filed.  No attorney can legally take fees after the case is filed.

  • Are there any additional fees?

    No. Our fees are guaranteed and given to you in writing.  If there is anything that will cost more money, for example removing judgment liens if you own real estate you will not be charged unless you agree to the fee in advance.

  • Are there alternatives to bankruptcy?

    In a word: No! Either you repay the debts in full or you declare bankruptcy.

  • What about Debt Consolidation and Debt Resolution companies?

    Debt Consolidation or Resolution companies operate under the same standard business model. The Debt Companies collect a monthly payment from you. After a number of months, say 6 to 12, the Debt Company has a few thousand dollars of your money. The company then contacts your smallest creditor and attempts to work out your debt by reducing the amount owed. The Debt Company may even be successful at first.

    Why does the Debt Company not succeed?

    Simple.  Unless you have only one creditor, your other creditors will not wait their turn in line. One by one they will start to sue you.

    The result: all the money you gave to the Debt Consolidation or Resolution Company is wasted.  Thousands of dollars gone and you are still in debt.   Even worse: You are now getting sued and must rush your bankruptcy case to prevent your wages from being garnished or your assets frozen.

  • My credit report says that my debt is Charged off. So I don’t owe it, or do I?

    Federal law requires that creditors mark installment loans as a “Charge Off” after 120 days of being past due.

    Credit cards, also known as revolving credit accounts must be charged-off after 180 days.

    The sole reason for declaring a debt a Charge Off is to give the creditor a tax exemption on the debt.

    The charge-off, does NOT mean that you do not owe the debt.