A distressing piece of news was released today,  Wal-Mart shoppers are running out of money.   This means the poorest of the poor literally have no money to shop at Wal-Mart once the bills are paid.

There are various reasons this could be.  The big culprit appears to be the increase in the payroll tax credit which sucked 60 dollars a month out of the bank accounts of a person making $40,000 a year. I know that sixty dollars may not seem like much but it can make or break the budgets of some of the poorest Americans.

And let’s face it most Americans are on incredibly tight budgets these days, poor or otherwise.  Between their homes not being worth much, their credit card interest rates doubling (and sometimes tripling), food costs rising, and the government deciding that the payroll taxes needed to go back to where they were, Americans have less and less money to spend on even the most basic items.  Think about it?  When was the last time you bought a pair of shoes that you or your child didn’t absolutely need?

So how do you find extra room in an already barely making it budget?

For some that will mean consulting a bankruptcy attorney.  When it comes to making the call about whether or not to file bankruptcy the decision usually comes down to this, can I pay my utilities and pay my credit card.  The answer is usually no and that is where we come in.

Our office can evaluate your financial situation and see if bankruptcy is the right option for you considering the new economic reality, here is less money and that money has to go further. We can look over your mortgage, your credit card bills, medical bills and other financial obligations and either discharge them or set you up in a plan to help you repay your debts in a way that is feasible.

Interested in how our experienced bankruptcy attorneys can help you with your financial woes?  Give us a call at 732-302-9600 or fill out our online consultation form and we will call you.

So you have talked to a bankruptcy attorney and they have told you that you have to be a Chapter 13 case.  Now you may need to be a Chapter 13 case for any number of reasons, sometimes you make too much money or you have property that is at risk, or you want to pay off or discharge taxes, but the bottom line is that you are going to be filing a Chapter 13 case.  So what does that even mean?

A Chapter 13 case is a re-organizational case.  In a Chapter 13 case you are going to repay some portion of your debt to a Trustee who will than distribute that money to your creditors.  This repayment is laid out in a Chapter 13 plan.  Your Chapter 13 plan will tell the Trustee what creditors you wish to pay, how much you wish to pay them, and what your plan is for the property that you do own.  This plan will be served on the Trustee and all of your creditors.  The creditor’s and the Trustee have an opportunity to object to this plan.  If there are no objections than your plan will be confirmed, you will pay your payment to the trustee for the life of the plan, either 36 or 60 months and when you are done making payments you will receive a discharge, most of the time, and your case will close.

So that is the most basic explanation of how a 13 works.  Your next question is probably, how much do I have to pay in my plan.

That Depends.  (I know, I hate lawyer answers too.)

Your payment to the Trustee will depend on the individual circumstances in your case.  If you are behind on your mortgage you can repay the past due payments through the plan and bring your mortgage current or seek a mortgage modification.  If you owe taxes, you can attempt to discharge those taxes and pay the portion that you will continue to owe through the plan.  In some cases, you just make too much money and your unsecured creditors (credit cards, personal loans) will be paid some portion of the amount you owe depending on the amount of money you make in addition to paying past due payments.  You can pay off car loans in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases as part of your plan with lower interest rates.

Because a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case can do so much, every payment is different for every client.  It really depends on your individual needs and what you want your bankruptcy case to accomplish.  I have Chapter 13 cases where I am doing a lot and I have cases where all I am doing is paying mortgage arrears.  Make sure you discuss the goals of your case with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to make sure you maximize your Chapter 13.

More questions about filing a bankruptcy case in New Jersey, give my office a call at 732-302-9600 or fill out our online consultation form and we will call you!

Recently I started getting the question….the same question I get at least 100 times at this time of year, every single year…

“Sarah, I am getting a tax refund.  What is going to happen to it?”

So this year, I am being proactive.  I am putting this information out for all everyone to see in advance because the answer to this question isn’t as easy as it may seem. It is a complicated by how we as taxpayers view our tax refund, how much you are getting, and which chapter of bankruptcy you are filing.

The short answer to this question is that we can probably protect your tax refund, or have already, the long answer is the most annoying of all lawyer answers, “It Depends.”

For more information about how a tax refund may be affected in your bankruptcy case, give our office a call at 732-302-9600 or fill out our online consultation form and we will call you.

“Which of my debts will disappear in my bankruptcy?”

This is a question that we are asked all the time in a first consultation.   It is important for clients to understand what debt they will still owe and what debts they won’t owe following a bankruptcy case.

The problem is that all too often there isn’t an easy or immediate answer to that question and, even worse, there is a lot of bad information circulating out there about what you can and cannot do in a bankruptcy case.

Lawyers.com posted this very basic article about what debts can be discharged in a bankruptcy case.  It is very simplified but it will give you a basic understanding of where you will be after your bankruptcy case.

However, if you owe tax debt it is critical that you speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney and disclose immediately that you owe tax debt so that the attorney can go over your bankruptcy options with regard to that debt.

Have more questions?  Give our office a call at 732-302-9600 and we will be happy to answer any questions that you have regarding your bankruptcy options or fill out our online consultation form and we will call you!

Let’s start with a basic truth:  Every single person who walks into my office wants to pay their debt.  They have usually tried every possible avenue to avoid sitting in my office, draining 401ks, borrowing money, making deals, and so much more.

But sometimes you just can’t pay what you don’t have.

Debt payment plans will work for some consumers out there but you have to ask yourself, just because it might work, should you do it?

This article from Fox Business outlines the differences, pros, and cons of filing a bankruptcy case versus completing a debt payment program with a credit counseling agency.

Think you need assistance with your financial situation.  Call our office at 732-302-9600 or fill out our Online Consultation and we will call you!

Hurricane Sandy has affected us all, though some more than others.

As we as a state survey the damage and decide how to move forward many will struggle financially to get back on their feet after the storm.  Be it because of a job loss, home loss, or just more damage than can ever be repaired we are hear to help you through these tough financial times and advise you regarding your financial options.

Considering a bankruptcy following Sandy? Give us a call at 732-302-9600 or fill out our online consultation form and we will call you.

A lot of folks out there have a lot of preconceived notions about how to fix their credit when they walk through our doors.

A friend of a friend has already told them how to do it, what to do, and what not to do.

Your friends mean well but don’t you want to talk to an expert about that?

Fixing your credit is going to take time, patience and good information.


Want to talk to one of our experts about your credit?  Give us a call at 732-302-9600 or fill out our free online consultation form and we will call you.

I get the same question from all my new clients.  Every single time.

“How do I rebuild my credit if I file bankruptcy?”

I love this question because I get to give them both good news and a yet more compelling reason to file personal bankruptcy.

1.  Your credit can be rebuilt.

2.  Your credit will be rebuilt fast by filing personal bankruptcy than it will be if you spend the next seven years trying to get out of debt by doing payment plans with your creditors that will be very expensive.

Personal bankruptcy is a financial tool that allows the debt you are drowning in to be wiped out and give you a fresh start.  This means that instead of treading water in a payment plan the debt is gone and instead you can focus on moving forward.

But how do you move forward?  MSN money recently posted some excellent tips on rebuilding you credit after a bankruptcy and we have re-posted them for you.

Have more questions about how our bankruptcy lawyers can help you get a fresh start.  Give us a call at 732-302-9600 or fill out our online consultation form and we will call you.

If you are reading this I am certain that you have looked for every possible way to avoid filing bankruptcy.  In fact, I bet you are thinking “I wouldn’t have to file bankruptcy if _________”.

You are not alone in feeling like this.  In fact, most bankruptcy cases are filed for five major reasons.  A disaster, divorce, spending, job loss, and medical debt.  There is a good chance that you fit into one of those categories and you are in good company.  For more about the reasons people file bankruptcy head over to the articles section.

Ready to get started?  Give our office a call and speak to one of our experienced New Jersey Bankruptcy Attorneys at 732-302-9600 or fill out our Contact Us form and we will call you.

It has happened to every person that has ever consulted a bankruptcy attorney.  You sit down with the attorney you found in the phone book and they start talking about creditors, stays, 341 hearings, and schedules…and all you can think is “What the heck is this this guy talking about?”

A lot of personal bankruptcy attorneys like to use $300.00 an hour language with their clients.  I don’t do that.  I am of the opinion that clients are looking to you for guidance and part of that guidance is explaining to you what words mean.  Unfortunately, there isn’t always a good synonym for one of these words so we have a list of what some of the more common bankruptcy terminology mean on our website ready for you to review before your appointment, after your appointment, or whenever else you may need it.

If the list isn’t good enough, you can always call me and we can talk about how to handle your financial problems in plain english or fill out our online consultation form and I will call you.

Call for a FREE consultation at 732-302-9600