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Somerset Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law Blog

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 bankruptcy

When you are considering bankruptcy, the terminology alone can make your head spin. There are many different types, and each has its own requirements and restrictions. It is difficult for an individual to know which type will be right for them. Of course, it is always best to speak with an attorney. Bankruptcy is a particularly complicated area of law and affects your day-to-day life in many important ways. If done successfully, filing for bankruptcy means relief from creditor harassment, the threat of wage garnishment and never-ending bills and late fees.

Because of the huge impact to your quality of life bankruptcy will have, it is worth doing the research and talking to a lawyer you trust. At Mariano & Coiro, P.C. we have decades of experience in this area alone. We can talk you through your bankruptcy options and in the meantime, offer some basic information on the difference between the two most common types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Both can be used by individuals but they have some very different qualities.

Considering bankruptcy? Know these do's and dont's before you file

Even just thinking about bankruptcy can be overwhelming. Financial worries are stressful enough, and thinking about all the things that have to be done just adds to the worry and fear. As bankruptcy attorneys, we see this every day.

It's important to know that you don't have to face this alone. We have helped countless clients get meaningful debt relief and can offer you some of our do's and don'ts to ensure that you are prepared should you choose to file bankruptcy.

Why debt relief should be at the top of your New Year's resolutions list

The holidays can be a difficult time for many reasons, not the least of which is financial. There are many costs associated with celebrating the holidays, and bills can pile up. After the holidays, many people already on financially precarious footing, can feel even more worried and overwhelmed knowing they are entering the new year with even greater financial burdens.

Resolve real estate disputes without going to trial

Real estate transactions can be complex, and given the personal nature of a real estate investment, it's not surprising that disputes arise throughout the process of finalizing the deal. While real estate disputes are relatively common, it's important to understand that most of these disputes can be resolved without the need for a lengthy and expensive trial.

Options to help a child purchase a home

Steadily increasing home values in New Jersey, together with growing student loan debt, means that buying a home remains out of reach for many millennials. However, with interest rates still relatively low and the housing bubble well behind us, buying a home is truly a solid investment.

For these and other reasons, many "boomer" parents are helping their children buy their first home in record numbers. In fact, according to National Association of Realtors, 25 percent of all first-time homebuyers under the age of 37 receive some form of financial help from family members or friends when purchasing a home.

You can buy a home after bankruptcy

Bankruptcy can be a truly frightening prospect. One common worry is that bankruptcy will prevent you from ever qualifying for a mortgage, and thus, owning a home.

Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the impact bankruptcy has on your financial future, including your ability to buy a home. In fact, bankruptcy can be the best way to save your existing home, and it is better than foreclosure if you wish to buy another home in the future.

Why now might be the right time to file for bankruptcy

Don't make the common mistake of filing for bankruptcy later than you should

Most people who file for bankruptcy have probably been considering doing so for some time. Generally, people wait longer than necessary to file for bankruptcy, usually hoping that something will change to improve their financial condition. It rarely does.

New Jersey eliminates estate tax

The big news for all New Jersey residents is that effective January 1, 2018, the New Jersey estate tax is no more! The federal exemptions have also doubled to nearly $22 Million.

This provides a good reminder that we need to use opportunities like this to revisit our estate plans regularly. Only 20 short years ago, both the state and federal tax exemptions for estates were very low (circa $600,000.00). As a result, many people who had documents prepared in the past may have complex wills or other sophisticated tax planning documents in place that are either no longer required or unnecessarily complicate their estate plans. What a great time to update all of your estate documents to insure you have only what you want and need.

Three key estate planning documents everyone should have

I don't have a very large estate. Do I really need a will?

A prevalent myth is that unless you have a considerable amount of money or assets, you really don't need to have a will. Nothing could be further from the truth. A properly drawn will does many things, among which are:

  • Naming an executor or personal representative to carry out your last wishes, pay your debts, and make sure your estate is administered in an orderly fashion
  • Detailing how your money and assets are to be distributed and to whom.
  • Naming a guardian for minor or special needs children, to insure proper care
  • Appointing a trustee to handle the money or other property left to your minor or special needs children or any other minors to whom you make any bequests.
  • Making specific bequests of personal property of great sentimental or monetary value, such as jewelry, a coin collection, or similar family heirlooms
  • Directing the continued care of your beloved pets
  • Donating to your favorite charities

Bankruptcy can be an option when credit cards become unmanageable

Credit card delinquencies have risen to levels not seen in years. This trend reflects both the rising amount of household debt and the increasing tendency of banks to lend excessive amounts (e.g., through very high spending limits on cards), despite a borrower's apparent inability to repay same.

Delinquencies at JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America and Discover Financial all rose almost 2 percent in each of the last several months. While modest, the steady rise in delinquencies has signaled a change in credit card lending practices and U.S. household debt.