What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which debtors who cannot pay their bills can get a fresh financial start. The right to file for bankruptcy is provided by federal law, and all bankruptcy cases are handled in federal court. Filing bankruptcy in New Jersey immediately halts your creditors from seeking to collect debts from you. Under certain circumstances, a creditor may ask the court for permission to proceed with its collection activity. Depending on where you live, bankruptcy cases are filed in Newark, Trenton and Camden.
How can I get a copy of a bankruptcy filing?
The federal courts provide public access to bankruptcy court documents through Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER), an electronic public access service.
How often can I file bankruptcy?
You cannot receive a discharge in a new Chapter 7 case if you received a discharge under a Chapter 7 case filed in the last eight years or if you received a Chapter 13 discharge in the last six years. You cannot receive a discharge in a new Chapter 13 case if you received a discharge under a Chapter 7 case filed in the last four years or under a Chapter 13 filed in the last two years. If did not receive a discharge in your prior bankruptcy filing, you may be able to file and receive a discharge at any time, depending on your circumstances.
What Does It Cost to File for Bankruptcy?
It now costs $335 to file for bankruptcy under chapter 7 and $310 to file for bankruptcy under chapter 13, whether for one person or a married couple. The court may allow you to pay this filing fee in installments if you cannot pay all at once. If you hire an attorney you will also have to pay the attorney’s fees you agree to.
Can I Be Discriminated Against For Filing Bankruptcy?
No. The Bankruptcy Code prohibits governmental units and private employers from discriminating against you because you filed a bankruptcy petition or because you failed to pay a dischargeable debt.
What is the Automatic Stay?
The automatic stay protects you against collection efforts by creditors during bankruptcy. However, if your first bankruptcy was dismissed and you subsequently filed another case within one year of the dismissal, the automatic stay in your new case is limited to 30 days. If you had two or more dismissals within one year of your new bankruptcy, there is no automatic stay. As a result, if you file multiple bankruptcies in one year, you may have to file a motion to extend or impose the automatic stay in your current case.