Many people in Rockland County who are considering bankruptcy are deterred by the thought of adding to their financial problems by adding attorneys' fees. The answer to the question of whether an attorney is necessary in a bankruptcy filing can be complex, and it always depends upon the individual's financial situation.
The first question to ask is how much money is involved. How much does the debtor owe? Does the debtor have assets that can be sold to help pay the debts? If the debtor has very little in the way of assets, the debtor may be eligible for a "no asset" Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In this type of proceeding, the bankruptcy trustee makes a judgement that the debtor has no assets that can be liquidated to pay, and the case is summarily processed and an order of discharge is issued. Most people considering bankruptcy, however, usually own a home or an automobile that was purchased by borrowing money, and they are far from paying off the indebtedness. In fact, delinquent payments on mortgages and auto loans are some of the chief reasons that people look to bankruptcy. Another question that should be answered is the nature of the debt. Credit card obligations are probably the single most common cause of bankruptcy. A bankruptcy proceeding may be able to eliminate most, if not all, credit card debt.
The debtor must also make several choices at the outset of a bankruptcy proceeding. The most basic question is whether to seek discharge of all debts under Chapter 7 or to work out a payment plan under Chapter 11. Each option will affect the debtor in different ways. A second important threshold choice is deciding whether to use the list of exemptions specified by law in New York or whether to use the exemptions that are allowed in the federal Bankruptcy Code.
Ronald DeCaprio is an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Rockland County who prides himself on understanding the client's situation and needs before recommending bankruptcy. Mr. DeCaprio will always attempt to make certain that he recommends only proceedings that will help the client.