A Buffalo bankruptcy attorney you can trust

Occasionally I receive phone calls from disgruntled persons who filed for bankruptcy in the past using other attorneys. Almost everyone has the same complaint: “The attorney never contacted me to tell me what I needed to do.” As a result, their cases were dismissed, often for something as simple as failing to provide copies of their tax returns.

The truth is, many attorneys simply do not care. Once they are paid and the bankruptcy petition is filed, their clients are left to fend for themselves. The typical excuse is “They were informed about these things at the initial consultation” or “in writing.”

At the Law Office of Thomas Denny I make it my personal business to ensure that all the necessary documents are submitted and steps are taken to successfully complete each of my clients’ cases. I answer my phone calls and emails and never ignore my clients’ communications or concerns, no matter how seemingly trivial or unimportant.

I also make it a point to keep in mind how important is to listen. Perceived by other attorneys to be a waste of time, I have an interest in knowing how my client feels about his or her situation. Although I may spend a greater percentage of consultation time listening and responding to my clients’ personal grievances, I believe it is time well spent. Clients are people – not numbers. Although I am paid for my services, there is greater reward in knowing that what I do can make a positive difference in others’ lives.

For further information or to schedule a free consultation call (716) 800-1234.

Can bankruptcy stop a repossession?

Filing for bankruptcy creates an automatic stay under which all collection actions, including repossession of an automobile, are stopped. The lender has the option, however, to apply to the court to have the stay lifted to protect its security interest. If the creditor files such a motion, you are usually given two-three weeks before a hearing. Until the hearing, and until the motion is granted, the creditor cannot repossess your vehicle.

Nonetheless, in bankruptcy you can elect to reaffirm your car loan and keep your car if you can demonstrate  that the car is necessary and that the payment is reasonable.

Contact Buffalo bankruptcy attorney Thomas Denny at (716) 800-1234 for additional information and a free consultation.

Can I be fired for a bankruptcy?

The law strictly prohibits an employer from terminating you or denying you employment for filing bankruptcy or for not having paid a debt that is dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Furthermore, you cannot, solely because of bankruptcy or insolvency, be denied a federal student loan, a drivers license, or a professional license.

For further information regarding bankruptcy discrimination and your rights under the law contact Buffalo bankruptcy attorney Thomas Denny at (716) 800-1234.

May I file for bankruptcy individually or should my spouse file also?

If yours debts are in both your names, both you and your spouse should file. Otherwise, it is not necessary to have a bankruptcy noted on both of your credit reports.

If you choose to file alone, however, your spouse will not be relieved from his or her share of any debts discharged.

Buffalo bankruptcy attorney Thomas Denny represents both individuals and married couples filing jointly.

What is the “means test?”

The “means test” is a formula used to determine who can and cannot file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7. The law requiring a “means test” was enacted in 2005 to deter wealthy debtors from filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If you are filing for bankruptcy in Buffalo and your income is less than the state median for your household size, or if more than 50% of your debts are business-related, you will not be subject to the means test.

If, as a result of the means test, you cannot file under Chapter 7, you may still be entitled to file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 13.

Can I file bankruptcy for student loans?

Student loans are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy “unless excepting such debt from discharge . . . will impose an undue hardship.” The legal test for “undue hardship” is very strict.

Also exempt from bankruptcy protection are domestic support obligations and income taxes less than three years old.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy however, a debtor may benefit from a temporary partial reprieve from his student loan obligations. In Chapter 13, the debtor is required to pay a minimum of 5% of his or her unsecured debts over a period of 3-5 years. The percentage allotted is dependent on several factors, including the amount of the debtors’ income left over after deducting allowable living expenses. In a Chapter 13, student loans are treated as unsecured debts. Although, at the end of the plan, the debtor will still be liable for the unpaid balance, during the 3-5 year duration he or she will only be required to pay the percentage allotted to unsecured debts of his or her student loans, which may be as little as five cents on the dollar.

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, Buffalo bankruptcy attorney Thomas Denny will advise you precisely which of your debts are dischargeable and, if filing Chapter 13, what percentage of your disposable income will be payable to unsecured creditors..

For a free consultation, call (716) 800-1234 or fill out and submit the form below:

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Will bankruptcy affect my credit?

Although bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for ten years from the filing date, by eliminating all or most debts, it may actually help your credit.

In addition to improving your debt to income ratio, bankruptcy may allow you to qualify for an FHA or VA-insured mortgage in as little as two years.

As your counselor, Buffalo bankruptcy attorney Thomas Denny will provide guidance on how to establish new credit and improve your credit rating.

Will I have to go to court?

Approximately 20 to 40 days after filing for bankruptcy you will be required to attend a ”meeting of creditors.” There, the trustee will review your petition and ask questions about your property and finances. The proceeding takes approximately 15 minutes and, although it is a called a “meeting of creditors,” very rarely do creditors actually attend.

Unlike many lawyers who send associates to take their places, Buffalo bankruptcy attorney Thomas Denny personally represents each and every one of his clients at the meeting of creditors.

Will bankruptcy stop foreclosure?

Filing for bankruptcy places an automatic stay (a stop) on foreclosure proceedings. Under Chapter 7, however, after several weeks, the mortgagee (the bank) will likely apply for and be granted relief from the stay and be allowed to continue the foreclosure proceeding.

Chapter 13 provides a way to avoid foreclosure altogether by forcing the bank to allow you to pay the past due amount, over time, in addition to your current mortgage payments.

Contact Buffalo bankruptcy attorney Thomas Denny for more information on how bankruptcy can stop foreclosure.

Can I Keep My Home After Bankruptcy?

Under the New York State bankruptcy exemptions, a debtor in Buffalo NY may keep up to $75,000 in equity in his or her home. A married couple filing jointly may keep up to $150,000 in home equity. Under the federal exemptions, each debtor may keep up to $22,000 in equity in his or her home.

As long as the difference between what you owe on your house and its market value is less than the exemption amount, you will not lose your home.

For those who do not own homes, the federal exemptions are the preferable option since they allow the debtor to keep considerably more in cash and personal property, such as an automobile.