Rockland County, NY Bankruptcy Attorney
Innovative Debt Relief Solutions in Hudson Valley
When people are buried in debt, stress and feelings of being under siege are predictable. The phone may ring incessantly because of rude and abusive collection agents. Process servers may park outside your home, so they can serve you with a lawsuit as soon as you leave your home. The mailbox may be overflowing with disconnect and late payment notices. Many people stagger along paying minimum balances because they feel they have no alternatives.
This inaccurate assumption is responsible for many debtors unnecessarily enduring growing financial hardships and extreme anxiety. However, Rockland County bankruptcy lawyer Robert S. Lewis has represented hundreds upon hundreds of debtors during his 35 years practicing law. Because of this extensive experience, he has the ability to evaluate clients’ debts, assets, income and other factors to determine the most effective debt relief approach. While often this solution is bankruptcy, Mr. Lewis offers candid and straightforward advice that includes both bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options.
Benefits of the Automatic Stay
While you might feel overwhelmed by harsh creditor enforcement practices like wage garnishments, bank account levies, liens on real estate and foreclosures, filing a bankruptcy can provide immediate relief. Once a bankruptcy is filed, debtors receive protection from an injunction against creditors that prevents creditors from engaging in any enforcement procedures or even accepting payments.
If you are a homeowner who is behind on your mortgage, the lender might well file a Motion for Relief from Automatic Stay. This will require filing paperwork that argues both the law and facts, as well as appearing before a bankruptcy judge to oppose the motion. Whether you are attempting to protect your home through a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, Robert S. Lewis can provide persuasive advocacy to protect your interest in your home.
Many of our clients appear in our offices holding a foreclosure complaint. This is the first step that a bank takes in its effort to recover the collateral for its mortgage and it is a critical step in the process because it signals the beginning of the foreclosure process. But with the service of that document come many opportunities for a borrower to appear in the action and to assert any available defenses. Our offices are experts in determining what, if any, valid defenses may exist, or if it is necessary to explore other alternatives to resolve the matter. For instance, in New York, the commencement of a foreclosure of a borrowers primary residence requires that a “Mandatory Settlement Conference” be held, in an effort to see if the mortgage can be modified so that the borrower can retain the property. The foreclosure process then stops until such time that a modification is effectuated. If a modification does not occur, the foreclosure continues when the matter is returned to the court’s “foreclosure part”. Our offices assist our client’s with these settlement conferences, assist in compiling the voluminous documents necessary to properly process a loan modification application and remain in constant contact with the lender or its counsel during the entire process.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Discharge
If you are facing a substantial amount of unsecured debt, such as credit cards, unsecured loans, unpaid medical bills and most other unsecured debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers a discharge from these financial obligations. Although many people qualify for a Chapter 7 discharge even with a relatively high income, Robert S. Lewis can analyze your financial situation to determine if you qualify under the means test, and whether Chapter 7 is your best option.
Loan Modification/Loss Mitigation
Regardless of whether you are engaged in the bankruptcy process, it is often possible to obtain a modification of your mortgage terms so that it is easier to make your monthly payments and avoid or stop a foreclosure. If you are in bankruptcy, the process is known as “Loss Mitigation” and takes place under the supervision of the Bankruptcy Judge. In the State of New York, any foreclosure of a primary residence requires that a “Mandatory Settlement Conference” be held between the borrower and the lender, which is supervised by a court appointed “Referee”. Both processes were initiated by the Federal Government in response to the 2008 real estate crisis and are intended to lead to a favorable modification of the borrowers mortgage terms in order to avoid foreclosure. A typical modification results in a lower interest rate, extended mortgage term and a lower monthly payment. Whether or not a modification is obtained, and the terms, depends upon the borrowers income, expenses, and other factors which the bank considers in reaching its determination as to whether to offer a loan modification. A borrower need not be in foreclosure or bankruptcy in order to seek a loan modification. Our office has processed hundreds of modification applications with successful results. The commencement of a foreclosure action does not have to lead to loss of the family home. If you are in financial distress or your mortgage payments are burdensome, call us, we may be able to help you obtain better and more favorable mortgage terms.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Payment Plans
While Chapter 7 usually provides the most complete form of financial relief for debtors that qualify, there are situations where Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a better option for consumers, including the following:
- Debtors behind on their mortgage depending on the circumstances;
- Individuals with substantial value in assets that cannot be protected; and
- Significant debts that are not dischargeable (e.g. child support, spousal maintenance, student loans, certain taxes and more).
Because of our vast experience representing people overwhelmed with crippling debt, we can provide reliable legal advice about which form of bankruptcy or other form of debt relief best fits your needs.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 bankruptcy provides an opportunity for a business to reorganize and emerge with a financially viable organization. The business communicates with creditors and attempts to change the terms of its financial obligations, such as interest rates and the dollar value of payments. Rather than liquidating the firm’s assets to pay creditors, the bankruptcy trustee oversees the assets of the debtor and permits the business to continue to operate.
Rockland County bankruptcy attorney Robert S. Lewis understands that you might feel like you have nowhere to turn if you are overwhelmed by financial obligations that you cannot afford to pay. We have helped many individuals and businesses reclaim their financial future and move on with life after bankruptcy. If you have questions about bankruptcy, Mr. Lewis invites you to put his 35 years of experience in your corner. Contact the Law Offices of Robert S. Lewis, P.C. at 845-358-7100. Se habla Español.