Federal bankruptcy law is generally the same in all 50 states, and federal law typically has precedent over state laws. However, bankruptcy law may be applied differently in New Jersey, as compared to other states in connection with three separate matters. While these differences may not be apparent to the average lawyer, an experienced New Jersey bankruptcy law attorney will understand these issues and ensure the optimum application of the local laws for the best results for a client.
Firstly, debtors are allowed to claim exemptions under the federal bankruptcy code. However, New Jersey permits debtors to choose between exemptions allowed by federal law, and those allowed by New Jersey. Depending on the circumstances, one of the advantages of New Jersey bankruptcy is that an individual may benefit by choosing the state exemptions, although it should be noted that the majority of filers in New Jersey still choose and benefit by selecting the federal exemptions over state.
Another aspect of federal bankruptcy law and state law that could lead to discrepancies amongst states is the fact that the federal bankruptcy code relies on state laws and courts to define certain terms of the bankruptcy code. New Jersey’s courts may establish a different meaning to certain terms that are in the bankruptcy code, as compared to other states. For example, the term “judgment” may be defined differently in New Jersey than elsewhere. Finally, the bankruptcy code may be interpreted differently by a New Jersey trustee of judge, than in other states. The bankruptcy laws are voluminous, complicated, and open to various interpretations, which are subjective based on the judge or trustee assigned to the matter.
In any event, bankruptcy laws are difficult to understand. Individuals seeking to file for bankruptcy in New Jersey should retain the services of an experienced bankruptcy attorney in New Jersey who can help explain the different options that are available. For more information about filing for bankruptcy in New Jersey, please call the Law Offices of Robert Manchel at 866-503-5655.