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Bankruptcy Lawyer Explains Filing for Chapter 13 in New Jersey

Many residents assume that filing for bankruptcy and having fair debt collection in New Jersey is a complicated process. For the most part, they’re right. However, an experienced New Jersey bankruptcy attorney will help you understand the filing process, while always keeping your best interests in mind.

According to, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process is begun by filing a petition with the local bankruptcy court. The petition must include the following:

  • a listing of assets and liabilities
  • a listing of income and expenses
  • a listing of contracts and unexpired leases
  • a statement explaining the individual’s financial affairs

A bankruptcy attorney will acquire this information, in addition to income tax documents, pay stubs, and other relevant documentation, that must be prepared prior to filing the petition with the court. The attorney should reduce their clients’ stress by ensuring the client that the petition is properly prepared. Furthermore, prior to filing the petition the individual must complete a special type of credit counseling for debtors who intend to file for bankruptcy protection.

A chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, includes a plan, which is not required for a chapter 7 bankruptcy case. The plan reflects the amount of the monthly payments, the length of the payments, and the creditors who are entitled to receive the funds.

Within a day or two after the filing, the court schedules two hearings. The first hearing is named the Meeting of Creditors or 341(a) hearing. Although the hearing is named a “Meeting of Creditors” it is unusual for any creditor to appear. Typically, the only individuals appearing at the hearing is the trustee or trustee’s counsel, the debtors, and their attorney. The trustee asks various questions about the debtors’ assets, liabilities, income and expenses. The 341(a) hearing is never held in a courtroom with a judge. Typically, the hearing is held in an office building and not the courthouse.

The second hearing is called a Confirmation Hearing. The debtor does not appear at this hearing. Typically, the trustee, the debtors’ attorney, and the creditors’ attorneys appear at this hearing. This hearing is held in a courtroom. At this hearing, the trustee reviews all information provided by the creditors and debtors. The trustee sets the monthly payment, which is adjusted based on the information provided.

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New Jersey can be an intricate process. For more information about filing and your options, please contact the Law Offices of Robert Manchel. As an experienced New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer, Robert Manchel will help you make the best possible decisions based on your circumstances. Call 866-503-5655 today.

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