Contact Information

Karina Pia Lucid, Esq.
266 King George Rd, Suite C2
Warren, New Jersey 07059

We are in the King George Plaza Building just off Rte 78, Exit 36

Tel: (908) 350-7505 

Fax: (908) 350-4505

klucid@karinalucidlaw.com

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Wednesday
Jan022013

Chapter 7 Means Test - Prospective Client Q&A

Prospective Client Question:

If one's income is more than the means test in NJ, can they still file a chapter 7? Debt is substantial (many times my income) and includes debt that is non-dischargeable. Do own home but am way behind in payments.

Answer:

The short answer is: maybe. There is a complex form used to determine if you have sufficient deductions to overcome the presumption of abuse that arises when you do not fall within the means test median income guidelines.

Of course, there are many other considerations. Does the Means Test even apply to your case? The means test only applies to cases with primarily consumer debts. If your debts are primarily business debts, the means test will not be applied to your case at all.

Should you file a Chapter 13 petition instead? Do you qualify for a Chapter 13 case? In order to file a Chapter 13 case, you must be an individual with "regular income" from employment and have no more than $1,010, 650 in secured debt and $336,900 in unsecured debt.

If there are substantial non-dischargeable debts, is it even in your best interests to file for bankruptcy? To address all the nuances of this question, it would be best to have an in person consultation.

At Karina Lucid Law, we offer free consultations to help prospective bankruptcy clients assess all of their options and determine what is in the client(s)' best interests.

Call (908) 350-7505 for your free consultation.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created or is intended to be created hereby. less

Wednesday
Oct172012

Have a claim for goods sold to a debtor shortly before their bankruptcy case was filed? This article may interest you!

"Don't Reclaim! Get Paid on Your 20 Day Claim!"

Have a claim for goods sold to a debtor just before bankruptcy was filed? This article may interest you! Often business people are aware that they can file a motion to reclaim goods that wer e shipped to a debtor shortly before the debtor filed a chapter 7 or a chaoter 11 bankruptcy petition. But did you know you can file a motion to get paid... 100% of your claim on an admistrative priority basis? That's right. If the debtor sells your goods while the debtor is in bankruptcy you can get a special super-priority claim and get paid 100 cents on the dollar... not share pro rata with all the rest of the creditors! So why take back the goods when you can get paid instead! That's really what you wanted in the first place, right?

Check out this recent Publication by Karina Pia Lucid, Esq http://www.highroadsolution.com/file_uploader/images/BusinessLawV36N2Oct2012.pdf

Sunday
Aug192012

AVVO Questions and Answers posted by Karina Lucid 

Saturday
Aug112012

Bankruptcy Timeline - in a Nutshell

When considering a Chapter 7 filing one of the concerns people often have is how long the process will take. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases have a set schedule of events and, unless problems arise, say form improper filings or a failure to disclose information about assets, the cases are completed within 90-120 days of the initial filing. Here is the basis framework, listing main events in a typical chapter 7 case:

1.Credit Counseling

Before filing a bankruptcy petition, every debtor must take a Credit Counseling course, and obtain a certificate of completion from the credit counseling agency. Agencies providing the Credit Counseling course must be approved by the U.S. Trustee’s office, which maintains a list of such agencies on the bankruptcy court websites. Our office will provide you with a list at the end of your Initial Consultation. The course will cost less than $30, takes two hours to complete and can be done online.

2.Filing of Petition

The filing of a voluntary chapter 7 bankruptcy petition officially begins the chapter 7 process.

3.Creditors Meeting

Between 20 and 40 days after a voluntary chapter 7 petition is filed, a debtor will be required to attend a Meeting of Creditors pursuant to Section 341(a) of the Bankruptcy Code (the "341 Meeting"). At the 341 Meeting, the trustee appointed to the debtor's case will ask questions and the debtor will give testimony, under oath regarding the contents of the detours chapter 7 petition, schedules, A-J and the debtor's statement of financial affairs. Creditors are notified of the 341 Meeting and are invited to attend. However, creditors rarely attend the 341 Meeting and, if it is expected that a creditor will be present your attorney will assist you.

3.Financial Management

After your petition is filed you must complete a post-petition Financial Management course. This is very similar the Credit Counseling described above. A certificate of completion must be filed within 60 days after the creditors meeting or the discharge will not be issued and your case may be dismissed!

4. Notices of Abandonment and Notice of No Distribution

After the 341 Meeting, assuming there are no complications, the trustee will file any appropriate Notices of Abandonment. These indicate what property the trustee is not interested in administering. Debtors are often concerned about what a Notice of Abandonment means. It simply means that the trustee will not take an interest in the property and that the debtor will be allowed to keep it, subject to any creditors with secured liens. Creditors have 21 days to object to the Notice of Abandonment. Assuming there are no objections, which is usually the case, after the 21 days elapse, the Court will approve the Abandonment. Thereafter, the trustee will file a Notice of No Distribution.

5.Discharge

The Discharge Order, which is the document that officially terminates the debtor's legal obligation to pay most debts, is entered by the Court 60-90 days after the 341 Meeting.

6.Case Closing

About 10 to 14 days after the Discharge Order is entered, the Court will enter a Final Decree and close the case. This ends the case.

Complications

PLEASE NOTE - - The above is a simple overview giving a general timeline in an ordinary, individual chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Many if not most cases follow this schedule. However, this does not include any discussion of the multitudes of things that can delay the process if your case is not filed properly or if creditors object to your discharge. The trustee and creditors wishing to object to the debtor’s discharge or to challenge the dischargeability of certain debts have 60 days after the date first set for the meeting of creditors.

Bankruptcy requires total review of finances including all debts, income and assets. It is highly recommended that an experienced bankruptcy attorney in the jurisdiction be retained to guide all filers through the complexities of bankruptcy law and procedure.

Sunday
Jul152012

A note about - Reaffirmation Agreements

I recently had a friend send me an email sharing her post-chapter 7 frustration with her mortgage company. The mortgage lender ("Lender") sent her a "reaffirmation agreement" during her bankruptcy case. Just fyi, this is fine; they are not violating the automatic stay by sending such a request. Her attorney did not explain the reaffirmation request to her and months after her discharge she found herself still unable to use the Lender's online/automatic bill payment program. When she inquired why she was still blocked, even though her bankruptcy case had been closed for months, the Lender's representative told her it was because her attorney had not filed the reaffirmation agreement. … The Lender was totally misleading her! The fact is 95% of bankruptcy judges, at least in New Jersey, will not enter or approve reaffirmation agreements anymore - at all - because they believe they are wholly contrary to the purpose of a bankruptcy filing and the relief granted thereby. The Lender can refuse to give you the accommodation of online/automated payments, but that is just them making your life uncomfortable. There are ways around that anyway; like setting up automatic bill pay directly through your checking account, for example, rather than through the Lender's system. If the Lender crosses the line and stops accepting payments in other methods– – then you have the right to sue them for violating the bankruptcy order for relief. Your counsel fees will be paid by the Lender if you prevail. I have to say, the one huge, glaring mistake my friend's attorney made (and it's an unfortunately very common mistake) was failing to explain this to his client during the bankruptcy case. So, I thought I would post this story in the hopes that it may help someone else as well. My goal is to help everyone I meet - make it a great day! Cheers!