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Joel Michael Grafstein

Bankruptcy and debt Attorney at New Britain, CT

4.6   11 reviews

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About Joel

Learn Joel’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Bankruptcy and debt
    Appointed as initial Panel Trustee by the Court Administrator in Washington DC in 1978 and handled numerous cases under Chapter 7 thereafter.

    48 years

  2. Chapter 11 bankruptcy

    48 years

  3. Chapter 13 bankruptcy

    48 years

In addition to our office in New Britain, CT we have an office in Manchester, CT for the convenience of our clients.

Licensed for 49 years
State CT
Status Active
Acquired 1974
Updated 09/23/2013
State NY
Status Currently Registered
Acquired 1974
Updated 11/28/2022

Contact Joel

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Grafstein & Arcarco LLC
114 West Main Street
Suite 105
New Britain, CT, 06051


4.6 / 5.0
  11 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by David | July 8, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional and excellent supporter
Joel was supportive and knowledgeable from day one. From feeling that I was a failure to helping me get back on my feet Joel was with me doing what needed to be done legally but equally important was helpful in my ability to move forward and get on with the rest of my life. Joel was a high quality attorney but his support for me and what I was doing getting back on my feet was a huge surprise. I can't thank Joel Grafstein enough for his help and I strongly recommend Joel.
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Posted by Ray | May 21, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Bankruptcy Lawyer, (Joel Grafstein)
Hello, I was having a great deal of trouble with my previous lawyer for the past 4 months, I had no one to turn to for help until I was introduced to Mr Joel Grafstein, he was clear, honest , also professional. With a week left until court I fired my lawyer and hired joel & it was the best feeling to knowing that someone really cared about the well being of my family. I would recommend joel 100%
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Posted by Keith | April 28, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Chapter 11
Mr Grafstein did an unbelievable job with our case! He review the file which was very complicated. We owned a business that was Incorporated. We sold the business and after a year and a half the new owners defaulted on the loan that had caused multiple debts not be be paid personally and business wise. Mr Grafstein was able to clear this Debt from the Business and personal without us loosing our house and some other personal property. Then years later we had another issue with refinancing our house. Seems that one of the creditors filed a lean after the Chapter 11 was sent in motion and they did not clear it from the file. We contacted Mr Grafstein and the creditor was completely in the wrong and apologized. I'm was so impressed with how th is Law firm handled this i would recommend them to anyone! They do an outstanding job and always has their client first!
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Posted by Denise | March 4, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
My experience as a client of Grasfstein & Arcaro, LLC
When I called for a consultation with Attorney Grafstein in the fall of 2014, I was in extremis. Debt was swallowing me whole, and I had exhausted all options (applications for personal and debt consolidation loans, debt counseling, 3rd party settlement which I was cautioned against, negotiations with individual banks for repayment terms.) I even succumbed to receiving a tribal web loan to pay my past-due vehicle taxes and renew my registration, thinking I could repay the $400. principal in a couple of months with my tax refund, not understanding that the diabolical interest was calculated up front. As I fell behind in my payments, even though I contacted each creditor every month, the late fees piled up and the APR’s increased. No matter how much I reined -in, no matter how I tried to “do the math”, the numbers were humanly impossible. Then, a dear friend referred me to Joel Grafstein, whom she’d consulted when her house was in foreclosure. She said he was “calming”, and I needed calming: unable to sleep, unable to breathe. When I met with him, he was indeed calming, and after I disclosed my situation, he suggested that petitioning for bankruptcy was not just the best but my only option. He assured me that the laws had changed, that I wasn’t permanently destroying my future credit, and mostly that it need not be a shame-based decision. Having grown up with a strong work ethic, I needed to know that that bankruptcy would not brand me a deadbeat. It proved to be a daunting process for me. But especially once the wonderful Lynne Morgan, Paralegal, was assigned my case, I had all my questions promptly answered. I was shepherded through the process and the course requirements, and encouraged throughout. It probably took months longer than for most clients, but the delays were entirely mine; it was difficult to report finite numbers for budgeting and expenses, as my income was variable, and for more than a year I’d been “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, often going without. (When I lost my job, there was no income to report and so the numbers were less complicated.)Finally Attorney Grafstein was able to file my bankruptcy petition. I was not a little nervous about the bankruptcy hearing last March, but Attorney Grafstein’s presence in court was both bracing and a comfort to me. I do not have adequate words to express my gratitude toward Attorney Grafstein and his firm, especially the kind and competent Lynne Morgan. Attorney Grafstein’s wise counsel, and yes, his calming effect as I navigated foreign territory, enabled me finally to get my head above water. And breathe again. Bankruptcy was for me, literally, financial rescue, and I would heartily recommend the services of Grafstein & Arcaro to anybody.
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Posted by Shirley | February 15, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Joel Graftstein
Attorney Graftstein is excellent, straightforward,patience, very easy to talk to. I felt very comfortable with him when I met him in 2012. He explained the bankruptcy procedure in very easy terms to understand. He was always available to answer any questions that we had. The bankruptcy went through very well and we achieved a peace of mind. He is still working with with a questionable loan servicer that bought our mortgage from BOA. This place has upsetted me very much but with Attorney Graftstein he has communicated with them. It is a complicated situation and I trust and appreciate all the time and communication has given us. He is the greatest.
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Posted by Mike and Robin | February 11, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great job, Joel !
Robin and I are very happy with Joel’s work representing us in our Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, and are pleased to recommend him to others. We considered bankruptcy because of very substantial credit card and medical debt. He was recommended to us by a local attorney and it became clear in our initial consultation that he was knowledgeable and friendly. He answered all of our questions and spent more than an hour with us, setting us much more at ease than when we arrived. We only realized when leaving that this generosity with his time had cost him the better part of his lunch hour! The initial consultation served its’ purpose – it was clear that we should proceed with the bankruptcy and that Joel was the man to do it. During the process, he was careful to explain the information we needed to provide, steps to take and actions to avoid. He gave advice on specific points when we asked and on various topics when he thought it was in our best interest to hear it, whether we had asked for it or not. He took us through the steps and paperwork, explaining the whys and wherefores. He determined the best time to file the petition and both prepared us in advance and supported us during the court hearing. His skill in the field allowed us to receive our discharge promptly and to retain assets important to us – house, car and household effects. His common sense advice about how to avoid getting into financial trouble in the future was delivered with humor and graciousness. Joel was also thorough and adaptable. He responded and helped us when a family matter changed our circumstances late in the process, and has continued to advise us about it even after our discharge. We are also very pleased that the fee for his services quoted in our initial consultation held, despite dealing with the above wrinkle. Finally, he performed a great service by helping to keep what could have been a traumatic episode in our lives in perspective. In one of our meetings he said “there is life after bankruptcy”, and we have found this to be so. In summary, highest ratings and best positive feedback.
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Posted by Rebecca | July 31, 2015
Bankruptcy excellence
I hired Attorney Grafstein for bankruptcy. He answered all of my questions and provided me with everything I needed for an informed decision. He was clear about what I needed to provide him in terms of information, which was extremely easy to get to him electronically. He and his paralegal were extraordinarily helpful and proficient in their work. He was also very informative about the court date and what I needed to bring and do that day. I would highly recommend him to anyone.
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Posted by Paul | July 14, 2015
Expert advice and knowledge that gave me the relief needed
I consulted with Joel for over a year prior to filing bankruptcy since my case was very complicated. He met with me and consulted with me the entire period until I filed. All of his advice led up to my being able to file and discharge all of my debt, which was considerable and of various sorts, including taxes. Without his knoweldge of the intracacies of the bankruptcy code, it could not have been accomplished. I have referred many others to Joel and all have had a similar experience. I certianly recommend him as an expert bankruptcy attorney. And, he happens to be very nice guy, which is always a plus.
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Posted by Irv | October 25, 2010
Best advice I ever got !
In the late 1990's I knew I was in trouble. We were in such trouble that a foreclosure sign went up on the house. This was the end. We contacted Mr Grafstein's office. They could not have been kinder nor more efficient at the time. One of the most calming things Mr Grafstein said to me was "Its all about money, not about you". It helped me, personally through. Our initial filing was Ch13 and included us both. It was not a lot of money, less than $35,000 in all but enough to cause constant and unremitting problems; a nut we could not crack. When it became obvious that I would have to go 7 for the business, the refiling and redoing of the papers was handled excellently by the office, with frequent contacts about when to do what, and whom to contact. I hope never to have to experience that feeling of needing to go bankrupt; however, should I, I would highly recommend this attorney and his office. I might add that 10 years out, the State of Connecticut, a participant in the original federal 7 settlement, reared its ugly head looking for settlement from the corporation, now closed since April 2000. Mr. Grafstein has been sure and quick to help.
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Posted by Steve | May 8, 2010
My Bankruptcy of 2001
Atty Grafstein handled my case in 2001. He actually didn't 'push' me into filing as did ( other ) attorneys- who barely knew the 'facts' of my case before 'assuring' me that 'bankruptcy...was the way to go...' Mr. Grafstein spent time reviewing my situation and even inquired if there might 'be a way' for me to somehow work with my creditors before filing. It was only after I showed him that I'd tried ( to little avail ) that he filed on my behalf. It was a totally smooth event with very little if any stress and the fee was extremely reasonable ( he allowed me to make I believe, 3 separate payments ) and kept working despite the fact the fee was not payed in full. I don't know WHY this lawyer was reprimanded in the mid 90's.... I think it's far from possible to please everyone and my guess is that there was some client who was really the headache...
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Posted by anonymous | October 9, 2014
Stay Away!
Atty Grafstein did not complete all of our paperwork and failed us. He did only what he had to in order to complete our Bankruptcy and collect his check. When it came to completing paperwork after the bankruptcy, something that we paid him to do, he failed. Our calls and emails were ignored. His work was far from thorough. Don't waste your money with him.
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  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
Payment methods
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AVVO RATING 8.4 (Excellent)

Professional misconduct

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 1994.

Reprimand issued in CT, 1994
updated on 07/11/2012

A reprimand is an order from the Statewide Grievance Committee after it has found that an attorney has engaged in ethical misconduct. If an attorney receives more than 3 reprimands in 5 years, a presentment must be filed against the attorney so the Superior Court can decide if more serious discipline should be ordered.

Work Experience

  • Member
  • Grafstein & Arcaro, LLC
  • 2013 - Present


  • New York University School of Law
  • LLM
  • 1974
  • New York Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1973
  • University of Bridgeport
  • BS
  • 1970

Legal Cases

  • CATIC v. Budnick
  • Liability reduced from $4,300,000 to $200,000
  • O'Neil, Trustee v. Jones
  • Defeated Claim by Trustee
  • Saucier v. Quantum Varde Asset Fund
  • Lien Avoided as Impairing Homestead Exemption
View all legal cases


  • Connecticut Bar Association, Bankruptcy and Business Law
  • Member Executive Committee
  • 1999 - 2015

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Top Lawyers in Connecticut
  • The Legal Network
  • 2014


  • Connecticut Foreclosures
  • 1984 Supplement
  • 1984

Speaking Engagements

  • National Business Institute
  • Bankruptcy Litigation 101
  • 2013
  • Bankruptcy for Beginners
  • Fundamentals of Bankruptcy
  • 2007

Attorney endorsements

Received (1)
Given (2)
Endorse Joel
Bankruptcy and debt Attorney | Jul 24
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer's work."
Chapter 7 bankruptcy
Bankruptcy and debt
New Britain Bankruptcy and debt Lawyer Joel Michael Grafstein
Joel Michael Grafstein
Bankruptcy and debt Attorney
New Britain, CT
Licensed for 49 years
Free Consultation