I am in the process of doing the chapter 7 documents myself (I cannot afford an attorney).I have read about your bank accounts being frozen from a judgement.Do I get to appear in court before the judgement is rendered to show that if my account is frozen with my paychecks that are direct deposited I would not be able to pay my rent or even buy food.? I have one company saying they are going to take legal action if I don't disagree with the debt amount(which I can't dispute) within 30 days . I cannot finish the forms needed for the bankruptcy and file them before the 30 days they said and I don't know how long it takes for them to get a judgement to freeze my bank account
First, the creditor must sue you.
Second, the creditor must bet a judgment. IF you put in a notice of appearance that will delay filing the answer normally and extend out many more months or so.
Third, even if judgment is obtained, how would they know your bank account? If you gave them a check before, close the account and open a new one somewhere else.
Lastly, various facts and issues can gravely affect your case so I will point those out for you next. But no matter what, I would try and employ an experienced bankruptcy attorney. No matter what , meet with one to see if any other issues. First, if you can discharge all debt and keep all you own then a ch 7 I would suggest is the best IF you own no house as then it depends on how many mortgages and the amount of each and the FMV of your house but you say own none. THus, ch 7 is normally best.
Second, if all you own is exempt it makes no difference what it is. And if you can discharge your debt, then you own need to remember one thing to do: Call a NJ experienced bankruptcy attorney now. But other facts and issues can affect your advice so I will point those out next for you to realize you just need to call an attorney!
You need and want to enjoy your fresh start also. But the most important thing is to meet with an attorney as you asking this question means you have not. You care about 2 goals: keeping everything you have equity in and discharging all your debts. If you don't have any of the exceptions to discharge you will obtain that goal; most exceptions are set forth in 11 USC. 523 (Google it) like child support, some income taxes, traffic (in a ch 7) and criminal fines , and presumption of student loans. But some debts are dischargeable in a ch 13 but NOT in a ch 7 so you want to make sure and your attorney will discuss any such types with you also!
Your exemptions depend on what state you have lived in in the last 2 years and thus if in your state, then your states exemptions will apply. Most persons filing keep everything they own but your attorney will confirm that with you when they learn everything you own and the equity thereof!
Some secured debts like homes, vehicles, other secured debts an attorney will discuss your options on also as you must list any debts; but that does not mean you will lose them unless you have too much equity or are in default on paying for them! Discuss those options if they apply with your attorney too.
But other issues can arise that can greatly harm your case. Just one example: If you paid back a relative $3,000 11 months ago and now file bankruptcy next week, the trustee can SUE that relative to retrieve that $3,000 (under what is called a preference) for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate. As a result, most attorneys don't charge to meet with them the first meeting so meet with one no matter what.
Many great attorneys can be found right here on AVVO in your state so look, call, and meet one as soon as you can.
You should also want to know when to file: is there an advantage of waiting versus filing now and who should you pay between now and then! Good luck and enjoy your later fresh start.
A bank account can be frozen (not the technical term, but a layman's phrase) when law enforcement delivers a Writ to a bank. By the time a Writ is entered, the court has ruled and the time to appear in court to argue the case is long past. The Writ essentially says "this creditor is legally entitled to seize this money." In some states, a debtor is entitled to claim exemption protection in some or all of the funds in the bank account. I have no idea where the creditor you are worried about is in the legal process, but I can tell you that it takes a competent attorney less than a week to prepare and file a bankruptcy, once the client provides the required documents, takes the required class, and pays the necessary fee. In some instances, there is financing available to hire a bankruptcy attorney through a 3rd party, so I am not buying the story that you "cannot afford an attorney." People afford what they value, and you appear to not value what an attorney can do. Hope this perspective helps!
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I strongly suggest you hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney for this. Getting pre-petition funds from a levied bank account often requires an experienced bankruptcy attorney. It is best to try and have a friend or family member or other third party front the legal fee for you so you have proper representation. Many competent bankruptcy attorneys are here on AVVO.
Please note: I am a licensed attorney in California. This response is intended only as general commentary. This response is not legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship.
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