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Personal Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 & Chapter 13

Harassing phone calls from debt collectors, threats of foreclosure and eviction, repossessions, wage garnishments, levies on bank accounts and court ordered sale of possessions create stress and anxiety which can be eliminated by the filing of personal bankruptcy.

There are two types of personal bankruptcy – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.  Both discharge (wipe out) unsecured debt (credit cards, medical/dental/legal bills, utility bills, motor vehicle surcharges) and halt lawsuits for the collection of debt or for negligence (people suing for automobile accidents or slip and fall accidents).  Various provisions in the Bankruptcy Code permit most filers to keep their cars, bank accounts, retirement accounts, tools, furniture and jewelry.  Elimination of debt and the ability to keep assets are the reason that the Bankruptcy Code is called the Fresh Start Law.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 is a fast, affordable and straightforward procedure.  A document called a Petition is filed with the Bankruptcy Court.  It contains a list of assets and debts and an explanation of income and expenses.  The Court appoints a Trustee (a lawyer or accountant) to review the Petition, and a hearing is conducted at which the Trustee asks questions to verify the accuracy of the Petition.  The hearing must be conducted within 30 days of filing the Petition, and a Discharge of Debt is issued 60 days after the hearing.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 can be used to pay arrears on mortgages, rent or car payments, allowing a person to halt foreclosure, repossession or eviction.  The arrears can be paid back over a period of time between three and five years.  Second and subsequent mortgages can be eliminated by the Court under some circumstances.  Also some car payments can be lowered.  There is one Chapter 13 Trustee.  She conducts the same type of hearing as a Chapter 7 Trustee, but the focus is on income and expenses to determine if the proposed Plan is feasible and workable.  When the Plan is completed and all payments are made, the Court issues a Discharge of Debt.

Oftentimes, accumulated debt becomes overwhelming.  Sometimes there are no realistic solutions. When these circumstances occur, Bankruptcy becomes the answer. If you need advice in this regard, contact our debt relief lawyers as soon as possible so we may help you. We will explain your rights and your options and are willing to represent your interests during the process should you decide to proceed.

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Joseph J.  Hoffman, Jr. Attorney Photo
Joseph J. Hoffman, Jr.
Senior Partner

For more than 40 years, Mr. Hoffman has protected the interest of his clients through diligence and hard work on legal matters, both large and small. An honors graduate of Rutgers University Law School and a native of Gloucester County, Mr. Hoffman has won numerous accolades for excellence in the practice of law.

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Kenneth A. DiMuzio, Sr.
Senior Partner

An attorney with over 45 years of professional experience, Mr. DiMuzio concentrates his practice on personal injury and workers’ compensation matters. A graduate of Georgetown University Law School and a native of Gloucester County, Mr. DiMuzio has been honored time and again for his professionalism and ethics in the practice of law.

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Ernest L. Alvino, Jr.
Attorney

About Ernest L. Alvino, Jr. concentrates his practice in the area of workplace injuries; construction accidents; product injuries; trucking accidents; auto injuries; medical negligence and crime victim advocacy. Ernie is a lifelong Gloucester County resident, living in Mullica Hill with his wife and children. Ernie worked his way through school as a Teamster and construction…

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Jeremiah J. Atkins
Attorney

About Mr. Atkins joined the firm of Hoffman DiMuzio in February 2010. Mr. Atkins represents individuals and corporate clients in commercial and employment litigation. Mr. Atkins’ practice covers a wide variety of employment-related matters before New Jersey State and Federal courts, with a focus on discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, family leave and whistleblowing claims. Mr.…

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Peter J. Bonfiglio, III
Attorney

About Mr. Bonfiglio concentrates his practice in the area of municipal court with an emphasis on defense of individuals charged with driving while intoxicated and/or refusal to submit to a breath test. Pete resides in Gloucester Township, Camden County with his wife and two of his three children.  In addition to his law practice, he…

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