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Smith & Messina, LLP

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The Steps Toward Bankruptcy

We want to be sure you understand the entire process of bankruptcy hearings general before deciding to pursue bankruptcy options.

The Bankruptcy Process In New York State

Are you considering filing for bankruptcy in the state of New York? Bankruptcy is primarily governed by federal law, but there are some procedural differences when you file from state to state, including the bankruptcy exemptions. If you have any questions throughout the bankruptcy process and desire legal guidance from our firm, contact Smith and Messina, LLP, today!

Before You File

Prior to filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to complete a credit counseling course from a U.S. Trustee approved agency. Within 180 days after successful completion of the course, you must file for bankruptcy. If you do not file within this time, your certificate will expire, and you must repeat the course prior to filing again.

You must also take the means test to determine whether or not you are eligible to file under Chapter 7. The means test compares your income to that of the median income for a household of your particular size. You will be approved for Chapter 7 if your income is less than the median. You can still file under Chapter 13 if your income is higher than the average.

Filing For Bankruptcy

Once you determine whether or not you will file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you will need to complete a bankruptcy petition. The petition is a series of schedules that contain information about your finances and other forms. The specific process will depend on which chapter you file under. After you file for bankruptcy, you will need to complete a debtor education course before the discharge can be issued. Contact our firm’s bankruptcy attorney in Buffalo for the legal help you need through your bankruptcy case at 716-648-1400. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you successfully complete the process.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.