Requirements to File for Bankruptcy in New York
- Residency: People who want to file bankruptcy in New York must have spent the majority of their time for the past 180 days residing in the state.
- Courts: The bankruptcy case must be filed in one of the four bankruptcy district courts within New York: Southern District, Northern District, Eastern District or Western District. The court that has jurisdiction over the bankruptcy case depends on where the debtor resides.
A bankruptcy attorney should be consulted to advise of the legal options available and to ensure all federal and state requirements are fulfilled.
How to File for Bankruptcy in New York
Choosing Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
Choose which chapter of bankruptcy you want to file. Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires debtors to pass the means test. The bankruptcy court utilizes the means test to determine if the debtor has enough money to pay back any of his creditors. If your income is equal to or less than the median income for New York residents with the same household size, then a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be filed.
If your income exceeds the median for your household in New York, you do not pass the means test and must file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Gather Your Documents
Retrieve documents needed to file for bankruptcy.
- These documents include:
- Sixty days of pay stubs
- Last two years of federal and state tax returns
- Credit report and bank statements for all checking and savings accounts.
- Recent bill statements
- Demand letters from creditors
- Copy of vehicle titles and mortgage paperwork for any real property owned.
Additional documents may be needed to verify income, assets, and expenses depending on each individual case.
Complete Credit Counseling Course
Complete a credit counseling course within 180 days prior to filing the bankruptcy case. The New York bankruptcy court websites provide a list of court-approved credit counseling agencies. Credit counseling can be completed on the phone or online. The cost of credit counseling for each agency slightly varies. The agency can email or mail a copy of the certificate of completion after the course is completed.
File Your Bankruptcy Petition
Download the bankruptcy petition from one of the New York bankruptcy district court websites. Fill out the petition, including the schedules, statement of financial affairs and declaration concerning debtor’s schedules. Reference the documents verifying income, assets and expenses to accurately complete the petition.
341 Meeting of Creditors
Once you file your petition, you will need to attend a meeting of creditors where you will be asked questions about your assets, debts, and other items in your petition. This is a relatively quick meeting and your attorney can represent you.
Discharging Your Debt in a Chapter 7
If you filed a Chapter 7, you may receive a discharge within several months and your bankruptcy case will be closed.
If you filed for Chapter 13, you will need to make your monthly payments according to your approved repayment plan. Once this is complete, the remaining qualifying debts can be discharged.
Our attorneys are ready to help you with the entire bankruptcy process. Call today to schedule your free consultation.