Frequently Asked Questions

Bankruptcy law is a complicated and jargon-heavy field. At the Law Office of John Gonzalez, P.C., we believe in communicating clearly and in easy to understand terms so that you can learn your options before making a decision.

What documents do I need to file bankruptcy?

What documents you bring and the amount and comprehensive nature of those documents can help determine whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Important financial documents: Most recent bank statements, most recent bills from creditors, most recent payment coupons for car payments, student loans, real estate payments, bills, receipts, etc.

Important legal records: Any legal history, including pending litigation, files from previous attorneys, divorce decree, child support, etc.

What is the automatic stay?

The automatic stay is the automatic injunction that halts actions by creditors to collect against an individual once a bankruptcy petition is filed. An automatic stay is temporary and creditors can petition to have motion for relief from stay.

What is the means test?

The means test is used to determine whether individuals or families can file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. It is an equation that uses the New York state's median income information from the census bureau, the number of people in a household as well the cost of reasonable living expenses in the county you live in.

What happens at a meeting of the creditors?

Also known as a 341 meeting because the meeting is about Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code, this usually involves the bankruptcy panel trustee questioning the petitioner under oath. Bankruptcy lawyer John Gonzalez is often present if he filed the petition for his client. Creditors may also appear for the purpose of questioning the petitioner who is under oath.

What is "the plan"?

The plan is short for the Chapter 13 repayment plan. The plan is approved by bankruptcy court.

What is a cram down?

This term refers to an auto loan creditor who must accept less money on a car owned by Chapter 13 filer if it is worth less than the amount owed.

What do people mean when they say Chapter 20?

Chapter 20 is a slang term for filing for Chapter 13 immediately after receiving the discharge of a Chapter 7. This allows you to discharge unsecured debts using Chapter 7 and then address nondischarged debt through a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

Your Question Not Answered Here?

Contact Law Office of John Gonzalez, P.C., to arrange an initial consultation. Our offices in Ronkonkoma, Syosset and Hauppauge can be reached at 631-346-6253. We also can be contacted through our Contact page.

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