Archives for November 2017

Will a Bankruptcy Filing Make It More Difficult to Earn a Living?

Will a Bankruptcy Filing Make It More Difficult to Earn a Living?

If you have been struggling to make ends meet, you may have been reluctant to seek protection in bankruptcy because you’re afraid it will either put your job at risk, or make it difficult for you to find employment in your chosen field. It’s an important question to address—can your employer take any action against you for filing for personal bankruptcy protection? Can a prospective employer disqualify you because you have a prior bankruptcy filing?

Your Current Job

The bankruptcy laws do not allow an employer to take any type of retaliatory action against an employee because of a personal bankruptcy filing. Accordingly, you can’t be fired, demoted, transferred or incur the change or denial of benefits of privileges because you file for bankruptcy. There are no exceptions—it doesn’t matter if you work in a top secret job, as a trust officer or a construction worker. In fact, you may be at greater risk if you don’t seek bankruptcy protection. Workers in sensitive positions who have financial problems are generally considered more likely to be susceptible to blackmail than workers who have sought bankruptcy protection. This is an area, however, where you have to handle it correctly with your employer to minimize problems.

These rules only apply, though, to actions that take place after a bankruptcy filing. If you have been notified of an impending change in employment status, including termination, before filing for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy laws won’t prevent such change.

Future Employment Opportunities

While private employers are free to exclude candidates who have filed for bankruptcy, state, local and federal governments and agencies cannot discriminate in hiring because of a bankruptcy filing. Even with private employment, a proper approach with the guidance of an experienced attorney can make all the difference. We have many clients who have found jobs after a bankruptcy.

Contact Neuner & Ventura, LLP

At Neuner & Ventura, LLP, weknow that the bankruptcy process can be intimidating and confusing. Weoffer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment, call our office at 856-596-2828 or send us an e-mail. We do, however, reserve the right to charge a fee to review any work done by another attorney. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request.

Representing Clients across South Jersey

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Good Reasons Not to Handle Your Own Bankruptcy Filing

Good Reasons Not to Handle Your Own Bankruptcy Filing

When you are facing financial challenges and have concluded that your best option moving forward is a bankruptcy filing, you may be tempted to handle the bankruptcy on your own, particularly if you are seeking protection under Chapter 7. It’s almost always a bad idea to do that—here are some of the reasons why.

  • Bankruptcy is complex—you might choose the wrong chapter and end up losing money or property. You might be disqualified if you  miss a step, like completing the two courses required. Or you might mess up the Means Test, which is complex. Even experienced attorneys such as us use specialized software and tools to get it right.
  • The forms and procedures are complex and ever changing. Filing the wrong forms could jeopardize your bankruptcy.
  • You may fail to file important documents, or miss critical deadlines
  • You may not get the relief you wanted, needed or expected—Some debts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. For example, if you file bankruptcy primarily to rid yourself of child support or student loan payments, you won’t succeed, as those types of debts typically cannot be discharged.
  • You may not get all the benefits to which you are entitled—there are both state and and federal exemptions. Some property is excluded. But you won’t know what to do if you’re not trained as a bankruptcy lawyer or assistant.
  • You do not know the judges and the trustees, or the accepted procedures where you are filing.

Contact Neuner & Ventura, LLP

We understand the stress, anxiety and confusion that can be associated with a potential bankruptcy filing. We offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment, call Neuner & Ventura at 856-596-2828 or send us an e-mail. We do, however, reserve the right to charge a fee to review any work done by another attorney. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request.

Representing Clients across South Jersey

Understanding Bankruptcy Mediation

Image of a pen, calculator and reading glasses on financial documents.

Bankruptcy cases can and often do spawn litigation or major disputes with creditors. If you are in this situation, either as a debtor, a creditor, or as a plaintiff or defendant, you should know and will soon learn that litigation even in bankruptcy court is expensive and the outcome not always certain. In these situations, mediation should be seriously considered.

Indeed, in New Jersey, the Bankruptcy Court requires mediation in all suits (“adversary proceedings”) with a few exceptions.

In mediation, the parties to a dispute use a neutral third party to facilitate the resolution of the problem. The mediator is not a judge and cannot rule upon or force a particular outcome. Instead he/she is tasked with helping the parties work cooperatively to identify and implement a solution that is mutually beneficial. The mediator may brainstorm with either or both parties to determine what each party needs and what may be conceded.

In addition, the mediator doesn’t take testimony from witnesses or make determinations about what is or is not admissible. The mediator is not allowed to act as legal counsel to either of the parties, and should not have served in that capacity in the past.

A major advantage of mediation is that the parties can speak privately and in confidence to the mediator about their situation and concerns. The mediator can use this on both sides to try to get the parties to a “win-win” (as opposed to a “win-lose”) outcome.

One of the principal advantages of mediation is that it empowers the parties to resolve the dispute. As a participant in mediation, you always have the right to reject any proposed resolution, and you can always make a counter-proposal. Unlike litigation, you don’t have to wait and hope that the court found your arguments persuasive. If the other party to mediation agrees to the proposed settlement, a “mediation settlement agreement” is signed and becomes legally binding.

Mediation generally moves faster than litigation and with significantly less expense.
Most importantly, it helps the parties and their attorneys to see their situation through the eyes of an experienced neutral third party. This can often open their eyes to the risks to them (including the future cost in time, money, and emotional drain) of not reaching a settlement.
It has been said that “a case settled is a case well-tried”. Mediation is a good way to achieve that.

In New Jersey, the court has a panel of mediators, but the parties can choose anyone else in whom they have confidence as a mediator. Both Steven Neuner and Joanne Ventura are trained mediators with experience in civil, bankruptcy and divorce litigation.

Contact Neuner & Ventura, LLP

At Neuner & Ventura, LLP, we know that the bankruptcy process can be intimidating and confusing. We offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment, call our office at 856-596-2828 or send us an e-mail. We do, however, reserve the right to charge a fee to review any work done by another attorney. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request.

Representing Clients across South Jersey

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