The Law Offices of Jonathan Stone
Hackettstown law firm serving clients throughout New Jersey
Call Today 800-491-5622
Areas & Topics

Hackettstown New Jersey Legal Blog

Detailing bankruptcy exemptions

One of the more common questions that those seeking Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in Hackettstown have is whether o not filing for bankruptcy will force them to forfeit their personal assets. For those facing seemingly insurmountable debts, the appeal of bankruptcy comes from not having to worry about creditors continuing to seek action against them (thus driving them further and further into debt). Yet when faced with the prospect of potentially losing their homes and/or other valuable assets, many might choose to abandon the idea of bankruptcy altogether. 

Whether one will be forced to part with any of their personal property in a bankruptcy case depends on the bankruptcy exemptions available to them. The law allows debtors to exempt a certain portion of the equity they have in their property from being seized by creditors. For example, if a person has $12,000 of equity in their home, and the law allows them to exempt up to $15,000, then that means that their home cannot be sold to repay creditors as part of a bankruptcy case. However, if the law only allows them to exempt $10,000, then they will be given that $10,000 by their bankruptcy trustee, and then the house will be sold. 

How can I save money during the holidays?

The holiday season will be here before you know it. Overspending during the holidays is a real problem for many people, especially if you're already on a tight budget. Fortunately, it's possible to enjoy the holidays without ruining your finances, as illustrated by these tips from

Before spending season starts, take a moment to think about how much money you'll need to get through the holidays. Along with gifts and presents, also consider costs for hosting dinner, traveling, and decorations for your home. Once you have a reasonable figure, set it as your budget and don't deviate from it. Developing a plan for spending will allow you to make better decisions since you'll have time to think them through. It will also allow you to look for the best deals when buying items, which can save money. 

Bankruptcy and other hardships in life

For some people, the decision to file for bankruptcy (as well as the entire process) may be somewhat straightforward and free of concern. Others may have a very hard time due to bankruptcy, whether they are facing uncertainty over their decision to file a bankruptcy petition or they face various difficulties in the midst of a bankruptcy case. Moreover, some of these challenges can be especially difficult for those who are going through different hardships in life, such as a divorce, the loss of a loved one or serious issues involving children and other family members.

If you are facing major hardships in your life that are interfering with your daily schedule and ability to concentrate, it may be smart to postpone bankruptcy for a short period of time. However, you should not procrastinate or become complacent, especially since debt and other financial issues can spiral out of control when left unaddressed. We know that bankruptcy can be a very complex and challenging process for people who are going through certain challenges in life, but you may be able to make your circumstances easier by carefully concentrating on your options and approaching your bankruptcy.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy may be part of drug company settlement

Over many years, drug company Purdue Pharma made billions of dollars manufacturing, marketing and selling opioid narcotics like OxyContin across the United States, including New Jersey. However, with 400,000 people in the United States having lost their lives due to opioid overdose since the year 2000, drug manufacturers are starting to experience pressure from the public in the form of lawsuits and sometimes criminal investigations.

Currently, local and state governments have brought over 2,000 lawsuits against Purdue Pharma alone, alleging that it pressured doctors into prescribing OxyContin while downplaying the risks of patients becoming addicted. Reportedly, Purdue Pharma is currently negotiating a settlement agreement that would put these lawsuits to rest. One of the terms of the agreement would require the company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

How can I stick to my bankruptcy budget?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to get control of your finances once again. Budgeting is crucial in this case, as you must adhere to the repayment plan provided by the court or your bankruptcy may be revoked. Because sticking with a budget can be difficult for even the most well-intentioned people, The Balance offers the following helpful tips to ensure a bright financial future ahead of you. 

If your budget is too strict you may be setting yourself up for failure. It's unrealistic to say that you're going to stop all non-essential spending, as very few people can actually live a life of such austere means. Instead, occasionally treat yourself to things like dining out or going to the movies as a reward for keeping to your budget. Just make sure that you're not constantly spending money on non-essential purchases, such as a daily cup of coffee. 

What financial issues to business owners face?

Running your own business is extremely fulfilling, but it's not without its challenges. In fact, many small business owners face a myriad of financial issues. If these issues aren't adequately addressed, they may lead to increased debt and instability down the line. To ensure you have the knowledge you need to handle the financial aspects of your business, The Motley Fool offers the following advice. 

First and foremost, you should be acutely aware of your business's incoming flow of cash. Sloppy bookkeeping prevents you from having a good grasp on your financial health. It may also cause you to overdraft bank accounts when invoices go unpaid. When you know how much money is coming into your business at a given time, you'll be able to undertake the proper financial planning to keep your operation afloat. 

How can I stop creditor harassment?

Creditor harassment is hard to deal with when faced with massive debt. Some practices are not actually lawful, which many consumers don't know when they're actively being pursued for money that remains unpaid. The Balance recommends taking the following steps if you're currently experiencing creditor harassment. 

Creditors use multiple methods of communication when reaching out to people. For instance, you may be contacted via phone, email, postal mail, or even text. No matter how you're contacted, be sure to keep accurate records about the items you're sent. When it comes to phone calls, jot down the time when the call took place, the name of the caller, and the subject of the conversation. This information will be exceedingly helpful if you do file a claim for creditor harassment. It will also help you determine whether any wrongdoing has occurred. 

Should I file for chapter 13?

If you're faced with massive debt that you can't seem to get a handle on, bankruptcy may be the best option for you. Most individuals file for chapter 7 or chapter 13, each of which entails different methods of relieving debt and satisfying creditors. explains how chapter 13 works so you can determine whether it's the best option for you. 

With chapter 7, certain debts are discharged due to a person's inability to pay. This can also result in the surrender of certain property, including things like homes and vehicles. Chapter 13 does not require debtors to surrender their property. Instead, a repayment plan is devised that allows a person to pay back any debt over a specified period of time. In this case, a distinction is made between secured and unsecured debt. 

The emotional benefits of Chapter 11

Those who successfully complete the Chapter 11 process may experience a number of financial benefits, getting rid of their debt and welcoming new opportunities. However, the emotional advantages of Chapter 11 should not be overlooked either. People who are buried in debt may be facing incredibly difficult emotional challenges due to their circumstances, including depression, unbearable anxiety and so on. Moreover, these emotions can get in the way of their sleep and disrupt other facets of their lives (such as their job performance and relationships). By getting rid of debt through Chapter 11, some people are able to leave these emotional hurdles behind.

The bankruptcy process can generate negative emotions as well, especially stress and uncertainty. However, once the process is complete, those who took the right approach and were able to secure a favorable outcome may be able to leave adverse emotions behind. After getting rid of debt via Chapter 11, they may notice improvements in their relationships as well as their careers and personal interests. It is imperative for people who are going through these tough emotions to tackle their problems promptly and before their lives unravel in other ways.

Can student loan debt be discharged via bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy can help a person clear outstanding debt to work towards a brighter financial future. Most people claim that student loan debt, which is a burden on the finances of many graduates well into adulthood, can't be discharged via bankruptcy. While this is generally the case, Nerdwallet explains what steps you can take to get a handle on massive student loan debt. 

For many people who file for bankruptcy, getting student loan debt discharged is a separate process. This entails participating in an adversary proceeding, which is a type of lawsuit that exists outside the initial bankruptcy process. You or your legal team will file a complaint that requests the judge considers forgiving student loan debt. In this case, you must prove that you're faced with some type of financial hardship that makes student loan repayment all but impossible. 


The Law Offices of Jonathan Stone
490 Schooley's Mountain Road
Building 3A
Hackettstown, NJ 07840

Toll Free: 800-491-5622
Map & Directions