On What Schedule Should I List Student Loans?

Student loans are listed on Schedule F – Creditors Holding Unsecured Nonpriority Claims.

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Deciding Whether to File Bankruptcy

Certain factors indicate that filing for bankruptcy might be a good idea:

  • Wage garnishment
  • A high amount of unsecured debt
  • A total debt that will take many years to pay off
  • lawsuits or judgments by creditors
  • foreclosure
  • constant harassing phone calls

Certain factors should also discourage filing for bankruptcy. It is important to keep in mind that:

  • Not all debts are dischargable. Student loans and obligations arising from a matrimonial case such as child support and alimony will survive a bankruptcy discharge.
  • Cosigners will still be liable for debts even if the responsibility of the person who filed for bankruptcy is discharged.


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Deciding Which Chapter of Bankruptcy to File

There are four chapters that are available to consumers.

  • Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy in which a debtors non-exempt property is liquidated for the benefit of creditors. Often there is no non-exempt property to liquidate.
  • Chapter 13 is a type of bankruptcy which is available to debtors who have a regular income. Under chapter 13 a plan is established in which creditors are paid back from future income.
  • Chapter 12 is a rare form of bankruptcy in N.Y. in which a debtor seeks to protect a family farm.
  • Chapter 11 is available to individual debtors but it is much more commonly used for businesses.
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Deciding Between Federal or N.Y. Bankruptcy Exemptions

When a person files for bankruptcy he or she will select either the federal set of exemptions or the state set of exemptions. In general, but not always, if you have real property, such as land or a home, it will be better to select the N.Y. set of exemptions.

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What is the automatic stay?

The automatic stay is a form of protection for the debtor. When a bankruptcy case is filed the automatic stay immediately goes into effect requiring that all collections activities cease.

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What are bankruptcy exemptions?

When a person files bankruptcy there are certain categories of items that are protected from their creditors. The law recognizes that a person would have a difficult time establishing a fresh start if he or she was forced to start over with nothing after bankruptcy. For that reason, the law sets aside certain categories of property that it allows the debtor to keep even after filing for bankruptcy.



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What is the bankruptcy code?

The bankruptcy code is the statute that lays out the federal bankruptcy law at the federal level. Bankruptcy was written into the U.S. constitution as a federal power of Congress. Congress used this power when it established and when it updates the bankruptcy code. The bankruptcy code is divided into chapters.

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What are Federal Non-Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Federal non-bankruptcy exemptions are available to all New York residents filing for bankruptcy. They are found scattered throughout federal law rather than in the bankruptcy code. There are many federal non-bankruptcy exemptions. Some notable exemptions include retirement benefits for military and civil servants and a percentage of wages among many others.

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What are the bankruptcy exemptions in New York?

New York has a homestead exemption which varies in value based on the county in which the person filing for bankruptcy resides. A homestead exemption is used for real property such as land, a house or a mobile home. The value can be from $75,000 to $150,000 depending on county of residence.

Other important categories of exemptions include tools of trade worth up to $3,000, jewelry and art worth up to $1,000 and a motor vehicle worth up to $4,000.

The New York bankruptcy exemptions were put into place many years ago and were recently increased and amended to include items such as a cell phone and computer.

A full list of the exemptions can be found at http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=A08735&term=2009&Text=Y

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How do bankruptcy exemptions work?

Bankruptcy exemptions are broken into categories. For each category the property that the debtor selects is protected. For example, there is an exemption in New York for motor vehicles of up to $4,000 in value. If a person filing for bankruptcy has a car worth $3,000. He or she can use the bankruptcy exemption on that specific car so that he or she can keep the car.

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