This article, for individuals considering filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy in Suffolk County Long
Island, was written by Suffolk County Long Island bankruptcy lawyer Alan Pressman  

or text me at 631-714-6446

You can email me at

Page updated on November 2, 2017

Chapter 7 wipes out most debts.

File a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you want to discharge:

credit cards
medical bills
personal loans/bank loans
(repossessed) car loans
utility bills
payday loans

As soon as Chapter 7 is filed, the automatic stay goes into effect.

That means creditors can no longer:

a)  sue you (and if they already started suing you, they have to stop);
b)  freeze your bank account;
c)  garnish your salary.  (If a creditor is already freezing your bank account or garnishing
your salary, they have to stop doing these things once you file a bankruptcy).

A Chapter 7 can usually be filed in less than one week's time.   It takes approximately four
(4) months from the time you file for Chapter 7 to receive your discharge order from the
Bankruptcy Court.  (You get a court order from the Bankruptcy Court stating that your
debts are officially discharged).

During these four (4) months -- while you are waiting to receive your discharge order --
your creditors cannot do anything to collect on any of your debts.

4-6 weeks after the filing date, there is a trustee meeting which the debtor must attend (I
will be with you, (and representing you) at the trustee meeting).  The trustees are private
attorneys, appointed by the Bankruptcy Court, to administer the Chapter 7 cases.  Each
Chapter 7 case is assigned a trustee.  At the trustee meeting, the trustee will be going over
your Chapter 7 petition (ie. the assets, debts, income and expenses),essentially to have
you  verify, under oath, that the information in your Chapter 7 petition is true and
complete. The trustee meetings are held at the
Bankruptcy Court in Central Islip (located in
the Long Island Federal Courthouse in the Cohalan Court Complex). You will need to bring
your driver's license and Social Security card with you (for identification purposes) to the
trustee meeting.  There is no judge present at the trustee meeting, and creditors rarely
show up.  The meeting normally takes about 10-15 minutes, although you mat have to wait
(rarely more than an hour) for your case to be called.  99% of the time, you only have to
go to court once ( for the one examination by the trustee).

Although a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit profile for 10 years from the date
you file your Chapter 7 petition, you do not have to wait 10 years (or any specific period of
time) to start rebuilding your credit.  In fact, there are some ways for you to start
rebuilding your credit immediately -- once you have received your Chapter 7 discharge.  
Click on the "rebuilding credit" button on the home page of my web site for more
information on this topic-- or click this link:
rebuilding credit after bankruptcy

Please note that the Bankruptcy Laws have changed as of October 17, 2005.  The present  
Bankruptcy Code is focused on the debtor's income more than was the case under the old

The following numbers reflect the median income numbers for filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy
which are in effect as of Nov. 1, 2017--

If your income is below the median income for New York State (i.e. 1 person household -  
$52,054 per year; 2 person household - $66,667 per year; 3 person household - $79,154
per year; 4 person household - $96,527 per year; 5 person household - $104,927 per year)
your income will not be an obstacle to filing a Chapter 7 or to receiving a discharge of your
debts.  Even if you are above the median income, there is still a very good chance that you
can file a Chapter 7 petition and receive a discharge of your debts.

The debtor's income is now listed on a new form called the Means Test.  (Means test figures
are based on averaging out the 6 months' income prior to filing of the Chapter 7).  If your
income is above median income, the second part of the means test must be filled out.  The
second part of the means test contains the expense deductions against income (i.e. food
and clothing, housing, utilities, transportation, income taxes, etc.).  Some of the expense
items (such as food and clothing, rent, utilities, and transportation) on the means test are
fixed numbers which are taken off an IRS chart, whereas other expense items ( such as
mortgage payments, health insurance and payroll taxes) are based on what you actually

In many Chapter 7 cases, even if the debtor is above the median income, the expense
deductions are great enough to eat up all of the debtor's income (thus showing that the
debtor does not have any money left over for paying back creditors), thereby allowing the
debtor to file a Chapter 7 and discharge his debts.

Two other items of  note in connection with the present Bankruptcy Code:

1)  The Bankruptcy Code requires the debtor to provide his attorney with a copy of his most
recent federal tax return as well as pay stubs for the 60-day period prior to the filing of the

2)  The debtor must take two  counselling sessions.  The first session (called the credit
counselling) must be completed by the debtor prior to filing the Chapter 7 petition. It can
completed over the Internet and telephone (It takes approximately one hour of total time).
The second session (called the Financial Management Course) must be completed by the
debtor after the filing of the petition but before the debtor receives his discharge order.  
The Financial Management Course involves reading over a booklet on managing your
money (mostly common sense) and then taking a multiple choice test.




If you would like a free consultation on Chapter 7 bankruptcy with Alan Pressman, call
(631) 234-3883.  I have been actively handling bankruptcy cases on Long Island for more
than 30 years.  My office is located at 3100 Veterans Highway, Bohemia, NY  11716
(Approx. 2 miles southeast of LIE exit 57)

My fees are very reasonable.  
Appointments as late as 7:30 PM are available.  
I handle your case personally.
My law practice is  focused  100% on handling bankruptcy cases.  Bankruptcy is  my entire
law practice.

Call now for a free consultation.
(631) 234-3883

3100 Veterans Highway, Bohemia --
Long Island Expressway Exit 57, approx. 2 miles southeast

Thanks for taking the time to visit my website.

Copyright 2011-2017, Alan Pressman Attorney At Law

Alan Pressman, chapter 7 Suffolk County bankruptcy lawyer near Ronkonkoma,11779; Hauppauge,11788;
Bohemia,11716; Holbrook,11741; Islandia,11749; Central Islip,11722; Brentwood,11717; Islip, 11751; Islip
Terrace, 11752;Bay Shore,11706; East Islip,11730; West Islip,11795; Oakdale,11769; Sayville,11782; Blue
Point,11715; Lake Ronkonkoma,11779; Smithtown,11787; Nesconset,11767; Saint James,11780; Lake
Grove,11755; Deer Park,11729; Commack,11725; East Northport, 11731; Huntington Station,11746; Wheatley
Heights,11798; Wyandanch,11798; Babylon,11705; North Babylon,11703; West Babylon,11704; Kings
Park,11754; Centereach,11720; Holtsville,11742; Medford, 11763; Middle Island,11953; Stony Brook,11790;
Coram,11727;Port Jefferson Station,11776; Patchogue,11772; Brookhaven,11719; Manorville,11949;
Yaphank,11980;  Farmingville,11738; Shirley,11967; Mastic,11950; Mastic Beach,11951;  Bellport,11713; Center
Moriches,11934; etc. --
serving all of Suffolk County Long Island since 1981