Can You File Bankruptcy on Funeral Expenses in PA or NJ?
Dealing with the death of a loved one can be a traumatizing experience. This experience can be even more stressful if you are unable to pay the costs to bury your loved one. A funeral can cost a person an average of about $7,000, which can be difficult to pay if you did not expect it. If you or a family member are considering filing for bankruptcy after incurring the costs of a funeral, contact an experienced Philadelphia bankruptcy attorney today. The death of a loved one can be devastating for a family, and our firm is here for you in your time of need. Young, Marr & Associates is here to explain whether you can file bankruptcy for funeral expenses in Pennsylvania or New Jersey.
Discharging Funeral Expenses in Bankruptcy
When a family member passes away, the entire family will not only have to cope with their absence but with how to afford the funeral. If you were not prepared to bury your loved one, it may come as a shock to learn that a funeral could cost thousands of dollars. When faced with this problem, many people turn to the possibility of filing for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy allows a debtor to discharge debts that they cannot manage due to their poor financial situation. The types of debt that can be discharged often depend on the type of bankruptcy filed. For example, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a debtor to discharge credit card bills, utilities, medical bills, and various other forms of debt.
However, the debts that are discharged in bankruptcy cannot be secured. A secured debt is a debt that is attached to some form of collateral. For example, a car loan is an example of secured debt. While some forms of secured debt can be discharged, this process can be tedious.
If a debt is unsecured, it means the debt is not attached to any type of collateral. For example, your car cannot be repossessed to pay for your medical bills. Funeral expenses are a form of debt that is typically not secured by any type of collateral. As a result, this debt could likely be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
It is important to note that the individual that files for bankruptcy is the only one who can have the debt discharged. If funeral expenses were imputed to a family member, but a debtor helped to pay for the expenses, the debtor cannot discharge debt that does not belong to him.
To learn more about the types of bankruptcy that can be used to discharge funeral expenses, continue reading and contact an experienced New Jersey bankruptcy attorney.
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for Funeral Expenses
If you need to file for bankruptcy to discharge debt accumulated after a funeral, the most likely choices for your situation is Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As mentioned, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a debtor to discharge multiple forms of debt. This is possible because the property of the debtor will be sold in order to pay back their creditors. While your home cannot be sold to satisfy a debt in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, other valuables may have to be sold.
Many petitioners prefer to file for bankruptcy because of how relatively quickly the proceedings will conclude. Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings generally take about 90 days to resolve. Once the bankruptcy proceedings are complete, the debtor will then receive their debt discharge.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows a debtor to reorganize their debts to make them easier to pay. Specifically, the total amount of bills or the interest rate of bills will be decreased and consolidated into a single payment for the debtor to pay. Chapter 13 bankruptcies typically last five years. However, if a debtor is in dire financial straits, the court may approve a three-year repayment plan.
It is important to note that if your creditors believe that you can still afford to pay your bills, they may contest your petition for bankruptcy. This means that you should be sure that you have exhausted all other options before you choose to file for bankruptcy.
Contact an Experienced Pennsylvania or New Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyer To Manage Your Claim
If you or a family member need legal assistance to file for bankruptcy, contact an experienced New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer today. At Young, Marr & Associates, our dedicated legal team is prepared to offer you the unique legal representation that you deserve to handle your bankruptcy case. Our legal team possesses decades of combined legal experience, and we would be honored to work with you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your bankruptcy claim, contact Young, Marr & Associates at (215) 607-2715, or (609) 755-3115 if you reside in New Jersey.