Bankruptcy Attorney in Albuquerque
If you live in the Albuquerque area and feel overwhelmed about your financial situation, now may be a good time to discuss your options with experienced legal professionals.
New Mexico Financial & Family Law can provide assistance to those interested in legal options available to manage or possibly discharge their mounting debt obligations. This can be done by filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy and fully completing the process.
Bankruptcy isn’t always the right choice for everyone, and anyone filing for bankruptcy should fully understand all of the options and requirements available. In fact, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court recommends that individuals consult with a legal professional prior to filing. Know that any employee of the Bankruptcy Court is prohibited from providing advice or specific guidance. To complete the process and avoid the risk of having your case dismissed before your debt is discharged, you should be aware of all the requirements and expectations for filing.
Reach out to our offices for help, guidance, and a clear explanation of all your options for filing bankruptcy or managing large debts. Call our bankruptcy lawyers in Albuquerque at (505) 503-1637 or contact us online to schedule a no-obligation consultation and case review.
How to File for Bankruptcy in the New Mexico Bankruptcy Court in Albuquerque
All bankruptcy cases filed in Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico will be conducted through the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Mexico. The courthouse is located at the following address:
333 Lomas Blvd. NW, Suite 360
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Office hours for the court are:
M-F 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
The court offices can be reached at:
(505) 415-7999 or toll-free at (866) 291-6805
You can also reach out to the court offices via email at [email protected]
Requirements for Filing for Bankruptcy in New Mexico
Filing for bankruptcy in New Mexico requires a few things:
- Receive credit counseling
- Complete all the necessary paperwork
- Pay required fees and other incidental court costs
- Provide notice to all creditors
- Hold a hearing, where you will be assigned a case trustee
- Complete the specific bankruptcy process, which varies depending upon the chapter you will be filing for
Forms and Paperwork Needed for a New Mexico Bankruptcy Filing
Filing for bankruptcy in the state of New Mexico requires completion in full of all necessary paperwork for the particular type of bankruptcy being filed. The forms can be found on the U.S. Courts site under “B” forms listed at uscourts.gov/services-forms/forms.
Individuals or married couples filing for bankruptcy will need to use the forms listed under the “100” series.
Non-individuals, including a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, or partnership will file using the forms under the “200” series.
Do I Need an Attorney to File for Bankruptcy in New Mexico?
No. You are not legally required to have assistance from a bankruptcy lawyer in Albuquerque when filing as an individual using Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
According to New Mexico law (NM LBR 1074-1), you do have to be represented by an attorney for most bankruptcy proceedings if you are filing on behalf of a corporation or partnership.
While you are not required by law to be represented by an attorney, you are required to follow all rules and procedures set forth in the U.S. bankruptcy code and by the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. Violation of any of these rules can seriously alter the outcome of your case, potentially resulting in fines or other legal actions.
Since court officials and other public employees are forbidden by law from answering legal questions or offering advice, the U.S. Courts say the following on their website: “Seeking the advice of a qualified lawyer is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences.”
What Does Filing for Bankruptcy Mean?
Bankruptcy is a process that allows individuals to ask the court to intervene when they have an extremely high level of debt. Going through the process of bankruptcy allows the filer to reduce their debt or, in some cases, have the debt discharged completely. Having debt discharged means you are no longer legally obligated to repay it.
How Do I Know If Bankruptcy Is the Right Choice?
Bankruptcy can be the right choice if you feel you have no other options for repaying or eliminating your debt. While there are benefits to bankruptcy, there are also consequences. The requirements differ depending on the chapter of bankruptcy you will be filing under.
- With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will be required to liquidate (sell) all or most of your assets that do not fall under either the New Mexico or federal exemptions. You may be able to keep your house, your car, and some other items if you are current on your payments, but this possibility will differ from case-to-case. Chapter 7 cannot prevent a home foreclosure.
- With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an individual will restructure their debt obligations and create a plan to repay most or all of their debt within a 3 – 5 year duration. In some cases, filing for Chapter 13 can delay or prevent a home foreclosure.
- Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available to limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, and partnerships. The filing allows the entity to discharge some of their debts, in most cases, while restructuring the remainder. It also provides a means to reorganize or liquidate some of their assets.
Benefits to Filing Bankruptcy
The chief reason for seeking bankruptcy is to gain control over debts, either through discharging them, restructuring them, or a combination of the two.
If an individual is unable to work out separate agreements for resolving debts among each creditor, bankruptcy may be an option. In some cases, bankruptcy may also allow you to retain your car or house if you have been current on your payments.
One major motivator for many individuals filing for bankruptcy is that the court protects them from collection action during the course of their proceedings. This means that creditors cannot contact or harass them without the filer’s permission. When filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may even be able to delay foreclosure on your home (although losing the home may be financially preferable in some cases).
Consequences of Filing for Bankruptcy
After filing for bankruptcy, you may be limited in some of your financial options for the future. You will be prevented from filing for bankruptcy again for a period of at least eight years for Chapter 7 and four years for Chapter 13. You may see significant consequences for your credit score and your ability to borrow in the coming years.
When filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all of your non-exempt property will likely be liquidated, and the proceeds will be divided amongst your creditors in order to repay the outstanding debt as much as possible.
Filing for bankruptcy also means you must follow all rules, procedures, and agreements established through the process. Failing to make timely payments under a Chapter 13 agreement, for instance, may allow creditors to resume pursuing debts.
Speak to Bankruptcy Lawyers in Albuquerque to Evaluate Your Options for Managing Debt
There are many options aside from bankruptcy available. In some cases, having a legal representative to help you contact the debt holder and work out a new repayment agreement can resolve some of the most high-pressure obligations. You can also seek to remove liens and other consequences of outstanding debt through individual agreements with creditors.
However, some individuals have no choice but to file for bankruptcy. Or, bankruptcy may be their best strategic option given the long-term process needed to resolve debts outside the court.
New Mexico Financial & Family Law is here to provide legal advice, assistance, guidance, and counseling on all matters pertaining to your debts. Don’t assume that bankruptcy is the right process for you, but also don’t assume that bankruptcy is out of the question. We will evaluate your situation on an individual basis and present your options along with specific recommendations on how to move forward for each one.
What Albuquerque Bankruptcy Law Should I Use for Exemptions: the U.S. or New Mexico’s?
Unlike many other states, New Mexico allows you to choose which exemption standard you want to use: either the state or the federal court’s.
Depending on the standard you choose, you may have a greater allowance for exempting specific types of property. Or, you may have a greater chance at keeping a priority asset, like a house or car, if it falls under the exemption standard.
Any non-exempt property may be eligible for liquidation by the case trustee, so review the rules and options for exemptions carefully. Weigh your choice given your specific goals and preferred outcomes.
To learn more about Albuquerque bankruptcy law and which exemption standard may be more in your favor, see our information resource on Choosing Which Exemption System to Use When Filing for Bankruptcy in Albuquerque. Then, speak to a bankruptcy attorney in New Mexico about your options.
Ready to File, or Have Questions Before You Do? Get in Touch With a Bankruptcy Attorney in Albuquerque
New Mexico Financial & Family Law understands the stigma and stress when you consider undergoing the bankruptcy process. It may feel like there is no way forward. But the truth is that you have many options at your disposal, and Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or Chapter 11 bankruptcy may be one of the best ones available.
Call us today to discuss your case during a no-obligation, confidential consultation. We will provide you with objective, unbiased information and explain the full process of filing bankruptcy for whichever chapters you are interested in.
Our attorneys can also assist you with creditor harassment, debt consolidation, and avoiding foreclosure.
Schedule your appointment today when you call (505) 503-1637 or contact us online.
We are a debt relief agency and have practiced bankruptcy law for a combined 50 years. Our services include helping individuals and couples file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.