About Bankruptcy in Essex County, NJ
Located in the northeastern part of the state, Essex County is New Jersey’s third most populous county. According to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, 799,767 persons lived the county as of July 1, 2018. It contains 22 municipalities (cities or boroughs), extending east to west from Langshire to Nutley, and north to south from Fairfield to Newark. Newark is its largest city and the seat of county government. It is also the home to one of three federal U.S. Bankruptcy Courts found in the District of New Jersey. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Essex County, here are a few things you should know:
Filing for Bankruptcy in Essex County
If you are in Essex County and considering filing bankruptcy to receive needed debt relief or a fresh financial start, you are not alone. Despite an overall strong economy, as well as the economic resurgence of places like Newark in recent years, 10,719 individuals and businesses filed for bankruptcy protection in the Newark Courthouse in 2018. 2,343 of those cases (almost 22%) came from Essex County residents and businesses alone. 2019 filings are on pace to meet or exceed those figures again this year.
What Property Can I Expect to Keep if I File?
In addition to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, each state has its own laws covering bankruptcy within its borders. What debts may be discharged and what assets are protected from creditors vary by state. New Jersey debtors are subject to the exemptions provided in state law, but may instead take advantage of exemptions provided in the federal bankruptcy code. Unlike some New York counties, Essex County and New Jersey do not have a “homestead” exemption protecting a debtor’s primary residence from inclusion in the bankruptcy estate.
Where Would You File if my Home or Business is in Essex County?
Unless you have moved in the past 60 days, individuals and married couples file in the their state of domicile. Typically that is their primary place of residence if they have multiple homes. Businesses file in the state of their principal place of business or location of assets. According to local rules, each U.S. Bankruptcy Court handles cases from a specific geographic area of the state, known as a vicinage. The Newark Vicinage includes Essex County, along with six other counties: Bergen, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, and Union.
The Office of the U.S. Trustee is also located in Newark. This is where the First Meeting of Creditors is generally after they have received official notice of a debtor’s Chapter 7, 11, or 13 petition.
If you have questions about bankruptcy in Essex County and wish to consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, the Silverberg Law Firm, LLC is here to help. Contact us today to make an appointment at our convenient location at One Gateway Plaza in Newark.
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