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New Jersey personal bankruptcy does not require apology

The results of a new study show whether or not an apology matters when it is included with a bankruptcy filing in New Jersey or elsewhere. The study looked at several personal bankruptcy filings that differed only in the inclusion of an apology. The outcome of each case was determined by whether or not a court approved of the repayment plan offered by the individual filing the personal bankruptcy.

Researchers found that there was not a large statistical difference in the decision to approve a repayment plan in a personal bankruptcy with an apology attached. In fact, the number approved was only slightly higher than those decided when no apology came with the documents: about 41 percent for cases that included an apology and 34 percent for those that did not. This is important to those of us in New Jersey, because it is not a requirement that any apology be offered during a bankruptcy case.

In fact, there are many reasons that people find that they need to seek a personal bankruptcy. This has been especially true in the past few years as our state has suffered through the economic downturn. Many people found it difficult to maintain their homes and economic lives as jobs were lost and real estate values plunged.

When a person decides that he or she is unable to repay the debts that have accumulated, he or she may wish to seek the protection of a personal bankruptcy. One of the first steps is to review the process to determine which chapter of the personal bankruptcy code best fits a person's individual needs. Once the best option is chosen, an individual may find that he or she can begin a fresh financial future as the process proceeds.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Do Apologies Matter in Bankruptcy?" Katy Stech, Feb. 15, 2013

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