Experienced Marlboro Bankruptcy Attorney
Can Bankruptcy Help Me?
If you feel hopelessly burdened with insurmountable debt, then Bankruptcy may be your solution.
Bankruptcy provides powerful remedies to eliminate your debts and get a fresh start. By filing a bankruptcy petition, you can:
- Stop foreclosure
- Avoid repossession
- Stop lawsuits
- Cancel liens on your property
- Stop wage attachments
- Stop bills
- Stop collection calls
- Stop oppressive collection tactics
- Save your home
- Save your property
- Save your retirement savings
- Discharge burdensome debt
- Start over
Kinds of Bankruptcy
There are many different forms of bankruptcy, such as Chapter 11 for businesses, Chapter 12 for farmers and fishermen, but for most consumers you will be concerned with only these two: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 is a “liquidation” proceeding. In theory, you turn over all your property to the bankruptcy trustee who converts it to cash and distributes the proceeds to the creditors. In return, you are granted a discharge from all your eligible debts. In the vast majority of cases, however, you will be able to claim an exemption to most or all of your assets, and most chapter 7 debtors never actually give up any property at all. The “discharge” from the court eliminates all legal obligations to repay those debts. From start to finish, most Chapter 7 bankruptcies are concluded in about four or five months, and never require an appearance in court, so Chapter 7 gives a debtor a relatively quick and easy “fresh start.” Click here for more on Chapter 7.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a “repayment plan” for consumers who want to pay off some or all of their debts over a period of time, usually three to five years. It is also an option for:
- people who are not eligible for Chapter 7 because they earn too much income.
- individuals who cannot exempt all their property and want to keep it.
- people with debts which are not eligible for a discharge in Chapter 7.
- people who need to cure a default and reinstate their home mortgage.
Chapter 13 provides an affordable payment plan but is only available to individuals who have steady, regular income, which is sufficient to pay their monthly expenses with enough left over each month to pay off some portion of their debts. A chapter 13 plan does not necessarily have to repay 100% of the debt. Often, only a small percentage of the total debt is repaid, but the debtor is discharged from all of it. Click here for more information on Chapter 13.
Bankruptcy Exemptions – Assets you get to keep.
Each state has a scheme of “exemptions,” or lists of property you can keep in bankruptcy. Massachusetts residents may elect either the Federal exemptions or the Massachusetts state exemptions. Click here to learn more about exemptions. We will help you determine which scheme to elect to exempt most or all of your property.
Relief from Debts
In addition to other powerful remedies, bankruptcy provides these two main forms of relief from your debts and protection from your creditors:
- Automatic Stay. Immediately upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition, a federal court injunction is automatically issued preventing your creditors from making any further attempts to collect. Creditor phone calls, letters, calls to your workplace, and bills all stop. Even foreclosures and repossessions are stopped, and state court appearances are canceled until your bankruptcy case is administered. Click here to learn more about the Automatic Stay.
- Discharge. At the conclusion of your bankruptcy case, you are granted a discharge from the bankruptcy court. This is an order legally dissolving your obligation to repay your debts. Creditors can never take any action to collect those debts. Not all debts are dischargeable, however, the vast majority of ordinary consumer debts are. Some examples of debts which may not be discharged are child support, alimony, recent taxes, student loans, criminal fines, and debts incurred by fraud, criminal activity, or by willful or malicious conduct.
The “Means Test” is a procedure to determine whether you have “disposable income.” In general, if your income is below the state median average for your household size, you are eligible to file Chapter 7. If your income is above the state average, but you still don’t have much disposable income, you may still be eligible to file Chapter 7. If your income is above the state median average and you have sufficient disposable income, you may be required to file a chapter 13 case. Even if your income is above the state median income and you have some disposable income each month, there are many factors that are considered, and you may still be able to file under Chapter 7, especially if you have unique circumstances or primarily business debts.
Before you file for bankruptcy, you must complete an approved Credit Counseling briefing course. You can usually complete the briefing course online, and there are agencies which provide the briefing course in Spanish, Portuguese and other languages. And, if you don’t have access to a computer, or have a vision or other disability, you can take the briefing over the phone. There is a fee from about $25 to $40 for these briefing courses, depending on how and where you take it. After your bankruptcy is filed, you must also complete a second course, called the Financial Management Course. Most of the same vendors provide this second course also.
Attorney Tremblay recommends DollarBK.org (www.DollarBK.org). If you enter Attorney Code #MT8485, Attorney Tremblay will receive confirmation of your completion of the course and your certificate for filing with the Bankruptcy Court will be transmitted automatically.
I am ready to learn more. What do I do?
Call today 508-485-4500 to schedule your no obligation free half-hour initial consultation with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, or use the handy contact form below to contact us to set it up.
Click here for our simple two-page questionnaire to complete before you come in. It will make the initial consultation more productive.
Some helpful links to valuable Bankruptcy information:
11 Ways to get out of debt faster!
Should I use a Credit Counselor?
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQ’s.
The 5 Most Common Questions about Personal Bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Exemptions – Assets you keep!
Debts that are erased in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Debts are are not dichargeable in bankruptcy