Can I keep my car if I file for bankruptcy?
Even if your car is not fully protected by an exemption, you can usually keep it by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy rather than Chapter 7 bankruptcy. And, if you have a car loan, your ability to exempt it is … Continue reading →
Can I claim a homestead exemption on my house even though I also operate a business there?
In a recent case I handled, this issue came up. The result was reported on the front page of Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly on November 30, 2015. The debtor owned a two-story home. On the first floor he operated a business … Continue reading →
I thought all student loans could not be discharged in bankruptcy?
There is a common misunderstanding that all student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. All student loans, however, are not created equal. Many, in fact, are dischargeable. The source of this misunderstanding is a cryptically worded section of the bankruptcy … Continue reading →
Supreme Judicial Court holds that Temporary Alimony does not count in the calculation of general term alimony duration
On March 1, 2012 the new Alimony Reform Law went into effect. As with any new law, questions arose about particular situations not predicted in the statute, and it takes time for the courts to interpret the new law. Sometimes … Continue reading →
The New Alimony Reform Law
A new Alimony law became effective March 1, 2012, and made significant changes to alimony in Massachusetts. Here is a summary of some of the new provisions. Four Types of Alimony General Term Alimony is the “periodic payment of support to a … Continue reading →
What should I bring to my initial bankruptcy consultation?
We don’t require or even encourage our clients to prepare too much for the initial consultation. Instead, we treat it as an information session designed to help you get the answers you are looking for; and plan a more detailed … Continue reading →
How long does it take after I file Bankruptcy until the creditors stop harassing me?
The short answer: just a matter of a few days. There are two powerful forces working for you to ensure this happens promptly. First of all, the “automatic stay” is a serious federal law that requires creditors to act promptly … Continue reading →
What is the 341 Meeting?
After you file your bankruptcy case, the court will schedule a “meeting of the creditors” in accordance with section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code. Thus, the nickname, the “341 meeting.” When does it occur? In general, about five weeks after … Continue reading →
What’s a Chapter 20 Bankruptcy?
There is actually no “Chapter 20” in the Bankruptcy Code. It’s a euphemism for the procedure where a debtor files a Chapter 7 case closely followed by a Chapter 13 case. 7+13=20, get it? Why two bankruptcy cases? Sometimes a … Continue reading →
Attorney Tremblay named to Honor Roll for public service at U.S. Bankruptcy Court
On October 23, 2013, Chief Judge Frank Bailey awarded a certificate and named Attorney Michael Tremblay to the court’s Pro Bono Honor Roll for participation in the Worcester County Bar Association’s initiative to provide counsel to pro se debtors appearing … Continue reading →
Attorney Tremblay serves as Judge at Law School Mediation Competition
Attorney Tremblay was recently invited and served as Judge at the prestigious Law School Mediation Tournament conducted by the International Academy of Dispute Resolution. Attorney Tremblay judged the first round in the Northeast Invitational Tournament held at Northeastern University Law School … Continue reading →
What to do with the underwater marital home.
Dealing with the marital home in divorce is somewhat of a cyclical problem. Years ago, when most women didn’t work outside the home, and housing costs were not oppressive, there were many cases where the wife was awarded sole occupancy … Continue reading →
Can the holder of a remainder interest claim a homestead in Massachusetts?
The new Massachusetts homestead act, enacted in 2010 and effective on March 16, 2011 has begun to generate court decisions interpreting its new and unique provisions. The new law introduced some novel ideas about homesteads, such as: Multiple owners can … Continue reading →
Social Security Benefits and Divorce for older couples
Going through a divorce is a stressful time. And approaching retirement brings on fears of many unknowns. Put them together, and wow, what a double-whammy. The public perception of Social Security benefits is loaded with many false assumptions. Here are … Continue reading →
Can Chapter 13 Help with Student Loans?
You may be discouraged if you have already read that most student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. It’s important, however, not to over-generalize in this area. Bankruptcy may still be able to help with your high student loan debt. … Continue reading →
Why choose Chapter 13 over Chapter 7?
Once you learn a little about bankruptcy, it becomes apparent that a Chapter 7 proceeding wipes out all of your debt quickly and economically, but a Chapter 13 case costs more and takes up to 5 years to complete. A … Continue reading →
Can bankruptcy stop a wage garnishment?
Yes, most wage attachments can be easily stopped with the filing of a Bankruptcy petition. Better still, in most cases, money recently taken by wage attachment can actually be recovered. Naturally, there are some technicalities. You have to read sections … Continue reading →
Can Bankruptcy Eliminate a Second Mortgage on my home?
Second Mortgages in Bankruptcy In the right circumstances, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition can eliminate a second mortgage on your home and eliminate the monthly payment. This procedures is called “Lien Stripping.” Lien stripping is not available in a Chapter … Continue reading →
How honest efforts to repay debt can backfire.
Each year, I meet several clients who have struggled so hard to repay their insurmountable debt, they have actually put themselves in a worse position than if they had done nothing, or filed bankruptcy sooner. Taking out a Home Equity … Continue reading →
Bankruptcy Landmines to Avoid
There is an old saying that “Pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered.” Bankruptcy gives you powerful remedies to escape from oppressive debt and still keep all your essential property. Occasionally, however, you hear stories of people who try to … Continue reading →
I will lose all my property. Not true. The federal government does not want to see you living in a cardboard box. The bankruptcy code permits you to claim an “exemption” in all kinds of property which you get to … Continue reading →
Imputed Income for Health Insurance Benefits
Since 2006, divorcing Massachusetts residents have been accustomed to continued health insurance coverage from the former spouse’s employer-provided plans under most circumstances. A recent amendment also requires coverage for children up to age 26. Separation agreements typically provide for one … Continue reading →
Attorney Tremblay to present “Understanding the Alimony Reform Act of 2011” to Mass Council on Family Mediation
On February 8, 2012, Attorney Tremblay and Attorney Justin Kelsey will present “When Alimony Ends and Child Support Begins – Understanding the Alimony Reform Act of 2011” to the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation at 1:00 p.m. at the Weston … Continue reading →
Attorney Tremblay on faculty of MCFM’s winter Family Mediation Institute
On December 9, 2011 Attorney Tremblay will be on the faculty of the Family Mediation Institute lecturing on the Intersection of Divorce and Bankruptcy. The annual program by the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation is a “boot camp” for Divorce … Continue reading →
Attorney Tremblay on faculty of MCLE Family Law Conference
On April 8, 2011 Attorney Tremblay will be on the faculty of MCLE (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education) lecturing on Privacy Issues in Family Law Practice as a member of the Keynote Panel. Attorney Tremblay’s focus will be on the new … Continue reading →
Search and Seizure of Computer Data
Twenty years ago, computers were in the province of big businesses only. Computer data was a big mystery, coded in many different computer languages by proprietary software, uniquely tailored to the operations of a particular business or a single purpose, … Continue reading →