Massachusetts Bankruptcy Process How To File Bankruptcy In Massachusetts
2005 Bankruptcy Act Credit Counseling The 2005 Bankruptcy Act requires all individual debtors who file bankruptcy on or after October 17, 2005, to undergo credit counseling within six months before filing for bankruptcy relief and to complete a financial management instructional course after filing bankruptcy.
2005 Bankruptcy Act Means TestUnder the 2005 Bankruptcy Act your income and expenses will be analyzed to determine if you qualify to file a Chapter 7 or if you must file Chapter 13. To apply the means test, the courts will look at the your average income for the 6 months prior to filing and compare it to the median income for Massachusetts. If the income is below the median, then you may choose Chapter 7. If your income exceeds the median, the remaining parts of the means test will be applied to determine if you can file Chapter 7 or if you must file Chapter 13.
Gathering PaperworkTo begin the bankruptcy process you must itemize your current income sources; major financial transactions for the last two years; monthly living expenses; debts ; and property . You should also collect your tax returns for the last two years, deeds to any real estate you own, your car titles, and the documents for any loans you may have.
The cost for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $306. This fee may not be waived but you may be able to pay it in installments. The fee of $281 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy cannot be waived.
How To Claim Bankruptcy In Massachusetts
How To Claim Bankruptcy In Massachusetts. File bankruptcy in massachusetts if you qualify to discharge the debt. Quick answers about bankruptcy in massachusetts on this site, we give you the honest, straightforward answers our firm has been representing consumers and businesses in bankruptcy for more than ten years.
However, it is important to know and use all the available the way a settlement agreement is drafted can make a big difference in how settlement funds will later be. Are due to medical issues. Filing for bankruptcy massachusetts is a serious decision, but the process although lengthy is surprisingly simple. Summary of massachusetts bond claim and notice laws and requirements for private massachusetts projects including free forms, faqs, resources and in massachusetts, only the general contractor is required to receive the claim, however, it may be advisable to send a copy of the claim to the public. A chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in massachusetts costs $299, whereas a chapter 13 bankruptcy filing in massachusetts costs $274.
Protect Your Rights As A Consumer With The Help Of Miller Law Group Pc
In the state of Massachusetts, consumers are protected by the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act . This law is supposed to protect against unfair and deceptive business practices. In some instances, this law is relevant to bankruptcy and provides protection to those who file for it. Specifically, the MCPA protects bankruptcy filers from unfair or deceptive practices as they fulfill obligations to discharge their debts.
If youve been mistreated by another party during the process of your bankruptcy, help is available from Miller Law Group, P.C.. Our team is ready to examine your case, protect your rights, and hold the other party to the contract that it has today. Call us today for a free consultation of your case.
Our Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act bankruptcy lawyers are ready to talk to you at no cost when you dial 502-7002.
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Complete The Bankruptcy Forms
To allow the US Courts, and all parties involved in a bankruptcy case, to process all of the filerâs information in an efficient and uniform way, everyone has to use the official national bankruptcy forms when filing bankruptcy in Massachusetts .
If you hire a lawyer, their office will put together the completed forms for your review and signature based on the information you have provided to their office. Since your lawyers won’t know what they don’t know, it’s important to answer all of their questions and requests as completely as possible, without leaving anything out.
If youâre filing bankruptcy without a lawyer , youâre the one responsible for making sure all of the bankruptcy forms are completed. Folks with simple cases can use Upsolveâs free tool to prepare their bankruptcy forms. Whichever route you go, just remember youâre preparing these forms for filing with a United States Bankruptcy Court, and intentionally leaving out information can have serious consequences under federal law.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
As mentioned above, Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the clearing of debts that are not backed by collateral. This type of bankruptcy is useful for those who have fallen behind on bills and cant afford to make monthly payments in addition to their living expenses.
Unsecured debts paid by Chapter 7 bankruptcy include the following:
- Medical debt
*Tax debt is only dischargeable under specific circumstances. Speaking to Miller Law Group, P.C. will help you discover when.
During Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person will have their assets liquidated to pay debts such as the one listed above. Once debts aredischarged during the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, creditors are no longer able to seek more payments of restitution from the person who was in debt to them. However, obligations like child support, federal student loans, and income taxes are not lifted.
Once a person files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they are protected from wage garnishments, house foreclosure, property repossession, eviction, and more. After the liquidation of your property is used to pay off debts, youll be absolved of any responsibilities associated with them. The process often takes about four to six months.
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Protecting Your Exempt Property
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case may sell your property to pay your debts unless the law specifically allows you to keep all or a part of it. The property youâre allowed to keep is called your âexempt property.â For example, exemptions may allow you to keep at least some of the equity in your home, a car, and personal property such as your clothes and household goods.
Bankruptcy exemptions arenât automatic. You must figure out what is exempt and list that property on your bankruptcy forms, along with the specific laws that allow you to claim the property as exempt. Exemptions are determined by state law; some states have their own exemptions, while others allow you to use the exemptions provided by the federal bankruptcy code.
For more information on Massachusetts law, see the Exemptions section of this website.
Can I Discharge My Debts
Even if you can file for bankruptcy, sometimes you are not eligible for a discharge. You will still owe the debt.
You are not eligible for a discharge if you:
- got a discharge in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 case in the last 8 years;
- got a discharge in a Chapter 12 or Chapter 13 casein the last 6 years, except for two exceptions under the law; or
- you did not complete the second credit counselling course while the judge is deciding your case.
Even if you cannot get a discharge, you may want to file for bankruptcy because you can stop creditors from repossessing your things or foreclosing:
- usually you get an automatic stay that stops creditors as soon as you file, but it does not always last.
- In a chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can pay back missed payments. If keep up your payments, you can stop a foreclosure or repossession all together.
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Types Of Bankruptcy Filings
Chapter 7: Liquidation
Chapter 7 is designed for individuals and businesses experiencing financial difficulty that do not have the ability to pay their existing debts. Under Chapter 7 a trustee takes possession of all of your property. You may claim certain property as exempt under governing law. A bankruptcy trustee then liquidates all non-exempt property and uses the proceeds to pay your creditors according to a distribution scheme required by the Bankruptcy Code.
The main purpose of filing a Chapter 7 case is to obtain a discharge of your existing debts. A bankruptcy discharge is a court order releasing you from liability for many types of debts. If, however, you are found to have committed certain kinds of improper conduct described in the Bankruptcy Code, your discharge may be denied by the court and the purpose for which you filed the bankruptcy petition will be defeated.
Even if you receive a discharge, there are some debts which are not discharged under the law. These include certain types of taxes, student loans, alimony and child support payments, debts fraudulently incurred, debts for willful and malicious injury to a person or property, and debts arising from a drunk driving charge. Generally speaking, a bankruptcy discharge does not remove liens from your property.
Chapter 11: Reorganization
Chapter 11 is designed for the reorganization of a business. It is also available to individual debtors who exceed the thresholds for Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
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A recent opinion by the united states bankruptcy court for the district of massachusetts, lassman v. Massachusetts bankruptcy center provides legal services for bankruptcy, debt collection solutions, foreclosuredefense, loan modification, and short sale negotiation to those living in southeastern massachusetts and cape cod, martha’s vineyard, and nantucket. File bankruptcy in massachusetts if you qualify to discharge the debt. Our massachusetts bankruptcy attorneys have years of experience coupled with extensive knowledge to bail you out years in business. How can a massachusetts bankruptcy lawyer help? How to file bankruptcy in massachusetts. In a nutshell, several people may even see filing during insolvency as a need in their life. Filing for your bankruptcy is not something you dream of. Massachusetts bankruptcy center, boston, massachusetts. A chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in massachusetts costs $299, whereas a chapter 13 bankruptcy filing in massachusetts costs $274. Unsecured debt cannot be claimed or guaranteed to be exempt during bankruptcy and it is not tied to any specific property. How to file for bankruptcy in. Bankruptcy can be a valuable tool when your financial picture isn’t very rosy, but finding the information you need to can be tough.
Where do i file if i haven’t lived in the same state or allow you to challenge the claims of creditors who have committed fraud or who are otherwise trying to collect more than you really owe.
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What Are Bankruptcy Exemptions
Every state has laws that designate certain types of property that are off-limits to unsecured creditorsâthat is, creditors that don’t have a lien on your property. Credit card debt and medical bills are the two most common types of unsecured debt.
Unsecured creditors cannot force you to sell your exempt property to pay off your debt. Even if the creditor goes to court, wins a court judgment against you, and takes steps to attach a lien to your property, you are still entitled to your exemption amount before the creditor gets any proceeds form a sale.
If you sell your exempt property voluntarily, the creditor has a right to have its lien paid from the sale proceeds before you receive anything. As a practical matter, most of the property of people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is exempt, so they don’t want to sell what they have. If all of your property is protected by exemption laws, you are said to be “judgment proof”âmeaning that creditors can’t collect anything from you, whether or not you file for bankruptcy.
One important thing to remember is that an exemption protects only the “equity” in your property. That’s the difference between the value of the property and what you owe to creditorsâlike your mortgage lenderâwho have a secured interest in it.
To learn what property is exempt in your state, see the Exemptions section of this website.
Advantages Of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Most people thinking about bankruptcy will choose Chapter 7 if they qualify for it, because Chapter 7 is usually over in just a few months and it totally wipes out most debts. But Chapter 13 may be right for people who are overwhelmed by secured debt because it offers ways to:
- restructure mortgage payments to save a home from foreclosure
- reduce the amount of some secured loans to match the value of the property , and
- reduce certain tax debts that canât otherwise be discharged in bankruptcy.
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Massachusetts Legal Aid Organizations
Legal aid in Massachusetts is available for low income individuals and families in civil matters, including Massachusetts bankruptcy cases. If youâre worried about filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Massachusetts by yourself, you can find links for a number of Massachusetts legal aid organizations as well as pro bono lawyer referral resources on thecourt’s website.
Does The Homestead Exemption Cover My Furniture And Appliances
Massachusetts bankruptcy homestead law only covers the residence itself, not your personal property within the home. Instead, Massachusetts provides other exemptions that cover some of your furniture, appliances, trade tools, and personal property. If you have questions about these exemptions, contact a Springfield debt attorney for more information.
How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works In Massachusetts
For most people, the goal of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to wipe out as much debt as possible. In legal terms, this is called having your debts âdischarged.â
In exchange for your bankruptcy discharge, you must be willing to turn over any of your property that is not exempt under bankruptcy law. The bankruptcy trustee in charge of your case will liquidate the property to pay as much as possible to your creditors; thatâs why Chapter 7 is often called âliquidation bankruptcy.â
This article covers:
- debts you owe under a divorce or separation agreement
- fines, penalties, or criminal restitution payments, and
- any debts related fraud youâve committed or injuries youâve caused.
In addition, you often canât discharge debts that are âsecuredâ by a particular piece of property. For example, if you have a car loan, the lender may be able to repossess your car. If you have a home loan and canât show that your home is exempt under bankruptcy law, the lender may have the right to foreclose your mortgage.
Massachusetts Bankruptcy Lawyer Cost
It doesnât always make sense to save money by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Massachusetts without a lawyer, especially if the cost of a bankruptcy lawyer is less than the assets you might lose without legal advice. Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyers charge anaverage of $1,400 per case, but it generally varies depending on the complexity of the case.
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Do I Need A Massachusetts Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer
Yes, you should hire a lawyer for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Doing so will put someone in your corner who understands the law and will help protect your rights during the process.
A Massachusetts Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can help with the following:
- Petitioning the court
- Meetings with creditors
- And more
Since Chapter 7 bankruptcy includes the seizing and liquidating of assets, having the help of an experienced Massachusetts Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you determine what assets will be liquidated and what ones you can maintain.
The Ma Means Test: Qualifying For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
To qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Massachusetts, a person must meet the requirements of theMassachusetts Chapter 7 Means Test. This test is meant to make sure that the right people are making a claim that they cant pay their bills and that others dont take advantage of the system. There are two ways to pass this test.
First, anyone whose income is less than the median household income in Massachusetts can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, having a lower median income isnt the only way to pass the means test. A person can also meet requirements for filing if they have very little disposable income.
As of May 1, 2020, these are the maximum annual incomes a household can make to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
Household of 1: $67,119
Household of 4: $134,418
Household of 5: $143,418
For each member of a household that is greater than four, add $9,000 to $134,418 to determine that maximum annual income for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
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What Is A 341 Hearing
Everyone who files for bankruptcy must attend a 341 hearing, which is also called a “creditors meeting.” The meeting is conducted by the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. The trustee will put you under oath and may ask you questions about the information you’ve provided on your bankruptcy forms. Creditors may also show up at the hearing to ask you questions, but it’s not common for them to do so.
Bankruptcy law also requires the trustee to ask you questions to be sure you understand how bankruptcy works and the potential consequences of filing bankruptcy, such as the effect on your credit record.
For most bankruptcy filers, this will be your only trip to the courthouse . Most court websites post schedules of 341 hearings, and when you file, you will be notified of your hearing date. When you show up for your hearing, you will find that many other people have hearings set for the same day. You will sit and wait for your name to be called–usually in a room somewhere in the courthouse or federal building, but probably not in a courtroom.