Massachusetts Bankruptcy Lawyers
A Massachusetts bankruptcy attorney can set your mind at ease.
Nobody deserves to have creditors calling at all hours of the day. You can talk to a bankruptcy attorney about the steps you may be able to take right now to get the creditors off your back.
Educate yourself about your financial options and your legal rights by speaking with a local bankruptcy lawyer.
Simply fill out the free case evaluation form below or call 877-833-2410 today to connect with an attorney near you for a no-obligation bankruptcy consultation.
Massachusetts Bankruptcy Options
Under U.S. bankruptcy law, individuals seeking personal bankruptcy protections in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have two primary ways to address their debts: either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Each chapter of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code offers powerful protections, and is designed to help debtors in different situations.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called straight bankruptcy, is by far the most popular type of bankruptcy in Massachusetts. In a Chapter 7 case, certain debts may be completely wiped out by the bankruptcy court.
Chapter 7 is typically used to eliminate credit card debts, medical bills, personal loans and other types of unsecured debts. In some Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, assets of the individual filer may be seized by the bankruptcy court and sold to repay creditors. However, state laws allow for certain assets to be exempt from sale. These include:
- Homestead:Up to $500,000 for real property, including land and buildings.
- Wages: Up to $125 per week.
- Automobiles:Up to $700 for one vehicle.
- 100 percent of necessary clothes, beds and bedding.
- $3,000 for household furniture.
- Bibles and books worth no more than $200.
- $500 of tools, implements and fixtures.
- $500 for materials and stock necessary for carrying on a trade or business.
- Up to $500 worth of boats, fishing tackle and nets.
- $125 of cash, savings or other bank deposits.
Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a great way to eliminate debts, but not everyone is eligible to file under Chapter 7. In 2005, new bankruptcy laws created a means test for Chapter 7 cases. The means test is used to determine eligibility to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The means test is a two-step process. The first step is comparing your income to the median income based on your family size. If your income is less, you qualify under the means test. If not, your disposable monthly income is compared to your debts. If the court determines there is not enough left each month to pay a certain percentage of your debts, you may qualify for Chapter 7.
For more information about qualifying under the Chapter 7 means test, connect with a Massachusetts bankruptcy attorney.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not completely wipe out all debts. Instead, it creates a workable monthly repayment plan, which lasts three to five years. At the end, any debts not repaid may be forgiven.
Chapter 13 typically works best for people who:
- Are facing home foreclosure or car repossession
- Have debts that cannot be wiped out under Chapter 7
- Do not qualify for Chapter 7 under the means test
- Want to make an honest effort to repay their debts
Determining which chapter of bankruptcy is right for you depends on your debts (how much and what types), your income, your family size and more. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney in your area about which bankruptcy chapter may best help you regain control over your debts.
Talk to a Massachusetts Bankruptcy Attorney Today
Connecting with an attorney near you is simple. Just fill out the free case review form below or call 877-833-2410 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a sponsoring bankruptcy lawyer.
The above synopsis of Massachusetts bankruptcy exemptions is by no means
all-inclusive and has been adapted from applicable state laws. These
laws may have changed since our last update and there may be additional
laws that apply in your situation. For the latest information on these
bankruptcy laws, please contact a bankruptcy lawyer in your area.