Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in MA
Are you stressed by your medical bills? Are you struggling to catch up with family support payments and utilities? If you’re struggling with any sort of debt, then bankruptcy may be the solution to your problems!
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a process where the debtor reorganizes their debt. It is different from Chapter 7 in several ways. Primarily, Chapter 13 takes significantly longer, and debts are repaid instead of discharged. There are numerous reasons why a debtor would file Chapter 13. However, you should consult an attorney before filing bankruptcy.
We want to help relieve you from the burden of debt. Reach out to our Westfield bankruptcy law office and start a conversation with us.
Why Do I Need a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney in Massachusetts?
If you find yourself drowning in debt, bankruptcy may be your best option for relief. This means your petition can decide whether you start your debt-free life or continue shouldering the heavy burden. The Chapter 13 repayment plan can decide whether you keep your home or if it gets sold in foreclosure. If there’s even a small mistake in your bankruptcy filing, that can make the bankruptcy court deny your petition. Even worse, they might accuse you of committing bankruptcy fraud.
To avoid this scenario, you should ensure that everything is in order. The only way to do that is to hire a knowledgeable Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer. Our reliable attorney, Eric Kornblum, can guide you through the bankruptcy process from our first conversation until the discharge of your debt.
Here is what you expect from our Westfield-based bankruptcy lawyer:
- Passion for serving the Massachusetts Community
- Dedication to helping Bay Staters reach financial freedom
- The end to creditor harassment, like endless calls, wage garnishment, or lawsuits
- Sound guidance and legal advice throughout the bankruptcy proceedings
If you’re ready to let go of your debt, start a conversation with Attorney Eric Kornblum to discuss your Chapter 13 payment plan.
What are the Reasons for Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
The issues above help determine whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy is your best option.
How Does Income Affect Filling?
If you make too much money to file a Chapter 7, you will have to file a Chapter 13. During the bankruptcy reform of 2005, the courts made it much more difficult to qualify for Chapter 7 by creating threshold income requirements and the Means Test. You must take the Means Test if your income exceeds the median income. The Means Test takes your monthly expenses, such as mortgage loans, car payments, taxes, insurance, and child care, among other expenses, and places them in a formula that will determine whether you pass or fail the test. If you fail the Means Test, your only bankruptcy option is Chapter 13.
It is important that your income be sufficient if you want to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You will make monthly payments to the court; if you miss one, your case can be dismissed immediately. Dismissal allows your creditors to collect from you again.
An important reason for filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the protection of assets. Although a debtor may qualify for Chapter 7, their assets may not be fully exempt. Every state has its own exemption requirements, which protect most major assets. Assets can include vehicles, jewelry, boats, and even property in some situations.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows the debtor to keep the asset by paying the value of the asset over time. In Chapter 7, the assets would have to be paid off within a much smaller window. In Chapter 13, the timeline can extend from three to five years, making the monthly payment much easier for the debtor to handle.
Are You in Foreclosure?
Another reason to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is if you are facing foreclosure. Most debtors want to keep their homes despite being in foreclosure proceedings. Chapter 13 allows debtors to keep their homes through mortgage mediation programs. These programs attempt to find a solution for both the creditor and the debtor. The timeline for bankruptcy also allows for the debtor to pay back the overdue balance owed on the mortgage, as the average Chapter 13 lasts three to five years. Chapter 13 will normally be the best option for any debtor who wants to save their home.
Debt Related to Taxes
If you owe the IRS money, there is a good chance that Chapter 13 bankruptcy is your best option. If your taxes are non-dischargeable under Chapter 7, you might consider Chapter 13. The Chapter 13 process can potentially toll any interest owed during the bankruptcy, saving you significant money. In addition, you will have somewhere between three to five years to pay off the balance owed, making your monthly payments more affordable. Learn about the primary differences between Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13.
If you’re a Westfield resident who wants to end their debt, our bankruptcy lawyer can help you reach your financial goals. Schedule a conversation with us to get started on the road to a secure financial future!
Start Living Worry-Free Today!
Eric has been helping clients discharge their debts for over 20 years. If you need help with filing bankruptcy, negotiating debts, avoiding foreclosure, and keeping your properties, you’ve come to the right place. Talk to us. We’re ready to listen!
How Do I File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
While certain specifics can vary based on your situation, here is a general overview of the steps involved in Chapter 13 filings.
- Check if your debt qualifies for Chapter 13
- Value your property
- Determine your income
- Fill out the forms
- Take the required pre-filing course
- File the forms
- Pay the fee
- Give your trustee the required documents
- Attend the 341 meeting of creditors
- Attend a confirmation hearing
- Follow your repayment plan
- Take a post-filing course
- Have the remaining debts discharged
Payment plans can generally take 3-5 years, depending on certain factors. If you’re a Westfield resident considering bankruptcy, you may want to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Call the Law Office of Eric Kornblum and schedule a conversation with us right away!
Call a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer Today!
Chapter 13 is a complicated process. Some would call it a minefield. A debtor should not attempt bankruptcy without legal counsel. There is too much at stake in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy; your decision to file would affect your home, assets, and income.
A fresh start is for everyone! You can and will be able to get back on your feet with an attorney who cares about your and your family’s welfare. Schedule a conversation with Attorney Kornblum today to know your options!
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