Massachusetts Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyers
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Law Firm Helping Clients in Massachusetts & the Surrounding Areas
When you have an overwhelming amount of debt, you deserve to know that options are available for you to recover financially. If you don’t qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you might be able to resolve your debts using Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, this process can be complicated and requires the help of an experienced Massachusetts Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer.
At Miller Law Group, P.C., we help clients protect their future by helping them through every step of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process. Our firm understands how uncertain and stressful this time is, and we’re ready to give you the peace of mind that you need during the entire bankruptcy process. We always give each client the attention they deserve. Each week, our team meets to discuss their cases to make sure they’re approaching them from every angle.
Call our Massachusetts Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers today at (508) 502-7002. A consultation with our team is free, confidential, and comes with no obligations.
What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy differs from Chapter 7 bankruptcy because it doesn’t involve the liquidating of a person’s assets to settle debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is reserved for those with low incomes and who wouldn’t be able to sustainably pay off their debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is referred to as a reorganization and involves the use of a court-mandated payment plan. It’s typically an option for those a court determines can pay off at least a portion of their debts over time.
Requirements for Chapter 13 bankruptcy include:
- Stable income
- Unsecured debt that is below $394,725.
- Secured debt beneath $1,184,200
Unsecured debt describes any debt with no collateral such as medical or credit card debt. This differs from secured debt like home or auto loans. Since these types of debt have collateral such as cars or a home, they cannot be released. While unsecured debt can be discharged during Chapter 13 bankruptcy, secured debt will remain. However, Chapter 13 reorganization can help you reduce payments for both types of debt so you can recover financially. It can also prevent you from losing items associated with your secured debt such as your home or your car.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy often takes years to complete but can be an important option for those who need to regain financial stability. The process makes it possible for a person to pay down their debts that they would have otherwise been unable to pay had they remained at the same amounts before. After completing their lower court-mandated payments, the remainder of a person’s unsecured debts are discharged, and they are no longer responsible for them.
Massachusetts Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQ
How Much Does It Cost to File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Massachusetts?
As of 2020, it costs $310 to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This cost does not include lawyer fees. To get a better idea about how much your Chapter 13 process will cost, call Miller Law Group, P.C. for a free initial consultation.
What Qualifies a Person for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Qualifications for Chapter 13 bankruptcy include doing business in or being a resident of the United States. Additionally, a person must have regular income and have unsecured debts that are less than $336,900. Chapter 13 claimants can’t have secured debts exceeding $1,010,650. Finally, they can’t have a recent bankruptcy case and needs to have attended credit counseling within 180 days of filing.
What’s the Difference between Chapter 13 Bankruptcy & Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is for people who can afford to pay off their debts through a restructured plan. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is only available for those who cannot afford to pay off their debt with the cost of living.
Is Credit Counseling Required for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Yes. Credit counseling is required within 180 days before a person files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
What Is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Automatic Stay?
An automatic stay is a letter sent to creditor notifying them of a Chapter 13 filing. This document prevents them from doing certain things.
How Long Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Last?
The length of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy process depends on a person’s financial situation. Most Chapter 13 bankruptcy plans last 3 to five years.
What If a Person Can’t Make Their Chapter 13 Payments?
If a person stops paying their Chapter 13 payments, they can request a suspension of payments if it is only a temporary setback. They can also request a plan modification that helps them make payments. IN some instances of hardship, a person can request to have their debt discharged or convert to Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
What If a Person Doesn’t Make Chapter 13 Payments?
If a person stops making payments, they can have their bankruptcy case dismissed. When this happens, a person won’t obtain the debt relief that they need.
When Does a Credit Score Improve After Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
After Chapter 13 bankruptcy is completed, it will appear on a person’s credit reports for seven years. Credit scores can begin to improve shortly into the process as debtors pay off their creditors. Notably, creditors often view Chapter 13 bankruptcy slightly more favorably than Chapter 7 because it shows that a person was able to pay back at least some of their debts.
What Percentage of Debt Does a Person Pay Back During Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
There is no set percentage a person pays back during Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Instead, how much a person pays back depends on their financial situation and the agreement reached with their creditors. Some debts, including things such as taxes and back-owed child support, must be paid in full during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan.
Can You Pay Off Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Early?
It depends. Chapter 13 payment plans are structured and designed to last for a certain amount of time. A person might be able to end their plan early if they can pay it off completely or if they qualify for a hardship discharge.
What Is a Hardship Discharge?
A hardship discharge is something that ends a Chapter 13 bankruptcy early because of severe and unexpected financial changes that inhibit a person’s ability to finish paying off their restructured debts. Hardship discharges are not common and are only granted for extreme situations.
Do I Need a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer is not required during the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process. However, getting legal help can help you make sure your interests are protected and that your Chapter 13 bankruptcy is as beneficial as possible to your financial recovery. Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer should be looked at as an investment toward protecting your future.
How Do I Apply for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Massachusetts?
When facing bankruptcy, you should have the help of an experience law firm such as Miller Law Group, P.C.. Our team is familiar with laws concerning bankruptcy and it’s ready to make sure the process is handled the right way for you. We’ll help you file documents, gather the right information, and make sure that your rights are protected during throughout the process. Importantly, we want you to know that this process can be beneficial and can provide the financial freedom that you deserve and need to start over again.
Miller Law Group, P.C. is determined to make sure that you never feel alone throughout the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process and that your answers are always answered. Our mission is your financial recovery, and we’ll work until we’re confident that you’re on the path to eliminating your debts and starting over fresh. We know our work can change lives, and we never take that lightly!
Find out more from our Massachusetts Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers now at (508) 502-7002. Discovering your options is free during an initial consultation.