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Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be the best way for you to reset your financial health so you can get back on your feet. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as straight or liquidation bankruptcy. It provides a way for someone to clear away a variety of unsecured debts, or loans that are not backed by collateral
If you need help with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it’s important to get in contact with our Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyers as soon as possible. At Miller Law Group, P.C., we put our clients first and never provide a case with less attention than it needs. In fact, we meet each week to discuss case progress so all our clients benefit from the input an experience of our expansive legal team. We’re ready to look at your situation, help you decide if bankruptcy is right for you, and work with you to make sure the process works as it should for you.
Your financial recovery can start during a free initial consultation with our Massachusetts Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys. Call us right now at (508) 502-7002 or fill out our simple online form to start the process.
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 can’t afford to make monthly payments in addition to their living expenses.
Unsecured debts paid by Chapter 7 bankruptcy include the following:
- Tax debts*
- Child support
- Personal injury claims
- Personal loans
- Medical debt
- Credit card 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 are discharged 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, you’ll be absolved of any responsibilities associated with them. The process often takes about four to six months.
The MA Means Test: Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
To qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Massachusetts, a person must meet the requirements of the Massachusetts Chapter 7 Means Test. This test is meant to make sure that the right people are making a claim that they can’t pay their bills and that others don’t 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 isn’t 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 2: $84,125
- Household of 3: $108,130
- 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.
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
- Filling out forms
- Organizing assets
- Organizing finances
- 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.
Massachusetts Chapter 7 Bankruptcy FAQ
How Much Does It Cost to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Massachusetts?
As of 2020, it costs $306 to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Massachusetts. Costs associated with hiring a bankruptcy lawyer varies and you can discover how much assistance is for your needs by calling Miller Law Group, P.C. today.
What’s the Difference Between Chapter 7 Bankruptcy & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the liquidation of assets to pay off debt while Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows a person to repay debt by restructuring it with a plan that takes a few years to finish.
How Long Does It Take to Rebuild Credit After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
How long it takes to rebuild credit after Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on a person’s situation. Experts estimate that it can take the average person 18-24 month to reestablish credit after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Are Tax Refunds Part of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
If handled correctly, a debtor can have their tax refunds exempted from the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process.
Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Erase All Debt?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges most types of debt that consumers have. However, debts such as tax debts and student loans are only eliminated under certain circumstances. In some instances, creditors can request debts to be exempt from being discharged.
Can I Declare Chapter 7 Bankruptcy if My Home Has Equity?
Sometimes. Debtors might have too much equity in their home to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Usually, people who are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy have little to no equity in their home and they’re allowed to keep their home’s equity.
Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Right for Me?
This depends on your situation. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is best for people who would be unable to pay their debt and afford the cost of living, even if it was restructured.
What’s the Chapter 7 Means Test?
The Chapter 7 means test calculates if a person qualifies for filing based on their income. Those who make too much money for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will have to opt for Chapter 13 instead.
Should I Call a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer?
While a lawyer isn’t needed to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, hiring the services of one is always a good idea. A bankruptcy lawyer will work to protect your interests and make sure the process is handled correctly. While hiring legal assistance is more expensive, it should be viewed as an investment that can protect your future and help your financial recovery.
Call Miller Law Group, P.C. Now at (508) 502-7002 for Help from Massachusetts Bankruptcy Lawyers
When you pick Miller Law Group, P.C., you’re receiving help from a law firm that is completely focused on bankruptcy issues in Massachusetts and the state of Massachusetts. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process can differ from state to state, so making sure you have help from a local law firm is crucial for the thorough protection of your interests.
We understand that this process can be difficult. Our team makes the process easier by making sure it is handled the right way. Doing so can help ensure that your bankruptcy is successful and that your exempt assets are protected from liquidation.
Call us today, we’re ready to help you discover your options through a free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation. Our Massachusetts Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers are standing by to help at (508) 502-7002.
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