Naatz Law Office–Bankruptcy Attorney & Bankruptcy Related Foreclosure.
Thank you for visiting our site. We strive to give you some general information in your time of need. We understand that filing Bankruptcy is a hard personal decision wrought with emotion. We understand that many people experience a significant life event, like a medical issue or job loss, that has created a financial strain. In many instances a divorce or the death of a loved one can also create problems making ends meet. If you are overwhelmed, facing a mountain of debt, facing creditor lawsuits or even possibly facing foreclosure, we are here to help. We would like to meet with you to discuss your options and help you move forward to a fresh new start.
For individuals, there are generally 2 types, also known as chapters, that they can file for Bankruptcy protection under. The first is Chapter 7. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is commonly called a “liquidation.” Essentially, a person surrenders their non-exempt assets to the court to sell and pay creditors in exchange for a discharge (elimination) from most all of their debts. Massachusetts allows a person to choose between claiming state or federal exemptions. Both the Massachusetts and the Federal exemption plans are listed by category and have differing values. These exemptions generally cover most of an individual’s assets, meaning most people are allowed to keep all of their assets and discharge all of their dischargeable debts. We will assess your property and claim the best exemption scheme for you.
The second type, or chapter, is a 13. This is known as a debt repayment plan. In order to file a chapter 13 a person needs to have regular income, whose secured debts do not exceed $871,550 and whose unsecured debts do not exceed $290,525. When filing a Chapter 13, a person will be able to keep assets that would be liquidated in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. A plan is filed which outlines how the debtor’s income over their necessary expenses will be used to pay his or her debts. We present this repayment plan, which must be approved by the Bankruptcy Court. The debtor pays the amount provided for in the plan, which is then distributed to creditors. After all payments are made for the repayment term, usually 3 to 5 years, a discharge of most debts is granted.
In preparing your schedules and deciding what chapter to file, we are required to complete a form known as the “Means Test”. Please see Means Test for more information.
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Selecting the right attorney is an important decision and a sometimes daunting task. Choosing an attorney with the appropriate experience and knowledge will ensure that you are legally protected now and in the future. We are a Springfield law firm dedicated to helping you resolve your financial crisis. Feel free to make an appointment for a free brief consultation at Naatz Law to determine if we are best suited to fit your legal needs.
Naatz Law Office, 1111 Elm Street, Suite 28,
West Springfield, Ma 01089. Disclaimer
Bankruptcy Chapter 7
QUICK features of chapter 7:
It’s fast – usually 3-4 months from start to finish.
If you make less than the current median income for your family size for Massachusetts, you can file a chapter 7 case
If you make more than the current median income for your family size for Massachusetts, you can still file a chapter 7 case if you pass the means test
You don’t have to make monthly payments
You get to keep all your exempt property – exemptions vary from state to state.
You get to keep all your property, like your house and car, as long as you keep paying any loans due and you don’t have more equity than allowed under the exemptions
You have to give up any property which is not exempt – this can be a little or a lot depending on your particular case and state. If you have non-exempt property you have options in regards to that property.
Bankruptcy Chapter 13
QUICK features of chapter 13:
You have to make monthly payments based on a formula to a chapter 13 trustee for between three to five years.
You can catch up on overdue secured debt. If you do, you can keep your house or car secured by that debt.
You may not have to pay back any unsecured debt, like credit cards, depending on your available income.
You can stop a foreclosure or repossession.
You can settle your debts over time – usually without payment of interest.
You can get rid of a
second mortgage on your house if the house is worth less than the
first mortgage – this is called “lien stripping”
You can include some of the legal fee into your repayment plan.
Foreclosure is the legal process whereby a lender
repossesses your home after you have defaulted on your mortgage
payments. Fortunately, the foreclosure process takes place very
slowly. In many cases, homeowners need to miss several payments before
the foreclosure process is started.
If you are headed down the path toward foreclosure or
actions have been initiated against you, you have options. Do not
ignore or put off learning about your options. These options mainly
include applying for a loan modification or filing for protection
under the Federal Bankruptcy Code.
Pursuing a foreclosure action is costly for lenders. In
the end, they lose both money and time, and end up with a property
they don’t necessarily want. As a result, many lenders are willing to
consider loan modifications. Modification usually results in lower
monthly payments and/or a lower interest rate. Lenders sometimes can
also reduce the principal balance on your loan.
What is the “means test”?
Who is the Trustee?
What if I don’t have all the documents but need to file NOW due to foreclosure?
What does the “automatic stay” mean?
How long will my repayment plan in a chapter 13 be?
I Filed bankruptcy before, Can I file again?
Can I keep my credit cards?
Will I ever get credit again?