What Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Mean?

The goal of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to wipe out (“discharge”) your debts.  In exchange for having your debts erased, you might have to give some of your personal property to your creditors.  You might think that this sounds rather harsh, but the reality is not as bad as it sounds. In reality, you only need to give your creditors your “non-exempt” personal property, which for most people, once the proper exemptions are applied, amounts to giving their creditors nothing.  In other words, in most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, most or all of your personal property will be exempt.  This is called a “no-asset” chapter 7 bankruptcy case, and even though you may have some assets (like a house, car, retirement plan or household goods) all of your assets are exempt in a “no-asset” case.  Our office will tell you exactly what personal property of yours is exempt (and therefore safe) before we file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.

For a FREE Chapter 7 bankruptcy consultation fill out the Free Evaluation form below, or call (508) 655-6085 today.

Free Evaluation Form

If you're struggling with debt, get help to today. Learn your options and your rights during a free consultation with a local bankruptcy lawyer. Just fill out the free case evaluation form below to get started right now.
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Information

Our Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyers have numerous years of experience handling Ch. 7 bankruptcies for Massachusetts residents, and we work with clients from anywhere in the State. Don’t get stuck with an inexperienced bankruptcy lawyer. You owe it to yourself to contact our offices for a totally free consultation and case evaluation. Let us help you get your life back on track if you are dealing with bills that are piling up, being sued by creditors, faced with having your paycheck garnished, or the bank is threatening to foreclose on your house.  Our office will match or beat the fee quoted to you by any other experienced bankruptcy attorney.  []

 

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What Is A Bankruptcy Really?

Bankruptcy is a federal law.  It is intended to give people a fresh start free of all the debt that they cannot pay.  In bankruptcy a person either gets released from their dischargeable debts (Chapter 7) or reduces their debts to a manageable level, maintains a monthly payment plan for three to five years and then gets released from their remaining dischargeable debts (Chapter 13).  Although bankruptcy certainly helps people out of some impossible financial situations, the existence of bankruptcy laws is meant to promote the kind of entrepreneurial risk taking that the U.S.economy depends on for growth.  To encourage a certain amount of risk taking, there must be a path to financial freedom if things don’t pan out and you land in an impossible financial situation.

For a FREE bankruptcy consultation from one of our Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyers just fill out the Free Evaluation form below, or call (508) 655-6085 today.

Free Evaluation Form

If you're struggling with debt, get help to today. Learn your options and your rights during a free consultation with a local bankruptcy lawyer. Just fill out the free case evaluation form below to get started right now.
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Information

Our Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyers have numerous years of experience handling Ch. 7 bankruptcies for Massachusetts residents, and we work with clients from anywhere in the State. Don’t get stuck with an inexperienced bankruptcy lawyer. You owe it to yourself to contact our offices for a totally free consultation and case evaluation. Let us help you get your life back on track if you are dealing with bills that are piling up, being sued by creditors, faced with having your paycheck garnished, or the bank is threatening to foreclose on your house.  Our office will match or beat the fee quoted to you by any other experienced bankruptcy attorney.  []

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Information

We work everyday with Massachusetts residents and businesses who don’t qualify for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy is especially helpful to homeowners who owe past-due amounts on their mortgage(s), or for people who want to “cram down” their automobile loan(s).  Contact our office today for more information about Chapter 13 bankruptcy and for a totally free consultation.  Our Match & Beat fee policy applies to Chapter 13 fees as well.   []

 

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Can Bankruptcy Actually Help Me?

The very simple answer is YES. Filing for bankruptcy protection helps hundreds of thousands of people every year, and it can help you too.  If you have financial problems then bankruptcy can help when you simply cannot pay your debts and live reasonably anymore. Filing for bankruptcy is not a free ride, but it can be a path to financial freedom and fresh start; you may even find that you sleep better at night.

Chapter 7 will discharge most types of debts, and Chapter 13 will allow an affordable partial repayment and forgiveness of the balance.

The Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyers at Crossley Law Offices have been representing Massachusetts consumers and businesses in bankruptcy for more than 12 years. Honest, efficient and we get the job done for our clients–affordably and with dignity.  If you are looking for a fresh start, we can help. For a FREE bankruptcy consultation fill out the Free Evaluation form below, or call (508) 655-6085 today.

Free Evaluation Form

If you're struggling with debt, get help to today. Learn your options and your rights during a free consultation with a local bankruptcy lawyer. Just fill out the free case evaluation form below to get started right now.
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Information

Our Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyers have numerous years of experience handling Ch. 7 bankruptcies for Massachusetts residents, and we work with clients from anywhere in the State. Don’t get stuck with an inexperienced bankruptcy lawyer. You owe it to yourself to contact our offices for a totally free consultation and case evaluation. Let us help you get your life back on track if you are dealing with bills that are piling up, being sued by creditors, faced with having your paycheck garnished, or the bank is threatening to foreclose on your house.  Our office will match or beat the fee quoted to you by any other experienced bankruptcy attorney.  []

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Information

We work everyday with Massachusetts residents and businesses who don’t qualify for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy is especially helpful to homeowners who owe past-due amounts on their mortgage(s), or for people who want to “cram down” their automobile loan(s).  Contact our office today for more information about Chapter 13 bankruptcy and for a totally free consultation.  Our Match & Beat fee policy applies to Chapter 13 fees as well.   []

 

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How Much Does A Business Bankruptcy Cost?

Although fees for business bankruptcies are higher than for consumer bankruptcies, because business bankruptcies are much more involved, the Crossley Law Offices charges our business bankruptcy clients very reasonable fees. Clients can be billed on an hourly basis or a flat-rate fee arrangement. If you need to file a bankruptcy for your Massachusetts based business please contact one of our Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyers for a FREE bankruptcy consultation by completing the Free Evaluation form below, or calling (508) 655-6085 today.

Free Evaluation Form

If you're struggling with debt, get help to today. Learn your options and your rights during a free consultation with a local bankruptcy lawyer. Just fill out the free case evaluation form below to get started right now.
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Information

Our Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyers have numerous years of experience handling Ch. 7 bankruptcies for Massachusetts residents, and we work with clients from anywhere in the State. Don’t get stuck with an inexperienced bankruptcy lawyer. You owe it to yourself to contact our offices for a totally free consultation and case evaluation. Let us help you get your life back on track if you are dealing with bills that are piling up, being sued by creditors, faced with having your paycheck garnished, or the bank is threatening to foreclose on your house.  Our office will match or beat the fee quoted to you by any other experienced bankruptcy attorney.  []

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Information

We work everyday with Massachusetts residents and businesses who don’t qualify for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy is especially helpful to homeowners who owe past-due amounts on their mortgage(s), or for people who want to “cram down” their automobile loan(s).  Contact our office today for more information about Chapter 13 bankruptcy and for a totally free consultation.  Our Match & Beat fee policy applies to Chapter 13 fees as well.   []

 

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How Much Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Cost?

The calculation of attorneys’ fees in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases is quite different than in Chapter 7 cases, because Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases are more time involved than Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases.

Also, the Massachusetts Local Bankruptcy Rules REQUIRE Attorneys to bill hourly for Chapter 13 cases and expressly PROHIBIT FLAT FEES in Chapter 13 cases.  Do not be misled by attorneys who would have you believe that flat fees are allowed in Chapter 13 cases because they absolutely are not.

Most attorneys will charge a standard Chapter 13 bankruptcy retainer fee of $3,500 for pre-confirmation and $500 for post-confirmation services because the Massachusetts Local Bankruptcy Rules permit these figures without an attorney needing to file a special itemized explanation of the attorney fees. This means that most attorneys in Massachusetts are probably charging clients a $4,000 legal fee retainer for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, but depending upon the amount of post-confirmation work that an attorney may be required to perform on any given case, that $4,000 figure can increase.

Be forewarned; we know with a high degree of certainty that there are some large “reputable” law firms in Massachusetts that are actively lying to their clients about attorneys’ fees in chapter 13 cases.

These firms mislead their clients into believing that they are handling their chapter 13 case for a flat-rate fee of $2,000 when all-the-while the law firm is sneaking an additional $2,000 attorneys’ fee into the Chapter 13 Plan (which the lawyer receives in the form of monthly Plan distributions paid directly from the Standing Chapter 13 Trustee) without the client knowing anything about it, and more importantly, without the client ever having agreed to it.

And remember, flat rate fees in Chapter 13 cases are prohibited, so you may get charged even more by these unscrupulous law firms.

For all Ch. 13 cases the Crossley Law Offices charges clients a full $4,000 legal fee retainer upfront.  Yes, you might be paying more upfront with our office, but for the level of experienced bankruptcy lawyer on your side, our fee is a fair and reasonable fee to charge people who are suffering through a bad economy.

Don’t make a costly mistake. For a FREE bankruptcy consultation fill out the Free Evaluation form below, or call (508) 655-6085 today.

Free Evaluation Form

If you're struggling with debt, get help to today. Learn your options and your rights during a free consultation with a local bankruptcy lawyer. Just fill out the free case evaluation form below to get started right now.
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How Much Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cost?

In 2018 people can expect that attorneys’ fees in Massachusetts consumer bankruptcy cases will range from around $1,500 to $2,500, not including costs. Our fees are substantially lower and the Crossley Law Offices charges only $1,500 for most individual Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases.

Why do other law firms charge a much higher fee? Probably because the bad economy has forced a much larger than usual number of people to file for bankruptcy protection, and as a result a lot of law firms know they can raise their fees.  However, here at the Crossley Law Offices we look at things a bit differently.  We charge clients a $1,500 fee for a standard individual consumer Chapter 7 bankruptcy case because we think it’s a fair and reasonable fee to charge people who are suffering through the bad economy.

This $1,500 fee does not include costs which generally consist of a  court filing fee of $335 (the largest cost) and more minimal costs such as a 3 bureau credit report ($45) and 2 Bankruptcy Court required credit counseling certificate courses.

What this means for you is that filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy through the Crossley Law Offices will cost you around $1,905 (this amount includes fees and costs) while other attorneys are likely charging between $1,900 and $2,500 for the very same service.

Don’t make a costly mistake. For a FREE bankruptcy consultation fill out the Free Evaluation form below, or call (508) 655-6085 today.

Free Evaluation Form

If you're struggling with debt, get help to today. Learn your options and your rights during a free consultation with a local bankruptcy lawyer. Just fill out the free case evaluation form below to get started right now.
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Chapter 7, 13 & 11 Bankruptcy Questions & Answers

Common Questions Answered by our Bankruptcy Lawyers

  1. How much does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cost?
  2. How much does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cost?
  3. How much does a Business Bankruptcy cost?
  4. Can bankruptcy actually help me?
  5. What is a bankruptcy really?
  6. What does Chapter 7 bankruptcy mean?
  7. What does Chapter 13 bankruptcy mean?
  8. What is the bankruptcy “automatic stay”?
  9. What are bankruptcy exemptions?
  10. Where is the Bankruptcy Court in Massachusetts and will I have to go?

Free Evaluation Form

If you're struggling with debt, get help to today. Learn your options and your rights during a free consultation with a local bankruptcy lawyer. Just fill out the free case evaluation form below to get started right now.
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Information

Our Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyers have numerous years of experience handling Ch. 7 bankruptcies for Massachusetts residents, and we work with clients from anywhere in the State. Don’t get stuck with an inexperienced bankruptcy lawyer. You owe it to yourself to contact our offices for a totally free consultation and case evaluation. Let us help you get your life back on track if you are dealing with bills that are piling up, being sued by creditors, faced with having your paycheck garnished, or the bank is threatening to foreclose on your house.  Our office will match or beat the fee quoted to you by any other experienced bankruptcy attorney.  []

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Information

We work everyday with Massachusetts residents and businesses who don’t qualify for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy is especially helpful to homeowners who owe past-due amounts on their mortgage(s), or for people who want to “cram down” their automobile loan(s).  Contact our office today for more information about Chapter 13 bankruptcy and for a totally free consultation.  Our Match & Beat fee policy applies to Chapter 13 fees as well.   []

 

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Do You Qualify For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

The debt limits for Chapter 13 bankruptcy are $360,475 for unsecured debt and $1,081,400 for secured debt. If you have more in either category of debt, you do not qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and must file Chapter 11 if you want to reorganize your debt.

Otherwise, as long as you are an individual with regular income and can afford to pay your monthly living expenses, secured debt payments for property you want to keep, and an extra amount for the monthly Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan payment, then you qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

What’s the Big Picture?

The bottom line about Chapter 13 bankruptcy is this: You pay what you can afford after your reasonable expenses for a set period of time, then you emerge from bankruptcy with a clean slate and a fresh start.

Don’t make a costly mistake. For a FREE bankruptcy consultation contact the Crossley Law Offices by filling out the Free Evaluation form below, or call (508) 655-6085 today.

Free Evaluation Form

If you're struggling with debt, get help to today. Learn your options and your rights during a free consultation with a local bankruptcy lawyer. Just fill out the free case evaluation form below to get started right now.
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Advantages of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

What are some Advantages of Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

First of all, it gives you the ability to make a single debt payment that is affordable based on your income.  You will still have to make most mortgage and car payments, but your unsecured debts are consolidated into the Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan.  Secondly, a plan gives you the ability to do other things that are relevant for people in some situations.  For example, in Chapter 13 bankruptcy you can stop foreclosures by curing mortgage arrears, cram down car loans, strip off wholly unsecured second and third mortgages, and pay off non-dischargeable tax debts.  Ultimately, your plan is based on what you want to accomplish and also on your income, expenses, assets and debts.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for seven years. (Chapter 7 remains on your report for 10 years).

Free Evaluation Form

If you're struggling with debt, get help to today. Learn your options and your rights during a free consultation with a local bankruptcy lawyer. Just fill out the free case evaluation form below to get started right now.
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What Will My Chapter 13 Monthly Payment Be?

It depends on your income, assets, expenses and debts.  What you will pay is based on a ‘means test’ and budgetary test that incorporates your income, expenses, secured debt payments and other factors.  We will do our best to tell you approximately what your monthly payment would be, when you contact us for a free consultation.  Determining a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan monthly payment amount is one of the specialized parts of the Chapter 13 process, and it is one of the reasons that you need an honest lawyer who really knows about Chapter 13 bankruptcy and all the permissible ‘means test’ deductions.  Many of these deductions are not common knowledge, even among lawyers.

 

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Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Payment Plan

Length of Your Payment Plan

How long does a Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment plan last?  This is determined by your income and household size.  If you are above-median income based on household size, your plan is five years (60 monthly payments).  If you are below median income, your plan is three years (36 monthly payments).

Why do People File Chapter 13?

The most common reason people file Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that they need debt relief and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the only type of bankruptcy they can qualify for because their income exceeds the limits set by the bankruptcy ‘means test’.  The bankruptcy laws require that most people who can afford to pay back some debts do so in Chapter 13.  That’s what the bankruptcy ‘means test’ is all about. Most, but not all, people who are above-median income cannot qualify for Chapter 7 and can only qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In Massachusetts, the median income by family size (for cases filed after Nov. 1, 2017) is:

  • Family of one: $61,353
  • Family of two: $78,508
  • Family of three: $96,698
  • Family of four: $121,280
  • Add $8,400 for each additional family member.

Another common reason why some people file Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7 is to keep property they would otherwise lose in a Chapter 7.  No one ever loses property in a Chapter 13.  Chapter 13 is simply not a liquidation chapter; instead it is a reorganization chapter.  Sometimes keeping all their property is very important to people.  Many people have a very small amount of property and they would lose none of it in a Chapter 7, but some people do have a significant amount of non-exempt property (such as excess equity in their houses or cars) that would not be protected in Chapter 7.  When these people need debt relief, often the best way is through Chapter 13.  However, since the modernization of the Massachusetts exemption laws in 2011, fewer people need Chapter 13 because they can now protect the vast majority (usually all) of their property in Chapter 7.

It is usually very quick and easy for us to determine if you have non-exempt property.  You can contact us by filling out the Free Evaluation form below, or calling (508) 655-6085 to find out.

Free Evaluation Form

If you're struggling with debt, get help to today. Learn your options and your rights during a free consultation with a local bankruptcy lawyer. Just fill out the free case evaluation form below to get started right now.
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