Bankruptcy Help Group: Learn About Chapter 13

No Let's learn About Chapter 13

Nothing compares to Chapter 13, when you want to eliminate some debts, get caught up on and consolidate others. It allows you either 36 or 60 months to get caught up on and repay any payments which you have missed on your car, truck and/or house.

The Bankruptcy laws are broken down into chapters. For instance, there is Chapter 7 (sometimes called "a liquidation bankruptcy", which is misleading), Chapter 13 (commonly called a "wage earner plan"), Chapter 11 (bankruptcy for huge corporations like airlines and department stores) and Chapter 12 (bankruptcy for a family farmer).

For individuals, married couples and almost all privately owned businesses, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the only two chapters available to most people in need of help.

 



  IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you proceed and read this section on Chapter 13 we suggest that you first read Learn about Chapter 7. We suggest this for a few reasons: first, Ch. 7 is by far the more common form of bankruptcy; Ch. 7 is also significantly cheaper than Ch. 13; and the best way to learn about Ch. 13 is by comparison to Ch. 7. For this reason, if you have NOT yet read the section entitled Learn About Chapter 7 ...please stop here and go back and read that section in its entirety. Then after reading about Ch. 7 come back here and get educated about Ch. 13 and whether it is right for you. Here are the topics we will discuss.

Below are Links To Various Topics & FAQ’s about Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy:

 
     
   
     
  Here are the answers to the 2 most important questions you have:  
     
   
 


What types of debts can I/we get rid of permanently in Ch. 13?
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Chapter 13 (like Chapter 7) is amazing and powerful. It gives you the ability to permanently get rid of the most of the common types of debt people have: unsecured debts. These unsecured debts are things like, credit card debt, medical/hospital/dental bills, bank loans, personal loans, payday loans, collection companies, old and current utility bills, finance company loans and credit union loans. Ch. 13 can also permanently eliminate any unsecured debts you may have a failed business, your divorce, if you co-signed or personally guaranteed a debt for someone else, any debt owed as the result of a foreclosure deficiency, auto loan repossession, boat/motorcycle repossession, trade creditors..... and many other debts to numerous to list. Also remember you not only get rid of all these debts you also get rid of ALL OF THE INTEREST on them too!!!! (see paragraph below). When you call us we can explain it all to you and tell you right over the phone whether you can get rid of the debt in bankruptcy. In addition to the above and as is explained elsewhere in this site you can even get rid of certain income taxes over 3 years old when you meet certain requirements.

The real difference between Ch. 13 and 7 is that in Ch. 13 even if you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments or car payments you can save them and get caught up on them by making payments through a Ch. 13 plan. In Ch. 13 there is a means test which reviews your income and financial circumstances to determine what if any amount you will have to pay back to get caught up on your mortgage payments or car payments and what amount (if any) you will need to pay to your unsecured creditors. Obviously, we must review your specific information to determine your payment but in many cases the payment to unsecured creditors is very low especially in comparison to what you were previously paying your credit card companies and sometimes in Ch. 13 you do not have to pay your unsecured creditors anything. See Legal Disclaimer at the end of this section.

The other thing to keep in mind is it doesn’t matter how much unsecured debt you have in Ch. 13 whether you have $ 5,000.00 or $250,000.00, our clients get rid of it all. So don’t let the amount of debt you have in a Ch. 13 worry you we have handled all types of cases and represented clients where the amount of unsecured debt has varied from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands.

The real bonus most people don't understand is that when you get rid of the debt you also get rid of the INTEREST on the debt. In today’s world that could be anywhere from 18% to 35%. It’s usually these ridiculous interest rates that make you unable to pay off your debt because your whole payment just goes to interest and never even pays down your principal balance. Ch.13 not only permanently eliminates the unsecured debt.....it also permanently eliminates all that interest. So...is Ch. 13 amazing or what?

I know right now you're shaking your head saying this seems too good to be true. Well we can tell you without hesitation and with complete confidence that this is not too good to be true. Ch. 13 Bankruptcy is the real thing our government created laws to help people in financial need so that they could start over. This isn’t the 1920’s, they don’t throw you in jail if you can't pay your debts and it doesn't help our economy if you can never get out of debt. So the United States set up bankruptcy laws so that you can save your home, even if you got divorced or lost your job temporarily and are now working again. As I always say: "If the general public actually understood how well Ch. 13 Bankruptcy worked in fixing their financial problems and saving their home everyone that could file would file".

So don't be afraid to learn your rights and whether you are eligible Call our office today and find out for free. In my experience about 95% of the people that call are eligible for some type of bankruptcy which can save them anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per month.

Reasons to file Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7 link to top

The first question every client asks about Ch. 13 is why do I/we want to have to pay back a monthly payment in a Ch. 13 plan, when I/we can file a Ch. 7 and get released from all of our debt? Here are the top 6 answers why it might be better for you to file a Ch. 13:

 
 
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Introduction Types of Bankruptcy
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Limits of Bankruptcy Filing for Bankruptcy
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Creditors' Meeting Bankruptcy Crime
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Court Hearings The Discharge
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Bankruptcy Plymouth
Bankruptcy Brockton
Bankruptcy Bridgewater
Bankruptcy Cape Cod
Bankruptcy Quincy
Bankruptcy Boston
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1. Ch. 13 you can save your home or car even if you are behind on the payments: As explained in the previous paragraph, the amount you need to pay to "catch-up" on your delinquent mortgage or car loan payments is calculated into your Chapter 13 plan so that you can stop that foreclosure and save your house. So the most important reason to file Ch. 13 is you can't do this in Chapter 7. In the Eastern District of Massachusetts there are two Ch. 13 plans available, either 36 months or 60 months which is determined by the means test and your gross income. Since your mortgage or car loan arrears are to be paid back over the entire duration of your Ch. 13 plan (36 months or 60 months) we can hopefully tailor a plan which gives you the time and an affordable monthly payment to bring these mortgage or car loan arrears current. So if you are behind on your mortgage or car payments and can't catch up on them before filing a Ch. 7 bankruptcy and you want to save your house or car then Ch. 13 is your only option.

2. You can file Ch. 13 and keep all your property, even if you don't have enough Exemptions in a Ch. 7: If you review our explanation of "exemptions" in Learn about Chapter 7. The same exemption laws apply in Ch. 13. So here’s the million dollar question: What do you do when you have more property than you can protect with the available state and/or federal exemptions? Answer: Consider filing Chapter 13 instead. You can have us create a Ch. 13 plan payment for you that pays enough over to your creditors to compensate them for this extra equity that you ere unable to exempt. Since you can do this over the entire duration of your Ch. 13 plan (36 months or 60 months) we can tailor a plan which gives you the time and an affordable monthly payment to protect your extra equity, file bankruptcy and still keep this valuable property.

3. Ch. 13 stops foreclosures and repossessions immediately: As explained in Paragraph 1 above Ch. 13 allows you to "catch-up" on your delinquent mortgage or car loan payments. However, it certainly wouldn't be of any help to you if the Mortgage Company or bank could continue to foreclose on your house or repossess your car in the meantime. In Ch. 13, once you file the mortgage company or bank cannot take any further action against your house or car so long as you make your required Ch. 13 plan payments and continue to make your monthly mortgage and/or car payments (these are known as secured debts) while your bankruptcy is pending. That means these creditors are prevented by law from doing anything for the entire time you are in Ch. 13 and they cannot foreclose on your home or reposes your car. For clarity, secured debts are debts that are directly secured by collateral for example a mortgage is secured by your home and your car loan is secured by your car. With secured debts, you usually enter into an agreement to make a number of monthly payments to repay the loan (like 60 months for a car or 360 months for a house). Unfortunately in today’s economy and with the decline in the real estate market, people all too often find themselves "upside down" on their loan. Upside down is when you finance your house or a car, and the fair market value of the house or car decreases faster than the loan is being repaid so that the payoff balance of the loan is higher than the fair market value of the home or car.

4. How to "strip off" a totally unsecured 2nd or 3rd mortgage: If you meet the right requirements, this can save you a boatload of money, and allow you to get out from under some really "upside down" situations, while still keeping your home. For instance, let's say you owe $270,000.00 on your first mortgage and $75,000.00 on your second mortgage and your house is only worth $250,000.00. Under Chapter 13, you are allowed to get away with only paying the first mortgage and stripping away the $75,000.00 second mortgage completely thereby lien stripping on that 2nd mortgage company. In our example, the $75,000.00 second mortgage debt is treated as an "unsecured" debt to be paid at pennies-on-the-dollar just like a credit card. You can't do that outside of bankruptcy or in Ch. 7 but in Ch. 13, you can "strip off" the second mortgage completely so long as there is not a single dollar of equity in the house to "secure" it and so long as you fully complete your Ch.r 13 plan. Remember "stripping" a 2nd mortgage not only eliminates the 2nd mortgage debt, it also immediately eliminates the need to make your monthly 2nd mortgage payment. Often times the money saved from the 2nd mortgage is more than enough to pay for your Ch. 13 plan payment.

5. If your income is over the Means Test or you make too much to file Ch. 7: The first question is always: If I can't afford to pay my bills how can they say I make too much income to file a Ch. 7 bankruptcy? Actually there are several reasons: A) people that make a lot of money can spend more than they make and mismanage it just like anyone else; B) you or you and your wife were both out of work and fell way behind on your bills and are now both back to work and earning above the Means Test limit; or C) Your monthly "after-tax" income exceeds your "reasonable or necessary" monthly expenses.

Let’s examine each, but first you must understand that the Means Test in Massachusetts dictates in large part whether you qualify for Ch. 7 or 13, it is an amount set by the federal government and is based upon the number of people living in your household. Enclosed is a chart of the current Means Test Income Levels for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as of September 1, 2012. Please note these figures are periodically updated by the federal government so please do not rely upon them it is for informational purposes only and should not replace you consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney:

Add an additional $7,500 for each household member over 6 So if you are looking at the above and think you are not eligible to file bankruptcy under Ch. 7 because you have too much income. Be aware there are certain exceptions and additional amounts that can be earned above these figures and still qualify you for Ch. 7 but they are too complex to explain here and you should Call our office today and schedule a free consultation. Remember, based upon our experience we know what will and will NOT be allowed in the Eastern District of Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court. In addition, if your monthly "after-tax" income exceeds your "reasonable or necessary" monthly expenses as dictated by the court. This is where an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you. Determining what are "reasonable or necessary" expenses in accordance with applicable bankruptcy law and specifically 11 U.S.C. §707(b) is what determines whether you can file a Ch. 7 case or a Ch. 13 case. If you file a Ch. 7 bankruptcy with an inexperienced attorney who lets you claim expenses that would be considered a "substantial abuse" of the Bankruptcy Code it could not only land you in hot water with the court and the trustee’s office, it could also cost you extra money to find an attorney who really knows what he or she is doing to fix the errors. So what do you do? I think the answer is obvious hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can properly advise you on both Ch. 7 and 13 and if you can only file bankruptcy Ch. 13 we can create a plan that works for you and stays within your budget.

6. Ch. 13 may require less "up-front" attorney’s fees than Ch. 7: As you know from the above Ch. 13 allows you to do some things that Ch. 7 can't. One of them is in Ch. 13 not all of the attorney’s fees have to be paid "up front". Not. See in Ch. & the law states that you must pay all of your attorney’s fees to your attorney before he files your case. This is not required in Ch. 13. Because you’re in a 36 or 60 month plan, you are making monthly payments to the Ch. 13 Trustee. By way of a very simplified explanation, the Ch. 13 Trustee works for the court, handles your case, takes your payments and in accordance with the bankruptcy laws distributes money to your creditors. In Ch. 13, your attorney can include his/her fees in your plan and get paid through your plan later by the Chapter 13 Trustee. This allows you to get your bankruptcy filed with less money up-front.

I'm stressed out with debt what can I do. link to top

As is explained above getting rid of unsecured debts and the interest that goes along with it is important, but it's not only the financial aspect that is important its also the effect it has on you and your family’s stress, worry and health. Let's be honest how many people with crippling amounts of debt are happy or stress free? Simple answer: NONE!!! Because when you can’t pay your bills or can’t afford groceries or gas or something for your kids, or you have to choose between them day in and day out it creates an unbelievable amount of stress, worry and pressure on your marriage and relationships. So once you file Ch. 7 guess what it’s all GONE FOREVER.

Before they call and come into see us to find out how bankruptcy really works...almost all people believe there is nothing they can do to get rid of debt and that they will be in debt for the rest of their lives. They have lost all hope, can't sleep at night, feel depressed or nauseous all the time, fight with family members about financial matters, fear the calls to their employer might cost them their job, etc. If any of this sounds even remotely familiar to you should Call our office today because these things simply are not true and we can explain it all to you.

The sense of relief clients feel once they contact us and learn how bankruptcy really works is almost indescribable. For most they come in with their heads down, some embarrassed and crying and then after learning about their rights under the bankruptcy laws they leave smiling, sometimes laughing with many explaining that it feels like a thousand pound weight has been lifted off of their shoulders.

I have found that people file bankruptcy not only to get rid of debt but also the stress, worry and pressure on their marriage and relationships that the debt causes. All too often I've seen that debt that could be bankrupted cause unnecessary depression, heart attacks, strokes, divorces, alcohol/drug problems and other health issues. Filing bankruptcy will not get rid of all your problems but I can guarantee you it will decrease the daily stress, worry and pressure you feel from not having to deal with out of control debt. Once you file it will also permanently eliminate you from worrying and feeling helpless about your fin.because now you have a future to look forward to.

Honestly the best part of being a bankruptcy attorney to me is seeing how people’s lives can change once the debt is gone. Seeing people on the verge of divorce happy again, seeing a single mom working 3 jobs and never seeing her kids just to pay her bills now be able to actually spend time with her children, or seeing a 72 year old couple both still killing themselves working to pay credit card debt being able to retire and enjoy their final years is why it's all worth it to me.

What property can I keep and protect in a Ch.13? link to top

This is usually one of the most common and important questions we get asked. Most people think that if they file bankruptcy, they lose everything.....however....THIS IS NOT TRUE!!!! In Ch. 13 our clients get to keep everything they own and lose nothing when they file. Why? Because as explained above in Ch. 13 we can create you a plan to pay in some money to the Ch. 13 Trustee on a monthly basis that let’s you keep all your property even if you do not have enough exemptions. However, to be clear almost everyone does have enough "EXEMPTIONS" to keep everything they own. In Massachusetts, there are State or Federal exemptions which are basically lists of property and things a person can keep and still file bankruptcy. Massachusetts has very liberal exemptions which means as is mentioned above....most of the people who file either a Ch. 7 or a Ch. 13 bankruptcy won't lose anything.

Your home or real estate: In Massachusetts, if you have a declaration of homestead you can protect up to $500,000.00 in equity in your home if you are married and filing jointly or $250,000.00 if you are single or filing by yourself (commonly referred to as the homestead exemption). Needless to say in today’s economy not to many people have equity over that amount. Equity is the actual value of your home less all outstanding mortgages. For example, if your house is valued at $279,000.00 and the mortgage on it has a payoff balance of $249,000.00. The "equity" in your house is $30,000.00. As you can see in Massachusetts, you could easily protect your house and all its equity. This does NOT mean that by filing a Ch. 7 bankruptcy you get to keep your house free and clear, if you have a mortgage you still have to pay the monthly mortgage payment or you will lose the house.

All other types of property: In Massachusetts, there are also exemptions to cover almost everything one might own, including, but not limited to: bank accounts, mobile homes, land, cars, trucks, motorcycles, RV’s, pensions, retirement plans, IRA's, 401k and 403b accounts, wages, cash value on your life insurance, personal injury claims, worker’s compensation claims household goods and furniture, tools you use in your trade, savings bonds and the list goes on.

A Friendly Warning: Federal and State exemption law is complex and complicated and not all attorneys are equally experienced. There are many traps for the less experienced attorneys practicing bankruptcy law (of which there are many) so a complete and thorough understanding of all available Federal and Massachusetts exemptions is vital. An attorney who does not fully understand all the exemptions available to you is dangerous for two reasons: first, if he or she uses the wrong exemption it may cause you to lose or forfeit some of your property which you could have kept thereby costing you valuable money; or second (and worse) tell you that you cannot file when you can, thereby keeping you from obtaining the fresh financial start you deserve and bankruptcy provides. I always ask people would you hire a plumber to put a roof on your house? Of course not, so why would you use an attorney who does anything but bankruptcy law to file your bankruptcy. I and my staff know the laws and exemptions in Massachusetts and we can help you so Call our office today.

How property is valued in Ch. 13: The simplest explanation is that in a Ch. 13 we must analyze and determine the correct value for each client's property. Whether it’s a house, car or furniture we help you determine the value correctly. Always remember that values vary depending upon your reason for trying to value it. For example, there is a difference between an insurance value and fair market value in a Ch. 7 the court only cares about what we call the actual fair market value or liquidation value. This means you may have paid $600.00 for your couch 2 years ago but if you put it out on the front lawn for a yard sale what would you get is the actual value or liquidation value. For cars and houses it’s easier as we can use websites like KBB.com and NADA.com and zillow.com or real estate agents to determine the values. Unfortunately these numbers might be much less than what you wish the property was worth or the value it has to you or what you paid for the property, but the good news is you will be able to keep it when you file Ch. 13.

Remember just like with the above mortgage example filing Ch. 13 does NOT mean you get to keep property for free. If you have a car loan and the bank holds the title or has a lien on your title you will still have to once again start paying the car loan in a timely manner if you want to keep the car after you file Ch. 13 (if you don’t want the car read below). Remember if you do not keep the car loan current after you file your plan, the bank will eventually repossess your car even if you file a Ch. 13.

Keeping a house or car: In Ch. 13, if you want to keep your house or car you must tell us if you’re not current so we can determine your arrears and calculate a Ch. 13 plan for you. This would give you either 36 or 60 months to get caught up as is explained above.

How to Stop Lawsuits, Harassing Phone Calls and Wage Garnishments.   link to top

Just like in Chapter 7 .... as soon as you file a Ch. 13 bankruptcy the Court immediately sends out to all of your creditors a Court Order and notice of your filing which puts the "automatic stay" provision of 11 U.S.C. §362 into effect. This "automatic stay" provision prevents all of your unsecured creditors from ever contacting you again or from trying to ever attempt to collect on your debt to them now or in the future. This is one of the most fundamental and powerful bankruptcy laws as it is immediate and provides you with complete protection from lawsuits, wage garnishments and creditor harassment and collection tactics. This means no more collection calls (at home, work or cell) and no more collection letters and dunning notices. It means all collection lawsuits are done, they must stop all garnishments against your pay (for everything except child support/alimony) and it means they cannot foreclose on your house or repossess your car until and unless they get a court order in advance. Throughout the entire time your Ch. 13 is pending, before a creditor can do anything to you they must file a formal motion or application with the Court.

What happens if a creditor ignores this order or continues to pursue your debt? The Bankruptcy Court can and will punish a violating creditor by entering a court order imposing fines, sanctions and/or attorney’s fees against the creditor in your favor. This law is so strong and widely accepted that most, if not all, creditors immediately comply with the "automatic stay" provision Order.

At the end of your Ch. 13 case, when you receive your “discharge of debtor” the automatic stay provision expires. This is usually nothing to worry about because all your unsecured debts have been discharged (which means they are permanently gone) or your secured debts like your mortgage and car loan are now current and paid up to date, and this “discharge of debtor” is a permanent order to protect you that never expires and prevents your creditors from ever pursuing you in the future for every dischargeable debt you have listed in your Ch. 13 Bankruptcy.

Just like Ch. 7 there are some types of debts that are non-dischargeable in a Ch. 13 bankruptcy. Some examples of non-dischargeable debts are income taxes less than 3 years old, alimony, child support, student loans, and certain other types of taxes and criminal fines. Once you’re discharged they can begin to pursue you again but clearly your Ch. 13 filing will have greatly reduced the financial burdens on you and you will have likely paid back some if not all of the taxes and child support and alimony arrears while you were in your Ch. 13 plan. In any event you will be better able to deal with these non-dischargeable debts at the end of your Chapter 13 case.

Can I/we get rid of debt on property we are willing to give up like a car, house, etc? link to top

The simple answer to this question is yes ABSOLUTELY. Both Ch. 7 and 13 can help you eliminate the debt on any property that you: (A) Can no longer afford, (B) Have lost control of, or (C) No longer want.

Example A: Property you can no longer afford: Whether it’s a house or a car you can no longer afford to make the payments. What are your options, what do you do and what does Ch. 13 do for you? If you are willing to give up or surrender your house because you’re upside down and have no equity then by filing a Ch. 13 you get some real benefits. First, you are immediately excused from paying the mortgage, real estate taxes and insurance. But more importantly if the bank or mortgage company does not get enough out of the foreclosure auction to pay the full mortgage debt they have no right to pursue you for the difference (commonly called the mortgage loan deficiency). You are completely forgiven for this deficiency and bank can NEVER come after you for the rest. If you didn’t file Ch. 13, the house would get foreclosed on, there would be a mortgage loan deficiency and then the bank or mortgage company could either sue you for the deficiency or worse report the deficiency to the IRS so that you would be required to pay income taxes on it and owe money to the IRS and DOR. By filing Ch. 13 and giving up your house you are discharged from the whole debt, the bank or mortgage company can sell the house and that's it. Giving up, surrendering a car back to the bank or having a car repossessed is a very similar scenario. By filing Ch. 13 even if the bank sells the car at auction and doesn’t get enough to pay off your car loan you are forever and permanently excused from any auto loan deficiency following the auction.

Example B: Property you have lost control of: There are two scenarios here that might relate to you. First, if you gave up your interest in your former marital home due to a divorce and your name is still on the mortgage then Ch. 13 can be a huge help to you re-building your credit and eliminating debt. Whether your ex-spouse is paying the mortgage or not if both of you are named on that mortgage you are forever liable on it until it is paid off or until she refinances it and takes your name off of it. Now let's say your ex-spouse does not refinance. This is a huge problem for you because you are still liable on the mortgage and if he/she does not pay the mortgage, the bank will sue you for the money. Even if he/she does pay the mortgage you still have that huge outstanding mortgage debt owed and until you get it removed from your credit you will not be able to get another mortgage in the future so that you can buy your own home. Filing a Ch. 13 immediately removes your name from the mortgage, that way if your ex-spouse ever defaults you don’t have to worry about the mortgage company coming after you. More importantly, because your name is off the mortgage you should be able to qualify for your own mortgage approximately 24 months after your bankruptcy is discharged. Also your filing does not prevent your ex-spouse from keeping the house, he/she simply has to make the payments and they can stay. It’s the best of both worlds he/she can stay in the house and you can stop worrying about the mortgage being paid on time and can move on with your financial future.

Example C: Property you no longer want: Let's say you own a RV Camper or Boat home that is worth $12,000.00 and your outstanding loan on it is $28,000.00. You’ve tried for the past two years to sell it, but no one has offered anything close to what you owe to the bank. Unless you can sell it and payoff the shortfall in cash then you’re stuck continuing to make the monthly payment on something you’ll never have equity in. Filing Ch. 13 bankruptcy can solve your problem because as part of your filing you can give back or surrender the RV Camper or Boat to the Bank you owe the $28,000.00 to. The Bank will then come get the RV Camper or Boat and sell it either privately or at auction. Just as in the foreclosure example and car repossession examples above you don’t care what the bank gets for the RV Camper or Boat because any deficiency you owe on that loan is an unsecured debt that will be completely discharged in your Ch. 13. Obviously, if you didn’t file they would and could sue you for the deficiency balance due on the loan and would come after you for whatever ridiculous amount they claimed you owed.

If you have a different situation or example you want a detailed answer on all you need to do is Call our office today or send us an email with your example. The same theories apply with respect to all types of property or debts you may want to get rid of and we would be more than happy to explain all of your rights to you.

How will filing help me or my family's financial future.  link to top

The whole concept of Bankruptcy is to eliminate debt so that you can get what is commonly referred to as a “fresh start”. It’s sort of like a do-over or second chance. Just because you were out of work for two years, became sick/disabled, had to take a lower paying job or purchased a home right before the real estate market crashed should not mean you and/or your family should have no financial future at all. Bankruptcy eliminates that debt from your past forever so you don't have to pay it anymore. Without this debt you can hopefully now afford your family’s normal monthly living expenses, take care of your family and be in a better position to get your financial life started over again. All of our clients are saving hundreds to thousands of dollars per month which they can utilize toward building that financial future. Conversely, not filing a bankruptcy can leave you stuck with no way out, stuck just paying the minimum balances on your credit cards with no hope of ever paying them off, no ability to save money and no hope of a future. Filing Ch. 13 and eliminating your debt (and maybe even your 2nd mortgage) means you and/or your family can finally start moving forward and make progress like obtaining a new car or start saving for your child’s college education or building equity in your home that was previously hopelessly upside down. You and your family go from hopeless to hopeful just by filing. Just always remember in Ch. 13 that the most important step is to successfully complete your Chapter 13 plan.

How can filing get me/us into a position to save more money and re-buld our credit? link to top

For most people facing bankruptcy, they have already exhausted their savings, retirement assets, taken family loans, taken 2nd jobs and cut back everywhere they could…..just to stay current. For most people not filing bankruptcy means they can’t save anything and god forbid the car breakdown or someone need dental work . That simply can’t happen as it spells financial ruin and if you’re there then you are already in desperate need of a Ch. 13 bankruptcy.

Filing a Ch. 13 bankruptcy hopefully solves these problems and more. By filing Ch.13 bankruptcy you eliminate sufficient debt so you can live on what you earn. Thereafter, now that you are debt free as you earn more money and are more wise with your finances by sticking to a budget we can help establish for you, you should be able to start saving money, especially as you pay off your car, eliminate unnecessary expenses through our budget, from raises or promotions at your employer, working a 2nd job because you see all the money is actually now going to savings rather than to credit card companies, etc.

As for rebuilding credit filing bankruptcy and eliminating the debt is the most important step. If you’re considering bankruptcy chances are your credit is already seriously messed up or you owe so much you couldn’t pay it off in 40 years. So to rebuild your credit besides Ch. 7 absolutely nothing works better than filing Ch. 13 bankruptcy. Just always remember in Ch. 13 that the most important step is to successfully complete your Chapter 13 plan. The other important factors in rebuilding your credit is making any secured payments like mortgages and car loans in a timely manner (that means never paying them even one day late). It also means that when you become eligible for a credit card after Ch. 13 you get one and only one card and you charge $50/mo. and pay it off every month. Making timely payments and keeping your balances paid off makes your debt to income ratio look better and gradually over time you will get better and better credit offers from banks and credit card companies. You will qualify for car loans at a reasonable interest rate and have multiple credit cards offered to you. But don’t ever fall into the trap again, always only keep one credit card and pay it off every month, if you do this you can raise your credit score by 150-200 points in 24-30 months after you receive your Ch. 13 discharge. At this point you start asking yourself was I crazy why didn’t I file Ch. 13 years ago instead of trying to pay those insurmountable credit cards and that upside down 2nd mortgage. Your life is so much better in so many ways and you are actually sharing this information with family members and friends who are also struggling....and hopefully you are referring them to us so we can help them file their bankruptcy and get their lives back on track too

Important Legal Disclaimer: Please Read  link to top

State and federal bankruptcy laws are complex, extensive and complicated. There is always new case law and local rules that an experienced bankruptcy attorney must stay abreast of. As such, the best bankruptcy attorneys do nothing but bankruptcy.

Please note that all of the information contained herein does not establish an attorney client relationship between you and Mass Law Group, PC until you have officially retained our office and paid a retainer. The information contained herein although true, in many cases, may vary from client to client dependent upon their financial circumstances and facts. As such, your results will vary depending on your goals, assets, debts, income and expenses.

More importantly the information contained herein was oversimplified and generalized in order to make important points. The information contained on this website is not sufficient to teach you how to file your own bankruptcy case simply by reading this material. The best advice I can give you is to Call our office today for a totally FREE initial consultation. That way you can explain your specific facts and learn all your bankruptcy rights and options.

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What does it cost to file Ch.13 and how do I/we pay for it?  link to top

We can't speak for all attorneys but the usual cost for a Ch. 13 case from an experienced bankruptcy attorney is $3,500.00-$4,000.00 (obviously based on your financial circumstances, complexity and if it is an emergency filing). In fact, in Massachusetts the cost for a Ch. 13 case set by the attorney cannot exceed $4,000.00 with out court approval. In our office for Ch. 13 cases filed in the Eastern District of Massachusetts (Boston) we require you pay a minimum attorney’s fee retainer of $750.00 with the remainder of the attorney’s fees to be paid through your Ch. 13 plan. You also must pay prior to filing the Ch. 13 filing fee of $310.00.

The remainder of the costs are typically minimal, and include a two credit counseling courses (usually $10-25/each and we know all of the lowest priced credit counseling companies to use), some other small costs like obtaining copies of your deeds and mortgages, performing judgment searches and perhaps a credit report (less than $20) although they are usually free at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Attorney fees in Massachusetts for Ch.13 cases can vary somewhat based upon the complexity of your case and a sliding scale we offer to the disabled, veteran’s and elderly. For this reason you should Call our office today for an exact quote from Attorney Scannell.

How soon can my/our case be filed? link to top

Our answer is simple and direct: As soon as you have your fees and paperwork together and can come in the office to review and sign your bankruptcy we can get you filed. In most cases, we can have your case filed in a week or less and in an emergency situation in less than 24 hours, like when a foreclosure auction is scheduled against your home or your car is about to be repossessed.

 
     
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Handling Bankruptcy for over 20 years.

Main Office:
60 Stoneybrook Drive, Bridgewater, MA

(P): 508-697-2223
(P): 508-747-8144
(F): 508-919-8361
email:
info@mabkhelp.com

Bankruptcy Help Group.
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Affiliated Offices:

Plymouth, MA
508-747-8144
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508-588-6002
   
Falmouth MA
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781-910-1575
 
 
 
   
 
Bankruptcy Help Group: Formerly Mass Law Group, P.C. Handling Bankruptcy for over 20 years. Questions: info@mabkhelp.com

Main Office:

60 Stoneybrook Drive, Bridgewater, MA 02324 (P): 508-747-8144 or 508-697-2223

Affiliated Offices:
       
Samoset Street
Plymouth MA
508-747-8144
Pleasant Street
Brockton, MA
508-588-6002
Palmer Ave
Falmouth, MA
508-747-8144
Franklin St
Quincy, MA
781-910-1575

Bankruptcy Help Group. Formerly Mass Law Group, P.C. is an experienced bankruptcy law firm in eastern Massachusetts.
We will beat any experienced competitor's price & create low cost payment plans Call Us Today


We Focus On:
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Financial Warnings, Harassing Phone Calls, Foreclosures, Lawsuits, Tax-Wage Garnishment


Pages: Home, Why Select Us, Financial Warning Signs, Bankruptcy Myths, Chapter 7 or 13, Contact Us, Client Testimonials
 
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