Massachusetts Bankruptcy Lawyer

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Bankruptcy is a common occurrence in the United States, and in the state of Massachusetts, the total number of bankruptcy filings is close to 20,000 each year. When businesses or individuals find themselves in extremely difficult financial situations that they just cannot get out of without some sort of legal help, bankruptcy protection may be the answer.

Bankruptcy can be defined as the legal inability to pay debts or the state of having been legally declared insolvent. Obtaining bankruptcy protection can be a confusing process, especially because recent changes in bankruptcy laws have made the system even more complicated. Due to the many different types of bankruptcy, it is highly recommended that you hire a bankruptcy lawyer or attorney to help you with your case especially if you own a business and have valuable assets.

A bankruptcy lawyer or attorney will be well-versed in Massachusetts bankruptcy statutes, codes, and exemption laws, and they will discuss the different types of bankruptcy with you in order to advise you as to which is best for your situation. There are two common types of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, as well as a number of less common ones that might be applicable to your situation. Your lawyer will discuss them all with you, as well as informing you about any possible alternatives to bankruptcy that might be a better option in your situation. A good bankruptcy lawyer or attorney will have extensive knowledge about debt management.

In Massachusetts there are certain bankruptcy exemptions, which is a list of the kinds and values of property that creditors or bankruptcy trustees are legally unable to reach. The debtor is allowed to keep the property that is considered exempt, and what is exempt and the amount that is exempt varies from state to state. The homestead in Massachusetts is exempt up to $500,000 in property that is occupied or intended to be occupied. Personal property includes a motor vehicle up to $700, furniture up to $3,000, beds and bedding, heating units, and beds and bedding are exempt. Books up to $200 total are exempt, cash for fuel, heat, water, electricity are exempt up to $75 a month, as well as cash for food up to $300. Earned but unpaid wages are exempt up to $125 a week. Tax exempt retirement accounts and pensions are exempt, as well as veterans' benefits, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation, and public assistance. Tools of the trade that are exempt include tools, fixtures, and implements up to $500, boats and boating equipment up to $500. Insurance such as disability benefits and life insurance are exempt as well.

Once a Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyer or attorney has evaluated your case and explained your options, they will walk you through the process from beginning to end. In some situations, you will go before a Massachusetts judge and work out a repayment plan. Or, they will have a partial or full discharge of most debt. In some cases, all debts are discharged. It's important to keep in mind, however, that if you file for bankruptcy in the state of Massachusetts, your debts will be discharged, but your credit will be affected for up to 10 years.

In 2008 a cumulative 16,250 individuals filed for bankruptcy in Massachusetts, 77% of them for Chapter 7 and 23% for Chapter 13. If you are ready to contact a Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyer or attorney to explore your options for debt relief, visit the American Bar Association (ABA) website. The ABA features a lawyer locator, which allows the user to search bankruptcy lawyer profiles in Massachusetts. Access to the site and profiles is free. The number of people filing for bankruptcy may only grow as financial issues worsen, and they will needs help through it, in order to recover. The law can help you, and contacting a lawyer or attorney for answers I your very first step.


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