Whitman MA

Is Filing for Bankruptcy the Right Choice in Whitman, MA?

At what point does someone decide that their best financial option is filing for bankruptcy? Some people and businesses know right away, while some are surprised by a specific circumstance or event that triggers an immediate need to file. During the recession, the United States has begun to see a predictable rise in the filings for both personal bankruptcy and business bankruptcy and it is no different in Whitman, MA.

In some cases, many people were relieved of much of their debt, if not all of it, depending on their ability to pay, and the circumstances surrounding the filing. An experienced bankruptcy attorney in Whitman, Massachusetts is available to guide consumers and debtors through the process of bankruptcy. With the help of the Law Office of Brian R. Lewis, you don’t have to go through this alone. They will be by your side every step of the way.

What is Bankruptcy?

When individuals or businesses file for bankruptcy, they are legally declaring their inability to pay some, most, or all of their debt. A court order determines the responsibility of the debtor to their creditors, and depending on a specific set of circumstances, the course of action that is to be taken. The primary types of filings are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. For those filing for the very first time, these are the two primary options available. They both have their specific advantages and disadvantages and that is exactly why you need an attorney on your side to walk you through each of these options and help you decide what is best for your situation.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

For complete relief of most debt, many choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Also known as “straight” bankruptcy, this filing liquidates all property that is unsecured, and the money is then used to pay existing and back debt. This is often reserved for those who are, for whatever reason, unable to pay back the debt that they have accumulated. This includes legal expenses, credit card debt, auto loans, and medical expenses.

It is important to understand that not ALL debt is relieved under Chapter 7. Child support, taxes and student loans are a few of the incurred debts that cannot be discharged by a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing

Debtors are also encouraged to look into reaffirmation programs that offer payments to creditors, thus saving the liquidation of some assets. Redemption programs offer the chance to make a lump sum payment, which is an attractive option to many would-be Chapter 7 cases.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor will, in some cases, avoid complete liquidation of most assets. This includes stopping foreclosure proceedings, though this is sometimes temporary, as the process could be reinstated after the completion of the bankruptcy. Debtors who file under Chapter 13 enter what is known as a “debt rehab,” if you will. Instead of undergoing a full-blown

financial reorganization, debtors choose to opt for a payment plan that can fit into their budget, depending on their needs. Chapter 13 is also known as “wage-earner” bankruptcy. In some cases, items that cannot be discharged from Chapter 7, for example back taxes, can be dissolved during a Chapter 13 case.

The decision to file for any type of bankruptcy is not an easy one to make whether you live in Whitman, MA or anywhere else in the United States. It requires a full understanding of the laws and proceedings in order to move forward in the filing process. It is important to find a qualified bankruptcy lawyer, like the Law Office of Brian R. Lewis, who is experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to the bankruptcy laws.

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