Filing for Bankruptcy in Boston MA During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Most cities in the US, including Boston, Massachusetts, have issued stay-at-home orders or other social distancing measures to decrease this coronavirus spread. All bankruptcy courts in and around Boston, MA, have modified their operations to help protect public safety. Some Boston courts have closed to the public, but many have reopened in certain capacities.
So, you’re in too much debt to handle and you are doing research online, so you’ve probably already encountered some general information about bankruptcy. But what do you need to know about bankruptcy if you’re filing in Massachusetts?
How to File Bankruptcy in Massachusetts and/or Boston
1. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney to go over general information, like “Can all my credit card and medical debt be discharged?”, and “Which bills should I immediately stop paying in anticipation of filing?”. Collect Your Massachusetts Bankruptcy Documents from the attorney or through another legal aid office
2. Obtain your Credit Counseling certificate.
3. Complete the Bankruptcy Forms, known as schedules, with the help of your attorney, which will lay out your complete financial picture for the court (assets/liabilities/monthly income/monthly expenses).
4. Pay Your Filing Fee and file your voluntary petition along with your completed schedules (if filing under chapter 13 you will also need to file a proposed 3 or 5-year chapter 13 plan).
5. Attend your 341/trustee meeting via zoom or telephone.
6. If filing for Chapter 7 liquidation of debt, obtain your financial management certificate and await your debt-discharge from the court. If filing under chapter 13, make your monthly plan payment for the 3 or 5-year plan, after which you will obtain your financial management certificate and await your discharge.
When you file for Chapter 7 Boston bankruptcy
Almost any person or Massachusetts company that owns property in the United States or has a permanent residence or business in Boston can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, you must meet criteria standards before you’re eligible for a discharge – more than 8,000 bankruptcy cases are filed per year in the Commonwealth. A chapter 7 discharge from the court wipes out qualifying debt within months A chapter 13 discharge does the same after you pay disposable income into a plan for 3-5 years
How to Keep Your Property and File for Bankruptcy in Boston Chapter 7
Both the federal government and MA state law offer significant protections for your assets against creditors in the bankruptcy process. Talk to an attorney to discuss ways to maximize the protection of your assets using either of these exemption statutes.
Some debts that may not be dischargeable include some newer tax liabilities, student loans, child or spousal support, and court fines and restitution. You must provide accurate information. If you falsify documents or attempt to conceal assets, your entire case can be denied. Stimulus checks and other coronavirus relief payments likely won’t count as regular monthly earnings for debtors trying to file under Chapter 7. Thus, receiving a stimulus check would not affect your eligibility to file under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 (with rare exceptions). Another added benefit to you of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Boston is the “automatic stay”. During the stay, creditors cannot garnish your wages, foreclose or repossess your house car automobile, absent specific, and rarely granted, prior approval from the court.
How to File Bankruptcy for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Massachusetts (2021 Guide)
To file for bankruptcy, you must complete the correct forms and file them in Bankruptcy Court. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case begins by submitting a packet of documents; The forms you need include a “petition” and “schedules” that give information about your finances. Among other items, you may offer a schedule list of which pieces of property are “exempt” under the related exemption system. “Exemptions” provide security to a particular amount of your property, in recognition of the fact that a fresh start wouldn’t be helpful in case you could not retain your necessities. In general, stuff that’s nonexempt or substantially nonexempt could be- sold to pay off your creditors. If you need to recover from debt, our Massachusetts Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers are ready to help. Call us today for help.
Who Can File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Massachusetts?
You are only eligible to file if you pass the means test; the means test prevents people with significant incomes from filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy when they can pay their debts off without hardship. After filing bankruptcy in Boston, there will be a meeting of creditors that you must attend. Usually, in a few months of this hearing, you receive a bankruptcy discharge. Most Chapter 7 cases take 4-6 months. Even though the trustee can object to some of your claimed exemptions, only the court can deny your discharge. Low-Cost Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorneys are available to help you oppose any trustee objections. Nashawaty and Rand is a Bankruptcy Law Firm located in Greater Boston MA. Helping clients rebuild their financial future. FREE Consultation!
Changes to Massachusetts Bankruptcy Rules Under the CARES Act
A pre-existing Chapter 13 repayment plan can potentially prolong its program’s length up to 2 additional years (tots of 7 years). Getting this adjustment requires notice and a hearing, where the borrower has to show a material financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak. Furthermore, a small business debtor in Boston might qualify for an extra 60 days to carry out post-petition duties arising out of the conditions of a rental of commercial property in Boston if they can show a material financial hardship arising out of COVID-19. Massachusetts Debtors should consult with a Boston bankruptcy lawyer on all bankruptcy rules, in Massachusetts including temporary regulations under the CARES Act and the CAA.