Thinking of Filing Bankruptcy?
Although the law is complex, filing bankruptcy as an individual does not have to be difficult. A successful personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy may allow you to eliminate most past debts, keep much of your property, begin to rebuild your credit, and achieve your financial goals.
Are you struggling under an unmanageable debt load?
We are here to help you. At the Holmes Law Offices, our passion is to help people get their financial lives under control. The bankruptcy process is in place to allow people to get a “fresh start”, a right that is enshrined in our Constitution. Our founding fathers understood that people need help at times. Millions of people have gotten their financial lives back on track through the bankruptcy process. Sometimes it is the right thing to do.
With a free in-person or phone consultation, we can help you determine whether bankruptcy is the right course for you. In order to help our clients, if it is difficult for you to visit our Lowell office, we will travel to meet with you at a convenient location.
Benefits to filing for bankruptcy
There are many benefits of filing for bankruptcy. The first benefit is the “automatic stay”. Once you file, the court issues an automatic stay which orders your creditors to halt all collection efforts. The harassing phone calls and the collection letters will cease. Attempts to repossess cars must cease. Attempts to garnish your wages must cease. This is a great benefit which provides you some immediate relief from the stress of collection efforts.
At the successful conclusion of your case, most of your debts will be “discharged” meaning you no longer have a legal obligation to pay them.
Interestingly, though filing for bankruptcy will temporarily decrease your credit score, over time it allows you to begin rebuilding your credit because you have a clean financial slate. After bankruptcy, if you do not fall into new debt delinquencies, you will likely be able to even get a mortgage after a few years if you otherwise qualify.
We love helping people get past their financial difficulties and we will guide you through the process and be at your side all the way along. We strive to make the process quick and painless. We pride ourselves in being readily available to speak with you. If unavailable when you call, we return calls promptly.
Types of Bankruptcy
Most individuals file under Chapters 7 or 13 of the bankruptcy code.
Chapter 7 is known as “liquidation” which means, in theory, the court will take some of your assets and distribute the proceeds to your creditors. However, in practice, most or all of your assets can be protected under “exemptions” which means you get to keep them.
Chapter 13 is known as “repayment” which means you keep all of your assets but have to make payments to your creditors during a three to five period. During your free consultation we will be able to determine which chapter you are eligible for and make the best choice for you.
At the successful end of your case, whether Chapter 7 or 13, your unsecured debts are discharged.
Low Cost, Flat Rate Filing
The Holmes Law Offices will file a simple Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy for a low cost flat fee of $995. Payment plans are available with a small down payment and we’ll file once it’s paid in full.
There are additional outside expenses that do not go to this office, including a court filing fee and a small credit counseling fee.
For more complex cases, we’re happy to work with you to find an affordable solution.
Please feel free to call us at (978) 456-5201 or visit our Contact page to setup an appointment.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A debtor filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy freezes actions taken by creditors (such as lawsuits, wage garnishments, and collection letters) against the debtor. In legal terms, the court orders a “stay” on actions by creditors against the debtor. The court notifies creditors of the bankruptcy proceeding and orders them not to contact the debtor to try to collect the debt.
From this point, creditors may only seek repayment from the debtor within the bankruptcy proceeding. After bankruptcy is final, creditors who attempt to collect a debt covered by the bankruptcy may be punished for contempt of court.
Certain debts cannot be cleared (or “discharged”) in bankruptcy, such as most taxes, most student loans, alimony, child support, court fines, debts of restitution owed for committing a criminal act, and debts arising from personal injury inflicted while driving under the influence. Debts not listed by the debtor in the bankruptcy filing are not discharged.
A debtor may only file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years. Filing bankruptcy appears on credit reports for up to ten years and may impact the ability to obtain credit. Debtors may voluntarily pay debts discharged through bankruptcy, but have no legal obligation to do so.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers individuals a number of advantages over liquidation under Chapter 7. Perhaps most significantly, Chapter 13 offers individuals an opportunity to save their homes from foreclosure. By filing bankruptcy under this chapter, individuals can stop foreclosure proceedings and may cure delinquent mortgage payments over time. Nevertheless, they must still make all mortgage payments that come due during the Chapter 13 plan on time.
Another advantage of Chapter 13 is that it allows individuals to reschedule secured debts (other than a mortgage for their primary residence) and extend them over the life of the Chapter 13 plan. Doing this may lower payments.
Filing bankruptcy under Chapter 13 also has a special provision that protects third parties who are liable with the debtor on “consumer debts.” This provision may protect co-signers.
Finally, Chapter 13 acts like a consolidation loan under which the individual makes payments to a chapter 13 trustee who then distributes payments to creditors. Individuals will have no direct contact with creditors while under Chapter 13 protection.
Once again, please call us at (978) 456-5201 or visit our Contact page to setup an appointment.
THE HOLMES LAW OFFICES ARE A DEBT RELIEF AGENCY AS DEFINED UNDER FEDERAL LAW. WE HELP PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY RELIEF UNDER THE U. S. BANKRUPTCY CODE.