FAQs About Bankruptcy:

Is Bankruptcy moral?
Event the Bible states you have a right to a fresh start! Please read:
Bankruptcy and the Bible

Why do we have bankruptcy laws?
Answers to your general bankruptcy questions:
What You Should Know About Bankruptcy

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Read the following for an explanation of Chapter 7 – the most common bankruptcy for simple consumer debt:
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Please read the following for an explanation of Chapter 13 – an option for people with large amounts of equity in their homes, or other significant assets:
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Does Attorney Gindes handle Business Bankruptcies?
Absolutely! For more information, please read what to do if you own a business that is having trouble:
Business Bankruptcy

What is the Procedure for Filing?
A step-by-step description of what will happen if you decide to proceed:
The Procedure For Filing Bankruptcy

What kind of debt can’t be erased in Bankruptcy?
Some kinds of debt can not be erased in bankruptcy.  Some taxes, government guaranteed student loans, drunk driving liability, and debt resulting from other crimes or fraud are among those that cannot generally be discharged in bankruptcy.

Do I get to keep my property?
The short answer is usually yes.  It is very rare that anyone has to actually give up things they own, like cars, a home, or personal possessions.  Under federal law, you can have over $11,000 in miscellaneous property or cash, and still file bankruptcy without penalty.  And this does not even count exceptions for your household goods, car, electronics, or other normal household goods.  There are limits, though, so talk to Dan if you have questions.

Can I keep my house?
In Massachusetts, you can usually protect up to $500,000 of equity in your home.  This means that as long as you would get less than $500,000 of cash out if you sold your home and paid back all the loans on it, you are fine.  There are some limits for people who have owned their homes for less than about four yeas, so let Dan know if that is the case.

Can I keep my retirement savings, if I have an IRA, KEOGH, 401k, 403b, annuity, or pension plan?
Yes, you can keep all the money in these accounts under most circumstances.  There can be some issues if you have recently put a large amount of money into an IRA or KEOGH account , or if you have more than a million dollars in one of these types of accounts, so let Dan know about all of your retirement accounts so he can advise you accordingly.

Will I ever be able to get credit again?
Dan has a great new tool.  He can tell you what your approximate credit score will be a year after your bankruptcy is over.  For the vast majority of people, there is a significant increase in their score.  Most people will easily be able to buy a car or a home a few years after the end of their bankruptcy.  Of course, this depends on your income, how you rebuild your credit, and other factors.

Caution About Debt Consolidation
Be aware that debt consolidation agencies are usually sponsored by the credit card industry.  Many of these agencies try to convince you to continue to pay your debt in a consolidation plan rather than filing for bankruptcy – even if a fresh start is in your best interest.

A debt consolidation loan is a personal loan that may allow you to consolidate your debt into one monthly payment.  The interest rates on personal debt consolidation loans are usually very high, especially for people with financial problems.  In addition, these agencies usually target people with poor credit by offering what appears to be an easy solution.  Many people are not aware of the high rates and fees involved until it’s too late.  In addition, your credit report may indicate that your debt is “managed by credit counseling,” which is a negative remark on your report.

If you have financial problems, please contact our office before entering into a credit counseling or debt consolidation program.  An initial consultation with Attorney Gindes is free, and we will give you an honest appraisal of what your best course of action is.  You can call our office at (978) 741-4320, or click here.

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