Bankruptcy is a legal procedure allowing a person or business to have their debts absolved, in part or in whole. It is normally treated as a last resort, because, while it can prevent financial catastrophe, it has some huge long-term consequences. This warrants careful consideration of the costs and benefits. Being a creation of federal law, bankruptcy will go through federal courts. Accordingly, the process for filing for bankruptcy in Massachusetts is essentially the same as the process anywhere else in the United States. However, particular courts in Haverhill, Massachusetts will have particular rules for exemptions, so you should speak with a local attorney before filing.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Haverhill, Massachusetts
There are 2 common forms of consumer bankruptcies in Haverhill, Massachusetts: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 liquidates part of the debtor's assets. It requires a certain percentage of the debtor's assets to be sold off to pay as much of his or her debt as possible. However, many forms of property that most people own are exempt, meaning that they don't need to be sold. This often includes houses, vehicles, insurance policies, and basic personal items, like clothing. These assets are not available to creditors.
Once eligible assets are sold, and the proceeds turned over to the creditors, most remaining debt is cleared. However, some forms of debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, including student loans, taxes, child support, personal injury awards, and fines. If most of your debt in Haverhill, Massachusetts is not dischargeable, you may want to consider other options besides bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Haverhill, Massachusetts
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Haverhill, Massachusetts is very different from Chapter 7. Whether or not it is a better option is very dependent on the facts of each particular case. Chapter 13 does not absolve debt, but restructures it instead. Normally, various debts are consolidated into a single monthly payment. This is designed to make the debt more manageable, giving the debtor the chance to pay off the debt over a longer period of time, without all of it coming due at once. This is normally manageable, as long as the debtor can make some sacrifices.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Haverhill, Massachusetts
Whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the right choice for you depends heavily on your particular situation. If you have a stable income stream, and a lot of non-exempt property, Chapter 13 might be right for you. If you don't have a stable income, and most of your property is exempt, Chapter 7 might be a better way to go.
Regardless of your situation, you should speak with an attorney in Haverhill, Massachusetts who is accomplished in bankruptcy before making a decision. They will be able to advise you of your options, and the likely outcomes of each one, allowing you to make a much more informed decision.