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 Ipswich, Massachusetts will have particular rules for exemptions, so you should speak with a local attorney before filing.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Ipswich, Massachusetts
There are 2 common forms of consumer bankruptcies in Ipswich, 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 Ipswich, Massachusetts is not dischargeable, you may want to consider other options besides bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Ipswich, Massachusetts
In Ipswich, Massachusetts, Chapter 13 is very different from Chapter 7. Chapter 13 may or may not be the best choice for you; this depends on the facts of your individual situation. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy involves a court setting up a revised payment plan, which allows the debtor to pay off most or all of his debts over a prolonged period of time, through monthly payments that should, assuming that the debtor is willing to make a few sacrifices, be manageable.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Ipswich, Massachusetts
The answer to this question depends strongly on your particular situation. If you have enough stable income to manage a payment plan, and a lot of non-exempt property that you are unwilling to part with, Chapter 13 may be a good option. If you don't have much stable income, and most of your property is exempt, Chapter 7 might be better.
In any case, it would be a good idea to consult a local bankruptcy lawyer in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Your lawyer can make an educated judgment as to what your best option is, and advise you accordingly (of course, the choice to file for bankruptcy is ultimately yours).