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What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which an individual who cannot pay his or her bills can get a fresh financial start. The right to file for bankruptcy is provided by federal law, and all bankruptcy cases are handled in federal court. Filing bankruptcy immediately stops all of your creditors from seeking to collect debts from you, at least until your debts are sorted out according to the law.
The Different Types of Bankruptcy
There are four types of bankruptcy cases provided under the law:
Chapter 7 is known as "straight" bankruptcy or "liquidation." It requires a debtor to give up property which exceeds certain limits called "exemptions", so the property can be sold to pay creditors. In most cases, our clients are able to exempt all of their assets and keep all of their property and get rid off all of their debt.
Chapter 11 known as "reorganization", is used by businesses and a few individual debtors whose debts are very large.
Chapter 12 is reserved for family farmers.
Chapter 13 is called "debt adjustment". It requires a debtor to file a plan to pay debts (or parts of debts) from current income. Exemptions also apply in a Chapter 13.
What Will Happen to My Home and Car After Bankruptcy
In most cases you will not lose your home or car during your bankruptcy case as long as your equity in the property is fully exempt. Even if your property is not fully exempt, you will be able to keep it, if you pay its non-exempt value to creditors in chapter 13. However, some of your creditors may have a "security interest" in your home, automobile or other personal property. This means that you gave that creditor a mortgage on the home or put your other property up as collateral for the debt. Bankruptcy does not make these security interests go away. If you don't make your payments on that debt, the creditor may be able to take and sell the home or the property, during or after the bankruptcy case. There are several ways that you can keep collateral or mortgaged property after you file bankruptcy. You can agree to keep making your payments on the debt until it is paid in full, or you can pay the creditor the amount that the property you want to keep is worth. In some cases involving fraud or other improper conduct by the creditor, you may be able to challenge the debt. If you put up your household goods as collateral for a loan (other than a loan to purchase the goods), you can usually keep your property without making any more payments on that debt.
Web url:: http://massachusettsbankruptcycenter.com
Waterfront Lawyers Building,236 Commercial Street,
Boston, Massachusetts 02109 (USA)
Tel (617) 720-1101
Fax (617) 720-1104
e-mail us at :: [email protected]