Bankruptcy Basics

Bills piling up? Can’t make more than your interests payments each month?

Have you ever considered filing a bankruptcy? Briones Law Group is pleased to announce that Attorney Annalisa Saldi will be serving “of counsel” to our office handling bankruptcy petitions. Read on to learn more about the process.

When you are in over your head with credit card debt, it might seem like you have no way out. Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be just the thing to help you get a fresh start and back on your feet. You may worry that filing for bankruptcy has a negative stigma, but a Chapter 7 bankruptcy could be a simple, responsible way to resolve your ongoing debt issues.

In order to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, first you must qualify under the means test, which means your household income must fall below the Massachusetts median income based on US census data. As of May 1, 2018, the median income of a family of four in Massachusetts is $123,864.00[1]. If your income is above this threshold, your bankruptcy attorney will help you determine how to proceed.

Next, your bankruptcy attorney will prepare your Chapter 7 petition, which lists all of your creditors, the amounts owed, your income and assets, and your expenses. As soon as the petition is filed, an automatic stay is put in place. This means all your creditors must immediately stop attempting to collect debts from you. Yes, all of them!

Shortly thereafter, a meeting with a Chapter 7 Trustee is scheduled. Bankruptcy Trustees are not judges, but are attorneys who work for the bankruptcy court and review your case. At your meeting with the Trustee, he or she will verify your identity and may ask you some questions about your petition.

If there are no issues, the Trustee will recommend your petition for discharge. Once you receive a discharge, your bankruptcy is complete. You will no longer owe the debts included on your discharge. All together, the process takes about 4-6 months. Most of the time you will not be required to go before a judge. Filing for bankruptcy may sound intimidating, but with the right bankruptcy attorney, the process can stress-free.

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