Bankruptcy Attorneys

When individuals and businesses face insolvency, bankruptcy is the legal process, regulated by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, designed to help pay off debt and regain financial stability.

While excessive credit card debt is a leading cause of bankruptcy, research shows that the financial problems most individuals and businesses encounter is linked to circumstances beyond their control such as medical bills, job loss, divorce, death or other family crisis involving large unexpected expenses.

Whether your personal debt is out of control and your home and family are at risk, or your business is in financial trouble, it is crucial to seek legal help immediately. Filing for bankruptcy may be an option.

Alford Legal LLC, is a Debt Relief Agency, practicing bankruptcy law under the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005. Our Boston bankruptcy attorneys have represented hundreds of consumers and businesses that need the protection of bankruptcy and a chance to regain stable financial footing. The legal services our firm provides include a review of finances, with a thorough evaluation of income, assets and debt in order to recommend the most effective legal approach to resolve your debt situation, rebuild your credit and stop harassing phone calls from bill collectors. When filing for bankruptcy is the only workable solution, our attorneys represent consumers and businesses in filing Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.

2005 Changes in Bankruptcy Law

Under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, procedures for filing bankruptcy changed. More stringent documentation and more restrictive qualification requirements are now in place. Prior to the 2005 changes in bankruptcy law, anyone could file for Chapter 7, the most common form of bankruptcy for individuals. Under the new code, whether you can file is determined by your income. Your income may not be higher than the median income for your state in order to qualify to file for Chapter 7, and you are given 180 days to undergo bankruptcy credit counseling with counselors approved by the U.S. Trustee's office.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy. In most cases, all of an individual's debts are discharged with the exception of certain limited debts such as student loans, domestic support orders and some forms of taxes. Many assets, including up to $500,000.00 in equity in one's home are exempt which means that most Chapter 7 debtors are able to keep all of their property while at the same time getting a fresh financial start in regard to most of their debts. If credit card debts, medical bills and similar types of debts are keeping you awake at night or otherwise making it impossible to get on with your life, you may wish to learn more about Chapter 7 by contacting the attorneys at Alford & Bertrand, LLC.

Chapter 11

The primary feature of Chapter 11 is its provision for reorganization. Corporations and partnerships in critical financial shape generally seek Chapter 11 protection. Sole proprietorships, however, may also be eligible for Chapter 11 relief.

Under Chapter 11, the debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to stay in business, while a bankruptcy court oversees the reorganization of the company's contractual and debt obligations. The court may grant complete or partial relief from most of the company's debts and its contracts, allowing the company to start anew.

Whether you are considering voluntary filing of a petition for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy or if your creditors are forcing your business to seek reorganization under Chapter 11, you will be dealing with a complicated process with stringent requirements. The expertise of a qualified bankruptcy attorney is vital to guide you through the legal complexities and protect the interests of your business and its stockholders.

Chapter 13

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be used to save homes from foreclosure, stop repossessions, deal with taxes, lower car and installment loan payments and protect property, which might be lost in Chapter 7.

Chapter 13, described as rehabilitation, is filed when there is regular income and allows for reorganization of debt. Based on future income, the debtor works out a payment plan to repay money owed over a period of 3-5 years. Whenever a debtor has substantial equity in a home and has significant assets, filing a Chapter 13 and establishing a plan to repay debt allows him to retain assets. And, if there is money owed to the IRS, a debt that will not be wiped out by filing bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 may work to the debtor's advantage over a Chapter 7.

Provided a debtor's equity does not exceed certain limits, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows the debtor to keep property such as his home, vehicle and other assets, which may be exempt according to Massachusetts state laws. One who operates a business as an unincorporated sole proprietor may also utilize Chapter 13 to repay debts, but only if filing as an individual, and by including the business-related debts for which he is personally liable.

Getting Legal Help

While bankruptcy is not always the answer to financial problems, seeking legal counsel is an important first step in exploring alternatives and determining whether or not you can avoid bankruptcy.

When you need legal advice and guidance concerning insolvency, contact Alford Legal Group LLC at (617) 926-8800 to learn how we can help. We will be glad to arrange a consultation to evaluate your situation and recommend a course of action.

Bankruptcy Questions
Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy