The path to a fresh start begins here

Our Founding Fathers knew first hand how devastating financial burdens could become.  The very first Article of the United States Constitution gives Congress the power to establish "...uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States."  Today the bankruptcy process provides powerful relief to honest debtors seeking a fresh financial start.

If bills and debts have become overwhelming you are not alone.  In Massachusetts along, there have been 10,527 non-business bankruptcy petitions filed during the last year (from October 2013 through September 2014).  The vast majority of those seeking relief file for protection under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Chapter 7 is known as the "liquidation" chapter because in theory, the debtor's property is collected and sold to pay creditors.  In reality, exemptions are applied to your property and the majority of those seeking protection keep all the property they have.  These type of cases are called "no assets" which means after all exemptions are applied, there is nothing to liquidate and creditors will receive no payments.  There are stringent for a debtor to qualify to file a Chapter 7 petition but the benefit is that many cases can be resolved in six months, once your petition is filed.

Chapter 13 is commonly referred to as the "working man's bankruptcy" because it involves creating a plan to pay your creditors some amount each month for a set period of time.  Based upon a carefully crafted plan, you will make monthly payments to a Trustee who then pays your creditors.  At the end of the payment plan, any remaining non-priority and non-secure debts are discharged and your fresh financial start begins.

Because of the powerful relief the United States Bankruptcy offers, there are also significant restrictions, procedural penalties, and landmines designed to ensure the Code stays a powerful tool for struggling Americans.  The best way to safeguard against encountering these pitfalls and penalties is to hire a bankruptcy lawyer familiar with the process who will diligently review and prepare your case.

My office will guide you through the entire process.  After an initial consultation, you will receive easy to follow checklists of necessary documents, your petition will be prepared after a thorough review of your situation and any potential trouble spots will be taken care of before filing.  I personally accompany you to the required Meeting of Creditors (known as a 341 meeting).  Should any side issue come up or a creditor want to challenge your right to a discharge, I will be ready to represent you in an adversary proceeding.


                                             BANKRUPTCY OVERVIEW

Law Office of Neil J. DePaul