Do I qualify for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filing?

These critical documents are useful for Attorney Oberhauser to review to determine whether you may have a valid Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy case:

  • Copies of your most recent 6 months of paystubs, or a profit-and-loss statement if self-employed or own a corporation
  • 3 years of income tax returns, along with their corresponding W-2 forms
  • Copy of credit report(s)
  • Evidence of debt: copies of credit card, medical, student loan, utility and other pertinent bills

The copies of paystubs (or profit-and-loss statement if self-employed or own a company) will enable Attorney Oberhauser to determine through Form B22 whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 filing. The initial decision will be based on your income, family size, and the Census Bureau Family Median Income Chart. See Median Income Table below.

Family Median Income Table

STATE1 EARNER2 PEOPLE3 PEOPLE4 PEOPLE *
Massachusetts$54,842$66,437$83,104$100,280
New Hampshire$55,766$65,751$77,008$93,186

What do we charge for a bankruptcy filing?
Because everyone’s situation is unique, we have to review every case individually and take into account the documents we have requested.

Is there a solution for my tax debt?
Depending on when you last filed your returns and the nature of your debt: for example, is it income taxes, federal or state, sales tax, or liquor taxes? Many questions need to be answered before our firm can determine your best solution and what it will cost to accomplish your goal of financial freedom.

How long does the process take to file for bankruptcy?
If you have all the documents we requested, we can file in less than 45 minutes! That would be a skeleton petition; however, it can be done. This is often done to stop a foreclosure at the last minute. Typically in one week to 10 days we can have the full petition completed and ready for your review so that we can make any necessary changes. You will also have to complete a credit counseling course on line before we file the petition for you. After we file your petition, you must complete a financial management course online.

What happens after I file?

After you have reviewed the petition in our office for accuracy, it will be electronically filed with the Court. The case will be assigned a Trustee, a docket number and a 341 Meeting with the Creditors; we all will need to be present and answer questions under oath.

If this is a Chapter 7 filing, this should be all our contact with the Court unless questions arise from a creditor or the Trustee. We will attempt to answer those questions and satisfy the requests in a timely manner.

If a Chapter 13 filing, modifications to the plan may be needed, selected motions will need to be heard before the Bankruptcy Judge and additional negotiations may be required to make your Chapter 13 Plan feasible. You will be in constant contact with our office about proposed changes that affect your plan.

  • If you have two mortgages: if the second mortgage has no collateral attached to it, then it might be a candidate to be stripped off with the correct motion.
  • Is you owe a significant amount on your car loan, the correct motion could reduce your overall debt and possibly alter your interest rates for this loan.
  • If you are behind on your mortgage (called arrearages) this can be handled by a number of methods, including negotiations with the banks, modification of the mortgage, or placement into your Chapter 13 plan. The solution depends on your personal situation and circumstances within your family.

CAN I BE COMPLETELY DEBT-FREE?

Bankruptcy is the opportunity to gain a fresh start. Except for selected debts, like student loans, certain taxes and other debts not allowed to be discharged, you will be DEBT-FREE. The above-mentioned debts need to discuss on an individual basis because various issues can alter how those debts can be handled in bankruptcy.

  • Hardship discharges are available but difficult to win; however, they can be won with the correct circumstances.
  • Taxes both State and Federal Taxes need to looked at — especially the tax transcript — to see what information is available.
  • f debt has been because of Wilful or Intentional crime or death caused by those crimes, one has to look at the term of “wilful and Intention” before a discharge is allowed.

As you can see, each client has unique and different financial problems. For a confidential, FREE Consultation, please contact our office at 978-452-1116 to set up that appointment.

Attorney Gregory Oberhauser

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Gregory Oberhauser is the ONLY attorney in Massachusetts to be distinguished as an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist by the American Chemical Society!

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