Bankruptcy Law

We know that in these uncertain times many people are taking stock of their financial situation and are worried about how they are going to meet all of their financial obligations. At the Law Offices of Zorrilla & Silvestrini, our Bankruptcy Lawyers are here to help. With two convenient locations in Massachusetts, in Cambridge, and Newton, we can work with you to reduce the stress caused by this economic emergency by working with you and helping you understand the legal options available to you and your family.

Our Cambridge and Newton Bankruptcy Lawyers have many years of professional experience to draw on to help you manage the sometimes complicated landscape of the Bankruptcy code. In our free bankruptcy consultation you will speak to an actual Bankruptcy lawyer, not a paralegal or assistant as many firms do. Our bankruptcy attorneys want to speak to you because they are the ones that are better equipped to identify and explain opportunities. For many of you who are working or have child care issues and can’t talk during the day, our Cambridge and Newton Bankruptcy lawyers are available to talk with youafter hours or over the weekend to help make things easier for you. We want to let you know we are here for you and we want to make life better and easier.

During our consultation, we will first get to know you and your financial situation. We will also discuss special options and programs that are available for debt relief. We will then discuss what options you have under the Bankruptcy law. We will discuss whether you can or should file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 11 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy and what are the implications. (They are called “Chapter 7”, “Chapter 11” and “Chapter 13” for their respective chapters in the Bankruptcy law).

Once we discuss these options we will talk about how to retain our office to represent you. We will discuss about our retainer agreement and the costs involved, both to file and our fees. And finally, we will discuss the timeline and what you can expect. Each chapter is different and each has different results.

Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy, at the end if done properly, the court grants a discharge and in many cases all or most of your debts are released and cancelled. The creditors cannot come after you any more after their debt is discharged. The process involves taking your income and nonexempt assets to satisfy partially the debt owed to your creditors. In many cases the person may finish the process without loosing their most important assets, such as their home or their cars or even retirement accounts. The process tends to be a lot easier and faster and is one of the main benefits people choose to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection.

Due to generous bankruptcy laws in Massachusetts, there are a variety of different assets that can be exempted from the liquidation process in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some of those exemptions, include a person's home, retirement accounts and benefits as well as their automobiles and personal possessions, such as jewelry or gifts. In some cases a person filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can even keep money saved in the bank from wages. In many cases, an individual or business may go through the bankruptcy process without losing any assets at all. A lot of details go into the analysis of whether you can keep your most important assets or not, so it is extremely important to have a knowledgable and experienced Bankruptcy lawyer on your side to help you find the right avenue for you.

Under Chapter 13, the process and the outcome are different. The purpose of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is to reorganize the finances. It allows for a payment plan that can stretch 3-5 years based on the income of the individual or the family size. The process takes your disposable income and applies it to debts in order to come up with the payment plan. To qualify you for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, our Cambridge and Newton Bankruptcy lawyers will analyze your income to see if you meet the federal income threshold in order to file under this chapter.

One of the main reasons people choose to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy over a Chapter 7 is that if approved and if the payment plan is completed (meaning the debtor paid the payment plan fully), the rest of the debts that they had prior to the filing can be discharged, meaning the unpaid balances will be relieved. This while allowing to retain their assets.

The disadvantages of filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy compared to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, are that you have to pay some amount to “unsecured creditors” like credit card companies and the discharge doesn’t come quickly after approval as is the case with Chapter 7 filings. You have to wait until completion of the payment plan to get the discharge and you can’t miss payments because that will disqualify you from the benefits and could preclude you from filing again or under another chapter for a long time. This is something that we discuss at length with our clients. It is important to have an honest and transparent conversation with our Bankruptcy lawyers so they know everything about your finances so there are no surprises or negative consequences.

Our Cambridge and Newton Bankruptcy lawyers are here to help you. We know how important this is for your peace of mind and we know what is at stake. We can schedule a consultation after hours, in the evening or on the weekends. We want to make your life easier so we work around your schedule. Give us a call today to for a Free Consultation.