Konstantilakis Law PC
8 Essex Center Drive
Peabody, MA 01960
Legal fees financing available
Bad things happen to good people. Bankruptcy has been called a “last resort” option. Sometimes, people with stellar credit scores, or steady employment, or excellent health, or a stable marriage, may consider bankruptcy after having experienced a sudden and unexpected life change like losing a job, divorce or a disabling work accident. These life events can be scary and come with a buffet of negative feelings like embarrassment, shame, and the feeling of being stuck in a situation that seems unsolvable.
We understand the human side of approaching bankruptcy and, since 2006, we’ve built our legal services to acknowledge the unpleasantness and fear that come along with it by providing clear and easy-to-understand explanations of the bankruptcy filing process. Whether you’re an individual or small business that has found yourself unable to pay your debts, being sued by a credit card company, or are facing a wage garnishment or driver’s license suspension, we’ll give you all the information needed to make calm and focused choices about your financial future.
Deciding to declare bankruptcy to eliminate all of your debts, or to greatly reduce them, can be an overwhelming experience. Choosing the right legal counselor that will ease your discomfort about your situation need not be. We’ll guide you through the process one small step at a time. Like the adage, how do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time.
What is Bankruptcy?
Filing for bankruptcy allows an individual, married couple and small business to eliminate or reduce their debt (often called “discharging debt”). In bankruptcy, there are two types of debt: secured debt (such as taxes, alimony, child support, student loans, or criminal fines or restitution), and unsecured debt (such as credit card debt, medical bills, old income taxes, civil judgments, or personal loans). For individuals and married couples, there are two common types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer in Peabody
The most common form of bankruptcy, filing under Chapter 7, discharges your personal liability to pay all unsecured debt. If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you usually get to keep most of your property (although, sometimes, non-exempt property is at risk of being sold by a bankruptcy trustee, but, usually, this is not the case and your attorney can tell you in advance if your assets are at risk and which assets are at risk) and your creditors can no longer sue you. Not everybody qualifies for Chapter 7.
Who is Eligible to File Chapter 7?
If, according to the IRS, your annual income is below the median income for your area and household size, you’re probably eligible. If, however, your annual income exceeds the median income, eligibility is mostly determined by the “means test”, which is a complex calculation based on your income. This means test is used to determine if your financial situation qualifies you for bankruptcy, or to determine whether you must file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
Why Do I Need a Bankruptcy Attorney?
A bankruptcy lawyer could advise their client on whether they qualify for Chapter 7, when the most advantageous time to file is, and whether the debtor’s assets (such as your home) are safe from being sold by a bankruptcy trustee. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a complicated process. KONSTANTILAKIS LAW PC understands how stressful financial difficulties can be on you and your family, and it’s our goal to not only ensure that a Chapter 7 filing is the most beneficial option for you, but also to make sure the filing succeeds with minimal risk to your assets.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer in Peabody
Many people file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if they’re facing a foreclosure. In Chapter 13, you usually propose a plan for restructuring your debt, and usually you pay back less than 100% of your original unsecured debt amount. The result can be that you can keep your home and, after as little as 36 months of sticking to your payment plan, your unsecured debt could be gone.
Bankruptcy tries to give individuals and families overwhelmed by debt a “fresh start” on their finances. Bankruptcy laws can be confusing and are constantly evolving, so it’s important that you consult with a bankruptcy lawyer up to date. Filing for bankruptcy involves a lot of paperwork, and a mistake on a form could have drastic consequences on your financial future. It’s beneficial to have an experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney to help guide you through this process.
Chapter 13, also called the “reorganization” bankruptcy or the “wage earner’s plan”, has similarities to a debt repayment plan for consumers. Chapter 13 could offer advantages over Chapter 7 if the individual filing for bankruptcy is a homeowner. By filing under this chapter, many homeowners can stop the foreclosure process (though they must make all mortgage payments on time once under the Chapter 13 plan).
Our mission is to be your legal counselor, educator and guide through a stressful and demanding life event like bankruptcy, divorce or a work-related injury.
We apply the legal process to your situation by presenting legal solutions to your legal problems, and by helping you to manage your expectations and fears through coaching and discussion.
We navigate the court system with you to assure your rights are protected.