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Filing for Chapter 7 will stop creditor harassment immediately

Massachusetts residents who are struggling with debt often find it a lonely and stressful experience. It can be hard to rely on friends for support when you are too embarrassed to talk about the situation. And creditor harassment only makes things feel worse. Constant phone calls and threatening letters from credit card companies, debt collection agencies and others make a person afraid to pick up the phone or open the mail.

If you are truly in over your head and simply cannot afford to pay your creditors, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be your best option. One of the advantages of personal bankruptcy is the automatic stay, which will stop creditor harassment as soon as the bankruptcy is filed.

The automatic stay is a court injunction which forbids creditors from taking any collection action, including garnishment, repossession and lawsuits. It temporarily prevents utility disconnection for failure to pay. It even prohibits creditors from communicating with the debtor by phone or mail in order to collect a debt.

The automatic stay allows the Chapter 7 trustee time to identify the debtor's non-exempt assets, sell those that can be sold and use the proceeds to pay creditors according to the priorities in the bankruptcy laws. At the end of this process the court will issue a discharge to the debtor. This effectively wipes out all dischargeable debt remaining after the liquidation of assets.

Filing for bankruptcy is a big decision, and it is not the answer in every case. But, for those who are being hounded constantly by collection agencies and threatened with wage garnishment and court judgments, it may be the best way to get both immediate and long-term debt relief.

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