New rules for consumer bankruptcies will apply to debtors in Massachusetts and nationwide effective Dec. 1, 2017. In April, the Chief Justice of the United States delivered a set of proposed amendments for review by lawmakers. The amendments intend to establish consistent deadline rules for creditors responding to bankruptcy filings.
Massachusetts residents considering bankruptcy might wonder about how filing for Chapter 13 works when it comes to paying back creditors. Those who qualify for Chapter 13 can restructure debts and might be able to discharge some that remain after paying back over a three- or five-year period. Typically, priority and secured debts must be paid while some unsecured debt could be discharged after the repayment period.
Money problems are not a unique feature of life these days. Many individuals and families in Massachusetts suddenly find themselves in a lurch. All it might take is a serious accident, or unexpected job loss. The need for debt relief can crop up in a flash.
No one enjoys admitting that they have financial problems; however, residents in Massachusetts and elsewhere should not pretend that they do not exist when they are occurring. Doing so tends to generate an even larger issue. Thus, it is important for debtors to get a good picture of what options are available to them so action can be taken to address his or her debt problems. In most cases, filing for bankruptcy is the next best step.
Dealing with financial problems is unfortunately not a rare situation to be in for individuals and families in Massachusetts and elsewhere. While some are able to overcome his or her issues with debt by budgeting, getting another job and seeking financial help, others are not that fortunate. In these cases, it is important to consider what options are available and what strategies meet the needs of the individual or family.
Massachusetts homeowners facing foreclosure will sometimes clutch at any straw to save their homes. Tragically, there are swindlers out there who will take advantage of people who are facing desperate financial situations. A group of individuals and companies were recently accused of defrauding financially strapped homeowners, in a nine-count complaint filed in nearby New Jersey.
The housing crisis that began in 2007 and continued through the recession is largely over at the national level. But in some parts of Massachusetts, particularly the poorer areas, the foreclosure crisis has not ended. In fact, total foreclosures in the state are increasing.
For Massachusetts residents who earn a regular income but are overwhelmed by debt, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide significant relief. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy the debtor enters into a court-approved plan to pay off some or all of their debt in three to five years.
Many people in Massachusetts who choose to file personal bankruptcy do not qualify for Chapter 7 because their income is too high. For these individuals, Chapter 13 is another option to consider. Unlike Chapter 7, in which all of the debtor's debts are eliminated, in Chapter 13 the debtor enters into a payment plan under which they repay a portion of their debt over a three or five-year period.
In the course of the current presidential campaign, one of the major issues has become the financial stress facing middle-class families. Political candidates may disagree about the causes and the remedies, but it is undeniable that many working people are dealing with serious economic hardship. The decline in manufacturing and the loss of well-paying blue-collar jobs, combined with the insecure nature of today's employment world, have resulted in serious financial challenges for a lot of people. This is as true in Massachusetts as it is throughout the country.