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Showing posts from June, 2009

Question: What other factors should I consider when deciding when I should file for Bankruptcy?

Question: What other factors should I consider when deciding when I should file for Bankruptcy? Factors regarding the need to obtain an automatic stay will likely be dictated by your creditors, not you. The automatic stay is a useful tool in temporarily stopping foreclosure proceedings brought by your mortgage holder(s), as well as collection efforts, collection calls and lawsuits filed by your creditors, if any. This foreclosure and debt collection process generally takes a few months, not a few days, and the benefit of the automatic stay can create some additional time for the debtor to deal with logistical issues associated with preparing the bankruptcy petition, appraising assets, selling real property or finding new housing, if necessary. In order to file for bankruptcy under any section of the Bankruptcy code (Chapter 7, 11, or 13), your federal income taxes must be filed up to the current year (2008). Other documents are necessary for preparing the bankruptcy petition an

Question of the Week: Will my new job affect my Bankruptcy filing?

I have been out of work for some time, my bills have gotten out of hand, and I need to file for Bankruptcy. I may be getting a new job soon. Will my new job affect my Bankruptcy filing? If a would-be Chapter 7 debtor were to see a significant change in their income before filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is a risk that the debtor would no longer qualify under the Chapter 7 Means Test , and must file under Chapter 13 . While Chapter 13 Bankruptcies are often effective in allowing a debtor to cure mortgage arrearages and keep their house , if the debtor’s intention is to pursue liquidation of all assets (including the house) or does not have real property to protect, your increased income would be required by the U.S. Trustee to fund the Chapter 13 plan, and not be used for other costs/expenses. In this case, a Chapter 7 Petition should be filed before any increase in income.

What do I do if my ex threatens to take our child out of the country?

If a parent wants to move a child's residence out of the country, then the same laws apply as when the parent wants to move to another state, though the evaluation by the Court may be slightly different. The removal statute is discussed at length in our previous blog: What do I do if my ex wants to move out of state with our child? . If you are afraid that the other parent may remove the child illegally and once the child is out of the country it may be difficult to get them back, then there is still something you can do. The U.S. Department of State has a website entitled Child Abduction Prevention with many useful tips including: 1. Be aware of your state's laws relating to removing the child from your state against the other parent's wishes. This is a crime in most states and may also be a federal crime. 2. Obtain a custody order that clearly defines both your and the other parent's rights relating to the child and any limitations on those rights. 3. Be a

What do I do if my ex wants to move out of state with our child?

In Massachusetts, M.G.L. c. 208 Section 30: Minor Children; Removal from Commonwealth; Prohibition states that a child who the Massachusetts' probate courts have jurisdiction over shall not be removed from the Commonwealth without consent of both parents or Order of the Court. This statute does not apply to vacations; generally the term "removal" refers to a change of residence. If one parent unilaterally moves out of state with the child without the permission of the other parent and without an Order of the Court, then you must act immediately to force the return of the child. If the child resides out of state for more than six (6) months then under the laws of most states (most states having enacted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, or some variation of it), that other state will now be the "home state" and have jurisdiction over the child. You should consult with an attorney about the appropriate action to bring before a Court i

What happens to payments owed to an ex-spouse in Bankruptcy?

Obligations that are considered by the Bankruptcy Court to be “domestic relations orders” are non-dischargeable and priority debts. They are defined in U.S. Bankruptcy Code Title 11 Section 101 14(A) . In summary, the term 'domestic support obligation' includes child support, alimony, or other support payment, and can include payments for housing, health insurance or other costs paid on behalf of a spouse or ex-spouse. If payments are owed and in arrears then the 'domestic support obligation may also include interest and the interest is non-dischargeable as well. It is very important when preparing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to be aware that these debts will not be discharged, i.e. will still be owed after the bankruptcy. It is likewise very important when preparing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to be include the 'domestic support obligation' in the Chapter 13 plan as a priority debt and to be clear about how arrears will be paid versus how the ongoing payment reduces t