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Personal Bankruptcy in the Time of Coronavirus

It is not clear what the long-term ramifications are following the historic coronavirus pandemic.  What is an unfortunate consequence is that many folks in Massachusetts may need to consider filing for personal bankruptcy.

Attorney Neil Burns recalls that when the federal bankruptcy laws changed in 2005 there was a dramatic increase in Chapter 7 filings.  When the Crash of 2008 happened, Attorney Burns and his firm filed all too many bankruptcies for families in the months and years thereafter.  In each wave of bankruptcies, the “fresh start” law was proven helpful.

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Will A Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance Policy Protect My Other Properties?

Not generally.  You must insure each property as a typical homeowner’s insurance policy or apartment policy insured that property alone.  However, and there’s always an exclusion or interpretation based on the facts of the case and the specific policy, sometimes it’s the negligence of the homeowner that is the issue, and that may trigger insurance coverage at another property or elsewhere.

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In the 34 years I have been practicing bankruptcy law in Massachusetts, we have been informing clients that their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are generally exempt from creditors in bankruptcy.  As are 401ks, Keogh plans, and so forth.  You simply declare on your Petition and Schedules what your retirement accounts are, provide documentation as to the balances, and the bankruptcy trustee considers them exempt from your creditors.

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Seniors Filing for Personal Bankruptcy 2018 Update

The number of seniors coming to our office for consultations for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcies is rising.  After 33 years of practicing bankruptcy law in Massachusetts, I have antidotal evidence of trends in filings.  After the 2008 recession, we had a huge rise of middle age and middle-income folks who came in and just could not afford their mortgage payments.  They defaulted on home loans, were forced to move out, but got a Fresh Start, under federal bankruptcy law.

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