When necessary, filing for personal bankruptcy is an excellent way of getting a “fresh start” by discharging debts while keeping exempt assets. The laws give Massachusetts residents ample exemptions, including the Massachusetts Homestead Exemption, while allowing folks to discharge most consumer debts and old taxes.
First, let’s set the record straight. Donald Trump, the man (and Republican Party presidential candidate), has never filed personal bankruptcy. On the other hand, his casino business has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in bankruptcy a record four times in the past 30 years! While it is legal for corporations to file for bankruptcy, and they often emerge stronger, keeping key employees and business, it certainly raises some questions about the chief executives’ ability to manage a large entity successfully. Furthermore, the debts owed to lenders, employees and creditors are either wiped out or reduced.
In an astonishing new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, 16% of retired NFL players declare bankruptcy. This is within 12 years of retirement. That’s correct. In a study of football players drafted into the NFL between 1996 and 2003, almost 15% declared bankruptcy. This group had an average income of $1.9 million per year! And the study determined that the actual income was not a factor in bankruptcy. Read more
If you file for personal bankruptcy in Massachusetts, do you have to list your Facebook account as an asset? Is there a distinction between your personal account and the business account for small businesses?
Many of our personal bankruptcy clients have payday loans. These are loans from companies who specialize in “short-term” loans to “get you to the next payday.” We have always wondered about these loans, as folks who need such short-term loans are often borrowing from Peter to pay Paul…and then doing it again the next week. Read more
In a study undertaken by the Boston Federal Reserve Bank regarding wealth and race, some unfortunate results were uncovered. White households have significantly more wealth as measured by home equity, retirement accounts, and other such standard measures of wealth. For example, over 56% of while households have retirement accounts while only 21.2% of black families in Boston have such accounts; even fewer Boston Dominican families have retirement accounts, at 7.5%. Read more
Many folks call us and ask if they can keep their tax refund and still file for bankruptcy protection. The short answer for many people is yes. Of course, the real answer is that you should meet with an experienced Massachusetts bankruptcy attorney before trying to undertake your own bankruptcy planning.
It is now almost 10 years since Congress passed, and President Bush signed, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), which went into effect in October 2005. What, if any, conclusions can we find from ten (10) years of personal bankruptcies?
Many folks worry that by filing bankruptcy in Massachusetts their personal information will become public. Will my landlord find out? My boss? Do I have to get my wife’s tax return even if she is not filing? Read more
Of course the answer is yes, absolutely, by federal law. However, some questionable practices exist among banks and collection agencies which, according to lawsuits filed about the country, prey on those who do not know their rights.
If your debts were discharged in bankruptcy, and a creditor, be it the same lender, bank, or credit card, or a new one, attempts to collect a debt that you know to be discharged, contact your attorney immediately. There could be a bankruptcy fraud violation there. Read more