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Filing Bankruptcy in Massachusetts

On this site, we give you the honest, straightforward answers you're looking for about filing for bankruptcy in Massachusetts.

If you are interested in learning more, you can call us at 617-338-9400, fill out this form, or email us for a free consultation. We have over ten years of experience helping Massachusetts consumers and businesses successfully navigate the bankruptcy system.  You can read some reviews here.

Here are some common questions about filing bankruptcy in Massachusetts:

1. Can Bankruptcy Help Me?

If you can't afford to pay your debts, it's a powerful option to consider. Many people have filed bankruptcy and come through to the other side in better shape, financially and psychologically.  Bankruptcy can often be the only path to financial freedom and fresh start, and getting free of the burden of debt can release creativity and strengthen families.  We explain the process, the pros and cons, the credit issues, and the fees on this site.

2. What is Bankruptcy and Why do People File?

Bankruptcy either eliminates most debts or reduces them to an affordable level. People file because they can't afford to pay their debts, especially given mounting interest and penalties. They are often caught in the vicious cycle of robbing Peter to pay Paul. 

People also file bankruptcy because they are being harassed, facing lawsuits, foreclosures or repossessions.

3. What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 wipes out most debts. The discharged debts include things like credit cards and medical bills.  Whether you qualify is mainly based on your income. The Chapter 7 page has the details....

4. What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 is a partial repayment plan of your debts that, when completed, results in the balances of most debts being discharged. Chapter 13 can also help save peoples' homes and deal effectively with tax problems. Visit the Chapter 13 page to get the details....

5. What is the Automatic Stay?

The "automatic stay" puts a stop to the feeding frenzy of calls and lawsuits upon the filing of the bankruptcy case. Once a bankruptcy is filed, everyone must stop collecting debts from you. Read more here....

6. What are the Massachusetts Exemptions?

The Massachusetts exemptions, along with the federal exemptions, define what you keep and what you lose in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. They also help define your payment if you are in Chapter 13.  Most people keep all their property in bankruptcy. Visit the Massachusetts Exemption Page.

7. What are the Advantages of Bankruptcy?

The advantages of bankruptcy are usually obvious. When it comes down to it, bankruptcy is sometimes the only thing that can provide significant relief from burdensome debt.  Discharging or substantially reducing credit card and other debt can radically improve your finances and quality of life.  If you qualify (which you can find out by contacting us for a consultation), bankruptcy can provide tax-free, legal debt forgiveness and a fresh start.

Bankruptcy is also sometimes the only way to save your home from foreclosure or prevent the taxing authorities or a creditor from taking action against you.  If this is your situation, you shouldn't procrastinate: significant harm can come from waiting (like the filing of a tax lien or an encroaching foreclosure date.)

Some people worry a lot about credit when considering to file bankruptcy.  This doesn't make a lot of sense when credit is already severely damaged.  In this situation, bankruptcy can be used to clear up credit balances, qualify for new loans, and re-build credit history by making timely payments.

8. What are the Disadvantages of Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy hurts your credit. Later, it gives you the ability to rebuild your credit by eliminating the debts causing you problems.  It's a little like quickly pulling off a Band-Aid.  Bankruptcy is gone completely from your credit after enough time passes. Read more here....

9. What is the Cost of Bankruptcy?

We usually charge $1,250 for either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. (More fees come out of your payment in Chapter 13, reducing your creditors' percentage, not making you pay more). More detail about our fees can be found here.

10. Where is the Bankruptcy Court and will I have to go?

Usually you only have to go once. We will go with you. Based on your address, you will be assigned a meeting in Boston, Brockton, Worcester, Springfield, or Pittsfield. Read more here....




Mortgage Foreclosure?

If you are facing foreclosure, you can follow these links:


Massachusetts Bankruptcy Blog


Nicholas Ortiz on MoneyMatters Radio
Part 1 (.mp3) | Part 2 (.mp3)

Opinions in Cases of Interest

Nicholas F. Ortiz Representing the Debtor

 In re Henricksen

 Masciarelli v. R.J. Boudreau & Associates, LLC (pdf)

 Jessamey v. Town of Saugus (pdf)

 In re Machado (pdf)

 In re Phillips (pdf)

 Jessamey v. Norfolk Financial Corporation, et al. (pdf)


Unpaid Wages or Overtime?

You can click here to get information on wage and overtime rights in Massachusetts.


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Ortiz & O'Donnell
125 Summer Street, Suite 1030 Boston, Massachusetts 02110
Phone: 6177160282