Experienced Help For Bankruptcy Matters
Deciding to file for bankruptcy can be a challenging decision. At DiFonte Law Group, LLC, I can help you make that decision. I’m Mark DiFonte, and I know the difficulties you face. Overwhelming debt can make it hard to see past the pile collection letters or the constant phone calls demanding payment. I can help you examine your financial situation with a professional’s eye, analyzing the types of debt and explaining your legal options to obtain a fresh start for your economic health.
Two Decades Of Experience With Bankruptcy
The Bankruptcy Code is complex. Every case is different, with unique facts. This is where I can help you. I have worked with hundreds of clients during my career. I have a strong understanding of the bankruptcy code and court procedures. I know how these cases play out, and I can advise you on the strategies that will work best for you. For most individuals, either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 will resolve their debt issues.
A Genuine “Fresh Start”
For most consumers today, a financial crisis is closer than they would like to admit. The loss of a job, a major health condition or even a divorce can tip many people over the edge, leaving them scrambling to cover all of their bills. You may resort to paying more times with credit cards until you are using one card to pay another. When this house of cards collapses, you can feel desperate and overwhelmed.
Bankruptcy provides a true “fresh start” to their financial circumstances. Unlike debt consolidation and credit counseling, which often merely shuffle your debts around, bankruptcy offers an actual solution when you are experiencing a financial crisis. With bankruptcy, debts are permanently eliminated.
Chapter 7 Or Chapter 13
Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy filing. It can quickly, in less than six months, eliminate most of your debt. It works best for individuals with few secured assets, and there are some debts, like child support that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, but for most, a Chapter 7 discharge will eliminate all unsecured debts, like credit card bills and medical expenses. This can be tremendously freeing; it can allow you to deal with your remaining expenses from a much stronger position. Chapter 7 requires a “means test” for eligibility, and I will explain how that works.
Chapter 13 differs from Chapter 7 in that it takes longer and requires you to develop a “Chapter 13 plan” to repay a portion of your debts. However, for some debtors, it may be their best option. If you own a home with a mortgage or have loans on your vehicles, you can use Chapter 13 to keep your home and vehicles, while eliminating much of your unsecured debts.
Behind On Mortgage Payments?
In the Chapter 13 plan, you create a budget, allocating your income to your expenses and debts. Every Chapter 13 plan is unique because everyone’s financial condition, income and debts differ. A Chapter 13 plan can be very helpful if you have fallen behind in mortgage payments, as it allows your mortgage arrears to be paid during the three- to five-year duration of the Chapter 13 case. With the elimination of much of your unsecured debts, making these payments can become more realistic.
The filing of a bankruptcy creates an “automatic stay” to all collecting activity, including foreclosures. The term of the bankruptcy creates a breathing space, allowing you to regroup and deal with your debts with less stress. I explain how Chapter 13 works in your specific financial context, helping you to see exactly how the bankruptcy will help you regain your financial health.
Rebuilding Your Credit After Bankruptcy
Many people worry that bankruptcy will “damage” their credit. If you are considering bankruptcy, your credit is probably already damaged. Creditors know if you are missing payments, and they are lowering your credit rating and increasing your interest charges. A bankruptcy allows you to start over, carefully taking on limited credit, and within a surprisingly short time, your credit score could be in better condition than it was before you filed.
Some people wonder if debt consolidation programs will work like a bankruptcy. In fact, they don’t, because they don’t actually reduce your debt, often simply consolidating your debt into a single payment. That may not help if you cannot afford those payments. They also demand your creditors’ willingness to agree to the terms, which can be difficult. We can explain how these programs work and compare them to bankruptcy, allowing you to make an informed decision based on facts.
Free Initial Consultation
When your debts are more than you can pay, I can help. Call my North Andover office at 978-346-5045 or use my online contact form.
DiFonte Law Group, LLC is a debt relief agency. I help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.