D'Angio Law Offices

Reason is the life of the law; nay, the common law itself is nothing else but reason...The law, which is perfection of reason.
Sir Edward Coke, 1552-1634.


In our frequently asked questions section you should be able to find answers to most of your questions about bankruptcy. If, after reading the FAQ you still have questions, feel free to call 781-894-6028 for additional questions.

We are categorized as a  Debt Relief Agency because we have been helping people file bankruptcy for more than 20 years.

Does filing for bankruptcy protection stop creditors from calling me or contacting me directly?

Yes, immediately. After we file your bankruptcy, your creditors may only contact us. We will provide you with a phone number to give to your creditors directing them to us. Once they have been notified, creditors are prohibited from contacting you at home, at work, or by cell phone. Your creditors will also be prohibited from contacting your friends and family members.

In addition, filing for bankruptcy will halt wage garnishments, end lawsuits targeting personal property, stop repossessions and foreclosures, and potentially even return previously garnished wages or repossessed property to you.

Will filing for bankruptcy save my home from foreclosure even if I have waited until the day before the sale?

Yes. We can stop the foreclosure sale right up until the sale begins. However, we encourage you not to wait until the last minute as it can increase the risk of unforeseen circumstances that may prevent you from filing.  You must also take a short telephone and internet course to validly file bankruptcy which usually takes at a very minimum a few days.

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 is also known as a “wage earner plan” or a “debt reorganization”. As part of Chapter 13, your past due balances are consolidated and you agree to repay them over a period of 3 – 5 years, in addition to continuing to make all current payments. Your monthly payment on the past due debts is determined by your income and expenses (often amounting to less than 10 cents on the dollar).

My car was repossessed yesterday. Will filing for chapter 13 (or Chapter 7) bankruptcy help me get my car back?

Yes, but you must act very quickly to file and you will be required to show proof of insurance before the vehicle is returned to you.

Can I keep my home, car, and other possessions?

Yes. Chapter 13 is designed in such a way that you can reorganize and eliminate your debt without surrendering your home, car, or other property, but you must begin paying your regular monthly payments on these debts to maintain ownership.  Any past due balances will be part of the repayment plan determined by the court, giving you 3 – 5 years to pay these past due balances off.

Can I buy or sell a home while I am in Chapter 13?

Yes, but the process will be a motion before the court. We will help you with the process.

Will filing Chapter 13 help me with my IRS debt?

Yes. As we all know, taxes are very complicated. We will review your tax debt with you and help you understand which portion may be dismissed and what portion will be addressed in the bankruptcy.

Will filing Chapter 13 help me with my past due child support obligation?

Past due child support is considered a “priority debt” by the new 2005 Bankruptcy Regulations. Past due child support can be included in your Chapter 13 filing, but it cannot be canceled. Rather, it will be consolidated with the rest of your debts and become part of the repayment plan as determined by the court.

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Also known as “liquidation” or “clean slate”, Chapter 7 lets you discharge (wipe-out) most unsecured debt, such as credit card balances, medical bills, and even certain taxes. However, some debts, such as child support, student loans, and recent taxes cannot be discharged through Chapter 7.

Typically, people who file for Chapter 7 have only assets that we can protect using exemptions available under Massachusetts or Federal Law and earn below the median IRS income.

Can I file Chapter 7 if I have assets I want to keep?

Yes, in certain circumstances. This is called “reaffirming” a debt. In the Chapter 7 process, you may be able to reaffirm secured debts, such as a car loan or mortgage, if you are current on your payments and continue to make your regular monthly payments. You can also choose to surrender these assets, in which case any past due balances will be discharged in your settlement.

How will filing for bankruptcy affect my credit score

Unfortunately, the damage is already done. Once you have any debt that is over 3 months (90 days) past due, a vehicle that has been repossessed, or a home in foreclosure, your credit score has already been damaged. Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 and successfully meeting all requirements and repayment obligations of the case are the first steps to rebuilding your credit rating.

Most people who file Chapter 7 Bankruptcies actually have an increase in their credit scores of above 100 pronts one year after their Bankruptcy.

How soon will I be able to reestablish my credit?

A lot sooner than you might think. While a bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for 7 – 10 years, many bankruptcy filers are able to qualify  for auto loans, credit cards, or buy homes shortly after filing. You may simply have to pay a higher interest rate than someone who has unblemished credit.

What is credit counseling? How do I enroll?

As part of the new Bankruptcy Law passed in April 2005, clients must participate in credit counseling sessions as a provision of their bankruptcy application. In some cases, participants may even discover that there are other reasonable ways to pay off their obligations and avoid filing for bankruptcy altogether. Enrolling is easy – we arrange for it here in our office, so you can do it at home on the phone or on line.

How much will it cost to get started?

In most cases, we do payment plans depending on the complexity of the case for a Chapter 7.  In a chapter 13 much of the fee can be paid as part of the payments to the Court.

How many times will I have to go to court?

Most cases require only 1 appearance. You will be accompanied and represented by your attorney.

Am I qualified to file? Who is disqualified from filing under the new laws?

Part of the intention of the new Bankruptcy Law was to decrease the number of people eligible to file. Your ability to file will be determined by a complex series of calculations that compare how much you owe to how much you earn as well as compare what you earn to the median income for the state of Massachusetts.  The reality of the new law is that the spirit of the Bankruptcy Code, i.e. giving honest people a fresh start, is unchanged. As with any law, however, the new bankruptcy statutes are open to interpretation. Just because one attorney has told you that you do not qualify does not mean we will not take your case. Remember, your initial consultation is completely free! There’s no obligation – no strings attached.

Will I receive a copy of my paperwork?

Yes. Once all the paperwork has been prepared, we will mail you a very well organized set of your documents for your records.

What is this?

Included in this package will be a general information quick-reference sheet with all the important facts about your case.

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