I’m considering filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy, as I’ve just lost my job and cannot afford my debts. My wife still works and we have two children, with a net income of $43,000 a year. With that amount of money we can pay our normal monthly bills and utilities, but can no longer afford credit card debt or medical debts. My fear is that our home and cars are paid off, and we are afraid to lose them. The majority of the credit card debt and the medical bills are under my name, but so is one automobile and the deed to my home. My main fear is that because my car and home are both paid off that I will lose them in chapter 7 bankruptcy. What are my options?


The fact that you have a household size of four people and only have an income of $43,000 a year, you can certainly file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. In the state of Massachusetts, you can make approximately $100,000 and still file chapter 7 bankruptcy with a household size of four. As far as your home is concerned, as long as you have a Homestead recorded on your house, that will afford you $500,000 of protection from bankruptcy, so you shouldn’t lose your house. Single people get $250,000 of protection and couples get $500,000 of protection from a Homestead act in Massachusetts. It’s important to note that the Homestead act has to have been filed prior to the debts your speaking about, but since most people have one of these filed on their home on the day the buyer this is almost never a problem. As far as the automobile is concerned, that depends on the price of the automobile. Many people think that bankruptcy court simply allows you to keep one automobile, this is not exactly correct, as it’s based on the value of the automobile. With that being said, there are exemptions in bankruptcy that can be added together to cover the cost of most use automobiles. In your particular situation it seems that filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy would remove your unsecured debt and allow you a fresh start, without fear of losing your property and to move forward in your life.


Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723

Office:  888-269-0688

Email: jbotelho@botelholawgroup.com


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