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The Law Office Of Barry R. Levine

100 Cummings Center
Suite 327g
Beverly, MA 01915

Call Us Now For A Personalized Case Evaluation

(978) 355-1177

Call Us Now For A Personalized Case Evaluation

The Law Office Of Barry R. Levine

In this article, you will discover:

  • Why people are waiting to file bankruptcy.
  • How waiting too long to discuss bankruptcy limits your options.
  • Costly tactics to avoid in the name of protecting your property.

What Can People Expect In 2022 In Regard To Individual Bankruptcy Filings?

There are not many bankruptcy cases being filed in general right now. I would think it would be busier given the economic times and the ever-changing Covid Pandemic. It appears that consumers are using their credit cards again and, as a consequence, consumer debt skyrocketing; maybe that’s how the world is keeping afloat. Eventually, that must come to an end.

I have had a number of people patiently waiting to file because their pandemic unemployment benefits made them a chapter 13 candidate. The reason they’re biding their time is because when we calculated disposable income, we go back six (6) months. For most, the pandemic unemployment benefits ended in September, 2021, so waiting six (6) months takes us to March/April, 2022. If we don’t have to include that unemployment income, they can now file a Chapter 7.

Should I Seek Advice From A Bankruptcy Attorney Now Or Only When Bankruptcy Is Necessary?

It is better to speak to a bankruptcy attorney in advance even when just contemplating bankruptcy. There may be things you can do to “prepare” for your bankruptcy filing concerning assets that are not exempt. Perhaps you need to file a homestead or matters along those lines.

The worst situation is when the debtor shows up in our office and says “I just found out that my house is being foreclosed upon tomorrow.” That doesn’t give them any options. They have to file bankruptcy: that is the only way to quickly stop a foreclosure, but we have no real opportunity to assess the situation. It’s file and then let’s try to figure it out. The fact is, most financial matters are undertaken with multiple notices; foreclosures or asset seizures do not occur in a vacuum.

What Planning Should Be Done Prior To Filing An Individual Or Business Bankruptcy?

Before filing an individual or business bankruptcy, you just need to get your records in order. Everything is included in the bankruptcy filing when you are dealing with a business. The only pre-filing preparation is to do exactly what you can with your assets, liabilities, and anything asked for in the statement of affairs. If you are a sole-proprietorship, you need to be ready to provide a six (6) month income/expense statement. Again, this statement is essential in determining your disposable income.

As an attorney, you shouldn’t encourage fraudulent conveyances, although some people do. Oftentimes, individuals undertake such matters and then come to have their attorney rectify the screwed-up situation they created. I’m now involved with a case where a debtor in New Hampshire filed a Chapter 7 pro se—filing without an attorney. The debtor owned a house in Northern California that’s probably worth $2 or $3 million. The debtor conveyed the property to her son for love and affection just after the bankruptcy filing. The debtor wound up as someone who can never obtain a discharge in bankruptcy because the debtor forgot to mention the transfer in the real estate in the bankruptcy petition and at the section 341 meeting. The debtor is lucky the matter was not referred to the U.S. Attorney.

This is no way to handle things. There is so much disclosure involved in a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 11. You have the trustee’s office overlooking the sureties, the cash flow statements, receivables, and things of this sort. There are better ways to liquidate and/or reorganize a business entity.

For more information on Bankruptcy Expectations for the Year 2022, an initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (978) 355-1177 today.

Barry R. Levine

Call Us Now For A Personalized Case Evaluation
(978) 355-1177