Westport Massachusetts Bankruptcy Lawyers Anthony Bucacci and Robert Simonian (508)673-9500
Westport Massachusetts Bankruptcy Lawyers Anthony Bucacci and Robert Simonian (508)673-9500
A car title loan is when you borrow money and offer your car as collateral, and if you default, the lender can repossess your car. Exactly how much you may borrow and how quickly you need to repay the loan depends on your loan contract and the value and equity in your car. The lender may be able to take your car and sell it, keeping the difference between what you owed on the loan and the sale price. If the vehicle sells for less than what is owed you can still be in debt to the lender. If that were to happen you could discharge the debt in bankruptcy whether it is chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy. What the lender is permitted to do is dependent on state law and some states don’t allow vehicle title loans at all.
Note that you will most likely need to pay back a lot more than what you borrow. Hi interest rates and the cost of borrowing the money, means these are usually very expensive loans. The Federal Trade Commission says lenders often charge a title loan APR of 300%. Some states cap APRs for vehicle title loans, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau extended its deadline for putting new protections into place for borrowers who take on vehicle title and other high-cost installment loans. It has proposed rolling back requirements for lenders to determine upfront if borrowers could afford to repay the loans. Often people in desperate situations will try to obtain such a loan before filing bankruptcy.
What is a car title? A car title is an official, state-issued document that says who owns the vehicle. It will list the owner’s name and the car’s year, make, model and the vehicle identification number or “VIN Number.” Every time the car has a new owner and every time the owner moves to a new state, the title will change. Vehicle title loan lenders will often require a “clear” title, meaning you own your car outright and free and clear of other liens or loans against the vehicle.
What if you don’t own your car outright? It may be harder to get a vehicle title loan or you may not be able to borrow as much money as you may need, or you may not be able to get a car title loan at all if you already have a loan on your car, depending on your state’s laws. You technically don’t own the car, the lender does. Depending on your state’s law, you may not even have a title in-hand, the lender may have it. If you do have the title and still owe on your car, it will say there is a lien on your car. This makes in more difficult to obtain such a loan.
Car title loans are loans of last resort. It’s possible that a bank or credit union will offer car title loans at lower rates than storefront lenders.
Because the lender knows it has something of value to take (your car) if you don’t pay it back, it is likely to have more relaxed credit score and income requirements than those for other types of loans. However, your state might impose certain income or other requirements. Again, a title loan should be a last resort for an emergency situation. If you are considering such a loan you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney first to explore other options.
Depending on how much your car is worth, you may be able to borrow a greater amount than a payday loan, which is another type of installment loan that uses your paycheck as collateral instead of a car title. Most auto title loans are for 25% to 50% of the car’s value, usually between $100.00 and $5,500.00 though some lenders may offer as much as $10,000 or more.
• How do you know how much your car is worth? Lenders will use industry standards like NADA or Kelly Blue Book to look up how much your car is worth. Do not expect that they will use the high retail value but rather the wholesale or trade in value. They will usually offer you less than this amount so that if you don’t pay back the loan and they take your car, they can then sell it for a profit. You can use the same online industry guide for free to get an idea of the amount you could borrow.
We can’t emphasize this enough that vehicle title loans are expensive, more expensive than nearly any other type of credit and potentially risky. If you live in Massachusetts and are considering such a loan it may be best to schedule a free consultation with a debt lawyer or bankruptcy attorney before you make a mistake.
Lenders for car title loans make more money if borrowers stay in debt. In addition to high APRs, title lenders often charge fees or costs. If you cannot repay the loan, a “rollover” loan would fold all of those costs into a new loan. What sounds like a plus really isn’t because the new loan would add more fees and interest, making it even more difficult to get out of debt. CFPB data suggest that’s exactly what happens as a significant number of vehicle title loan borrowers enter multiple rollover loans and the cycle of debt begins.
Default on your car title loan and the lender could repossess and sell your car. To add insult to injury, you may even be charged a repossession fee and auction fees. Some lenders require borrowers to furnish them an extra set of keys or install a device that could impair your ability to start the engine if you do not make payments. These devices may be used for repossession or as a way to remind borrowers to pay their loans on time. When the CFPB studied vehicle title loan borrowers between 2010 and 2013, 1 in 5 or 20% had their vehicle seized or repossessed.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are in debt and desperate for money to keep up with your bills it may benefit you to speak with us. We are Massachusetts bankruptcy attorneys serving all of Bristol County Massachusetts and Plymouth County Massachusetts. Attorneys Anthony Bucacci and Robert Simonian are Massachusetts bankruptcy lawyers helping people file bankruptcy in all of Massachusetts and particularly Southeastern Massachusetts including Fall River, Seekonk, Swansea, Freetown, Westport, Somerset, New Bedford, Dartmouth, Assonet, Fairhaven, Assonet, Mattapoisett, Middleboro, Lakeville, Raynham, Attleboro. Call us today or visit our website today to schedule a free consultation.
When you file for bankruptcy, you may be able to wipe out and discharge income tax debts depending on how old the tax debt is. Bankruptcy law has specific rules for how old an income tax debt must be in order for it to be discharged along with a few additional requirements.
The federal income tax debt that you are seeking to discharge must have become due, including all extensions, at least three years before the day you file for bankruptcy.
Example: You owe taxes on your 2015 and 2016 tax returns. Your 2015 tax return was due on April 15, 2016. To meet the three-year requirement for your 2015 taxes you must file for bankruptcy on or after April 15, 2019. Your 2016 tax return was due on April 15, 2017, but you requested an extension that expired on October 15, 2017. To meet the three year requirement for your 2016 taxes you must file for bankruptcy on or after October 15, 2020. Generally speaking it is always 3 years from when the tax became DUE not 3 years from the tax year filed.
In order to discharge your federal income tax debt, you must have actually filed the tax return in which the debt was related to at least two years prior to the filing of bankruptcy. Tax debts related to unfiled tax returns are not dischargeable. You must file the return and although it satisfies the 3 year rule it has to have been filed for at least 2 years.
The IRS must have recorded your liability and assessed it to you for the tax debt at least 240 days prior to the filing of your bankruptcy. This is known as a “tax assessment.” Often, the date you file your tax return is when your related tax debt is assessed. However, on occasion, the IRS can assess additional taxes later based on an audit. When this happens, you must wait 240 days from the assessment to discharge the additional taxes in bankruptcy. It is very important to know when the tax was actually assessed to you by the IRS and wait at least 240 days to file for bankruptcy.
If you committed fraud when filing your income tax returns you can not discharge the debt in bankruptcy. If you willfully evaded paying taxes, your tax debt will not be eligible for discharge in bankruptcy. You would have options to repayment in a chapter 13 bankruptcy.
If an income tax debt meets the rules and requirements discussed above, interest charges and penalties on that underlying tax debt will be discharged as well. If the IRS has recorded a tax lien against your property before you file for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court cannot set aside your tax lien. After the bankruptcy, if the tax lien has not been paid off, the IRS lien will remain. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does offer you options with tax liens. You should consult a qualified and experienced bankruptcy attorney for legal advice.
If your tax debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy, filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may still help you as it can make the process of paying back your debt easier. In a Chapter 13 plan you will need to pay your non-dischargeable tax debt over a 3 to 5 year period. The plan might offer better terms than an IRS installment plan and is usually an amount that is more comfortable than what the IRS proposes. It is important to remember that the automatic stay imposed by the bankruptcy court will prevent collection activity while you are in bankruptcy and provide you a lot of relief.
If you are facing foreclosure and the loss of your property you may want to consider your options in bankruptcy. There are many options available to you. If you are losing your home and the house has not gone to foreclosure sale yet, you can file a chapter 13 bankruptcy. This would allow you to pay the past due mortgage payments over time and save the home.
If you do not want to save the home but are afraid of losing your equity, you can file a chapter 13 bankruptcy with a sales plan. If you home is foreclosed your will most likely lose a lot or all of your equity. Generally, banks do not care if you make a profit from the home sale and are only interested in getting their money back. If you file a chapter 13 bankruptcy with a sales plan you can stop the foreclosure and sell the home for full market value. This way the bank gets their money back and you can keep the equity or use the equity to pay off other debts.
In some situations it can be advantageous to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy and allow the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee to sell the property for you. By doing this you can get full market value and preserve or save your equity and pay off other debts. The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee, and not you, has the power to stop the sale and get the most reasonable price for the home. The property would temporarily belong to the trustee who, generally speaking, has a lot more authority and power over bankruptcy assets. Otherwise, if the house went to foreclosure, you may end up with a deficiency balance and now owe more money or you could end up with little or nothing at all. If there is equity in your home and there is a threat of you losing it bankruptcy may be in your best interest.
Whether you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy or a chapter 13 bankruptcy the Bankruptcy Court will immediately impose the automatic stay which is like a restraining order against all of your creditors. This will allow you time to make a rational decision and sell your property for the full value instead of losing the property to foreclosure sale or having to sell it fast at a greatly reduced price.
Are all of the debts discharged?
Bankruptcy: not all debts discharged. The debts discharged vary under each chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. Section 523(a) of the Code specifically excepts various categories of debts from the discharge granted to individual debtors. Therefore, the debtor must still repay those debts after bankruptcy. Congress has determined that these types of debts are not dischargeable. Public policy reasons do not allow the discharge of certain debts. Debts incurred for drunk driving injuries to another is one example.
Chapters 7, 11, 12, lists 19 categories of debt excepted from discharge. A more limited list of exceptions applies to cases under chapter 13.
Generally speaking, the exceptions to discharge apply automatically if the language prescribed by section 523(a) applies. The most common types of nondischargeable debts are certain types of tax claims, debts not set forth by the debtor on the lists and schedules the debtor must file with the court, debts for spousal or child support or alimony, debts for willful and malicious injuries to person or property, debts to governmental units for fines and penalties, debts for most government funded or guaranteed educational loans or benefit overpayments, debts for personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, debts owed to certain tax-advantaged retirement plans, and debts for certain condominium or cooperative housing fees.
The types of debts described in sections 523(a)(2), (4), and (6). Obligations obtained by fraud or maliciousness not automatically excepted from discharge. Creditors must ask the court to determine that these debts excepted from discharge. Discharge can apply to the debts listed in sections 523(a)(2), (4), and (6). Only with the absence of an affirmative request by the creditor and the granting of the request by the court.
A slightly broader discharge of debts is available to a debtor in a chapter 13 case than in a chapter 7 case. Debts dischargeable in a chapter 13, but not in chapter 7. This includes debts for willful and malicious injury to property, debts incurred to pay non-dischargeable tax obligations. Also debts arising from property settlements in divorce or separation proceedings. Although a chapter 13 debtor generally receives a discharge only after completing all payments required by the court. There are some limited circumstances under which the debtor may request the court to grant a “hardship discharge.” Even though the debtor has failed to complete plan payments.
Such a discharge is available only to a certain debtors. Failure to complete plan payments is due to circumstances beyond the debtor’s control. The scope of a chapter 13 “hardship discharge” is similar to that in a chapter 7 case. With regards to the types of debts that are excepted from the discharge. A hardship discharge also is available in chapter 12. Failure to complete plan payments. If due to “circumstances for which the debtor should not justly be held accountable.”
If you have specific questions please call Bucacci And Simonian at 508-673-9500 or visit our website.
Many people share personal details of their lives on social media. Social media and bankruptcy in Massachusetts may have consequences. Post like vacations they take, places they shop, purchases they make, and even what they wear. This kind of sharing can sometimes have legal consequences. One example would be an angry post about a soon to be ex spouse could cause problems in a pending divorce. Also, posts that exaggerate your financial situation could cause you problems in bankruptcy. It is never wise to post information that exaggerates your lifestyle before, during or after filing bankruptcy. Viewers of your post and creditors could misinterpret it and use it against you. One example shows just how problematic things can be when you are not careful on social media.
In 2015, the musician 50 Cent filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. During his bankruptcy he posted several photographs with a lot of money. He displayed a stack of money in his freezer. 50 Cent also posted a photograph of himself surrounded by piles of cash on a bed. He claimed the bills were props, such as those used in music videos. The creditors and the bankruptcy judge were not impressed and not amused by those pictures.
According to the New York Times, 50 Cent stated that the postings were important to maintaining his image and for promotion of his music. This made it difficult to determine whether he was hiding assets or money. This made it difficult to see if he was telling the truth. His creditors now asked to revalue his assets. The bankruptcy judge asked him to reappear in court.
Fortunately he received a large settlement from a lawsuit and was able to pay off his creditors in a short period of time. As you can see, it can be dangerous to post on social media if you are going through bankruptcy.
Creditors do not know anything about you. People who do not know you can easily misinterpret your social media posts. Pictures of a business trip could be seen or interpreted as a vacation when posted on social media. Visiting a relative out of state for an emergency can look like a vacation. Eating at a fancy restaurant for a family event could look extravagant. Be careful of what you post on social media before and after filing bankruptcy.
If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Massachusetts you should consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. It is not wise to take advice from friends and family. Also, trying to sort through the information on the internet could get you in trouble. A lot of the information on the internet about bankruptcy is very general and can easily be misinterpreted. It is always advisable to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Call us anytime to discuss your options. You can also visit our website to schedule an appointment. The consultation is always free.
You can protect your assets in bankruptcy. Sometimes it is tempting for a debtor in bankruptcy to hide assets from the bankruptcy trustee and court. This means not including them in the schedule of assets or schedule of exemptions and not telling the trustee about them. This is usually when an asset is important to a debtor. It may be because they think nobody knows about it and think they can hide it from the bankruptcy trustee.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers tempted to leave out assets of the bankruptcy schedules should reconsider. A requirement is full disclosure. Listing all property is a requirement. You must swear to this. Also they must take an oath at the meeting of creditors. If you haven’t disclosed all of your assets you will commit perjury.
Penalties for committing perjury include time in prison and/or fines. Also, the bankruptcy trustee will seize the asset and liquidate it to pay your creditors. Amending the schedule of exemptions to apply exemptions toward the concealed assets is not likely if you purposely did not disclose the asset. It is never advisable to hide an asset.
Telling the bankruptcy court that you told your attorney about the asset but the attorney said it didn’t have to be listed usually does not work. It usually does not work to say the lawyer forgot to list the asset. You must read and sign a disclosure. This states that you are aware that it is illegal to hide assets. Attorneys should review the bankruptcy petition with you to make sure all assets are listed.
Bankruptcy debtors do not have the right to dismiss their bankruptcy case because they don’t want to complete the process. Once bankruptcy proceedings have begun, the debtor must show good cause for dismissing the case. Trustees that find concealed assets are not likely to dismiss a case.
The only legal way to protect assets in bankruptcy from Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation is to apply one of the many available exemptions toward the asset. State and federal law allow bankruptcy debtors to keep certain types and quantities of assets after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
There are a number of exemptions in under Massachusetts bankruptcy law to protect your property and assets. The bankruptcy exemptions are generous and very rarely does anyone lose property.
Use of bankruptcy exemptions allows an experienced bankruptcy attorney to protect all of your assets. Almost all cases have property that is fully protected. The bankruptcy exemptions are generally very generous and are enough to protect people’s assets in most cases. Chapter 13 bankruptcy protects assets not protected in chapter 7. This allows one to keep the asset.
If you’re considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy call a bankruptcy lawyer. Let an experienced bankruptcy attorney help you identify legal strategies for keeping those assets. In Massachusetts bankruptcy attorney Robert Simonian and bankruptcy Anthony Bucacci can help you keep your assets. We can resolve their debt and insolvency issues in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Call Bucacci & Simonian at 508-673-9500 or visit our website at www.massbklaw.com
Medical bills & Massachusetts bankruptcy. The cost of healthcare in the United States has increased in recent years. As a result, Americans have taken on large amounts of medical debts and bills that they cannot afford. This affects Massachusetts residents.
This problem is bad. Charities use donations to pay peoples medical debts. This means, charities buy the debts from medical providers so that the patients no longer owe money to the provider.
People need relief from these debts. If charitable relief is not available then people often have to resort to filing bankruptcy. Medical providers often resort to hiring collection agencies. For patients that are unable to pay medical debts are sued in court. Unfortunately for many, medical bills & Massachusetts bankruptcy go hand in hand.
Experts feel that this is an indication that our health care system is broken. The cost of healthcare is very high. The cost of medical insurance is very high. The deductibles that people must pay are often very expensive. Bankruptcy may be the only option for many patients that cannot pay their bills.
Approximately 21 million Americans have $46 billion of medical debt as of April 2021. They face collections or lawsuits for the money owed. If they cannot afford to pay then Americans and Massachusetts residents have to file bankruptcy due to medical debts.
Americans spend far more on health insurance than other countries compared to Germany and the Netherlands. Healthcare is not affordable to many Americans. As result of rising cost, people do not have medical insurance that meets their needs. Some people have health insurance plans that they cannot afford. The insurance premiums and deductibles exceed what their incomes allow them to pay. Americans are pushed into bankruptcy because medical debts are overwhelming. This can cause a lot of stress and concern. Many people do not have medical insurance. A medical emergency will cause Massachusetts residents to file bankruptcy.
Medical debts cause Massachusetts citizens to file for bankruptcy. Emergency room visits account for a lot of medical debt. Doctor visits and medical specialists account for a large portion of medical debt in America. Childbirth and related medical expenses drive people into bankruptcy if they cannot afford the medical bills. Dental care and related medical expenses cause people to file bankruptcy for the bills they cannot afford to pay.
There are many reasons that people file for bankruptcy. Medical expenses do have an effect on people’s financial situations. Some financially responsible people have to file for bankruptcy. For others, the expenses are the final push over the financial cliff and into bankruptcy.
The debate over medical expense bankruptcy will continue for the foreseeable future. Politicians spin the numbers to work for the votes they need. Medical expenses influence people to file for bankruptcy in America. Bankruptcy petitions include medical bills. Bankruptcy discharges medical bills. If you have questions about bankruptcy and medical bills that you can’t afford please visit our website.
The reasons for filing do not have to be stated when a debtor files for bankruptcy. As a result, estimates are based on surveys. The answer will depend on how researchers phrase their questions, and how the survey respondents define the cause of their bankruptcy filing.
A variety of factors cause bankruptcies. Many people with medical debt have other debts like credit cards debts and personal loans. The low income, those without savings and loss of a job now trigger a bankruptcy filing. Medical bills & Massachusetts bankruptcy filings are related.
Medical debts are often unexpected and many Americans live paycheck to paycheck for a number of reasons including the economy in Massachusetts. Unexpected or sudden medical bill causes problems in the financial lives of people. This often leads to bankruptcy. Many people are not aware that a particular hospital or medical provider was not part of their insurance plan. As insurance companies deny insurance claims people file for bankruptcy.
There are a lot of misunderstandings about filing for bankruptcy. Credit consolidation companies can mislead people and credit card companies can mislead you so you continue paying high interest. Many people rely on information that was true 25 years ago or from friends who have heard something from someone. A lot of the information available on the internet is often very, very general and vague that it does not apply to over 95% of the cases and distorts the truth.
The following is a list of beliefs people have about filing bankruptcy that are SIMPLY NOT TRUE:
All of the above are common beliefs that people think are true about filing bankruptcy. They are simply NOT TRUE. It is important to speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney for real answers to your questions. It becomes very difficult to make a decision when you hear all kinds of information from unreliable sources. We are available to accurately answer your questions and concerns anytime.