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By Logan Weinkauf
Founding Attorney

Dealing with financial difficulties can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming. It can feel like you’re drowning in debt with no way out. However, bankruptcy can be an effective way to get a fresh start and take control of your financial future. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about filing for bankruptcy in Massachusetts, including how to choose a New Bedford bankruptcy lawyer to represent you. Table of contents

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process designed to help individuals and businesses eliminate or repay their debts under the protection of the federal bankruptcy court. There are two main types of bankruptcy for individuals: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as “liquidation bankruptcy,” involves selling off your assets to pay off your debts. Some assets, such as your home and car, may be exempt from liquidation. If you meet certain income requirements, you may be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as “reorganization bankruptcy,” involves creating a repayment plan to pay off your debts over a three to five year period. This type of bankruptcy is typically for individuals with a steady income who want to keep their assets.

Should You File for Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy should not be taken lightly and should only be considered after all other options have been explored. If you’re struggling to pay your bills and your debt is continuing to grow, bankruptcy may be a viable option. It’s important to speak with a New Bedford bankruptcy attorney to determine if bankruptcy is right for you.

The Bankruptcy Process

The bankruptcy process can be complex, but an experienced bankruptcy attorney can guide you through each step. Here’s an overview of what to expect:

Step 1: Pre-Filing Credit Counseling

Before you can file for bankruptcy, you must complete a credit counseling course from an approved agency. This course will help you understand your financial situation and explore alternative options to bankruptcy.

Step 2: Filing Your Bankruptcy Petition

Your New Bedford bankruptcy lawyer will file your bankruptcy petition with the court. The petition will include information about your debts, assets, income, and expenses.

Step 3: Automatic Stay

Once your petition is filed, an automatic stay goes into effect. This means that creditors are prohibited from taking any collection actions against you, including calling, sending letters, or garnishing your wages.

Step 4: Meeting of Creditors

About a month after your petition is filed, you’ll attend a meeting of creditors with your attorney. During this meeting, the bankruptcy trustee and your creditors will have an opportunity to ask you questions about your financial situation.

Step 5: Discharge

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your debts may be discharged within a few months. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll make payments under your repayment plan for three to five years before your remaining debts are discharged.

Choosing a New Bedford Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing for bankruptcy is a serious matter that should only be handled by an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Here are some things to consider when choosing a New Bedford bankruptcy lawyer:


Look for an attorney with experience handling bankruptcy cases in Massachusetts. An experienced attorney will be able to guide you through the process and help you achieve the best possible outcome.


Choose an attorney who is empathetic and understands the stress and emotions that come with financial difficulties. A lawyer who cares about your well-being will be able to provide the support you need throughout the bankruptcy process.


Choose an attorney who communicates clearly and frequently with you. You want to be able to ask questions and understand what’s happening every step of the way.


Bankruptcy can be expensive, but it’s important to find an attorney who is transparent about their fees and payment options. Look for an attorney who offers a free consultation so you can discuss your options without any financial commitment.

Final Thoughts

Filing for bankruptcy can be a difficult decision, but it can also be a chance for a fresh start. If you’re considering bankruptcy, it’s important to consult with a qualified New Bedford bankruptcy attorney who can help you navigate the process and achieve the best possible outcome. Remember to consider experience, empathy, communication, and cost when choosing an attorney. With the right guidance, you can take control of your financial future and move forward with confidence.

Attorney Logan A. Weinkauf is ready to help you. Call 508-375-3878 or use our no obligation case evaluation form on our website’s home page.

About the Author
Logan represents individuals and small businesses in the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in Boston, Worcester, Springfield, and nearly every county court in Massachusetts. He approaches each case with empathy for the people behind the case. He works efficiently to deliver cost-effective solutions. He has advised people and businesses on creditor and debtor matters across diverse areas of law, including corporate law, real estate, and family law issues. This puts Logan at the leading edge of debtor’s rights, asset protection, and litigation. Logan is a trusted advisor to individuals, families, entrepreneurs, and business owners.