Bankruptcy / Massachusetts / Chelmsford

Filing Bankruptcy in Chelmsford: 7 Things You Need to Know

Written by Ben Tejes
Updated Oct 18th, 2022

You are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Chelmsford. Bankruptcy is a common debt relief choice. 

In fact, many people in Massachusetts have received bankruptcy relief, and Chelmsford is no different. In fact, there were 3,529 bankruptcies filed in Massachusetts in the year ending June 30, 2021 (Source). With a population of 35126, I’d estimate a fair number of those were in Chelmsford.

The purpose of this article is to provide an extensive list of filing bankruptcy in Chelmsford including:

  1. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Chelmsford
  2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Chelmsford
  3. Chelmsford Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
  4. Finding a Reputable Bankruptcy Lawyer in Chelmsford
  5. Estimating Loss of Belonging (i.e.
  6. Getting Bankruptcy Help in Chelmsford
  7. Bankruptcy Alternatives and Conclusion

Without further ado, let’s get started with Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Chelmsford

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common consumer bankruptcy in the United States. People appreciate the simplicity of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the cost of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and the speed of debt relief. For example, in Chelmsford, you could get debt relief in about 120 days with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

One of the challenges of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Chelmsford is that you have to qualify. In order to qualify in Chelmsford, you often have to pass the Massachusetts bankruptcy means test. You can estimate that qualification below in Chelmsford. Let’s cover how you can qualify.

Chapter 7 Qualification

The first part of the means test is to understand your income in relation to the median income levels for Massachusetts. It considers the average family size and income.

To estimate your qualification, you can take the Chelmsford Chapter 7 qualification calculator below that is specific to Chelmsford.

Finally, the most recent Massachusetts median income levels is for cases filed on or after May 15, 2022, and can be found below.

# of PeopleAnnual Income
1$74,505
2$93,086
3$117,749
4$150,387
5$160,287
6$170,187
7$180,087
8$189,987
9$199,887

If your income exceeds the median, you can move on to the second part of the means test to estimate qualification. The second part of the means test is to understand your actual expenses. You can check out our guide covering trying to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy above the median.

For example, the average median rent amount in Chelmsford is $1512, but let's say your rent is almost double that amount. Could you potentially still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of those additional expenses? What you are able to state as ab expense is limited, and you can refer to the current national standard for the maximum amounts, but you may want to speak with your attorney about this situation.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Chelmsford

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as a wage-earner bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a voluntary reorganization of debt.  In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the individual has debt that they can no longer manage and often own assets that exceed state and/or federal relief. Folks file Chapter 13 bankruptcy often when they do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  

Most individuals in Chelmsford will qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy as long as they are below the debt limits.

Compared to Chapter 7, there is no liquidation in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Although, the discharge won’t be until around 3 to 5 years. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 7 years.

Chelmsford Bankruptcy Attorney Fees

When looking for a bankruptcy attorney, we recommend that you look for these 5 attributes: Rate, Reliability, Referrals, Reviews, and Relevancy. You can check our guide to find a top bankruptcy attorney in Chelmsford.

The estimated Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer fee in Chelmsford is: $1150 - $2500.

The estimated Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer fee in Chelmsford is: $4,000. The Chapter 13 attorney fee is often set across the district, meaning that all Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in a district may charge around the same fee.

Chelmsford Bankruptcy Attorneys

One of the most important things to do is to find a reputable bankruptcy attorney in Chelmsford if you decide to hire one. This is legal advice related to finances that are going to affect your future. For example, making sure you are in the right bankruptcy chapter (Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13) could cost you thousands more and take you years longer.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer

As stated above, Chelmsford has a population of 35126. In many cases, individuals in larger cities such as Boston or Worcester would like a bankruptcy lawyer close by. In smaller cities, I have found that individuals have questions about whether the bankruptcy will show up in the newspaper or whether friends will hear about it. This is a valid question.

Regardless, you can check the Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers in or near Chelmsford using the table below. You just need to input your zip code, and voila, you can choose which Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer you would like to speak to near or far away from Chelmsford in a free bankruptcy lawyer consultation

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Chelmsford may be a bit more intensive, so you may consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy that is closer to you. That said, with the internet and the pandemic, many of the meetings are now online and you can generally submit your documentation online as well.

Regardless, you can use the table below to find a Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer in or near Chelmsford. Also, the fees are just estimates, and may not be reflective of the actual cost of the attorney fees.

Zip code
sort_numguidhas_phoneFirmRatingReviewsRelevancyFree ConsultPayment PlansContactClick to Call

Bankruptcy Exemptions in Massachusetts

As you live in Chelmsford, you are often able to use the Massachusetts bankruptcy exemptions to help you keep your belongings.

One of the biggest questions people have is whether they are able to keep their homes in bankruptcy. This is where bankruptcy exemptions come into play. As Chelmsford has a home ownership % of 84.3% and an estimated estimated home value of $401213, you can understand that many people want to keep this asset. You can often keep your assets using bankruptcy exemptions.

Here are the Massachusetts bankruptcy exemptions. The exemptions are revised on different occasions, so you may wish to check the most current information on exemptions. Also, as a reference, Massachusetts is a place that allows you to use federal bankruptcy exemptions. You often have to choose which one to use, so a bankruptcy attorney can help you with that option.

Homestead Exemption

The homestead exemption is often broken down by age and whether you are married. 

  • Single and under 65: $500,000
  • Single is 65 or older: $500,000
  • Married and under 65: $500,000
  • Married is 65 or older: $500,000

Massachusetts specific homestead bankruptcy exemption text: “Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 188 §§ 1, 1A. $500,000 and $500,000 for each age 62+ or disabled person. Record a Declaration of Homestead with the county Registry of Deeds.” (Source)

Automobile Exemption

The automobile bankruptcy exemption in Massachusetts is $7,500.

Jewelry Exemption

The jewelry bankruptcy exemption in Massachusetts is $1,225.

Tools of Trade Exemption

The tools of the trade bankruptcy exemption in Massachusetts is $5,000.

Wildcard Exemption

The wildcard bankruptcy exemption in Massachusetts is $1,000.

Personal Property Exemption

The personal property bankruptcy exemption in Massachusetts is $15,000.

Special Exemption Handling for Massachusetts

Below is specific special handling of bankruptcy exemptions in Massachusetts.

  • Automobile: up to $15,000 if the person is disabled
  • Wildcard: up to $5,000 based on unused exemptions for automobile, tools of the trade, and household furniture
  • Personal: up to $15,000 for furniture; clothing and beds are exempt

Bankruptcy Help in Chelmsford

Unemployment can cause both frustration and angst about options. The most recent statistic I found is that the Chelmsford unemployment rate is 4.4%. There may be resources available to help. In addition to the unemployment rate, Chelmsford has a disability rate of 9.8%. As such, if you are truly in need and don’t have income, there are resources that may be available that can help you.

Check out the legal aid and free resources that may be available in Chelmsford.

Legal Aid and Free Resources

Here are some legal aid resources that may be helpful to you in Chelmsford.

The bankruptcy court and district may have free resources that are available to you. I have included the information below. 

Lastly, Chelmsford also has a limited English rate of 2.2% and a poverty rate of 3.6%. If you have limited English, you may check out the court websites for Massachusetts for additional information on how you can be served. You can also see how filing bankruptcy without an attorney can work if you cannot afford a bankruptcy lawyer.

Courts and Districts in Massachusetts

District of Mass

  • 1 Courthouse Way
    Boston, Massachusetts 02210
  • 595 Main Street
    Worcester, Massachusetts 01608
  • 300 State Street
    Springfield, Massachusetts 01105

Debt Settlement in Chelmsford

One of the most common alternatives to bankruptcy is debt settlement. A debt settlement firm would negotiate for a lower amount due on your debt in the case of financial hardship. The goal would be to reduce your debt in half. In this case, you would have a lower monthly payment.

If you are looking at debt settlement in Chelmsford, you may want to consider a national debt settlement firm to a local one in Chelmsford. For example, most of your creditors are probably national banks instead of local Chelmsford banks. As such, you can potentially get lower fees by using a national firm. You should strongly consider the pros and cons and credit score impact before taking the plunge as Ascend only recommends 2 debt settlement firms nationwide that both offer free phone evaluations.

Conclusion

Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Chelmsford can provide debt relief. That said, you may want to consider the cost of bankruptcy in Chelmsford, the different bankruptcy chapters, reputable attorneys in Chelmsford and alternatives to help you make the most informed decision. 

You can also take our Chapter 7 vs Chapter calculator below to help you estimate the cost and qualification of Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Chelmsford.