What is Chapter 11 and who can file for it in Massachusetts?

Switching gears from family law, but still continuing our discussion about debts, divorce and bankruptcy from earlier this week, we wanted to answer a question that might be on the minds of our Worcester readers at this very moment. The question concerns Chapter 11 bankruptcy and just so happens to be the title of today’s post.

So what exactly is Chapter 11 bankruptcy? As you may or may not know, bankruptcy is not simply the liquidation of one’s property in an attempt to discharge a large amount of debt. Though this is the case for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are other chapters that make up the bankruptcy code where discharging debt works a little differently.

With Chapter 11 bankruptcy, debt is reorganized to allow a person to pay off the debt over a course of time and in amounts that make best financial sense for the debtor. While typically reserved for businesses, individuals can also apply for Chapter 11 provided their situation meets the bankruptcy court’s guidelines for a Chapter 11 petition. In most cases, an individual needs to show that they can sustain financial stability through various methods after going through the debt repayment process. These methods may include finding new sources of income or simply trimming expenses.

Just like its bankruptcy cousins, Chapter 11 is an incredibly complex process, especially for those who do not have the extensive legal background that a skilled lawyer has. This is why obtaining legal counsel is a good idea when considering bankruptcy. Because of their experience and knowledge of the law, a lawyer can explain what will happen if you file for Chapter 11 and help you through the process as well. And because Chapter 11 can take much longer than other forms of bankruptcy, you may be grateful for the support along the way.

Source: The United States Courts, “Chapter 11: Reorganization Under the Bankruptcy Code,” Accessed April 30, 2015