Framingham Bankruptcy Lawyer
Massachusetts Attorney Handling Bankruptcy, Family Law, and Business Law Matters
Victor A. Denaro opened the doors of his firm in 2000 to offer exceptional legal representation at reasonable rates. After 10 years with a law firm nationally recognized as the leader in the field of product liability law in downtown Boston, he knew that he wanted to apply that experience in a smaller and more relaxed environment, in which he was free to offer more personal attention to his clients. Victor A. Denaro represents people who need a Framingham bankruptcy lawyer or representation in family law or business law matters. Over the course of his career, he has tried more than 75 cases to juries, receiving Verdicts of up to $20 million. He has compiled 33 years of experience as an attorney, and he is committed to providing client-focused, cost-effective legal representation.
For many people with overwhelming debt, filing for bankruptcy can be critical. A bankruptcy case begins when a debtor petitions the federal bankruptcy court under the United States Bankruptcy Code. There are different types of bankruptcies. As an individual, you probably will file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Businesses usually file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 (liquidation bankruptcy) or Chapter 11 (reorganization bankruptcy). The primary purpose of filing for bankruptcy is to discharge as many debts as possible to get a fresh start.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also called liquidation bankruptcy. If you pass the means test, you can get Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief, regardless of how much your debt is. A Framingham bankruptcy attorney can help you determine whether you pass the means test and, if so, whether Chapter 7 is the right strategy for you. In Chapter 7, most often a debtor’s assets are exempt from creditors and the debtor keeps all of their assets. In rare cases some of the debtor’s assets may be used to pay off creditors. The process usually lasts only a matter of months, and debts are discharged. To qualify for Chapter 7, a debtor must have received credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency in the 180 days before filing for bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors who do not pass the means test, and who want to keep their assets, to obtain a discharge by developing and following a debt repayment plan. It begins with filing a petition with the bankruptcy court, along with a schedule of assets and liabilities, a schedule of expenditures and income, a schedule of executory contracts and unexpired leases, and a statement of financial affairs. A bankruptcy attorney in the Framingham area can make sure that all of the paperwork is properly filed. You need to propose a repayment plan to make regular payments to creditors for 3-5 years, and the plan must be approved by a bankruptcy trustee. Chapter 13 also allows, and is most commonly used, so that debtor’s can catch up on past due mortgage payments in the plan of repayment and keep their homes. Once a bankruptcy petition is filed, an automatic stay goes into effect. Creditors are not allowed to keep attempting to collect debts. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may mean that you do not need to give up your property, and there are certain tools, such as lien stripping, that can be used to save your property.
Non-judicial foreclosure is the main method of foreclosure that lenders use. In this type of foreclosure, there is not a formal court action, but there are strict notice requirements. When a lender does not comply with notice requirements, you may be able to challenge the foreclosure in court. You also may be able to work out an alternative to the foreclosure that allows you to keep your home or avoid severe damage to your credit. Depending on the situation, a Framingham bankruptcy lawyer might help a homeowner pursue a loan modification or a short sale, file for bankruptcy, obtain an extension, contest a foreclosure, or argue that they are a victim of predatory lending.
Family law matters can be highly sensitive, and the risks and benefits of each course of action in these matters must be analyzed on an individual, case by case basis. Mr. Denaro handles divorces, visitation, child support, child custody, property division, pre-nuptial agreements, and paternity matters. He also handles modifications of existing divorce judgments. At our firm, we make an effort to weigh the likelihood of success against the costs and expenses associated with the action. This allows clients to make informed decisions about whether to pursue a certain course of conduct.
To file for a divorce in Massachusetts, either spouse must have been a resident of Massachusetts if the cause of the divorce occurred in Massachusetts. By contrast, if the cause of the divorce happened outside Massachusetts, one of the spouses needs to have been living in Massachusetts for a year before filing for a divorce. Divorces can be contested or uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses agree on the key divorce terms, such as how property should be divided, child custody and visitation, child support, tax deductions, and alimony. When the spouses disagree about any issue, they need to go through a contested divorce. In a contested divorce, however, the spouses can negotiate an agreement at any time before the judge issues a final order after a trial.
A court makes decisions about child custody based on the best interests of the child. There are two components of custody in Massachusetts: physical custody and legal custody. Legal custody involves the ability to make decisions about a child’s religious upbringing, medical care, education, and extracurricular activities. Joint physical custody is an arrangement whereby the parents share equal or almost equal parenting time. In Massachusetts, joint custody is usually accomplished when the parents agree to it and are able to show the court that it is in the child’s best interest. Sole custody occurs when all of the custodial rights belong to one parent. In the past several years it has become more customary for the parenting time to be split equally between the parents.
In Massachusetts, both parents owe a duty to support their child, but usually a noncustodial parent makes child support payments to a custodial parent. Child support is calculated by using the Child Support Guidelines. Parents may agree to pay more than the guideline amount with the approval of the court, but they usually cannot pay less. The court is permitted to deviate from the guidelines if it is found to be in the child’s best interest. Once a child support order has been in place, you may be able to obtain a modification if there has been a substantial change in circumstances, such as when there is an inconsistency between how much a parent pays and the amount that would result from the guidelines.
We handle business law matters, including formation, counseling, and representation. Often, the structure chosen for a business has a strong impact on how the business grows in the future. Specific legal formalities need to be completed to structure a business. At our firm, these are usually handled on a fixed fee basis, so there are no surprises associated with starting the business with the appropriate degree of protection. Once the business is formed, we can counsel and represent you in connection with purchases and sales, disputes, real estate transactions, contract review and drafting, property and equipment purchases and leasing, annual compliance to keep corporate protection, and corporate dissolution if needed.
Businesses can be structured in different ways. In Massachusetts, a business can be structured as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a joint venture, a limited partnership, a limited liability partnership, a limited liability company, or a corporation. Certain structures require fulfilling legal formalities to get certain benefits in terms of liability and taxation. For example, forming an LLC requires fewer steps than does forming a corporation. An LLC is formed when a Certificate of Organization is filed in the Corporations Division, or when it is filed by a date set forth in the Certificate. However the LLC still must comply with the rules and comply with the annual requirements of the corporations division of the Secretary of States Office to maintain the protection of the LLC.
Consult an Experienced Attorney in the Framingham Area
Whether you are filing for bankruptcy, pursuing a divorce, or trying to establish and grow a business, you should consult a tenacious and skillful attorney. Victor A. Denaro represents clients throughout Middlesex, Norfolk, and Worcester Counties. Call us at (508) 620-5320 or complete our online form if you need a bankruptcy lawyer in the Framingham area or assistance with a family law or business law matter.