Nossiff & Giampa Attorneys at Law
THE BANKRUPTCY CLINIC LAW FIRM
The lawyers and staff of The Bankruptcy Clinic, a division of the law firm of Nossiff
& Giampa, P.C., can provide you immediate relief from
$ Foreclosure of mortgages
$ Repossession of vehicles or equipment
$ Collection lawsuits
$ Harassing phone calls
$ Wage garnishment
$ Tax Collection
$ Disclosure proceedings
With offices located in Dover, Portsmouth, Rochester, New Hampshire and
Salisbury, Massachusetts, prompt, courteous and affordable services can provide you the
assistance needed to reduce or eliminate your debts, either under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13
bankruptcy. We are happy to provide you with a free and confidential consultation at
which time all of your options will be fully discussed and addressed. There is absolutely no
obligation to you as the consultation is free of any charge or commitment.
To Take the First Step to DEBT RELIEF
Call For Your FREE Confidential Consultation
ABOUT ALEXANDER G. NOSSIFF
Attorney Alexander G. Nossiff has been practicing in the field of debtor and
creditor relations for over 25 years. Attorney Nossiff is fully licensed to practice
bankruptcy law in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and has represented
hundreds of clients successfully in achieving a discharge through a bankruptcy in those
In addition to being licensed in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Nossiff
& Giampa, P.C. maintains malpractice liability coverage in all three jurisdictions for the
protection of their clients.
DETAILS OF CHAPTER 7
While there is a perception that bankruptcy clears the debtor of all commitments,
there are a number of non-dischargeable debts that must be paid for over time. You
cannot clear recent taxes, student loans, child support, and other well-defined debts. If you
have any questions regarding non-dischargeable debts, please review my Chapter 7
resources and then schedule an appointment to discuss your options.
There are also numerous restrictions in Maine regarding your actions prior to a
Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Before liquidation, it is unlawful to spend large amounts of money
or transfer possessions that would otherwise be used to repay your creditors. My Chapter
7 resources address many of these transfer details.
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
If you feel that a Chapter 7 liquidation is the path you need to regain control of your
finances, please schedule an appointment to meet with me. I have been filing Chapter 7
bankruptcies in Maine for over 20 years, creating new financial futures for consumers and
CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY
“WAGE EARNER BANKRUPTCY”
Often, the most satisfying and successful bankruptcies are those that involve a
partial repayment of debts through financial reorganization. Clients with the ability to
repay some debts will be able to protect more property and incur less damaging credit
through the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process. My practice has been successfully filing
Chapter 13 cases in Maine for over 20 years, guiding people like you out of the quagmire of
debt and into a manageable repayment plan.
The benefits of your Chapter 13 commitment are numerous compared with other
bankruptcy options. However, a strong candidate for Chapter 13 must have a stable
income and an ability to commit to a long term (up to five years) financial plan. If you
meet the basic requirements of Chapter 13, we can help you reach a strong and stable
solution to your debt crisis. Contact us to schedule an interview with Alexander G. Nossiff.
BASIC REQUIREMENTS OF CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY IN MAINE
Eligibility Read More
$ You must have a regular income, which can include unemployment benefits,
worker’s compensation benefits, or ADC benefits
$ It is not necessary to have wage employment or to be self-employed to take
advantage of Chapter 13
$ Your unsecured debt must be below $307,675; and your secured debt must
be below $922,975
Feasibility Read More
$ A test of resources will measure your anticipated income over
WHY CHOOSE CHAPTER 13 OVER CHAPTER 7?
There are at least ten benefits to a Chapter 13 reorganization. Know these when
considering your debt-relief options.
BANKRUPTCY FILING AND GENERAL QUESTIONS
What are exempt assets?
State and Federal law permit individuals (debtors) to retain certain types and amounts of
property when they file bankruptcy. The property debtors can retain is called “exempt
property”. Exempt property or “exemptions” enable debtors to start over financially with
some property after bankruptcy and, hopefully, reduce the likelihood that debtors will be
forced into financial trouble in the future.
Will creditors and bill collectors stop calling me after I file bankruptcy?
Yes. One of the most important provisions of the Bankruptcy Code is called the
“automatic stay”. This part of the Code prohibits creditors from calling, writing, suing, or
taking any other action against a debtor in an effort to collect a debt. If creditors persist in
contacting a debtor after filing bankruptcy, the Court may sanction the creditors by
ordering the creditors to pay compensatory and/or punitive damages, plus attorney’s fees
incurred by the debtor in bringing the matter before the Court.
Who notifies the creditors that I filed bankruptcy?
The Bankruptcy Court sends a notice to all creditors listed in your bankruptcy petition,
schedules, statements and mailing matrix. You are required to provide the Court with an
accurate list of your creditors for the Court to perform this function. The notice alerts the
creditors of the bankruptcy filing, invites them to the meeting you have with the Trustee,
and instructs them to take no further steps to try to collect their claims against you.
Must I list all my creditors when I file bankruptcy?
Yes. It is critical that you list every creditor to whom you owe money when you file. Even
if you do not believe you owe the creditor money, but the creditor believes you owe money,
you should list the creditor. In listing creditors, it is particularly important to list friends
and relatives from whom you borrowed money.
What happens if I fail to list a creditor on my bankruptcy schedules?
If your bankruptcy case is a “no-asset case”, you will be able to discharge the debt even if it
is not listed in most circumstances. A “no-asset” case occurs in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy
where the Trustee finds no property to liquidate so that creditors receive no funds. If you
in an “asset” Chapter 7, or if you are in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will not be able to
obtain a discharge to the debt and it will survive the bankruptcy filing.
What is a discharge?
The purpose in filing bankruptcy is to eliminate debt. At the end of every bankruptcy that
is successfully completed, a debtor receives an order from the Bankruptcy Court known as
a “discharge”. The one page discharge order is the paper every debtor seeks through the
bankruptcy process. If a debtor files bankruptcy and does not receive a discharge, the
experience will probably have been an expensive waste of time since creditors will be able
to pursue and collect the bills after the bankruptcy is completed.
Must I list all my assets when I file bankruptcy?
Yes. It is very important to list all of your property when you file bankruptcy, no matter
what Chapter you file, and no matter where the property is located or the nature of your
interest in the property. Your failure to accurately list your property could cause you to
lose your right to a discharge, and also cause you to be criminally prosecuted by the U.S.
Attorney’s Office in Federal Court.
If I do not want to discharge a debt, may I continue to pay it?
At the end of a bankruptcy, even if a debt is discharged, you may continue to pay it, if you
wish. The discharge simply legally prohibits the creditor from forcing you to continue the
If you have secured debts (such as a house mortgage or car loans) and you wish to retain
the house or vehicles, and you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can enter into a written
“reaffirmation agreement” with the creditors that must also be signed by your counsel and
approved by the Court. If you reaffirm such debts, they will survive the bankruptcy and
you will legally owe the debts, just as if you had never filed bankruptcy with respect to the
debts. Bankruptcy Courts are careful about debtors seeking to reaffirm debts because the
Court does not want a debtor to stay in debt over his or her head by reaffirming too many
secured obligations. Reaffirmation agreements only apply in Chapter 7. In Chapter 13,
retained cars are paid for through the Chapter 13 plan, and house mortgage payments are
paid outside the plan (except for past due mortgage arrearages, which are also paid
through the plan).
CONSUMER LAW LITIGATION
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
What is the fee for filing a Chapter 7 (discharge of debts in approximately 3 ½ months after
A filing fee of $209.00 is paid to the United States Bankruptcy Court, with an $891 fee paid
to the attorney.
Who can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Any individual or business entity unable to pay his, her, or its debts, as they come due can
file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There is no debt ceiling or threshold for a Chapter 7
bankruptcy. For some people, owing a few thousand dollars is more than they can
financially handle, while others do not file a Chapter 7 unless their debts exceed tens or
hundreds of thousands.
What role does the Trustee play in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
In Chapter 7, the Trustee is charged with the responsibility of reviewing the debtor’s
documentation filed with the Court, meeting with the debtor and debtor’s counsel at the
meeting of creditors, liquidating any non-exempt assets, and distributing the funds to
creditors under the supervision of the Court.
What must I do to receive a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
If a debtor accurately lists his or her debts, assets, income, and expenses, correctly answers
the questions posed on the Statement of Financial Affairs, cooperates with the Trustee in
providing any additional information requested, and likewise is honest and forthright with
the Court, the debtor will receive a discharge. If a particular creditor believes that a
certain debt should not be discharged because of the nature of the debt or the conduct of
the debtor before filing bankruptcy, the creditor can request the Court to not allow the
debtor to receive a discharge with respect to that debt. Even if the creditor is successful in
convincing the Court that that one debt should survive the bankruptcy, all the remaining
debts will be discharged.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
What is the fee for filing a Chapter 13 (3-5 year payment plan)?
A filing fee of $194.00 is paid to the United States Bankruptcy Court, with an initial
retainer of $906.00 being paid to the attorney. Any other fees incurred will be paid
through the Chapter 13 plan.
Who can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Any individual who is a wage earner or operating a sole proprietorship can file a Chapter
13 bankruptcy, provided that their unsecured debts do not exceed $307,675 and their
secured debts do not exceed $922,975. In addition, the individual must have sufficient
income to live on a cash basis for three to five years (the length of the term of the payment
plan) and be able to pay a Chapter 13 Trustee enough money so that the Trustee can pay
creditors at least as much as those creditors could have received if the individual filed a
Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
What role does the Trustee play in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
A Chapter 13 Trustee usually does not liquidate property for distribution to creditors.
Instead, the Trustee collects the funds paid by the debtors over the three to five year
payment plan (as well as other liquidated funds from the sale of property) and distributes
the funds to creditors on a monthly basis. The Trustee also reviews the debtors’ documents
filed with the Court, meets with the debtors and counsel, and monitors the debtors’
progress with the payment plan. If debtors are unable to comply with the payment plan,
the Trustee makes a report to the Court, and/or requests the Court dismiss the case or
convert it to a more appropriate chapter (such as Chapter 7).
What must I do to receive a discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
For a debtor to receive a discharge in Chapter 13, not only must the debtor perform the
same tasks listed above for a Chapter 7 discharge, but the debtor must have successfully
completed the three to five year payment plan by making all payments to the Trustee
during the required time period and otherwise followed all of the other requirements of
Chapter 13 by reporting changed income, filing income tax returns on time, and staying
current on bills that come due after the filing of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
If I am behind on my mortgage payments or car loan payments, which type of bankruptcy
might help me keep my house and car?
The only type of bankruptcy that can assist you to retain a home or vehicle when you are
behind on your payments is Chapter 13. The three to five year payment plan can cause
you to catch up on your mortgage payments and pay for your vehicle during the time you
are in the plan.
Violations of Stays and Injunctions
We can help...call today
Toll free: 1-800-345-5152 (MA office)
(877) 331-6167 (NH office)
Or, in local areas...
Direct Dial: (978) 465-6655 Massachusetts
Fax: (978) 462-9022
5 Lafayette Rd US Route 1
Salisbury, MA 01952
Direct Dial: (603) 742-1260 Salisbury/Dover
Fax: (603) 742-1418
24 Chestnut St
Dover, NH 03820