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The federal bankruptcy laws provide the opportunity for a “fresh start” for people who find their circumstances related to employment, health, debt or other factors include obligations which would prevent them from participating meaningfully in the economy for a substantial period of time.

People whose circumstances lead them to consider bankruptcy are often relieved to learn that it is usually possible to retain substantial equity in a family home, automobiles of reasonable value and a wide range of personal possessions. Changes in the bankruptcy laws in the last few years make it necessary to consult with a professional to evaluate what types of protection can be sought, what debts can be discharged or modified, and how well a filing under federal law will address individual circumstances.

Cloutier, Conley & Duffett routinely represents persons who seek the protection of the federal bankruptcy laws in chapter 7 liquidations. Financial reverses or life changing challenges in business or employment, in family health and in similar circumstances are frequently the occasion for seeking relief.

The firm also represents individuals and businesses in need of more complex proceedings in the bankruptcy court, whether appearing as debtors, creditors or other affected parties, and when seeking to reorganize personal or business undertakings. At times, the firm manages overall litigation strategy for affected clients while bringing in a specialist to represent clients in particular bankruptcy proceedings.

As with many areas of practice, the firm’s bankruptcy practice for personal and small business issues attempt to tailor services and fees to the common needs of working families. The fee for chapter 7 relief representation by the firm, which includes legal costs, several hundred dollars in filing fees and out-of-pocket expenses and representation before the court is $1,500.

For small businesses, the bankruptcy laws can create options for business and financial management which become critical to the survival of a business enterprise, and can be an important element of an overall business or financial strategy, particularly if litigation or exposure to liability is interfering with business performance or threatens the survival of a business.