Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer

Blog Posts in 2012

  • Secured Property and Bankruptcy

    A common misconception, one routinely brought up by clients when interviewing with their bankruptcy attorney for the first time, is that they think they're going to lose all of their property. Whatever the reason the myth originated, it is simply not true in the majority of cases. Most of the time, a debtor will be able to keep their secured property when filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Secured ...
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  • Should You Wait to File?

    Most of the time, obtaining a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge is an urgent manner for you. You have grown sick of the creditor calls, the attempts to collect on your debts, the struggles in maintaining your finances, and perhaps even lawsuits being filed against you. There are times, however, where it is best to wait to file your case. It is probably best to wait to file your case if you've repaid ...
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  • How Does a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work?

    Think of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a fresh start. In this type of filing, all of your debt is listed on the schedules of your bankruptcy petition. There is a schedule for secured debts, like your house and car, as well as a schedule for your unsecured debts, like medical bills and credit cards. These unsecured debts, if the case is successful, are all discharged in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which ...
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  • What is the Means Test?

    In 2005, the US Bankruptcy Code was amended to incorporate a means test. The design of the means test is to establish a way to ensure that those who can afford to pay back a portion of their debt are ineligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The means test is a complex mathematical process that determines basic eligibility based upon income. The test involves taking the debtor's current monthly ...
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  • Statutes of Limitation and Bankruptcy

    One of the reasons that people file for bankruptcy is because of attempts by creditors to collect on their debt. One way that these creditors can attempt to collect on that debt is by eventually filing a lawsuit in state court to secure a judgment for the debt amount, if the debt collection proceeds to that point. When the bankruptcy is filed, an automatic stay is put into effect, stopping any ...
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  • Common Causes of Bankruptcy

    Every situation is different, and each bankruptcy case is unique in the circumstances that precipitated its filing. This is one of the things that makes bankruptcy a complex area of law, as each individual has a different situation that must be addressed in their bankruptcy petition. At the same time, however, there are several common causes leading to bankruptcy that seem to encompass most cases. ...
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  • Waiting for the Bankruptcy Discharge

    The final stretch before your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case is completed is waiting for the discharge. This period comes after your initial 341 Meeting of Creditors. After your meeting, creditors will have an opportunity to object. This is standard procedure and the primary reason that your case takes approximately 60 additional days after the trustee meeting to be closed out. Assuming that no one ...
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - Mandatory Requirements

    Yesterday we discussed the documentation that is required from a debtor prior to filing bankruptcy. This documentation includes paystubs, tax returns, and completion of the pre-filing credit counseling course. Today, we discuss two other major requirements prior to filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy: paying your attorney fees in full and a review of your completed bankruptcy petition with your ...
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  • What Does the Chapter 7 Trustee Do?

    We discussed previously that the primary role of the Chapter 7 trustee is to administer your bankruptcy case. The key question, then, is what does that specifically mean? At the onset, the trustee will review your bankruptcy petition and schedules. His primary role in this regard is to review the schedules where you have listed property to see if there is unexempt property that can be distributed ...
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  • Secured Creditors and the Automatic Stay

    We discussed yesterday the basic concepts of the automatic stay in a bankruptcy case. The automatic stay stops all debt collection efforts from the onset of the filing of the bankruptcy case. This also includes any efforts by a secured creditor, such as your mortgage or car company, to collect on their debt with you. In certain situations, including if the debtor is late on payments to their ...
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  • Credit Card Usage Prior to Bankruptcy

    There are various requirements that must be completed before you file your bankruptcy case. The first of these is to stop using your credit cards and to stop incurring any additional debt. In reality, the decision to stop using credit cards and incur debt should come once the decision to file bankruptcy is made. The concern with the bankruptcy court is fraudulent activity. If you use your credit ...
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  • If I File Bankruptcy Will I Lose All of My Property?

    Perhaps the biggest misconception regarding filing bankruptcy is the notion that upon filing, you will lose all of your property. This couldn't be further from the truth, as in most Chapter 7 bankruptcies you will get to keep all of your property. When you file a bankruptcy, a bankruptcy estate is created. All of your property is technically included in this estate. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it ...
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  • Who Appears at My 341 Meeting of Creditors?

    Although notice of your meeting is creditors is mailed to all of your creditors, in the majority of Chapter 7 bankruptcies, the only people present at your trustee meeting are yourself, the bankruptcy trustee, and your bankruptcy attorney. Most unsecured creditors, like credit card companies, unsecured loan companies, and medical services companies, are so commonly included in Chapter 7 ...
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  • What do I Bring to My Meeting of Creditors?

    Regardless of whether your case is a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to bring your driver's license and social security card to your meeting of creditors. If you do not have a driver's license, you must bring a government issued photo I.D. If you filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will also need to bring paystubs earned between the period you filed your case and the actual date ...
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  • How Long Will My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take?

    One of the more common questions asked by clients is how long their Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case will take. As a general overview, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lasts about 120 days from the date the petition is filed in United States Bankruptcy Court until the date a discharge is issued in the case. The more important question in this regard, however, is when clients will begin to see relief in the filing ...
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