Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer

Recent Posts in Bankruptcy Petition Category

  • Motion to Extend the Automatic Stay

    One of the most important protections bankruptcy affords - and one could make the argument that it is the most important - is the protection afforded debtors in the form of the automatic stay. Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 362, the filing of a bankruptcy case automatically operates as a stay to almost all debt collection proceedings. These include (all listed in 362(a)(1)), lawsuits or other actions ...
    Continue Reading
  • Cramming Down a Vehicle in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

    A Chapter 13 bankruptcy affords a debtor the opportunity to cram down certain secured debts to their actual value, not merely the principal balance owed. This concept essentially takes the principal balance owed on a secured debt that is "underwater" and reduces the secured amount of the debt to what the value of the collateral actually is. This concept has its foundation in basic secured ...
    Continue Reading
  • Preparing for the 341 Meeting of Creditors

    The idea of going to court can bring trepidation to even the calmest individuals. This is especially true in bankruptcy situations, where financial issues are in play for those who might not be accustomed to the legal arena. At the same time, however, most Chapter 7 bankruptcies only involve one court-like proceeding, and that is the 341 meeting. We've covered the 341 meeting at length in previous ...
    Continue Reading
  • Meeting With Your Attorney

    Bankruptcy law is complex and difficult to understand. Attempting to navigate the various rules, laws, and legal framework, not to mention completing and filing the necessary schedules, paperwork, and documents, is a difficult task. For this reason, the first step in filing a bankruptcy is to consult an experienced and competent attorney. When you initially meet with your attorney, it is important ...
    Continue Reading
  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - Prefiling Requirements

    Prior to filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, there are various documents that must be provided to your attorney in order to be able to complete your bankruptcy petition. Above anything else, you must provide your most recent 4 years of tax returns, the previous 6 months of paystubs, and statements from your bill collectors. In addition to these, those filing bankruptcy must complete a credit ...
    Continue Reading
  • Amending the Bankruptcy Petition

    One of the more common questions debtors encounter is what to do when they discover a bill that was incurred before they filed their case, but their case has already been filed. Their first instinct is that any efforts at including the bill are moot because the case has been filed, until they discover that they can simply amend the appropriate bankruptcy schedule. Amending a bankruptcy schedule is ...
    Continue Reading
  • Converting From a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7

    With the advent of the income median level and the means test, debtors who previously might have been able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy have been forced to file Chapter 13. These debtors most often fulfill their bankruptcy case en route to a successful discharge. And yet there are those, along with those who needed to file Chapter 13 anyways, who encounter situations during their active Chapter ...
    Continue Reading
  • What Happens in a Chapter 7 Asset Case?

    The basis of every Chapter 7 case is a liquidation. The analysis involved looks at the assets listed by the debtor on the bankruptcy petition, along with any liens, encumbrances, or exemptions, to determine if there is any equity in property that would be worth liquidating for the benefit of the debtor's unsecured creditors. The appointed interim trustee also examines the debtor at the 341 Meeting ...
    Continue Reading
  • Chapter 13 Debt Limits

    In Chapter 7 bankruptcies, the amount of the debt owed by the debtor isn't as vital a consideration in the case because the obligation is going to be discharged 100% and not paid back. Thus, a debtor filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy must only focus their analysis on whether they qualify because of income, assets, or other issues. This isn't necessarily the case in a Chapter 13 . Chapter 13's, you'll ...
    Continue Reading
  • The Chapter 13 Meeting of Creditors

    On a fundamental level, the 341 Meeting of Creditors is the same regardless of chapter. The meeting presents an opportunity for creditors to be present while the debtor or debtors is being examined under oath by the trustee administering the case. Most of the time, creditors do not show. In Chapter 7 341 Meetings, the meeting is driven by the trustee's examination of the debtor to determine ...
    Continue Reading
  • Chapter 13 Basics

    When most people think of bankruptcy , they think of Chapter 7's. Bankruptcies filed under that chapter are far more common than any other, as it involves discharging unsecured debt and liquidating assets. Chapter 13, however, is also available to consumer debtors. This form of bankruptcy is a debt consolidation/repayment plan. People may choose to file this chapter if they cannot qualify for a ...
    Continue Reading
  • Key Differences Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13

    One question that is asked, at nearly every single 341 Meeting of Creditors, is whether the debtor has reviewed the bankruptcy information sheet. This document, included in the bankruptcy petition, in large part explains some of the differences between the various chapters of the bankruptcy code. It briefly mentions what a Chapter 11 is (large-scale reorganization) and a Chapter 12 (bankruptcy for ...
    Continue Reading
  • The Business Debt Exception to the Means Test

    The means test is the requirement under the 2005 Bankruptcy Code Amendments that individual debtors fill out to determine if they qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Under this form of the bankruptcy petition, an individual debtor enters their income against their own and standard IRS deductions to project an average monthly income that determines if they qualify. Normally, most individual debtors ...
    Continue Reading
  • Navigating the 341 Meeting of Creditors

    The thought of attending a meeting of creditors can be daunting to those unfamiliar with the process. In reality, however, the process of the meeting is usually straightforward and relatively brief. You should discuss the specifics of the meeting in regards to your particular case with your attorney prior to attending the meeting, but the framework of the meeting is usually along the same lines ...
    Continue Reading
  • The Bankruptcy Petition and Schedules, Part III

    Our final discussion on the Bankruptcy Petition and schedules looks mostly at income, expenses, and an overview of your financial affairs. This would complete a petition, in conjunction with the schedules covering real and personal property and secured and unsecured debt. Schedule G This schedule is used to list all of your co-debtors that aren't also filing. For instance, if you had cosigned on a ...
    Continue Reading
  • The Bankruptcy Petition and Schedules, Part II

    Last week we started to address the various schedules that constitute a bankruptcy petition. We addressed Schedule A (covering real property), Schedule B (covering personal property), and Schedule C (detailing the exemptions used to shield assets listed on both Schedules A & B). Now, we turn to schedules that address and detail your debt. Schedule D Schedule D lists all of your secured debts. ...
    Continue Reading
  • The Bankruptcy Petition and Schedules, Part I

    Successfully understanding and completing the bankruptcy petition is the key to achieving a complete discharge in your bankruptcy. No matter which Chapter you file your bankruptcy in, you will need to complete your petition. Understanding it and doing it correctly the first time will ensure a smooth process until you are discharged. We will outline in a few posts the various schedules and sections ...
    Continue Reading
  • Common Bankruptcy Misconceptions

    Perhaps the biggest misconception about filing bankruptcy is that you will lose all of your property. We've discussed that previously here, with it being important to note that you will not lose all of your property if you file. Beyond that, however, there are still misconceptions regarding filing bankruptcy - some would even say stigmas - that can be easily addressed. The first of these is that ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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. ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
Page 1 of 2