Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer

Recent Posts in Bankruptcy Category

  • How Often Can You File for Bankruptcy?

    Debts can pile up out of nowhere and become insurmountable before you have time to count your finances. Sometimes the only reasonable solution is to file for bankruptcy and have the debts discharged, either partially or entirely. But what happens if you file for bankruptcy and only a short while later you are blindsided by new debt? Can you file for bankruptcy again? Restrictions on Multiple ...
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  • When Should I File for Bankruptcy?

    Are you struggling to make ends meet under the weight of crippling debt? Are you constantly being harassed by creditors? If so, bankruptcy may be the source of relief you need. While many people shy away from the term “bankruptcy” due to its negative stigma, bankruptcy is an honorable and completely legitimate method for individuals to achieve a fresh financial start. But how do you know when it ...
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  • Tips for Avoiding Holiday Debt

    As the gift-giving rush of the holiday season draws near, it is important that people remember to spend within their means and avoid accumulating amounts of debt that they cannot afford. Irresistible Black Friday deals and the pressure to purchase gifts can lead a person to spend more than they should. To ensure a financially prosperous holiday season, our firm has come up with some holiday ...
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  • Why Hire a Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer?

    Do you really need an attorney to help you file for bankruptcy? If you are struggling to pay bills and make ends meet, filing for bankruptcy may be your best option. The question is—do you hire a bankruptcy lawyer to help you through this process? While it may seem like a waste of much-needed money, hiring a Chicago bankruptcy attorney can actually help you save money in the long run. Not only do ...
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  • Property of the Estate & Inherited Property

    11 USC 541(a) dictates that upon the filing of a bankruptcy case, an estate is created. This estate includes all legal and equitable interests of the debtor at the time of filing, and in certain instances, interests in property that arise after the filing of a bankruptcy within a certain period of time. Essentially, once the bankruptcy is filed, the resulting estate is comprised of everything the ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • Handling a Trustee's Motion to Dismiss

    Bankruptcy can be a stressful time in someone's life. They're dealing with financial terms and issues they're not overtly familiar with, creditors are calling almost nonstop, and they're worried about the impact that bankruptcy will have on their lives. These stressors are, for the most part, alleviated when a debtor actively seeks bankruptcy protection, including Chapter 13 repayment plans. The ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • Avoiding Judicial Liens

    When you are preparing to file bankruptcy, it is best to discuss with your bankruptcy attorney whether you have any judicial liens against your property. These liens, even if the debt is included in your bankruptcy and discharged, can survive the bankruptcy and stay levied against your home. A judicial lien is secured through a legal process of securing a memorandum of judgment. It can be for ...
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  • Detroit Officially Enters Chapter 9 Bankruptcy

    On Tuesday, Federal Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Rhodes determined that the City of Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, ushering in a legal process that could have landmark decision written all over it. The city, with billions of dollars in outstanding debt owed, simply does not have the means to pay its creditors and is for all intents and purposes, insolvent. Judge Rhodes issued this ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • Chicago Foreclosures Spike in October 2013

    According to a story published in the Chicago Tribune on November 13, 2013, Chicago-area foreclosure filings rose nearly 30% in October 2013. This number, while lower than this past summer and the past few years of extreme foreclosure rates, signals that the economic recovery is far from complete. A spike in foreclosure filings as winter comes indicates that for some, household income has gone ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • Who is Eligible to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

    Unlike Chapter 13 bankruptcy , which is available to everyone, you must be eligible to file under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Since this process eliminates most, if not all, of your debt in a very short period of time, certain measures have been taken to limit the amount of people that qualify. In fact, this form of bankruptcy has been strictly reserved for those who truly cannot repay ...
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  • The Role of the Chapter 7 Trustee

    The primary role of the Chapter 7 trustee is to administer your bankruptcy case. Once you file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a trustee is appointed to your case. This trustee is an impartial administrator appointed by the United States Trustee's office. This trustee is assigned to both administer your case and also liquidate any unexempt assets you have for distribution to your unsecured creditors. ...
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  • Social Security and Personal Injury in Bankruptcy

    If you recall, a major theme of these posts, and bankruptcy in general, is the fact that assets can make a major difference not only in what chapter you file your case in, but the success that the case can have in general. Two major assets, social security cases and personal injury cases, are considered in this same analysis but also treated differently at the same time. Social security has a ...
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  • Can You Keep Property in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

    A common misconception in Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that the debtor's property will be lost when they file their case. For the majority of cases, this is not true for a couple reasons. First, if a person has a lot of assets they probably won't be filing in the first place. Secondly, though, even if a person does have assets when they file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy there are exemptions that can shield ...
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  • Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Wipe Out Credit Card Debt?

    As you may know, it is far too easy to fall behind on your credit card bills. After paying the minimum each month, expecting to slowly chip away at these expenses, you may discover that the debt has started to pile up. It is for this reason that you, and countless others, have been left wondering what you can do to regain control of unruly credit card debt. Depending on the level of debt that you ...
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  • What is the Automatic Stay?

    Once a bankruptcy case is filed, a bankruptcy restraining order is automatically issued. This restraining order, which functions much like a typical restraining order, is formally known as the automatic stay. This automatic stay prevents creditors from proceeding in collection actions against you. What this means is that creditors can't call you at home, at work, or on your cell phone; they can't ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • Missing Mortgage or Association Payments During Bankruptcy

    The filing of a Chapter 13 has an interesting effect. It consolidates and reorganizes all of your personal debt into one payment to the trustee each month. The analysis that goes into this deals with all of your expenses, income, assets, and debt to determine the payment. The payment can go up if it includes payment for certain secured debt in the plan, like a car of mortgage. This can help ...
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  • The Trustee's Motion to Dismiss

    When someone files for bankruptcy, their case is assigned to an interim trustee who handles the administering of the case from the onset to discharge. In Chapter 7 cases, this is usually a short period of time, unless the case is determined at the 341 hearing to have assets that can be distributed to creditors. In Chapter 13, however, the trustee works on the case for three to five years and has a ...
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  • Income Median Levels & Bankruptcy

    One of the driving thrusts behind the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform laws (known as BAPCPA) was an effort to make it more "difficult" to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There were several reasons and rationales behind this, not the least of which were credit card lobbying efforts, but the end result was the desired result: it has become more difficult to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of income ...
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  • Eliminating a Second Mortgage in Bankruptcy

    In today's upside down real estate market, it is quite common for prospective debtors to seek bankruptcy help in an attempt to remove a second mortgage on their property. These mortgages were taken out of the equity when the home still had good value, but with the recession's plummeting home values now sit as fully unsecured liens. A good portion of these prospective debtors are those who normally ...
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  • Saving a Home in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

    For a home on the brink of or in active foreclosure, the options to the homeowner(s) may seem limited. They can try a loan modification to save the home, but often they feel they have to ditch the home and move on. They try to do this through a short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or perhaps even just abandoning the home altogether. Little do they know, however, that Chapter 13 offers perhaps ...
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