Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer

Recent Posts in Chapter 7 Category

  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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
  • 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 ...
    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
  • 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 ...
    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
  • Objecting to Proof of Claims

    In some Chapter 7 bankruptcies, particularly those where assets are found and thus available for distribution to unsecured creditors, and all Chapter 13 bankruptcies, creditors get paid by filing proof of claims. These proof of claims. These claims are governed by Bankruptcy Rule 3001, which states on a basic level that it is "is a written statement setting forth a creditor’s claim." Rule 3001(c) ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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. ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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 ...
    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
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • Student Loans & Bankruptcy

    You can call this the age of the student loan. In recent months, the total amount of outstanding student loan debt surpassed 1 Trillion dollars. That's 12 zeroes. This amount now goes back and forth with credit cards to comprise the majority of unsecured debt that Americans have. The problem is, however, that while the vast majority of credit card debt is dischargeable in any bankruptcy, student ...
    Continue Reading
  • Association Dues and Bankruptcy

    Often, when people purchase a home or condo, there is an association incorporated into the community where the new home is. This could be a homeowner's association or condo association, but the results are nearly always the same: you must pay them a separate bill each month. This bill, usually added as a standard rider to the sales contract on your home, could pay for any range of things. Failure ...
    Continue Reading
  • Wage Garnishments and Lawsuits

    Most of the time, there's a stage prior to filing bankrutpcy that can adequately described as "preparing for bankruptcy." This usually involves gathering the necessary documents, fees, and other information to hand over to your bankruptcy attorney to begin the process of filing. This is a process that can take some time and is usually up to the prospective debtor as to how fast they'd like to ...
    Continue Reading
  • Winning the Lottery in Bankruptcy

    Bankruptcy deals, in large part, with assets. Before each Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 case, there is a determination of what assets the debtor has. In Chapter 7 cases, this is largely to determine which exemptions are needed to protect those assets and whether they are able to be protected at all. In Chapter 13 cases, a large amount of assets can determine how much you will pay back to unsecured ...
    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
  • Can an Immigrant File Bankruptcy?

    Section 109 of the bankruptcy code delineates who may or may not be a debtor. In detail, this section provides that a person may be a Chapter 7 debtor unless they are a railroad or a certain financial institution. Nowhere in the section is there a requirement that a debtor be a US Citizen. This means that any properly, legally admitted immigrant to the United States can file bankruptcy. This ...
    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
Page 1 of 3