Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer

Recent Posts in Discharge Category

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • Filing a Second Bankruptcy

    Obviously, the goal in any bankruptcy filing is to make it the only one you file. That's the reason that filing for bankruptcy can also be referred to as obtaining a fresh start. You file either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, discharge all of your debt in either, and move on to begin your financial life with a fresh start. Of course, though, life can still get in the way even after a ...
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  • The Chapter 7 Discharge

    The primary goal in any bankruptcy, including a Chapter 7, is to obtain a discharge. The discharge is the order by the court that eliminates the liabilities of that particular debtor. In Chapter 7 cases , this is governed by 11 USC 727. The way that this statutory provision is structured is such to favor a discharge unless certain things exist in the case that can hinder them. The language of the ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • Bankruptcy and a Second Mortgage

    During the years leading up to the mortgage crisis and collapse of late 2008, second mortgages borrowed against the equity of a home were common. People felt comfortable taking them out because home values continued to soar, meaning that there was a low perceived risk at the time of using that extra equity to pay for college, home remodeling, or other various expenses. Only after the bottom ...
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  • Reopening a Bankruptcy Case

    Bankruptcy, by definition, is a legal process that deals in large part with numbers. Debt figures, income levels, number of people in a household, trustee payments - you name it - all deal with numbers. An extension of this is in deadlines. Most stages of the bankruptcy process deal with dates set in advance, with requirements that must met by those dates. This can include a meeting of creditors ...
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  • Surrendering Property in Bankruptcy

    A common misconception about bankruptcy, especially Chapter 7 bankruptcy, is that you lose all of your property upon filing. This isn't true; we've discussed in this space how bankruptcy exemptions and a lack of equity in property can protect your property and allow you to keep most, if not all, of it throughout your bankruptcy. On the flip side of that, though, Chapter 7 can be a convenient ...
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  • Common Bankruptcy Questions, Part V

    Our final installment covering commonly asked bankruptcy questions begins with a discussion of credit counseling. Most debtors wonder why, if they're already going to file bankruptcy, they must take a credit counseling course before they file. The credit counseling requirement was brought into existence with the 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code. The class is required to be completed by each ...
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  • Common Bankruptcy Questions, Part IV

    Continuing our discussion on common bankruptcy questions, we begin with the age-old question of whether you will ever get credit again. This answer is, of course, always asked in every bankruptcy consultation and subsequent case. The answer is yes. Just by filing the bankruptcy, you are freeing yourself of debt that had been dragging your credit score down to begin with. Because you remove that ...
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  • Common Bankruptcy Questions, Part III

    Continuing with our series of common bankruptcy questions, we pick up with perhaps the most commonly asked question of all in bankruptcy cases: whether you get to keep your house and car. Like we've discussed previous times in this space, the primary determining factor behind this comes down to equity. Because a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation of your assets, the liquidation analysis begins ...
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  • Common Bankruptcy Questions, Part I

    Bankruptcy filing is a process that is unfamiliar to most and yet still carries an unfair stigma. As a result, there are all sorts of various questions that commonly come up when a person begins the bankruptcy process. It is helpful to begin a discussion today of those questions. The question asked the most, and the one at the central of every single case, is whether a person should file ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • Foreclosures in Bankruptcy

    In today's financial climate, an increasing number of people are having difficulties keeping up with a tumultuous real estate market. In the bankruptcy sense, this involves a spike in foreclosure rates. Foreclosure, or the possibility of such, can happen for many different reasons. Maybe someone lost their job, their mortgage rate readjusted, or they simply got in over their head at a time when ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • Post Filing Requirements

    Once a bankruptcy case is filed, there are still a few requirements needed from the client before they are discharged free and clear and ready for their fresh start. First, it is important that the client call and obtain from their attorney their case number right after filing their case. With their case number, they can then proceed to complete their Debtor's Education course, as well as give ...
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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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