Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer

Recent Posts in Unsecured Creditor 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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  • 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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  • 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) ...
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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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  • 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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  • 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 ...
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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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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • Selling Real Estate in an Active Bankruptcy

    In any bankruptcy, whether it be a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the issue of real estate is nearly always at the forefront. In Chapter 7 liquidations, the amount owed on any liens on the property, together with what the value is of the home, go a long way to determining whether it will be shielded from liquidation. In a Chapter 13, numerous real estate assets can drive up the percentage to be paid to ...
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  • The Casey Anthony Bankruptcy: A Case Study of a Bankruptcy Trustee's Power

    Pursuant to various sections of the bankruptcy code, the interim trustee assigned to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case has the right to assume the role of the debtor in nearly all forms. The Trustee can step into the debtor's shoes to avoid fraudulent or preferential transfers, pursue claims that the debtor can collect on, take and sell property, administer and liquidate assets, and generally pursue any ...
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  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Part III

    We complete our discussion on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act today by beginning with the information that every debtor is really looking for: conduct that is strictly prohibited in collection efforts. The main standard to remember here is that a debt collector cannot engage in conduct that involves abuse or harassment. This is a wide ranging standard that doesn't have a clear cut ...
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  • Improving Your Credit Report

    Improving on credit post-bankruptcy and improving on your credit report are two separate things. Dealing with information on your credit report is often founded in whether the information is accurate. Accurate information, even if negative, cannot be fixed on your credit report. Bankruptcies, for example, stay on your credit report for 10 years while other negative but accurate information can ...
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  • Anticipating Questions at the 341 Meeting

    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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  • 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. ...
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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