All items from Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyers & Attorneys

We just passed the seven year anniversary for bankruptcy reform.  It is hard to believe that October 17 made for the seventh year since reform.  Most bankruptcy professionals would agree that reform has been a disaster.  There is such a greater cost and burden to a debtor who is simply trying to avail himself of a fresh start.  Adding insult to injury is the consumer protection element that has caused for strict scrutiny of reaffirmation agreement; unless your lender is a credit union, of course.  In that case, there is zero consumer protection.  That is unfortunately how the law is laid out.
What remains in the insurmountable debt in this country.  People are overwhelmed with credit card debt, medical debt and debts from foreclosures.  Thank heaven that the law still provides for relief.  There may come a day when people will be forced to repay under Chapter 13 despite needing a Chapter 7.  Time will tell on that one.  For now, we still have a semblance of the bankruptcy law that existed prior to October 17, 2005.

Posted 1 year 52 weeks ago

Whether you are filing a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case in Chicago, you will have to go to at least one court date known as a 341 Meeting of Creditors.  The 341 Meeting of Creditors is a meeting where the trustee will swear you when, examine your photo ID and your Social Security card and ask you a series of yes/no questions under oath.  The entire meeting should take anywhere from 5 to 10 min. and you should not be thrown by any of the types of questions that are being asked of you.  The trustee is going to basically verify the information contained in your petition which you have already signed and have already provided such information to your attorney.  Provided you gave accurate information to your attorney in the first instance, you will not have a problem answering the trustee’s questions at the Meeting of Creditors.

Posted 2 years 4 weeks ago

Many people wonder whether or not there will be able to receive credit after filing a bankruptcy and receiving a discharge.  The answer to this question is yes, a person will be able to receive credit after filing a bankruptcy and receiving a discharge.  In order for a person to rebuild their credit after bankruptcy, that person must apply for credit, receive credit, and try to pay off the balance of that credit every month if needed.  If a person pays off their credit card balance or a balance for any kind of debt that is owed every month, that person’s credit rating will skyrocket.
Many people are afraid that after filing bankruptcy they will never ever be able to receive credit again; however, that is not true.  Credit is given to a person on a case-by-case scenario, and they will take into account not just the fact that they filed bankruptcy but they will take into account their income, their expenses, or even their income as a family unit.  So if a person who has a much greater income now than they did prior to when they were filing for bankruptcy, then that person is likely to be given credit.  Even if a person is not making the same amount of money they were making prior to the bankruptcy, it is still possible to receive credit from a creditor.  So if a person is afraid of filing a bankruptcy case because they do not believe that they will ever receive credit again, that is a bad excuse for not filing the bankruptcy.

Posted 2 years 5 weeks ago

1. I owe back child support.  Will my bankruptcy eliminate that debt?
Child support is one debt which is never dischargeable.  Filing Chapter 7 will not eliminate your obligation to pay that back child support.  This is absolute.
2. Are you sure that I will not lose my home?
As long as the amount of equity in the house falls within the exemption amount and you
are able to continue to make the monthly payment, then you will be fine.  You will not lose your house.  In Illinois, if you have less than $15,000 in equity in your home and you can continue to make your monthly mortgage payment, you will not lose your home.  I will say it one more time; you will not lose your home.
3. What does it mean to reaffirm a debt?
Reaffirming a debt is putting yourself back on the hook for a debt that would otherwise have been discharged in your bankruptcy.  In Illinois, this is typically done with automobiles.  What you are doing is you are saying I want to continue with my contract price, my contract monthly payment or a new payment negotiated by the attorneys in order to keep the car.  If you were to fail to make the monthly payments or defaults on the loan at a later date, this bankruptcy would not eliminate that debt.  You would be liable for any deficiency judgment on the car.
4. Why do I need credit counseling if I am filing for bankruptcy?

Posted 2 years 13 weeks ago

Joliet bankruptcy attorney David Siegel states that the primary question is whether or not the person should file for bankruptcy protection.  Really, that’s a case by case basis which is an important decision to explore with an attorney.  I think in this country we have somewhat of a disdain for bankruptcy.  We don’t like the word bankruptcy so I think that one big mistake that people make is that they don’t pursue bankruptcy as an option and any time when you get in a bad situation, you should explore all your options and make the best decision. 
One thing to know is that bankruptcy is a compassionate law.  That’s the reason it was written into the law.  Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is forgiveness, that’s why we don’t let people file all the time.  It was written in by our government who don’t always help us out in order to give people in a bad situation a fresh start or a chance to catch up.
 Whether or not you should file for bankruptcy is definitely a case-by-case basis.  But it is an option worth pursuing for everyone having financial issues. 

Posted 2 years 14 weeks ago

 The bankruptcy petition is the actual document that is filed with the bankruptcy court.  This petition is a document that lists the assets, liabilities and creditors for the debtor.  Not only will it lose those things but it will also list a summary of a statement of their financial affairs as well as any personal property, their current monthly income and their current monthly expenses as well.
 The bankruptcy petition must be signed and reviewed by the debtor before the case can be filed.  The bankruptcy petition is the document that gives a snapshot of the debtor’s financial situation and allows the court to see whether or not the debtor indeed qualifies for their bankruptcy.  It is very important for the debtor to review the bankruptcy petition and make sure that the information on the petition is true, accurate, and correct and that nothing else has to be included in the bankruptcy petition.
For more information about filing for bankruptcy, contact David Siegel directly at (847) 520-8100.

Posted 2 years 14 weeks ago

Round Lake bankruptcy attorney David Siegel states that in addition to pre-filing requirements, there are also post-filing requirements.  One requirement is that the debtor must take a second credit counseling class which is called the personal financial management instructions course.  This class can be taken at the trustee’s office in a Chapter 13 or in a Chapter 7; it can be taken through an online class, a class over the telephone or through a DVD.  Again, it depends on what the debtor is doing but it can be a double fee for the second class.  However, in a Chapter 13, it’s generally free if you go to the trustee’s class. 
Also, there are a number of things that can show up after you file the case that must be done such as providing any documents that the bankruptcy court or the trustee is requesting.  These are things such as income statements or pay stubs or pay advices after the case has been filed, or other documents regarding the value of assets that the debtor may have.  These are just a few things that could pop up that might be required in order to receive a final discharge of a bankruptcy case.  If you are seeking additional information on filing for bankruptcy, you may contact David Siegel at (847) 520-8100.

Posted 2 years 15 weeks ago

 According to Plainfield bankruptcy lawyer David Siegel, prior to filing your Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there are several things that the person must do.  The first thing the person must do is give their attorney a statement of income through pay stubs and pay advices.  The amounts of the pay advices should be two months to six months depending on the situation.  This is important because the attorney and the trustee will require some kind of verification of their income.  If the income is not through wages and the person does not have paychecks or pay stubs due to any number of reasons such as Social Security income, unemployment income and those things; then the attorney will provide a statement of income affidavit for the person filing the bankruptcy.
 Also, another requirements prior to filing the bankruptcy is that the person verify their income through filed federal income taxes.  In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor must provide the most recent two filed federal income taxes.  In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor must provide four years of filed taxes prior to the filing of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  It is important to note that it is only the federal income taxes that have been filed which is what is requested.  The debtor does not have to provide state taxes unless requested by a trustee. 

Posted 2 years 15 weeks ago

As per North Chicago bankruptcy attorney David Siegel, not every debt that you are going to list on a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is going to be dischargeable or eliminated.  Now, it is true that the overwhelming majority of debts such as medical bills, credit card bills, personal loans, utility bills, rental obligations in the past and things like that are going to be eliminated in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy because they are typically unsecured debts.  However, there are some other debts that are unsecured that are not eliminated such as student loans, recent taxes, parking tickets, child support, maintenance payments and debts incurred by fraud. 
Student loans do have one caveat where they can be eliminated if there is an extreme hardship situation.  In my experience however, I have not seen a case in 20 years where I was able to successfully tell a client that your student loan is going to be eliminated on a hardship provision.  As far as taxes goes, recent taxes are not eliminated but taxes more than three years old are eliminated.  There are some requirements for the tax to be more than three years old and for the return to be filed either on time or not within two years.  So consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to learn whether or not your particular debts are going to be dischargeable or non-dischargeable. 

Posted 2 years 16 weeks ago

What should you look for in a Waukegan bankruptcy attorney?  The first thing you should look for in a bankruptcy attorney is the requisite knowledge, experience and ability to handle a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case from start to finish.  You want to investigate that attorney, you want to do some research, and you want to do some background information.  Make sure the person that you are hiring can handle your case from start to finish. 
Don’t simply hire a bankruptcy attorney based on price.  I understand that price is a concern and that you obviously don’t have a lot of money and that’s why you are filing a bankruptcy.  However, if you hire a bankruptcy attorney solely on price, you might find that you don’t get the results that you are looking for.  Bankruptcy has gotten very complicated since the law changed on October 17, 2005.  There are prefiling requirements.  There are post-filing requirements.  There are things that have to be done pursuant to the schedules and pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code that you may not be able to accomplish with a lesser, inexperienced attorney. 

Posted 2 years 16 weeks ago