Archives for September 2013

Preventing Barb’s Foreclosure Through Bankruptcy

This is the case of Barb from Chicago, Illinois.  Barb comes to my office with medical bills, credit card bills and most importantly, a home that she really cannot afford.  She has an equity loan on her home which matures in approximately 2 years.  She is considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy to eliminate her debt but also for some long-term planning.  By that I mean she is thinking of surrendering the house at some point down the road in exchange for her fresh start under Chapter 7.  She has medical issues which she feels might lead her to possibly not surviving in the next 4 to 5 years.  Her thinking is she can stay in her house, make the utility payments, food, clothing, entertainment, gas, + Read More

Bankruptcy – Motion to Extend the Automatic Stay

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, upon filing, there is a creation of the Automatic Stay which protects the debtor against certain actions by creditors.  If the debtor is filing a bankruptcy case where a prior case was dismissed within the last year, then the Automatic Stay unless extended, will expire after 30 days.  This is a critical point because if a debtor files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy after a case has been dismissed within the last year, and the attorney does not bring a Motion to Extend the Automatic Stay, then the Stay will in fact be eliminated after 30 days from filing. What this means to a debtor is that a secured creditor, in many cases a vehicle or a mortgage company, can + Read More

Automatic Stay Imposed In Bankruptcy Case

If you are filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case in Chicago and in the prior year you have had two or more cases dismissed, then you are going to want to impose the Automatic Stay in your current filing.  By the fact that you have had two or more bankruptcy cases dismissed within a calendar year, you are basically telling the world that you do not have the ability to reorganize under Chapter 13 successfully.  For this reason, when the law was changed, the Congress stated that upon a third filing where to prior cases were dismissed within the prior year, there is no Stay in effect at the time of filing.  This means that a sheriff’s sale can continue, a repossession can continue, any type of + Read More

Advanced Practitioner Advice From Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer David Siegel

The automatic stay protects debtors from collection activities after a bankruptcy case has been filed. What about a case where there is insurance coverage available on behalf of the debtor? What I am referring to is a case where the debtor was involved in an auto accident, had insurance coverage and then files for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7. In that case, the debtor is protected by the automatic stay and the creditor cannot pursue the debtor personally. However, since there was automotive insurance coverage in place at the time of the accident, which was before the case was filed, the creditor has a cause of action. Instead of pursing the debtor, the creditor has the legal right + Read More

Bankruptcy In Chicago & Why People File

Americans are used to handling debt.  Most people carry debt of some sort in their daily lives.  Even ones that are handling or managing the debt still feel the stress that comes with that debt.  Despite this fact, most people carry on and seem to get by.  That is, of course, until a creditor begins to get aggressive.  Now I’m not talking about harassing phone calls from creditors at your home and at your work.  I’m talking about filing suit, obtaining judgments and continuing with post-judgment efforts to collect on the debt.  This could lead to bank seizures, wage garnishments and further court appearances requiring the production of certain documents.  Those documents can include bank + Read More

A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Takes Discipline

The filing of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is a process that takes discipline, attention to detail and a strong effort to succeed.  Chapter 13 involves repaying either all or a portion of your debt over a three to five-year period.  We are talking about a long repayment plan; 36 to 60 months of consistent payments not only to the trustee which takes care of your arrearages, your secured debt enter other miscellaneous debt, but you also need to make regular payments to your utilities, your mortgage company going forward, and your food and your clothing and all the other things that can happen in life that require money.  You have to make sure that you budget properly once your Chapter 13 + Read More

Bankruptcy Case Of Nancy H. From Chicago

Last week, Nancy H. came to my office looking to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.  She had $20,000.00 or so on credit cards and no other unsecured debt.  She had a condominium that had a value of $89,000.00 and a mortgage debt of approximately $80,000.00.  Thus, there was some equity in her condominium, but not an amount that exceeded the amount that she could protect with her Illinois homestead exemption.  The only issue or potential asset problem dealt with her auto.  She had a 2010 vehicle that was paid in full.  A look at the KBB website indicated that the vehicle was worth approximately $8,000.00 as a trade-in value.  At this value, there would be $2,500.00 - $3,500.00 exposed beyond + Read More

It Seems Everyone Wants A Chapter7

A recent potential client called the office and wanted to get started with a filing.  At the meeting, we talked about a greater likelihood of Chapter 13 based upon the income of the debtor and his spouse.  Today, the talk came up about Chapter7 once again.  Here is what I do in these situations: I will start the document preparation out as a Chapter7.  I will put the client through the means test if necessary to determine if Chapter7 will work.  If not, I will contact the client and advise as to why Chapter7 is not going to work.  In the Northern District of Illinois, the Trustee’s office is very good about reviewing the cases for abuse.  If the Trustee’s office feels that the person + Read More

Bankruptcy – The Obsession With Credit Before Filing

Oftentimes, when someone comes to see me for bankruptcy advice, they are already thinking beyond the process and into regaining credit.  The trouble with this line of thinking is serious.  Firstly, the client should be mostly concerned with getting out of debt.  After all, the excessive debt is the reason for the consultation in the first place.  Secondly, the client should be thinking about taking corrective action to ensure that bankruptcy does not appear in the future.  Lastly, the client should think about rebuilding credit whether or not they are going to actively seek to use credit in the future. A typical client will tell me that they have great credit or once had great credit.  + Read More

Three Big Questions About Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Can I keep my car in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? Yes, you can keep your car through Chapter 13.  If your car is paid in full, it will just increase the amount that you have to pay back to your creditors based on the equity in your car.  If you have a car that’s worth $10,000, you’re going to have to pay back at least $10,000 worth of your debt which will increase your plan payment but you will be able to keep your car.  Conversely, if you are behind on your car and it’s either in danger of being repossessed or already being repossessed, you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and pay for your car through the bankruptcy. There are major benefits to paying for a car through a Chapter 13 + Read More