Archives for 2014

Year-End Thanks As We Head Into The New Year

I want to take a moment and thank all of the people that helped make 2014 such an exceptional year. I have had the privilege and the blessing to work with some truly dedicated people this year. People who really chose to put the client first in every regard. We were able to recover hundreds of vehicles that were either repossessed, booted by the city of Chicago or impounded. We were able to give our clients an opportunity to reorganize and repay the debt either related to those vehicles or otherwise associated with the vehicle such as parking tickets. The overwhelming majority of those clients still possess those vehicles that we worked so hard to recover. We also worked hard to save + Read More

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Forms: Do You Know What Is Missing?

When it comes down to consumer bankruptcy, the official forms do a pretty good job of setting forth the facts of the case, the assets involved in the case, the liabilities in the case, and the debtor's statement of financial affairs. However, there is a very important document that is missing from the official forms, in my opinion, in a chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. That form is known as a payroll control order or payroll control authorization. Here's how this could work: The Payroll Control Solutions In any chapter 13 bankruptcy filing where the debtor is going to be on payroll control, the official forms should have a check box which indicates whether a payroll control or payroll + Read More

Are You Going To Get The Boot This Christmas?

This may be the season for giving. However, the city of Chicago is looking to do some taking. What I'm talking about is an expanded effort to attack those who have outstanding parking tickets. If you have three or more outstanding parking tickets, you are subject to the boot. If you are unable to pay the amount necessary to remove the boot, your vehicle will be towed and impounded and you will continue to incur storage fees. There is nothing worse than going out to your vehicle and noticing that you have a boot on it.  So what do you do if you can't pay it? Well, this has become such an epidemic in the city of Chicago that there are now advertisements specifically targeting those that + Read More

Christmas Spending With An Eye Toward Avoiding Bankruptcy

If you are thinking on spending extravagantly on Christmas, just remember that you may lead yourself toward the verge of filing bankruptcy. One of the main causes of bankruptcy filings is overspending via credit cards. There is no greater use of credit cards than during the month of December. Many people don't realize that high-volume spending in December may come back to bite them in February, March and April. Before you spend this Christmas, please keep a few things in mind: Don't spend more than you have. If you are putting all your Christmas gifts on credit cards, you're going to have to pay that debt at some point. If you don't pay quickly or within the grace period, the interest on + Read More

New Bankruptcy Rule In Chicago

For nearly 10 years or so, there was a document filed in every bankruptcy case known as an electronic filing declaration. This declaration was signed by the debtor and it basically said that the case was being filed electronically and that the signature on such document was the equivalent of a signature on all the documents. This assured the court that the debtor had met with the bankruptcy attorney and had signed the document. Without the original signature, the bankruptcy court could not be assured that the debtor ever saw the petition that was filed on his or her behalf. This system was working well. Skipping forward a few years, the bankruptcy clerk's office and the bankruptcy judges + Read More

Can I Keep My Home And File Chapter 7?

Exemption Amounts Every homeowner who is considering filing chapter 7 bankruptcy, understandably wants to know whether or not their house is going to be protected if they file for bankruptcy. In most cases, the home is going to be protected through the process. This is mostly due to the fact that there is not significant equity in the real estate. Equity equates to the ownership portion of the property. For example, if you have a house with a market value of $400,000 and an outstanding mortgage balance of $300,000, then you have $100,000 worth of equity in the property. In Illinois, you as an individual filer are able to protect up to $15,000 worth of equity in your real estate. In the case + Read More

You Should Be Concerned About Your Credit Score

As a bankruptcy attorney in Chicago, I meet with countless people every year who are often more concerned about their credit scores then actually getting out of debt. There is a fear that filing bankruptcy will take the credit score to the point where the person will not be able to obtain credit in the future. It is at that point where I looked the client directly in the eye and ask, “How good is your credit score right now?” Most often, they reply that their credit is not very good. Thus, filing a bankruptcy and eliminating debt should be more of a priority then wondering whether credit will be available in the near future. The Calculations Most people have no idea how their credit score + Read More

Reclaiming Your Driver’s License Through Bankruptcy Filing

It is true that filing bankruptcy in some instances will allow you to regain your driver’s license. There are a few scenarios where this is definitely the case. The first of which is driving with no insurance. If you are caught driving with no insurance and your license is subsequently suspended, you can have that situation reversed by filing either a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy case. The same is true if your license is suspended for failure to pay parking tickets. You could either file a chapter 7 and have your license unsuspended for approximately 4 months and then work out a payment plan with the city or municipality that you owe the money to or you can file a chapter 13 and repay + Read More

The Top Five Obstacles To Avoid When Searching For A Bankruptcy Lawyer

Searching for a bankruptcy lawyer can be a lot tougher than one might think. One of the main reasons for this is that people do not readily refer bankruptcy attorneys to other people because they don't want to advertise to their friends, family, and co-workers that they had to file for bankruptcy. Thus, people are often left to their own means when searching for a bankruptcy attorney. I have come across several obstacles throughout my 23 years of practice that clients have expressed to me over the years. Number one: Do not go with a bankruptcy attorney simply based on the lowest price quoted. When you're hiring a bankruptcy attorney, you are hiring that person's knowledge, skill, + Read More

Filing Bankruptcy Now Will Lead To A Fresh Start In 2015

Bankruptcy Provides Instant Relief When you file chapter 7 bankruptcy, the relief is instant. An automatic stay is created which is then sent to all of your creditors notifying them that you have filed for bankruptcy protection. Most collection efforts must cease from that point forward. You will have a meeting of creditors also referred to as your court date which you must attend approximately 4 to 6 weeks after your bankruptcy case is filed. Your attorney will appear with you as you answer a series of simple, yes/no questions from your chapter 7 panel trustee. The trustee's duty is to determine whether or not you have any non-exempt assets which can be sold for the benefit of your + Read More