Archives for June 2014

All Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyers Are Not Created Equal!

Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer If you search for a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer, you are going to find a wide range of talent, fees, experience, demeanor and success. You will find everything from the entry-level attorney who is trying to help his first client all the way to the seasoned attorney who is closing in on retirement after helping thousands of clients. If you think that those two attorneys are equal, then you fail to realize a significant factor.  Experience Is key Factor There is no substitute for experience. It doesn't matter how well you did in law school. It doesn't matter how many books you read on the topic. It doesn't matter how many bar associations you are a member of. In the + Read More

I Have One Huge Medical Debt. Is Bankruptcy The Answer?

Medical Debt There is no question that a chapter 7 bankruptcy case will eliminate medical debt. However, if you only have one debt, you may not need to file bankruptcy at all. This is all going to depend upon the aggressiveness of the debt collector as well as your tolerance for ongoing collection efforts. In many cases, a medical provider will not pursue collecting the debt to the fullest under the law. In other words, the creditor may not actually file a lawsuit in an effort to obtain a judgment against you. They very well may continue to call you on the phone, send you letters, even contact you at work, but that does not mean that they are going to pursue a judgment. Without a judgment, + Read More

Will The Chicago Bankruptcy Trustee Take My Tax Refund?

Chicago Bankruptcy Trustee In certain circumstances a Chicago bankruptcy trustee can take your tax refund. It all depends however on the facts of the case. Let's start with the chapter 7 situation. If you receive your tax refund prior to your chapter 7 bankruptcy case being filed and you exhaust that refund prior to the 341 meeting of creditors, a chapter 7 trustee is typically not going to make an issue of it. This assumes that the tax refund was not $7,000 - $10,000. If however, you file your bankruptcy case and appear before the trustee and you have not yet received your tax refund, then the chapter 7 trustee is at a much greater likelihood of inquiring about the refund and demanding + Read More

Will Bankruptcy Release The Freeze On My Bank Account?

A recent client came to see me many months back to talk about potentially filing for bankruptcy. He was not even thinking about a bankruptcy release at that time. This person knew that he had debt, but he was reluctant to file for some reason. Many people think that if they just keep avoiding lawsuits or garnishments, that they can somehow ride out the debt without having to file. This strategy doesn't work in some situations. Some creditors are not very aggressive in pursuing the debt. Some creditors will simply not file a lawsuit in an effort to collect a debt. They will turn over the debt to a collection agency who will call like crazy to try and get some money out of the debtor. However, + Read More

Help For Homeowners Announcement From The Treasury Coming June 26th

If you are a struggling homeowner and have not yet found relief, you should pay close attention on Thursday, June 26th. The U.S. Treasury Secretary, Jacob J. Lew, will be announcing expanded programs to help homeowners and renters. Help for homeowners to stay in their homes and help for renters to obtain home loans in order to purchase a home. These announcements come on the fifth anniversary of the government’s efforts to help the real estate market. Although we do not yet know the specifics, any adjustment or leniency may be enough to help you in your financial situation. The great news is that for all of those people who have not yet surrendered, there may be a glimmer of hope in terms + Read More

Not Everyone Qualifies For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Relief

Bankruptcy Relief Recently, I met with a man who was running a small business out of a storefront. Well it turned out that he was unable to survive at that current location. The problem was that he had a lease that expired five years into the future. So here he was with a business that was not making ends meet and yet he was still on the hook for a lease going out another five years. The first thought that he had was possibly filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy and eliminating the debt owed to the landlord. If he was able to do that, he could shut down the business, close the doors, file chapter 7 bankruptcy and get out of the debt in its entirety. He thought he was really onto something here. He + Read More

Chapter 7 Trustee Has Bankruptcy Avoidance Powers

Bankruptcy Avoidance Powers The chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee is the individual appointed by the Department of Justice to oversee the administration of your chapter 7 bankruptcy case. The trustee's main duty is to examine the debtor under oath in a section 341 meeting of creditors and determine whether or not there are any assets to be administered for the benefit of creditors. In most chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, there are no assets by which the trustee can administer. This is because the federal law, state of Illinois law and other state exemption laws provide debtors with the ability to protect or shield a specific amount of personal property while going through the bankruptcy process. + Read More

Filing Bankruptcy On Your Chicago Utilities

Chicago Utilities You can file bankruptcy on your past-due utility bills. You may owe money to Comed and are close to a shut off. You may owe money to Nicor gas and are close to a shut off. You may owe money to AT&T and are already shut off. No matter what your situation, if you are filing bankruptcy, your utilities can be affected. The best way to think of the situation is this: whatever you owe on your utilities prior to filing your bankruptcy case is eliminated upon the filing of your bankruptcy case. So if you owe $1100 to Comed and you subsequently file for bankruptcy relief, the amount that you owed prior to the date of filing is eliminated in a chapter 7 bankruptcy or subject to + Read More

Filing A Joint Bankruptcy: When Does It Make Sense?

Joint Bankruptcy Filing a joint bankruptcy makes perfect sense when you are married and both you and your spouse have either joint debt or separate debt. Since the means test is going to take into consideration your entire family income, you might as well try to eliminate your entire family debt in one fell swoop. As long as you are married, you can file a joint bankruptcy case and eliminate joint debt as well as individual debt. Much like a joint tax return, the couple can file together with one filing fee, one attorney fee, and one massive amount of federal bankruptcy relief. Filing Individually Now many couples do not want to file together. In some situations, one spouse has the + Read More

Smart, Pre-Bankruptcy Planning

Pre-Bankruptcy Planning It is best to file bankruptcy after you have had a chance to plan for your filing. Most people have thought long and hard about whether or not to file a bankruptcy case long in advance of the actual filing. It is true that some people bury their heads in the sand and think that their financial problem will handle themselves on their own. But for most people, bankruptcy is not something that creeps up overnight. Bankruptcy is an idea that comes into one’s mind after they realize that they just cannot manage the debt anymore. It is usually not one catastrophic event. It is usually a sequence of events over time that leads one to the conclusion that bankruptcy may be + Read More