Archives for 2015

Negotiating With The Bankruptcy Trustee: Be Reasonable

Assets Discovered Every once in a while if you file enough chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, you are going to come across a case where there is an asset available for administration. It may be a higher than expected tax refund in which the trustee can make a claim. It may be an inheritance which was completely unexpected at the time of filing. It could be a piece of property that was either undervalued or undisclosed by the debtor. Whatever the case may be, once the trustee is aware of an asset, you have to be prepared to negotiate realistically in terms of a buyout. Reasonableness Is Key Most of the trustees in Illinois are decent. There are only a handful of trustees that make things + Read More

Although It’s Federal Law, Filing Bankruptcy Is Truly Local

Federal Law It is true that the federal bankruptcy laws apply to every American in each state. However, there is a local flavor to filing bankruptcy depending upon which state you live in and in which County that you live in. For this reason, when considering bankruptcy, you want to find a bankruptcy law firm that is aware of the local tendencies. Let's look at the state of Illinois for example. Illinois is in the same federal district as the state of Wisconsin. However, each state utilizes a different set of exemptions which entitles debtors to keep property away from the trustee's administration ability and away from creditors. In certain cases, you may be able to protect more property in + Read More

With Tax Day Upon Us, Is Your Financial House In Order?

April 15 is not only tax day, but it's a great day to look at your financial situation to see if you need to make any adjustments. This is the time when you can analyze how you did financially in the past year. This is the time when you're required to have your income tax prepared, filed and paid. In some cases, you could ask for an extension. However, even with an extension, you are required to pay the tax that is due and owing as of April 15. This is also a great time to see whether or not your budget is falling in line with your desires. In other words, are you making ends meet or are you struggling or even falling behind? If you are falling behind on your bills and you are not able to + Read More

Emergency Chapter 13 Filing: From Consultation To Filing In Two Hours

It seems with ever increasing regularity, there is a chapter 13 emergency filing that my office has to complete. It used to be that a Sheriff sale was the main reason for an emergency filing. As long as the case was filed before the actual Sheriff sale took place, the homeowner had the right to reorganize the debt over a three to five-year repayment plan. Lately, I am seeing more and more emergency filings due to drivers’ license suspensions. These are typically caused by failure to pay parking tickets owed to the city of Chicago. Just yesterday, I had a client come in for an initial consultation which lasted approximately 30 minutes. After the consultation, she immediately retained the + Read More

Car Repossessed Last Night? I Can Get It Back With Chapter 13.

Imagine the surprise of getting up in the morning and finding that your car has been repossessed. Even worse, you may have been in the process of getting a chapter 13 bankruptcy case filed or you might have been thinking about filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy case to repay the debt on the car that you have fallen behind on. Before you think that you can't be helped, remember that chapter 13 will allow for the recovery of a repossessed vehicle provided that the vehicle has not yet been sold at an auction. Let me describe a situation that happened to one of my clients last night. The client hired me to handle a chapter 13 bankruptcy case to save their vehicle from repossession. The auto + Read More

Why Wait To Get Your Car Back In Bankruptcy?

So many people have fallen behind with outstanding parking tickets. It doesn't take very many parking tickets in the city of Chicago to find yourself on the boot list. You might even have dozens of tickets and know that you're on the boot list, however, you do not take affirmative action to help yourself. What eventually happens, is that you will find yourself booted, towed and impounded. The best way to recover a vehicle from that situation without having to pay the full amount owed to the city of Chicago for parking tickets is to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy case with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. This is how the scenario typically plays out: Driving While On The Boot List You're + Read More

Remembering Back When Student Loans Were Dischargeable

I have been practicing bankruptcy law since 1991. I have seen a drastic difference in the way that student loans are handled in bankruptcy cases. Prior to 1998, a student loan was potentially dischargeable if it had been in repayment status for more than seven years. This basically meant that an old student loan debt could potentially be discharged. Oftentimes, if a student loan debt was in repayment status for more than seven years, then the lender either received a portion of the loan back or the debtor was simply not in a position to repay at all. For these debtors, the ability to discharge a student loan that was more than seven years in repayment status was a great benefit. It really + Read More

Can I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Again?

In general, you can file a chapter 7 bankruptcy case once every eight years. For example, if you filed on January 1, 2008, then you would not be eligible to file another chapter 7 bankruptcy case until January 2, 2016. If you filed the case in between those two dates, the chapter 7 trustee or the United States trustee would likely bring a motion to dismiss the case for ineligibility. However, there is another chapter that you can file which would provide significant relief. You could file a chapter 13 bankruptcy case and proposed to repay your creditors as little as 10% over a three to five-year period. Additionally, you can keep your chapter 13 active until such time that you are eligible + Read More

Respect The Automatic Stay In Bankruptcy Or Else

The Automatic Stay When a person files a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy case, there is the immediate creation of the automatic stay. The automatic stay is the protection provided to the debtor which prohibits creditors from taking specific collection actions or other efforts to collect on a debt. Sometimes the notice of the automatic stay will come directly from the debtor's attorney via fax, email or mail. For most creditors, the automatic stay will come via US mail sent by the clerk of the United States bankruptcy court. If there is an urgency such as a wage garnishment or bank citation or other court action, the debtor's attorney will typically send that notice directly to the party + Read More

City Of Chicago Parking Tickets And Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Parking Tickets On The Rise Maybe the city of Chicago is getting more aggressive in issuing parking tickets. Maybe the need for revenue is increasing the activity of agents on the streets. Maybe there are simply not enough parking spots and it is leading people to park where they shouldn't. Whatever the reason, the increase in parking tickets is leading to huge debt situations for the Chicago citizens. When people fall behind on parking ticket debt owed to the city of Chicago, they find themselves on the boot list. They also find that their drivers’ licenses can be suspended for failure to pay parking tickets. In both of these situations, there is a great solution to get a handle on the + Read More