Archives for 2015

Bankruptcy Case Study-Chapter 13: Get Current On Mortgage

This is the bankruptcy case study for E.A. from Montgomery, Kendall County, Illinois. He is here to see whether chapter 13 bankruptcy will provide debt relief for him. Let's look at the facts of his case: he is currently a homeowner with a market value of $149,000. ( has two outstanding loans on the property. The first mortgage is with Seterus with an outstanding balance of $136,000. He also has a second mortgage with BMO Harris with an outstanding balance of $52,000. He is up to date on the first mortgage and is behind on the second mortgage by $14,000. In terms of vehicles, he has a 2008 Nissan which is paid in full with a value of $8000. He also has a 1998 Volkswagen + Read More

There Is Way Too Much Emphasis On A Credit Score

I have had bankruptcy clients who have been overly concerned with their credit score before, during, and after they have filed for bankruptcy. The credit industry, including the credit bureaus and the credit protectors, have done a great job of marketing to Americans the importance of having a good credit score. What they fail to do is to advise you that the amount of debt you are caring in relation to your score is also very important. I would much rather have a lower credit score and zero debt than to have a great credit score with overwhelming, outstanding debt. It is also amazing that most bankruptcy clients feel the need to share with their bankruptcy attorney the fact that they had + Read More

Do You Really Need A Title Loan?

I know it's tempting to utilize the value of your car to obtain money. I also know you're inundated with TV commercials, radio commercials, signs on the expressway and stores popping up in your local neighborhood offering you money for your title. I also know that desperate times often lead to desperate measures. The problem with the title loan is that you are really paying excessive interest when obtaining the money you desire Have you thought about other ways that you can possibly acquire funds? Have you explored other avenues such as retirement savings, pay advances, and other ways to gather funds without incurring a huge interest charge?  You should be aware of exactly the high + Read More

Listen Closely To Your Bankruptcy Attorney’s Advice

If you want to get the best result for your bankruptcy case, then you need to listen really closely to your bankruptcy attorney when he's giving out his advice. If you fail to follow the advice, you may find yourself owing people money after your bankruptcy case is over. The most common example of this is when clients incur credit and debt within 60 to 90 days of filing for bankruptcy. Below is the perfect example. A client comes to me with $50,000 or more in credit card debt, is feeling the pain of that debt and wants bankruptcy relief. I inquired as to whether or not the client has used the cards in the last three months and he tells me yes. I then advise him that he needs to stop using + Read More

Thinking Of Filing Bankruptcy? Check Your Property Values

Filing Bankruptcy with too much property? If you or someone you know is thinking of filing bankruptcy, the value of the property that one has must be ascertained. If you have very little property and if the market value is low, you will more likely than not be eligible for a chapter 7 fresh start bankruptcy filing. If, on the other hand, you have assets that exceed the state of Illinois exemption amount, then you will likely file a chapter 13 to protect your property as opposed to losing it to a chapter 7 trustee's liquidation. I recently met with a man in my office who was married but his wife was not present at the consultation. There were two particular items of property that + Read More

No Two Bankruptcy Lawyers Are The Same

There is a common thread among potential bankruptcy clients who call seeking bankruptcy relief. They are most concerned about the cost involved in filing for bankruptcy and getting out of debt. I'm not referring to the court costs. Most potential clients are aware of the court cost because they have been asking this question over and over again among many different bankruptcy lawyers. They fully understand that the filing fee for a chapter 7 bankruptcy case is $335.00 and the filing fee for a chapter 13 bankruptcy case is $310.00.  What they are truly seeking is the actual attorney fee that's going to be charged. Bankruptcy lawyers are not like a computer store or an electronics store. It + Read More

Get Out Of Debt And Protect Your Tax Refund

Timing is critical when filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy case. If you are wise, you can get out of debt and still be able to protect your much needed tax refund. The key is to file either several months before or several months after your tax refund is either expected or received. The problem is when the refund is received too close to filing chapter 7 bankruptcy or it has not yet been received and you are appearing before a chapter 7 panel trustee who was inquiring as to your refund. Let's examine the first scenario: The bankruptcy trustees are typically looking for tax refunds in close proximity to when refunds are issued by the federal government. Thus, if you file for bankruptcy several + Read More

I filed Bankruptcy: My Driver’s License Is Still Suspended

This is a true story that happened last week for one of my chapter 13 bankruptcy clients. The client received a notice from the Illinois Secretary of State that his driver’s license was going to be suspended for failure to pay parking tickets by a specific date. He sought my advice on chapter 13 bankruptcy because he knew that entering into a chapter 13 repayment plan would prevent his driver’s license from being suspended. We worked incredibly hard to get his case filed before the actual suspension date. We filed the case, we faxed proof of filing to the Secretary of State in Springfield, Illinois and we awaited some good news regarding his driver’s license. Regrettably, what we found out + Read More

Filing Bankruptcy Without An Attorney

If you are thinking of filing bankruptcy without an attorney, please be aware of the following: the bankruptcy clerk and the bankruptcy judges are going to hold you to the same standard as that of an attorney. This means that you must comply with all of the filing regulations as well as courtroom standing orders as you get set to file your case. You are also required to follow the bankruptcy code as far as pre-filing requirements, notice requirements, petition and schedules preparation, appearance at a 341 meeting of creditors, compliance with the two hour financial management instruction course, and additional court appearances if necessary throughout your case. You will also be required to + Read More