Can We Save Our Home With Bankruptcy?

    This is the bankruptcy case study for Todd, from Steger, Illinois, and his wife Emily. The couple is considering chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, but is not sure which chapter is best for them. Let's explore the details. The couple owns a home in Steger, Illinois with a market value of approximately $110,000. The debt owed on the property to pay it off in full is $103,000. The problem is that they are $27,000 behind on their mortgage payment and close to losing the property to a foreclosure sale. The couple owns one vehicle, a 2003 Nissan Frontier which has 114,000 miles on it.  The vehicle is paid in full with a value of approximately $3000. The couple has a + 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

Private School Withholding Transcripts Despite A Bankruptcy Filing

The Facts A former client contacted me recently in an effort to obtain an official transcript for her daughter’s first year of high school at a private school. The facts of the case are undisputed. The debtor filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010. Later that year, the debtor's daughter attended her first year at the private high school. The daughter later transferred to a public school and is graduating now. The public high school wants to obtain the official transcripts from the debtor's daughters first year at the private school. The debtor owes that private school $3800. The private school is withholding the transcripts until receipt of funds. The real issue here is whether or not the + Read More

Credit Card Spending Can Lead To Bankruptcy Filing

In Chicago and around the country, people are over spending on their credit cards. Maybe it’s the have it now, pay for it later mentality. Maybe it’s the convenience of not having to carry cash. Maybe it’s the enticements of rewards by using the card. Whatever the reason, folks have become too reliant on credit cards in their lives. The video below talks about how using your credit card instead of cash can actually increase to the total dollars that you spend. In many cases, this will lead to an eventual bankruptcy filing. Jesse Barrientes: I find that a lot of folks are simply using the credit card to live. They are paying – they are buying groceries or they are buying things + Read More

Why Do People Hesitate To File Bankruptcy?

Reasons To File Bankruptcy People hesitate to file bankruptcy for a variety of reasons.  The first is the name bankruptcy has a negative connotation which has been around for centuries.  The truth is bankruptcy was put in place to help people who are struggling financially.  Bankruptcy is not a scarlet letter that someone has to wear around town notifying everybody in the city that they filed for bankruptcy.  There should not be the shame associated with bankruptcy that some people have.  Fear Of the Unknown The second reason people are afraid of bankruptcy is they really don’t know what around the corner.  Many people think that if you file bankruptcy, you will never get credit again.  + Read More

Do I Have To Go To Court In Chicago If I File Bankruptcy?

Court Is In Chicago If you live in Chicago or any part of Cook County, Illinois and file bankruptcy, then your court date is going to be in downtown Chicago. The court will take place at the Dirksen Federal building which is located at 219 South Dearborn Street in Chicago. The court date is in reality a 341 meeting of creditors. The meeting of creditors is the opportunity for a chapter 7 panel trustee to examine you under oath with regard to the petition and schedules that you filed. The role of the chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee is to make sure that you do not have any assets that can be administered for the benefit of creditors. You are able to protect a certain amount of personal property + Read More

How To Rebuild After Filing For Bankruptcy?

Rebuilding after bankruptcy is a process. It starts with not incurring any negative credit after such time you file for bankruptcy. For example, after your bankruptcy case is over, you want to make sure that you do not incur any negative credit items on your credit Bureau. This would include not falling behind on any installment obligations, not incurring any medical debt that goes unpaid, and not incurring any utility bills that do not get paid timely. If you can start paying everything on time, then you will begin to see your credit score increase. Another important thing that you can do once you're bankruptcy case is over, is to obtain a secured credit card. A secured credit card is + Read More

Bankruptcy Software Determines Which Chapter

This is the case of David Hammons who comes from Skokie, Illinois which is Cook County, Illinois.  He is married to Christine but Christine is going to be a non-filing spouse in this case.  Right off the bat, we are not sure whether this is going to be a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 so let’s investigate it. David has never filed for bankruptcy before.  He has a single-family home with approximately $380,000.  He is on the first mortgage $320,000 and he is up to date.  So there is approximately $60,000 worth of equity although he is behind on the property tax of approximately $12,000-$15,000 total between the series of several years.  He is not renting from anybody and nobody is renting from + Read More

Can I stop creditors from calling me? – Bankruptcy

You most certainly can stop bill collectors from calling you once you hire an attorney to handle your debt situation.  Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, creditors are prohibited from contacting you once they are made aware of the fact that you have representation.  If creditors violate this Act, they can be sued in Federal or State court with attorney’s fees, actual damages and sometimes punitive damages awarded to the Plaintiff.  Two Basic Ways To Notify Creditors There are two ways to notify creditors about the fact that you have representation.  First, you can simply advise them when they call you on the phone that you are filing for bankruptcy, give them your attorney’s + Read More

Is there anything I should NOT do if I’m thinking of filing for bankruptcy?

There are several things that you should not do if you are considering filing for bankruptcy under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.  One of the things that people do which is a prohibited act is repaying a family member or a friend within a year of filing for bankruptcy.  This is known as a preferential payment and the court can undo that type of payment or repayment. The other thing people do is they borrow from their 401(k) in an effort to repay their creditors only to find that they did not have enough money in their 401(k) to repay all of their creditors and now they have exhausted all of their retirement.  The retirement accounts would have been protected in either a Chapter 13 or a + Read More

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