Bankruptcy Attorneys Need To Be Aware Of Section 329

Section 329 of title 11 United States Code is entitled debtor's transaction with attorneys. This section gives the court oversight in financial as well as transactional relationships between debtors and their attorneys. It basically states that any attorney representing the debtor in bankruptcy shall file with the court a statement of the compensation paid for or agreed to be paid if such agreement was made after one year before the date of filing the petition. The statement must also list the source of the compensation and whether it is coming from the debtor or a third party. The court then has the ability under section 329 to determine whether that compensation exceeds the reasonable + Read More

More Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustees Taking Liberties With The Bankruptcy Code

Most chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees in Cook County do a great job of balancing their duties while administering chapter 7 cases. There are more than a select few Trustees who seem to be growing towards advancing these cases beyond what they were intended to be. Let me provide a little background. The duties of a trustee are specifically enumerated in Section 704 of 11 United States Code. The general nature of a trustee's duties under chapter 7 is to administer the estate of any nonexempt assets that the debtor may have. Specifically, the trustee shall collect and reduced to money the property of the estate for which the trustee serves and close such estate as expeditiously as is compatible + Read More

Married Couples Do Not Need To File Bankruptcy Jointly

Bankruptcy Misconception There is a misconception out there that states that a married couple must file a joint bankruptcy case. This is simply not the case at all. It is true that the total family budget is a factor in determining whether a bankruptcy case can be filed and of which chapter. However, there is no requirement that each party files a joint case. In fact, in many circumstances it makes perfect sense for only one spouse to file for bankruptcy relief. Example To cite one example of a couple that I met with recently who sought my legal advice concerning chapter 13 bankruptcy: The couple had approximately $125,000 worth of credit card debt. Of that total, only $14,000 of it could + Read More

Providing The Right Documents To The Chapter 13 Trustee

There are many keys to having a successful chapter 13 bankruptcy case. Most importantly, a successful case is one where the debtor has the financial ability to reorganize, the determination to see it through and the ability to satisfy the many requirements of the bankruptcy code. One main factor that I found to be a key to success in a chapter 13 bankruptcy case is to get off to a good start. This includes hiring the right attorney, providing the most detailed information to your attorney, having a petition and plan prepared and filed and following the advice of your attorney. It is also extremely important to get off to a good start with your trustee. This all starts with providing the + Read More

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee Questions A Stock Loss

During a recent chapter 7 341 meeting of creditors, the trustee inquired about a stock loss. The inquiry was a result of examining the debtor's tax return for the current year and seeing a carryover loss of nearly $40,000. The trustee wrongfully believed that the debtor had sold or liquidated $40,000 worth of stock during the prior year. If that were the case, the trustee would be clearly within his rights to inquire as to what happened with those funds. However, the trustee did not comprehend the actual $40,000 loss on the tax return. There were no funds released to the debtor as a result of the stock sale. Rather, the sale of stock resulted in a loss that the debtor was allowed to carry + Read More

Bankruptcy Is The Answer To Recovering An Impounded Car: But Be Patient

Recovering Your Vehicle More and more clients are filing chapter 13 bankruptcy to recover their vehicle which was impounded by the city of Chicago. This is the very common case where someone with Chicago parking tickets winds up on the boot list and eventually their vehicle gets impounded. They also receive a notice from the Secretary of State in Springfield that their drivers’ licenses are suspended due to those very same parking tickets. For individuals who find themselves in this predicament, there are very few solutions. The first solution is pretty untenable. That would be paying off the debt or working out a very high installment payment plan with the city of Chicago in order to + Read More

Filing Bankruptcy On Your Own: It’s Not That Simple

You can file a bankruptcy case on your own which is known as filing pro se. However, I would not recommend this and I would certainly never recommend it in a chapter 13 bankruptcy case. Approximately once per month, someone will come into my office who has filed a bankruptcy case on their own behalf and they have found that they need an attorney’s help. Sometimes if the case is early in the process, I can jump in and file the proper amendments and get the case on track. In other cases, too much time has elapsed, deadlines have passed, and there is no realistic way to save the particular case. This is where a refile option comes into play. Just recently I took in a case where a woman had + Read More

You Can Keep Property In Illinois And Still File Bankruptcy: There Are Limits Though

There is a huge misconception out there that basically states that in order to file for bankruptcy relief you have to be penniless. This misconception stems from the fact that most people are not aware of Illinois personal property and real property exemption laws. The exemption laws are actually independent laws separate from the United States Bankruptcy Code. If you are being sued in Illinois and a creditor has a judgment against you, you have these property exemptions which protect you from losing everything to that creditor. If you exceed the limits of the exemptions, then the creditor can attach or seize your non-exempt property. Most people have no idea what property is protected and + Read More

Bankruptcy Will Unfreeze A Bank Account, But Not Overnight

Third-Party Citations One of the ways that a creditor with a judgment against you can attempt to collect a debt is to attach or seize your bank account. This is done by filing a third-party citation to discover assets in the Circuit Court and having it served upon the bank. Once the bank receives notice of the citation, it must freeze up to two times the judgment amount that you have in your account. Bankruptcy can help alleviate this frozen account, but it doesn't happen overnight. The timing is critical in terms of whether or not the account can be restored and if the proceeds within the account can be returned to the debtor. Turnover Order When the bank citation is filed, there is what + Read More

If You Think That You Cannot Afford To File Bankruptcy, Think Again

Over the past few weeks I have received several emails from bankruptcy prospects who have indicated to me that they didn’t feel that they could afford to file for bankruptcy relief. Most of the people that feel this way are mistaken. Now they may have checked on the Internet are called a few law firms and heard about some crazy high prices to file for bankruptcy. However, they have not found the right law firm as of yet. There are bankruptcy law firms that have a heart. There are bankruptcy law firms that will work a reasonable payment plan based upon your budget. In some cases, the payment plan can be as little as $50 every two weeks. So when you're talking about $25 a week to go towards + Read More