New Bankruptcy Forms Causing Some Administrative Headaches

Bankruptcy Form Changes On December 1, 2015, almost all of the bankruptcy forms and schedules were amended. Many clients who had already signed earlier versions of the forms and were awaiting filing, had their filings delayed because they had to re-sign and reread new forms. In certain circumstances, the forms had to be emailed or faxed to expedite an emergency filing. Now as we come to the conclusion of several cases, the official form 423 regarding certification about a financial management course has to be newly signed as well. The court granted a 30 day grace period after the forms were changed to utilize the earlier version of forms. Since we have now exceeded the 30 day grace period, + Read More

Bankruptcy Judges And Bankruptcy Trustees Vary Within The Northern District Of Illinois

Consistency Lacking If you are looking for consistency among the bankruptcy judges and the bankruptcy trustees in the Northern District of Illinois, you will be hard pressed to find it. Let's start by examining the bankruptcy judges in Chicago. Each bankruptcy judge comes from a different background, has a different viewpoint with regard to debtors and creditors and a different method of handling cases in his or her courtroom. The latest judge to enter the fray is Judge Thorne.  She is the most recent addition to the many judges that sit in the Northern District of Illinois. In a recent case under chapter 13, she denied the debtor's attorney’s fees for reasons stated on the record. When + Read More

Make A New Year’s Resolution To Get Out Of Debt

Resolve To Get Out OF Debt If you are struggling financially, you likely have been struggling for a number of years. It is very easy to fall behind on credit cards, get hit with unexpected medical expenses, and experience a job loss or other traumatic event in your life which could lead to debt. For many people, they suffer throughout the years trying to manage the debt, juggling which creditor to pay as well as deciding what necessities to do with or without. The good news is that for many Americans, there is an option to eliminate debt or reorganize debt over a three to five-year repayment plan for less than what is owed. What I'm talking about is chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy as + Read More

Average Cost Of Bankruptcy

From a recent episode of Legal Action which airs on Comcast Cable in the Chicago area, David M. Siegel discusses two common, but important questions regarding filing for bankruptcy.  The first is the financial management instruction requirement that must be completed post-filing.  The second is the typical range of fees that one could expect to pay for bankruptcy representation. Interviewer: Let me ask you this.  We did the pre-requirements, we filed the petition, and I’m going to go to a meeting. Interviewer: You talked a little bit earlier about the debt management course, which was a precursor before you can actually file your petition for bankruptcy or Chapter 7. David + Read More

City Of Chicago’s Parking Ticket Relief Is Nothing Compared To Chapter 13

Debt Relief Offered By The City of Chicago Every once in a while the City of Chicago will offer a debt relief program or amnesty program with regard to parking tickets and red light tickets. The most recent version of this program is going to last from November 15, 2015 through December 31, 2015. However, the only tickets that are eligible for relief are those issued prior to January 1, 2012 which have not already been enrolled in a repayment plan with the city. This means that any tickets issued within the last three years are not eligible to be repaid through their debt relief program. Let's examine their program: the debt relief that the city is offering will eliminate penalties and + Read More

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Judge Denies Fees: What Was The Basis?

In a recent chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, a debtor was attempting to recover his towed and impounded vehicle. The vehicle was impounded due to unpaid parking tickets owed to a village. The tow company towed the vehicle and was unwilling to release the vehicle back to the debtor. The tow company would not provide simple information such as their fax number, their local counsel or even a timeframe as to when the vehicle would be released. In fact, the tow company went so far as to say that they will only release the vehicle when they are paid. Such conduct clearly violates the Bankruptcy Code, the Thompson decision, and the spirit of chapter 13 bankruptcy which gives honest debtors an + Read More

How Bankruptcy Affects Your Credit Score

The thought of losing one’s credit cards is a terrifying idea for some that are struggling with debt.  In fact, such a fear prevents many people from actually filing for bankruptcy.  The big fear is that bankruptcy will haunt them for life and prevent them from obtaining credit in the future.  Everyone dreams of purchasing a home or purchasing a vehicle.  Filing for bankruptcy and getting a fresh start will actually put someone in a greater position to obtain credit in the future.  As I always say to quote the band Genesis, “you’ve got to get in to get out.”  Thus, you must file in order to have a chance going forward.  The short conversation listed below is from the television show Legal + Read More

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Audits Prove Burdensome On Debtors

Numerous Requirements There are numerous requirements that must be met by a debtor in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case. The debtor must complete a credit counseling session within 180 days of filing the petition. The debtor must complete a two hour personal financial management instruction course sometime after the case is filed but prior to the case being discharged. The debtor must provide the most recent federal tax return. The debtor must provide two months’ worth of pay advices immediately preceding the filing of the chapter 7 bankruptcy case. The debtor must appear at a 341 meeting of creditors and provide any additions or corrections that the panel trustee is requiring. In a select number + Read More

Should I Pay My Car Inside Or Outside Of My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case?

There are many ways to treat a vehicle when filing chapter 13 bankruptcy. Not one answer fits every case. In fact, the answer is going to vary depending upon whether or not the debtor is current on the vehicle, whether the vehicle was purchased within the last two and half years, and whether or not the debtor needs to restructure that debt in essence. Let's examine the first scenario. If the debtor has a vehicle purchased within the last two and half years and he is current on that vehicle, then I would recommend that he continue to pay for that vehicle outside of the chapter 13. By doing so, he will avoid the interest rate that the trustee charges as an administrative expense on his + Read More

Recovering Your Vehicle From The Pound With Chapter 13

Vehicle Impounded In Record Numbers During the last 10 days, I have seen a huge uptick in the number of Chicago residents who have had their vehicles impounded. This most certainly has to do with the city of Chicago and its effort to bring in revenue from parking ticket debt. When clients don't pay their parking tickets, they find themselves on the boot list. Once they are booted and unable to remove the boot within 24 or 48 hours, the vehicle gets impounded by the city of Chicago. I have noticed a groundswell of clients who are hiring my law firm for chapter 13 to recover their auto from the pound without paying the city anything up front. Why Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? Chapter 13 is a very + Read More