It Keeps Getting Harder To Obtain Bankruptcy Help

Bankruptcy Help Is Harder To Get

When you are struggling financially, you need bankruptcy help. You need to find a bankruptcy attorney that can take you from point A to point B. You want to get out of debt, you want to get a fresh start, you want to get back to a life without financial stress. Unfortunately, it seems to be getting harder and harder to get bankruptcy help.

 Bankruptcy Filing Fees Increased Nationally

On June 1, 2014, the filing fees to file bankruptcy cases throughout the country increased. The federal government is requiring an additional $29 per case under chapter 7 and under chapter 13 bankruptcy filings. Although this doesn’t sound like a lot in and of itself, you have to add that figure to the already high price for filing fees. A chapter 7 bankruptcy filing now costs $335. A chapter 13 bankruptcy filing now costs $310. These figures are exclusive of the attorneys’ fees. If you’re a debtor who is struggling financially, if your wages are being garnished, if your bank account is frozen, then coming up with $335 or $310 just for filing fees is excessive. It is excessive especially in light of the fact that bankruptcy filings have moved to electronic filings for attorneys. This means there are less clerks who have to deal with the shuffling of paperwork when a bankruptcy case is filed. There are also less bankruptcy cases over the last several years so the demand or the need for backend clerks office help should be reduced.

Trustees Requesting More Documentation

In addition to the increased fees, there are more and more chapter 7 trustees who are seeking additional documentation from the debtor. Although the bankruptcy code mandates that the debtor provide the most recent federal tax return, there are a handful of chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees in Chicago who are now requiring two years of federal tax returns. Once again, this is not a terrible burden on the debtor to provide two years. However, it is just one more incident piled on top of one another making it much more difficult to file. The debtor already has to take credit counseling, a financial management instruction course, provide one year of federal tax returns, two months’ worth of paycheck stubs provided and any other request that the trustee reasonably makes regarding the financial affairs of the debtor. As far as the chapter 13 trustees, we are seeing more and more requests for tax refund language in the plan. This means that the debtor will have to turn over their federal tax return every year while they’re in the bankruptcy. There is one trustee in Chicago that will let you keep $1200 of the refund and any overage goes to the chapter 13 trustee. There is another trustee in Chicago under chapter 13 that requires that the entire refund be turned over to the trustee. Lastly, there is a third trustee that allows the debtor to keep the tax refund free and clear while going through a chapter 13. As you can see, there is no consistency with regard to the rules regarding tax refunds in a chapter 13. This is despite the fact that all three of those trustees are in the same jurisdiction under the same directives.

Hire The Right Bankruptcy Attorney

The only good news for debtors is that are plenty of Chicago bankruptcy attorneys and other bankruptcy attorneys in the surrounding areas who are available to provide legal relief. You must be careful though on whom you hire to help you with a bankruptcy case. There are some attorneys that are overcharging and not provided very much service. There are other attorneys that are charging next to nothing and providing incompetent service. You need to make sure that the law firm that you hire or the attorney that you hire is knowledgeable in bankruptcy law and has experience in the topic. There is no substitute for sound advice when it comes to your financial dealings such as getting out of debt under the United States bankruptcy laws. I have been helping individuals, families, and businesses since 1991. I have written extensively on chapter 7 as well as chapter 13. I have not only helped people get out of debt, but I’ve help people stay out of debt with my post-bankruptcy advice and counsel. If you are someone who is going through a tough situation and really wants to get out of financial hell with dignity and with professional help at a fair fee, then contact my office for a free, initial consultation. You will leave my office with a sense of knowing that you can be helped, that you have given your case to the right attorney, and that you are going to be taken care of every step of the way. I can be reached directly at 847-520-8100. I love helping people get out of debt!

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