Bankruptcy Schedules: List Everyone You Owe, Or Else!

Do I have to list debts I owe to my mother and friends if I intend to repay them?

Yes, you do.  Or else your entire discharge can be permanently denied.

At least in the 7th Circuit judicial district (Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin).

The recent decision by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in In re Sofia Katsman, illustrates this well.
Omitting Creditors is Not Allowed
Ms. Katsman filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

As is required in all bankruptcy cases, she also filed a schedule (list) […]

By |November 20th, 2014|Categories: Bankruptcy Law|Tags: |0 Comments

Debt Settlement, Consolidation, or Bankruptcy?

Settlement is a nice sounding word.

Settle. Resolve. Put an end to.

But is debt settlement a good choice?

First, let’s take a look at the competition.
Debt Consolidation is Just a New Loan
Debt consolidation is usually a new loan that you take out to pay off all your other (usually credit card) loans.

Thus, no settlement involved here.

The main benefit is you consolidate your multiple different payments into one big one.

But do you save any money?

Well, maybe.

It depends on the terms of the loan, […]

By |October 8th, 2014|Categories: Bankruptcy Law, debt consolidation, tax issues|Tags: |0 Comments

Can I Keep My Car or House if I File Chapter 7?

It is an inaccurate myth that you lose all your assets when you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

To the contrary, as I have explained,  with proper legal counsel in most cases you can keep ALL of your assets in Chapter 7.

There are two main factors involved in determining whether you can keep an asset.

The first is whether the Trustee will sell it and the second is whether any creditor secured by that asset will “take” it.
The Bankruptcy Trustee Can Sell Assets, […]

By |September 28th, 2014|Categories: chapter 7|Tags: |0 Comments

Want to Stop a Foreclosure? Don’t Do This

I hope you never find yourself in the situation where you need to stop a foreclosure sale on your home.

But many do.

Bad advice and failure to plan can lead to disastrous results.

I have been practicing exclusively bankruptcy law since 1991 and have gratefully helped a lot of people eliminate or restructure their debts.  However, I’d say about 25% of my consultations these days are with people who tried to “do it themselves” or got horrible advice from a paralegal or […]

By |September 23rd, 2014|Categories: Bankruptcy Law, chapter 13, foreclosures, etc.|Tags: |0 Comments

Options for Home Equity Loan Defaults

Many homeowners take out loans against their homes to use as they need it.

These loans, or lines of credit (HELOCs) are usually offered with very low, adjustable interest rates, or even interest-only payments, making them even more attractive.

However, the terms for most of these loans have an end date:  A time when the interest rates rise or the minimum payments increase to include principal as well as interest.

Most don’t take out the full credit line all at once.

They use it […]

By |September 17th, 2014|Categories: Bankruptcy Law, chapter 13|Tags: |0 Comments

Why is Bankruptcy a Last Resort?

“I don’t want to file bankruptcy”, says nearly every single potential and actual client I have counseled and represented for the past 23+ years, “but I’ve tried everything else and have no more choices.”

Trying all your other choices may seem like a good idea, but as I pointed out in my post on why you should not always wait to file bankruptcy, leaving bankruptcy as a last resort can be very expensive and damaging.

So why (I ask myself) is bankruptcy […]

By |August 21st, 2014|Categories: Bankruptcy Law, life after bankruptcy|Tags: |1 Comment

What Does it Take to Be Eligible For Bankruptcy?

What are the requirements to file a bankruptcy case?

You know you need to file bankruptcy.  You may even know which Chapter(s) under which you wish to file.

But each bankruptcy chapter has different requirements.
Requirements for All Bankruptcy Chapters
Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §109, in the United States the basic requirement to be a debtor is that you must reside, have a domicile, place of business, OR some property in the United States.

Oh, and you must be a person, which includes individuals, partnerships and […]

By |July 17th, 2014|Categories: Bankruptcy Law, chapter 11, chapter 13, chapter 7|Tags: |0 Comments

Can I Go To Jail For Not Paying My Debts?

Debtor's prisons were abolished in 1833 yet people still think they exist. Bankruptcy laws are designed to protect people and aid in financial recovery.

By |July 2nd, 2014|Categories: Miscellaneous|Tags: |6 Comments

Don’t Try Too Hard to Avoid Bankruptcy

My typical bankruptcy client exhausts every possible alternative before contacting me to discuss bankruptcy.

After the initial consultation they almost always say they wish they had contacted me sooner.
Do You Have a Financial Exit Strategy?
When our military commits to another country to fight, there is always the question of our exit strategy.  Do we have one? (unfortunately, often not)

A successful exit strategy in bankruptcy comes in part from not depleting all your assets before filing.

Don’t mistake me, it is GOOD to […]

By |June 19th, 2014|Categories: Bankruptcy Law, Fresh Start|Tags: |4 Comments

Don’t Trust Your Mortgage Company When in Foreclosure

Bankruptcy Stops Foreclosure and Allows You To  Save Your Property
Bankruptcy Chapter 13 and Chapter 11  can stop a foreclosure and allow the opportunity to catch up on past due mortgage payments, do loan modifications, refinances, and more, all without having to worry about a sudden loss of ownership of your property.

But, sadly, many people leave bankruptcy as a  last resort when trying to work things out with their lenders, often to the point where it’s too late to save things […]

By |April 17th, 2014|Categories: chapter 11, chapter 13|Tags: |0 Comments