Blog

Apr
25
Removing Liens After Bankruptcy

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Successfully discharging a bankruptcy can bring a tremendous amount of relief to consumers who were previously at their wits end. So imagine the surprise experienced by someone who successfully complete bankruptcy only to find out a few months later that there is a property lien still outstanding against the family home.

What you need to know about properly liens is that they can only be removed by a court or the person/organization that files them. Even when debts are discharged through personal bankruptcy, the liens are left intact unless a separate action removes them. Therefore, it is wise for any consumer currently going through bankruptcy to check to see whether any property liens exist.

Removing a Judgment Lien

There are two kind...


Apr
18
Managing Credit Cards to Avoid Bankruptcy

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We have seen our fair share of cases involving chapter 7 bankruptcy brought about by improper use of credit cards. We do everything we can to ensure the best interests of our clients in such cases, as our fiduciary responsibility dictates, but bankruptcy still brings with it negative consequences. It is far better to manage credit cards in order to prevent bankruptcy altogether.

Consumers with excessive credit card debt are often challenged by the revolving nature of this form of credit. Because consumers can continue charging right up to their limits, it doesn’t take much to max out a credit card and then never be able to pay it off because the consumer can only afford minimum monthly payments.

In the interest of helping our read...


Apr
11
Lawsuits Affect Bankruptcy Depending on the Side You're On

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Pending lawsuits definitely have an impact on bankruptcy proceedings regardless of which side of the lawsuit you are on. If you are the plaintiff, particularly in a personal injury suit, that suit will partially determine the court’s decision regarding your bankruptcy procedure. If you are the defendant, bankruptcy may or may not protect you in the event the lawsuit results in a judgment against you.

In this post, we will lay out the basics of how pending lawsuits and bankruptcy interact. However, this is a complex area of law that cannot be done proper justice in such a short piece. If you have any questions about your own circumstances surrounding bankruptcy and pending lawsuits, we strongly urge you to contact an attorney for help. Our expert attorneys can consult with you and, if necessary, represent you in court.

Plaintiffs in Personal Injury Suits

Federal bankruptcy law requires people filing for personal bankruptcy to disclose all pending lawsuits as well as any circumstances that could result in a lawsuit in the future. We offer personal injury suits as an example because these provide the best illustration.

Consider Plaintiff A, who decides to file bankruptcy after a notice of claim has been filed in a personal injury case resulting from a car accident. The plaintiff is required to inform the bankruptcy court of the pending lawsuit and many of its details. A failure to do so could result in the bankruptcy being dismissed, the personal injury claim being denied, or both.

Plaintiff B also decides to file bankruptcy just a few days after a slip and fall accident caused significant injury. Even though the plaintiff has neither retained an attorney nor filed any preliminary lawsuit paperwork, he or she still must inform the bankruptcy court that the conditions exist for a potential lawsuit in the future. Failing to do so could jeopardize the bankruptcy proceeding.

Lawsuit Defendants

The other side of the lawsuit equation deals with plaintiffs who are currently litigating at the time of bankruptcy. The law allows for something known as an ‘automatic stay’ at the moment the personal bankruptcy is filed. Simply put, an automatic stay brings an immediate halt to any action being taken against the person filing bankruptcy until the defendant and his or her attorneys can work out an acceptable bankruptcy plan.

Upon filing a bankruptcy petition with the court, the court issues the automatic stay and then notifies creditors of that order. The court also notifies all parties participating as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the person filing bankruptcy. Nothing more need be done by the defendant.

Please bear in mind that it could take several weeks for plaintiffs to receive notification of the automatic stay. Therefore, the defendant’s attorney may advise that the plaintiffs be informed right away to prevent any further action in the case.

An automatic stay issued by a bankruptcy court takes precedent over any civil action, at least on a
temporary basis. However, there is no guarantee that bankruptcy will stop a civil proceeding in its entirety. Bankruptcy courts do have leeway to allow civil lawsuits to proceed during, or after, a bankruptcy case.

Civil lawsuits and bankruptcies intersect in state and federal courts all the time. Knowing where you stand in any such case is important in determining the best course of action. We advise you seek the advice of an attorney if you find yourself in the midst of either a civil lawsuit, a bankruptcy proceeding, or both.


Apr
04
Important Facts About Car Repossession and Bankruptcy

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Filing a personal bankruptcy will affect nearly every area of your life – including the car you drive. Despite what you may have heard, however, bankruptcy does not automatically lead to the repossession of your car and the end of convenient mobility. Consumers do have rights under the law, rights that can help them hold onto their cars even while they work to sort out their financial problems.

If you are facing car repossession, bankruptcy or both, we urge you not to just let things go. Contact our experienced bankruptcy attorneys so we can advise you as to the best course of action. We may be able to utilize certain aspects of the law to help you hold on to your car and successfully complete a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.

R...


Mar
28
How Your Neighbor's Lottery Winnings Can Lead You to Bankruptcy

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It probably seems strange to most of us that lottery winners can eventually end up in bankruptcy despite receiving a rather substantial windfall. But it is even stranger to consider that the neighbors of lottery winners are more likely to declare bankruptcy than the winners themselves. According to a study released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, there is a statistically greater chance that someone living in the same neighborhood as a lottery winner will eventually declare bankruptcy as compared to the general population.

The study looked at a particular Canadian community and their combined lottery winnings and bankruptcy filings over a ten-year period. Researchers discovered that for every $1,000 in lottery winnings, the...


Mar
21
Florida Law Could Be a Nationwide Model to Reduce Bankruptcies

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In a previous blog post, we outlined the procedures for taking advantage of chapter 13 bankruptcy to regain a suspended driver’s license. We mentioned in that post that Illinois law allows for the suspension of a driver’s license for a long list of non-driving-related offenses. Illinois is not alone in this regard. States all across the country use driver’s licenses as a means of punishing lawbreakers who do not seem to respond any other way.

The problem with these kinds of laws is that they can lead to financial troubles – even bankruptcy – that are entirely unrelated to the offense for which the person is being punished. However, a piece of legislation currently working its way through the Florida legis...


Mar
14
California Bitcoin Case Shows Why You Need a Bankruptcy Attorney

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A bankruptcy case currently working through the courts in California is one of the more complicated cases the U.S. Bankruptcy Court has seen in a while. It also serves as a reminder of how necessary it is to utilize a bankruptcy attorney whether you are choosing to file chapter 13 or chapter 7 proceedings. Bankruptcy is a complicated legal matter that could lead to more trouble than it’s worth should you attempt to file by yourself.

The California case involves a bankrupt technology company and one of its former advisers and promoters. The company, known as HashFast Technologies, filed for bankruptcy in 2014. The bankruptcy trustee went on to request that former sponsor and advisor Dr. Marc Lowe return some 3,000 Bitcoin he was ...


Mar
07
Bankruptcy and Retirement Accounts: What You Need to Know

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In a chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are both dischargeable and non-dischargeable debts. Likewise, there are assets that can and cannot be seized to satisfy creditors. An asset that frequently causes consternation among chapter 7 filers is the traditional retirement account. Whether it is a 401(k) or an IRA, people are not sure where their retirement accounts stand should they need to file bankruptcy.

In this post, we will clear up the confusion related to chapter 7 bankruptcy and retirement accounts. As always, if you are facing financial problems that could lead to bankruptcy, we encourage you to contact us. We can discuss your case with you and advise you as to the best course of action.

Retirement Accounts Owned by the Filer

In April to 20...


Feb
29
3 Financial Lessons We Can All Learn from Oil Prices

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It has been a long time since drivers in the U.S. have seen the price of gas as low as it was at the start of 2016. Thanks to the bottom falling out on the crude oil market, everything from gasoline to home heating oil is as cheap now as it was back in the late 90s. This is good for the average consumer looking to get by in the midst of sluggish economic growth. It is not so good for dozens of oil companies. It turns out we could all learn a few lessons from these companies and what they are now going through.

Lower oil prices mean you and I pay less to heat our homes and drive our cars. It also means that the companies employing us do better by way of lower energy costs. But low oil prices are also affecting those that produce the energ...


Feb
22
The Foreclosure Process: What Actually Happens

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The threat of foreclosure can be the last straw that encourages someone to consider bankruptcy. A bankruptcy filing can help in some cases by forestalling the foreclosure and giving the homeowner more time to work things out. Yet bankruptcy is not the ‘silver bullet’ many people are hoping for. In order for bankruptcy to be of any help in preventing foreclosure, timing is everything.

So what actually happens in the foreclosure process? How does the homeowner go from property owner to someone looking for a place to rent? There are different rules depending on the state one lives in, but the process is fairly similar across-the-board. The first thing to know is the difference between the judicial and non-judicial foreclosure:

  • Judicial – The judicial foreclosure is one that can only be approved by a court. Lenders must file official Complaints, borrowers have time to respond, and the court eventually makes a decision regarding enforcement of the bank’s lien.
  • Non-Judicial – A non-judicial foreclosure requires no court intervention. It can be conducted based on deeds of trust that gave the power of sale to trustees in the event of mortgage default.

In ...


Convenient Locations

In order to provide convenience for clients throughout Chicago and Northern Illinois, we have offices in the following locations: 

Chicago • Schaumburg  • Oakbrook • St. Charles • Naperville • And More

Locations

We have office locations throughout the Chicago Area:

Chicago (Downtown)

Schaumburg

Oak Brook

Naperville

All calls are routed through our Downtown office for your convenience.

Phone: 312-967-3159

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