4 Things to Know about Bankruptcy and the IRS


With January comes the start of the new tax year and the requirement to file your personal income taxes no later than April 15. This time of year we handle a larger volume of questions regarding the IRS and bankruptcy proceedings. For example, people wonder whether bankruptcies will eliminate their tax debts. Others want to know if they still have to file tax returns in the midst of a bankruptcy proceeding.

The simple and painful reality is that bankruptcy does not eliminate tax debt. It can make the process of paying back taxes easier, but the only thing that will eliminate what you owe is your death. And even that offers no guarantees. Your estate could still be responsible for paying back taxes.

Should you be considering bankruptcy...

Income Taxes, Property Taxes, and Tax Liens


In a letter written to Jean-Baptiste Leroy in 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote the now infamous words: “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Though Franklin was neither the first nor the last writer to express the sentiment, its reality seems to be as old as man himself. Where taxes are concerned, they can make life miserable.

Falling behind on either income or property taxes can lead to tax liens. Once tax liens are attached to a property, they can be extremely difficult to remove without actually paying the full amount owed. But a good attorney never says never. There are some circumstances that allow unpaid taxes to be dismissed; other circumstances allow for a reduction of the debt wh...

I Have a Large Medical Bill but Good Credit, Should I File Bankruptcy?

Whether you should file bankruptcy over one large medical bill that you are having trouble paying depends on several factors, including whether you can handle the debt outside of bankruptcy, or not.

If you have good credit, the bankruptcy will definitely cause it to dip. However, if you can’t pay the hospital or medical bill, you’ll start to get late-payment notices and the medical provider may even sue you and get a judgment — neither of which is good for your credit. And you may eventually face wage garnishment or other collection actions.

If you cannot settle the debt and it looks as if the creditor may pursue you for payment, then your good credit is going to take a hit anyway because a collection action will show up on your credit report. And if the provider sues you and gets a judgment, it can garnish your wages or take other collection action.

What Is Going to Happen if I Owe Back Property Taxes?

Local governments charge property taxes against real estate that’s owned in their jurisdictions. The government uses property taxes to pay for services in your neighborhood, such as schools and emergency personnel. If you don’t pay your property taxes on time, the tax collector can use various collection tools to get the money owed, and you potentially could lose your property.

How to Rebuild Your Credit after Bankruptcy- Fast!

It’s about as popular as a root canal or a blown tire on the freeway. Yet like both of those dreaded occurrences, filing for bankruptcy is commonplace in modern America. In 2013 1,107,699 individuals and businesses in the U.S. had to file for bankruptcy according to government data. While it’s pretty safe to say that not many of the folks who filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy were eager to do it, it’s worth remembering that bankruptcy is by no means a financial death sentence. After all, bankruptcy protection is designed to provide people and companies with a way to discharge at least some of their debts and start over. And one of the very first steps to reboot your financial life involves rebuilding your cre...

7 Ways the New Congress is Seeking to Water Down Financial Rules

The House attempted to pass a bill Wednesday to roll back or ease nearly a dozen requirements from the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law and the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups law, that aimed to make it easier for smaller companies to raise cash. The measure failed by a vote of 276-145, six votes short of the two-thirds needed to pass under a special procedure known as “suspension” in which non-controversial legislation can advance with limited debate. House Republicans are almost certain to try again to pass some or all of the bill’s measures. Here’s what some of the key provisions would have changed. 1. Give banks until 2019 to comply with provisions of the so-called Volcker rule that they divest from their C...

How to Refinance Your Mortgage While in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Refinancing a mortgage loan is possible during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. In fact, a homeowner may become eligible to refinance his mortgage loan after a year of timely payments on his bankruptcy plan. According to the Nolo website, “A Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan allows a debtor to keep personal property, while repaying creditors over a period of 3 to 5 years.” Refinancing your mortgage may help pay off your bankruptcy plan sooner.

How to Refinance During Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Information provided by SF Gate

Using Bankruptcy to Discharge Tax Debt in Chicago

Many people recognize Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcies as methods of debt relief that enable consumer debtors to get a financial “fresh start” by discharging most and sometimes all of their debts. Bankruptcy is typically associated with individuals who have excessive credit card and medical debt. But what about those saddled with tax debts?

Getting tax relief through bankruptcy is not easy. Whether a tax debt will be dischargeable depends on the type of tax involved as well as the taxpayer meeting certain requirements. While this article should not be a substitute for the advice of an experienced Chicago tax debt attorney, it should provide the reader with a preliminary understanding of the laws governing the discharge of...

Keeping Your Tax Refund When You’re Filing Bankruptcy in Chicago

Keeping Your Refund

It’s tax time! While this time of year can be stressful to most people, it can be especially hard for people planning on filing bankruptcy. One of the biggest fears – and biggest myths – about bankruptcy is that you will lose everything you have. That isn’t the case, although sometimes keeping your tax refund will require a bit of pre-bankrupcy asset protection planning.

Whether you have received it yet or not, your tax refund will be considered a part of your bankruptcy estate. With tax refunds, whether you can keep yours or not is determined by whether it is exempt from the bankruptcy estate. In Illinois, there are laws that cover what property is exempt, and protected from collection.

There is no set exemption...

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

Phone: 312-967-3159

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