Bankruptcy and Retirement Accounts: What You Need to Know


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...

Parking Tickets May Be Annoying, But Pay Them Anyway


Very few things put a damper on your day quite like coming out of a building in downtown Chicago only to find a parking ticket on your windshield. Parking tickets are the stuff of nightmares in the Windy City, especially in the current era of big government spending. Annoying or not, parking tickets are part of life. Pay them and get on with your life.

Chicago has a big problem with parking violators and unpaid tickets. More than $1 million in fines are levied every single day in the city, yet Chicago is not collecting the fines anywhere near as quickly as they are being issued. Numbers from earlier this year suggest the total of unpaid tickets now stands at about $1.5 billion. By comparison, New York’s balance is roughly $756,0...

Car Repossessions: What You Need to Know about Repossession


Every day the nation’s repo men take to the streets to repossess cars on behalf of banks and specialist lenders. And, unfortunately, the number of repossessions is only going up. According to an NBC news report released during the summer of 2014, repossessions had jumped more than 70% in the second quarter of that year as compared to the previous quarter. In the first quarter 2015, they were up again by nearly 17%.

With 35% of all U.S. adults facing account collection, the chances of having a car repossessed are only going up. That is something the average worker cannot afford. Your car is important to virtually everything you do, including your work. Without your car, you may not be able to continue earning a living, making your...

Be Wary of Loans Offered for Pending Lawsuits


It is unfortunate that siren chasers still exist in the legal industry. Yet they do. A recently emerging trend in this arena is the aggressive marketing of something known as “lawsuit funding.” It is essentially offering loans for pending lawsuits to plaintiffs in dire need of cash as they wait for their cases to be settled. Lawsuit funding has been likened to cash advance and payday loans, two kinds of loans that are not looked too favorably upon by financial experts.

A 2013 report from FOX Business indicates that lawsuit funding dates back to the late 1990s. Though not many people have heard of it, the industry was worth some $100 million in 2013. Lenders provide loans to plaintiffs with the expectation that they will ...

5 Tips for Repairing Your Credit after Bankruptcy


You have successfully filed for bankruptcy and had your plan approved by a court. Now you are looking forward to the day when your bankruptcy is fully discharged. However, what will you do then? After all, you have been told that a bankruptcy will remain on your credit history for up to seven years. Even worse, you have heard that your ability to borrow will be very limited for the foreseeable future. You are anticipating your finances could be tight.

It is true that bankruptcy is never a good situation to find yourself in. Nevertheless, filing for bankruptcy does not mean your life is over. You can get your finances in order and rebuild your credit over time if you are willing to employ a bit of discipline and patience. Below are fiv...

What You Need to Know about Suspended Licenses in Illinois


Losing your driving license can make your life miserable. The best possible advice anyone can give is that you obey the law at all times and avoid a suspension altogether. Otherwise, going through the process of getting your license reinstated can mean a tremendous amount of hassle and, in some cases, substantive financial penalties and jail time.

In the state of Illinois, a driver’s license can be suspended for the following reasons:

  • Receiving three moving violations within a 12-month period.
  • Having 10 or more unpaid parking violations.
  • Being cited for five or more automated traffic violations (e.g., running a red light).
  • Failure to appear in court to resolve a traffic citation.
  • Failure to pay fines for five or more tollway violations.
  • Being cited for driving without insurance resulting in an accident.
  • Conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or any illegal substance.
  • Failure to pay court-ordered child support.

The Illinois Secretary of State suspends driver’s licenses in the state of Illinois. A suspension is a temporary loss of driving privileges with an attached end date. It is different from a revocation, which revokes driving privileges for an indefinite period.

Getting Your Driver’s Licen...

Do You Owe Back Taxes? We Can Help!

It is a common misconception that you cannot get rid of tax debts in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is not true. You can discharge (wipe out) income tax debts if they meet the qualifications, limitations, and restrictions laid out below.

The Requirements for Discharging Income Tax Debt

You will be able to get rid of your tax debts in Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you meet the following requirements:

  • The taxes are income-based. Income taxes are the only kind of debt that Chapter 7 is able to discharge. The tax debt must be for federal or state income taxes or taxes on gross receipts.
  • The return was due at least three years ago. The taxes must be from a tax return that was due (including all valid extensions) at least three years before you filed for bankruptcy. For example, if taxes were disclosed in a 2005 income tax return for which extensions to file the return expired on October 15, 2006, the tax return due date test will be satisfied if the bankruptcy petition is filed after October 15, 2009.
  • You filed the return at least two years ago. You must have filed the tax return at least two years before filing for bankruptcy. In most courts, a late return does not count as a “return” and you won’t be able to discharge the taxes (late means your extensions have expired and the IRS filed a substitute return on your behalf). In other courts, you can discharge tax debt even if you file a late return, assuming you meet the other criteria.
  • The taxes were assessed at least 240 days ago. The taxing authority must have assessed the tax (entered the liability on the taxing authority’s records) against you at least 240 days before you filed for bankruptcy. This time limit may be extended if there was an offer in compromise between the taxing authority and you or if you had previously filed for bankruptcy.
  • No fraud or willful evasion. The tax return must not be fraudulent or frivolous and the you cannot be guilty of any intentional act of evading the tax laws. If you file a joint return, the taxing authority must prove that both you and your spouse committed an act of fraud related to the applicable return or willfully attempted to evade the tax in order for the court to deny the discharge of the tax debt.

If you owe back income or property taxes, we can help. Call our firm today!

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Need Foreclosue Defense? One in every 451 homes in the Chicago area received a foreclosure filing in January 2014

Foreclosure filings were down 18% from a year ago, but up 8% on the month, the biggest monthly increase since May 2012.

The rise in foreclosure activity was driven by a surge in foreclosure starts — properties that have started the foreclosure process and scheduled foreclosure auctions.

“The monthly increase in January foreclosure activity was somewhat expected after a holiday lull, but the sharp annual increases in some states shows that many states are not completely out of the woods when it comes to cleaning up the wreckage of the housing bust,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac in a press release.

“The foreclosure rebound pattern is not only showing up in judicial states like New Jersey, wher...

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


We have office locations throughout the Chicago Area:

Chicago (Downtown)


Oak Brook


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

Phone: 312-967-3159

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