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Can I Discharge COVID-19 Medical Debt in Bankruptcy?

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of job losses, which in turn has left millions of Americans unable to pay their bills and mortgages. In some cases, struggling debtors are also dealing with long-term health problems as a result of the coronavirus on top of substantial medical debt. For many of these debtors, there are questions and concerns about how to handle the debt they are facing and whether it is possible to discharge medical debt from COVID-19 hospital stays and doctor’s appointments through consumer bankruptcy . In most cases, medical debt is dischargeable in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. If you have questions about discharging medical debt related to COVID-19 in a personal bankruptcy case, you should seek advice from one of the experienced Oak Park consumer bankruptcy attorneys at our firm. COVID-19 is Resulting in Medical Debt for Consumers When a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 and has a moderate or severe case of the virus, hospitalization ma

Will I Have to Turn Over My Cell Phone in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy , you may already know that Chapter 7 is a type of liquidation bankruptcy. What this means is that the bankruptcy trustee will liquidate (i.e., sell) all of your non-exempt assets in order to repay creditors so that you can be eligible for a debt discharge. When people hear about the liquidation process in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they can get worried about whether they will lose assets that they need for their daily lives, from a motor vehicle to get to work to a cell phone to communicate with others both personally and professionally. As such, you might be wondering if your cell phone will need to be liquidated as part of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case . Generally speaking, most people who are going through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be able to use one of the Illinois bankruptcy exemptions in order to keep their smartphone. However, it is important to learn more about how this will work. Your Smartphone Might be a High-Value As

Can a Debt Collector File a Lawsuit Against Me for Old Debt?

You might have debt that is several years old or even older, and you might have forgotten that you even owe the debt. Or, perhaps you have been worrying about the debt for years and concerned that you could face consequences if you do not pay. Either way, it is critical to understand when a consumer debt collector can—and cannot—file a lawsuit against you for old debt. Generally speaking, debts have a statute of limitations according to Illinois law , and once that statute of limitations runs out, the debtor collector cannot file a lawsuit against you. However, there are other reasons that a debt collector cannot seek a judgment against you by filing a claim, and there are also exceptions to the statute of limitations rule concerning time-barred debt. We want to give you a few questions to consider when it comes to determining whether a debt collector can sue you to obtain unpaid debt. Ultimately, you should seek advice from our Oak Park consumer protection lawyers who can assess

Bankruptcy Filings at Lowest in 15 Years

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of job losses, and individuals and families alike taking on unexpected debt to pay for medical care and necessities, consumer bankruptcy filings are not on the rise. Indeed, according to a recent article in DSNews , as of January 2021, bankruptcy filings reached their lowest point, number-wise, in 15 years. Bankruptcy filings have not been this low since February 2006, prior to the recession and the foreclosure crisis. The new data reported by DSNews comes from Epiq, which recently released its January 2021 bankruptcy data. Bankruptcy rates have been gradually declining, and the most recent figures represent a 6% decrease in filings from December 2020. We want to discuss the recent data with you and to say more about personal bankruptcy filings during the coronavirus pandemic. Fewer Americans Are Filing for Consumer Bankruptcy The key takeaway from the recent DSNews article is that fewer Americans are filing for consumer bank

Medical Debt Relief Bill Proposed

Medical debt is a serious problem for hundreds of thousands of consumers, and it is a factor in a large percentage of personal bankruptcy filings every year. Given that more Americans are getting sick and requiring hospital care with the COVID-19 pandemic, medical debt is a bigger issue than ever before. According to a recent press release , U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, along with members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, has introduced the Medical Debt Relief Act, which “would remove paid-off or settled medical debt from a patient’s credit report and institute a year-long waiting period before new medical debt can be reported.” The proposed legislation is designed to help debtors maintain eligibility for credit despite medical debt, and for those consumers to have a chance to catch up on medical debt before their credit is harmfully affected. We want to say more about the proposed legislation, as well as the links between medical debt and consumer bankruptcy

Can I Modify a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Repayment Plan?

If you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and are currently making payments according to the terms of your repayment plan, you should know that various issues can arise that might lead you to ask if it is possible to modify the terms of that repayment plan. For example, especially given the state of the economy during the coronavirus pandemic, you might have lost your job or had your hours reduced. Or, you might have suffered an illness or injury that has prevented you from working at full capacity or from working at all. Other problems can also come up during the typical three-to-five-year period of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, such as an unexpected car or home repair that requires you to set aside a significant amount of your income. If an unexpected event occurs, it may be possible to ask the court to modify your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan under U.S. bankruptcy law . We will provide you with some of the basic information to know, but we want to encourage you to seek advice from a b

What is a Hardship Discharge in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

If you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or you have already filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you likely have some idea about how this process works. Unlike a Chapter 7 bankruptcy that results in your non-exempt property being liquidated to repay creditors so that you can obtain a relatively quick discharge, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a much longer process. For most consumer debtors, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process lasts between three and five years, after which point the debtor can have remaining debts discharged. Yet sometimes the debtor needs to seek a discharge earlier in the case. In such situations, it is important to learn more about a hardship discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case . Understanding How Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Works In order to understand why a hardship discharge may be necessary, you will need to have a clear understanding of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process . As part of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, the debtor develops a repayment plan through which sh