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Mortgage Tax Debt and Bankruptcy

Many consumers in the Oak Park area who struggle with various types of consumer debt also struggle to make monthly mortgage payments. For some of those consumers, filing for personal bankruptcy can be an option for managing what feels like insurmountable debt. However, consumer bankruptcy may not be the best option for people who are dealing with non-dischargeable debt. While there are various types of non-dischargeable debt that cannot be erased through a bankruptcy filing, we want to say more about tax debt—and mortgage tax debt—specifically when it comes to filing for bankruptcy.

According to a recent article in Bloomberg, numerous consumers make the decision to file for bankruptcy as a result of an inability to pay the taxes on mortgage debt that is forgiven after a foreclosure or a short sale. As the article explains, consumers previously could exclude forgiven debt from taxable income, but that may be more complicated now.

How Forgiven Mortgage Debt can Affect Your Taxable Income
W…

What are the Functions of a Bankruptcy Trustee?

Filing for consumer bankruptcy is an extremely complicated process. Whether you are simply considering bankruptcy as one of your options or have begun to look more carefully into actually filing soon, it is important to learn more about the bankruptcy trustee. In researching Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have likely come across information about the bankruptcy trustee and that person’s role in the process. However, it can be confusing to understand precisely what the trustee does, and what the debtor’s relationship to the trustee will be. The U.S. Department of Justice gives answers to frequently asked questions about the bankruptcy trustee, and we want to provide you with some of that information.

Who or What is a Bankruptcy Trustee?
First, there is an office of the U.S. Trustee, which is within the U.S. Department of Justice. One of the primary roles of this office is to appoint bankruptcy trustees in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, as well as to handle…

What is Credit Counseling for Personal Bankruptcy?

If you are considering personal bankruptcy, you will likely be required to go through credit counseling. In fact, you will probably be required to go to credit counseling twice at different stages of the bankruptcy process. Whether you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you should learn more about credit counseling so that you know what to expect. An article in NerdWallet discusses various aspects of the bankruptcy credit counseling process, and we want to share them with you here. If you have additional questions or need assistance filing for bankruptcy, you should get in touch with an Oak Park bankruptcy attorney.

Learning More About Credit Counseling
Credit counseling is a process in which a debtor learns about whether she or he actually needs to file for bankruptcy protection, and to learn more about the benefits and limitations of consumer bankruptcy. During credit counseling, debtors also learn about bankruptcy alternatives that may be available for mana…

Understanding How the BAPCPA Continues to Shape Consumer Bankruptcy Filings

In 2005, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) became law, making it more difficult for consumers to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As a recent article in GQ points out, the BAPCPA took effect only a short time before the recession and foreclosure crisis in 2008, preventing many struggling consumers from being eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As the article contends, now is an important time to revisit the BAPCPA because two of the Democratic presidential candidates played important roles regarding bankruptcy reform in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and they were on different sides of the issue.

More precisely, both Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren were involved in developing and opposing changes to U.S. bankruptcy law. While Biden supported the BAPCPA as a senator from Delaware, Warren opposed it. Given that consumer protection issues could play a role in the Democratic presidential primary and that the BAPCPA may arise in national conversations, it is …

Can I Keep My Car if I File for Consumer Bankruptcy?

If you are struggling with debt and are thinking about filing for consumer bankruptcy, you probably have many questions about how liquidation bankruptcy and reorganization bankruptcy work. In particular, consumers often want to know if they will be able to keep a particular piece of property if they file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy since this is a liquidation bankruptcy. In other words, many consumers hear that, with a liquidation bankruptcy, all property will get liquidated in order to repay creditors. When a debtor files for bankruptcy in Illinois, that person is allowed to keep certain property even with a liquidation bankruptcy. These are known as “exemptions.” There are both federal and state exemptions, but anyone who files for bankruptcy in Illinois must use the Illinois exemptions.

When it comes to exemptions and what type of property you can keep, we know that many debtors want to know, “Can I keep my car if I file for bankruptcy?” The answer to this question depends on several d…

New Report Addresses Trends in Consumer Bankruptcy

Personal bankruptcy trends in Oak Park and throughout the U.S. can sometimes provide us with a bigger picture concerning consumer debt and economic stability. A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) addresses recent trends in consumer bankruptcy filings and the ways in which those trends have changed in the last two decades. As such, the report considers how consumer bankruptcy filings trends shifted with the passage of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) in 2005, and the foreclosure crisis and subsequent recession that began more than 10 years ago.

What does the CFPB have to say about bankruptcy trends in the 2000s? We will say more about the report and its potential implications for consumers in the present who are considering bankruptcy.

Key Aims of the CFPB Report
Given that the new CFPB report stretches over a period of nearly 20 years, there are some key aims that the authors intended to address. Those key aims, or question…

Revisiting the Issue of Medical Bankruptcies

Given the way in which questions about medical debt and universal healthcare have become prominent in news cycles concerning presidential nominee debates, the issue of medical bankruptcy is on a lot of minds. According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, Bernie Sanders has repeatedly asserted that “medical bills drive 500,000 Americans into bankruptcy every year.” That article emphasizes that The Washington Post has done fact-checking on that number, suggesting that it is higher than the actual number of medical bankruptcies in a particular year. However, as the Los Angeles Times article underscores, the figure of 500,000 Americans seeking bankruptcy protection due to medical debt is based on a peer-reviewed study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

With news stories highlighting the issue of medical debt and bankruptcy, it is a good time to revisit the issue and to consider the ways in which debt from hospital bills, surgeries, and other health care often lea…