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Showing posts from 2015

Facing Your Credit Card Debt

According to arecent article in NerdWallet.com, dealing with credit card debt can be a frustrating and difficult experience. However, it is possible to put an end to that debt withoutfiling for bankruptcy. WhileChapter 7 bankruptcy protection can really help debtors in the Chicago area who do not have other options for debt relief, there may be other ways to put a dent in your debt, so to speak, without damaging your credit rating. The NerdWallet.com article discusses numerous ways in which the average consumer with a substantial amount of credit card debt might be able to begin lowering that debt in a meaningful way. Acknowledge That You are Not on Track to Pay Off Your Debts One of the first steps, the article suggests, in getting back on track with your debt is acknowledging that you are not earning enough to pay off what you have charged on credit in a timely manner. Debtors often get themselves into states of denial by thinking that it makes sense to make minimum payments on credit…

Bankruptcy Considerations When Your Debt is Under $15,000

If you owe less than $15,000 combined to creditors, should you be thinking about filing forconsumer bankruptcy? According to anarticle in Bankrate.com, personal bankruptcy can provide much-needed debt relief to many Chicagoans, but it may not be the best option for all debtors. Let us say first that the figure of $15,000 is an arbitrary one that we are using as a hypothetical example for discussing the pros and cons offiling for bankruptcy. At the same time, however, it is important to consider the amount of debt you owe when consider whether you are eligible for bankruptcy protection, and whether it is the best course of action for you. Weighing the Relief of Bankruptcy with its Credit Implications Generally speaking, if you do not owe a substantial amount of money to your creditors, filing for personal bankruptcy may not be the most suitable route for you to take. While $10,000 or $15,000 in debt can seem like a lot of money, working with your creditors to repay what you owe may be pr…

Reviewing Recent Supreme Court Bankruptcy Cases

Do you know about recent Supreme Court cases that could impact our thinking aboutconsumer bankruptcy? Arecent article from Bloomberg BNA reported on an event in which bankruptcy experts got together to consider the implications of five different U.S. Supreme Court decisions that deal with questions about bankruptcy in our country. The panel was co-sponsored by Bloomberg Law and the American College of Bankruptcy. The experts summarized the recent court decisions and their implications for future bankruptcy filings. To give you a better idea of the terrain when it comes tobankruptcy law in 2015, we would like to provide some of those summaries for you here. Take a look at a couple of the ways in which consumer bankruptcy law has been interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court over the last year. Converting Chapter 13 to Chapter 7: Harris v. Viegelahn Back in June, we discussed the case of Harris v. Viegelahn, in which the Supreme Court had to decide whether money that is being held by a bankru…

Limitations of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you are consideringbankruptcy protection, it is important to know that filing forChapter 7 bankruptcy in the Chicago area can help you to get a fresh start financially. It is equally valuable to understand some of the limitations of bankruptcy, too. According to arecent article in TheStreet.com, there are some pitfalls when it comes to choosing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and consumers and small business owners should be sure that they understand the consequences of bankruptcy before they file. What do you need to know before you seriously consider Chapter 7 bankruptcy? We can help you to better understand the potential limitations of liquidation bankruptcy as they are discussed in the article. Co-Signers are Impacted When You Seek Bankruptcy Protection While you may be able to have an unsecure debt discharged for which you had a co-signer, that co-signer likely will remain responsible for all or part of that debt. Specific Exemptions in Illinois Generally speaking, every state has its own s…

Illinois Attorney General Cracks Down on Debt Collectors

When you owe a substantial amount of debt to one or more lenders, you may not always know if you are being treated fairly bydebt collectors. Under theFair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA),consumers are protected from certain kinds of communication with debt collectors, and the law also prohibits debt collectors from engaging in conduct that is abusive or harassing. In addition, the FDCPA prohibits debt collector from making false, deceptive, or misleading representations to consumers when attempting to collect on debts. However, debt collectors do not always abide by the terms set out in the FDCPA. According to arecent article in The Wall Street Journal, several states—including Illinois—have begun cracking down on debt collectors who have violated the FDCPA. Abusive Debt Collection Practices Result in Agency Closures The message of the crackdown on debt collectors is one that emphasizes government regulators will not put up with abusive debt collection practices. Both federal and s…

Should I File for Bankruptcy During the Holidays?

The holiday season can be difficult on family finances. The costs of gift giving, elaborate family meals, and Thanksgiving travel can put many Chicago families in more debt than they are able to manage. If you are already consideringfiling for consumer bankruptcy, is it a good idea to do it during the holiday season? Or would you be better off waiting? Filing for Consumer Bankruptcy in December Generally speaking,personal bankruptcy filings are at their lowest during the holiday months, according todata from the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). Whether this has to do with the fact that most Illinoisans are concentrating on family activities (and putting their financial problems on hold) or simply cannot find time to speak with a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer during this season, it is important to consider the ramifications of filing for bankruptcy just after the holidays. Most notably, there are certain exceptions to bankruptcy discharge that may prevent you from discharging debts you ha…