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Bankruptcy Around the Holidays: What Should I Consider?

As the holiday season approaches, it is important to consider a range of issues if you are thinking about filing for personal bankruptcy . Depending upon your circumstances, it could make sense to file for bankruptcy before the holidays, or it could be more sensible to file for bankruptcy after the holidays. You should discuss your specific circumstances with a bankruptcy lawyer in Oak Park before you make any decisions. In the meantime, the following are some important considerations to keep in mind when you are thinking about bankruptcy around the holiday season. Debt Accumulated Close to a Bankruptcy Filing Will Not Be Dischargeable If you use your credit card to make charges for holiday gifts, holiday travel, holiday decor, or other expenses close to the time when you are planning to file for bankruptcy, you should know that these debts are unlikely to be discharged in a consumer bankruptcy case. Under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code , any purchases that are made within 90 days from the d

Debt Collectors and Debts Discharged in Bankruptcy: Five Things to Know

When an individual files for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Illinois , they typically do so with the aim of receiving a bankruptcy discharge at the end of the bankruptcy case. Yet it can be confusing for a debtor to understand their rights in relation to a debt discharge and contact from debt collectors. For example, at what point, if any, can a debt collector attempt to collect on a debt that will soon be discharged in a bankruptcy case? Or, is there any time at which a debt collector can try to collect a debt that has been discharged? Our Oak Park bankruptcy lawyers can clarify your rights when it comes to debt discharges and debt collectors. The following are five things you should know about debt collectors and bankruptcy discharges in Illinois. 1. Debt Collectors Cannot Attempt to Collect Debts That Have Been Discharged Once you have received a bankruptcy discharge — meaning that eligible debts have been discharged — debt collectors cannot attempt to collect those debts. As

Can I Use the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Bankruptcy exemptions are extremely important in any consumer bankruptcy proceeding. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, which is a liquidation bankruptcy, it is important to know that bankruptcy exemptions allow a debtor to keep various assets so that they are not liquidated. To be clear, any assets that are exempt do not need to be sold, and the debtor can keep them while still receiving a discharge of eligible debts. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case or another type of reorganization bankruptcy, exemptions are used to determine the amount of debt that the individual debtor must repay over the course of the repayment plan. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Illinois, especially if you are planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may have started looking into bankruptcy exemptions to determine how they are likely to apply to your case. Yet it can be confusing to find that there are both federal bankruptcy exemptions and state bankruptcy exemptions. You may be wondering:

New Consumer Bankruptcy Bill Would Overhaul the Process

If you have been considering consumer bankruptcy in Illinois , or if you have been following discussions about potential changes to the consumer bankruptcy process, you may know that a bill was proposed in 2020 that aimed to change how consumer bankruptcy works. The bill will streamline the process and eradicate some of the current distinctions between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. According to a recent article in Bloomberg , Democrats in Congress have reintroduced a bankruptcy bill “that would radically alter how individuals file bankruptcy.” The article underscores that, in introducing the Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2022 , Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Jerrold Nadler are hoping to obtain support for this type of legislation after the 2020 bill “failed to gain traction.” What do you need to know about the newly proposed legislation and how it could potentially impact the consumer bankruptcy process? Key Aims of the Proposed Legislation The consumer bankrupt

Should I Attend Credit Counseling?

Are you planning to file for consumer bankruptcy in Oak Park ? If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the near future, you may have done some preliminary research into any steps you will need to take in order to prepare for your bankruptcy case. You might have come across information about credit counseling, and you may be wondering if this is necessary or if you should consider attending credit counseling. Given that consumer bankruptcy cases have numerous and varied requirements, it is essential to work with an Oak Park consumer bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all requirements for your bankruptcy case and can ensure that you take all necessary steps in order to be eligible to have your debts discharged. More specifically, a lawyer can explain that credit counseling is not optional but rather necessary, and it is not the only finance class that you must take in order to have your debts discharged. You Must Complete Credit Counseling Before You

Inflation and Consumer Bankruptcy

Will high inflation rates result in increased consumer bankruptcy filings in Oak Park and throughout Illinois? According to a recent article in Forbes , “the price for goods and services has increased 7.9% from the same time last year,” which means Americans are experiencing “the highest inflation rate since January 1982.” As a result, many households in the U.S. are struggling financially. The cost of groceries has increased, the cost of gas, electricity, and other utilities has risen sharply, and other expenses have gone up. As the article underscores, “forty percent of adults say their families are worse off financially now than prior to the pandemic,” and many households are struggling financially. Ultimately, inflation could mean that more consumers file for bankruptcy. What do you need to consider? Take Steps to Avoid Additional Costs Whether inflation has resulted in a struggle to pay your bills or has merely resulted in increased concern over finances in the future, it is impo

Converted, Closed, and Dismissed Bankruptcy Cases: What is the Difference?

When you are considering personal bankruptcy and doing preliminary research into the process, you are likely to come across a series of terms related to the end of a bankruptcy case. These terms are all distinct from one another, but their meanings likely are not obvious to a consumer who is seeking to learn more about personal bankruptcy and how different types of bankruptcy processes work. While there is a wide range of consumer bankruptcy terms that can be complex and may require an explanation from a dedicated bankruptcy lawyer, our firm wants to focus on three terms that are commonly used to describe the end of a bankruptcy case -- closure, dismissal, and conversion. What does it mean for a bankruptcy case to be closed, and how does that process differ from a bankruptcy dismissal or conversion? Our Oak Park bankruptcy attorneys can provide you with more information. Closing a Bankruptcy Case When a bankruptcy case is closed, or when there is a reference to the closing of a bankru