Category Archives: Bankruptcy And Your Home

Filing for Bankruptcy After Divorce?

Whether to File Bankruptcy After Divorce: Consider These Scenarios

Divorce is difficult enough without also worrying about finances after the divorce and whether filing for bankruptcy after divorce makes sense and will help you out. In some situations, the spouse ordered to pay the other doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain in the settlement or divorce decree. You can go back to court and try to order the deadbeat spouse to pay what they were ordered but that doesn’t stop the creditors who want their money. When you cannot pay them, you may wonder if a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will save you.

The creditor knows one thing, it wants to be paid. The creditor could care less whether you have a court order that says your spouse is ordered to pay the credit card, when you are liable for the debt and it remains unpaid you risk damage to your credit, collection efforts, lawsuits and wage garnishments.

Few people will criticize you for filing bankruptcy after a messy divorce where you and the former love of your life are left to fight over debt. In some cases, the former spouse just wants to punish you by not coughing up the money they owe you to pay off debts.

Read our blog article: 7 Bankruptcy Repercussions Are Myths Not to Worry About.

A Personal Bankruptcy Only Affects Your Credit, Not Your Spouse

Bankruptcy laws are there to protect you when you cannot afford to pay debts. Chapter 7 is the typical full discharge we think of and Chapter 13 is a reorganization bankruptcy where you repay a portion of your debts over a three to five-year period. While you and your spouse may be jointly liable on a debt, you both have independent personal credit ratings and those scores are totally separate.

When you are looking for bankruptcy answers and call Joseph Wrobel’s Chicago Bankruptcy Firm, he will find out whether you and your former spouse are both liable on certain debts. Mr. Wrobel can tell you what happens when one spouse files bankruptcy and the other has not and is still liable for the debt.

Is the debt discharged if two people are listed? Or, simply, is the obligation for one party to pay the debt discharged and the other is on the hook? What happens if the debtor comes after the other party to pay the debt when it was ordered to be paid by the other by the divorce court? Call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. in Chicago if this is your problem. (312) 781-0996.

Read another article: Don’t Believe the Hype: Get the Real Truth About Bankruptcy, Ignore the Rumors.

You and Your Former Spouse Accumulated Debt During Marriage

When you were married, you and your spouse worked hard and spent money keeping up with your friends and neighbors. As you approached your divorce your divorce lawyer asked you to complete paperwork listing all your assets and debts. Shocked, you realize how much your debts outweighed assets. Yes, your marital home was beautiful, but everything was financed.

Most couples approaching divorce are dividing debt at the end of the marriage. Houses are mortgaged with second mortgages and lines of credit. Credit cards are carrying transferred balances from other high interest cards. Vehicles are financed or leased. In many divorces, the only assets available are vested funds in retirement accounts.

The High-Income Earner Paying for Two Residences and Child Support

Divorce is very expensive, especially for the spouse making more money. The higher income earner may be ordered to pay alimony. When there are minor children, there is also an obligation to pay child support. Even a professional earning significant income feels the immediate reduction in their income needed to pay bills and live from day to day.

Many people simply run out of monthly income when paying alimony, child support and other debts ordered to be paid by the court. Is it a surprise some people simply stop paying? No.

You Are the Higher Wage Earner and Want to File Bankruptcy After Divorce

With a few options on the table you owe lots of money and have some decisions to make. In most cases any child support obligation will be automatically withheld from your paycheck. With what is left you simply cannot make it. Maybe you want to file bankruptcy to eliminate the credit card debt you were ordered to pay. Maybe you realize you can no longer afford the mortgage on the expensive house or financed luxury vehicle. It is time to downsize.

Before you take advantage of the bankruptcy laws consider your obligations to your former spouse and children and ask Joseph Wrobel about your obligations in the family court. He can talk to your divorce lawyer and help you make the best financial decision that gives you a break without hurting your former spouse and your children.

You Are the Dependent Lower or No Wage Earner and Need to File Bankruptcy After Divorce

If your former spouse and co-parent identified in the paragraph above did not heed our advice not to hurt you or the children by leaving you high and dry, you can get the help you need with the bankruptcy laws. Depending on your settlement agreement and divorce decree you might need to consider whether to include certain debts to be discharged in your bankruptcy. Like your former spouse would, you too should ask Joseph Wrobel to help figure out what to do with post-decree divorce financial obligations.

When you do file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your phone should stop ringing as debt collectors are prevented from collecting or contacting you during bankruptcy. The “Automatic Stay” provision also stops a Wage Garnishment. Helping you keep money in your pocket during the bankruptcy is what we do for you at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd.

Have you seen this one from a few years back? Credit Scores, Cards and Reports: What You Might Not Know.

Your Spouse Files Bankruptcy After Divorce, How Does Joint Debt Impact You?

Joint debt means joint responsibility. If you and your former spouse are both named on a financial account, then you both are jointly responsible, regardless of what it says in the divorce decree. If your ex-spouse is ordered to pay and they stop paying, the obligation becomes yours, 100 percent.

With so much uncertainty about Filing for Bankruptcy After Divorce, talking to both your divorce lawyer and a bankruptcy lawyer such as Joseph Wrobel is necessary, so you don’t worsen your financial position and future if things do not go as planned after the divorce.

Call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. in Chicago today at (312) 781-0996 and learn your rights and options under the law if you are considering filing for bankruptcy after divorce.

 

 

 

 

Chicago Bankruptcy Q&A Podcast with Joseph Wrobel: November 2017

Chicago bankruptcy and consumer credit attorney Joseph Wrobel shares news and updates in bankruptcy law as well as business and consumer financial matters. It has been documented that financial troubles can cause all sorts of ailments, the most common of which is sleeplessness. Joseph Wrobel helps clients alleviate their anxiety created by the inability to pay bills and the embarrassment of financial distress.

Chicago bankruptcy
Helping people get out of debt with dignity and respect for over 40 years.

Sample questions answered in this 30-minute show: Use this link to listen anytime.

  • What happens when a corporation I sued filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
  • Do I have to include my paid for automobile in my Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
  • What happens when my car loan co-signor files for bankruptcy?
  • What happens if a bankruptcy lawyer does not file my bankruptcy petition?
  • I missed my date to file a bankruptcy claim, what happens to my rights?
  • In bankruptcy can I pay for the value of my car instead of what I actually owe?
  • How will my ex-husband’s bankruptcy affect my home if he’s on the mortgage?
  • Can a family member loan me money for a down payment if I am in Chapter 13?

Joseph Wrobel has been a practicing attorney since 1973 and has experience in a wide variety of law relating to legal matters for individuals and families. Wrobel helps clients get out of debt and get a fresh start. He is an active member in several bar associations and the Bankruptcy Panel of Pro Bono Program of the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. After serving the U.S. Army Reserve 363rd Civil Affairs Unit, Wrobel earned a B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University and in 1973, he earned a JD from DePaul University Law School.

Don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Avvo, where you can read client and peer reviews!

Visit our Chicago Bankruptcy website online for more about the firm or call for more information at (312) 781-0996 or e-mail at JosephWrobel@ChicagoBankruptcy.com.

Podcast: October 2017 Chicago Bankruptcy Question and Answers with Joseph Wrobel

Joseph Wrobel is a Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney
Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney Joseph Wrobel

Chicago bankruptcy and consumer credit attorney Joseph Wrobel shares news and updates in bankruptcy law as well as business and consumer financial matters. It has been documented that financial troubles can cause all sorts of ailments, the most common of which is sleeplessness. Joseph Wrobel helps clients alleviate their anxiety created by the inability to pay bills and the embarrassment of financial distress.

Click/tap here to listen to this podcast interview anytime.

Sample questions answered in this 30-minute show:

  • How soon after filing bankruptcy can my divorce be finalized?
  • Can I file for bankruptcy to get rid of medical bills I cannot afford?
  • On Social Security Disability, can I have my bankruptcy fees and costs waived?
  • I am on the deed of my mother’s house and she is going to file bankruptcy, if she were to die, what would happen to the house?

Joseph Wrobel has been a practicing attorney since 1973 and has experience in a wide variety of law relating to legal matters for individuals and families. Wrobel helps clients get out of debt and get a fresh start. He is an active member in several bar associations and the Bankruptcy Panel of Pro Bono Program of the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. After serving the U.S. Army Reserve 363rd Civil Affairs Unit, Wrobel earned a B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University and in 1973, he earned a JD from DePaul University Law School.

Don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Avvo, where you can read client and peer reviews!

Visit our Chicago Bankruptcy website online for more about the firm or call for more information at (312) 781-0996 or e-mail at JosephWrobel@ChicagoBankruptcy.com.

To buy or rent in Chicago, a few things to consider

While some people are only interested in owning their home, others are quite satisfied renting for the foreseeable future. As real estate and financial markets change we often see news stories with industry leaders telling us it is a good time to be selling a home or whether it is a good time to buy. Not everyone is in the position to buy a home and many are content with renting forever. While financial experts tell you that building equity in a home is the best way to be prepared for the future and retirement, there are plenty of alternative ways to save for the future and continue renting.

What are some of the barriers to buying a home if the conditions are right?

The first thing most people think about when buying a home is saving up to make a 20% down payment, however a good credit score may be the most frequent concern, especially for people who have struggled with job loss or financial difficulties. The good news on credit is that when you follow a few steps and practice smart credit your score will improve, often quicker than you realize. Read our blog article about credit repair for more information.

When it comes to money down, you might qualify for one of the programs for buyers backed by the government. There are veteran’s loans, FHA loans and similar programs where there is no down payment required. You must meet income criteria, which many easily satisfy.

Why some homeowners are jealous of their friends who rent their homes.

Taxes on homes in the Chicago area are a significant concern for homeowners. Over time, taxes increase and homeowners must follow procedures to challenge their tax rate. Meanwhile, renters aren’t worried about tax rates, and if they have been renting their home for some time, they may be paying significantly less than the current market rental rates.

Homeowners may be jealous of their renting friends who do not have to spend their extra time and money repairing hail damaged roofs, windows, air conditioners and so forth, on a seemingly endless list. Renters are also the envy of homeowners who get new neighbors that frustrate their living situation. It is not so easy to pick up and move, especially if the housing market is not in favor of sellers.

Saving money for the future without having equity in a home can be easy.

While the traditional plan for many was to pay off their house before they retire so they only must pay tax and not a mortgage, many people today elect to rent. The overall cost of home ownership versus renting can be a close equation. If while the homeowner spends money on repairing a roof, the renter puts that same amount of money in an investment, they may be in a good position to start and continue saving for the future.

About us: Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., works with clients to find out if they qualify for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, and their options and rights under the law. The firm will also advise and assist clients with questions and concerns about the collectors and their rights to pursue you.

Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start.

Don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Avvo, where you can read client and peer reviews!

 

August 2017 Chicago Bankruptcy Question and Answer Podcast with Joseph Wrobel

Chicago bankruptcy and consumer credit attorney Joseph Wrobel shares news and updates in bankruptcy law as well as business and consumer financial matters. It has been documented that financial troubles can cause all sorts of ailments, the most common of which is sleeplessness. Joseph Wrobel helps clients alleviate their anxiety created by the inability to pay bills and the embarrassment of financial distress. Click/tap here to listen to this podcast interview anytime.

Sample questions answered in this 30-minute show:

  • When can a bankruptcy be removed from my credit report?
  • Will I lose my US citizenship or be deported if I file for bankruptcy?
  • If you file for bankruptcy, is every credit card you have included?
  • Can another party collect from me in small claims court if I am in bankruptcy?
  • If I file for bankruptcy, can I keep my home and my car if I was never late on those?

Joseph Wrobel has been a practicing attorney since 1973 and has experience in a wide variety of law relating to legal matters for individuals and families. Wrobel helps clients get out of debt and get a fresh start. He is an active member in several bar associations and the Bankruptcy Panel of Pro Bono Program of the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. After serving the U.S. Army Reserve 363rd Civil Affairs Unit, Wrobel earned a B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University and in 1973, he earned a JD from DePaul University Law School.

Don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Avvo, where you can read client and peer reviews!

Visit our Chicago Bankruptcy website online for more about the firm or call for more information at (312) 781-0996 or e-mail at JosephWrobel@ChicagoBankruptcy.com.

7 bankruptcy repercussions are myths not to worry about

While some people take advantage of bankruptcy laws to improve their lives and finances, others have a long list of excuses why they refuse to file for bankruptcy protection. While some of the concerns people have are reasonable, they are often blown way out of proportion by the people who do not want you to get a bankruptcy. Who are these naysayers? Largely the people who work in the business of debt consolidation will try to scare you with misconceptions about bankruptcy.

Here is a list of bankruptcy repercussions you were told about but will probably never experience:

  1. The bankruptcy trustee will take everything you own. Not true: There are state exemptions allowing you to keep your personal belongings, vehicle and equity in your home up to a certain dollar amount.
  1. Everyone in town will know about your bankruptcy. Not unless you tell them: Where in the past years bankruptcies were more difficult or less common they may have appeared in the newspaper. Nowadays and especially in a big city like Chicago, nobody will ever know unless you tell them.
  1. Your wife will leave you and take the kids. While it’s possible, it’s unlikely: The negative stigma that used to follow a bankruptcy many years ago is no longer an issue for so many people who likely know people who got a bankruptcy and are doing well and are financially successful after their bankruptcy.
  1. You won’t be able to keep your home or car. You have options: You may keep your car if its value falls within exemption limits or you can sign a reaffirmation agreement to keep the car and make payments on it despite the bankruptcy. Keeping your home may be equally feasible through a Chapter 7 discharge or Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy case.
  1. The boss will surely fire you when they find out. Your boss has no reason to know: Unless you tell your boss that you need a day off work to attend your initial bankruptcy hearing, they have no reason to know about it. In fact, many people file for bankruptcy to prevent their boss from knowing about a wage garnishment, something they can avoid if they file bankruptcy.
  1. You won’t be able to rent an apartment. Not true: Even people with the most concerning financial track records are able to rent an apartment, and the only difference may be an extra month’s worth of a security deposit required by the landlord.
  1. You will never be able to get credit again. Biggest misconception: The moment your former debts are wiped away in bankruptcy, you have more spending power and a better ability to pay your bills. Not long after a bankruptcy you can get a secured credit card and start rebuilding your credit, focusing on your current and future credit while forgetting about the past.

If you want to learn the real expectations you should have when considering a bankruptcy filing, contact Joseph Wrobel, Limited to learn bankruptcy is like in the present day.

About us: Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., works with clients to find out if they qualify for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, and their options and rights under the law. The firm will also advise and assist clients with questions and concerns about the collectors and their rights to pursue you.

Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start.

Don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Avvo, where you can read client and peer reviews!

 

Mortgage loan options after bankruptcy

There are several types of mortgages available in to home buyers after a bankruptcy discharge. After a bankruptcy discharge under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 you may be able to qualify for a mortgage sooner than you think. When your debt to income ratio is better after discharging some or all debts, you may be a better lending risk when you have more disposable income to save money and pay bills. After your bankruptcy discharge you have some time to work on re-establishing your credit and saving money for down payments and closing costs. When you are ready to start shopping for a mortgage there are several options to consider depending on your personal situation and home ownership goals.

How long will I have to wait?

There are two types of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 (full discharge) and Chapter 13 (partial discharge and reorganization). Many people with Chapter 13 bankruptcies are approved for government-backed mortgages after one year or they could be approved for a conventional mortgage loan after two years. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers may have to wait three or four years after their discharge to be approved for a new mortgage.

Some people chose to take at least two years or more to rebuild their credit using secured credit cards and small loans, while also saving cash for the expenses involved in putting money down and closing on a new home. The longer you wait, the better interest rate you may get. This is not always true however because interest rates fluctuate.

Conventional and government-insured loans

The difference between conventional loans and those insured by the U.S. Government is the financial guarantee for the lender, in case the individual fails to pay the mortgage. Conventional loans are not guaranteed by the federal government, and because they are not secured, the buyer must have better finances.

The common government-insured mortgage loans are the FHA loans, VA loans and USDA loans:

  • FHA loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration allow participants to make down payments as low as 3.5%. Purchasers will be required to pay for mortgage insurance which increases monthly payments;
  • VA loans secured by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs help military service members and their families buy homes with 100% financing meaning the purchaser only needs to pay the closing costs.
  • USDA loans are insured by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and benefit rural buyers who satisfy income requirements including a steady middle class income who otherwise may not qualify for conventional loans.

Adjustable vs fixed-rate mortgages

If you are approved for a fixed-rate mortgage when interest rates are low you will be locked in at that low mortgage rate for the entire term of the loan and your monthly payment will not change. The other type of loan is an adjustable-rate mortgage loan (ARMs) which have interest rates that change from time to time based on interest rates. Some ARMs provide fixed rates for several years after which time the rate is subject to adjustment based on the rates at the future date. If interest rates are high on mortgages when you are applying, you might want an ARM so that you can try to lock in a better rate when the rates go down. You always have the opportunity to refinance your loan and select a fixed-rate mortgage after having an ARM for some time.

For more information about applying for mortgages after a bankruptcy, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd.

About us: Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., works with clients to find out if they qualify for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, and their options and rights under the law. The firm will also advise and assist clients with questions and concerns about the collectors and their rights to pursue you.

Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start.

Don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Avvo, where you can read client and peer reviews!

 

May 2017 Chicago Bankruptcy Question and Answer Podcast with Joseph Wrobel

Chicago bankruptcy and consumer credit attorney Joseph Wrobel shares news and updates in bankruptcy law as well as business and consumer financial matters. It has been documented that financial troubles can cause all sorts of ailments, the most common of which is sleeplessness. Joseph Wrobel helps clients alleviate their anxiety created by the inability to pay bills and the embarrassment of financial distress. Click/tap here to listen to this podcast interview anytime.

Sample questions answered in this 30-minute show:

  • Can the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee take my IRS refund?
  • Will a prior credit counseling certificate work for my new bankruptcy?
  • How long can a creditor in Illinois file a lawsuit against you?
  • Am I responsible for my wife’s credit card debt?
  • Is it possible to vacate a dismissed bankruptcy?

Joseph Wrobel has been a practicing attorney since 1973 and has experience in a wide variety of law relating to legal matters for individuals and families. Wrobel helps clients get out of debt and get a fresh start. He is an active member in several bar associations and the Bankruptcy Panel of Pro Bono Program of the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. After serving the U.S. Army Reserve 363rd Civil Affairs Unit, Wrobel earned a B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University and in 1973, he earned a JD from DePaul University Law School.

Don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Avvo, where you can read client and peer reviews!

Visit our Chicago Bankruptcy website online for more about the firm or call for more information at (312) 781-0996 or e-mail at JosephWrobel@ChicagoBankruptcy.com.

Using credit cards and boosting your credit score after bankruptcy

 

After a bankruptcy discharge of those pesky debts you don’t miss, your available cash flow is increased and you should have more spending power. Your credit score is a function of several variables, not a mean person sitting in judgment of you. As you have more cash flow and spending ability, the decision to extend credit to you is easier because you are more likely to pay the bills when you can afford to. Once you get new credit cards there are a few things you should do to maximize your opportunity to boost your credit score.

Your credit score is determined by a variety of financial factors:

  • Credit card utilization
  • Payment history
  • Derogatory marks
  • Age of credit history
  • Total accounts
  • Hard inquiries

When you use credit cards and are working on boosting your credit score to qualify for a new home, many credit advisors will tell you to use your credit cards but not more than 30 or 40 percent of the available credit rating. It’s a good idea to pay your fixed expenses such as phone or internet with the credit card. Since you know you must pay that bill anyways, why not build your credit?

The next step with the credit cards is setting up automatic minimum monthly payments to be made by your debit card or checking account so you never have to worry about a late payment. When you pay your bill, which is easy to do now on apps on your phone, do not pay the entire balance. It is better to leave a few dollars on your balance so that it appears you are actively using the card – once a month the credit cards send a report to the credit bureaus and if your balance is zero it may look like you are not using the card and that can damage your credit score.

About us: Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., works with clients to find out if they qualify for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, and their options and rights under the law. The firm will also advise and assist clients with questions and concerns about the collectors and their rights to pursue you.

Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start.

Don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Avvo, where you can read client and peer reviews!

March 2017 Chicago Bankruptcy Question and Answer Podcast with Joseph Wrobel

Chicago bankruptcy and consumer credit attorney Joseph Wrobel shares news and updates in bankruptcy law as well as business and consumer financial matters. It has been documented that financial troubles can cause all sorts of ailments, the most common of which is sleeplessness. Joseph Wrobel helps clients alleviate their anxiety created by the inability to pay bills and the embarrassment of financial distress. Click/tap here to listen to this podcast interview anytime.

Sample questions answered in this 30-minute show:

  • How can I keep my car when I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
  • How can my bankruptcy come off my credit reports but still shows up in public record searches?
  • What happens to my house if I file bankruptcy and my name is on the deed but not the loan?
  • I surrendered my car in my bankruptcy but the finance company hasn’t picked it up, now what?
  • What does it mean if a creditor has written off debt that’s included in my Chapter 13 plan?

Joseph Wrobel has been a practicing attorney since 1973 and has experience in a wide variety of law relating to legal matters for individuals and families. Wrobel helps clients get out of debt and get a fresh start. He is an active member in several bar associations and the Bankruptcy Panel of Pro Bono Program of the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. After serving the U.S. Army Reserve 363rd Civil Affairs Unit, Wrobel earned a B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University and in 1973, he earned a JD from DePaul University Law School.

Don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Avvo, where you can read client and peer reviews!

Visit our Chicago Bankruptcy website online for more about the firm or call for more information at (312) 781-0996 or e-mail at JosephWrobel@ChicagoBankruptcy.com.