Category Archives: Bankruptcy Beyond The Basics

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.

 

 

 

 

Bankruptcy and Financial Freedom Podcast for October 2018

Are you tired of being harassed by collectors and worrying about your financial future? Joseph Wrobel is someone you should listen to when he talks about bankruptcy and financial freedom. (312) 781-0996.

This is the October 2018 Chicago Bankruptcy and Financial Freedom Podcast! Joseph Wrobel is the principal attorney at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., with office locations all over the Chicagoland area.

On this bankruptcy and financial freedom podcast, Mr. Wrobel answers real questions that real people just like you are wondering about bankruptcy and what happens in certain situations where people are concerned about keeping their home, car and stopping collection activities and wage garnishments.

Want to stop the collectors dead in their tracks with the Automatic Stay provision while you pay back a portion of your debts over three to five years with Chapter 13? Listen and learn.

Some of the questions covered in this month’s bankruptcy and financial freedom podcast include: (1) If I file for bankruptcy, will the funds levied in my bank account be released? (2) Will my roommates’ items be liquidated if I file for bankruptcy? (3) How can I retrieve my forfeited house, after a property tax foreclosure? (4) How long does a bank have to pick up a vehicle if I stop making payments? (5) Can a bank short sell a house after the owner declares bankruptcy? (6) Can a bank refuse to sign a release of lien, demanding payment in full? and (7) Can I eliminate income tax debt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Joseph Wrobel is an experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney with over 40 years’ experience. When you call his office, he will help analyze your financial information and let you know whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief, so you can get a fresh start.

Remember, what is most important is what you do after a bankruptcy filing. Most people have great credit and can easily buy homes and cars sooner than they realize after getting rid of their bad debt.

Thank you for listening to the Bankruptcy and Financial Freedom Podcast for October 2018.

Call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. today and learn more about your options. (312) 781-0996.

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.

Filing bankruptcy: Eliminating medical bills

 

There are several options for filing bankruptcy and eliminating medical bills. When bad things happen to good people the financial consequences can be suffocating. Especially when it is not your fault, you should not have to be stuck with unpayable debt and non-stop collector harassment. Medical debt collectors may sue you and garnish your wages, creating additional anxiety and burden to anyone already struggling with money.

eliminating medical bills
Helping people get out of debt with dignity and respect for over 40 years.

You can make the phone calls and lawsuits stop when you file a petition for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. After your bankruptcy, there are great options to boost your credit and put yourself in the best place to make and keep more money and enjoy financial freedom.

How medical debt collectors seek money judgements and wage garnishments

Mary, a single mother of three was severely injured in a car crash that was not her fault. The other driver did not have insurance and had no assets. Mary was stuck paying for hospital and medical bills for her emergency care, surgery and rehabilitative care that over many months. Mary could have paid cash for a new home for money she owed in medical bills. The medical bill collectors hired a lawsuit and served Mary with a lawsuit and she was facing a potential wage garnishment. Luckily Mary’s employer kept her job for her when she was able to get back to work but Mary wanted to keep her pride and avoid the embarrassment of having her wages garnished and losing that much more out of her paycheck.

How bankruptcy stops medical debt collectors in their tracks with the Automatic Stay provision

One day, Mary accepted the reality that the accident and medical bills were not her fault. The freedom from harassment by collectors sounded like music to her ears. Having the lawsuit go away meant Mary would be able to sleep at night. When she filed for bankruptcy, Mary had the protection of the automatic stay provision in bankruptcy, which orders that all collection activity must stop during the bankruptcy.

Read our article for more: Examples of the Automatic Stay and how it operates in bankruptcy law.

Qualifying for Chapter 7 discharge or Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganization

Mary had no idea there were options and more than one type of bankruptcy. She learned that Chapter 7 was the traditional bankruptcy she was looking for. Because she did not have too many assets or too high an income, she was able to qualify for the full discharge of all her debts allowed by the bankruptcy code. She also learned how she could have entered a Chapter 13 repayment plan and pay back a smaller portion of her medical bills over several years, which could have also helped her get back on track and stop the harassment and collection efforts.

Read our article for more: How is Chapter 7 different from Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

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!

 

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.

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.

New Credit Reporting Rules: Many may find relief from reports of tax liens and civil judgments

New rules provide credit score relief for some people who have tax liens and civil money judgments against them. Errors on consumer credit reports have been a problem for a long time and many people have incorrect information on their credit reports. New credit reporting rules take effect July 1 and change the way Trans Union, Experian and Equifax verify data regarding the reporting of tax liens and civil judgments. Now, the three credit reporting agencies must verify the individual’s name, address and either social security number or date of birth. Since so many companies omit social security numbers for privacy concerns, there may be a large group of people who will no longer have tax liens and civil judgements appearing on their credit reports. This should also help prevent future instances of information appearing on the wrong person’s credit report.

The purpose of credit reporting and monitoring

From applying for a cell phone account or utility to buying a car or home, our credit rating is used to determine where we stand on the scale of credit risk. With great credit, we present a low risk of not making our payments in full and on time. The volume of credit data and computer systems processing and sharing information open the door to error. If we do not check our credit scores frequently, someone else’s negative information could prevent you from being accepted for a mortgage loan or a new credit card. Imagine finding out your credit score was damaged by another person’s tax lien or the civil judgement entered against them.

How errors happen and how prevalent they may be

With tax liens alone, some estimates suggest that half of the tax lien information reported to the credit bureaus has ended up appearing on the wrong person’s credit report. When social security numbers are available to the individuals reporting tax liens, one missed number could cause the wrong person to receive a negative mark on their credit report.

Even if someone checks their credit frequently, or pays a few bucks every month for a credit monitoring service, the effort it can take to correct the mistake can be staggering.

How the new rules apply to tax liens and civil judgments

The rule change for reporting information to the credit bureaus about tax liens and civil judgements will require the verification of three pieces of vital information, the individual’s name, address, and either their social security number or date of birth.

By requiring three sets of identifying criteria be matched before receiving credit reporting data about tax liens and civil judgments, the likelihood of mismatches is significantly reduced.

The new rules take effect July 1. This article in USA Today has more information about the new rules and how they might apply to you.

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.