Category Archives: Bankruptcy Odds and Ends

Joseph Wrobel Chicago Bankruptcy Podcast: August 2019

Podcast: Listen to the August 2019 Bankruptcy Q&A With Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney Joseph Wrobel

For educational and entertainment purposes Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney Joseph Wrobel answers real people’s questions in this question and answer podcast about bankruptcy and consumer finance issues and problems. Joseph Wrobel wants everyone to be financially successful. At times a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (full discharge) or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy (3-5 year repayment) is the solution to your financial woes. There are other times you may not need to file for bankruptcy. Joseph Wrobel is here to help you figure out the best way out of your financial problems.

When you have a fresh financial start and don’t owe so much of your paychecks to creditors you are in a good position to save money and rebuild your credit. People are amazed by how easy it can be to have great credit again after they have financial troubles. We help you with everything.

Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer Joseph Wrobel Can Help You Today at (312) 781-0996

Too often people are scared to use the bankruptcy laws to help them. There are all kinds of myths about bankruptcy and you should know the truth.

Read our blog article on our Chicago Bankruptcy Blogger page, Myths About Bankruptcy in Illinois: Debunked by Joseph Wrobel.

Myths About Bankruptcy in Illinois
Helping people get out of debt with dignity and respect for over 40 years.

Listen to this podcast as Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney Joseph Wrobel answers real questions about bankruptcy from real people all over the country. Below are summaries of the questions and answers. Note that this is not legal advice, these are general answers based on the information provided. Actual legal advice must take place in the office of an attorney you hire for legal advice. If you need legal advice, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. in Chicago at (312) 781-0996. We have offices all over the Chicagoland area and suburbs so it is easy to come to see us and get answers to your questions.

Vehicle Title Issues

Question: How can I get the title to a vehicle from the bank a year and a half after I filed for bankruptcy? The bank did not want the vehicle back.

Joseph Wrobel: If the car has value and you want to sell it you will not be able to sell it without the title. You could also keep the car and junk it when you are done driving it when you no longer want it or it no longer runs. In the podcast, Mr. Wrobel explains in more detail what documentation might be required by a salvage yard.

Question: Can the lender tack the debt owed on one vehicle to the other we have on the same account with the bank? We declared bankruptcy more than a year ago. With our credit union, we had payments and loans for both vehicles. We were thinking of relinquishing one of the vehicles to the credit union. If we do that can the credit union add that balance to the other loan for the vehicle we want to keep?

Joseph Wrobel: The credit union may have special provisions that say that the collateral for one loan also applies as collateral to the other loan.

Property Lien Issues

Question: Can the bank put a lien on my current property if they foreclose on my rental property? I bought my home in 2007. Then I bought another house and rented out my first house. My renters damaged and abandoned my rent house. Should I just let the bank foreclose on it and get out of the mortgage for the rent house? If they do foreclose on the rent house can they put a lien on my newer house where I am living? If I have to do anything, I have $30,000 in savings.

Joseph Wrobel: There is a Chapter 7 exemption that may apply if you qualify. If you file for Chapter 13, you might surrender other property and get into a plan to repay your debts. This would help you avoid a deficiency judgment and tax on the loss of the lender. Listen to the podcast for more detail from Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney Joseph Wrobel.

Out of State Collection Activity Issues

Question: Can an out of state collector sue me in a state in which they do not operate? I live in NJ and am being harassed by a debt collector from OH.

Joseph Wrobel: Yes, but they cannot sue you out of state in OH unless that is where you were when you signed for the debt. Meanwhile, nothing prevents them from suing you where you live in NJ. They will likely hire contracted attorneys in your state to sue you and attempt to collect a money judgment.

Financial issues cause stress. Read this article: 5 Strategies to Deal With Financial Stress.

Concerned Wife and Spouse Issues

Question: Can my wife stop a foreclosure? My wife is not on the deed for the house even though we have been married for 10 years and file joint tax returns together. I have a mortgage foreclosure sale coming up in three weeks. Can my wife file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy or a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure sale? I have filed for bankruptcy twice already in the past.

Joseph Wrobel: If your wife is not named on the mortgage, any bankruptcy case she files will not affect anyone else’s property, including yours, even though you are married to her and file joint taxes. While she does not need to be on the title (on the deed) to affect the mortgage, she does need to be named on the mortgage loan agreement.

Insurance Coverage Issues

Question: Is the pending cancellation of my car insurance policy stopped by my filing bankruptcy to get the advantage of the automatic stay provision?

Joseph Wrobel: No, the automatic stay stops collection procedures but does not prevent an insurance company from canceling your insurance.

New Loan and Lender Issues

Question: Can I get a new loan if I am making payments to my lawyer to file my Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Joseph Wrobel: If you are making payments on attorneys fees to your lawyer and your bankruptcy will not be filed until you pay your attorney in full, then there is nothing to stop you from getting a new loan. However, if you incur new debt just before you file the bankruptcy, it is a bad idea. The trustee may not allow you to discharge the new debt, especially since you knew you were going to file for bankruptcy and had been making pre-payments to your attorney.

Read our article on our Chicago Bankruptcy Blogger page, Bankruptcy Court: Go Ahead and Make Their Day (The last thing you want to do is lie to the bankruptcy court.)

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Repayment Issues

Question: I understand I can file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and get a five-year repayment plan. But what happens if I lose my job and cannot make the payments?

Joseph Wrobel: You may want to convert a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and discharge their remaining debt. Whether this is your best option depends upon why you filed a Chapter 13 and not a Chapter 7. Did you have a prior Chapter 7 filing? Did you have too much equity in an asset?

Call Joseph Wrobel in Chicago to learn more about how and when to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Our main number in Chicago is (312) 781-0996.

Foreclosure Summons Detail Issues

Question: What happens if the name listed in the foreclosure summons is not my name because it is misspelled? My last name is spelled wrong. Are these grounds for dismissing their foreclosure case? What can I do?

Joseph Wrobel: This is what is known as a “di minimis error” and is easily correctable if you were to challenge the validity of the summons.

Avoiding Foreclosure Sale Issues

Question: Can I stop a foreclosure auction by filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy only three days before the sale?

Joseph Wrobel: Yes, absolutely you can stop the foreclosure auction and save your house by filing for Chapter 13. You MUST have the petition filed with the Court before the auction sale. If you were to wait until after the foreclosure auction sale, you will not be able to save your home if that is your goal for filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy petition.

Bankruptcy and Credit Report Issues

Question: If I filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and it was immediately dismissed, can I get that removed from my credit report? I filed Chapter 13 to protect my home from being foreclosed when I was behind on my mortgage. Luckily I was able to work out a payment plan with the lender mortgage company and no longer needed the Chapter 13. I cannot increase my credit score at the moment because of the bankruptcy filing showing up on my report.

Joseph Wrobel: Your credit report is a history of your credit. You cannot change it and you cannot remove the bankruptcy filing information, that will be present for 7 years.

Bankruptcy Case Time Issues

Question: How long does the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy process take from start to finish?

Joseph Wrobel: About 4 months.

Do I Need Bankruptcy Issues

Question:  My son is 27 and has about $25,000 in medical and credit card debt. How can we figure out whether a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a good option for him? My son lives with us and he owns no property.

Joseph Wrobel:  Maybe a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a good idea. Assuming your son has no other assets, and he can pass the income test for Chapter 7, this might help him out depending on his financial situation. Other options might be repaying enough of the loans in enough time to avoid bankruptcy. When creditors are facing getting zero dollars because the debt was discharged, they might be more likely to make a deal for less than the amount owed or a payment plan over time that makes the debt payments more manageable while your son works to earn more money and get ahead financially.

You might also like this article: Why You Should Never Cosign for Your Kids

What Are the Financial Questions that Keep You Up at Night?

Don’t Waste More Time in Anxiety: Call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. (312) 781-0996

Joseph Wrobel and his staff at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. are ready to help answer your questions about financial problems and solutions. If bankruptcy is a good option for you, they will help you figure that out. Don’t waste another day being harassed by creditors. Use your right to the automatic stay: it stops bill collectors in their tracks.

We hope you find this information helpful. We host and share these podcast interviews and summaries about questions and answers about bankruptcy every month. You can also find more information by searching our website. Thank you for reading and sharing our podcast interview summary!

Want to listen to more of our Chicago Bankruptcy Question and Answer Podcasts? Find this episode, August 2019 Chicago Bankruptcy Question and Answer Podcast with Joseph Wrobel, and all our episodes on the Chicago Bankruptcy Update channel on the Blog Talk Radio network.

Beware of Scams on Facebook Marketplace: Tips to Protect Yourself and Others

Example and Video from a Scammed Mother Shopping for a Television on Facebook Marketplace

Watch the video: Avoiding Facebook Marketplace Scams

“It Wasn’t Worth it,” said the woman who lost $250 to a scammer on Facebook Marketplace. The seller had a 65 inch smart TV for sale for $250. The buyer got the tip from a friend who said they recognized the seller on Marketplace as a high school friend. The seller acted with urgency, asking the buyer to send her the money using Venmo, a mobile payment service owned by PayPal. “There was a need to act fast.”

After the buyer sent the money, the excuses started rolling in. The buyer was not able to get the television. After many days passed, thy buyer asked for a refund. The seller said the money was already spent on bills.

Law enforcement says that if it sounds like it is too good to be true, it probably is. And if you are suspicious of anyone selling an online item, move along to the next seller.

Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer Joseph Wrobel Can Help You Today at (312) 781-0996

Joseph Wrobel Attorney At Law

Security Concerns when Buying from Any Online Marketplace

There are several ways a con may try to get your personal information. From giving information about yourself in conversation to giving out your email or phone number, you may be giving more clues to someone than you expect. People may prefer to communicate through Facebook Messenger or a similar program instead of giving email or phone numbers that can be Googled for more information about you.

By sticking with a messenger program you know and trust, you can block anyone who seems up to no good or with whom you no longer want to communicate.

CNN Tips: 10 ways to stay safe when buying and selling online

Never Meet at Your Home or Workplace, Always Meet in Public

When buying or selling with someone you don’t know, use a designated public meeting place that is well lit, where there will be other people and security cameras. Call your local police or fire station and ask them if they know of any recommended spots to meet up with Facebook Marketplace buyers and sellers.

After you leave, make sure you are not followed home. Sophisticated crooks may use more than one vehicle and as one is leaving, the other is following you. It’s always good to vary your route home or make another stop somewhere safe and keep an eye open to make sure you were not followed.

Exchange Cash for Goods at the Same Time

Do not give someone your item and allow them to make payments later because the likelihood is they will never pay you. This is a common scam. Also, don’t fall for the “check in the mail” bit because it is usually a con.

Is the cash counterfeit? Is their check any good? How about cash? What about a bank check? Consider your comfort level in receiving secure payment in your transaction. If you are comfortable using a mobile payment method, do it on-site and give the person the item once you have received confirmation you received the money free and clear.

Does Something Seem Not Right About Your Buyer or Seller?

Especially when people say they are in the middle of moving to our out of state, be on alert for scammers. While there are many honest people who do buy and sell things like couches and televisions while moving, this is a perfect story to spin to a scam victim.

When using Facebook Marketplace you can view the person’s profile. You may have to add them as a Facebook friend to see more detail. Try asking if you don’t mind adding them as a friend before setting up the sale. Look for the same red flags you would if you received a friend request with someone who has no friends, has a brand new profile, or something else just does not seem right.

Know What You are Buying or Selling and What it is Worth

You may see someone selling a vehicle on Facebook Messenger telling you they just moved into the city and no longer need it, or need to raise money to pay for a court fine or child support. Beware, even though people may need to buy or sell quickly, they usually do not buy or sell things way over or under fair market value.

Do some research and look up what similar items are worth on various sites, including Craigslist, where you should also beware of shady buyers and sellers.

Great website – the nest – Read: How to Determine Fair Market Value of Household Items

Do Not Assume Other People’s Payments on Financed Items, Vehicles, or Property

What if you just got a new job and need a different vehicle to get to work. Maybe your credit is on the rebound and the car dealerships can’t help you. While it may be tempting to agree to take over another person’s payments on something, you should be very careful. Without understanding contract laws and remedies, you could end up getting in trouble. You might accidentally enter into a contract to receive stolen goods.

Here’s the link to search for “scam” and find related blog articles on our website, ChicagoBankruptcy.com

With too many scary examples to list, we recommend you stop and call Joseph Wrobel and talk to him about a concern that something may be a scam. Please also share this information with your friends and family who might be too trusting and need some street-smart tips on safety when buying and selling on Facebook Marketplace or anywhere else online.

Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney, Joseph Wrobel Wants You to Be a Safe Consumer

While our law firm is focused on bankruptcy protection, that is only part of our mission. We want everyone who knows us to come to us for tips and advice on buying, selling and making the best financial decisions for a bright and prosperous life.

For answers to any bankruptcy or consumer financial questions, call us at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. at (312) 781-0996 and please remember to share this article with others and be smart buying and selling on Facebook Marketplace.

Bankruptcy for Unpaid Workers

Bankruptcy for Unpaid Workers in Chicago Who Run Out of Money

The current government shutdown causes people to ask themselves what would happen if they did not receive their paycheck for several weeks or longer. For families living on budgets, not receiving pay means the bills are not going to be paid. Unpaid workers without savings to temporary replace regular income can lose their homes, cars and credit cards if payments are delinquent.

Even though currently unpaid government workers are promised to receive their back pay after the shutdown, they may not be paying their mortgage, rent, car payment, student loans, utilities and other financial obligations. How long would you be able to continue without pay and the immediate need to get another source of income.

In many cases the unpaid workers with specialized work skills and experience cannot find another job very easily, and not at the same pay grade.

Read an article by CNBC focused on 800,000 workers without pay and the impact of the shutdown: “Workers going unpaid during the shutdown owe $438 million in rent and mortgage payments this month.”

Examples of Situations Causing Unpaid Workers Who Consider Bankruptcy

Workers are unpaid for a variety of reasons. Layoffs happen in manufacturing due to slow business or problems. Companies with a cash flow problem may not be able to pay their workers on time. Sometimes a struggling company does not have enough money in the bank for all the payroll checks to clear. In other cases, the employers accounts could be seized or frozen. For people working as contractors for others, one party may refuse to pay because they have an issue with the work not being performed correctly. In each of these scenarios, the unpaid employee still needs to pay their bills.

Unless workers have several months of bill paying money set aside for cash flow emergencies, they may be considering their bankruptcy options. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies have features and options that will help people and their families.

The Automatic Stay Provision of the Bankruptcy Code Stops Creditors from Contacting You

Creditors and bill collectors are aggressive and persistent. Economic conditions like a government shutdown mean that many workers will not get their paychecks. After the bills come due and are not paid, collectors have options. Some waive late fees and extend due dates. Temporary relief runs out at some point. Aggressive bill collectors want you to pay them before you pay someone else. They will call you and send extra past due notices in the mail. When friends or relatives listed as references on loans getting phone calls about you not paying your bill it can be embarrassing and aggravating.

The “Automatic Stay” stops bill collectors in their tracks. When either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is filed, including a list of all the creditors the filer may owe, those creditors receive notice that they may not continue any collection activity so long as the bankruptcy case is ongoing.

Save your home from foreclosure and sale by filing for bankruptcy, taking advantage of the automatic stay. The bankruptcy postpones foreclosures and sales.

Our Bankruptcy Blogger article explains the automatic stay in further detail: The Automatic Stay: It Stops Bill Collectors in Their Tracks. Call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. today to get more information (312) 781-0996.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Unpaid Workers

For some unpaid workers a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case might have already been on their mind. When people have debt, they cannot afford to pay, when they are making less income than before, and when the outlook for paying off all the debt is bleak, a fresh start with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can make a major difference for a family struggling with money and bills.

The point someone who already has financial troubles doesn’t receive their paycheck, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will help. Eliminate the credit card debt, the payments for a car worth less than owed. Eliminate the mortgage on the house that is too big and expensive.

When people start over after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they can control their budgets and not get behind in debt. And when people no longer owe money to so many creditors, they become a better credit risk. Rebuilding credit after a bankruptcy takes some time but is easier than people think.

Learn more about rebuilding credit. Read our article, Good Credit After Bankruptcy on the Bankruptcy Blogger section of the Joseph Wrobel, Ltd website. See also results for searching our site for the word “credit.”

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for Unpaid Workers

Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be attractive to unpaid workers who expect to receive their back pay but who need temporary protection from collections and foreclosures. When you file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you can “cure” your mortgage default by making up past payments over months.

A Chapter 13 “reorganization” bankruptcy can last three to five years, giving the unpaid employee time to catch up on debts when the paychecks stopped coming for whatever reason.

One misconception about Chapter 13 is that every dollar owed must be repaid. In fact, depending on a person’s financial calculations, they may only have to repay a percentage of the amount owed.

To save your home, car and other assets you don’t want liquidated, call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. and learn where you stand and for which type of bankruptcy you qualify. Call day or night (312) 781-0996.

Read Homeowners Keep Their Home Using Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Laws.

Joseph Wrobel Can Help if Bankruptcy Makes Sense and Will Help Unpaid Workers Get a Fresh Start

When you call Chicago bankruptcy lawyer Joseph Wrobel and make an appointment at one of the conveniently located offices around the Chicago area you are taking the next step in finding out if bankruptcy is the right thing to save you from money problems.

At your meeting with Joseph Wrobel when your financial information is processed, he will tell you about your options under the bankruptcy law. If you or a friend is an unpaid employee because of a shutdown, lack of business, layoff or any reason, contact online or call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. today and get the information about bankruptcy for unpaid workers, to turn off the bill collectors and turn on your fresh financial start. The main Chicago office telephone number is (312) 781-0996.

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.

 

 

 

 

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!