The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois has an interactive website listing near-live information about current filings with the bankruptcy court. For example, today, the 19th of August, there were 61 Chapter 7 and 40 Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions filed as of 1:50 p.m. The total amount of filings for the current year to date are 33,009 (compared to 2013 at this time and date when there were 35, 927 filings). The website also allows you to search by the top city accounting for the largest number of bankruptcy filings. If you guessed Chicago was number one, you are correct. Chicago residents have filed 12,698 bankruptcy petitions this year. Following with much smaller numbers are Rockford, Aurora, Joliet, Plainfield, Calumet City, Elgin, Bolingbrook, Waukegan and Naperville.
Why are so many people filing for bankruptcy protection?
Of course, every individual and family who files for bankruptcy has a unique reason and need for relief from bill collectors and legal actions by creditors. Some people even spend more money they cannot afford in debt relief programs that do not pull their participants out from behind all the bills they cannot pay. At any given point, your life and financial circumstances can change drastically. If you are not wealthy and do not have a safety net, you might take advantage of bankruptcy protection. Below are a few of the circumstances in which people decide to file for bankruptcy.
- A medical emergency can cause an individual to file for bankruptcy.
Imagine you are driving to work and are hit by a big truck. Many people only carry the state minimum required insurance coverage and some people have no insurance. If the insurance policies do not pay or the amount of your medical bills exceeds the policy limits, you might have a big financial problem on your hands. Yes, a personal injury suit might make you whole, but that could take years and the bills still come due while you wait, and you might not be working.
- The loss of a job can devastate a family’s budget, sending them into bankruptcy.
Many Americans filed for bankruptcy when our country plunged into recession in 2008 and beyond. Economic recovery can be slow and when jobs are lost, people can sink deeply into debt, sometimes beyond recovery. Unless that new job pays a sports hero salary, you may consider eliminating debt you will never likely be able to repay after being out of work for a sometimes extended period of time.
- Wage garnishment can trigger an interest in bankruptcy relief.
When a creditor obtains a money judgment against you, they can file a wage garnishment and send that to your employer who is ordered to withhold money from your paycheck and pay it to the creditor. While many Chicagoland families live on a tight budget, the reduction in a paycheck can mean the difference in keeping the lights on. A bankruptcy filing can stop a wage garnishment and you may be able to eliminate the underlying debt.
- Banks foreclosing on your home can lead to a bankruptcy filing.
Sometimes life’s hassles and expenses cause us to fall behind on the mortgage. A sick child or a surprise transmission repair can cause a family to slip one month, then maybe two. By that point, it can be nearly impossible to bring the mortgage current. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy may help you keep your home and put other creditors on hold while you get caught up.
- Relentless creditors and stress from debt can drive a person to seek bankruptcy help.
When creditors know they can call and bug you until you pay, they can and will. The stress of not being able to pay bills is awful. Too many people turn to the bottle or worse when facing debilitating stress. When they file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay provision kicks in and those creditors can no longer ruin your day, or they will be violating federal law.
If one of the above scenarios is all too familiar, we can help you make the determination if bankruptcy protection is right for you. Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. has convenient offices located all over the Chicagoland area for your convenience. Our new contact us page has address and map directions to our offices in: Chicago; Deerfield; Gurnee; Naperville; Orland Park; Schaumburg; Skokie; St. Charles and Westchester.
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. To keep in touch and read about consumer finance news and stories you can Like the firm’sFacebook page and Follow Joseph Wrobel. Ltd. onTwitter. If you need immediate legal assistance, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. by calling (312) 781-0996 to talk to an attorney today.