Tag Archives: 341 Meeting of the Creditors

The Wrobel Q&A: A mixture of real bankruptcy questions and answers

The bankruptcy laws have changed over recent years. Notably, the 2005 amendments to the bankruptcy code made it significantly more complicated for people interested in filing bankruptcy. Where it used to be easier to qualify for a Chapter 7 (discharge) bankruptcy, the means testing required under the changes to the bankruptcy code now limit some people to Chapter 13 (reorganization) if they do not meet the new requirements for the traditional Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Since the laws have changed, people we know who had a bankruptcy more than 10 years ago likely had a different experience than people today. Additionally, since there is a variety of legal and financial details in most of our lives, the answers to many bankruptcy questions are complex and those answers depend on how an individual’s situation lines up with the complex system of laws known as the Bankruptcy Code.

Attorney Joseph Wrobel answers real peoples’ anonymous questions about bankruptcy.

Because the Bankruptcy Code is complex and every individual and family may have a complex amount of legal and financial questions, Attorney Joseph Wrobel spends some of his time answering real questions and giving real answers, to the best of his ability. His response often suggests there are more questions he would first need to ask a potential client to give them fair and honest answers to their questions. Even though the details in these questions and answers might be different from your potential questions, there may be some recurring types of questions and answers that can help you or a friend understand some of the basics about how Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and the automatic stay provisions of bankruptcy work to help people keep their car, home and get a fresh financial start.

It is important to note that these questions and answers are anonymous and we never know the identity of the person who submits these bankruptcy questions that come from a variety of sources. Attorney Wrobel answers the frequently asked bankruptcy questions in a few formats including the Wrobel Q&A on the ChicagoBankrtupcy.com website. On the Wrobel Q&A page the real questions are printed along with the best “lawyer answers” Attorney Wrobel can offer, given the information provided.

The Internet radio podcast show about bankruptcy and FAQs is never dull.

Another online tool Attorney Wrobel uses to respond to real bankruptcy questions is the Internet podcast channel, also hosted on the Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. website on the page titled, Joseph Wrobel on Blog Talk Radio. Here at the firm we sometimes say, “Listen to the FAQ podcast while you clean your desk at work or at home preparing dinner or folding laundry.” The situations that come up in the questions and the longer explanations on our monthly podcast program are very interesting. We are never surprised by some of the complex situations some folks have. There are always going to be others who have it better and worse of compared to our own financial or legal situations.

If you have an anonymous question to ask about bankruptcy laws and how they can help you stop some annoying creditors and get your finances back on track, you have a few options:

(1) You could always do nothing and hope you win the lottery, and for that we wish you luck;

(2) Go ahead and submit your anonymous question for Attorney Wrobel to answer on an upcoming Internet radio podcast or on the Wrobel Q&A page by using the Locations & Contact page on the website; or

(3) Call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., directly at 312-962-4941 and ask to speak to an attorney, or send your question in an email to j.wrobel.ltd@chicagobankruptcy.com and we will respond quickly to help you out.

Bankruptcy consultations are free of charge and if we can help you at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., we will let you know how and what you can expect if you decide to take advantage of the bankruptcy laws to stop the creditors and get back on track to financial success.  

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’s Facebook page and “Follow” Joseph Wrobel. Ltd. on Twitter. If you need immediate legal assistance, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. by calling (312) 781-0996 to talk to an attorney today.

 

 

 

Bankruptcy Basics: September Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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 NOW

Topics and types of FAQ covered in this 30 minute show:

  • What happens to a judgment from an uninsured car accident if I file for bankruptcy?
  • Can a 19 year old student loan for $12,000.00 be included in bankruptcy?
  • I am waiting for an insurance proceeds check, will  I be able to keep the money?
  • Can I include a judgment that garnishes my wages when I file for 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.

Visit our Chicago Bankruptcy Site online for more about the firm. You may also contact Joseph Wrobel for more information at (312) 781-0996 and by e-mail at JosephWrobel@ChicagoBankruptcy.com

 

Discharging medical bills in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy: Don and Jessica’s story

Unpaid medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy. Nearly two million people a year people file for bankruptcy because there is no way they will ever be able to pay their large medical debts. Next to medical bills, credit card debt and unpaid mortgages are the other leading factors causing people to seek bankruptcy protection and often a discharge of those large and growing balances. Accidents and chronic illness can come from nowhere and wipe people out financially, despite years of savings and financial planning.

Jessica always did everything right and was blind sighted by a fall during a routine medical visit.

Two years ago, Jessica (she’s a hypothetical person) went to the doctor for a routine mammogram. She was 43 years old and in perfect health until the technician operating the medical equipment made a mistake and possibly causing Jessica to stumble and fall backward, hitting her head on a table as she fell.

A week before her routine visit to the doctor, Jessica was promoted at her marketing firm and was looking forward to going out to celebrate with some friends. She never left the hospital.

Jessica’s husband Don arrived to find his wife of 18 years in the ICU, unconscious. Fearing the worst, Don was thrilled to see Jessica wake up and say his name. Confused, she asked him why she was in the hospital. He explained that she had fallen during the mammogram. She did not remember. He thought nothing of it assumed trauma blocked the memory.

Jessica suffered short term memory loss and was unable to do her job. She tried going to work but kept making mistakes and her firm had to let her go due to her injuries. Unable to earn an income, Jessica’s ongoing therapy for her head injury sent her in and out of doctors offices and hospitals because things started getting worse and other symptoms suggested there was more going on than the doctors thought.

Don and Jessica saved for retirement and her accident wiped them out.

When Jessica’s insurance was maxed out and she had trouble getting new insurance at the time, and Don didn’t have any insurance through his carpet installation job. She and Don turned to their savings. It went quickly. Don picked up extra labor work and barely had time to see his sick wife. Needing to pay up front for certain procedures and medications, other bills were not getting paid. Don’s phone was constantly ringing with collectors on the other end, or the hospital, every 10th phone call. Don no longer recognized his life.

Jessica started getting better and although she couldn’t go back to work due to permanent memory loss problems, her other motor skill and respiratory symptoms were improved. Trying to move forward with their new life together was difficult, especially when Don could barely afford to take them out for dinner.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is Don and Jessica’s best option.

Jessica learned that she qualified for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. She also learned that even though she would not be liable for the medical bills after discharge, the collectors would go after Don for those payments. Jessica and Don are going to file a joint husband and wife bankruptcy petition so the massive medical bills go away for good, for both of them. Worried about the incredible payments, Don didn’t even realize that filing for bankruptcy will also stop the phone from ringing off the hook. The automatic stay provision will prevent anyone from contacting him or taking action to collect certain debts, such as the medical bills for anything incurred prior to the filing date of the bankruptcy.

Jessica also worked it out with the hospital so that she could continue treating with her regular physician and found a private program to help with her medication. Don and Jessica are hopeful that they will have many good years together and they are adjusting well to their new life after the accident. A lawsuit has been pending for over a year and they are hopeful a settlement will help them pay for future expenses if and when Don can retire. A situation that seemed hopeless is starting to look up.

Even tragedy can be overcome with a sense of purpose, some planning and the right professional help.

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’s Facebook page and Follow Joseph Wrobel. Ltd. on Twitter. If you need immediate legal assistance, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. by calling (312) 781-0996 to talk to an attorney today.

 

Ask an anonymous bankruptcy question for our radio show!

Do you have questions about bankruptcy and have a specific situation that causes you to believe bankruptcy protection might save the day? Once a month, Joseph Wrobel appears on the Chicago Bankruptcy Update, an Internet radio show/podcast as he teaches basic bankruptcy concepts while answering real questions about bankruptcy from real people.

If you have a bankruptcy law question for attorney Joseph Wrobel, you can send him an e-mail at josephwrobel@chicagobankruptcy.com and he will read it on an upcoming episode of the Chicago Bankruptcy Update. Please write “radio show question” in the subject line so your question can be included.

Important Disclaimer:

Please understand a few disclaimers: (1) answers to questions read on the show do not constitute legal advice; (2) asking a question to be answered does not create an attorney/client relationships; (3) the radio show is for education and entertainment purposes only.

Joseph Wrobel takes his time to appear on the Chicago Bankruptcy Update for many reasons, mostly to help you, the person who may need bankruptcy information, gets the real information you need without a “sales pitch.” Joseph Wrobel has been an active bankruptcy attorney for more than 40 years and has seen just about everything. As a result, he quickly thinks of the types of situations that are challenging in bankruptcy law.

Joseph Wrobel is changing how people look at bankruptcy. Do not be afraid of taking control.

Attorney Wrobel also knows that too many people are afraid to admit financial defeat, afraid to talk to a lawyer, and afraid of losing their home, car and possessions. There are many instances in which people will not lose everything, will not have to worry, and will be able to start over fresh, without all the debt and harassment from creditors.

If you want to stop the phone calls, wage garnishments and get a better financial attitude, take Attorney Wrobel’s advice and ask the real questions so you can get the real answers. The only bad questions are the questions never asked.

We hope you join us and share your hypothetical question for an upcoming radio show episode.

At Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., we all hope you enjoy our monthly radio show and share it with other people you know might be too shy or ashamed to ask for help. Together we can make a difference.

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.

Bankruptcy Basics: August Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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 NOW

Topics and types of FAQ covered in this 30 minute show:

  • How are lawsuits already scheduled for mediation affected by a bankruptcy filing?
  • Can I easily find information on the web regarding my bankruptcy case and dispositions?
  • After I receive my bankruptcy discharge letter, how do the reporting agencies know?
  • Can you file bankruptcy if you have been out of work with no income for two years?

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.

Visit our Chicago Bankruptcy Site online for more about the firm. You may also contact Joseph Wrobel for more information at (312) 781-0996 and by e-mail at JosephWrobel@ChicagoBankruptcy.com

Bankruptcy Basics: June Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Bankruptcy FAQs

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 THE PODCAST

Topics and types of FAQ covered in this 30 minute show:

  • What happens to additional debt incurred during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy;
  • How to address incorrect or updated  amounts listed in the bankruptcy petition;
  • What happens with auto accident and injuries and Chapter 7 bankruptcy;
  • How are 401K contributions addressed in 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.

Visit our Chicago Bankruptcy Site online for more about the firm. You may also contact Joseph Wrobel for more information at (312) 781-0996 and by e-mail at JosephWrobel@ChicagoBankruptcy.com

Credit scores and bankruptcy: make a plan to boost your credit rating

Filing a petition for bankruptcy relief is not usually the first thing people consider when trying improving their credit score. In this short article, several financial factors are considered that can help you make sense of credit score issues and how you can work to build good credit after bankruptcy. First, let us look at how credit scores (“FICO Scores”) are calculated. The most important factor is your payment history and whether you have paid your credit accounts on time. In a close second place, the amounts owed on credit accounts, and if you are maxed out on credit cards, that can hurt you. The length of your credit history, types of credit you are using and how new your credit score is are three additional factors. For more information on FICO Score calculations, please visit this FICO Score site.

The ability to make timely payments on reasonable amounts of debt is important to a positive FICO Score. If you do not earn enough income to pay your credit cards on time, every time, you are risking damage to your credit. Likewise, if the debt amounts are so high that your income will only allow you to make minimum payments, your credit score will suffer. If you take advantage of bankruptcy protection and eliminate credit card debts you cannot pay, you will likely be able to better pay your regular bills, like car and housing payments on time. Nevertheless, if you file a petition for bankruptcy protection, will that affect your credit score?

It is tough to say how much a bankruptcy will affect the credit score because there are so many variables in the equation. Notwithstanding, FICO released information in 2010 regarding credit mistakes and their affect on credit scores. The hypothetical scenarios FICO used showed the higher credit scores were more affected by bankruptcy. For example, a 780 score could be reduced up to 240 points where there were only 150 points taken off a 680 score. At the end of the day, most scores ended up around 540. The reality is most of the people who seek bankruptcy protection already have challenged credit and their scores will only improve after bankruptcy reduces the amount of debt and monthly bills.

With less monthly bills to pay, people who took advantage of bankruptcy discharge and reorganization using Chapters 7 or 13 have an easier time paying bills on time. When you pay bills on time, the most important factor in your FICO score, your score will slowly but surely increase. Most professionals will tell you that the bankruptcy is not as important financially, as what you do with your credit and bills after the bankruptcy.

After bankruptcy, rebuilding credit is easy if you work hard and pay attention to how the system works. Secured credit cards, credit unions and some smart budgeting makes it very possible to establish credit after bankruptcy and buy a home and a car. For more information please read our blog article, Credit Unions: Offering members opportunities to easily and affordably earn positive credit scores.

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.

Jack’s story: When bad things happen to good people and they make it through bankruptcy

When to take advantage of Chapter 7 and 13 is circumstantial. Here are a few things we hear from clients who tell us how and when they decided to move forward towards a fresh financial start.
When to take advantage of Chapter 7 and 13 is circumstantial. Here are a few things we hear from clients who tell us how and when they decided to move forward towards a fresh financial start.

A friend suffering from financial troubles and bad credit recently shared their story about his experiences shortly after his bankruptcy discharge. For this article, we will call our friend “Jack.” He was impressed that during his bankruptcy case, the only people who knew his financial woes were his listed creditors and his immediate family he told about the bankruptcy. When Jack told his ex-wife, she thanked him and said she had heard of ex-spouses using bankruptcy as a tool to avoid child support. Jack always put his kids first and would take extra jobs if he needed to support them. Jack really is a good guy and worked hard to save money and do things right.

Jack worked hard at his job in the career services department at a local college and he felt very lucky to have a good job during the economic troubles that started in 2008. Even though Jack worked to help graduating students and young alumni find jobs, his own position was in jeopardy and he had no idea. He worked in a satellite location of a larger university whose board of directors voted to approve a resolution to sell the location where Jack worked due to a consistent decrease in student enrollment. At first it looked like Jack would be moved into a similar position at another location but it did not pan out.

After the severance ran out and Jack started dipping into his 401k to pay the mortgage and bills because he couldn’t find another job, other than a lesser paid position. Jack accepted an hourly administrative position that offered benefits working at an insurance company. The money was less and his child support was reduced but he was happy to be working again after being unemployed for over a year while he depleted all his cash reserves.

Out of cash and facing bills he couldn’t pay, Jack was unsure how he was going to keep everything paid and still have time to see his kids when he had visitation every other weekend. His second priority after family was his home, the one in which he grew up and was on an acre lot in an area that became built up with subdivisions over the past few decades.

When he first looked into bankruptcy, Jack felt defeated. He started to adjust his expectations to prepare for his new reality. Whether it is fair or not, Jack was resolute to keep a positive attitude and work hard to continue on a smaller budget.

At the office of his bankruptcy attorney Jack just about fell out of his chair when he learned, he may be able to keep his house and a few prized possessions by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as opposed to a complete discharge under Chapter 7. The Chapter 13 reorganization plan allowed Jack to discharge a portion of his debts and make structured payments to the trustee so he could come up for air.

Since the bankruptcy, Jack found a better job in his field and was able to save more money to spend with his kids and his new fiancée. The bankruptcy laws are there to help people like Jack who get slammed by life through no fault of their own. If you know someone like Jack, we can help them at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd.,

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’s Facebook page and Follow Joseph Wrobel. Ltd. on Twitter. If you need immediate legal assistance, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. by calling (312) 781-0996 to talk to an attorney.

June 1st fee increase at the Bankruptcy Courts

New Bankruptcy Fees to Take Effect June 1
New Bankruptcy Fees to Take Effect June 1

Periodically the filing fees in U.S. federal and state courts increase. The Bankruptcy Court will be increasing its fees for filing and general services. The new rates take effect June 1, 2014. If you are on the fence regarding filing a petition for bankruptcy relief, now may be a good time to get the ball rolling if you want to avoid the fee increase, which is not very much money, but at the end of the day we all like to save a little jingle for our pockets.

If you want to learn about what we do with clients in our free initial consultation you can listen to our upcoming podcast specifically about those final decisions to file and what happens when you come meet us at one of our offices.

Click/Tap Here to listen live at 1 pm on Tuesday the 27th of May or anytime afterwards on demand.

Topics and types of FAQ covered in this 30 minute show:

  • How to prepare to come in and meet with an attorney for an initial consultation;
  • What to expect to discuss with the attorney and what you will need to do next;
  • The attorney’s role in the process of meeting for a bankruptcy consultation;
  • What next steps a person can take to prepare to file for bankruptcy protection.

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“New Bankruptcy Fees to Take Effect June 1”

Several bankruptcy fees will increase on June 1, under amendments to the Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule that were approved in March by the Judicial Conference of the United States. The scheduled changes include:

    • A $57 increase to the adversary filing fee in bankruptcy proceedings, from $293 to $350. The new fee will be equivalent to civil filing fees in federal district courts.
    • A new, differentiated administrative fee structure will be assessed at filing in every bankruptcy case. Currently $46 in all cases, the administrative fee will be $75 for cases filed under Chapters 7, 12 and 13, and $550 for cases filed under Chapters 9, 11 and 15.

The Judicial Conference also approved separate administrative fees when married couples divide a bankruptcy filing into two cases, often because a divorce or separation occurs while a case is being adjudicated.

The schedule for the new rate structure, effective June 1, is available here. The existing schedule, valid through May 31, is available here.

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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’s Facebook page and Follow Joseph Wrobel. Ltd. on Twitter. If you need immediate legal assistance, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. by calling (312) 781-0996 to talk to an attorney.

Bankruptcy Basics: What Happens at the Free Initial Consultation

What may seem to be the simplest of cases turns out to be more complicated than a client can imagine. Filing a bankruptcy on your own is pennywise and pound foolish. The peace of mind of knowing the case is done properly from the outset is worth far more than the cost of the attorney fees. Our consultations are always free.

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 NOW

Topics and types of FAQ covered in this 30 minute show:

  • How to prepare to come in and meet with an attorney for an initial consultation;
  • What to expect to discuss with the attorney and what you will need to do next;
  • The attorney’s role in the process of meeting for a bankruptcy consultation;
  • What next steps a person can take to prepare to file for bankruptcy protection.

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.