Tag Archives: automatic stay

How to Stop Wage Garnishment with Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney Joseph Wrobel

What is a Wage Garnishment and How Does it Work?

A wage garnishment is a court-ordered process requiring your employer to withhold money from your paycheck and direct that money to pay a court-ordered money judgment. When you owe someone money or do not pay bills, the creditor can sue you and get a money judgment. Then they ask the court to enter a wage garnishment order, usually accompanying a withholding order that is sent directly to the payroll or human resources department where you work.

Nobody wants their wage garnished and their paycheck reduced. People worry they won’t be able to pay the bills on less money. People worry their boss will find out and hold the garnishment against them. People worry about being passed up for promotions, or they worry about being fired.

People ask Chicago bankruptcy lawyer Joseph Wrobel what they can do to stop wage garnishment. Bankruptcy will stop wage garnishment proceedings because the automatic stay prohibits creditors from taking any collection activity against you during the bankruptcy.

Joe Wrobel is the Chicago bankruptcy lawyer who can stop your wage garnishment. Call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., today at (312) 781-0996. Stop wage garnishment before or after it happens.

Check out these testimonials from people who loved their bankruptcy with Joseph Wrobel, Ltd.

How to Stop Wage Garnishment of 15 Percent of Your Gross Wages

Chicago bankruptcy lawyer Joseph Wrobel knows you are concerned about your monthly budget. A wage garnishment is going to make it even harder to pay the bills. In Illinois, creditors can take up to 15 percent of your gross wages.

Stop wage garnishment of 15 percent of your grow wages by filing bankruptcy before the wage garnishment is initiated by your creditors. In Illinois, creditors have to sue you and obtain a money judgment before they can petition the court for a wage garnishment. This means that you have time before the wage garnishment takes effect.

As soon as your Chicago bankruptcy lawyer files your bankruptcy petition, your rights take effect, including the automatic stay. An important right under bankruptcy law, the automatic stay stops wage garnishment immediately because that would be collection activity while the person is in bankruptcy, which is prohibited and a violation of federal law.

How Long Can the Automatic Stay Provision Stop a Garnishment

When you meet with Chicago bankruptcy lawyer Joseph Wrobel he will explain how the automatic stay works and how long it will protect you from any collection activity. At your initial meeting with Joe Wrobel, you will be given a roadmap of what will happen from the beginning until the end of your bankruptcy. You will learn that the great thing about filing a bankruptcy petition is that you get immediate relief from bill collectors, lawsuits and wage garnishments.

Automatic stay protection in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lasts until your Chapter 7 discharge and the final court date when your bankruptcy case ends and is closed. Likely the creditor will not have anything to garnish your wages for because the underlying debt was probably discharged in the bankruptcy case.

Automatic stay protection in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will also help you live free of collector harassment while you get caught on your bills and finances over three to five years. Most people who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy are saving their homes from foreclosure, but they are also saving themselves from wage garnishments. Another example would be a person who wants to stop wage garnishment and discharge the underlying debt, but that person does not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because they make too much money.

Joseph Wrobel can meet with you and let you know whether you can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy depending on your finances and situation. Read our How Do I Start page on our website. Call today (312) 781-0996.

Check out our many locations, there is one near you!

Discharging the Source of the Garnishment in Bankruptcy

Chicago bankruptcy lawyer Joseph Wrobel can advise you about your rights and options under the bankruptcy laws for Chapter 7 and for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For example, you may have questions about what debts are dischargeable and which are not.

While in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the standard full wipeout of dischargeable debt, you can get rid of credit card debt, money judgments, hospital bills and other debt. Meanwhile, child support, DUI personal injury suits, student loans, income tax and debts not listed in your bankruptcy are not dischargeable.

A creditor can also challenge your request to discharge certain debts when they challenge your request to discharge them. For example, if you max out a credit card and incur debts just before a bankruptcy, with the intention of never paying them, it can be considered fraud on the court if you ask to discharge those debts in bankruptcy.

Call Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer Joseph Wrobel to Stop Wage Garnishment and Learn Your Bankrutpcy Rights Today (312) 781-0996

Joseph Wrobel has been helping Chicago and suburban residents get a fresh start and get out of debt for decades. Mr. Wrobel has seen just about everything and he knows how to handle even the most complex financial situations. When you hire Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., you can put yourself in the best financial position after your bankruptcy. Whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, you and your future credit, buying and borrowing power are in good hands when you hire Joe Wrobel.

You can learn all kinds of things about bankruptcy cases and the common questions people have when you start reviewing our blog articles and podcast interview discussions where we answer real questions.

Had Enough Debt? Bankruptcy Options: Chapter 7 & Chapter 13

When Good People Fall Behind We Have Bankruptcy Options: Chapter 7 & Chapter 13

Car accidents happen when we least expect it. Hospital bills continue coming in the mail and it seems you owe more and more people every day. When you cannot pay your bills, your credit can suffer. You may have to use Bankruptcy to wipe out that debt to restore your good credit rating. It can take some time but it’s worth it.

Most families rely on at least two income sources to pay the mortgage or rent, and bills every month. The true cost of living in Chicago is significant. How long could you continue without a paycheck for a month or more?

You try to work with creditors and they get even more aggressive. They are not as sympathetic to your tales of woe, they hear it day in and out.  More and more people use one of their bankruptcy options like Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

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

ABOUT CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY

 

ABOUT CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY

The Stress of Paying Minimums and Barely Making It

The cost of living rising faster than wages makes it more difficult than ever to get ahead. Even with an adjusted expectation of the American dream, it seems impossible to save enough to get ahead. With added interest on unpaid debts, the balances due become ridiculous and people know they’ll never pay it off. Some ignore some bill collectors and eventually the calls stop. Then one day a new company picks up the debt and the phone with your number.

A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Eliminate Your Debts. A discharge applies qualified debts that you can eliminate in full when you qualify. To qualify, you have to pass the Means Test. Joseph Wrobel, Limited can help explain it all.

Or Use Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to Keep Your Home, Car and Reorganize Portions of Debt. Chapter 13 is the “reorganization” bankruptcy option to repay a portion of your debts over a three to five year period.

Creditor and Bill Collectors Endless Harassing Behavior

Yes, there are debt collection laws governing collection activity for debts owed for credit accounts, utilities, loans, mortgages, rent, and other financial obligations. For example, a bill collector is not allowed to call you during certain hours. There are also opt-out provisions and written communications you can send directing how you may be contacted within your rights under the law.

Stop the bill collectors with the Automatic Stay. Bankruptcy options with Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 include the Automatic Stay. Any bill collector or creditor who pursues collection activity against you during a bankruptcy violates federal law. They can’t call you, they can’t write to you, and they can’t garnish your wages or seize your bank account. You are free from creditors and bill collectors and their endless harassing behavior during either a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

When is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Better Than Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

If you don’t qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy you probably qualify for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. To get a Chapter 7 you must qualify through what is called the Means Test, which involves a calculation of assets, debts and income sources.

Read our article: Qualifying for Bankruptcy in Illinois: The Means Test

Keep certain assets, property, using Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. You may have inherited family heirlooms, cars, property, and other assets and they are valuable to you. Sometimes you can’t put a value on memories and sentimental possessions.

Do I Need to Have Enough Debt to File for Bankruptcy?

People ask me if they owe enough to qualify for Bankruptcy. You do not need to be severely behind or have a mountain of debt a mile high to qualify for a Bankruptcy. Call Joseph Wrobel, Limited at (312) 781-0996 to learn more about the process.

Means testing is what we use at Joseph Wrobel, Limited, to qualify you for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. When you come and meet with us, we can tell you whether we can put you in Chapter 7 or 13 and then you decide which bankruptcy options fit your needs.

What Happens After Bankruptcy, Will I Get Good Credit Again?

Lending people money is good for the economy and business growth, and after bankruptcy, you are a better lending risk because you have less or no debt. Get a secured credit card because you put the deposit money up front so you are automatically accepted. Use only a portion of the balance available on the new credit card and pay it down to a lower amount just before the end of the closing date. We can help you with all kinds of credit rebuilding tips right here on the Joseph Wrobel, Limited website.

Read our article: Good Credit After Bankruptcy

Credit rebuilding after Bankruptcy is easy and rewarding. Whether you use your right to either of your bankruptcy options in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 you are going to be in a better position to rebuild your credit after your bankruptcy is discharged, however, you file. People often say the anticipation of rebuilding their credit was worse than actually doing it.

Why Use Joseph Wrobel, Limited for Your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Joe knows Bankruptcy. For over 40 years he has helped people be able to sleep through the night again. Over many years, men and women and their families from all over Chicagoland have come to us seeking help for their financial woes. We know that bad financial situations happen to good people, despite their best efforts and hard work.

Call us to find out if bankruptcy makes sense to you. We review your finances to help you understand all your options. At Joseph Wrobel, Limited we want you to be the one to make the decision whether to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

Call Joseph Wrobel, Limited in Chicago at (312) 781-0996 and learn more about your Bankruptcy options, Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 and protect yourself and your family.

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.

What Everybody Should Know About Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Has Unique Advantages Over Chapter 7

When you go to Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. to talk about your rights and options in the Bankruptcy Code you will learn about Chapter 13 bankruptcy and all how it solves the problem of limitations you may face with Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The main differences between Chapter 7 (discharge) and Chapter 13 (reorganization) are: 1) The total amount of debt discharged versus repaid; 2) Immediate discharge versus three to five years of debt repayment; 3) Chapter 13 is an option if you don’t qualify for Chapter 7; 4) You want to keep your home and certain assets, protecting them from sale.

The bankruptcy code is complex and applies specifically to everyone’s unique financial situation. Whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or 13 can be determined when you meet with a consumer bankruptcy attorney at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., and your specific financial details are properly analyzed.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Stops Bill Collectors

When you file a petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you immediately get protection with the automatic stay provision of the bankruptcy code. The automatic stay immediately prohibits most collectors from continuing activities to collect a debt. Therefore, during your reorganization bankruptcy you should not receive phone calls and mail from collectors.

The automatic stay is especially useful if you are facing eviction, foreclosure, losing basic utilities, losing unemployment benefits, being found in contempt for failure to pay child support or losing your job because of wage garnishments.

The consumer bankruptcy attorneys and staff at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd can explain how you can stop bill collectors in their tracks while you get back on track financially. Read more articles about Chapter 13 bankruptcy and the automatic stay provision on our website, ChicagoBankruptcy.com, tag archives: automatic stay.

Keep Your House and Get Caught Up on the Mortgage with Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 and 13 are different as they address issues of asset ownership and debt repayment. Where in Chapter 7 you must qualify for a bankruptcy discharge of debts and obligations, there is no real mechanism to help you keep a house in which you have equity. Also, if you make too much money and do not qualify for Chapter 7, you can still file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to pay back a portion of your debts over time.

With Chapter 13, you can stop the foreclosure process and keep your house while you catch up on your mortgage payments and get current. Some exceptions may apply where you have previously filed and dismissed bankruptcy cases, so it is important to talk to your experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., to find out your rights and options in the bankruptcy code to get you a fresh financial reboot.

Take Three to Five Years to Pay Back Portions of Your Debts with Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Financial emergencies can strike anyone at any time. When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy you can agree to a debt repayment plan, for an agreed portion of your debts owed (depends on your specific income and finances) over three to five years. The longer term for repayment afforded by Chapter 13 allows people to catch up on missed mortgage and car loan payments, for example, while they focus on paying off priority non-dischargeable debts, the ones that do not go away with bankruptcy.

Call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. and Learn How Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Solve Your Financial Problems

When you call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. you can make an appointment to meet with an attorney in one of our multiple Chicagoland city and suburban office locations and learn where you stand. Joseph Wrobel wants you to take control of your finances, so you can decide if filing for a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy makes sense is valuable to you. For more information about Chapter 13 bankruptcy call us at (312) 781-0996.

Why people chose Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Why people chose Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Chicago bankruptcy attorney Joseph Wrobel is often asked why people chose Chapter 13 bankruptcy. His frequent answer is, “It depends.” After the initial meeting with your bankruptcy attorney you should be advised whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Your bankruptcy attorney asks for certain documents and your financial statements, so they can analyze your financial status using the bankruptcy means test. The means test is a rather complicated mathematical process your bankruptcy attorney uses to determine whether your income and finances allow you to qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

What is the difference between Chapter 7 and 13?

When most people think about bankruptcy they are thinking about Chapter 7, the full discharge and wipeout of all the bills and debts allowed to be discharged in bankruptcy. You must qualify for Chapter 7 as set forth in the means test your attorney will calculate. If you make too much money, you might not qualify for Chapter 7 discharge and you can use the option of Chapter 13 instead. While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a relatively quick discharge of the qualified debts you can eliminate, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is more like a repayment bankruptcy, where you pay back a portion of your debts by making a fixed payment to the bankruptcy trustee once a month for up to five years.

If you have too much equity in your home, have assets of special value like an inherited collector automobile, or simply make too much money to qualify for Chapter 7, you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Getting immediate relief from creditors and bill collectors

As soon as either a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy petition is filed, you are protected under the Automatic Stay provision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The Automatic Stay is the law that prohibits any of your creditors or collection agencies from making any efforts to contact you during your bankruptcy. If you have a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your creditors cannot call you for the entire term of the bankruptcy, even if it is the entire five-year period while you make monthly payments to the trustee who pays the creditors.

Garnishments are also stopped by the Automatic Stay when you file a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. The threat of garnishment alone is enough for many people to decide to file for bankruptcy.

For more about “Automatic Stay,” read our article, “Examples of the automatic stay and how it operates in bankruptcy law.”

Taking up to five years to repay your debts under a Chapter 13 plan

When people desire time to get caught up on their bills, a five-year Chapter 13 repayment plan can mean financial freedom and peace and quiet when the collectors stop calling. Depending on your finances and the results of your means test, your bankruptcy attorney may be able to get you on a plan where you only repay a portion of your debts.

Keep your home and your car with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Do you have a great interest rate or mortgage deal you don’t want to lose? Chapter 13 allows you to keep your home and your equity while you repay the debts and bills you were otherwise unable to pay. This also applies to your car. If you have car payments, they can be included in the monthly payments to the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee over your five-year plan. Of course, if you want a shorter plan, that may be an option for you.

When people find out about the benefits of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, they often wish they had known so long ago. To find out more about Chapter 13, call Joseph Wrobel, Limited.  

Why people chose Chapter 13 bankruptcy
Helping people get out of debt with dignity and respect for over 40 years.

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. (312) 781-0996.

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

July 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 you, and when should you include a title loan in your bankruptcy filing?
  • If you owe money to a business that files bankruptcy, do you still need to pay?
  • When you need to file bankruptcy and get a new car, what is the best plan?
  • What does someone need to do to prepare for a bankruptcy case?
  • Are Social Security and pensions safe from creditors when you 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.

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.

Can my college transcripts really be withheld if I owe the school money?

At various times in life we may be asked to produce our college transcripts for a new job or an application to a program or further education. This issue arose in a question covered in the Chicago Bankruptcy Update podcast series where real questions are asked and answered by Chicago bankruptcy attorney, Joseph Wrobel. The individual seeking guidance needed a copy of their college transcript and the school refused their request, stating that an outstanding amount of $3,000 was still owing for tuition.

In this case the individual seeking their college transcripts filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and received a discharge. The short answer to the question as to whether the school may withhold the transcripts is a function of the automatic stay provision in the Bankruptcy Code.

When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay provisions protect you from collection activity.

The automatic stay takes effect when the petition for bankruptcy is filed with the bankruptcy court. The automatic stay provision prohibits creditors from engaging in collection activity while a bankruptcy case is active and until the case is over. While Chapter 7 discharge cases can be completed in a matter of months, a Chapter 13 reorganization case, involving payments to the trustee to catch up on debts, can be structured with three to five years of scheduled payments, thus the automatic stay is effective for a longer period of time.

The school’s refusal to tender the college transcripts is a collection activity. If the student does not pay the outstanding tuition, the school may refuse to offer the transcript. If, however, the request for the transcripts is made during a period when the automatic stay is active, the school is prohibited from collection activities and would be required to turn over the transcript.

You may be able to obtain a discharge of your duty to pay a debt, but the creditor may still want payment and in this case, can continue withholding the transcript, even after bankruptcy.

As soon as the bankruptcy case were to end and the automatic stay naturally terminates, the school could resume the position that they will not tender the transcripts until payment is made. Understand that the bankruptcy discharge may have the effect of terminating the school’s legal right to collect the debt, the debt still exists insofar as the school may still want the debt repaid before they tender the transcript.

A word to the wise: it is a good idea to keep copies of academic transcripts just in case a situation like this were to happen to you. While most people never plan to file for bankruptcy protection, financial emergencies and other bad things can happen to good people.

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!

 

Taking the sting out of bankruptcy: You may be surprised how liberating it can be

There are many people who consider filing for bankruptcy for a while before they finally decide it is time to go ahead. Some of the common fears people have is that everyone will find out about the bankruptcy and shun them or talk behind their back. In all likelihood, the people you think may be doing so well may also be considering a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. It is important to remember that a bankruptcy does not mean failure – a bankruptcy means you are smart enough to take advantage of the law to protect you and give you a fresh start. People may be hesitant to file for bankruptcy because a friend told them incorrect information about the trustee coming to take and sell everything they own; this is a false myth. Credit scores are another concern many have, and they fear they will never get credit again, when in reality many lenders may look more favorably on you after you no longer are buried under a mountain of debt. While it is not the most common topic of conversation, many will tell you the relief they experienced after they filed for bankruptcy and got the mountain of debt and creditors off their back.

People are not likely to find out about your bankruptcy unless you tell them.

In years past, there may have been a more negative stigma to bankruptcy and small town newspapers published names and cases, possibly for the benefit of any creditors and providing them notice. In reality today, there are so many bankruptcy filings, especially in major cities like Chicago, that the newspaper would be massive if bankruptcy filings were posted. Unless you decide to tell people, your friends and neighbors will never know you filed for bankruptcy protection. There is a federal bankruptcy website where you can look up your own bankruptcy information and it will appear on your credit report and on background checks. Do now worry however, as more people have bankruptcies than you may realize and they still find new jobs, buy homes and cars.

It is not an immoral or unethical decision to take advantage of financial laws like bankruptcy.

Say you are sued by a creditor and they obtain a court judgement against you for $50,000. Yes, you can list that money judgment in your bankruptcy and wave goodbye to paying that off. For many people, the threat of a judgment being collected by wage garnishments and asset seizures is enough for people to decide to file for bankruptcy. Some people worry that the judge or court may be mad at you, but that is of no concern. A money judgment is just a court order to pay someone. The obligation to pay a debt can be discharged in bankruptcy – the whole point is to eliminate debts you cannot afford to pay so you can have a fresh financial start.

You can keep your car, house and belongings despite filing for bankruptcy.

There is a qualifying financial test called the Means Test and a bankruptcy lawyer can review your financials and advise you whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 discharge, the traditional bankruptcy most of us think about, or a Chapter 13 reorganization, in which you can make payments to catch up on your debts over a three to five-year period. If your vehicle is financed, you can sign a reaffirmation agreement and keep making payments despite the bankruptcy. You are allowed to keep a certain amount of equity in your home and personal belongings and assets up to a certain exemption value, despite filing for bankruptcy.

One of the best things about a bankruptcy filing is that by law, the automatic stay provision of the bankruptcy laws kicks in when you file your petition for bankruptcy – creditors and collectors must stop all collection activity and they can no longer call you while you are in bankruptcy. The stress relief of the automatic stay provision alone may bring you to a major sigh of relief.

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 best credit repair options.      

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!

 

 

 

Memorial Day 2016 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 the podcast

Sample questions answered in this 30-minute show:

  • Can I convert from a Chapter 7 to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if I made the wrong filing?
  • Is there a way to stop a garnishment and get a payment plan without filing bankruptcy?
  • Will the bankruptcy trustee sell my house in order to pay off any of my debts?
  • How can I file for Chapter 7 with damaged credit and little or no student income?

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.