Tag Archives: automatic stay

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.

Chicago Bankruptcy Questions and Answers with Joseph Wrobel, December 2015

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.

Sample questions answered in this 30-minute show – click here and listen anytime

  • Can I still file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, even after I was served with a foreclosure complaint?
  • What is the pre-bankruptcy course, and why and when do I have to complete it?
  • Are there limits to the interest fees and charges I have to pay on credit card debt in Chapter 13?
  • How does reaffirmation work with loans for homes and vehicles when we want to keep them?
  • How will I be affected by my spouse’s bankruptcy filing, and do I also need to file with them?

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.

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 can save your car or truck from being repossessed or seized by creditors

It is undisputed our nation has a love for our cars, trucks, motorcycles and recreational vehicles. While they are not always assets appreciating in value, they are significant assets to many of us who rely on our cars to get to work, school, the grocery store, vacations and anywhere we want to go. As we spend money repairing and improving our cars and trucks, they become worth more to us than their fair market value. To keep our assets protected in the event of a financial emergency, the bankruptcy laws can help us keep our cars and trucks from being repossessed or lost to creditors.

Bankruptcy can stop repossession of your car or truck if you default on your auto loan.

If someone is behind on their auto loan payments, the loan servicer can take swift action to repossess vehicles. Most auto loan contracts contain provisions allowing someone to “cure” their payment default and get their car, truck or RV returned to them, even if it was already repossessed. In many cases the person on the auto loan will receive a notice from the lender that the loan is in default and the vehicle may be repossessed. Bankruptcy can stop repossession. In the event the repo-man is on his way or just recently repossessed a vehicle, the automatic stay provision of the bankruptcy code legally prevents lenders from engaging in collection activities while someone is in bankruptcy, including repossessing vehicles.

If in a bankruptcy, a car loan can be reaffirmed or the car could be exempt and kept if paid off.

In the event someone is in a bankruptcy and the car payment is current, there is an option to sign a reaffirmation agreement with the lender. This simply states that despite being in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the individual pledges to keep making payments on the vehicle so that the automatic stay provision is not a problem and the lender is assured the bankruptcy will have no adverse affect on the auto loan. If however, the vehicle is paid in full there are bankruptcy code provisions that may allow an individual to keep their vehicle, as opposed to it being sold by the bankruptcy trustee to pay off creditors. The exemption rules allow bankruptcy petitioners to keep a certain amount of value and assets without threat of seizure and sale by the trustee.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers additional protections for auto loans and vehicles.

While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates all dischargeable debts, there are income and financial requirements to meet and not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7. The alternative, Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganizes debts and allows creditors to get caught up with their obligations over a long period of time, three to five years in many cases. If the car loan is a high interest loan the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process can cause a modification of the loan and reduce the payment or length of the loan. During the Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the individual makes set monthly payments to the bankruptcy trustee who then makes payments to creditors including the holders of the car or truck loan.

The bankruptcy code can be complicated but there are many of its features a bankruptcy attorney can use to help someone keep their car, truck or recreational vehicle.

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.