Tag Archives: Can I keep my car

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.

March 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:

  • How can I keep my car when I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
  • How can my bankruptcy come off my credit reports but still shows up in public record searches?
  • What happens to my house if I file bankruptcy and my name is on the deed but not the loan?
  • I surrendered my car in my bankruptcy but the finance company hasn’t picked it up, now what?
  • What does it mean if a creditor has written off debt that’s included in my Chapter 13 plan?

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.

How is Chapter 7 different from Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

When consumer confidence is high and the financial markets are doing well it may be time to drop some of your financial dead weight to clear space for new jobs, more money and less debt. Many people have added it all up and said, “If I only had this amount of extra money, I could clear everything up and actually start getting ahead.” What do you do about those bad decisions or unfortunate situations that were not your fault, but still have a hefty price tag? When you are saddled with debt you cannot pay, you may start thinking about bankruptcy options. Do not be dissuaded by the anti-bankruptcy ads on television, paid for by debt repayment and restructuring companies. Most of them do not get people the fresh start they need to really be successful. If you want to get out of debt and do it right, there are two consumer bankruptcy options for you, Chapter 7 discharge and Chapter 13 restructuring.

What are the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy. When you qualify for a Chapter 7 liquidation (or think of complete discharge) you can literally wipe the slate clean. Note that only certain debts may be discharged, such as court judgments against you, credit card debts and loans you cannot pay. You cannot however get rid of child support obligations, student loans or certain tax or municipal fines.

Chapter 13 is a reorganization bankruptcy. If you do not qualify for a Chapter 7 discharge, you may be able to file a Chapter 13 petition for bankruptcy. You will be able to repay a portion of your debts, every month, over time. In a Chapter 13 you get to keep all your property, including non-exempt assets. When you have the income to pay debts, but need some time to spread it out and get caught up, a Chapter 13 can be your best path to financial freedom.

Note that when you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the Automatic Stay provision kicks in which prevents bill collectors from doing anything to collect a debt while you are in bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13, you pay the Bankruptcy Trustee every month and they make the negotiated payments on your debts. For people who want to keep their house and other valuable assets and still get bankruptcy relief, Chapter 13 is a great thing.

How do I know whether I qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

To qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and get a full discharge of qualified debts, you must show financial need and hardship through a means test calculation. Your bankruptcy attorney can do the math and let you know whether you qualify. In the event, you do not qualify for a Chapter 7, you can always file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. Let’s say you make just a little bit too much money or have a little more equity in your home you want to preserve, the Chapter 13 will still help you and you will repay only a portion of your debts over time.

How long will a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy take to be completed?

A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can be filed and discharged within several months. Your bankruptcy attorney collects all the necessary information, files the petition, appears with you at the Notice to Creditors Meeting, after which time you wait to see if any of your creditors file any objections to your bankruptcy. In a few months, you have a full discharge. In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you can get caught up on missed payments and non-dischargeable debts over a three to five-year period.

What steps can I take to make sure I have good credit after my bankruptcy case?

When preparing for credit worthiness after bankruptcy, remember that the only thing that matters is what you do with your finances after the bankruptcy. Your credit score determines how risky it may be to lend you money or credit. To reduce that risk, many companies offer secured credit cards. Anyone can get a secured credit card by paying a deposit of $200. If you never pay the bill, you forfeit your deposit. Without a bunch of missed monthly payments, there is nothing to negatively affect your credit score. Keep up with the secured card and you will start receiving regular credit card offers in no time. Buy a new car or a new home in a handful of years after a bankruptcy. There are many people who tell success stories about the new opportunities they seized after getting out from behind the eight ball.

If you have a question about any of the bankruptcy details mentioned in this article, it costs you nothing to call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. and find out what bankruptcy law may mean to your financial future.

About us: Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., works with clients to find out if they qualify for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, and their options and rights under the law. The firm will also advise and assist clients with questions and concerns about the collectors and their rights to pursue you.

Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start.

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

 

PODCAST: September 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 this podcast interview anytime.

Sample questions answered in this 30-minute show:

  • Can I stop a debt consolidation and file bankruptcy instead of continuing to make payments?
  • As a foreign resident in the U.S., can I also file for bankruptcy protection without being citizen?
  • Can I file for bankruptcy to discharge personal tax liability to the state in which I live?
  • I am facing an eviction and worried about the money I may owe, should I file for bankruptcy?
  • Can I file for bankruptcy if a creditor threatens to revive a money judgement against me?

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.

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.

 

 

 

Chicago bankruptcy questions and answers with Joseph Wrobel, September 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. 

Click/tap here to listen to the podcast now!

Topics covered in this 30 minute show:

  • What type of debts does a bankruptcy eliminate, and what debts will I have to keep?
  • How long does a debt need to exist to include it in my bankruptcy filing?
  • Are there any special rules in bankruptcy for home owners association dues?
  • How soon can I file for bankruptcy if I need to use the bankruptcy laws more than once?

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 website 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: February Bankruptcy FAQs Part 1 of 2

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.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST NOW

Topics covered in this 30 minute show:

  • How much debt do I need to have to file for bankruptcy and what does it cost?
  • If I have a money judgment entered against me can it be removed in bankruptcy?
  • What happens to medical debts from one state in another if I file for bankruptcy?
  • How does bankruptcy affect my taxes, since I received a form 1099 from a collector?

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 or contact Joseph Wrobel for more information at (312) 781-0996.

Planning a bankruptcy in 2015? Time to get things in order.

Many people who make the decision to file a petition for bankruptcy have been thinking about it for a while. In most households, a series of life and financial events usually cause an inability to keep up with the payments on houses, cars, credit cards and so on. There are a few “last straws” that prompt people to file for bankruptcy. Wage garnishments and home foreclosures are common events that cause an individual person or married couple to declare bankruptcy in either a Chapter 7 discharge or a Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy.

  1. Measuring the credibility of collector threats;

Debt collectors have very convincing threats they can use to coerce you into making a payment on a debt you owe them, regardless whether you can afford to pay them. If paying a credit card, for example, means you will be without food or power, you might not be able to afford to pay them. If the amount you owe is not significant a collector might simply call you forever. They might also sue you. Remember that large credit card companies have collectors with attorneys on file it may cost them very little to get a money judgment against you. If there is a judgment against you, the creditor may get the court to seize cash in your bank account or force the sale of assets to pay the debt. A bankruptcy could stop that creditor in their tracks.

  1. Keep your cash account balances low if you are concerned with account seizures;

If you have money sitting in your checking account to pay large bills such as rent and mortgage payments, consider converting cash into money orders or otherwise safeguard it somewhere else than cash checking accounts. If your account is seized by the court in collection of a money judgment, you may have a very difficult time persuading your creditor or court to return your cash because you had it budgeted for car or housing payments.

  1. Negotiating payment plans to avoid bank account seizures;

Even though a creditor might obtain a money judgment against you for the full amount they are seeking, they might also accept monthly payments, and so long as they receive monthly payments they might refrain from seizing your cash accounts and assets.

  1. Creating all your list of debts and collectors;

Order a copy of your credit report using a website such as Credit Karma (they advertise no fee access to credit scores and reports) and compile a master list of everyone to whom you owe money. By reviewing all three credit reports (Equifax, Trans Union and Experian) you can make sure nothing slips between the cracks. A bankruptcy petition requires a complete listing of all creditors. It is a good idea to become familiar with how credit is reported so you can later watch over it and make sure there are no inaccuracies. Many people have some sort of incorrect information listed on their credit report(s).

  1. Meet with a bankruptcy attorney who can advise you about next steps;

In order to qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy it is recommended you work with a licensed bankruptcy attorney who understands how to navigate the complex system of bankruptcy qualifications such as the means test for Chapter 7. Your bankruptcy attorney can also tell you everything you need to do to prepare for your bankruptcy case. When you are looking for a bankruptcy attorney, look for an attorney or law firm primarily focused in bankruptcy law because that experience is helpful to making sure you get a fresh financial start with the best outcome from the bankruptcy case.

  1. Create a working budget during bankruptcy and stick to it after;

Many people say that the most important credit factor about bankruptcy is what you do to protect your credit after a bankruptcy. Since the automatic stay provision of your bankruptcy stops creditors from collecting from you during the case, you will be able to apportion monthly income to keep up with important payments and start saving money for the future. Setting and sticking to a strict budget will help in building discipline and living within your means so you can avoid financial problems in the future. Just as easily, as people fall into the habit of overspending, they can learn the habit of budgeted spending.

  1. Research how to challenge negative marks on credit reports.

A bankruptcy discharge may eliminate your duty to pay certain debts, but that does not automatically wipe those debts from your credit rating. Your credit score might still be low after your bankruptcy case, and it will be necessary to let the credit reporting agencies know that a debt is no longer owed and should be eliminated from the credit report. There are agencies who work with clients, for a reasonable fee, and help update the credit agencies to reflect the results of a bankruptcy discharge order.

Most of a bankruptcy client’s anxiety can occur in the time before a bankruptcy filing. Once the information is collected and the process is underway, the client can relax and prepare for financial success with a fresh start.

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. onTwitter. If you need immediate legal assistance, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. by calling (312) 781-0996 to talk to an attorney today.

Mark’s story: He thought he would be ruined filing bankruptcy before 30 years old.

Mark’s story is one not too uncommon in our current economy, in which many people are still recovering from the great recession. Among the petitioners for bankruptcy relief, we are starting to see more recent college and graduate level young adults whose expectations did not pay off. While they can rarely, if ever, discharge their student debt, the credit cards and spending habits some kids develop can really hurt their future financial lives.

Live like a student while in school or live like a student after you graduate.

When Mark applied to law school, his student loan advisor gave him some good advice he regrets not taking. She told him to only take the maximum amount you need for tuition and books and consider working part time to pay for some of your rent and living expenses. Mark was not worried, he knew he would make plenty of money after law school and he was sure he would get a great associate position at the firm he was going to work at, seeing as one of the partners belonged to the same country club as Mark’s father.

Mark’s parents told him that they would pay for college but he was on his own for graduate school. Mark was used to a better standard of living, coming from a well to do suburb, and he took out the full amount available so he could maintain his standard of living and spending. With his good grades from college Mark was sure law school would be a piece of cake, since he was smart and things always came easy to him.

The best-laid plans often can and will fall apart and blow up in your face.

There were a few surprises in store for Mark as he got settled in law school and worked through first semester with his classmates, learning how to research and write, and some of the foundation of a legal education. When it came to final exams, Mark studied hard and also hung out with a few of his friends who got finance jobs after college and also lived in the city. Mark thought he did well on his final exams. As it turned out however, he finished his first semester with a 3.00 GPA, a far stretch from his 3.85 GPA he earned in college. Law school was a bit more competitive.

Moving forward a few years, Mark did not get the job he expected, but ended up with a lower paying law clerk job. He maxed out his student loans every semester to keep up with his friends with big salaries. He graduated from law school around the middle of his class. He passed the bar exam on his third attempt. He could not find a decent paying associate attorney job to save his life. His credit card bill debt was in the clouds, along with his car payment and the unsecured loans he borrowed after maxing out on his federal loan ceiling.

Bankruptcy helped Mark eliminate some of his unsecured debt to give him a better chance at having a normal financial life.

Mark’s father refused to bail him out and Mark could not even make his minimum payments. His father actually suggested he file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and hope he learned his lesson. Mark even had trouble renting an apartment because his credit report was so bad. After his bankruptcy case was over and Mark learned how to spend in his actual income bracket things were smooth sailing again. One of the important things Mark did after the bankruptcy was work on rebuilding his credit using some time-tested strategies, and he was able to buy a new car, although at a higher interest rate. Mark plans on refinancing and is saving money for a down payment on a condo.

 Deciding whether bankruptcy protection may be the answer to your financial problems requires knowing the law and how it can help you.

 Mark’s story is one that many young and seasoned people have to tell these days. What is important to remember is that there is always light at the end of the tunnel and a fresh start really can put people back on track.

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. 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: December Frequently Asked Bankruptcy 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 covered in this 30 minute show:

  • What happens with jointly held debts if one of the individuals files for bankruptcy?
  • How does it work when someone wants to buy their car back from the trustee?
  • I want to file bankruptcy but not include my wife on the filing. Do I have to?
  • What happens with mortgage liens in a bankruptcy case and can I keep my house?

Joseph Wrobel has been a practicing attorney since 1973 and has experience in a wide variety of law relating to legal matters for individuals and families. Wrobel helps clients get out of debt and get a fresh start. He is an active member in several bar associations and the Bankruptcy Panel of Pro Bono Program of the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. After serving the U.S. Army Reserve 363rd Civil Affairs Unit, Wrobel earned a B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University and in 1973 he earned a JD from DePaul University Law School.