Tag Archives: Joseph Wrobel Chicago Bankruptcy

7 situations leading people to take advantage of bankruptcy laws

Despite our best efforts at living responsible lives, paying our bills on time and saving for the future, bad things happen to good people. Instead of being saddled with debts you cannot pay and bill collectors hounding you, consider wiping the slate clear of misfortune and getting the fresh start you need with a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. These laws exist to level the playing field and help people out in the face of economic disaster. Most people who are fearful of bankruptcy report that after they filed for bankruptcy, the process was easy, painless, and led to a speedier economic recovery.

The following is a list of realistic situations that lead many people to seek bankruptcy protection:

  1. Your company went out of business.

In the news, we watch reports of manufacturing facilities and companies closing their doors for a variety of reasons. Many people who may have worked for these businesses, some for most their working life, have difficulties finding a new job with similar pay and benefits. Too often people take one or two jobs to make up lost income. In the meantime, bills can go unpaid or underpaid, and when it is your mortgage that falls behind to the point of foreclosure, bankruptcy may be the only way to save your shirt, and your home.

  1. You lost your ability to do work.

Injuries happen and may be nobody’s fault. A slip and fall at home shoveling a snowy and icy driveway can be enough to put you out of work. Ideally you can seek proper medical care and find a way to keep your job. When the inability to work cripples your finances and you risk losing it all, you can save yourself with bankruptcy protection. If injured at work you may be pursuing a worker’s compensation claim or a disability claim with Social Security regardless of where you were injured. These cases can take time and you may not be able to wait it out as the bill collectors become more aggressive and the bank or landlord is threatening foreclosure or eviction.

  1. An uninsured driver hit you and caused injuries.

Despite having your own insurance policy to protect against uninsured or under-insured motorists, there can be problems when insurance companies fail to pay or do not pay enough money to sustain your financial needs if you are injured, unable to work or have significant unexpected expenses. Being admitted to the hospital can be very expensive. It can also be expensive trying to pay a high deductible for health insurance if you are forced to seek recovery for injuries on your health insurance when drivers’ insurance fails to cover expenses. Suing the person who hit you without sufficient insurance can be a zero-sum game if the person has no assets. Bankruptcy may be your only way out from behind the financial eight ball.

  1. A divorce makes it impossible to pay old debts.

When things move from I do to I want out, the financial landscape changes very quickly. If you and your spouse were already barely making ends meet, the extra money for divorce lawyers and the additional expenses of supporting a spouse with temporary alimony, as well as court ordered child support can cripple an individual’s ability to keep up with debts and expenses. Divorce may trigger a good reason to use bankruptcy to wipe out credit card debts and old bills in collections. Please understand however, you may not use bankruptcy to eliminate your duty to pay child support or alimony.

  1. An investment or business deal failed.

Television shows about greedy swindlers and crooks show us how easily some people can lose their life savings in failed investment deals and scams. Whether the loss is a result of a swindler or simply an investment that failed to produce returns, your banks and creditors want their money and are not likely interested in your excuse of a failed business or investment deal that prevents you from keeping up with your bills. Bankruptcy may be the best option for you to eliminate debts you cannot repay after a financial loss.

  1. Missed and late payments affected payment arrangements.

In many payment arrangements, there is an acceleration clause stating that if you miss a certain number of payments during a period, you may be responsible for paying the full amount due. Collection companies may file suit against you to obtain a money judgment and try to seize your assets or garnish your wages. Depending on your finances and the amount you owe, a bankruptcy can stop this type of collection activity when you qualify for a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy.

  1. You are sued and found liable for a wrong you cannot afford to right.

In a similar situation to a failed payment arrangement, a lawsuit and money judgment entered against you can also involve attempts to collect the amount of the judgment using asset and income seizures. When people are sued, the role of the court is to decide whether the plaintiff is owed money and how much. If you are the defendant and are sued and lose, all the plaintiff has over you is a court judgement. While that judgment would allow them to collect on the judgment, you have every right to get rid of it using bankruptcy. The court knows you have a right to use the bankruptcy laws and there is nothing a civil court judge can do if you chose to seek relief through bankruptcy laws.

When you for bankruptcy protection, the Automatic Stay provision kicks in and the collectors must cease and desist the phone calls and collection activity. You have an initial court appearance at the Notice of Creditors meeting and after that, most wait for further instructions, if any, from their bankruptcy attorney. The process can be accomplished in only a few short months in many cases, making bankruptcy one of the more efficient legal processes.

To learn more, call us at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. to learn how we can help you. (312) 781-0996.

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!

 

Being prepared to avoid scams and identity thieves

The beginning of November is a real kickoff to the holiday season. Along with the holidays comes identity theft. Is it because we are all so busy that we let our guard down? Is it because the increase in spending means there is more data to hack and grab? In addition to identity theft, scammers are also working to lighten your wallet and drain your bank account. There are habits you can learn and put into place to protect yourself during the holidays and all year round.

Step 1: Find a “techie” person who can research and spot the wolves in sheep’s clothing

Do you get phone calls from telemarketers who have the most amazing offer that will change your life? Maybe the person is selling gold currency or reverse mortgages. How do you know if they are scamming you? A good rule of thumb is when you want a product or service, you should do your research and find it locally. If you inclined to answer telemarketer calls, take down all the information and do some research on the legitimacy of the offer and the organization contacting you. If you do not feel comfortable in your investigation skills, find a family member who can help you out. It’s better to put your pride aside and ask for help than allowing yourself to be scammed or have your identity stolen.

Step 2: Get back to using cash or gift cards when you can

Remember the big chain stores having problems with credit card information being stolen? How about getting gas at one of the gas stations with the card skimmers? The volume of credit and debit card activity is significant around the holidays, and that means there can be a greater risk of identity theft. Maybe cash is not your preferred payment method and you want to swipe – find a gift card you can put money on and use for holiday shopping. It’s better than someone getting your debit or credit card and cause you undue burdens and stress.

Step 3: Learn about how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau helps identify theft victims

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is an excellent source of information about identity theft and consumer scams. You can report scams and identity theft right on their website. They also share the laws that protect us from consumer fraud. Your credit rating is an asset and if the credit reporting bureaus fail to restore your credit rating after identity theft, you can sue them. We can connect you with a consumer law firm specializing in just that.

Step 4: Make it a habit to write down and log all your incoming phone calls

If you are receiving robo calls from telemarketers or bill collectors, you can act against them and will need to list the dates, times and what was generally said on the call or voicemail. When you answer the phone and someone on the other end has the deal of a lifetime to offer you, ask for their name or operator identification number. If they don’t tell you who they are you have good reason to disconnect the call and make a note that they called and refused to identify themselves. Information is power and the more you take control of these situations, the more empowered you may be to do something about it.

Step 5: Bolster your expectations of privacy and be vigilant with your personal information

For a few years people became lazy about expectations of privacy. Many assumed the banks and merchants would protect us and nothing bad would happen other than the loss of a few bucks we could get back easily. What happens when the identity thief gets a driver’s license in your name and kills someone in a DUI hit and run, with license plates in your name? Instead of giving out information like your social security number, take the extra time to use a different way to identify yourself. The damage a crook can do to your credit and identity is significant and well worth an ounce of prevention.

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.

February 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 ANYTIME

Sample questions answered in this 30-minute show:

  • What is the minimum amount of debt required to file for bankruptcy?
  • Will my fiancée’s student loan debt become my debt once we are married?
  • Can my spouse be sued for debts, or her assets seized I owe if I file for bankruptcy alone?
  • Can a chapter 13 bankruptcy help me reduce my monthly student loan payments?

 

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.

Lottery winners next door: Rich neighbors can lead to your bankruptcy

Keeping up with the Joneses is one thing, but what happens when you’re keeping up with the Joneses who just won the Powerball? There have been several reports and articles written about the negative impact the lottery has on prizewinners. People who hit the jackpot tend to attract lost uncles and friends from years past who may be down on their luck. In many cases lottery winners feel guilty for having so much money without doing anything other than buying a lottery ticket, and they start giving it away. After a while, the money out the door can take on the effect of a snowball gaining size and momentum as it rolls downhill. Poor, poor lottery winner some say, nevertheless, the stories are there and they don’t stop with the lottery winners. A new report indicates the neighbors of lottery winners may be in trouble too.

The new study by the Wall Street Journal links a rise in bankruptcies to lottery winners nearby.

Research compiled and reviewed in the study of the affect of lottery winners on a neighborhood shows that people who live near someone who won the lottery is significantly more likely to file for bankruptcy.[i] The study suggests a strong tendency of members of a community or neighborhood to keep up with the lifestyles led by their neighbors and peers, “Income inequality induces poorer neighbors to consumer more visible (rather than invisible) commodities to signal their abilities to “keep up with the Joneses” to their richer neighbors.[ii]

As people seem to be willing to leverage everything they have to buy the best cars and luxury items, the prices seem to keep rising. If, for example, people will pay $70,000 for a luxury car, the luxury car makers are going to price them accordingly. Reality television may be to blame, in addition to flashy lottery winners, where “Real Housewives” in destination locations like Beverly Hills, drive six-figure valued cars as if it is no big deal. If Hollywood sets the standard for being fancy and successful, people in other cities may start to mimic what they see on television and strive to show their friends and neighbors that they are just as able and successful as the people on reality television.

People do not earn the incomes we think they do, and we have more income than we realize.

In the actual real world, average salaries are not as high as many people assume. Here, in the Chicago area, salaries are measurably higher than other areas in the Midwest, but if you take a walk down Michigan Avenue on any given day, you might think that everyone in Chicago won the lottery. The reality is that the people in the fanciest of clothes could be from out of town or the suburbs, and decided to wear their best and be a spectacle on the Miracle Mile. The “rich” people you may see and wonder if they are lottery winners or well-paid professionals, might be average income earners, and are paying the minimum monthly payments on several credit cards they use to keep up with who they think are the Joneses, who are probably just as broke.

In contrast, many of us earn more money than we realize. There are plenty of people who live well on much less money than many might imagine. How do they do it? They use a budget, they only spend their discretionary income, and they drive a nice model vehicle, but one that might be a few years older, one they purchased when it was already several years old. In some circles it is a sign of “old money” to drive a more than 10-year-old Volvo or Mercedes. Your friends and neighbors might assume you drive the older model car because you are smart with your money and not cash-poor while trying to impress.

At Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., we want to give you the insight into smart financial decisions so you have a good financial future, and worry less about the Joneses and lottery winners.

Changing your mindset and habits with money and budgets is important to success after bankruptcy. If you lived on credit cards before, the bankruptcy wiping out those bills, may free up enough money so that you can live on cash income instead of credit. Instead of paying interest money to the banks every month, try paying yourself, putting money aside in a savings account, so you have an easier time when you find a great deal on that 10-year-old E-Class.

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 FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Avvo, where you can read client and peer reviews!

 

[i] The Wall Street Journal, Why You Might Go Bankrupt If Your Next-Door Neighbor Wins the Lottery, by Ben Leubsdorf, Feb. 16, 2016.

[ii] The Daily Caller, Neighbors of Lottery Winners Might Be At Risk of Bankruptcy, by Carly Rolph, Feb. 16, 2016.

Eliminating tax debts in Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy

Two things are certain in our lives, death and taxes! So long as we are still here earning income, we have to pay our taxes, even when we are in bankruptcy. What happens to our tax debt is another question. Despite our best efforts at achieving and maintaining financial success, life happens and sometimes our best option is a fresh financial start, using the U.S. Bankruptcy Code as our life-saving device. When you meet with a bankruptcy attorney, they will calculate your income and financial statements to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While Chapter 7 allows you to fully discharge qualified debts, Chapter 13 involves a three to five year repayment plan and a partial discharge of certain debts. You may watch our videos to better understand Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.

Eliminating tax debts in Chapter 7

In Chapter 7, you may be able to discharge old income tax debt, but most other taxes are non-dischargeable. To discharge old income taxes, you must have filed a valid income tax at least two years ago, for which a return that was due at least three years ago, and the taxes were assessed at least 240 days ago.  Note that any finding of tax fraud or evasion may cause the bankruptcy court to refuse to discharge your old tax debt.

You may not be able to eliminate certain non-income based tax debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge. If you have tax liens attached to property that are filed before your bankruptcy. The lien will remain until the property is sold. Property taxes are also non-dischargeable, and nor are certain employment taxes. A bankruptcy attorney at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. can review your finances and determine which taxes may be dischargeable.

Eliminating tax debts in Chapter 13

In Chapter 13, you repay your tax debts over the period of your repayment plan, between three and five years in most cases. How much of your taxes you will repay depends on the type of tax you owe. Taxes are categorized as priority debt and nonpriority debt. While the priority tax debts must be paid in full during your repayment plan, you may only be required to pay a portion of your nonpriority tax debts.

Priority tax debts must be repaid in full, but in Chapter 13 your priority tax debts can be paid back over the duration of the repayment plan, where the otherwise would have been immediately due. Examples of priority tax debts include tax liens, recent property taxes and withholding-type taxes.

Nonpriority tax debts are not secured by property and are similar in nature to general unsecured debts. In Chapter 13, your priority tax debts are paid first, before the repayment plan pays the nonpriority tax debts. Depending on your finances, you may only be required to repay a portion of your total unsecured debt, which includes these nonpriority taxes. In most cases the nonpriority taxes are again, and as stated above, the old income taxes, assuming the returns were filed and qualify for discharge.

Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. can help you assess your tax liabilities and allow you to determine if taking advantage of Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for 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 FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Avvo, where you can read client and peer reviews!

 

Homeowners keep their home using Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy laws

Falling behind on mortgage payments can lead to foreclosure. When a homeowner is unable to delay the foreclosure through attempts at refinancing or otherwise negotiating additional time to get caught up, such as a forbearance, short sale, or deed in lieu of foreclosure, the mortgage lender will likely begin the legal process to foreclose and sell the home at auction to receive payment towards the loan. If a foreclosed home sells at auction for less than the amount owed, the lender will likely obtain a deficiency judgment and attempt to collect amount from the homeowner as well. Homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments for many reasons, and the bankruptcy laws help the homeowner save their home from foreclosure sale.

Filing a bankruptcy triggers the automatic stay provision, stopping a foreclosure and sale of the home.

Depending on the homeowner’s income and complete financial situation, they may qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a full discharge, or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, to reorganize and catch up on payments, sometimes a partial amount of the debt amount. When the homeowner files a petition for bankruptcy, the “automatic stay” provision of the bankruptcy code stops the foreclosure proceedings. The court automatically issues an order for relief including the automatic stay. If there is a scheduled foreclosure sale, the bankruptcy postpones the date of sale during the bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy both offer options for homeowners who want to keep their home.

If homeowners qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, based on their income and financial status, the bankruptcy and automatic stay will stop the collection of other debt collectors, which can free up more money to catch up on bankruptcy payments. The state exemptions for equity in the home may allow a homeowner to keep the home and the mortgage if there is not too much equity in the home and the payments are brought current. If however, the payments are not brought current, as soon as the bankruptcy terminates, so does the automatic stay, and a lender may proceed with foreclosure on a delinquent mortgage. If however, either the homeowner does not qualify for Chapter 7 or they need more time to catch up on mortgage payments, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a better choice.

A Chapter 13 notice also stops a foreclosure sale and the lender’s collection actions. Chapter 13 allows a homeowner to “cure” a mortgage default by making up the past due payments, spread over several months of the Chapter 13 repayment plan. Many bankruptcy payment plans last between three and up to five years, which allows the homeowner a long period to cure the mortgage default and catch up on the late payments. It is assumed that the homeowner is making the regular monthly mortgage payment during the repayment plan. When other debt collection is stopped by the automatic stay, the homeowner should have more money available to pay the current mortgage and a portion of the past due amount over the period of the repayment plan.

Bankruptcy can eliminate a homeowner’s liability to pay mortgage deficiencies.

If the lender forecloses on a home when the mortgage is default, the court can order the sale of the home. If the homeowner owes more than the proceeds of the sale of the home at auction, the homeowner is responsible for paying the shortfall; however, the bankruptcy laws allow homeowners to eliminate the mortgage deficiency. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies can eliminate liability for a deficiency judgment. The bankruptcy laws are certainly beneficial to homeowners who fall behind on their mortgage and depending on the individual homeowner’s financial situation, a home can be saved. The attorneys at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. are experienced in all the complex provisions of the bankruptcy code and they can help homeowners get a fresh start, in their home, and with more money to keep current with monthly bills.

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.

 

 

Employment and bankruptcy: Why bankruptcy filers should not lose sleep

In any society, the concept of getting something and not paying for it seems wrong. The incorrect assumption of many people who have never filed bankruptcy might be that an individual ran up credit cards, borrowed money and never intended to pay it back. The actual amount of true bankruptcy fraud is quite small and the majority of people who file for bankruptcy protection had never imagined they would find themselves in a state of financial emergency. The economic collapse in 2008 significantly changed the landscape of financial assumptions in the U.S. First, we no longer assume jobs and markets are bulletproof. Second, we all know someone negatively affected by the bad economy. Third, we all probably know someone we regard as a good person with strong character who filed for bankruptcy protection when the economy or a financial emergency threatened his or her livelihood.

With so many people taking advantage of bankruptcy laws, it is tough for employers to be that fussy.

Since the end of the economic boom in the 90s, many people bought more house than they could afford, expecting values to continue rising and equity building. Many more people were cut short when their companies started laying people off. Meanwhile, others who had a good amount of money in savings may have lost most of it due to illness, not being able to find another job, or an emergency event such as a traffic accident or other personal injury. As more people learned that bankruptcy was there to help them out, and they did not “lose it all” in the process, like some people think, the perception and feeling about bankruptcy improved.

Since so many people have taken advantage of the bankruptcy laws and protection, it is more difficult for an employer to deny a job to someone based on their current or recent past financial situation. It may be illegal for an employer to deny your application simply because you filed for bankruptcy, in federal, state and local government positions. In private companies, however, the potential employer may be allowed to inquire as to your financial status and review your credit. As stated earlier, with such a large number of people with bankruptcies in their past, the pool of applicants for jobs could be wrongly skewed when candidates are rated not on their education, experience and background, but rather whether they have ever filed for bankruptcy protection.

While many employers may not care about a bankruptcy, some positions involving money may require additional consideration.

There are some positions involving money, budgeting and financial expertise, where the employer might not consider an applicant who has experienced personal financial emergency or has taken advantage of bankruptcy protection. Having said that, many of those companies might have themselves taken advantage of bankruptcy laws to restructure their debts and creditor obligations.

If during the application and interview process the topic of financial security and bankruptcy were to come up, it is smart to have a prepared explanation of what occurred and why you may have decided to file for bankruptcy protection. The same way you might let a friend or family member know that bankruptcy is not bad, it is a provision of the law to give people a fresh start in uncommon circumstances, you as a job applicant might explain those uncommon circumstances, often not within your control, and assure them that you made the best decision to protect your home and your family when the chips were down. An honest and forthright job applicant may be just the person they are looking to hire.

Joseph Wrobel and his associates are not only bankruptcy attorneys, but also counselors to their clients, to help them get that fresh start they need and get back on their feet without feeling shame or fearing they shouldn’t apply for that dream job.

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

What should I do with the car or truck I cannot afford when I want to file for bankruptcy?

Reaffirm that car loan; you might have a good interest rate you do not want to lose. Too many people incorrectly assume that filing for bankruptcy protection means that you have to give up every possession and asset you own. This is not true. Every day there are individuals who file for bankruptcy protection, everywhere from rural farm towns to big cities. Whether your crops completely failed or you were run down by a limo on the way to a business meeting, bad things happen to good people. When your earning capacity is temporarily or permanently impaired, the bill collectors start swarming like vultures. When you finance your car or truck and fall behind on the payments, the big vultures are ready to swoop in and carry it away if you do nothing to protect the interest in your car.

There are exemption amounts in every state that allow you to keep up to a certain valued amount of personal property and assets, including equity in your vehicle, the amount that is paid off. When it comes to that car you finance, it is not your asset until it is paid off and in your name, and meanwhile all you may have is equity in the vehicle if it is well on the way to being paid off, as opposed to you owing more than it is worth. To learn more, read our blog, Bankruptcy Exemptions in Illinois.

There are a few options for financed cars and trucks when you fall behind or consider bankruptcy.

Got buyer’s remorse? That new “keep up with the Jones” model you absolutely had to have, might feel like more of an albatross when it comes to the monthly payment. Maybe your temporary financial condition makes you wish you never got that car in the first place, and if that is the case, you can surrender it to the trustee or finance company and include any deficiencies in the bankruptcy, whether you file for Chapter 7 (full discharge) or Chapter 13 (reorganization).

If you like the car or truck, or maybe have an excellent interest rate or a decent amount of equity and the equity is more than the exemption allowance, reaffirmation is a good idea. A reaffirmation agreement is just what it sounds like, a contractual agreement between finance company and you the borrower that you promise to keep current with the payments on the vehicle and to keep it excluded from the bankruptcy. Your bankruptcy filing will need to list the vehicle and financial details, including the reaffirmation agreement, to keep everything straight with the court and trustee.

If you have a good deal on your car or truck loan, you might want to reaffirm and keep it.

Remember that your ability to get new credit for a car or truck loan could be limited for a short period after a bankruptcy, and if you do not have a decent down payment then your interest rate could be high, until you are able to refinance the loan. For more on credit repair, read our blog, Credit scores, cards and reports: What you might not know.

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.