Thursday, February 13, 2014

Facebook Page - Chicago Bankruptcy lawyer -Leeders & Associates

Hi all. I invite you all to read and like our facebook page.

I often post useful and interesting articles related to bankruptcy.
Feel free to stop by, comment, and join the conversation!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Z is for Zero! Our last installment in our Bankruptcy alphabet series

Zero.  That is how much unsecured debt remains after a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge.  

You should be back on track now, debt free.   There are a few exceptions.  Student loans or educational debts do not discharge in bankruptcy.  Some tax debt, unless paid in full could survive a chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Child support, spousal support, alimony, or any other Domestic Support Obligations remain after bankruptcy too. 

If a debtor chooses to reaffirm a debt, and the court approves it, then that debt would survive as well. 

Cosigners are always on the hook for what they signed on too.

So, a bankruptcy case, whether chapter 7 or chapter 13, can definitely get a debtor a fresh start.

Call Leeders & Associates if you want to get out of debt with a bankruptcy discharge.  313-346-7400

Monday, January 13, 2014

Y is for You Did It! You got a bankruptcy discharge!

Y was a tough letter to find to post about for bankruptcy.
Not many bankruptcy terms begin with the letter Y, there isn't much caselaw that starts with the letter Y.
No Judge has a name that starts with a Y in Chicago

So, I figure I'll sell the benefits of bankruptcy, with Y is for YOU DID IT!
You completed the bankruptcy case.  3 months for chapter 7, and 3 to 5 years for most chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.    So, now what?

It is a good idea to check your credit report a few months after bankruptcy.  This is a new service we are providing for interested clients.  We'll help to make sure all items are being properly reported.
You worked hard and paid a lot of money to get your credit back on track, so make sure it's being done correctly.

You should see an increase in your credit score after bankruptcy as well.  My research shows that most credit scores are predicted to jump up 50-100 points in the first year after bankruptcy.  This assumes the debtor doesn't go crazy and apply for every offer they see!  If the debtor stays on track, pays all of their bills on time, they should see an increase.  

Don't hesitate to take new debt, but only if you need it.  You'll get bombarded from tons of companies who gather your info from the bankruptcy filing and send you offers of new credit. Be smart, throw most in the trash.  You'll notice huge interest rates and tempting offers that aren't as good once you start reading the small print.

Take out a small credit card.  Use $50 each month on it. But pay off that $50 each month in full, on time as well. That will help your credit score for sure.

My clients are getting credit card and loan offers the first month after the case.  They are getting car notes the first month out of bankruptcy in Chicago as well.  Watch those interest rates and long car notes - 6, 7 years! Yikes!  My clients in the Chicago area who file bankruptcy are also getting mortgages as well within a few years out of bankruptcy.  

Nothing is set in stone, so feel free to seek out the credit, but only if you need it.  Keep your payment history clean, pay your bills on time.  That can take a few years before this has a major positive impact on your credit score, but every month counts.

Make a budget for yourself.  Be honest with yourself as well.  You had to take 2 counseling classes during the bankruptcy process,  use what they have provided to help keep you on track to financial freedom.

Don't forget, your attorney is a great tool as well to use, to help with issues you may be having.  They are a great source of referrals too, and have many vendors who are bankruptcy friendly if you need a car, a credit card, loan etc.  

Congratulations, you are out of debt and have a fresh start!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

X is for ....X-ray Bankruptcy Chicago

X.  Not many words start with X, and even fewer are related to bankruptcy.
So, I'll keep this bankruptcy post short.
Bankruptcy court is located in the federal building in Chicago, IL . 219 S. Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60604 The Dirksen Federal Building.   Bankruptcy section 341 meetings are held here too in Chicago.

You have to put your belongings through an X-Ray machine to get into the building.   The metal detectors are sensitive too, so take off those belts, large watches, and put your keys, cell phones and other metal objects into the tray and send them into the X-Ray machine with your briefcase, purses, coats, backpacks etc.   Also have your photo Id out as well, they check that too when you pass through the metal detector.

Better yet, leave most of these things at home or in your car.

Contact me today for a free bankruptcy evaluation in the Chicago, Illinois area.  312-346-7400 Bankruptcy can help you get your life back on track.

Friday, August 16, 2013

W is for Warrenville Illinois bankruptcy attorney office

Leeders & Associates has bankruptcy law offices that serve Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.

Our office at 27475 Ferry Rd Warrenville, IL 60555  serves our South and Southwestern suburban clients.   This is located in the Americenters Office Suites just steps away from I-88 at the Winfield Rd. exit.

We are usually there for new bankruptcy appointments on Saturday mornings.    Clients hail from Warrenville, Lisle, Naperville, Aurora, Downers Grove, Wheaton, Bolingbrook, West Chicago have met us here.   We file both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy cases for our clients.

Call us today at 312-346-7400 or schedule a free bankruptcy consultation by submitting an evaluation  from our webiste here

If you can't make it in to our Warrenville, Illinois bankruptcy office, you can schedule one for our Schaumburg, Illinois bankruptcy office, our Chicago Loop Bankruptcy attorney office (headquarters), or our South Side of Chicago bankruptcy lawyer office (near Beverly, Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn area). 

Or, if it is impractical to meet us here, we can even do free bankruptcy phone consultations with you too.
So contact us today for a free mini-phone evaluation, and we'll schedule you for the time and place that is most convenient to you.

Our job is to help you out of debt, to get a fresh start in life and help get you back on financial track so you can focus on the important things in life.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

V is for .... Valuation of assets in bankruptcy

With chapter 7 bankruptcy, putting a value on your assets is of utmost importance.

Each state gives debtors limited exemptions to protect assets, so the proper value of your belongings is crucial. Now, in general, the trustee in your chapter 7 case is not interested in the small stuff like your spoons, your old tv from 1984 etc. The trustee is looking for assets of value that can be liquidated to pay your creditors, such as new electronics, collectibles - autographs, memorabilia, vehicles, equity in homes and such.

 Obviously the debtor and the trustee can have different opinions on value, so for the important stuff, like your house, and your car, valuations or appraisals can be easily obtained.

 For homes: is good starting point, although results can vary. A comparable market report from a real estate agent is better, and it is usually free! The best would be a full blown walk thru appraisal, but those can be a few hundred dollars.

 For Cars: retail value is a good place to start (and the go to for trustees and creditors and the judge in Chicago bankruptcy cases) Also Carmax offers free appraisals too if you want to bring your car in. In chapter 7 cases, where the debtor wants to redeem their car, they need a good valuation on the vehicle. The court will look to the value of the car upon motion by the debtor, and can eliminate any over-financed portion of the vehicle note. The debtor would make a lump sum payment to pay off this value (usually obtained thru a new vehicle loan for which there are a handful of lenders I can refer you too). This can save you a lot of money month to month, and over the life of the new loan.

 In chapter 13 cases, secured debt can be crammed down to the fair market value, hence valuation is important here as well, with the unsecured portion often receiving pennies on the dollar with little to no interest. Also in chapter 13 cases, home valuation comes into play by allowing the debtor upon motion or adversary proceeding to strip off a wholly unsecured second (or third) mortgage if the value of the home is less than what is owed on the first mortgage. This stripped off loan can then be paid pennies on the dollar, often saving the debtor thousands of dollars!

 So, as you can see, valuation is very important in the bankruptcy process. Contact me to review your assets and determine what issues you may have, what I can protect in a bankruptcy filing, and what benefits your valuations can provide for your house and car if you are looking to file chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy in the Chicago area.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Get your car back with a chapter 13 bankruptcy case!

I've posted a video about how I can get your car back with a chapter 13 bankruptcy case in the Chicago, Illinois area. Check it out. Terry

Monday, July 01, 2013

U is for Unsecured Debt in bankruptcy

Unsecured debt is the debt most debtors in bankruptcy are looking to discharge.  This includes credit cards, medical bills, utility bills.  It also covers repossessions, broken leases and foreclosure deficiencies.

Tax debt and child support are also labeled as unsecured debts, but these take on different dischargability issues.  Most unsecured debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy.  The notable exceptions are domestic support obligations (DSO's) namely child support and alimony.  Some Tax debt.  Recently acquired debt while insolvent.  Most debt to governmental agencies, namely tickets, tollway fines, and penalties.

Other unsecured debts that don't discharge are intentional debts (such as intentional torts) DUI/DWI fines, and debts related to an injury or death as a result of DUI/DWI etc.

If you have significant unsecured debts, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation to see how you can get a fresh start before the end of the year.  We have several Chicago area locations to serve you.


Monday, June 03, 2013

Deeds and Homeowner Association Fees - Bankruptcy Home Blog

Deeds and Homeowner Association Fees - Bankruptcy Home Blog

Interesting fact pattern here. The spin I see is that the debtor files bankruptcy and 'surrenders' the home.
Many mistakenly believe discharging the mortgage means the house is no longer theirs.  It still is, until the property is sold or goes thru foreclosure.   The HOA or condo assessments incurred from the date of bankruptcy until then, are the debtor's responsibility since they owned the property!

The rule is to prevent the other owners in the HOA from having to take on the debtor's debt.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Feds: Bankruptcy scam freed impounded vehicles

I saw the US Trustee's office discussing this matter on a case before Judge Cassling last week. The case was dismissed, namely because the debtor didn't file most of the required documents. It's a shame that these individuals were taking advantage of debtors, when a qualified attorney could get them much better results....get their cars back, and get rid of the fines, often for as little as pennies on the dollar with a Chapter 13 bankrutpcy!!  Contact me for a free consultation on how to do things the right way!  312-346-7400 Leeders & Associates

Feds: Bankruptcy scam freed impounded vehicles

Giveaway of the Day

Although this is a bankruptcy forum, my clients and visitors can all use a 'freebie' now and then. We'll, I have been using this site for a while now...and they offer some cool things! Check it out! Terry