Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Updated Median Income Figures for Means Test Calculations

As of Cases filed on or after October 1, 2006, the US Census bureau has issued new figures to compare a debtor's income against the for Median Income Level for their family size in their state.

The new figures are as follows for Illinois:
Family Size Median Income

  1. $41,650
  2. $52,891
  3. $62,176
  4. $72,368

with $6300 added for each additional person in the household.

Therefore, under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if the debtor's household income (as calculated from the last 6 months of income) is below the respective figure, then the means test will not apply to their case.
Don't fret, if the income is over the threshhold, it means that you would have to provide a little more information regarding your budget before you would be permitted to file Chapter 7. There are many pitfalls in this area, so be sure to contact an experienced attorney to help you out. In my experience, about 90% of debtors that I see still 'pass' the means test allowing Chapter 7. There are many exceptions, so it is important to get legal counsel when filing a bankruptcy.

Contact an attorney from the Chicago Bankruptcy Network today to speak to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in your area to assist you. or call 312-427-0644 today.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Bankruptcy and credit reports

I am often asked 'How long will bankruptcy stay on my credit report?'

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, bankruptcy filing can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years. However, most debtors are able to get new credit shortly after receiving their bankruptcy discharge.


The credit bureaus will either zero out discharged debt, or list that the debt was discharged under bankruptcy.

There are many car companies, loan companies, and credit card companies that offer my clients credit just months, or even weeks after thier bankruptcies!

Many clients get home loans within a year or so of filing bankruptcy. Of course, you have to qualify with the loan company, but the bankruptcy trumps much of the bad credit that has been affecting you earlier.

Check out my site at and you can see a listing of some lenders who are helping my clients get a fresh start.

I have mortgage broker contacts that are willing to help you find the right home loan to fit your needs. I also work with Real Estate brokers and agents who are encouraging me to send all of my clients to that are looking to buy a home and complete the 'fresh start.'

Best of luck
Terry Leeders
Leeders & Associates, Ltd.
member of

Sunday, July 16, 2006

What's the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

What is the difference between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

I get calls all day with this exact question. Although they are both bankruptcies, clients who file have different goals and rationale for filing:

Chapter 7 is a complete liquidation. It is designed for individuals and certain companies who do not have the ability to pay their debts. In chapter 7, the trustee will liquidate any non-exempt property in order to distribute the proceeds to creditors according to the Bankruptcy Code. Each state allows the debtor to exempt, or protect, certain assets, which the debtor can keep after bankruptcy. In reality, most debtors do not have significant assets worth liquidating. But to be sure, contact an attorney at the Chicago Bankruptcy Network to review your assets and exemptions available to you.

Chapter 13 enables individuals with steady income to repay their debts over time, with court protection from their creditors. Chapter 13 can be used to stop foreclosure of your home, or it may be used to stop your vehicle from being repossessed. Often, debtors are able to repay their creditors at a discounted rate, depending on their individual situations. Call a lawyer from the Chicago Bankruptcy Network today to see if Chapter 13 is right for you.

Terry Leeders
Leeders & Associates, Ltd.
,member of

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Chicago Bankruptcy Blog

Chicago Bankruptcy

Leeders & Associates, Ltd. are friendly, experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorneys who provide professional legal services to the Chicago area. While focusing primarily on personal bankruptcy law (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13), we offer an array of legal services to clients throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.

go to or call 312-427-7400

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Member of the Chicago Bankruptcy Network.