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

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

T is for Terrance Leeders - head bankrutpcy attorney and owner of Leeders & Associates

Hi All.  I was recently interviewed for an article by  I have enclosed a link to their article.   If anyone as has any further questions, feel free to contact me at, or call me at 312-346-7400.   I'm happy to help any consumer or small business debtors file for bankruptcy relief, and as always, we offer free consultations for Bankruptcy.

Friday, May 17, 2013

S is for Setoff of bank accounts and bankruptcy

I see this issue frequently.
Debtor has a Bank Account at Bank A.   Debtor also has a debt owed to Bank A, say for a credit card, personal loan, or overdraft.
Any money in the bank account on the date of filing is vulnerable, as Bank A has the right of setoff against that account, to pay off the debt to Bank A. 
They say "Possession is nine tenths of the law."  Bank A has possession of the money in the account, a security interest if you will, and can take those funds to pay the debt.   
Now, it may be possible to force the creditor to return the funds to the bankruptcy estate if the amount in the account was exempted and it violated one of the preference transfer rules.   But there is case law that lets them hold those funds too.  
This is most frequently done by credit unions, I see it often.
The solution?   Open up a bank account at Bank B where the debtor owes no money.   Bank A can only get money in an account with Bank A, they can't cross over into Bank B to get those funds after the filing of Bankruptcy.

Here is the Bankruptcy code section that addresses this situation.

11 USC 553 Setoff
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section and in sections 362 and 363 of this title, this title does not affect any right of a creditor to offset a mutual debt owing by such creditor to the debtor that arose before the commencement of the case under this title against a claim of such creditor against the debtor that arose before the commencement of the case, except to the extent that—
(1) the claim of such creditor against the debtor is disallowed;
(2) such claim was transferred, by an entity other than the debtor, to such creditor—
(A) after the commencement of the case; or
(i) after 90 days before the date of the filing of the petition; and
(ii) while the debtor was insolvent (except for a setoff of a kind described in section362 (b)(6)362 (b)(7)362 (b)(17)362 (b)(27)555556559560, or 561); or
(3) the debt owed to the debtor by such creditor was incurred by such creditor—
(A) after 90 days before the date of the filing of the petition;
(B) while the debtor was insolvent; and
(C) for the purpose of obtaining a right of setoff against the debtor (except for a setoff of a kind described in section 362 (b)(6)362 (b)(7)362 (b)(17)362 (b)(27),555556559560, or 561).
(1) Except with respect to a setoff of a kind described in section 362 (b)(6)362 (b)(7),362 (b)(17)362 (b)(27)555556559560561365 (h)546 (h), or 365 (i)(2) of this title, if a creditor offsets a mutual debt owing to the debtor against a claim against the debtor on or within 90 days before the date of the filing of the petition, then the trustee may recover from such creditor the amount so offset to the extent that any insufficiency on the date of such setoff is less than the insufficiency on the later of—
(A) 90 days before the date of the filing of the petition; and
(B) the first date during the 90 days immediately preceding the date of the filing of the petition on which there is an insufficiency.
(2) In this subsection, “insufficiency” means amount, if any, by which a claim against the debtor exceeds a mutual debt owing to the debtor by the holder of such claim.
(c) For the purposes of this section, the debtor is presumed to have been insolvent on and during the 90 days immediately preceding the date of the filing of the petition.

Contact me today if you have this situation and are looking for an attorney to represent you in bankruptcy and want to protect the assets and money you have in the bank.   Call me at 312-346-7400 or visit my website at 
Happy Friday.
Terry Leeders

Friday, April 26, 2013

R is for repossession

R is for Repossession
I would estimate that over half, if not 75% of my clients have had a repossession in the past, many with 2 or even 3 of them.   Chapter 7 is a great tool to wipe those debts out and get a fresh start.   But, if it just happened, and you want your car back??  I can get it back for you!!  Generally in Illinois you get 21 days from the date of the repossession to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  This will allow you to get the vehicle back!  Now, you will be paying back the debt in order to keep it, but that was your intention anyways!!

Another benefit, if the car was purchased over 910 days before the chapter 13 filing, our Chicago bankruptcy attorney at Leeders & Associates can cram down the balance you pay based on what the vehicle is worth today.  We all know how cars and trucks depreciate the minute you drive off the lot, and that by the time you are finished paying, the car is worth but a fraction of the purchase price.   We can save you a ton of money if your vehicle has depreciated too!   We can even get you a much better interest rate in most cases.   Case law wants a debtor to pay prime rate +1 to +3 points.  So as of today, April 26, 2013, that would be between 4.25% and 6.25%!  That may be quite a savings, especially if you bought your car from a Buy Here, Pay Here dealer!

Contact us today for a free bankruptcy consultation.  We have several bankruptcy attorney offices - a Chicago Loop office, South Side of Chicago office, as well as Offices in Schaumburg and Warrenville, IL to serve the city and suburbs.
We have free consultations and have weekend office hours too!  Call today. 312-346-7400.

Q is for Quick Bankruptcy Filing

Bankruptcy cases are filed electronically.
Our office has the capability to file cases quickly for those emergency cases, like to stop an imminent foreclosure sale, or to get a car back that was recently repossessed. This is done utilizing Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  We just need a few pieces of information, you will need to take your credit counseling class, and we are set.  We'll pull your credit reports.   Contact us today if you need a quick bankruptcy filing!  Our website at  has more information.  Let us help you get a fresh start!