Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Are you over 60 years old and facing financial issues ?

Posted on November 21, 2017. Filed under: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy | Tags: , |

As this article illustrates, we are seeing more and more older folks in our office that are struggling with paying their bills and making ends meet, especially those on a fixed income. As expenses increase, monthly retirement payments, including social security, do not increase. That is a recipe for disaster.

There is no upper age limit on filing for bankruptcy. Although as more older folks visit us for help with bankruptcy, some do have retirement savings they want to protect. The good news is that if you file bankruptcy, you will, almost always, not lose your retirement savings. The only possible exception is if you had put a very large amount of funds into the retirement or 401k just before filing bankruptcy. The federal exemption laws, and most state exemption laws, do protect your retirement savings from going to pay your creditors. A few years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the retirement exemption is very broad and applies to most all types of retirement, including ESOP’S, or employee stock ownership plans. This was great news for consumers. When you meet with an attorney, be sure to disclose all types of retirement plans that you currently have, as the law is constantly changing.

As with any issue involving bankruptcy or your finances that you are concerned about, I urge you to contact the nearest, well qualified bankruptcy attorney to answer your questions. In our office, we offer a free, one hour consultation to discuss your issues.

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Retirement, Pensions, 401k’s and Bankruptcy

Posted on November 14, 2017. Filed under: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy | Tags: , , , |

The good news is that if you file bankruptcy, you will, most always, not lose your retirement savings.  The federal bankruptcy exemption laws, and most state exemption laws,  protect your retirement savings from going to pay your creditors. A few years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the retirement exemption is very broad and applies to most all types of retirement plans. This was great news for consumers. When you meet with an attorney, be sure to disclose all types of retirement plans that you currently have. If you are considering bankruptcy, before you withdraw any funds from a pension plan or 401k, you should always consult with an attorney.

As with any issue involving bankruptcy or your finances that you are concerned about, I urge you to contact the nearest, well qualified bankruptcy attorney to answer your questions.

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Bankruptcy: Enshrined in Our Constitution to Protect Us

Posted on October 19, 2017. Filed under: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Consumer Alerts | Tags: , , |

Although several countries have bankruptcy laws of one variety or another, most are designed to assist businesses in financial trouble. The United States is unique in that it is one of very few that have a bankruptcy system designed to assist the consumer debtor. Additionally, this protection afforded by bankruptcy is enshrined in our Constitution.

The New York Times has an article describing the horrors of a country without such a bankruptcy law to act as a safety net for the honest, but unfortunate debtor. The article describes how one Afghani man owed a debt that almost required him to sell his 6 year old daughter in marriage to the creditor when he could not repay the debt.  Thankfully at the last minute, someone paid his debt for him averting disaster.  But how many times in Afghanistan and other countries do debts go unpaid and a child is lost ?  The man had originally borrowed the money to pay for medical bills.

Let us be thankful that we live in a country that allows the honest but unfortunate debtor to be protected from such evils as described in this article, or other evils such as debtor prisons or involuntary servitude to the creditor.

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Which is best: Credit Counseling, Debt Consolidation or Bankruptcy ?

Posted on September 30, 2017. Filed under: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Consumer Alerts | Tags: , , |

Are you considering debt relief through a consumer credit counseling or debt consolidation service ? You may be surprised to learn that these companies can do more harm than good to your credit. Many will lead you into a false sense of security by thinking that they are dealing with your debt, when in reality, they are not. We have had many clients who we have had this happen to them, and even been sued by creditors even after employing the debt consolidation service. It sounds appealing, but can be deceptive.

Many times, bankruptcy is a better option, and you should always meet with a bankruptcy attorney to thoroughly discuss your personal financial situation in order to allow them to help you decide what is the best solution to your financial problems. Most bankruptcy attorneys will offer a free, no obligation consultation to  discuss your debt issues.

 

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Do I put “buy here – pay here” vehicle loans in my bankruptcy ?

Posted on September 16, 2017. Filed under: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Consumer Alerts | Tags: , |

Yes, car lots that finance the purchase of car are very common and do have to be listed as a creditor in your bankruptcy and the vehicle you purchased does have to be listed as an asset. If you have such a vehicle loan, be sure and tell your bankruptcy attorney about the loan. If you are current on the loan, and you are filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can very likely reaffirm the loan and keep paying the car lot and keep the vehicle. You also have the option of surrendering the vehicle back to the car lot and owing them nothing in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you are filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can surrender the vehicle, keep the vehicle and keep paying for it outside the Chapter 13 plan, or put the debt on the vehicle inside the plan and keep the vehicle. The details, paperwork and title of the purchase and the vehicle need to be provided to your bankruptcy attorney immediately. There are issues that could arise that your attorney can check that could affect your ability to keep the vehicle if you are filing Chapter 7, even if you wanted to keep paying for it and are current on the payments.

So, yes, the debt to the car lot MUST be listed in any type of bankruptcy that you file and your attorney can guide you as to the best option for you in keeping the vehicle or letting it go.

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Bankruptcy and the Bible

Posted on August 25, 2017. Filed under: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Consumer Alerts, Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney | Tags: , , |

Bankruptcy and the Bible is explored in depth by Indianapolis based bankruptcy attorney John Bymaster in his new book Is Bankruptcy Biblically Moral ?

John explores how our modern system of bankruptcy laws are rooted in many parts of biblical scripture. He discusses how the founding fathers of our country knew this and why they included provisions for bankruptcy in our Constitution.

We have blogged on this in a past post which you can find by clicking here.

This is a fascinating area which most folks are not aware of. I highly recommend this book if you are considering bankruptcy and have concerns about the morality of filing.

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Stress, Your Health and Bills

Posted on August 2, 2017. Filed under: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Consumer Alerts, Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney | Tags: , |

We all know that Stress is a killer.  It is harmful to your health in so many ways.  You don’t have to be a medical expert to know that.  We hear and read about it every day. The Mayo Clinic has a post about it.

One of the most, if not the most Stressful things in our life is when debt and bills pile up.  We took out the debt with the best of intentions, but events intervened, and we find ourselves unable to keep up. Then … Stress rears its ugly head, and begins to take a toll on our life physically and emotionally.

If you had a way to eliminate the Stress of bills and debt in your life, and thereby eliminating the toll that Stress takes on  you and  your family,  you would probably consider it.

Fortunately, there is a way. Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a time honored way  to deal with your debt and eliminate the Stress.  Bankruptcy is even provided for by the US Constitution. It is there to help. If you want to end stress, and regain your health, contact an experienced Bankruptcy lawyer today to see if they can help you.

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Renting a Dog ?!

Posted on July 28, 2017. Filed under: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Consumer Alerts, Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney | Tags: , |

Yes, believe it or not, there is a company that will “lease to own” puppies and dogs ! For a link to the story, click here.

Regardless, if you are leasing a dog, or more traditional things like vehicles, couches, computers or time shares,  lease or rental contracts can be “rejected” in bankruptcy.  That means that you can “get out of” the lease or contract and not owe any past or future fees or costs. Of course, you will have to surrender back to the company the item you are leasing or renting, but often times that is a much better option than remaining liable for the debt. Leases or contracts can be “assumed”, which means you can keep paying for the item and keep it, even though you are filing bankruptcy. You may want to do that, for example,  in the case of a vehicle that is necessary to keep as it may be your only vehicle and you can afford the lease payments.

Back to the dogs !  I would suggest a better option for getting a new puppy is visiting your local animal shelter.  That way, you are giving a needy pup a home and you won’t have to part with him if you do file bankruptcy !

If you are in a lease or rental situation and want to learn the effect filing bankruptcy will have on that lease or rental, be sure and discuss your situation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney … and be sure and mention to them if  you are renting a dog !

 

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Do creditors have you cornered ? What is Bankruptcy and how does it work ?

Posted on July 27, 2017. Filed under: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Consumer Alerts, Uncategorized | Tags: |

Before filing a bankruptcy case, you and your attorney should analyze your eligibility for different forms of debt relief available under the Bankruptcy Code and which form of relief is most beneficial to you. Be sure you understand the relief you can obtain and its limitations.

To file a bankruptcy case, documents called a Petition, Schedules, and Statement of Financial Affairs, as well as in some cases a Statement of Intention need to be prepared correctly and filed with the bankruptcy court. You will have to pay a filing fee to the bankruptcy court.

Once your case is filed, you will have to attend a first meeting of creditors where you will be questioned under oath by a court official called a “trustee”. At this meeting you may also be questioned by your creditors.

If you choose to file a Chapter 7 case, you may be asked to reaffirm a debt. You may want help deciding whether to do so. A creditor is not permitted to coerce you into reaffirming debts.

If you choose to file a Chapter 13 case in which you repay your creditors what you can afford over a 3 to 5 year period, your attorney will help you in preparing your Chapter 13 plan and with the confirmation hearing on your plan which will be before a Federal Bankruptcy Judge.

If you select another type of relief under the Bankruptcy Code other than chapter 7 or chapter 13, you will want to find out what should be done from someone familiar with that type of relief.

To get started, be sure and meet with an attorney that is experienced with filing bankruptcy cases. Most attorneys will offer a free, no obligation first meeting to explain the process and see if bankruptcy can help you.

 

 

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Credit Counseling or Debt Consolidation ?

Posted on July 22, 2017. Filed under: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Consumer Alerts, Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney, Uncategorized | Tags: , |

 

Are you considering debt relief through a consumer credit counseling  or debt consolidation service ?

You may be surprised to learn that they can do more harm than good to your credit.  Many times, bankruptcy is a better option, and we will be happy to sit down with you and thoroughly discuss your personal financial situation in order to help you decide what is the best solution for your financial problems.

In analyzing your particular situation, we always consider if there is an alternative to filing bankruptcy.  The decision to file bankruptcy is a difficult choice for many people to make.

A bankruptcy will affect, in some fashion, your future credit.  Bankruptcy, though,  does not totally destroy your ability to get credit in the future.  The decision to file bankruptcy must be carefully made in consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

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