Burr Ridge IL Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are struggling with mounting debt, a Burr Ridge IL bankruptcy attorney can help. At Lorraine M. Greenberg & Associates, we provide quality, personalized services throughout Chicago and its suburbs. We know that good people can get into bad situations. Contact us today to learn how we can help you stop creditor harassment, foreclosure, garnishments and more.
Is Bankruptcy the Right Option for You?
If overwhelming debt is making it impossible for you to pay your bills, bankruptcy can provide you with a fresh financial start. You may be able to eliminate the majority of your debt through a discharge, which occurs when your debt is completely written off. Or you may be able to reorganize your debt into a manageable payment plan. These options are available through Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which a Burr Ridge IL bankruptcy attorney can help you with.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often called “straight bankruptcy” or “liquidation bankruptcy.” This is the most common form of personal bankruptcy. It is a quick and efficient way to eliminate debt and start over. Some of your nonexempt property may be sold or returned to creditors in order to pay off debts. However, the unsecured debt that you are unable to pay will likely be discharged completely. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can take between four and six months to complete.
What Is the Means Test?
In order to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass a means test. The means test determines whether you make too much money or own too much property to qualify for Chapter 7. The means test will look at your monthly income and determine how much disposable income you have. If you have enough disposable income to repay your debts, you may be excluded from Chapter 7. If your income is less than the median income for a household of your size, then you should qualify for Chapter 7.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also called “debt reorganization.” Through Chapter 13 you can create repayment plan that includes all of your current debts. Then, you will make regular payments through your bankruptcy trustee. Many of your creditors will only get a small amount of what you originally owed. At the end of the three to five year payment plan, some of your debt may be discharged.
Chapter 13 can take longer than Chapter 7, but is an option if you have a lot of nondischargeable debt or you make too much money to qualify for Chapter 7.
Dischargeable and Nondischargeable Debt
Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 allow you to discharge some debt at the end of the bankruptcy. However, not all debt is dischargeable. This includes:
- Student loans
- Local, state, and federal taxes
- Child support
- Restitution, fines, and penalties owed due to breaking the law
- Personal injury verdicts as a result of your intoxicated driving
Most other debt, such as credit cards and medical bills, may be discharged. If you have questions about whether or not your debts are dischargeable, speak to a Burr Ridge IL bankruptcy attorney.
What Is an Automatic Stay?
An automatic stay is an order from the bankruptcy court that halts all creditor legal actions against you. It also stops creditors from contacting you and continuing to harass you via email, telephone, and mail. Your automatic stay will go into effect soon after you file your bankruptcy petition with the court. Then, your creditors will be notified that they should no longer directly contact you. Instead, they will appear at a creditors meeting or call your attorney.
Foreclosure and Car Repossession
When the automatic stay goes into place, your creditors will not be able to foreclose on your home or repossess your car. In many cases, your creditors will be more willing to change the terms of your payment plans on your home and car after you file bankruptcy. A Burr Ridge IL bankruptcy attorney can negotiate with your creditors to help you keep or properly dispose of your property.
Understanding the Bankruptcy Process
The bankruptcy process begins when you file a petition with the federal bankruptcy court. You will also have already taken a credit counseling course prior to filing your bankruptcy. Your attorney can help you gather all of the necessary documents that need to be filed with the court. The court will then issue an automatic stay to halt any creditor actions against you.
You will have to attend a 341 meeting of creditors to allow creditors to challenge the discharge of any debts. Once your bankruptcy is complete, some of your debts may be discharged and you will be free of the burden of unmanageable debt.
Stopping Creditor Harassment
Once you file bankruptcy, creditors will have to stop contacting you. If they do continue to contact you, give them your bankruptcy case number and refer them to your attorney.
If creditors try to harass you even after your bankruptcy is complete, you have rights. Speak to a Burr Ridge IL bankruptcy attorney to learn more.
Alternatives to Bankruptcy
While bankruptcy has many benefits, you may want to explore alternatives to bankruptcy. At Lorraine M. Greenberg & Associates, we can help you with debt consolidation and elimination. We can also negotiate with your creditors and reduce the overall amount that you owe. Then, you may be able to pay off debts that previously seemed insurmountable.
A lawyer can also help you obtain better payment plans with your creditors, as well as negotiate more favorable terms if your current payments are unmanageable. This will give you an opportunity to avoid bankruptcy and continue making payments on your property.
Contact a Burr Ridge IL Bankruptcy Attorney Today
A Burr Ridge IL bankruptcy attorney guide you through the bankruptcy process and help you get a fresh financial start. Call Lorraine M. Greenberg & Associates today to learn more about how we can help.