For individuals whose debts are primarily “consumer debts,” as opposed to business entities or persons whose debts are primarily related to business dealings, there are essentially two types of bankruptcy filings. They are commonly referred to as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. I’ll first provide a very brief overview of each and then discuss how one determines which is available or preferable. Please keep in mind that a fully comprehensive explanation of the intricacies of each type of filing will take much time and many pages, and because each person’s circumstances are unique, there simply is no way to deal with all considerations that may be necessary to reach the best result for each person. This is why you need to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney if you believe that filing for relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code is right for your particular set of circumstances.
Chapter 7 is a “liquidation” type of case. When one files for relief under Chapter 7 (relief from your creditors and debts), a trustee is appointed to determine whether the debtor (the person filing) has any unencumbered assets that may be liquidated (a fancy word turned into cash). Most often, there are no unencumbered assets, but if there are, those assets are subject to being sold so that there is money to distribute to creditors. This aspect of the case prompts many prospective clients to ask whether their home or car will be sold. Generally speaking the answer is no. This is true because most people have mortgage loans or vehicle financing liens that encumber the property to the value of the outstanding loan balance. A debtor is also allowed to exempt a certain amount of value of almost all types of property. For example, if you and your spouse jointly own a home in Illinois valued at $150,000 with a $120,000 balance on your mortgage loan, that leaves only $30,000 in equity, which is the maximum unencumbered value. However, each of you has a $15,000 exemption under Illinois law, meaning that the total equity of $30,000 can be claimed as exempt thereby leaving nothing for a Chapter 7 trustee to liquidate. In other words, as long as you are up to date on your mortgage payments, the house will remain yours.
Chapter 13 involves a plan for repaying a portion of your pre-bankruptcy debts. Prior to 2005, a Chapter 13 plan was formulated by subtracting a debtor’s monthly expenses from his monthly income after allowed deductions (taxes, etc.). The difference or “disposable income” was paid monthly to an appointed trustee for distribution to creditors under the terms of the plan as proposed by the debtor. In 2005, Congress changed many of the Bankruptcy laws, and since then a Chapter 13 plan payment is determined by resort to a rather complicated and even convoluted calculation which relies primarily on IRS standard allowances. I’m personally not a big fan of this system, but it remains the law and therefore applicable to most, but not all, Chapter 13 cases. A chapter 13 plan generally runs between three and five years, after which the debtor receives his discharge of the balance of most pre-filing debts.
The year 2005 plays a big role in much of this discussion as prior thereto, a person was free to choose between the two types of bankruptcy filings. For example, a person may be able to save a home from foreclosure through a Chapter 13 plan, but generally cannot do so through Chapter 7. There are other valid reasons to pick and choose, but that option is for the most part no longer on the table. The many changes in 2005 included the requirement that persons “qualify” to file under Chapter 7, and if unable to do so are required to file under Chapter 13. This prompted many, including experienced attorneys, to believe that would mark the effective end of consumer-based bankruptcy cases. That has not been the case in my experience, however.
The qualification process as it now exists resorts to a rather complex set of calculations, which again relies on the seemingly arbitrary IRS figures for various allowances based upon where a person lives and how many household members there are. The official form used to make the determination can be found by clicking here. The IRS allowance information necessary to complete the form can be found by clicking here. The first consideration is annual income. In Illinois, for a family of three, the median annual income allowance is currently $68,721. If you are under this threshold, you may file under Chapter 7, period. But if over that level of income, you must go through the rest of the calculations to determine whether you qualify. The IRS allowances themselves are not very generous, but for people who have mortgage loans and other types of secured debt payments, those are actually deductible from monthly income to get to the bottom line.
Since 2005, I have had only handful of clients that could not qualify under Chapter 7, although it has happened. For those who cannot qualify, the same calculations used to determine eligibility are used to determine Chapter 13 plan length and payments amount. As you can see, it’s just not as simple as it once was, which is why you simply must have the advice of a competent attorney when contemplating bankruptcy relief.
Are My Recreational Vehicles Exempt In Bankruptcy?
It depends. You can file Bankruptcy and keep your recreational vehicles if you are willing and able to pay the Bankruptcy Trustee the current market value of the vehicle (if you own it free and clear) or for any equity in it. If you cannot afford to pay the Trustee the market value or equity you have in the vehicle then, you will lose your recreational vehicle when you file for Bankruptcy.
Recreational vehicles such as quads, sand-rails, dirt bikes, jet skis, boats and ATVs are non-necessity items. These types of vehicles are not considered necessary to you establishing a fresh start. Therefore, they are not protected under the bankruptcy exemption statutes. Consequently, they are subject to being taken in a bankruptcy proceeding if you do not plan for your bankruptcy properly.
In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you generally are not allowed to keep a recreational vehicle. In a Chapter 7 case, you must either: (1) surrender the recreational vehicle to the Trustee, or (2) buy the recreational vehicle back from the Trustee. If you surrender the recreational vehicle to the Trustee, the Trustee will sell it and after withholding the administrative expenses of the sale, pay the remaining proceeds to your creditors. One option you can pursue is to purchase back the asset, typically at a reduced price, from the trustee. The Trustee will then take your purchase proceeds, less his administrative expenses and pay the creditors.
For example, if you had a quad that was worth $2,500, the Trustee could sell the quad at an auction and perhaps get $2,000 for it. After subtracting administrative expenses for his efforts, as well as the cost of the sale, the trustee would be able to pay $1700 to the creditors. Or, you may offer to purchase the quad back from the trustee for $1500 and keep the quad. The trustee would then pay the $1500 less his administrative expenses to your creditors.
A better way to address the issue with your recreational vehicle would be perhaps to sell it before filing bankruptcy and place the cash proceeds into an exempt asset such as the equity in your home or your primary vehicle. In this scenario you get to keep the cash, but lose the recreational vehicle.
In a chapter 13 case, you could keep your recreational vehicle. However, you would have to pay the Trustee back the value of the asset over the life of the Chapter13 plan. Chapter13 plans last 3 to 5 years. So, for example, if the quad was worth $2,500, you would pay the trustee roughly $45 per month for five years to keep your quad. Again, this assumes you own the quad free and clear.
Under either chapter 7 or chapter 13, if you owe money on the quad, you simply have to keep making the payment to keep it. If you have a substantial amount of equity in the quad, and still owe money on it, you may have to pay the trustee an amount equal to your equity in order to keep the quad, or the trustee may take it and sell it if he believes there is enough equity in it to warrant the sale. In a chapter 7, if you were going to pay the trustee for the equity, you would have to pay it all in one lump sum. Whereas, in a Chapter 13, you can pay the value of your equity over time, in monthly payments, over the life of the Chapter 13 plan.
Can I File For Bankruptcy More Than Once?
Posted on 09 February 2010 by Ted Agnick, The Lawyer
Yes, you can file for bankruptcy more than once. However, several situations separately control how soon you can re-file for bankruptcy.
Refiling After Your Previous Case Was Dismissed
The first situation applies if you previously filed a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy and your case was dismissed without you receiving a discharge of debts. In this situation, you can refile for Bankruptcy immediately. There is no waiting period. However, you must be aware that if you are refiling within 12 months of your case being dismissed, the automatic stay will only go into effect for 30 days. Therefore, you will need to file for an extension on the automatic stay if you are refiling within 12 months of your case being dismissed.
If you had two or more cases dismissed within the last 12 months, the automatic stay will not go into effect at all. However, you can apply to have the automatic stay instated. Finally, be aware that if your previous chapter 7 case was dismissed because you willfully failed to abide by a court order or failed to properly prosecute the case you can be barred from filing a new case for 180 days after your case was dismissed.
Refiling After You Previously Received a Chapter 7 Discharge
The second situation applies if you previously filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy that was not dismissed and you received a discharge of debts. In this situation, you can file for chapter 7 again eight years from the date you previously filed your chapter seven bankruptcy petition. If you previously filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy and received a discharge of debts, that was not dismissed, and now wish to file under chapter 13, you can do so four years from the date you previously filed your chapter 7 petition.
Refiling After You Previously Received a Chapter 13 Discharge
The third situation applies if you previously filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy that was not dismissed and you received a discharge of debts. In this situation, you can file for chapter 7 bankruptcy six years from the date you filed your previois chapter 13 petition. You can file for chapter thirteen again two years from the date you filed your previois chapter 13 petition.
Negative Home Equity In Phoenix Arizona
Posted on 25 March 2010 by Ted Agnick, The Lawyer
Phoenix ranks third in the nation for having the highest percentage of mortgage borrowers with negative equity, according to a recent MSN article titled: America’s Most Underwater Housing Markets.
According to that article, a Zillow economist indicated our country has never had this many homes with negative equity through out our country in history. Apparently, this means even in the great depression, housing never went this far upside down through out our country.
One of the conclusions identified in the article is that these conditions will create more foreclosures due to their affect on the housing market.
According to the article, home prices in Phoenix “dropped more than 52 percent from their peaks through the third quarter of 2009. And as of the fourth quarter of last year, nearly 62 percent of single-family home mortgages were underwater . . . .”
So, it appears things are not getting better anytime soon. In fact, they may be getting worse as more and more people will find it harder to sell their homes to prevent foreclosure. Bankruptcy is a tool that may be able to help you stay in your home or properly eliminate the debt and tax burden’s that can arise from a foreclosure sale. For more information, visit ArizonaBankruptcyGuru.com.
Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney
Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney
Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney can help you when you find yourself in financial trouble. You are not alone! Many of our clients find themselves underwater due to divorce, job loss, catastrophic medical expenses or credit card bills.
At Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney we have one important goal in serving clients: to free them from debt, either through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings. We have streamlined the filing process to make it easier and less costly.
Many Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney clients are pleasantly surprised at how stress-free the filing can be. We offer every client a free initial consultation by phone, so you can review your financial situation with a skilled bankruptcy lawyer.
At Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney we do not ask you to fill in a long, exhaustive questionnaire before making an appointment at Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney. Instead, our firm will do the paperwork for you. All you have to do is answer the questions and provide needed financial verification such as paycheck stubs, bank statements and income tax filings.
Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney’s explain the Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?
As a Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney client, we examine the alternative to help you understand your options. A major advantage of Chapter 7 is that it eliminates most of your debt in just 90 days. In order to qualify for Chapter 7, you must earn less than the median income for a household of your size. For example, a household of four can file if the income is less than $82,602 per year.
However, even if your income is too high, you may still be able to file a Chapter 7 if you can pass the means test. We will work with you to determine if you have enough of the standard offsets and deductions to put you in the category of people who still qualify to file a Chapter 7 even though they earn more than the median income.
Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney:
Maximum Household Income For Easy Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
One person $51,161 = $4,263/mo.
Two people $63,930 = $5,328/mo.
Three people $72,275 = $6,023/mo.
Four people $84,442 = $6,869/mo.
Five people $89,322 = $7,444/mo.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Eliminates Most of Your Unsecured Debts Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the short form. In most cases Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates your debts in 90-120 days. It eliminates most of your unsecured debts -credit cards, old repossessions, medical bills
If you do not qualify for Chapter 7, you may consider Chapter 13, a debt consolidation-debt reduction plan that allows you to radically write down the total amount you owe as part of paying a portion of it back. Chapter 13 also stops foreclosure and obtains an order from the Court requiring mortgage lenders to give mortgage borrowers the opportunity to catch up on monthly mortgage payments over a three to five year period, so they can remain in the family home.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is designed to catch up on your mortgage and
radically write down other debts.
Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney – Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney’s use the short form for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In most cases Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates your debts in 90-120 days. To prove you are eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, we must show that
• You have not completed any kind of bankruptcy filing under eight years ago
• You do not have some very valuable asset like a non-IRA/non-401k stock portfolio, have excessive home equity (401k’s/IRA’s cannot be seized in bankruptcy)
• Your regular net income is less than or barely exceeds your ordinary monthly expenses
• Your total household yearly gross income during the most recent six months was less than the median income for a household of its size. However, the median income test is not set in stone. Even if you are over the median income, you may still be eligible under Chapter 7 if you have certain offsets like high mortgage payments, high car payments, child support payments, or expensive health insurance payments.
In most Chapter 7 bankruptcies, you will be granted a discharge, eliminating the majority of your debts from 90-120 days after we file. Discuss your options wit a Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney
Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney – Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you time to catch back up on your mortgage while protecting you from your other creditors. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed to give you a way to catch back up on mortgages that have fallen behind and to permanently write down the size of your unsecured debt.
Chapter 13 radically reduces your unsecured debts (e.g., credit card debt, medical bills) by obtaining the court’s permission to redirect your available income primarily to catching back up on mortgages that have fallen behind.
You make your payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee, who then pays your individual creditors. Your plan will last from 36 to 60 months. If you have a mortgage and car loans, you will continue to pay for these items in your plan. You also pay a reduced percentage of your unsecured debt in the plan.
Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney services all of Duval County.
Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney’s also service clients in San Marco, Miramar, Lakewood, Dupont and San Jose
Call a Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney for a free consultation regarding your legal options.
Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney – Contact
Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney services all of Tucson. Thank you for visiting the Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney site, we are here to help you, please call to set an appointment.
Useful Tips For Avoiding Bankruptcy
The Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act was passed in early 2005 with the intention of reforming American bankruptcy law as we know it. The existing laws, according to Congress and the credit card companies, granted too many debtors who might be capable of repaying at least some of their debts to have them wiped away by the courts. The new law was intended, rightly or wrongly, to eliminate the “bankruptcy of convenience” that allowed many consumers to run up huge debts without repaying them.
Under the new law, filing is much more difficult, time consuming and expensive; so much so that it has discouraged many would-be filers from seeking debt relief through the courts.
Given that debt relief through the bankruptcy courts is now so much more difficult, it makes sense that consumers with mounting bills might want to seek alternatives. In order to do that, debtors need to find some other way to manage their increasing debt. Below are a few tips that might help consumers avoid filing for bankruptcy.
Negotiate with your creditors – It is generally a good idea to talk to your creditors as soon as you have a problem. If you are missing payments, call them and explain why. Creditors want to get paid, but they also understand that everyone has financial problems from time to time. They may be able to work out a repayment agreement with you that you can afford. You will receive much more cooperation from your lenders if you are honest and explain your problem than to simply stop paying without explanation.
Seek credit counseling – Credit guidance sessions are mandatory for filing for bankruptcy, but many people with little or no formal financial training could benefit from meeting with a counselor and explaining their financial problems. The agency can offer help with money management and repayment plans. They may even be able to negotiate some better terms with your creditors if you haven’t already done so yourself. Many agencies are nonprofit, so you will generally find their services to be quite inexpensive.
Get a debt consolidation loan – A consolidation loan is one that combines several debts, often at high interest rates, into one loan at a lower rate. A home equity loan is ideal for this, and thanks to rising real estate prices, many people now have a reasonable amount of equity in their property. As a bonus, the interest on a home equity loan is tax deductible. Other credit cards with low-interest introductory rates are also good for consolidating debt.
Sell your house – If you do have a lot of equity in your property, it may become necessary to sell your house to pay your bills. This is a drastic step, as you will have to find another place to live, but if the alternative is losing your home to foreclosure, it may be the only sensible choice.
Bankruptcy shouldn’t be taken lightly. Having your debts removed and pay off debt by the courts will leave a mark on your credit report for up to ten years and will make it more hard and expensive to borrow money or obtain credit in the future. Smart consumers know that avoiding bankruptcy, if at all possible, is a smart financial act.
I’ve Got Child Support Debt! Can Bankruptcy Help?
Child support payments can become quite a burden when it is put into an already tight budget. And these days, you’d be lucky to find a budget that isn’t tight. You may have to pick and choose which debts to pay and, while it seems that you could push off your child support payments, there is little tolerance from government agencies for not paying it.
If you start to miss payments, an agency can (and will) garnish your wages—but not at the regular rates put forth by the Missouri wage garnishment laws. If you are head of household, up to one half of your paycheck can be garnished. If you are not head of household, up to 65% of your paycheck can be garnished. That garnishment makes it near impossible to pay any of your other bills.
Child support debt is not a typical debt—it is considered family support and taken very seriously. In fact, if your child support is the result of a court order, not paying it may be considered a violation of that order. That could possibly result in your arrest for contempt.
Since child support is considered family support like alimony or maintenance payments, it isn’t able to be discharged in a Chapter 7. Fortunately, a bankruptcy lawyer can still help you with your child support debt. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can put a stop to your wage garnishment and help you catch up on your child support payments. While the debt can’t be discharged, back child support payments can be put into a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Can you imagine how much easier it would be to maintain your budget without the weight of child support debt and a wage garnishment? You can finally be back in control of your payments, your budget, and your paycheck. Remember, doing nothing changes nothing. You can change the situation that you are in—but only if you are willing to take action against it.
Child support debt, especially if paired with a garnishment, can render you unable to pay any other bills, sinking you farther and farther into debt. The best move to make next is to start looking at your options. Sure, you can get a free consultation from most attorneys, but the best ones will be able to provide you with great information before you even sit down with them face to face. Read up on bankruptcy FAQ, blogs, and even free publications to help you decide if bankruptcy is the best way out of debt.
Jim Brown is the founder and owner of Castle Law Office of St. Louis, P.C. He has been filing bankruptcy cases in Missouri since 1994 and has released several publications based on his experience. You can find these publications and more information by visiting his website at
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy 341 Meeting
If you are going to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy , you may have heard of something called a 341 meeting. A section 341 meeting can also sometimes be referred to as a meeting of creditors or creditors meeting. Essentially this is a meeting where if you are filing for bankruptcy under this chapter, the creditors that you owe money to or want to discharge through the bankruptcy, can come and ask you questions.
In attendance is usually your bankruptcy attorney , you and a court appointed trustee. The trustee essentially is the person who oversees the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to make sure everything is adhered to according to the bankruptcy law .
Usually most creditors do not send a representative to the section 341 meeting of creditors. But this does not mean that they cannot show up to ask you questions. Your bankruptcy lawyer will usually have prepared you thoroughly for what to expect at the 341 meeting.
The type of bankruptcy questions a creditor who attends the 341 meeting may ask you could relate to some of the information you may have filed out on the original application you made to the creditor when applying for credit. The bankruptcy questions asked by the creditor could be something to the tune of why there is a discrepancy between the original application and the information on your bankruptcy petition.
One of the concerns a trustee may have at the 341 meeting of creditors is that prior to filing bankruptcy , the debtor may have paid a large sum of money to one creditor and not that much to another. Bankruptcy law does not like favoritism of one creditor over another and the trustee may inquire why this was done or require the favored creditor to return the money to be distributed more fairly. The bankruptcy attorney will usually ask the debtor what sort of payments they have been making in the few months prior to filing bankruptcy .
Many times bankruptcy attorneys have had to deal with nervous clients that fear a 341 meeting of creditors may not go well and there is something that will come up in the bankruptcy law that will throw them off. A bankruptcy lawyer will provide the client with a wealth of bankruptcy information first and plays a critical role in assuring the client the 341 meeting of creditors will proceed without any problems and the clients filing for bankruptcy will go smoothly.
Jay King is a owner of BankruptcyIntro.com. We’ve all heard of large companies filing for bankruptcy or “going bankrupt” and most of us would think that particular company must be in trouble.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Information: Nice And Simple
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the one of the most if not the most drastic financial maneuvering an individual or a corporation can make. Considered as a last resort, this kind of bankruptcy relinquishes right to assets, properties and personal belongings to the care of the court for liquidation. These liquidated assets are then used to pay off creditors and outstanding accounts. Though considered to be extreme, it also provides a fast and efficient relief to financial woes that is becoming more and more unmanageable. Chapter 7 bankruptcy information is vital to the formulation of decision to file for it or not.
So what are the primary considerations to bankruptcy? What you can do is to assess for yourself (at first) your financial status. You can write down your debts and credit accounts and total them to see the big picture of just how much you need to pay. Then you list down sources of your income and deduct from its total you monthly expenditures just to stay afloat. When none is left as expendable income, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is your best bet to pay off obligations as soon as possible.
If you have fears to lose all your assets, it is best to have an assessment with your lawyer. This way you have a better decision to follow. There are provision within Chapter 7 that gives you the right to keep a part or all of your properties when you have the means and the ways to do so. It is even possible that under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can continue paying for your home and car mortgages. But this entirely depends on the depth of your financial troubles.
Straight bankruptcy or Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a straight forward approach to keep you back in track with your financial life. Some are very hesitant to even entertain the idea of bankruptcy but the truth is that it is a sensible solution to certain financial situations. 1 million of Americans filed for bankruptcy in 2009 just to improve their financial standing. And to some extent, that action might have save them from losing their homes, cars and getting rid of persistent phone calls from their creditors that might be considered harassment.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy information is considered to be a necessary foreknowledge before jumping in to the bankruptcy band wagon. Needless to say, bankruptcy is not a highly anticipated event in life, but it is a relief at the same time for many people who are in the midst of debts that are practically killing them softly. Enough assessment with qualified Chapter 7 lawyers will ensure that your decision filing under this bankruptcy provision is the best for your current financial crisis.
Keith Windale is an avid researcher of the latest interesting facts relating to personal financing, easy debt solutions, bankruptcy, etc.
Get some very useful information from one of his latest projects on the topic of Chapter 7 bankruptcy information . For more information on the topic, please visit Keith’s site, bankruptcy software
How to File Personal Bankruptcy For Free
Filing for Bankruptcy costs money and even if you do the filing all by yourself you will still need to spend money on documents, papers and other information requirements. If you want to know how to file personal bankruptcy for free then you will just find yourself with no answers. What you can do is to learn the ways to cut cost when you file bankruptcy. To get into that, you must have a basic understanding of bankruptcy. You do not need to become an expert of it but just become familiar with the bankruptcy laws.
Bankruptcy is considered as a privilege by many because it has the capacity to eliminate the debt of a person. The two types of bankruptcy you should be learning should be chapter 7 and chapter 13. These two types of bankruptcy are the most commonly filed by people. There are advantages and disadvantages with each type and learning them can help you make preparations in which type you will be able to file.
Chapter 7 is the straight or liquidation type bankruptcy. This bankruptcy works by liquidating the properties of a debtor. The amount of money that will be produced from the liquidation will be distributed to the creditors. Debts that are unpaid by the completion of the liquidation are categorized as forgiven or eliminated and therefore, cannot be claimed by the creditors anymore. The debtor can keep properties that are called exempt properties. These types of properties are exempted from the liquidation; other properties that are not categorized as exempt are put through liquidation.
Chapter 13 is referred to as a reorganization or repayment plan. This type of bankruptcy works to resolve debts by letting the debtor propose a plan to pay the debts he owes from his creditors. The only way he can be eligible for this is to prove that he has an income that exceeds his expense. Currently, most people are encouraged to file this type of bankruptcy because of the new requirement of the new bankruptcy law which is that a person must attend a credit counseling session conducted by credit counseling agencies. These agencies provide the repayment plan for you so indirectly influencing you to file a chapter 13.
If you want to know how to file personal bankruptcy for free or at least at very minimum cost then I can suggest a few ways in which you can achieve this. The first thing you can do to cut cost in filing your bankruptcy is doing it all by yourself. This is hard work and most likely will take you time to get things done. Also, adding to the problem is the risk that you might make a mistake preparing your papers.
The best thing I can suggest you can do is to hire a petition preparer or a bankruptcy lawyer to prepare your papers. This way, mistakes can be avoided. You just pay their flat fee and then you do the rest of the work. You do not have to spend a lot of money when you file bankruptcy. For more support on how to file bankruptcy, visit the link below.
Steve Young is the author of The #1 Secret On How To File Bankruptcy. To get your free CD on How to File Bankruptcy Without an Attoney, go to www.onlinebkassist.com
Bankruptcy Exemptions – What Things Can You Claim As An Exemption When Filing?
What are bankruptcy exemptions, and how are they determined? First off, these are only for individuals filing for bankruptcy and not businesses, and they are something that allows you to keep up your standard of living by protecting some of your personal possessions from being taken by the court to pay off your debt.
As I’m sure you are aware, in bankruptcy what often happens is that the court will take away your possessions to liquidate them and pay off your debts. Knowing what the court can take away and what they can’t is very important to determining whether or not you should file for bankruptcy.
If they can take away basically everything you own, then obviously filing is a bad decision. However, if a lot of your things fall under bankruptcy exemptions, then it might be a smart thing to file, and get rid of your debts so that you can start over.
The way it works is, you can sometimes choose between the state and national bankruptcy exemptions, in the case of states who allow national exemptions. Each have their own rules on what can be considered an exemption and what cannot be.
However, often times, you must go with the state exemptions, as certain states (the majority, actually) don’t allow national exemptions to apply to them.
It’s a long story, but for now that’s the way it is, and I will leave it at that. If you live in a state that allows national bankruptcy exemptions, you have to decide on which rules you want to go with, and can’t just take portions of each that apply to you. You have to choose one or the other.
This is basically how it works. First, when you claim something as a bankruptcy exemption, you have to show the value of it right now, and not when you first obtained it, since this is obviously the amount the court will get for it by selling it.
There are only certain things that can be claimed, of course, otherwise why not just keep everything? Since each state is different, for the purpose of this article I will cover the more prominent of the federal exemptions.
First, the equity of the main residence you live in is exempt for up to ,400, and you can use this money to live somewhere else once you lose your current place. Pension and retirement plans can also be claimed should you claim them, life insurance that is at least 00, and also unemployment benefits can’t be taken as well if you claim them.
There are quite a few other smaller things, and of course, your lawyer will be able to give you an extensive list, so that you can determine what you will have to lose and what you can keep. Remember, this only applies to chapter 7 bankruptcy, as with chapter 13, the individual follow a court ordered payment plan, and you aren’t discharged of your obligations, as you are with chapter seven.
Your lawyer will be able to help you with bankruptcy exemptions, so while this is an introduction to the topic, it is no substitute for a competent attorney who can explain to you the ins and outs of this somewhat complicated topic.
Trying to decide whether or not to file for bankruptcy? Determining the bankruptcy exemptions you can claim is a good start. Also, for little known secrets on getting the best court deal and most importantly, achieving financial success, check out http://www.onlinebankruptcytips.com
If your are forced to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, what property will I be allowed to keep, and what property will the bankruptcy trustee take away? This lecture gives a brief over-view of the bankruptcy exemption laws…that is, the laws that explain what property items are exempt from taking by a bankruptcy trustee, in the State of California. NOTE: Since the exemption laws are different in every state, and this lecture addresses only California Law, viewers who live outside the State of California may wish to skip this video.
What Will Happen in a New York Bankruptcy Court?
Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is scary, and most people are falsely convinced that it would ruin them financially. But the reality is that bankruptcy can often improve your credit score because a person who declared Chapter 7 in the past is not as high a credit default risk as one who is suffocating under a mountain of debt. Events happen that are out of our control. Job loss, foreclosure, illness – there is a multitude of reasons why you may need the help of a New York bankruptcy lawyer.
Ultimately, filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection may the right choice for you. Chapter 7 is known as a “straight liquidation bankruptcy” and is the most common type of consumer bankruptcy. It has generally been the bankruptcy used by those with few or no valuable assets.
To help you understand Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Storobin & Spodek LLP, a bankruptcy law firm in New York, is publishing a series of articles. This one will deal with the meeting with the U.S. Trustee in the bankruptcy court, a meeting also known as the 341 hearing.
At the New York bankruptcy court 341 hearing, the United States Trustee asks the person filing for bankruptcy several questions. You should keep in mind that the Trustee is not a judge and does not rule on your bankruptcy case.
Answer these questions directly, without elaborating unless asked to clarify by the Trustee. Make sure to bring your driver’s license and social security card.
Please note you must bring your social security card and Drivers’ license [it must have the same address that is on your petition] to the hearing.
QUESTIONS THAT ARE USUALLY ASKED:
1. Name, social security number, and address.
2. Did you read the Bankruptcy Information Sheet?
3. Did you sign the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents you filed with the New York bankruptcy court?
4. Have you read the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents?
5. Are you personally familiar with the information contained in these documents?
6. Is the information in these documents accurate?
7. Do you see any errors or omissions in these documents?
8. Are all of your assets identified on these documents?
9. Have you listed all of your creditors?
10. Did you ever file bankruptcy before?
A. There are several types of loans that are nearly impossible to be discharged. One of them is the student loan. For such loans, one must prove inability to pay, which sounds much simpler than it really is. There would have to be an adversarial proceeding proving much more than what one would normally need to prove in a bankruptcy.
Likewise, parking tickets, child support, alimony and income taxes are not discharged via a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Large payments to family, as well as anything related to fraud, may not be erased by declaring a bankruptcy.
You should also remember that your loan co-signers won’t be discharged just because you filed a bankruptcy. They may be forced to pay your debt even though your Chapter 7 bankruptcy was approved.
Victoria Spodek, Esq., a New York Bankruptcy Lawyer , is an associate at Storobin & Spodek LLP, a bankruptcy law firm in New York
Are There Options When You’ve Defaulted on Student Loans?
Do you feel lost in your student loan debt? Don’t worry you are not alone. It’s easy to push them to the back burner when you are trying to cover other bills like rent health insurance, car payments, etc.
Student loans can get you into a quick financial hole quickly, even if they don’t seem as important as other bills you are paying. Getting behind on payments toward your defaulted student loans can end with bill collectors harassing you, lawsuits, judgments and even your wages being garnished or your bank account frozen. The courts can take future tax refunds you may receive in order to get their money.
You may be wondering if you have options if you are in a bind with your defaulted student loans. Some common questions of defaulted student loans are: How do I stop the harassing phone calls from bill collectors, or should I file bankruptcy?
When you miss payments on your student loans, you are given another opportunity to pay off the loan, which is a rare occurrence. This process is called “rehabilitation” and many bill collectors don’t want you to know about it, so they may play dumb.
When you rehabilitate your student loans, you have the option to follow a short term payment schedule. If you pay the loan in full, it’s taken out of the hands of bill collectors, which also stops the constant calls from the collection agencies. They try to keep this process quiet because every time a collection agency goes through it, they lose the 25% bounty they would’ve received if the full loan amount was collected.
You should call your debt collector and ask to “rehabilitate” your loan, and as long as they cooperate, you may not even need a lawyer. In order to successfully rehabilitate, you need to make 9 full payments over a 10 month period, and if you fail to do so, you could be in trouble. It is difficult to get your student loans discharged by filing bankruptcy.Serious undue hardship must be proven, which means repaying your student loans will cause you and your family to live below the minimal standard of living. You better have stopped breathing to prove undue hardship, it is very difficult to use this to discharge your student loan debt.
Filing for bankruptcy may not be the right decision if most of your debt includes defaulted student loans, so you may not even need a lawyer. On the other hand, if they consist of only part of your larger financial debt, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may help you towards a fresh start. Before you speak with any bankruptcy lawyer, sign any forms to agree to consolidate your debt or talk to any bill collector, you need to gather information so you can arm yourself with the right questions to ask before you make a decision you later regret.
Missouri Bankruptcy attorney James Brown has been working to relieve the debt of American families for over 15 years. He has dedicated his career to educating consumers about options for debt relief and has released 5 publications, including, “Get Out of Debt: Secrets Your Creditors Don’t Want You to Know.” Click the link to download your FREE copy!
Eliminating Credit Card Debt – How to Eliminate Your Credit Card Debt and Avoid Bankruptcy
You lose all your money and your market reputation. Losing money is not that bad because you can earn it again. However, it is impossible to earn a reputation which you have lost. If you are a businessman, your suppliers and customers will not be comfortable to invest their finances even if you walk out of bankruptcy. There are various other ways of eliminating credit card debt. Even if you have an urgent requirement of eliminating credit card debt, bankruptcy is not the right way to do it.
Changes in bankruptcy laws for small businessmen and working people
Have you heard about Chapter 11? If you are a businessman operating with limited resources planning to file for bankruptcy, you need to file an application for chapter 11 as well. According to this new chapter, you cannot get all your liabilities exempted by declaring bankruptcy. You still have to pay a minimum sum to the bank. This is not a standard amount and is decided according to the financial situation of the client.
Along with businessmen, working employees also have to file for chapter 7 and 13 along with their applications for bankruptcy. These laws differ according to the state. Hence, you should look at the average income of your state before you decide to file for bankruptcy.
The best way to avoid bankruptcy is to focus on your expenditures. If you are spending ten thousand dollars a month without a job, you are heading for serious trouble. Bring your expenses to half or even less is possible. You need to interpret your financial condition in right manner. Try to hire a counselor who can study your transactions and help you in eliminating credit card debt.
When the bankruptcy laws had not been modified, a lot of people took undue advantage of this situation and got their liabilities exempted. This resulted in further problems for money granting companies. In the United States, most banks are going through their worst financial phase. They are running after their clients to recover billions of dollars. The increasing rate of bankruptcy does nothing but worsen the situation for eliminating credit card debt.
The United States government took strict notice and brought some big changes in the bankruptcy laws. As a concluding statement, I would say that bankruptcy is never the ideal way for eliminating credit card debt.
Getting out of debt through a debt settlement process is currently very popular but you need to know where to locate the best performing programs in order to get the best deals. To compare debt settlement companies it would be wise to visit a free debt relief network which will locate the best performing companies in your area for free.