For Americans who are overwhelmed with financial debt, bankruptcy offers a way for people to gain a fresh financial start. Over one million Americans filed for bankruptcy in 2013, according to the U.S. Courts. While this option may not be ideal for every person suffering with extensive debt, it can transform the lives of others. Many people avoid filing for bankruptcy because of the negative effect that it will have on their credit score, a fact known by a bankruptcy attorney in Cook County.
The probate process occurs when someone passes away and leaves property to be transferred to heirs. A legal court proceeding, probate begins when a survivor files a petition with the Clerk of Court, which will prompt a hearing before a judge.
When people think about bankruptcy filings, they commonly think about credit card debt, loans that can no longer be paid and frivolous spending habits, among other things. In some cases, these factors may contribute to people filing for bankruptcy in Illinois, and elsewhere. However, the Huffington Post reports that medical expenses are the number one reason why people file for personal bankruptcy. Read More
An Illinois man retired to Florida after a successful career as a physician. However, according to the Miami Herald, he did not have much time to relax. His wealthy mother-in-law’s estate was left to lawyers and court-appointed guardians in the probate process. Her children became embattled, fighting over accounts and assets. The man started an organization regarding probate guardianship in the hopes of preventing the situation from happening to others.
When homeowners embark on the bankruptcy process with the help of their Illinois bankruptcy lawyer, they often quickly pack up and move out of their home after receiving a foreclosure notice. When this occurs, many homeowners believe that their lender will take over the property. However, in some situations, the bank does not complete the process and the property’s title remains in the absent homeowner’s name, allowing it to become a zombie title.
When a loved one passes away, it is important for survivors to understand how the estate will be handled. In many situations, the assets will have to go through probate. People in Illinois and throughout the country may have to go through the process in order to validate the decedent’s will, pay debts or taxes and distribute the property.
A “lien” is an interest, taken by a creditor, in the real or personal property of the debtor, for the purpose of securing a debt or a loan. Liens can be voluntary, such as home mortgages, or involuntary, such as a judgment or a tax lien. Lien holders, or “secured creditors,” are guaranteed repayment of the debt or loan, even when the debtor files for bankruptcy. Thus, lien rights survive bankruptcy, but only to the extent that the lien is not “stripped down” or avoided. Read More
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, also called “straight bankruptcy,” generally discharges all debts incurred prior to the debtor’s filing, and is intended to provide an individual debtor with the relief necessary to make a fresh start. However, not all debts are dischargeable under Chapter 7. Among the exceptions to discharge are certain last-minute consumer debts owed by an individual debtor for “luxury goods or services.”
The bankruptcy court controls the processing of bankruptcy cases. In many instances, the court must issue orders to force a debtor or creditor to cooperate. For example, the court may order a debtor to disclose certain assets, or may order a creditor to stop any attempts to collect a debt while the debtor’s bankruptcy case is pending. However, some people refuse to obey valid orders issued by a court, and this may lead to contempt proceedings being brought against them. Read More
A United States bankruptcy judge has the ultimate discretion whether to grant requests for bankruptcy relief. In addition, the judge can issue any necessary orders to ensure compliance with the bankruptcy laws, and to ensure efficient administration of bankruptcy cases. Depending on what type of bankruptcy is involved, the debtor seeking relief may never be required to appear in front of the judge. Read More