Will Bankruptcy Prevent Your Foreclosure?

Many people filing for bankruptcy do so in the hopes of stopping their lenders from foreclosing on their homes. Bankruptcy offers some powerful legal tools to help these people protect their houses and property from being repossessed by their creditors. However, completely preventing a foreclosure is not guaranteed in all cases of bankruptcy.

If your debt has become an uncontrollable burden on you and your family, it may be time to think about filing for debtor protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. These legal actions may be able to help you save property while clearing out a significant amount of debt. For more information regarding your full range of bankruptcy options, contact the Joliet bankruptcy lawyers of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., today by calling 815-722-2201.
Foreclosure Protection in Bankruptcy

When filing for bankruptcy, a debtor is granted what is known as an automatic stay. An automatic stay allows a debtor to pause their lenders’ collection of payments. This includes housing payments, which will cause any foreclosure processes to stop. However, bankruptcy may not offer protection in the following circumstances:

If a house is already sold
If a foreclosure notice has already been posted
If a lender files to lift the automatic stay with the court

In these situations, a person may not be able to prevent the foreclosure of their home. However, a legal advisor can work with a debtor to better understand all of their options when trying to protect their home.
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If you’re looking for legal help when dealing with a seemingly immovable mountain of debt, we may be able to get you started on the path to financial freedom. To discuss how bankruptcy may work to protect your property from foreclosure and repossession, contact the Joliet bankruptcy attorneys of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., at 815-722-2201 today.

Why You Should Avoid Intentional Debt before Bankruptcy

With the help of a bankruptcy attorney, a person may be able to carefully handle their debt problems and lower or eliminate their obligations to creditors. However, this doesn’t mean that a person can intentionally rack up debt before filing for bankruptcy. If a person uses their credit cards heavily before filing for bankruptcy and charges non-essential items as debt, they may be punished when they file.

If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy and want to avoid common pitfalls, you may want to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer before moving forward. For more information about how we may be able to make your bankruptcy filing process as easy and worry-free as possible, contact a Joliet bankruptcy lawyer at the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., today by calling 815-722-2201.
Recent Credit Card Debt and Bankruptcy

A recent charge on a credit card may be looked at suspiciously by a bankruptcy court. In many instances, people may recognize well in advance that they are going to need to file for bankruptcy. As other debts increase steadily, some debtors may think that they might as well spend money by charging items on their credit cards if they can quickly get rid of it through bankruptcy. However, this isn’t the case.

The following may be considered fraudulent purchases if they are non-essentials and charged before a person files for bankruptcy:

Vacations
Clothing that isn’t needed
Make-up and other cosmetics
Recreational or expensive vehicles
Home furnishings and appliances
Electronics

Other items may be considered luxury items as well, which cannot be discharged if put on a credit card prior to bankruptcy.
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There are many problems a debtor may face before filing for bankruptcy if they don’t consult with an experienced attorney. To discuss how you should prepare for bankruptcy and how we may be able to assist you with this process, contact a Joliet bankruptcy attorney at the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., today by calling 815-722-2201.

Who Gets Paid First?: Creditor Priority in Bankruptcy

When a debtor files for bankruptcy, they may want to give certain creditors priority of payment. However, priority is a complicated issue in these proceedings. In many situations, a debtor will have little to no say about which creditor is given priority during repayment or after liquidation. In these situations, it is often the decision of the court to determine who gets paid first.

If your debt situation has become unmanageable, an experienced legal professional may be able to help. For additional information regarding your options as a debtor facing bankruptcy, contact the Joliet bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman today at 815-722-2201.
Order of Payment in Bankruptcy

There are some situations in which a debtor may feel especially obligated to a creditor or may see a benefit in paying that party off first during bankruptcy proceedings. However, the debtor doesn’t generally have the ability to choose the order in which creditors will be paid during these proceedings. Instead, priority is generally given to the following:

Tax agencies
Employees owed wages
People owed child support

Other than these prioritized groups, there is often little that a debtor can do to direct how their bankruptcy repayment or liquidation is settled.
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If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy protection, we may be able to help. Contact the Joliet bankruptcy attorneys at Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman by calling 815-722-2201 today to discuss your situation with a qualified member of our legal team.

When Should You File for Bankruptcy?

Timing is an important part of filing for bankruptcy. While many debtors may think that filing for bankruptcy quickly is the best way to get immediate debt relief, there are some instances when a person may want to consider other options for a short time before filing. This can end up saving them a considerable amount of money and may also open up other legal options.

If you’re searching for a way out of your debt problems, bankruptcy may the solution you’re looking for. To discuss your options with an experienced advisor, contact the Joliet bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman by calling 815-722-2201 today.
Best Times to File

A person considering bankruptcy may want to think about delaying their case or may want to speed up their decision-making process, depending on what options are available. Time can play a major factor in bankruptcy in the following situations:

Filing for foreclosure protection quickly to prevent the loss of a house
Waiting to allow certain expenses to become dischargeable
Waiting to dilute wages to allow for Chapter 7 filing due to lost or cut income
Waiting for a mortgage modification
Filing before a division of property from a divorce

If a person is considering bankruptcy, he or she may want to consider when to file in addition to what type of bankruptcy to file under.
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Your debts shouldn’t take over your life. If you’re feeling like you don’t have any options left when dealing with your creditors, it may be time to take strong action towards a freer financial future. For more information regarding your debt-relief options, contact the Joliet bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman today at 815-722-2201.

What You Should Know about Bankruptcy Rejections

When a person files for bankruptcy, there is no guarantee that their request will be accepted. While a person may have the right to file for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy courts may still reject a debtor’s case if it doesn’t meet the necessary qualifications. It is helpful for a debtor to know some of the reasons their bankruptcy request may be turned down in order to prevent these rejections.

If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you may want the help of an experienced attorney to bolster your case. For more information regarding your options as you begin the bankruptcy process, contact the Joliet bankruptcy lawyers of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C. today by calling 815-722-2201.
You Should Know That Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Requirements Differ

When a debtor considers filing for bankruptcy, they should know the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Because of the means test, a person considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy may find their request rejected due to their income. Similarly, the repayment plans of Chapter 13 bankruptcy can lead to bankruptcy rejection due to a poorly put-together plan.
You Should Know That Creditors Have Bankruptcy Rights

A debtor filing bankruptcy has special legal protections that prohibit creditors from harassing them and, in some cases, from foreclosing on their property. However, creditors also have rights under bankruptcy. Some creditors may file for protection over their loans, preventing a person from discharging these debts. In some cases, these creditor rights can make Chapter 13 repayment plans difficult to draft and get passed by a bankruptcy trustee.
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If you’re on your last leg financially, bankruptcy might be the right choice for you. To discuss your case in further detail, contact the Joliet bankruptcy attorneys of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C. at 815-722-2201.

What You Need to Know about the Homestead Exemption

When a person files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they may file for certain exemptions that can help them protect their property from being foreclosed or sold off by the bank. These exemptions can extend to several different types of property, including real estate and houses. An exemption on this property can allow the property owner to keep their house instead of needing to forfeit it for the Chapter 7 process.

If you are facing bankruptcy due to overwhelming debt, there may be methods available to help you to retain the property that is important to you and your family. For more information regarding your options, contact the Joliet Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman by calling 815-722-2201 today.
Some Tips about the Homestead Exemption

A debtor looking for help holding onto their property should consider the following tips about the homestead exemption:
#1: Filing Occurs before a Bankruptcy

When a person wants to file a bankruptcy exemption, they need to do so before other bankruptcy proceedings begin. Also, they need to make sure that they are filing with the right office for the homestead exemption.
#2: The Homestead Exemption Can Cover Different Types of Property

According to Illinois bankruptcy law, the exemptions available for real estate and houses can cover several different types of property. This can include condominiums, houses, mobile homes, and other properties. Just because a person does not own a house does not mean that they cannot file for the homestead exemption.
#3: Spouses Can Couple Their Limits

When spouses file for a homestead exemption in bankruptcy, they can couple their exemption limits. Normally, these limits are set at $7,500 for individuals.
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If bankruptcy is on the horizon and you need help fighting for property that is crucial for your family, our experienced attorneys may be able to help you. To learn more, contact the Joliet Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman at 815-722-2201 today.

What Should You Bring to a Meeting with Creditors?

A debtor filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will eventually need to meet with creditors or a bankruptcy trustee to discuss the nature of his or her bankruptcy. While this may seem stressful, a person can generally get through this meeting smoothly with the help of a knowledgeable legal advisor in order to move on to the next steps of bankruptcy.

If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you may benefit greatly from the guidance and assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. To learn more about how we may be able to help you throughout the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 process, contact a Joliet bankruptcy lawyer of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman at 815-722-2201.
Documents Needed for Creditor Meetings

When people begin to speak with their creditors during the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy process, they will meet in what is known as a 341 hearing. These meetings are primarily used to verify the validity of the debtor’s claims for bankruptcy.

To prepare for this meeting, a person heading into bankruptcy should collect the following pieces of information:

Deeds to property
Titles on cars
Bank statements
Mortgage-related documents
Available tax returns
Pay stubs

These documents may be used by the bankruptcy trustee to determine whether a person is allowed to continue with the bankruptcy process. The individual filing for bankruptcy may also be asked a series of questions by the trustee, which can be easier to work through with the help of a legal advisor.
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If your expenses have pushed you towards a state of insolvency, we may be able to help you prepare and file for bankruptcy. For more information about our dedicated legal services, contact the Joliet Chapter 13 lawyer or Chapter 7 lawyer of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman by calling 815-722-2201 today.

What Public Pensions Are Protected in Illinois?

Pension programs keep many people prepared for the future, often as a reward for life-long work in a public sector job. However, bankruptcy may require a person to give up most of their property or assets. Because these pensions are so important, Illinois’s state bankruptcy exemptions work to protect these pensions from forfeiture.

If you are considering bankruptcy as a way to work through debts that you otherwise have no hope of paying, we may be able to help you recognize and use exemptions that can save you a substantial amount of money. To learn more about our services, contact the Joliet bankruptcy lawyers of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman by calling 815-722-2201 today.
Is My Pension Safe?

In Illinois, the following pensions are protected from bankruptcy through a state exemption:

Police pensions
Prison employee pensions
Firefighter pensions and pensions for survivors of a deceased firefighter
Civil service and government pensions
Sanitation district worker pensions
Pensions for judges
Park worker pensions
Teacher pensions, including state university pensions
Public librarian pensions
ERISA benefits

These protected pensions are crucial for many people, as they may be the primary source of income once an individual has retired and may be the only means of meeting living expenses or making payments toward existing financial obligations.
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If you cannot keep pace with your financial obligations any more, we may be able to help you to hold your creditors at bay through bankruptcy proceedings. For more information, contact the Joliet bankruptcy attorneys of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman at 815-722-2201 today.

What Is the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act?

In 2007, U.S. lawmakers passed a law meant to provide individuals going through the bankruptcy process additional financial protection if their mortgage debts are canceled or forgiven. This law, known as the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, makes sure that a person won’t pay taxes on mortgage debt if their mortgage debt was canceled or forgiven. This law also covers people who have lost their home due to foreclosure.

If your bankruptcy process will include substantial mortgage debts that may be forgiven or canceled, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act may be applicable to you, especially if you will have tax liabilities for these loans. To learn more about your financial options and what you can do during bankruptcy, contact a Joliet bankruptcy lawyer at the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., today by calling 815-722-2201.
How Does This Law Work?

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act applies to the bankruptcy process in the same way it applies to mortgage debts forgiven or canceled through other debt relief solutions. This means that a person who gets their mortgage debts forgiven or canceled during bankruptcy may not need to pay taxes on the remaining balance of their loan, which would normally still be taxable.

The qualifications for the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act include the following:

The cancellation or forgiveness must occur between 2007 and 2012

Forgiven debt must have been spent on home improvements

Forgiven or canceled debt must be tied to a principle residence, not a vacation home

Mortgage modification or restructuring qualifies

Foreclosures qualify

Under this law, a person can avoid being forced to pay taxes on debt they no longer carry. However, the IRS will still require people to take note of these debts on a tax return.
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The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act is a limited-time offer from the federal government to protect homeowners from being unnecessarily taxed on debts they no longer hold. If you believe you may qualify for this law, it may be important to take action quickly. For more information about your options, contact our Joliet bankruptcy attorneys of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., today at 815-722-2201.

What Is a Notice of Chapter 13 Case?

A debtor in Chapter 13 bankruptcy will receive a special notice from the court after they file for bankruptcy protection. Known as a Notice of Chapter 13 Case, this document contains important information gathered from the debtor’s filing that is sent out to both debtor and creditors. This information gives an overview of the case, as well as providing creditors with the opportunity to file their own objections.

If you are facing bankruptcy due to overwhelming debt obligations or unexpected major expenses, we can help you with your case. For more information about how bankruptcy may be able to provide you with a fresh start, contact the Joliet Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman by calling 815-722-2201.
What Can Be Found in a Notice of Chapter 13 Case?

Chapter 13 notices are given to the debtor and creditor, in part, to establish the details of a bankruptcy for all parties involved. Debtors can review their information to ensure that the court did not make clerical errors, while creditors should use these notices as their first opportunity to challenge bankruptcy claims.

These notices include the following information:

Facts and figures about the case
An overview of the submitted repayment plan
When creditors should meet
When creditors need to file their objections to the plan
When the confirmation hearing for the case is set

A debtor should carefully review this information before bankruptcy proceedings continue, as any errors by the court may influence their case dramatically.
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If you have are struggling to remain afloat, financially, bankruptcy may offer a viable solution to this difficulty. To learn more, contact the Joliet Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman at 815-722-2201 today.