What Is a Chapter 13 Confirmation Hearing?

A debtor filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection needs to follow the proper procedure to get their debt repayment plan in place. This means filing a repayment plan and confirming that plan in what is known as a confirmation hearing. At this hearing, a debtor may be required to make changes to their plan according to the input of the bankruptcy trustee and their creditors.

If your debt has become uncontrollable, bankruptcy may be the right solution for you. To learn more about your options as a debtor facing bankruptcy, contact the Joliet Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers from the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman by calling 815-722-2201.
Confirmation Hearing Challenges

When a person files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, they will be expected to file a repayment plan with the court, which can be reviewed by the court and that debtor’s creditors in the confirmation hearing. A confirmation hearing may result in some of the following challenges to a repayment plan:

Trustees may disallow plans that violate bankruptcy laws
Automotive creditors may want to readjust car values cited in the plan
Housing creditors may demand more payment for the house’s value

These points can be brought up and clearly argued in the confirmation hearing, which can eventually lead to an agreement on the payment plan that a debtor will follow.
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If you are looking for a powerful debt solution, we may be able to help. For more information about how bankruptcy can help you to end creditor harassment and deal with debt of any size, contact the Joliet Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys from the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman at 815-722-2201 today.

What If You Fail the Means Test?

Many debtors attempt to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but aren’t able to do so successfully as they are unable to pass the necessary means test due to making too much income. Although there are some factors that can modify a person’s means test result, having an income that is significantly over the state average may leave people in serious debt without the option to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, even in these cases a person may have other options available to them.

If you’re looking for a way to manage your cumbersome debt, our attorneys may be able to help you by informing you of your options and potentially helping you start the bankruptcy process. For more information about debt solutions, contact our Joliet Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., today at 815-722-2201.
When Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Isn’t an Option

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can offer a debtor the opportunity to have their debts discharged, but it is often at the cost of property liquidation. However, due to the speed and scope of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it’s a very popular choice for many debtors desperate to get out of debt. Yet, many debtors are not eligible to file for Chapter 7 relief due to bringing in too much income, according to the means test. In these cases, the following options may be available:

Debt negotiation
Filing to stop creditor harassment
Chapter 13 bankruptcy

In many cases, debtors will opt to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if they can’t file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or it is determined that it will be a better financial decision. While Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a repayment plan for debt, it can also allow for substantial debt discharging and can even be used to prevent a foreclosure.
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If your debt has become an uncontrollable problem in your life, our experienced advisors want to help you find financial relief. To discuss your options in further detail with an attorney prepared to assist you, contact our Joliet Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., today by calling 815-722-2201.

What If You Cannot Afford Credit Counseling?

A debtor needs to provide proof that he or she has completed credit counseling before being allowed to file for bankruptcy protection. The services of a credit counseling agency may not be free, and a prospective bankruptcy filer is responsible for paying any pertinent fees. There are restrictions placed upon these fees, making it easier for a debtor to afford this portion of the bankruptcy process.

If your debts have become uncontrollable and are having a major impact on ability to keep up with the essential cost of living, we can help you through the bankruptcy process. For more information about the options available to you, contact the Joliet bankruptcy lawyers of Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., at 815-722-2201.
Credit Counseling Cost Considerations

If a debtor is in such poor financial standing that they are unable to afford credit counseling, there may be some options available for them. To keep the cost of this pre-bankruptcy requirement low, the following rules are in place:

All counseling services must be priced at a reasonable level
If a person cannot afford the full rate, they must receive a discount
If a person is severely impoverished, they may receive free counseling

No credit counseling agency is permitted to overcharge for these services, as this is a direct violation of the law. If a person has problems with this portion of the bankruptcy process, they may want to consult with a legal advisor about how to resolve the matter.
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Do not delay seeking legal counsel and representation if you believe that your present financial circumstances may warrant a bankruptcy filing. Contact the Joliet bankruptcy attorneys of Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., by calling 815-722-2201 today.

What Happens to Your Utilities?

Many people have strong fears about filing for bankruptcy on the basis that they may lose important services that they need for everyday life. While, many of these fears are reasonably rooted in half-truths about the bankruptcy code, they are often unfounded as they don’t take into account the full protection offered by bankruptcy. Many debtors worry about losing their access to utilities; however this does not have to happen when a person files for bankruptcy. While these companies may shut off the power or water under certain circumstances, there are also protections available to prevent this.

If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy to help you break free of your overwhelming debt, you may want to consult with a legal advisor in order to learn more about the law and how you will be affected. To discuss what protections may be available to you, contact our Joliet Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman at 815-722-2201 today.
Utility Protection in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually affords debtors extremely powerful bankruptcy protections, including ones that can keep a person’s utilities running despite going through the liquidation process. In order to use this protection, debtors typically need to offer their utility company a form of assurance of payment, such as:

A deposit of cash
A letter of credit
Paying ahead for future services
Agreed upon payment methods between the utility company, the debtor, and the trustee

A person has twenty days to provide these assurances to their utility company. If they can’t provide this assurance or simply can’t pay, they may not be able to adhere to the court’s demands for this bankruptcy protection and may have their services shut off.
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If you’re battling to keep your household in order prior to filing for bankruptcy, we can help you understand what options are available to you. For additional information regarding bankruptcy provisions and law, contact our Joliet Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman today by calling 815-722-2201.

What Happens to Your Retirement Money in Bankruptcy?

A person thinking about their future may decide to contribute heavily to a retirement plan that can keep them financially secure well into their older years. If financial problems arise before they reach retirement, they may want to consider bankruptcy as a way to handle their debt. Additionally, certain bankruptcy exemptions may be able to help protect the retirement money they have worked so hard to save.

If you are struggling with overwhelming debt, bankruptcy may be the best way for you to protect your future and regain control over your finances. To learn more about the options that may be available to you, contact the Joliet bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., today by calling 815-722-2201.
Retirement Plan Exemptions

When a person files for bankruptcy, they may be allowed a variety of exemptions that can help them protect their assets. In particular, exemptions are available for those concerned about their retirement plans. Many of these plans are protected during the course of a bankruptcy.

Retirement plans that may be protected by a bankruptcy exemption include the following:

401(k)s
IRAs, including Roth, SEP, and SIMPLE plans
403(b)s
Keoghs
Money purchase accounts
Profit-sharing accounts
Defined-benefit accounts

There are some limits for the amount of money a person can protect in these accounts in some situations. A person may want to speak with an attorney to learn more about how these exemptions work in detail.
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If you’re looking for a way out of debt, bankruptcy may be your best bet. For more information about your options and how bankruptcy could work for you, contact the Joliet bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., by calling 815-722-2201 today.

What Does Your Bankruptcy Trustee Do in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

When a person files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they need to work through the process with a bankruptcy trustee overseeing their case. These individuals wield far-ranging legal powers to organize and facilitate the bankruptcy process, keeping a fair balance between debtor discharges and creditor repayment. They can play a particularly important role in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as the repayment plan process requires close communication between debtors and creditors.

If you are facing bankruptcy and are planning to file for Chapter 13 protection, we can help. For additional information about your legal options, contact the Joliet Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., at 815-722-2201 today.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustees

Trustees in Chapter 13 bankruptcy work with a debtor and their creditors throughout the bankruptcy process. When a person first files, a trustee will begin the process of verifying their financial claims and can begin a bankruptcy case at that point. When a debtor is preparing for debt discharges, a trustee again must review the process and complete the case.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustees are responsible for a wide range of tasks during bankruptcy, which can include the following:

Reviewing all bankruptcy petition documents
Analyzing and reviewing a payment plan
Bringing together a debtor’s creditors for questioning about the debts
Facilitating and administrating the repayment plan
Citing objections throughout the bankruptcy process

A trustee is ultimately responsible for accepting payments from a debtor and giving that money to the creditors according to the repayment plan.
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A knowledgeable legal advisor can help a person better navigate the sometimes complex and difficult Chapter 13 process more easily. If you are thinking about considering bankruptcy, you may wish to consider consulting with a reliable legal representative. Contact the Joliet Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., by calling 815-722-2201.

What Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Offer That Chapter 7 Doesn’t?

A debtor filing for bankruptcy may opt to pursue Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead of Chapter 7 due to the unique benefits offered. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often known as liquidation bankruptcy, does offer strong debt relief solutions, but often comes at a high cost to the debtor’s property. On the other hand, Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides a repayment plan solution in addition to several benefits that can protect property.

If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy and need help choosing which type to file under, our advisors may be able to help. For more information regarding your options, contact the Joliet Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman by calling 815-722-2201 today.
3 Unique Ways Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Help

Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies are both powerful debt relief options. However, there are significant differences between them. For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debtors can expect the following protections and benefits:

The ability to cram down, or reduce the amount, of certain debts
Protection of property from liquidation, even for nonexempt items
Quick foreclosure protection

Especially for families that rely on their personal property and real estate, these protections can prove extremely important.
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If you can’t manage your debt any more, we may be able to work with you to find a suitable bankruptcy solution. To learn more, contact the Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman at 815-722-2201 today.

What Does a Bankruptcy Trustee Do in Your Chapter 7 Case?

A person filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may notice that their case is heavily influenced by a court-appointed trustee who oversees the whole process. These individuals work closely between debtors and creditors to keep the Chapter 7 process as impartial as possible. Because of their involvement in the bankruptcy process, bankruptcy trustees are extremely important individuals during a Chapter 7 case.

If you or someone you know is struggling to manage your debts, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the solution to your financial problems. To learn more about how this debt relief solution may be the answer you’re looking for, contact a Joliet bankruptcy lawyer at the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., by calling 815-722-2201 today.
The Role of the Trustee

A bankruptcy trustee plays a crucial role in any Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. This is, in part, why it’s so important for a debtor to have the proper legal representation. An experienced attorney will be better prepared to present information and arguments to a trustee without wasting any of the trustee’s time or additional effort. This can speed up the process in many cases.

Trustees are responsible for the following in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

Checking bankruptcy documents and information before a case begins
Questioning the debtor about their finances
Beginning and overseeing the liquidation process
Objecting to unfair or illegal actions during bankruptcy

Because the bankruptcy trustee oversees the liquidation process, they take care of pricing properties for sale and making sure that creditors are informed of the value of that property.
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If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy but aren’t sure where to begin, one of our experienced legal advisors may be able to point you in the right direction. To discuss how Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the right choice for your debt problems, contact a Joliet bankruptcy attorney of the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., at 815-722-2201 today.

What Debts Survive Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy can provide a debtor with a powerful solution to get rid of debt that plagues their financial freedom. However, some debts are exempted from the bankruptcy process. This means that a debtor will still need to pay these debts even after filing for protection. However, the debt reduction provided by bankruptcy will usually put a person in a much better position to handle these debts.

If you’re trying to deal with your debt problems, but can’t seem to make any headway with your creditors, we may be able to help. For more information about how bankruptcy can be used to get a fresh start on your finances, contact the Joliet bankruptcy lawyers of Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., by calling 815-722-2201 today.
Non-dischargeable Debts in Bankruptcy

When a person files for bankruptcy, they may expect the law to quickly deal with each of their loans and obligations quickly and completely. However, bankruptcy doesn’t work that way. Creditors have the right to challenge a debtor in many parts of bankruptcy proceedings and some debts aren’t able to be discharged. These debts can include the following:

Debts linked to personal injury settlements caused by drunk driving
Financial penalties from criminal violations, including traffic tickets
Any type of debt not listed when filing for bankruptcy

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, these debts will simply not be discharged and will be left over after the proceedings are finished. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor needs to pay these debts off. This means that they will be part of a repayment plan and will not be discharged after the repayment plan is finished.
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Bankruptcy may seem frightening, but it can actually be a great way for a person in need of help to break out of their overwhelming debts. To learn more about your options when filing, contact the Joliet bankruptcy attorneys of Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., at 815-722-2201 today.

What Constitutes Fraud in Bankruptcy?

A person may have their bankruptcy dismissed by the courts if they are found to have defrauded their creditors. Fraudulent actions against creditors are treated very seriously by bankruptcy courts. As one punishment, any actions that violate the terms of a bankruptcy can result in the outright dismissal of one’s bankruptcy case.

If you are unsure about whether you have done something that could jeopardize your bankruptcy, you should consult with a legal advisor about your situation. To discuss your bankruptcy options in further detail, contact the Joliet bankruptcy lawyers of Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., by calling 815-722-2201 today.
Defrauding a Creditor

If a person is caught defrauding someone they owe money to, then their case may be rejected by a bankruptcy court and they are likely to face punishments from that creditor for their dishonesty. The following actions may be regarded as suspicious or even illegal by bankruptcy courts:

Moving property or assets to another person’s account just before bankruptcy
Intentional misrepresentation of personal information when filing for bankruptcy
Intentional misrepresentation of financial information when filing for bankruptcy
Spending money on luxury items after insolvency was obvious

These sorts of actions can easily result in the dismissal of a bankruptcy case and potential action against the debtor from the creditor.
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The bankruptcy process can seem complicated and overwhelming, making it easy to overlook potentially costly errors. To ensure that your case is handled correctly, contact the Joliet bankruptcy attorneys of Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C., at 815-722-2201.