Life after Bankruptcy

The following are stories of actual clients. They are examples of typical cases we handle and the FINANCIAL RELIEF we get our clients get everyday.
(All names have been changed to protect privacy.)

Kept real estate and wiped-out other debt through Chapter 7

Joe & Carrie have been making timely and complete mortgage payments on their residence. However, they have significant other debts. We successfully filed a Chapter 7 for them – they were able to keep their residence & wipe away the rest of their debt.

Filed Chapter 7 instead of Chapter 13 – despite other attorney’s incorrect evaluation
Mark & Kelly first went to another bankruptcy firm. They were told that they were unable to Chapter 7 due to their high incomes. Mark & Kelly then came to the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C. for a second opinion. We reviewed their incomes and determined that they were allowed to file a Chapter 7 and wipe-out their debts.

Reduced Income
Larry & Pam, a married couple, were able to meet their household expenses and debt until Larry’s company was downsized. Despite all if his efforts, Larry was unable obtain a job that paid the same salary. Based on the significant decrease in Larry’s income, they were no longer able to address their debts. They were unable to file a Chapter 7 because they had significant equity in two (2) cars that were paid in full.

Larry & Pam filed a Chapter 13, consolidating all their bills, eliminating all interest on the unsecured debt (credit cards, payday loans, etc.) paying all of their unsecured debt at 15 percent of what they owed. They were able to keep all of their assets and gain control of their finances.

Overwhelmed with debt
Mary was employed, paying rent, but had some credit card debt and student loans. The credit card debt became unmanageable when the interest rates sky-rocketed. Soon she found her self “Robbing Peter to Pay Paul.” The mounting debt and collection calls affected her ability to sleep, think and work.

Mary did not qualify for a Chapter 7, but received effective financial relief through a Chapter 13. The bankruptcy consolidated her debt, terminated the interest rate on the credit cards, and allowed her to pay the debt back at only 10 cents on each dollar. She permanently got control over her finances. She also gained huge personal relief, allowing her to comfortably move on with her life.

Loan modification was taking too long

Mr. and Mrs. Smith were struggling to keep up with their mounting credit card debts, loans and past-due utility bills. Their mortgage payment was large, causing them to feel like they were working just to make the house payments.

They applied for a loan modification. The mortgage company told them to be considered for a loan modification, they had to stop making their mortgage. After countless phone calls, applications and resubmissions of paperwork, the Smiths were denied the modification and advised that if they did not bring the account current, a foreclosure proceeding would be started. Panicked, the Smiths called the Law Offices of Stuart B. Handelman, P.C.

The Smiths filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy consolidating all of their bills, including their past due mortgage payments. The foreclosure was stopped immediately when the bankruptcy was filed. Not only was the interest on the unsecured debt (for example, credit cards) was eliminated, but they paid only 10 cents on each dollar to their unsecured creditors.

During the Chapter 13 case, the Smiths re-applied for a loan modification. This time, they were approved and successfully obtained a mortgage loan modification.

Wage garnishment stopped
A creditor was garnishing Rodney’s wages. Rodney’s paycheck was being ‘eaten up’ by the garnishment each pay period. The Chapter 7 stopped the garnishment and wiped the debt away.

Behind on mortgage payments

Sarah was only able to pay the minimum credit card payments. The principal balances continued to increase, causing her to fall behind on her mortgage payments. She attempted to addresses the situation with payday loans, but it only made matters much worse. Soon, the mortgage company began foreclosure proceedings.

Sarah filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy consolidating all of her bills. The interest on her credit cards was eliminated. She paid 15 cents on each dollar to her unsecured creditors (medical bills, judgments, credit cards). The foreclosure was stopped and the past due mortgage payments were paid through the repayment plan. She saved her house and her retirement, and regained control of her finances, which allowed her to move forward, unburdened by debt.

Fresh Start after failed business
William had a failed business and was personally responsible for all the debts. He successfully wiped away all the debt in a Chapter 7.

Filed a Chapter 7 with high income
Sarah & Ben were told by other attorneys that they had too much income for a Chapter 7. We filed a Chapter 7 for them – their debts were successfully wiped away.

Debt that keeps growing…
Before getting married, Amber was looking to get out from under her mounting debt. We filed a successful Chapter 7 for her so that she could move on – unburdened by debt – into the next Chapter in her life

Real estate market crash led to massive losses
Bill had been a successful realtor over 25 years. Like most people involved in real estate, the downturn in the real-estate-market drastically affected his finances. We successfully filed a Chapter 7 for Bill. He wiped away his debt without affecting his ability to continue the operation of his business.

Fresh start before starting business
After Ken was laid off, he decided to start his own business. But before doing this, he wanted to wipe-out his current debt. We filed a Chapter 7 for him so that he could get the fresh start that he needed before staring his own business venture.

Owner of Business
Liz, a dentist, owns her own dental practice. Due the downturn in the economy, the income from her practice began to decrease. She was unable to pay the loans that she took out for her dental practice.

Liz filed a Chapter 13 to consolidate her debt, terminate the interest rates, repay the business loans, and pay the debt back at only 10 cents on each dollar. After gaining control of her business debt, the practice is once again financially stable. She permanently gained control of her personal and business finances, providing much needed personal, psychological and financial relief.

Unexpected surgery
John and Sue were paying a monthly mortgage payment and are paying for their two (2) cars. They had debt that they are paying down each month.
Unexpectedly, Sue had to have surgery and needed a significant recovery period, during which she was unable to work. The period reduced income and new medical bills & costs caused the John & Sue to fall behind on all of their expenses. They attempted to gain control of the situation by withdrawing money from their 401k via a hardship loan. However, that only temporarily provided relief – soon the collection agencies were calling again and the interest rates caused the principal to continue build up again.

John and Sue filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy consolidating all of their bills. The interest on her credit cards was eliminated. They paid 25 cents on each dollar to her unsecured creditors (including medical bills, past-due utility bills & credit cards). The past due mortgage payments were paid through the repayment plan. They kept their house out of foreclosure, protected their retirement, and permanently regained control of their finances.

Unemployed…then later, employed
Despite all her efforts, Marci was unable to find work. Her unemployment benefits did not even cover her basic living expenses. The balances – on what were once manageable debts – grew tremendously as the months passed. Once Marci did find work, her new income was not enough to cover her living expenses and effectively pay down the debts.

Nancy filed a Chapter 13 to consolidate her debt, terminate the interest rates, and pay the debt back at 12 cents on each dollar. She permanently gained control of her finances, providing much needed personal and financial relief.

Free Consultation with a Chicago Bankruptcy Law Firm

If you are interested in speaking to one of our Chicago Bankruptcy attorneys regarding your financial situation, please call us for a FREE, confidential consultation at (312) 360-0500.