According to the Administrative Office of the US Courts, there were nearly 1.8 million bankruptcies filed in the year ending March 31, 2006, up from just over 1.3 million in the year ending March 31, 2001. To help sort your way through the complicated maze of overcrowded bankruptcy courts, you need the assistance of knowledgeable legal advocates, with years of experience and demonstrated trustworthiness.
Chicago, Schaumburg, Northbrook, and Wheaton Bankruptcy Attorneys
When financial pressures threaten to crush an individual, a couple or a family, bankruptcy is often considered as an option. At the law offices of Anderson & Associates, P.C., we understand that many people seek to avoid bankruptcy. We help clients with foreclosures and negotiations with creditors, whether or not they ultimately choose bankruptcy as a solution.
Contact us to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer who will consider the big picture when advising and representing you in bankruptcy or in bankruptcy alternatives such creditor negotiations or loan modifications.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy
Q: Why are so many consumers filing bankruptcy?
A: Many Americans with excess debt have acquired their debts over long periods of time. While they intend to repay the debts, they may find themselves unable to do so because of unanticipated changes in circumstances such as medical emergencies, job losses or failed businesses, disability, divorce or loss of spouse. Any of these circumstances, combined with late fees, over limit fees and the extraordinarily high interest rates that creditors now charge can result in insurmountable debt.
Q: What alternative courses of action are there to filing bankruptcy when facing overwhelming debt?
A: Short of bankruptcy, a debtor may attempt to mediate with creditors or negotiate workout agreements to extend due dates, lower interest rates, partially forgive debt or alter other terms. A debtor may execute an assignment of property for the benefit of creditors (ABC), wherein the debtor puts assets in the trust of a neutral third party to pay creditors. A business debtor can sell the business, negotiating the satisfaction of debt as part of the deal. Other creative options to bankruptcy exist. Many debtors, however, find that their creditors are unwilling to agree to reasonable terms or are completely unwilling to negotiate.
Bankruptcy - An Overview
Bankruptcy is a legal vehicle that provides relief to individuals and businesses in serious financial trouble and protects their creditors to the extent possible. Generally, the bankruptcy process assesses the debtor's assets and liabilities and provides a structure within which the debtor is allowed to keep some, and in most cases, all property and ordered to satisfy as many eligible debts as possible, according to an order of priority established by law. Remaining debts are discharged, except those of certain types, like domestic support orders, debt obtained by fraud and most tax debt.
The traditional stigma of bankruptcy has faded and been replaced by the view that it is a fresh start after a time of trouble. Most bankruptcy debtors have experienced unexpected and extreme financial shock, such as that caused by sudden events such as job loss, business failure, death, divorce or illness.
In such cases, filing bankruptcy may be the right answer. If you are facing serious financial challenges, contact Anderson & Associates, P.C. in Schaumburg, IL, to schedule a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help you assess your legal options.
When an individual falls desperately behind in his or her debt payments, one option may be to declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in a federal bankruptcy court that relieves the debtor of some or all of his or her debts. While bankruptcy may not be the best option for everyone, in the right situations, it can provide people with a fresh start.
Like a consumer, a business sometimes finds itself in the uncomfortable position of being unable to pay its debts. One solution is to file for bankruptcy, a legal process in federal bankruptcy court that releases the business from the obligation to pay all or some of its debts.
Credit Counseling Requirement in Bankruptcy
In 2005, Congress passed and the president signed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), a bankruptcy reform law. One of the new requirements BAPCPA imposes on a bankruptcy debtor is to receive credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency before the bankruptcy filing.
Surviving the Emotional Effects of Bankruptcy
No matter what circumstances ultimately led to filing bankruptcy, both the practical and the emotional impact on the debtor will be enormous. Confronting the emotional and psychological issues surrounding bankruptcy and reaching an understanding and acceptance of the situation are essential to rebuilding and maintaining a successful financial life.
Bankruptcy Resource Links
American Bankruptcy Institute Consumer Bankruptcy Center
General information regarding consumer debt and bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy: An Overview
A bankruptcy overview from Cornell Law School, including links to state, federal and other sources.
Links to U.S. Bankruptcy Court websites.
Official Bankruptcy Forms
From the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
Official website where consumers can obtain free credit reports from the three national credit-reporting companies.