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Anderson and Associates, P.C.

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Schaumburg Bankruptcy Process Attorney

Arlington Heights Bankruptcy Process Attorney

Helping You Understand the Bankruptcy Process in Rolling Meadows and Palatine, IL Areas

If you are in a difficult financial situation, declaring bankruptcy may be the best solution for you, since it will allow you to discharge your debts and avoid foreclosure of your house or repossession of your property. During bankruptcy proceedings, the following steps are followed:

Meeting Qualifications

Before filing for bankruptcy, debtors must complete an approved credit counseling course, and after filing, but before debts are discharged, they must complete a debtor education course.

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, you must pass the Illinois Means Test, which will determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or must file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If your income is below the median Illinois income for your household size, you qualify for Chapter 7. If your income is above the median, you may still qualify for Chapter 7, depending on a calculation of your income and expenses.

Before filing bankruptcy, you will need to gather paperwork to itemize your financial information, including sources of income, major financial transactions, secured and unsecured debts, and property that you own. This paperwork should include tax returns for the past two years, deeds to real estate, car titles, and any loan documents.

You will also need to determine which property that you own is exempt from seizure following bankruptcy. Exemptions in Illinois include:

  • A vehicle valued up to $2,400
  • A homestead valued up to $15,000 ($30,000 for a married couple, if both spouses are listed on the title)
  • Tools of your trade valued up to $1,500
  • Up to $4,000 in "wildcard" exemptions for personal property
  • Life insurance policies
  • Health or disability benefits
  • Worker's compensation and veteran's benefits
  • Pensions and tax exempt retirement accounts

Filing for Bankruptcy

The bankruptcy process officially begins when a petition for bankruptcy and other related forms (collectively referred to as schedules) are filed at your local bankruptcy court. When filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must also submit a proposed repayment plan.

After the paperwork has been filed, an automatic stay will go into effect stopping any foreclosure proceedings and preventing creditors from contacting you. The court will then assume legal control of your debts and a trustee will be named to review your case.

Approximately one month after filing for bankruptcy, you will be required to attend a meeting of creditors. At this meeting, creditors will have a chance to raise any objections to the bankruptcy or, in the case of Chapter 13 bankruptcies, to resolve any questions related to the proposed repayment plan. Any objections will be resolved by negotiation between the creditor and you or your attorney, and if an agreement cannot be reached, the judge will make a decision.

Following the creditor meeting, any non-exempt assets will be turned over to the trustee, who will sell them and distribute the proceeds to the creditors. Creditors will then have 60 days to challenge your right to discharge your debts, and if no challenge is made, you will receive a notice from the court that your debts have been discharged.

Helping You Through the Bankruptcy Process

The bankruptcy process can be complicated, so you will need a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney on your side to help you determine bankruptcy qualifications, itemize allowed exemptions, and complete the necessary paperwork. At Anderson and Associates, P.C., we have over 30 years of experience assisting our clients with bankruptcy, and we can help you navigate the process and get a fresh financial start. Contact us at 847-995-9999 for a free consultation.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

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