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Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyers Helping You Relieve The Weight Of Debt

Our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys are here to help clients strategically and efficiently file bankruptcy so that they can get fresh starts. At Consumer Law Group, our bankruptcy lawyers are well versed in the intricacies of filing bankruptcy and are dedicated to acting in your best interests. Filing bankruptcy can help you take charge of mounting debt such as that from credit cards, medical bills and, sometimes, even money you owe from student loans and/or a divorce settlement. If you find yourself faced with insurmountable debt, filing bankruptcy in Illinois may be your best solution to give yourself a fresh start and turn your credit around.

Consumer Law Group offers the following benefits:

  • We focus on providing legal solutions for individuals, so our team can assist you in filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
  • As an established law firm with a large team of seasoned bankruptcy lawyers who have more than 300 combined years of experience, we are well suited to help you navigate the complex area of bankruptcy law and find a personalized solution that puts you on the best possible path moving forward.
  • We also provide services in Spanish (se habla español) to ensure that you are able to receive legal counsel in the language that you are most comfortable speaking and have a thorough understanding of your options.

Please note that you still may be eligible to file bankruptcy even if you do not have legal immigration status.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you do not have the income available to repay your debts, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the best solution for you. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your assets are liquidated and then used to resolve your debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge:

  • Medical bills
  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Payday loans
  • Certain tax debts
  • Car accident damages

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must meet the income eligibility requirements. Eligibility is determined through a means test, which compares your current monthly income with the state’s median income. If your monthly income is below the state’s median, then you may qualify for Chapter 7.

Debt Reorganization: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you could repay all or most of your debt by reorganizing your debt into a payment plan, then you may be better suited for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to retain your personal property and can be used to discharge debts such as:

What Is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a method of seeking relief from debts that you cannot repay. The purpose of filing bankruptcy is to help individuals get out from under overwhelming debt. This is accomplished through legal proceedings that are held to help resolve the filer of their debt obligations while finding a way to provide partial repayment to debt collectors. There are several different types of bankruptcy, known as “chapters” of the Bankruptcy Code, that apply to either corporate or personal debt. When you file for bankruptcy, it is wise to get an attorney involved because of the complexity of the process and potential ramifications filing bankruptcy can have on your credit history.

What Is The Difference Between Chapter 7 And Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are two popular bankruptcy solutions for personal debt management. However, there are distinct differences between the two that you should understand.

With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your assets are sold off as a means of repaying some or all of the debt you currently owe. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is reserved for individuals with low income who pass the “means test,” which compares your income with the median income of households that are the same size as yours in your state.

With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debt is reorganized into a payment plan that allows you to repay what you owe over several years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not require you to relinquish property. However, there are debt limits; you cannot have more than $394,725 in unsecured debts and $1,184,200 in secured debts.

What Does A Bankruptcy Attorney Do?

A bankruptcy attorney can advise you on which type of bankruptcy to pursue, counsel you on how to navigate the process, file necessary documentation on your behalf, represent you in the courtroom, and negotiate the best possible terms. There is a lot more that goes into filing bankruptcy than appears at the surface in terms of preparing, such as valuing your property, determining which of your debts can be discharged and much more. A bankruptcy attorney will handle all of this for you.

Why Do You Need A Bankruptcy Lawyer?

You do not have to have a bankruptcy lawyer represent you, but it can be advantageous to have an attorney on your side to help you achieve the best possible outcome and ensure that you take all the right steps. A bankruptcy lawyer can be especially helpful if your wages are being garnished, you are facing foreclosure or seizure of your belongings, or you have creditors harassing you nonstop.

While you might be tempted to forgo hiring a lawyer in the interest of saving money, you may lose out on more money in the long run without a bankruptcy attorney negotiating on your behalf, especially if you are filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy where your assets are on the line. As an established law firm, our bankruptcy attorneys in Chicago are well equipped to devise a personalized bankruptcy strategy with a single goal in mind: achieving the best possible resolution for your case.

When Do You Need A Bankruptcy Attorney?

If you have accumulated debt that you cannot repay in the foreseeable future and it’s destroying your credit, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible to determine whether bankruptcy is the right solution for you and, if so, which type of bankruptcy you should pursue.

If you are filing bankruptcy in Illinois, then you need to hire one of our bankruptcy lawyers in Chicago to be on your side. Do not hesitate to call us. Our attorneys can assist you from start to finish so that you can stop foreclosure, the seizure of your wages and possessions, and the constant demands of creditors. Working with our team is the first step to rebuilding your credit and peace of mind.

How Much Does A Bankruptcy Attorney Cost?

The cost of hiring a bankruptcy attorney is unique to each individual case. This is because your unique circumstances dictate the amount of work, resources and time that your attorneys need to devote to helping you file for bankruptcy. Other factors, such as state of residence, your attorney’s experience and more, can also impact attorney fees.

That said, we are dedicated to providing legal counsel that is affordable. We also offer free consultations with our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers.

How Do You Find A Good Bankruptcy Attorney In Illinois?

While there are virtually endless options, not all bankruptcy lawyers are created equal. When searching for a bankruptcy attorney in Illinois, there are certain factors that you should pay specific attention to, including:

  • Their reputation (research reviews and professional references)
  • Years of experience (more experienced attorneys may have a greater understanding of the nuances of bankruptcy filings)
  • Your comfort level with them (communication is key when resolving legal matters)

While this might seem obvious to some, if you have not hired an attorney before, it’s important to note that attorneys typically focus on a specific area of law – make sure you verify that bankruptcy law is one of your lawyer’s focus areas. We are confident that our bankruptcy attorneys check off all these requirements and more.

What Is The Process For Filing Bankruptcy?

The general steps of the bankruptcy process are as follows:

  1. Consult with a bankruptcy lawyer
  2. Complete credit counseling
  3. Complete and file forms, provide documentation and submit a proposal
  4. Make first payment (Chapter 13) or reaffirm debts (Chapter 7)
  5. Attend a 341 meeting (meeting of creditors)
  6. Enter payment plan (Chapter 13) or liquidate assets (Chapter 7)
  7. Complete exit counseling
  8. Debts discharged

Can All Debts Be Resolved With Bankruptcy?

Certain debts can be resolved with bankruptcy, while others are not dischargeable. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can resolve debt such as medical bills, credit card debt, personal loans, payday loans and certain tax debts. However, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not a solution for student loans, back child support or alimony, fines or penalties to government agencies, or HOA fees, among others.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can discharge debts such as credit card debt, medical bills, utility bills, older back taxes, student loan debt, post-petition HOA fees, property damage, some divorce settlement debts and more. You may also be able to resolve debt that was not discharged in a prior bankruptcy case. However, debts such as outstanding alimony payments, back child support and mortgages cannot be resolved with Chapter 13 bankruptcy. That said, it is not guaranteed that all these debts will be discharged.

When you consult a bankruptcy attorney, they will be able to explain which of your debts you may be able to discharge with a bankruptcy. Keep in mind that you still may be eligible to file bankruptcy even if you do not have legal immigration status.

Who Will Know If You File Bankruptcy?

Generally speaking, bankruptcy can be a fairly private matter. Of course, those directly impacted by your debts will typically be notified, such as:

  • Your creditors
  • Those involved in the case (your lawyer, bankruptcy trustee and others present at the bankruptcy court proceedings)
  • Co-signers (if you have discharged a debt that was co-signed, the other individual will be notified)
  • Future employers (if a potential employer runs a background credit check, they will see that there is a bankruptcy on your record, but you cannot be denied employment solely because of bankruptcy)
  • Future landlords (a prospective landlord can run a credit check and deny you because of bankruptcy)

Will Bankruptcy Affect Your Business?

Whether filing bankruptcy in Illinois affects your business depends on the structure of your business, the severity of your debts and whether there are other owners. In many cases, yes, bankruptcy will affect your business, if only for the immediate future. This is because your business can continuously incur assets and liabilities that affect your bankruptcy estate. In some cases, you may be required to dissolve your business and sell your assets, or step down from the business. However, in larger businesses, such as a corporation with various owners, bankruptcies shouldn’t have much, if any, effect on operations.

When our bankruptcy attorneys evaluate your case, they can help you decide what the right move is for your business if you choose to file.

What Are Alternatives To Filing Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is not always your only option to get out of debt. You can also consider:

  • Debt management plan and credit counseling
  • Selling off your assets to come up with cash to pay debts
  • Strategic default, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or short sale
  • Debt settlement
  • Applying for a debt consolidation loan

In some cases, doing nothing may be an option if you have little to no assets or financial means.

Our bankruptcy attorneys in Chicago can review with you the pros and cons of each of the above options – as well as filing bankruptcy – so that you will be fully informed when making your decisions.

Is Filing Bankruptcy Different During COVID-19?

If you were in the process of filing for bankruptcy and the court is currently closed due to COVID-19, you will be protected by the automatic stay until proceedings can resume. As the country’s response to the pandemic evolves, further changes may affect your proceedings, so be sure to remain abreast of how your district is handling these processes.

Additionally, if you are currently in a payment plan as a result of bankruptcy, you may be eligible for an extension under the CARES Act (if you are experiencing hardship due to COVID-19).

What Should You Do After Filing Bankruptcy?

Once your debt has been discharged, it is important to hold onto all relevant documentation. Now that you have control over your debt, it is also critical to implement protective measures to keep it that way, such as regularly checking your credit reports, closely following a budget and taking precautions when you do consider new lines of credit down the road.

Need To Get Out Of Debt? Our Bankruptcy Attorneys Are Here To Help.

Our skilled lawyers can help you file your bankruptcy case quickly. Call us today at 312-766-7777 or contact us today through our online form.

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