Bankruptcy

Many people assume that estate planning only deals with the distribution of assets after an individual’s death. However, testamentary planning is only part of the estate planning process. It is also essential to plan for the possibility of becoming incapacitated by illness or injury. If you became terminally ill and could not express your wishes regarding medical care, what types of care would you want? Do you want doctors to try everything to keep you alive as long as possible or would you prefer not to be placed on mechanical ventilation or to receive CPR?
These are extremely personal decisions,
Continue Reading Living Wills and Incapacitation Planning

Anyone can find themselves facing bankruptcy. Whether caused by job loss, medical bills, an unmanageable mortgage, or other reasons, bankruptcy can be a difficult and stressful experience. For those facing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the prospect of liquidation of assets can be foreboding. However, some assets are exempt from liquidation during this process. Certain items cannot be touched by creditors or the court-appointed trustee who will oversee the liquidation process.
Exemptions During Liquidation Bankruptcy
Many people hesitate to even consider bankruptcy because they assume that they will lose all of their possessions. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often called “liquidation
Continue Reading What Assets Are Exempt from Liquidation During Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Illinois?

The experience of buying a home can be exciting, but it can also be a daunting task. One of the most important steps in the home-buying process is completing a title search. This process is designed to ensure that you are buying a home with clear legal ownership, free from liens or any other encumbrances. By performing a thorough title search, you can rest assured that you are the rightful owner of your new home.
What Is a Title Search?
When someone puts their home for sale on the market, it is only reasonable to assume that the seller has
Continue Reading What Is a Title Search and Why Is It So Important?

In order to Discharge a student loan in bankruptcy, the US Bankruptcy Code, Section 523 (a) (8) requires the Debtor to prove that repaying the loan(s) “would impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor’s dependents”. Courts around the country have been left to interpret this statute. The recent history of student loan litigation in bankruptcy has relied on Bankruptcy Courts around the country using either the Bruner standard or the “totality of the circumstances” test. In order to discharge student loans, a Debtor has to file an Adversary Proceeding, which is a lawsuit within a Bankruptcy case.
Continue Reading Student Loans and Bankruptcy- New Guidance – Breakthrough or More of the Same?

If you are evaluating your estate planning options, you may have several questions about the advantages and disadvantages of various estate planning instruments. Trusts are popular options for passing assets to heirs in an estate plan. However, there are many different types of trusts, and the type of trust you choose will depend on your individual circumstances and goals. The two main categories of trusts are revocable and irrevocable trusts.
Benefits of a Revocable Trust
Revocable trusts, sometimes referred to as “living trusts” can be modified or revoked by the trust creator during his or her lifetime. This type of
Continue Reading Comparing Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts

Bankruptcy can be a wonderful tool for escaping insurmountable debt, slowly righting your credit score, and stopping a barrage of collections efforts. However, it is important to enter the process of filing for bankruptcy with a clear and complete understanding of the effects these proceedings will have on your life, both in the short and long term. An inventory of assets should be taken, and a careful analysis to determine which form of bankruptcy would best serve your current interests conducted. These analyses are best conducted by a knowledgeable attorney who is aware of all relevant factors and can provide
Continue Reading Questions to Ask Before Filing for Bankruptcy

More and more people are choosing trusts in place of or in addition to traditional wills. There are quite a few advantages to using trusts. Your beneficiaries will probably not need to go through probate before they can receive their gifts. You can gradually distribute money over time instead of handing your beneficiaries a lump sum, providing long-term financial benefits. Trusts can also help you keep everything private, as no one but your beneficiaries and trustee should be able to even see your trust document. Trust administration is usually less costly than probate as well.

However, there is still
Continue Reading How Do Trusts Work?

On August 24, 2022, the President launched a new program to forgive up to $20,000.00 in Student Loan Relief to millions of Federal Student Loan Borrowers.  Here are some questions and answers about this program, what it will do, what it won’t do, and what to do next if you owe student loans. Who qualifies for Student Loan Relief? People who have Federal Student Loans, who make under $125,000.00 per year, or married couples who make less than $250,000.00. How do you know which loans are Federal Student loans?  You need to log in to check on the studentaid.gov website
Continue Reading You Heard About the Student Loan Forgiveness Program-What Happens Next?

The decision to buy a home is a big one. Purchasing, rather than renting, is a long-term investment. There are quite a few advantages to buying a home, but there is also some risk involved. The residential real estate market is fast-paced and competitive at the moment. It can be difficult to do a thorough investigation and “jump on” a place quickly enough. Before you pull the trigger on a place and sign a potentially decades-long mortgage agreement, there are a few questions you should find the answers to. It is best to have an attorney helping you to
Continue Reading Questions You Need Answered Before Buying a Home

Your tenant stopped paying rent, or they are violating the terms of their lease, such as by subletting without permission. Or maybe their lease term is up, and they will not renew or leave. They could even be using your property illegally, such as by selling drugs out of it. Whatever the reason is, you need your tenant out and you need them out soon.
Depending on the grounds for eviction, and whether your tenant manages to fight back convincingly, it could take anywhere between a few weeks and a few months. While it may be frustrating to have
Continue Reading How Long Does an Eviction Take in Illinois?

  I have been practicing law for over 30 years, almost all of them in Bankruptcy Court. Over this time, I have advised clients in a wide range of issues.  I have represented Debtors, Creditors, and Trustees. All parts of the system.   Over these years, I have worked with, for, and against attorneys in the bankruptcy system.  And, in many situations, I have encountered attorneys with little to no bankruptcy experience. And, I have been a resource for other attorneys, to help them and their clients. Bankruptcy is a very complicated area of practice, and, being a Federal proceeding,
Continue Reading Attorneys – I am Your Bankruptcy Resource!

There are a lot of different reasons that people ultimately choose to declare bankruptcy. Anything from a single unexpected medical emergency to a patch of unemployment can quickly cause a person to rack up debt they will not be able to pay off. Bankruptcy is based on the idea that people deserve a fresh start and there should be a way out of insurmountable debt. However, it is important that bankruptcies are handled correctly so that they do not lead to more legal issues. 
Mistakes during bankruptcy can cause further financial difficulty rather than relieving financial strain. It is
Continue Reading 5 Things Not to Do During a Bankruptcy in Kane County

 Estate planning means more than just writing your will. While a good estate plan may certainly include a will, there is a lot more to it than that. Testamentary planning – deciding what should happen to your property after you pass away – is an important part of estate planning. When most people think of estate planning, they are really thinking only about testamentary planning. Incapacity planning is an equally important part of estate planning.
Incapacity planning allows you to prepare for the possibility that you could become incapacitated in your own lifetime as is common in old age.
Continue Reading What Are the Two Major Parts of Estate Planning?

Lately, many of my clients have been completing their Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plans and getting Discharge Orders.  This is a HUGE accomplishment!  Chapter 13 is a 3 to 5 year Court-supervised plan where individuals pay their debt back in whole or in part. Creditors are paid through a Chapter 13 Trustee in a certain order based on the US Bankruptcy Code requirements. Why is the completion of a Chapter 13 case such a big deal?  An American Bankruptcy Study in 2019 of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filings showed that only 40% of Bankruptcy cases were discharged (completed successfully).  And, when people
Continue Reading Successfully Completed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Cases!

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you may feel like you have very little control over your financial life or the bankruptcy process. This is not entirely true – people who file for bankruptcy in Illinois still have options. For most personal bankruptcy situations, there are two different types of bankruptcy your attorney will discuss with you to help you choose the best option. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings can both lead to a new, debt-free life, but in different ways. Both types have benefits and drawbacks. The type of bankruptcy that will make the most
Continue Reading Two Options for Filing for Bankruptcy in Kane County

There are alternatives to loan modification for homeowners that are delinquent on their mortgage.

Some circumstances, usually a reduction in income or increase in expenses, lead homeowners to become delinquent in making their monthly mortgage payment. When the mortgage arrearage amount grows over time, the mortgage servicer may offer the homeowner the opportunity to modify their mortgage so that the arrearage can be spread over the remaining term of the note, or the term of the note can be extended to provide for reduced payments. This is a wonderful opportunity and makes good sense; however, obtaining the relief
Continue Reading Obtaining Loan Modification for a Delinquent Mortgage is Difficult