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
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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
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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 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
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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

Just when you thought that old debt was dead, old Court Judgments can come back to haunt you!  Now that Courts in Illinois are up and running, debt collectors are looking for opportunities to get some “found money” from debts that are very old.  The debts are very old, but the creditor would have obtained a Judgment many years ago. Lately, many clients have come to see me with these “Zombies” of debts that have come alive! This old debt may even drop off someone’s credit report.  When people think of their debt, they typically figure that if they don’t
Continue Reading It’s Alive! Revival of Judgments in Illinois

Estate planning is full of choices. Completing the process can give you control over how your property will be distributed after you are gone, as well as control over some of your own end-of-life decisions. Once you have decided to use a trust rather than a will as your primary testamentary tool, you still have quite a few decisions to make. Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable, and there are even more subcategories. You also get to set most of the terms of your own trust – these are highly customizable legal instruments. 
Your best bet is to talk with
Continue Reading 5 Things to Consider When You Create a Trust

Bankruptcy can provide a way out for many Illinois families and individuals who have become buried in insurmountable debt. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings can give you an opportunity to ultimately discharge most debts through different means. If you are considering bankruptcy as a solution to your debt, it is important to understand which debts can and cannot be discharged through the bankruptcy process. Before you file, it is a good idea to consult a qualified attorney who can help you make sure that bankruptcy will help you achieve your goal of becoming debt-free. 
What Types of
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Families across the U.S. are beginning to realize their “old budget” doesn’t do it anymore

With monthly distributions of the child tax credit having expired, and the increased cost of groceries, fuel, and utilities, families across the country are finding that their income no longer provides for their normal monthly expenses. A budget deficit is an uncomfortable position, especially when caring for children. The constant accumulation of debt to service a budget deficit is like sinking in quicksand.

Avoid Debt

A common mistake is that households will take on debt prior to
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During the first year of the new administration, Student Loans have been on the top of Congress’ and the White House’s minds.  Here is a summary of what has happened so far, and what might be next: The Pause on payments and interest is extended to May of 2022.   This pause, where borrowers don’t have to pay and interest doesn’t accrue on the loans was originally set to expire at the end of January.  We can guess that the extension of this “final” pause was due to the new Delta and Omicron Covid variants spread throughout the country.  Or, it
Continue Reading Student Loans- Will there Be Big Changes in 2022?