Law Offices of Daniel J Winter

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Time for Your Pandemic Money Checkup! Since March, we’ve been told so many things. Stay home, don’t work, and only go out for necessities. Then, try to work from home. Then, go back to work and have your kids in school online, but keep them home! Now through all of this, people and small business owners have taken huge financial hits! Six months later, with job layoffs and cuts, and a bit of government help thrown in, it’s time to “take stock” and see where you and your family, or your business are going financially. First things first: Take care…
We Are Here to Help You Weather the Storm! With 5 months of the Pandemic behind us in the US, millions of jobs lost, mortgage and rent payments missed, many are wondering, where’s the Tsunami of Bankruptcy filings?  In fact, compared to 2019, Bankruptcy filings are down!  And, Bankruptcy Courts have remained open throughout the US and here in Illinois, so access is not a problem. So far, we are at the “Eye of the Storm”.  It is always calm right before the storm!  A few factors are in play now: Consumer debt (credit card balances) is actually down-people were…
What to Expect…. In Bankruptcy Court! I’ve written many articles on how to be a good Client in a Bankruptcy case, and the documents you’ll need to have ready for your Attorney.  Here is an update on exactly what to expect as a client, or potential client, from beginning to end of the Bankruptcy process. With the #TouchlessBankruptcy, we’re ready to help now, from where ever you are! Bankruptcy is a Very Detailed Process What do I mean by detailed?  You are asking for the Bankruptcy Court to erase your debts. So the law says that you need to…
Bankruptcy Court is Open! Emergency Declared– What are Courts Doing? Back in Mid-March, when the President declared a State of Emergency for all 50 states, and most states imposed some sort of a stay-at-home order, most State Courts almost immediately shut down. In the State Court Systems, the only Courts still running, at least in Illinois, were the Emergency Criminal Courts. Bankruptcy Court is Ready! During that whole time, the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, in the Federal Court System, kept running, without much delay.   Bankruptcy Courts have been conducting hearings by phone, available to everyone.  Why? My opinion is that no…
Small Business Owners-We Can Help! These strategies apply to our current COVID-19 Crisis, or any economic downturn. If you are a Small Business owner, you are getting conflicting messages.  You can’t open without providing protection for yourself and your customers.  But, you should pay your workers, open, and get going soon, once the State lifts the restrictions.  And, you’ve got store rent payments, utilities, and other loan payments.  Not to mention your food and housing payments at home!  You may be able to weather the storm, or not. Here’s how to figure it out. What to do now?  1.Conserve and…
Here are Some Ways to Help You Pay Bills Now About 2 weeks ago, I wrote about a list of resources for people struggling to pay their bills, or anticipating that trouble.  Things are moving quickly, and Lenders and the US Government have been acting fast.  Now, here is an updated list of resources for people who need help in these trying times, due to job layoff or cut in hours.  Everyone will be challenged to keep up with their bills, because the State of Illinois has continued the Stay at Home Order until April 30, 2020. So it…
New SBA Programs Help Small Businesses Survive Coronavirus With the COVID-19 Virus spreading, and Stay at Home Orders in place in Illinois and most other states, Small Businesses are reeling. On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act.  This Act is here to help Small Business Owners keep things going during this crisis, and beyond.  To make this aid accessible, they expanded the definition of a Business Owner who can get relief.  You don’t have to be a corporation, you can run a business as a d/b/a too, and still get…
EMERGENCY RESOURCES Here is my latest update for this unprecedented Health, Safety and Financial Emergency throughout the US and Illinois. If you are having financial problems because of this, here is a list of resources to help you if you are out of work.  This list is only accurate as of now, so I’ll try to update the information and provide new resources.  Hat Tip to Attorney Claudia Badillo for providing most of the information.  I’m here to help with any questions for current clients and others in this difficult time. EMERGENCY RESOURCE LIST Check to see if your Mortgage
Coronovirus, the Courts and Your Money This is not the usual Blog. And these are not usual times.  That’s an understatement!  As an attorney who deals with people in financial emergencies every day, I am going to give an update on what is happening here, with my Bankruptcy firm, on the front line in Northern Illinois and the Chicago area. We are open and ready to help, and will do what we can to keep you informed.   We are always available by email, text, and phone.  We are going to limit in-person meetings to only essential meetings, and have more…
Trucking Business Problems- Making of A Success Story When people think of seeing a Bankruptcy Attorney, they think of failure. Failure to manage money, failure of a business, failure because they can’t pay their mortgage or medical bills.  In reality, Bankruptcy can be a success story.  Here’s one real-life family’s Bankruptcy Success Story: A True Working Class Suburban Family In May of 2018, I filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for a Husband and Wife from the South Suburbs of Chicago.  The Husband is a Union Iron Worker and the Wife owned a Trucking dispatch company.   The husband also owned a…
If you live in Illinois and get hurt while working, you have the right to make a claim for those injuries through the Workers Compensation system.  If you go through the process, many times, your claim will be enough to pay your medical bills, plus more money for your injuries, to help you care for future problems.  In Illinois, the amount of money you receive for Workers Compensation pay or settlements are protected, or “exempt” from bill collectors.  It’s called the Workers Compensation Act.  Back in 2011, I wrote about Keeping Workers Compensation in Bankruptcy. Court says you can…
Get Your Real ID-ASAP! Way back in 2008, the States were supposed to start implementing the Real ID Act.  This requires a special, upgraded, and supposedly more secure ID, to be more uniform across the US.  Almost 12 years later, after the government granted states many delays, the Real ID Act is now mandatory, and will be enforced starting October 1, 2020. You’ll need to go to your State Department of Motor Vehicles, the Secretary of State in Illinois, to get your new ID with the fancy star in the corner in order to fly, and to enter all Federal…
Yes You Can Rebuild Your Credit After Bankruptcy! Almost everyone I talk to, when considering filing for Bankruptcy Protection, asks “How will this affect my Credit?” What they really want to know is, will they be able to get credit in the future? The answer is that Bankruptcy temporarily causes your credit score to go down, but then within a year or two, it actually goes up, so much that most people are able to borrow money again, to buy cars, houses, and get credit cards. Of course, you don’t want to borrow so much that you are back into…
Free Credit Review After Bankruptcy The purpose of filing for Bankruptcy Protection is to eliminate certain debts.  Once you’ve filed your petition, completed the 2nd counseling course, and attended your Meeting of Creditors, you should receive a Discharge Order, which is the official document signaling that debts such as credit cards and medical bills, and unsecured loans are discharged, or eliminated. But, what does that mean for your Credit Report? The creditors should be reporting that those debts are included in your bankruptcy.  And, that information helps you rebuild your credit.  Your score should increase, and allow you to get…
Scott Tucker Won’t be Racing after Scamming People with Payday Loans Why Payday Loans? You’re out of money for the week, your car breaks down, and you’ve maxed out on credit, and tapped out for loans from friends or family. What do you do? You just need money until your next paycheck.  All too often millions of Americans are faced with this situation.  An estimated 12 million Americans each year rely on “Payday lenders” to bridge the gap.  Many states have strict rules on the amount that a person can borrow, the term of the loan, and the interest rates. …