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The average cost of owning a vehicle in 2022 was $10,728, about 17.5 percent of the median income for a household of one in the state of Illinois.

Macroeconomic Environment


The macro-economic global environment is still experiencing fallout from many governments’ economic policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic which included, stimulus packages supporting individuals and businesses with direct payments, increase unemployment benefits, and grants to businesses. Additionally, the government mandated that many businesses shut down to stop the spread of the coronavirus through social interaction. These policies caused demand to increase and supply to decrease, causing a significant
Continue Reading The Automobile Financing Crisis

What’s more important a credit score or the ability to save money?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a quick and easy process to resolve a household budget ridden with credit card or medical debt, but is it better to pay off your debts than to have them discharged in bankruptcy?

Credit Score

The concern obvious to most is that Bankruptcy is going burden a person’s credit score for the length of time the record remains on their credit report. The formula to determine a credit score is not disclosed so
Continue Reading Paying Your Debts v Filing Bankruptcy

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

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
Continue Reading Inflation and the End of the Monthly Child Tax Credit

Filing for Bankruptcy under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy because the up-front costs of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy are too expensive is a bad idea, but sometimes it’s the only feasible solution.

Upon filing a bankruptcy petition creditors are prevented from engaging in any collection activity, which includes the garnishment of wages. A common problem with this solution is that bankruptcy attorneys often require between $750 to $1500 plus a filing fee of $338 to be paid prior to filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. Attorneys require their Chapter 7 Bankruptcy fees up-front because, like the creditor garnishing the client’s wages,
Continue Reading Stopping a Wage Garnishment with Bankruptcy

Saving money is good, investing money is better, but losing money is the worst.

At the beginning of 2021 retail investors entered the limelight as GameStop Corp. (GME) rose from under $20 per share to $483 in under two weeks. After the general public observed this phenomenon of a dying brick-and-mortar industry spring to life through the sheer will of a mass of retail investors lead by a common understanding of market game theory, many young lower and middle-class adults decided to join in.

“many novice investors that bought into the hype served as exit

liquidity to early investors, those
Continue Reading The Era of the Retail Investor

Eliminate the debt that is preventing your peace and prosperity.

Hopelessness is a lack of control over one’s progress towards a  goal. Those that perceive their position with regard to a particular goal as hopeless can either give up or discover a way to obtain control over their progress towards that goal. Sometimes it’s okay to give up on a goal, someone who achieves every goal they set out for has likely lived a mediocre life. But before giving up, it’s a good idea to see if a professional may be able to provide a means of obtaining what seemed
Continue Reading Is debt affecting your mental health?

Don’t wait until your wages are garnished, car is repossessed, or house is foreclosed before consulting with a bankruptcy attorney.

How does someone in need of debt relief produce over $1,000.00 to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? Someone planning ahead might manage to tighten their budget, and make payments to an attorney; but for someone whose wages are being garnished, or under some other financial burden resulting from unpaid debt, producing the amount necessary to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is an implausible goal. This is why it is important to plan ahead.

How much does it cost to file
Continue Reading Attorney's Fee: Planning an Escape Before Garnishment, Repo, Foreclosure, etc.

It feels good to prioritize saving money above paying debt.

Many people have accumulated debt during the period of the Coronavirus pandemic. Upon expiration of federal programs such as the unemployment bonus and eviction moratorium their financial circumstances may have changed so that the debt they accumulated is no longer manageable. Fortunately there are many business hiring and offering competitive wages, however those wages may not be so competitive as to provide for the timely resolution of debt that has been accumulated. The laws of the U.S. provide a solution to this hardship termed Bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy eliminates the most common
Continue Reading The perfect time for a fresh start and a new beginning

Married people may file bankruptcy jointly with their spouse, but they may also file separate.

Married people may file bankruptcy jointly, which is often in their best interest, however sometimes only one spouse possesses significant debt while the other spouse has manageable debt with a good credit score. Many married people considering bankruptcy are curious whether their spouse will become liable for their debt or how jointly owned property will be affected.

Illinois Family Expense Statute

In Illinois, if a married person files for bankruptcy and their spouse does not, then the spouse may be held liable for those debts
Continue Reading How will bankruptcy affect my spouse?

It is unlikely your neighbors will find out unless they are a Creditor, Co-Signor, or someone to whom you’ve made a “preferential transfer.”

Bankruptcy is a corrective measure against outrageous medical expenses, inequitable lending and banking practices, and a dysfunctional social security system.

Victims of broken social systems

should NOT be ashamed

of asking their government for equitable relief.

By removing the negative stigma away from bankruptcy more people will likely file for bankruptcy, penalizing industries for inequitable or even predatory practices.

Medical and Health Care

Patients of medical services rarely have the opportunity to agree to an out-of-pocket expense
Continue Reading How likely are my neighbors to discover I have filed for Bankruptcy?

You may be eligible for a fresh-start while maintaining your retirement plan.

It is common for someone unfamiliar with bankruptcy law to use some or all of their 401k savings to pay debts when it becomes apparent their budget is not feasible. If income cannot satisfy debt over time it might appear that the only solution is to use retirement savings to satisfy the debt. However, there is a solution that will allow those under financial duress to eliminate many of their debts while maintaining possession of a qualified retirement plan.

The adequacy of Social Security is not certain, and
Continue Reading Before withdrawing your 401k to pay debts, consider Bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is a powerful tool to be used only as a last resort after all other options to resolve a household budget deficit have been exhausted.

Do your expenses exceed your income? Are you over-burdened with debt that you can no longer pay back? Is it impossible to pay-off a mortgage arrearage in a timely manner? Bankruptcy can help you obtain a manageable financial position.

 1. Eliminate Unsecured Debt

When a creditor lends money without requiring collateral, or a business performs a service prior to payment the amount owed is unsecured. In addition, if collateral is repossessed or foreclosed, and
Continue Reading Repairing a Household Budget Deficit with Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Help a Small Business Recover from Economic Hardship

An Opportunity to Recover from an Economic Drought

The environment we live in is chaotic, causing certain detrimental occurrences to be outside of our control. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can help a business owner recover from temporary uncontrollable financial devastation by putting together a Federal Court Ordered 5-Year Repayment Plan.

Keeping Property Essential to Business Activities

Many small business owners cannot file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy without losing the means to continue operations. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows petitioners to keep some or all business related property, so long as
Continue Reading Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for Small Businesses

For those that cannot 

weather the storm . . .

Many businesses have had to shut down or throttle back due to Coronavirus. The order in Illinois mandates that all businesses offering food or beverage for on-premise consumption must suspend services from March 16, 2020 – March 30, 2020. For many business owners and their employees two weeks of lost or significantly reduced income equates to economic insolvency. Hopefully, the spread of Coronavirus will flatten, businesses will reopen, and employees will return to work soon; but there is a possibility that will not be the case.

The attorneys at Smith Law,
Continue Reading Has Coronavirus Created a Financial Hardship for You?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a Simple Process for the Skilled Attorneys at Smith Law, Ltd.

With the assistance of a skilled attorney, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a simple and easy solution for a person with low to middle income, few unencumbered assets, and insurmountable debt. This 4-step guide serves as a preview of what a client experiences when filing for Bankruptcy with Smith Law, Ltd.

Step 1: Phone Consultation

Call our office to speak with an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney for a free 10 minute consultation. During this consultation the Attorney will ask the caller about basic personal information, income, assets,
Continue Reading Simple Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (4 easy steps)