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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…
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…
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,…
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,…
Strangers will happily take your money if you let them. Human history includes many examples of con-artistry, most of which have evolved into a modern version of its ancient counter-part. For example, in the middle ages someone might offer to sell a pig in a bag, and after the exchange of goods and/or currency the unsuspecting buyer finds that he or she has bought a cat in a bag; something of lesser value than what the buyer bargained for. This ancient scam can be easily facilitated in any peer-to-peer online marketplace when the seller substitutes the advertised good with something…
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…
Meet your attorney before making payment or entering a contract. Hiring the wrong law firm can be an expensive mistake. Don’t make that mistake. Meet your attorney before hiring them. Below is information that will help anyone find the right Bankruptcy Attorney. THE SEARCH 1. Word of Mouth The best place to begin the search for a Bankruptcy Attorney is with family and friends. Bankruptcy is an easy process for a well-practiced attorney, if the process is unpleasant a good attorney will have prepared their client for those unpleasantries well in advance. If a friend or family member that has…
Don’t Reaffirm a Bad Note. It’s probably not advisable to file Bankruptcy for the sole purpose of obtaining a better car note, but if you’re filing Bankruptcy because other things are weighing you down then you might consider shopping for a better deal during the Bankruptcy process.  Borrowing Money to Make Money It can be difficult and expensive to get to work everyday without a vehicle. This is why it is tempting for consumers to apply for financing in order to obtain a reliable (and sometimes not so reliable) vehicle to ease the commute to and from their place of…
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is an opportunity to pay back a portion of your debts through monthly payments over the course of three to five years, depending on your circumstances. If you have unmanageable debt Chapter 7 Bankruptcy could be the easiest solution to your problems, however there are circumstances Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may not be available or desirable, under those circumstances it may be worth exploring the possibility of filing under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. How is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy different from Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is approximately a three to four month process where the…
In the majority of cases, people filing for Bankruptcy keep all of their property. It is important to be honest with your attorney so he or she can determine how to best protect your interests. It is the Bankruptcy Trustee’s job to pay unsecured creditors by seizing and liquidating the assets of people who file for Bankruptcy. Fortunately, the Illinois Legislature has passed laws called exemptions to protect certain amounts of certain property. Below, find a review and explanation of the most commonly used Illinois exemptions: Homestead Exemption:  Each individual is entitled to keep $15,000.00 in equity in a home…
The amount of equity you have in your home or vehicle will determine how to best answer one of the most common questions people have about bankruptcy, “can I keep my home/car?” Federal bankruptcy law provides means for people to seek debt relief while maintaining possession of both their home and vehicle; however the particular strategy for accomplishing this will depend on your particular circumstances. If you are an Illinois resident, and have been for the past two years you are entitled to keep $2,400.00 in equity in any one automobile (if you are not an Illinois resident, or have…