Your qualified debts will be discharged as long as you follow the requirements of a chapter 13 filing. Those include taking a financial management course and certifying that all payments have been made.

Despite these benefits, there are limitations to what this process can do. According to the U.S. Courts, there are several debts that will not be discharged in a chapter 13 bankruptcy, such as the following:

  •        The mortgage on your home (though a second mortgage may be eliminated)
  •        Certain taxes, especially if the debt is less than three years old
  •        Most student loans
  •        Child support or alimony payments
  •        Fines or penalties related to criminal activity or a civil lawsuit regarding certain personal injury cases, such as drunk driving

Any debts that were occurred due to fraudulent activity or other personal injury matters could be eligible for discharge. However, the U.S. Courts note that a creditor is able to file a motion to make the debt nondischargeable.

Even if you have these debts, you should recognize that a chapter 13 filing could free up money to pay them because the amount you owe to other creditors may be lowered. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is placed on all your debts, allowing you to get your finances in order.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

As the U.S. Courts point out, there are three categories in which each of your debts may fall, and those are the following:

  •        Priority: These include payments such as child support, most taxes, and alimony.
  •        Secured: These are the debts for which a creditor has a right to take back property, such as your home or car.
  •        Unsecured: These are items in which creditors do not have a right to property, such as credit card debt.

The U.S. Courts note that in your chapter 13 repayment plan, you will be responsible for paying all of your priority debts in full. If you wish to keep your assets, you will have to pay either the total value of property in secured debt or the total value of the debt, depending on the circumstances.

When it comes to unsecured debt, you may not have to pay the full amount. There are several factors that will determine how much of this debt you will need to pay. Your monthly income and the length of your repayment plan, for example, will dictate how much you will owe on these debts.

Chapter 7 is known as the liquidation bankruptcy and this can cause concern for many people living in Illinois. However, the Illinois General Assembly has established certain laws that grant exemption status to some types of personal property.

One property that is considered exempt is medical equipment. For example, if a doctor has prescribed that you, as the patient, should have a medical bed, then that bed may be considered exempt from the liquidation. Other items that may qualify under this definition may be contact lenses, fall detection systems, surgical implants, wheelchairs, ventilators, and dialysis machines.

Other sources of income may also be considered exempt in a bankruptcy court such as the following:

  •          Veterans benefits
  •          Spousal maintenance
  •          Child support
  •          Social Security benefits
  •          Life insurance payouts

Additionally, if you lost a loved one, upon whom you relied for support, and received a wrongful death payout, you may be able to keep that money. If that same person was injured, or you suffered an injury caused by the negligence of another person, the law allows you to keep up to $15,000 of the payout value. If the injury was caused by a criminal act, then you may be able to retain the entire amount, despite your bankruptcy status.

Property that has a genealogical value may also be exempt from seizure in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This can include family photographs or the family bible. Clothing, cars (if your equity interest is not over $2,400), professional books or trade tools may also be named as exempt property. It is important to understand that the determination of what qualifies as exempt personal property may be in the hands of the bankruptcy court and therefore, this information should not be construed as legal advice.

The U.S. Small Business Administration states that there are two types of personal guarantees for company debt. One type is referred to as a guarantee of collection and this gives business owners protection until a judgment has been issued in the creditor’s favor. However, to obtain the judgment, the creditor must initiate legal action. If the owner is not financially able to pay the debt, the creditor will probably not take such steps since it would not be worth the cost or time.

The other type is a guarantee of payment and this is the most commonly used by lenders and business owners. However, the downside of using this type is that lenders can pursue the owners for the balance owed without having to go through the courts. It can also really impact their personal credit line, especially if they used their own credit rating to get a credit card for the business. However, if businesses could get the lender to renegotiate the guarantee of payment to one of a collection, they might be able to eliminate their liability.

Entrepreneur recommends avoiding using a personal guarantee if possible because it is really hard for people to get out of the responsibility of paying the business’ debt. If there is a personal guarantee in place, then the lenders could go after the owner’s personal assets, even in a bankruptcy.

With the commonality of identity theft, it is easy for people to open accounts in your name. They may use a different address or employment information, and this false data could get transferred to your credit report. By looking at the report, you can discover the illegal activity, take immediate steps to report it and work with the appropriate agencies to have it removed. This way, it won’t cross over into a collections issue, which can hurt your credit and require more time to fix.

Checking your credit report also gives you the chance to make sure that your name and contact information is accurate. This is important because if there is ever a question that creditors have, they have a way to reach you. It also prevents unnecessary delays when you apply for a loan or other credit, and the check comes back with a discrepancy.

Understanding where your credit rating currently is will help you put together a plan if it is on the lower end. It will also allow you to determine whether you should or should not apply for additional credit, or what your chances are of being approved. By reviewing your report, you can monitor the health of your credit rating and make sure that as you pay off debt, it is reflected in your score. It is not uncommon for old debt to remain on a credit report long after it has been resolved. For more information regarding the information on a credit report, please visit our web page.

“This is the greatest honor of my life – other than Lynn agreeing to marry me years ago. It’s also the greatest gift I’ve ever received, except – and there’s another caveat – the birth of our daughters Jessie and Becky. As my parents taught me by both words and deeds, a life of public service is as much a gift to the person who serves as it is to those he is serving. And for me there could be no higher public service than serving as a member of the United States Supreme Court.”

Who is Merrick Garland?

Merrick Garland is the nominee – but he’s more than that. Not only is he the jurist who would replace the late Antonin Scalia, but he’s at the center of a political controversy regarding whether or not the Senate will vote to confirm him.

Following news that Obama had made a nomination, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his view that the American people – via the nation’s next president – should have a voice in choosing Scalia’s replacement.

Putting politics aside, Garland is a “grand slam” nomination, according to former Solicitor General Seth Waxman. As the Washington Post reports, Waxman said that Garland is “one of the most careful and thoughtful people you can imagine.”

Oh, and there’s one more thing going for him: Garland was born and raised in Chicagoland.

Generally, what happens is that you receive a notice that your house is being taken over by the bank. Therefore, you pack up your belongings and move out of the home, leaving it to the control of your lender. Then, the bank never completes the process and you never receive notice that the bank has changed its mind. A year later, you start receiving bills for the property or a notice of collection from the city for cleanup fees or overdue taxes. The bank simply counts the property as a loss to them and then receives a credit on their tax filing or a payout from their insurer.

Meanwhile, during that year when the house sat abandoned, squatters, transients, and others have used it, stripped it of anything that is worth monetary value and basically damaged it beyond repair. The lack of care to the property may have caused structural damage as well as led to overgrown grass, an abundance of weeds and an accumulation of garbage. Essentially, you are now haunted by a house that you cannot live in, you can’t afford to repair and you can’t sell. Furthermore, you still owe that mortgage money to the bank.

First, it is important to know that if the federal bankruptcy court chooses a date that you cannot work into your schedule, your case will usually be dismissed. The court will not ask you for information relating to available dates so it’s important to make sure that you keep your schedule as flexible as possible. The court will also charge you a fee of $250 if you miss that appointment. There is no guarantee that the court will be willing to reschedule, but it is possible to submit a continuance request. If the court accepts your request, you will have to pay an additional fee of $250 for the rescheduling.

When you arrive to the meeting, you will need to have a copy of your full bankruptcy petition (your attorney will bring this, if you have legal representation). You will also need your Social Security card, and your state I.D. or driver’s license. This is to verify your identity for the court.

The initial meeting will be fairly short, but yours will not be the only one scheduled and the meeting can be delayed by more than an hour if the trustee assigned to your case is late. During a half-hour period, the court can have anywhere from six to eight separate meetings and there is no order in which those meetings are held. This means that you could be called first or last. For more information about the meeting of creditors, please visit our web page.

This can be extremely problematic for people who are serving in the military. Their issue may not arise from an accident, illness or job loss, but from their location change. For example, some people find out that they can’t take their car with them if they are being transferred to another country. This is not due to any military rules but to the loan contract, they signed, which contained the provision.

Financial savviness is something that many people in the military have yet to build due to their younger age. This can lead them to make decisions that can financially put them into trouble. With often little notice, they can switch locations and fail to make sure their creditors are made aware of the change. As such, they then fall victims to aggressive debt collectors who threaten to report them to the military, thus jeopardizing their chances for being promoted, remaining on active duty or even keeping a security clearance. In fact, it is estimated that debt collection complaints are “twice as likely” to come from people who have served or are serving their country.

Thankfully, people with financial difficulties do have several options available to them. Therefore, they may want to talk to an attorney about their situation and learn what choices they have.

The National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees states that trustees are also required to submit reports to the Office of the U.S. Trustee as well as the court. Other roles of the trustee include the following:

  •          Preparing for liquidation by arranging the transfer of assets from the debtor
  •          Taking an in-depth look at the debtor’s overall situation
  •          Identifying all assets that would be eligible for liquidation
  •          Classifying debts as secured or unsecured
  •          Verifying that exemption claims are accurate

Additionally, the trustee oversees the meeting of creditors and will choose the questions concerning income, assets, expenses and liabilities that the debtor will need to answer during that meeting.

It should be noted that the trustee must withdraw from a bankruptcy case if the person has a connection with the case on a nonofficial level. While trustees are members of a panel, they are chosen by random when appointed to oversee a personal bankruptcy. To become a member of the panel, people must post a bond and pass a background check. Trustees often have a career as an accountant or attorney and are not considered employees of the government.