Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you are facing unmanageable debt that you fear you will never be able to pay off, declaring bankruptcy may be an option worth considering. Completing the bankruptcy process can eliminate much of your debt and wipe your financial slate clean, allowing you to achieve a fresh start.

Before trying to pursue bankruptcy on your own, however, you should get in touch with a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer to discuss your options. Once retained, a seasoned attorney could work diligently on your behalf to protect your rights and preserve your best interests throughout the entire process, ensuring you get an optimal result out of this financial procedure.

Our Practice Areas

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Once you file a petition for bankruptcy the automatic stay will stop your creditors from taking any further action against you. Chapter 7 offers you extraordinary relief, and must be filed properly to protect your assets.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a form of repayment or debt consolidation where a person can repay some of their debt while discharging other debt. Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will automatically stay any collection activity against you and allow you to get a fresh start.
Business Bankruptcy
Some business owners who are faced with overwhelming debt may feel their only option is to close their doors and wind-down their operations.
Business Formation
If you are starting a new business, or looking to incorporate a business that you are currently operating, a business formation lawyer in Chicago could help you form a business that offers you the protection you need.
Debt Collection Harassment
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a law that protects you from unruly, aggressive, and harassing debt collectors. This law might allow you to receive $1,000 in damages.
Real Estate
One of the largest investments and most important decisions most Americans will ever make is the purchase or sale of their home. It is imperative to hire an...
Foreclosure Defense
Joseph started his practice during the heart of the foreclosure crisis. During that time he gained extensive experience protecting homeowners’ rights. Whether you...
Auto Repossession
If you are struggling to make payments and your car payments are too high, you can use the bankruptcy code to restructure your car note, and make your payments more affordable.

Types of Bankruptcy in Chicago

Depending on their unique needs and the amount of income they take home each month after expenses, Chicago residents may be eligible to file for bankruptcy under one of several different chapters of the federal Bankruptcy Code. The two chapters that individual debtors most commonly file under are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is what most people imagine when they think of someone declaring bankruptcy, as it allows a debtor to completely free themselves of many financial obligations once the process is complete. Conversely, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to restructure their debts and repay them over a three-to-five-year period using their disposable income after allowed monthly expenses and deductions. In the event that any included debts are left following the completion of a Chapter 13 repayment plan, those debts are generally discharged.

In rare situations, individuals who do not qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may elect to pursue individual bankruptcy under Chapter 11, although this chapter is generally meant for restructuring business debts. A seasoned Chicago bankruptcy attorney could go over an individual debtor’s options in more detail during a private consultation.

Meet With An Attorney

Joseph Olstein

Joseph attended law school in Chicago at the Chicago-Kent College of law. Upon graduating, he wanted to use his education to help people. He dedicated his practice to Consumer Bankruptcy and has represented thousands of clients in Bankruptcy Court. Joseph appears in Bankruptcy Court on a daily basis and knows the most current and up-to-date strategies for resolving your debt. When Joseph meets with you, he will conduct a thorough evaluation of your financial situation to help you determine your best options.

Our Blogs

In December, Fannie Mae is going to revamp a program that allows borrowers to include income from non-borrowers living in their household to qualify for mortgage loans.

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Oftentimes, we don’t understand our insurance coverage until we get a bill from a doctor or hospital.

In 1975 Congress passed the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, to prevent banks from charging higher interest rates to minorities.

CNN recently published an interactive web page detailing the nightmares that several consumers were suffering at the hands of debt collectors.

There is a new subprime bubble in America:  The subprime car loan bubble. Similar to the mortgage crises of 2008.

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Bankruptcy Exemptions Allowed Under State Law

Every state has different rules regarding what types and amounts of property a debtor can keep separate from bankruptcy proceedings. Most of the exemptions allowable in Chicago are listed in 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes §§5/12-901 through 5/12-912 and 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes §§5/12-1001 through 5/12-1006, including but not limited to:

  • Up to $15,000 in home equity, with certain amounts of additional equity allowable under specific circumstances
  • Up to $2,400 in motor vehicle equity
  • Up to $15,000 recovered through a personal injury settlement
  • Up to $1,500 in professional tools
  • Various disability and/or health benefits
  • Life insurance proceeds, under certain circumstances
  • A “wildcard exemption” of up to $4,000 in personal property

A bankruptcy lawyer in Chicago could determine whether any additional exemptions may apply given based on a particular debtor’s circumstances.

The Bankruptcy Automatic Stay

One significant advantage of both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the automatic stay, a court order that forbids creditors from trying to collect on any debts while a debtor is going through bankruptcy proceedings. This protection grants immediate relief to debtors for the entirety of the filing process.

Obtaining an automatic stay does not require a court hearing or a judge’s approval. As the term suggests, it automatically goes into effect the moment someone formally files for bankruptcy. Additionally, any creditor who continues their collection efforts after the stay is in place, and without court approval can face significant penalties.

Speak with a Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Depending on their circumstances, filing for bankruptcy can be a practical and efficient way for you to resolve your financial issues. However, getting the most out of this process can also require months of hard work and a good deal of legal knowledge, both of which a skilled attorney could provide.

A Chicago bankruptcy lawyer could advise you of all your options and ensure your bankruptcy goes as smoothly as possible. Get in touch today to schedule your first consultation.

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