When Filing Bankruptcy Is the Best Option

What To Know About Your Bankruptcy Trustee

Posted by on 3:49 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Know About Your Bankruptcy Trustee

Declaring bankruptcy is a big step, but knowing what to expect can help ease the stress and confusion of the situation. Once you file, you will be assigned a bankruptcy trustee, who will be managing your bankruptcy case from now until its final petition. While you should still count on your bankruptcy attorney to lend you support during the months that it takes a bankruptcy to go through court, your bankruptcy trustee also fills an important role. Here is what to expect when dealing with your bankruptcy trustee. The Inspection Your first face-to-face meeting with your bankruptcy trustee could occur at the property inspection appointment. This meeting will be scheduled in advance, and you should makes plans to be at home or at the property location and have identification with you. The point of this inspection is to view property that may be seized and to assign a re-sale value on that property. The trustee will make notes and take photographs, but no property will be taken at this time. You will be alerted well in advance if any property is to be later seized. Property is only seized if the trustee is reasonably confident that it can be sold and used to pay creditors. Normally, you personal property is excluded; so don’t worry too much about your diamond wedding ring or your collectibles. On the other hand, valuable art, boats or other luxury items could be at risk of seizure. In some locations, a representative for the trustee appears at the inspection instead of the trustee. If you don’t have much property, this visit may never even occur. The Meeting of the Creditors For many filers, the meeting of the creditors is their one and only encounter with the bankruptcy trustee. Normally, the trustee fills the role of the judge and presides over the meeting. You will stand when called and answer a few brief questions about your bankruptcy, and your “day in court” will be over in no time. The Trustee’s Pay You may be wondering why the trustee’s pay is any of your business, but it may well be. If you end up having to forfeit any property, the bankruptcy trustee gets a portion of the proceeds from the sale of that property. Federal law, which rules over all bankruptcy provisions, allows the trustee to earn: 25% of the first $5,000 10% of the next $5,000 to $50,000 5% of the next $50,000 to $1,000,000 If no property is seized, the trustee still gets about $60 per case. It’s worth mentioning that you must be completely accurate when listing your property on the your bankruptcy petition; your bankruptcy could be in jeopardy if the inspection turns up unlisted property. Be sure to speak to your bankruptcy attorney for more information on any aspect of your...

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How Does Personal Bankruptcy Affect You?

Posted by on 5:30 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Does Personal Bankruptcy Affect You?

Bankruptcy is a scary word. There is such a stigma attached to it that many people are afraid even to consider filing for personal bankruptcy, even when it is the best alternative. To de-mystify bankruptcy, it helps to understand how bankruptcy affects you. What Debt Does Bankruptcy Remove? Filing for bankruptcy removes a significant portion of your debt, but not all of it. Take some time to figure out what is driving your debt. If you have a significant amount that can’t be discharged, then filing for bankruptcy may be a poor decision. Examples of debts that are discharged by bankruptcy include: Credit card debt for unsecured credit cards – this means that the credit extended to you is not secured by any type of property or deposit Debts owed to collection agencies Medical bills Personal loans from friends and family Auto accident claims, except if you were driving while intoxicated Older tax penalties and unpaid taxes (under special circumstances) Lease money owed, including rent that is past due What Debt Does Bankruptcy Fail to Remove? There are some debts that cannot be removed or may prove very hard to discharge. Debts that are generally not covered include: Alimony payments Back child support Income tax debt Student loans (unless you can show that paying back the loan causes “significant hardship”, something that is very hard to do) Personal injury settlements Criminal and civil fines or penalties How Does Bankruptcy Affect Your Credit? On most credit applications, there is a check box that asks if you have ever filed for bankruptcy. People assume that, if they have, they will be denied credit in the future; however, this is not the case. The type of credit can differ, at least in the short term, after a bankruptcy. There are two types of credit cards, secured and un-secured. Most people have un-secured credit cards, which means that there is no property or money being used as collateral for the card. With a secured credit card, a financial deposit is required with the bank issuing the credit card. This financial deposit is collateral against any debt incurred on the card. If you filed for bankruptcy, you can apply for a secured credit card within months of coming out of bankruptcy. In fact, it is recommended that anyone who is exiting bankruptcy get a secured credit card and make regular payments to start rebuilding credit ratings. Over time, you can rebuild your credit score and eventually apply for and receive an un-secured credit card again (if you wish to have one). The bottom line is that bankruptcy is still a painful process, but there are benefits from going through the process if you have credit that can be removed by a bankruptcy filing. Tax attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy can further clarify the process and help you to make the right choices as you file for bankruptcy, work through your re-payment plans, and come out of bankruptcy. Contact professionals like Wiesner & Frackowiak, LC to learn...

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Your Right To An Appeal: How To Get Social Security Disability Benefits When Your Application Has Been Denied

Posted by on 8:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your Right To An Appeal: How To Get Social Security Disability Benefits When Your Application Has Been Denied

There are many reasons a social security disability claim will get denied. Whether you did not complete the necessary paperwork correctly, or you did not have enough evidence to back up your claim of a disability, you have the right to file an appeal when you receive a denial letter. Time to Appeal Your Denial of Social Security Disability Benefits When you receive your letter stating that the decision was made to deny you benefits, you have sixty days from the receipt of this letter in order to file an appeal on your behalf. This will give you enough time to gather further documentation that was missing from your original application and to see additional treatment providers if necessary to prove your disability. Filing Your Appeal Filing your appeal can get complicated. Most people turn to an attorney at this point, because they don’t want to get caught up in the appeals process. Your appeal starts as a reconsideration, where your entire application is reviewed by people who were not part of the initial decision to deny you benefits. You can choose to file your appeal online, or by mail. If you aren’t sure how to fill out the appeal paperwork, it’s time to meet with an experienced social security disability attorney, such as those from Banik & Renner, to guide you through. If the reconsideration does not work and you find yourself still without benefits, it’s now time to request a hearing. During the hearing process, most people find that they need to work with a lawyer. Going to court for a hearing on your disability claim is stressful, and it’s important that you succeed during this hearing. By working closely with an attorney, you will be as prepared as possible to go into the hearing. When the Hearing Decision is Still a Denial Just because you were denied benefits after a hearing, this does not mean that your appeals process is over. The next step in the appeals process is to ask for another review, this time by the Social Security Appeals Council. If they decide the hearing decision was accurate, you can file an appeal with the federal court system to pursue your claim further. The best way to fight your appeal is to continue to get regular medical care for your disability. Your claim rests on the opinions of your medical providers, and if you aren’t seeking treatment for your disability, they are unable to provide Social Security with the information they need to approve your...

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3 Things You Need To Know About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Before Filing

Posted by on 10:17 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things You Need To Know About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Before Filing

So many people find themselves in dire straits with their finances. Sometimes, the debts are manageable and a repayment plan can be created with each of the debtors. However, sometimes a repayment plan just isn’t feasible because of the amount of debt involved. For those people, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a viable solution. However, you shouldn’t be so quick to turn to bankruptcy to solve your financial problems. Here are three things you need to know about Chapter 7 bankruptcy before filing. 1. You could still end up keeping some of your debts after filing for bankruptcy. A common misconception is that you can get rid of all your debt during Chapter 7 bankruptcy. While it is possible to get rid of it all, it really depends on the types of debt you have. Not all types of debt can be discharged in bankruptcy court. Some of the debts that you can’t discharge in Chapter 7 bankruptcy include: Student loans (in most cases) Child support Alimony Court fines Recent tax debt Settlements for court cases Debts incurred by fraud A bankruptcy attorney (such as Howard S. Goodman Bankruptcy Attorney) will help you figure out which debts you can include on the schedule for discharge and which debts will remain following the Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 2. You are required to undergo credit counseling before filing. Before the court will allow you to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will have to go through credit counseling. You must do so within the previous six months before you file. The thing is that you can’t go to just anyone to fulfill the credit counseling requirement. You must get the credit counseling from an agency that has been approved by the U.S. Trustee’s office.  The reason the U.S government has added this step before you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to see if there is any way your debts can be repaid. If they can, then you may be able to avoid bankruptcy altogether.  3. Chapter 7 bankruptcy may not impact your credit score as much as you think. Chances are if you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your credit score is likely not the best. If that is the case, you probably won’t notice much of an impact on your credit score. It will affect it, but probably not as badly as it would if you had a very good credit score. The important thing to do is to try rebuilding your credit immediately following a bankruptcy. That means following a repayment plan for any debts that could not be discharged in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy. That way, by the time the bankruptcy falls off your credit report in about 10 years, you should have a credit score in far better shape than it was before the...

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Legal and Ethical Questions Answered: When Lawyers File for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Posted by on 3:09 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Legal and Ethical Questions Answered: When Lawyers File for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Lawyers, just like any career that requires years and years of education and training to complete, have monumental school debts. Even after they have worked for a couple of years, there is always more debt piled on top of the school loans–mortgage, car loans, etc. Therefore, it is understandable if lawyers file for bankruptcy, but the question is, can they? What are the legal and ethical issues surrounding a lawyer and his or her bankruptcy? If you want to know how a lawyer can file and whether or not it is right for him or her to do so, the answers are below. No Ethical Concerns  Actually, a bankruptcy attorney filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is no different than a doctor asking another doctor to perform surgery on him/her. It may seem odd to you because of the type of work they do, but they have their problems just like everyone else. There are no ethical concerns with a lawyer filing for bankruptcy, and there are no punishments or special treatment in court either. A bankruptcty attorney filing for bankruptcy is not as unusual as it seems. No Legal Concerns Either By law, every adult has the right to file for bankruptcy, if and when he or she feels that his or her debts are insurmountable. That includes lawyers in general and bankruptcy lawyers too. The only difference is that lawyers, with their salaries being what they are, will have to prove that their incomes are not enough to cover the total sum of their debts, nor are they able to come to any agreement with their creditors about how to pay their bills. For this reason, and because it is their personal bankruptcies, they cannot represent themselves in court and require another lawyer’s help. Other Concerns You May Have and What You Can Do If you think that something else that is not quite legal is going on with a lawyer friend, and that lawyer friend is filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, (which eliminates all debt and releases the debtor from financial responsibility) then you can report him or her. Your state has its own legal bar association, and all suspected mischief or misconduct on the part of lawyer may be reported to the association. Other than that, there is nothing wrong or out of the ordinary with a bankruptcy attorney filing his or her own bankrutpcty...

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2 Types of Bankruptcy and When You Should Consider Them

Posted by on 3:15 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Types of Bankruptcy and When You Should Consider Them

Filing bankruptcy is often a last resort for many individuals, mostly because they think that it is some kind of failure on their part. However, a bankruptcy is often the best option for people drowning in debt and having difficulty paying their debts. Below are just two bankruptcy types to consider, as well as when you should consider them. Chapter 7 A chapter 7 bankruptcy is one of the most common types of bankruptcy, mostly because of the many benefits that it provides. In this type of bankruptcy filing, you can potentially end up with a clean slate after eliminating most of your debt types. However, debts such as legal judgements against you, child and spousal support, and money owed to the IRS for back taxes are not dischargeable in a bankruptcy filing. This type of bankruptcy should be considered if your income has dropped to the point where you are struggling to make the minimum payments on your debts. In addition, you should consider this type of filing if you do not think that you will be able to pay off your debts in a reasonable amount of time. Finally, you should be aware that this type of filing can result in the loss of some property, mostly because it will be used to pay back your creditors. Some of the property that you can expect to lose includes certain types of investments, a vehicle (if you have multiple vehicles), and any cash in your account on the day you filed for bankruptcy. Chapter 13 A chapter 13 bankruptcy is a fantastic option if you are trying to deal with a lot of debt as well. This type of bankruptcy is going to require that you pay back your debts through a payment plan that is arranged by the bankruptcy court. This plan will see you paying less per month and lower the entire debt that you owe so that you can finish the payment plan within a few years. The main reason to consider this type of bankruptcy is if you have some property that you owe money on and that you want to keep. For example, if you have a car payment or mortgage, the chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to keep the car or house because you will still be paying for it. Speak to a bankruptcy lawyer like William C Fithian III in order to discuss which type of filing is right for you. A chapter 7 is ideal if you are looking for a clean slate, while a chapter 13 is perfect for you if you can afford to pay back a portion of your debt and do not want to surrender any...

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For Hardworking Seniors, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Be The Right Compromise

Posted by on 4:40 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Retirees face most of the same financial pressures as the rest of the population.  That may include considering filing for bankruptcy—something that more than 1 million people do each year.  But seniors facing this option often have some unique obstacles and a few possible aids.  How can they find the best debt relief in this situation? The Moral Dilemma The first barrier to bankruptcy that many retirees face is not a financial one, nor is it the red tape or costs involved.  It is a moral objection to the idea of having their debts wiped out rather than paying them ‘fair and square’.  Deeply-held values including a strong work ethic, belief in caring for oneself and one’s own family and memories of past financial problems can often lead a senior to forgo the legitimate option of having the slate cleaned via bankruptcy.  But, sadly, this often only makes matters worse.  One solution to this moral quandary—for those who have the means—might be a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  In this type of bankruptcy, a person (or family) who has a stream of reliable income can create and present to the judge a plan for paying the debts over either a 3-year or 5-year period.  Often called a wage earner’s bankruptcy, Chapter 13 is a reorganization plan that allows a person to keep their assets and pay over a longer period of time, with only the remainder forgiven after the payment period expires.  Retirement Income Chapter 13 bankruptcy might work well for a retiree because of the steady stream of income that many retirement accounts provide.  If a petitioner has a regular check coming from Social Security, pensions and/or personal retirement accounts, it can all be considered by the judge as a means for working out a payment plan under Chapter 13.  Younger people who have reached the point of applying for bankruptcy often do not have this advantage and may be barred from doing Chapter 13.  The First Steps The first step toward determining if a bankruptcy—and which kind—would be best for you is to meet with a qualified bankruptcy attorney (such as one from Baxley Law Firm LLC).  He or she can first help you evaluate if you really need the protection of bankruptcy or if you have so few assets and income that you are essentially ‘judgement-proof’ (meaning there’s simply nothing for creditors to take).  The next step is to figure out which chapter of the bankruptcy code is in your best interests—usually a decision between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.  If you choose Chapter 13, your attorney will then help you work out a debt-payment plan.  The courts in some states have worksheets that can guide you through how to make this plan to their satisfaction.  Choosing to declare bankruptcy is never easy.  For some older persons, it can be an even more difficult decision than normal.  But for retirees, Chapter 13 options might provide both the financial help and the peace of mind that they’re looking...

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Know What You Stand To Lose Before Filing For Chapter 7

Posted by on 3:41 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Before you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is very important to look at any upcoming payments you are expecting to receive. The reason for this is because the bankruptcy court can seize numerous types of monetary payments that are owed to you, and you could end up forfeiting a lot if you do not know this. What is Chapter 7? Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the branch of bankruptcy that allows you to clear away all the unsecured debts you owe, without having to repay them. You can only declare Chapter 7 if you pass the means test, which is based on the income you make and the family members living in your home. While there are exceptions to what debts can be forgiven, almost all unsecured debts are included. The debts that cannot be included in Chapter 7 include things like child support, court-ordered debts, and student loans. What happens to debts? The debts that are forgiven during bankruptcy are usually just wiped away; however, there are times when certain debts are repaid, and this is one thing you should be fully aware of before filing. If you are expecting money in the near future from one of the following, you must let the bankruptcy court know: A tax return An inheritance An insurance policy A lawsuit When you file for Chapter 7, you may be relinquishing the rights to any money you receive from any of these things. You must legally tell the bankruptcy court about this, and the trustee will intercept the funds before you can. If the bankruptcy trustee is able to seize any of these types of funds, the funds will be used to pay off the debts that were included in the bankruptcy.   How can this affect your decision? Filing for bankruptcy may be a great solution to your financial problems, but there are times when it is not the right answer. For example, if you know that you will soon be receiving a huge check from an inheritance, you may forfeit the entire check. If you had not filed for bankruptcy, you could use this money to pay off the debts you owe instead of using bankruptcy to wipe them away. On the other hand, if you do not believe that you will be receiving any large settlement in the near future, filing for bankruptcy might be a wise choice. Making the decision to file is never an easy one, and it is always best to discuss your situation with a bankruptcy attorney before determining what you will do. Contact a company such as Sever Law Office for more...

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3 Ways To Get Back On Your Financial Feet After Bankruptcy

Posted by on 6:00 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Filing for bankruptcy can seem like an epic failure for many Americans. Unfortunately, bankruptcy is the only way for some people to escape the unbearable burdens of their debt. If you are considering bankruptcy, but you are worried that your financial future will be ruined forever if you file, there is hope. Here are three ways you can continue to build a positive credit rating, even after you file for bankruptcy. 1. Apply for a credit card. While applying for more debt when you have just declared bankruptcy might seem crazy, taking on a new credit card can be a positive way to begin rebuilding your credit rating.  To ensure that you do not go back to your old spending habits and blow your money on useless items, look for a credit card with a lower limit. By using your credit card responsibly and paying the balance in full each month, you can begin to establish a history of on time payments. This will improve your credit rating, even when you have filed for bankruptcy. 2. Monitor your credit reports closely. If you are considering bankruptcy, many of your debts are likely old. When these debts remain on your credit report, they can have a negative impact on your credit rating. After you file for bankruptcy it is important that you carefully monitor your reports and request that any old information be removed. As a general rule, late payments, public records, and collection accounts can remain on your reports for up to 7 years. If your credit reports are showing any of these types of accounts that are older than 7 years, file a dispute to have these negative items removed. 3. Avoid credit repair scams. You may have seen advertisements for companies offering to repair your credit quickly after you have filed for bankruptcy. There is no quick fix when it comes to establishing a positive credit rating, and investing in these companies could end up costing you in the long run. Be wary of companies asking for money upfront, and if you have doubts about the legitimacy of the company in question contact, your state regulatory agency for further information. Getting back on your financial feet after bankruptcy is not impossible. All it requires is careful monitoring of the negative accounts on your credit report and dedication to paying any new creditors you acquire on-time and in-full. Work with a bankruptcy attorney like Brent Sorenson & Associates, P.C. for more help during and after your...

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4 Things To Know About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Posted by on 5:44 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are having problems paying your debt, you should consider filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This will help discharge many of the bills that you simply can’t pay. You may have lost your job, or you may be going through a divorce that has resulted in a significant decrease in your income. There are specific things you should know if you intend to file for this type of bankruptcy. The Costs The last thing you want to face is high fees when your income is lower than it used to be.  The good news about filing for this legal status is that it has an affordable cost. As of June 1, 2014, the court costs and administrative fees for filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are about $335. The Forms You must prove that you are eligible for this filing status before you will be considered. This means you must fill out a number of forms that show your financial status. Listed below are ways to improve your eligibility: 1.  Getting a W-2 that states the full amount of your income annually. 2.  Making a list of your monthly expenses, which can include the costs of rent, food, and clothing. 3.  Making a list of all of your creditors; and, you should list the amount of debt to each one separately. These forms will provide the court with the necessary information to determine if you qualify for the status of bankruptcy. The Automatic Stay One of the biggest advantages of filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy includes the automatic stay. This will prevent any of your creditors from contacting you by phone, mail, or even in person. Additionally, your creditors won’t be capable of filing a lawsuit or seizing any of your properties in an attempt to receive past-due payments. The Credit Counseling You must attend courses in credit counseling before you will be eligible to receive the benefits offered by a completed Chapter 7 bankruptcy status. These courses must be approved by a court; and, one session typically last about 60 to 90 minutes. Additionally, you can take this course online at your convenience. Finally, there are a number of benefits of filing for this financial status. Be sure to rely on the expertise of a bankruptcy attorney, like Michael Hart D PC. A lawyer can guide you through all of the necessary legal steps; and, they can guide you through these steps both quickly and...

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