Keith Rucinski, Chapter 13 Trustee, Akron, OH
In the United States people can choose to represent themselves in court, including bankruptcy court. The term to represent yourself without counsel is “pro se”. A lawyer who represents people in bankruptcy does much more than “complete some forms. Good counsel will help their client: Determine if a bankruptcy is necessary. Sometimes there are alternatives.
Bankruptcy. It’s a word that evokes dread in many Americans. Why? Because it may feel like the end of the road, the last resort, the end, in a way, of the game of debt. But how does one know it’s time to file for bankruptcy? What happens when you file for bankruptcy and how does it impact your overall financial picture and existing assets? And finally, how can you rebound financially after filing?
Keith Rucinski, Chapter 13 Trustee, Akron, OH
The American bankruptcy system is designed to help the innocent person who has fallen on hard financial times earn a bankruptcy discharge (discharge is a legal term meaning to successfully complete a bankruptcy plan). The discharge prohibits creditors from filing lawsuits and wage garnishment to collect on past due debt, including credit card debt and medical debt.
Sometimes called “wage earner’s plan” or “reorganization bankruptcy,” Chapter 13 bankruptcy is available for people who intend to repay some or all of their debt without liquidating their assets. It spreads the debt burden out into payments that are made over a three to five year period, based on your income, allowing them to pay back what they owe through installments.
Unlike credit cards, many personal loans—including car loans—are secured debts. Secured loans require collateral. In the case of an auto loan, the collateral is the vehicle itself. When you default on this type of loan, lenders can legally repossess the collateral on the loan (i.e., your car). But for many people, a car is essential, whether used to get to and from work or to care for an elderly parent.
Keith Rucinski, Chapter 13 Trustee, Akron, OH,
“Only people who live beyond their means file bankruptcy.”
When people think of individuals who have filed bankruptcy they often think of people who cannot manage their money and live “beyond their means.” Images of expensive cars and large homes often come to mind, this is not commonly seen with those who file for bankruptcy.
Jason Wilson Aguilar, Chapter 13 Trustee
Yes, you can file a bankruptcy case without a lawyer. There is no legal requirement that you must have a lawyer represent you in a bankruptcy case. The real question is whether you should file a bankruptcy case without a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy law. In my opinion, the answer to that question is no. Would you perform surgery on yourself? That is a question one bankruptcy judge would ask.
Keith L. Rucinski, Chapter 13 Trustee, Akron, OH
Bankruptcy Legend: I do not need a lawyer to file Bankruptcy, all I have to do is complete some forms. In the United States people can choose to represent themselves in court, including bankruptcy court. The term to represent yourself without counsel is “pro se”. A lawyer who represents people in bankruptcy does much more than “complete some forms. Determine if a bankruptcy is necessary.
Scott Waterman, Chapter 13 Trustee, Reading, PA
If a student loan borrower is having trouble making their monthly payment, bankruptcy may be an option. When a Federal Court of Appeals blocked the Biden Student Loan Forgiveness Program in November 2022, borrowers thought their chance to free themselves from burdensome student loan debt had disappeared. However, just three days later new guidelines were issued making it easier to discharge loans through bankrupty.
A Chapter 13 case can provide immediate relief and peace of mind. There is a certain element of “instant gratification” that gives it appeal on day one of the case. In many jurisdictions a case can be filed for “no money down.” Spending a few hours at an attorney’s office and signing some paperwork will make the foreclosure, repossession, garnishment or other collection efforts stop, as if by magic.
Are you feeling overwhelmed by your debt? You're not alone. Consumer debt — especially credit card debt — is at an all-time high as rising interest rates and high inflation continue to place financial pressure on Americans' budgets.
Bankruptcy has long had a stigma in the U.S. People who file for bankruptcy protection have been stereotyped as irresponsible, unethical or lazy. But many Americans find themselves facing bankruptcy due to an unexpected crisis, like job loss, a medical emergency or divorce. Bankruptcy is designed to give debtors a fresh start and provide relief from creditors. But filing for bankruptcy is a complex decision.
Filing for bankruptcy protection can free you from burdensome debts and nagging bill collectors, but there’s a cost. Depending on the type of bankruptcy, consumers may have to pay a few hundred to several thousand dollars to get relief from debt under the nation’s bankruptcy laws. For businesses choosing reorganization bankruptcy, the costs can be even higher.
Times are challenging in America with the coronavirus. You may be experiencing the stress that comes with financial hardship and are considering a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The purpose of this article is to inform you about the most important things about Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Was your Chapter 7 bankruptcy denied? If so, you may be wondering what happens next. First, you should understand why your Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be denied. So, What Will Cause a Chapter 7 to be Denied? If you are found to hide assets, transfer assets prior to filing, and/or provide incorrect fair market values for your assets, you may be charged with fraud in your case.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the bankruptcy filing most often used by consumers. It provides protection from creditors, puts a stop to most collection efforts and can eventually wipe debts away. Debtors have to agree—theoretically, at least—to hand over their property so it can be sold to generate cash to pay the people they owe. And borrowers can’t avoid repaying some kinds of debt.
Personal bankruptcy filings have fallen dramatically since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, but with interest rates rising and government relief waning, filing numbers will likely pick up through this year, say experts.“I’ve had more calls in the last few weeks than the previous six months,” said Charles Juntikka, a New York-based lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy law.
Many people wonder if they file for bankruptcy, what will they get to “keep?” The vast majority of individual bankruptcies are what are known as Chapter 7 bankruptcies. Chapter 7 is a traditional liquidation bankruptcy where the trustee “gathers and sells the debtor’s nonexempt assets and uses the proceeds of such assets to pay holders of claims (creditors) in accordance with the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code.”
Q. My father declared bankruptcy without telling my mother. How will this affect her credit? — Concerned A. It seems that was something of a surprise for your mom. When one person files for bankruptcy, in New Jersey it does not generally have an impact on the spouse. Generally, in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your dad’s debts would be discharged, so if he is the only one filing, your mother should not feel any impact.
Bankruptcy is a legal process that helps individuals and businesses resolve outstanding debts while also fairly managing the payments owed to creditors. Creditors involved in bankruptcy proceedings, however, typically don't receive full payment. There are restrictions on the types of bankruptcy you're allowed to file. How you file depends on whether you are an individual or a business, as well as factors like your level of income and the kind of debt you have.
Bankruptcy offers relief to people that have fallen on hard times and are struggling to keep up with their debt payments and other expenses. Though bankruptcy can be the best option in some situations, it’s important to understand the potential consequences on your credit reports so you can make informed financial decisions.
Bankruptcy can offer lasting financial relief to people struggling to repay their debts, but it comes at a cost. A bankruptcy filing can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, flagging you as a risk to lenders. This can make it harder to get approved for new, affordable loans until you rebuild your credit. Here's how bankruptcy can affect your chance of getting a car loan.
Filing for bankruptcy can be a difficult and stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. Chapter 13 bankruptcies allow you to create a repayment plan that is approved by your creditors and the legal system. This type of bankruptcy differs from a chapter 7 bankruptcy, which uses your assets to pay off your creditors.
If you are filing for bankruptcy, you will likely be relieved to hear that, yes, your 401(k) is generally safe in bankruptcy.
Buying a house can be a challenge in itself, but if you’ve had to file for bankruptcy, owning a home may seem all the more difficult to achieve.
Just because you've had a bankruptcy doesn't mean you can't get financing to invest in real estate. Find out how.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a helpful tool for people who are struggling to keep up with their finances. Once your case is resolved, many of your unsecured debts, such as personal loans and credit cards, can be cleared under a court order. This can provide some relief from debt collectors contacting you or garnishing your wages.
The US Supreme Court ruled that a bankrupt California woman can’t wipe out debts incurred through her husband’s fraudulent conduct in a home sale. Kate Bartenwerfer had argued that she was unaware of her husband’s actions. But she can’t use bankruptcy to discharge the debt obtained by fraud, the high court said in a unanimous decision Wednesday.
If you’re looking into Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you may come across information regarding the bankruptcy means test calculations. The bankruptcy means test which can be quite confusing when you visit the government website, so a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 calculator can help you in your endevour. The big question is whether you meet the eligibility requirements for Chapter 7 bankruptcy using the means test.
The U.S. Trustee Program is responsible for overseeing the administration of bankruptcy cases. As part of this duty, they regularly audit Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. If you’re contemplating bankruptcy, you should know about these audits and what they mean for your case.
Many feel uncomfortable talking about it, even with a trusted friend or family member. The simple mention of the word can bring up a wide range of feelings.
Fortunately, a bankruptcy attorney understands that you are going through a very trying and emotional moment. They’re mindful of the fact that most bankruptcies are caused by events outside of your control, such as the loss of a job or a serious health problem. No bankruptcy attorney will ever blame or pass judgment on their client. Instead, they assist them in finding a workable solution to their financial woes, including credit counseling and debt settlement.
Feeling crushed by debt is stressful, but there are options. If you find yourself saddled with more debt than you can pay off in a timely manner, you can file for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy is a serious step and one that often comes with negative connotations. Some people worry that it’s a sign of failure or that they’ll then carry a financial stigma that will affect their credit. However, sometimes bankruptcy is the best way to get a new start.
When considering filing for bankruptcy, many people wonder how long it will take. The process can vary depending on the type of bankruptcy and the individual’s case, but in general, it is usually a few months from beginning to end.
You may make a good income but are unable to afford your debts, so you are looking at a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Texas. Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a big decision. You are committing to a bankruptcy repayment plan that could last for up to five years.
Are you considering filing for bankruptcy? Do you receive any income from the sale of cannabis or cannabis products?
Many creditors have been warned of the need to halt collection efforts once they are put on notice that a debtor has filed for bankruptcy.
The Biden administraiton has made it easier to file for bankruptcy and cover student loans. But is that a smart financial step?
According to a recent study, approximately 30 percent of African-American filers are more likely to have their bankruptcy cases dismissed than non-Black bankruptcy filers, Yahoo News reports.
Bankruptcy filings continued a steep two-year-long fall that coincided with the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
A public education project of the National Association of Chapter Thirteen Trustees
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