Cosigning for Loans: Cons Outweigh the Pros

October 27, 2014

In today’s America, more and more things that used to be available to the masses are becoming further out of reach. Cars, homes and sometimes university education are all requiring young people to take out loans. And sometimes, one’s credit is not good enough. Cosigners on a loan improve the odds of it being granted […]

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Same-Sex Couples and Bankruptcy

October 20, 2014

In February, Attorney General Eric Holder issued a statement that instructed U.S. Justice Department employees across the country to provide all of the benefits held by heterosexual married couples to same-sex married couples. This includes death benefits, prison visitation rights, and the ability to jointly file for bankruptcy, even in states where their marriages are […]

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Bankruptcy and the Automatic Stay

April 30, 2014

Recent Court Opinion On Creditor Obligations and Court Violations One of the benefits of filing for bankruptcy is that a debtor becomes entitled to the protection of bankruptcy’s automatic stay. The automatic stay takes effect upon the filing of a petition for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and prevents creditors from taking certain actions […]

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Apologies in Bankruptcy Court: Part 2

March 8, 2013

This is Part 2 of a two-part article on Bankrupt Apologies, a recent study which shows that bankruptcy judges are influenced by apologies. For Part 1, click here. Robert Lawless, an author of the study, is also a co-director of the Illinois Program on Law, Behavior, and Social Science, which “seeks to broaden and deepen […]

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Apologies in Bankruptcy Court: Part 1

March 5, 2013

A recent study by two law professors (Robert Lawless and Jennifer Robbennolt) at the University of Illinois College of Law suggests that bankruptcy judges are influenced by apologies. In the experiment, two groups of actual bankruptcy judges were given a fictional story about a family filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. One group received a version […]

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Understanding the Automatic Stay

February 25, 2013

What is the automatic stay? The automatic stay is a court order that prevents creditors from taking collection actions against you. From the debtor’s perspective, it’s one of the best things about the bankruptcy system. You’ll experience immediate relief from the stress associated with those dreaded phone calls and letters. How long does the automatic […]

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What is the Means Test?

February 18, 2013
What is the Means Test?

What is the means test? The means test is a test used to determine whether an individual or married couple is eligible to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. Whether you pass the means test depends on how much disposable income you have. (Disposable income is money left over after your expenses are paid each […]

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Chapter 20 Bankruptcy

February 11, 2013

What is a Chapter 20 bankruptcy? You probably know that Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two types of bankruptcy most commonly filed by consumers. But have you ever heard of the mythical Chapter 20 bankruptcy? It’s understandable if you doubted its existence, since there are only 15 chapters in the Bankruptcy Code. Believe […]

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Reaffirm the Debt, Keep the Car

February 7, 2013

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can choose to “reaffirm” a debt, meaning that you still want to repay it. “Why would anyone want to do that?” you may ask, considering that getting rid of your debts is the reason you filed for bankruptcy in the first place. To answer this question, we […]

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703 vs. 704: Which Exemptions Should I Choose?

February 4, 2013

If you file for bankruptcy in California, you must choose between two sets of exemptions. It is recommended that you retain an experienced bankruptcy attorney to ensure that you make the right choice. As if there weren’t already enough tough decisions involved in the bankruptcy process, California debtors must also decide which exemptions to use. […]

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Will Bankruptcy Filings Continue to Decline?

February 1, 2013

The number of people who file for bankruptcy is declining. But it will probably rise again with the second wave of foreclosures. The official website of the federal Judiciary provides bankruptcy statistics. The following table shows the percent change in national bankruptcy filings between consecutive years. 2003-2004 -3.8% 2004-2005 30.1% 2005-2006 -70.3% 2006-2007 37.8% 2007-2008 […]

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