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Why It’s a Bad Idea to Represent Yourself in a Bankruptcy Filing

The Importance of Legal Counsel in Bankruptcy Proceedings When you're struggling to make ends meet, it may seem like the last thing you want to do is hire an attorney. After all, if you can't afford to pay your others bills, how can you expect to pay a lawyer? For that reason, or maybe because you think a bankruptcy proceeding can't be that … [Read more...]

When the Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy Does Not Apply

The Limits of Your Legal Protection in Bankruptcy One of the most attractive features of American bankruptcy law is the "automatic stay" that goes into effect immediately upon filing of a bankruptcy petition. It generally prohibits creditors from calling, writing, filing legal action, or otherwise attempting to collect a debt except through the … [Read more...]

Facing Unmanageable Medical Debt in Retirement?

Is Filing Bankruptcy a Good Solution? It's part of the aging process—our bodies start to break down, and we require additional medical care. With changes in employer-provided health insurance and government programs over the last couple decades, it's no surprise that medical debt is the single biggest financial challenge facing most older … [Read more...]

Preferences in Bankruptcy

What Is a Preference? Will It Have an Impact on Your Filing? One of the most significant benefits of American bankruptcy law in the automatic stay, which goes into effect immediately and prohibits creditors from taking any action to collect a debt outside of the bankruptcy proceeding. The bankruptcy court, however, is concerned with more than … [Read more...]

The Treatment of Recent Payments in a Bankruptcy Proceeding

What is a Preference? How Will It Affect Your Bankruptcy Filing? Sometimes you have a pretty clear sense that you're heading toward bankruptcy, and sometimes you don't. You may be working hard to get all your vendors paid but unable to get over the hump without the protection of American bankruptcy laws. When you file for bankruptcy, the court … [Read more...]

Cramdowns in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filings

What Is a Cramdown? How Do You Qualify? When you need protection under American bankruptcy laws but don't qualify to discharge debts under Chapter 7, you still can secure significant benefits with a Chapter 13 reorganization. In addition to obtaining the protection of the automatic stay, which prohibits creditors from calling, writing, or taking … [Read more...]

Fraudulent Transfers in Bankruptcy

What They Are | How to Avoid Them The American bankruptcy laws were established to provide debtors with an opportunity for a fresh start. Bankruptcy allows you either to discharge or restructure debt and protects you from harassment by creditors. But there are rules you must follow that insure the process also is fair to creditors. One of the most … [Read more...]

How Chapter 13 Can Help When You Owe Back Taxes

Reorganizing Tax Arrearages through Bankruptcy If you have significant tax debt and you've considered bankruptcy as a way to get a fresh start, you've probably learned that tax obligations are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to discharge in a Chapter 7 petition. You can, however, include tax debt in a Chapter 13 filing. That can allow you … [Read more...]

Keeping a Vehicle in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing

Reaffirming a Car Payment during or after a Chapter 7 Petition As a general rule, in Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, you can permanently discharge certain debts in exchange for relinquishing unprotected assets to the bankruptcy court. You can always protect any property you want to keep by "reaffirming the debt." When you do that, though, you remain … [Read more...]

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy—The Basics

Reorganizing Personal Debt through Bankruptcy As we discussed in an earlier blog, there are generally two options available to individuals who seek protection in bankruptcy—liquidation under Chapter 7 and reorganization under Chapter 13. With either filing, you will immediately have the protection of the automatic stay, which prohibits creditors … [Read more...]