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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...]

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...]

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy—The Basics

What Is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing? How Do You Qualify? When you're struggling to meet your financial obligations, whether you've lost your job, suffered a serious injury, been through a divorce or encountered other unexpected expenses, a bankruptcy filing can help you get back on your feet. That's why the laws are there—to give people a fresh … [Read more...]

What Bankruptcy Can and Cannot Do for You

If you've gone through a divorce or suffered a serious medical setback, and you're struggling to meet your financial obligations, you may be considering bankruptcy as a way to get a fresh financial start. When you file for Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you'll immediately have the protection of the automatic stay, which prevents … [Read more...]

Using a Bankruptcy Filing to Manage Medical Bills

A recent survey by CNBC found that, over the last decade, more people cited unanticipated medical bills than any other cause as the event that triggered a personal bankruptcy filing. It's estimated that a million or more people file for bankruptcy protection in any given year to try to get medical obligations under control. But it that the right … [Read more...]