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    Tips for Working with Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee

    Last updated 10 hours ago

    When you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, a bankruptcy trustee will be appointed to your case. Throughout the proceedings, you and your bankruptcy lawyer will work closely with the trustee. The trustee will thoroughly review the petition, your proposed repayment plan, and all other necessary documents to ensure accuracy. The trustee is also responsible for conducting the meeting of creditors and administering your repayment plan. Since the trustee has an integral role in the process, it’s important to understand how to work with him or her.

    Understand the Trustee’s Limitations

    Your bankruptcy attorney can help you understand the role of the trustee in the proceedings, including what the trustee can and cannot do. For example, if you have a legal question about the process, the trustee is prohibited from answering it. Instead, direct all questions to your bankruptcy lawyer. If you need more information from the trustee in order to comply with a document request; however, the trustee can likely answer you or your lawyer.

    Submit Accurate Paperwork

    If the trustee detects a discrepancy in your petition and related documents, he or she may raise an objection. It’s important to submit accurate paperwork to ensure the process goes smoothly. Your lawyer can ensure your petition’s accuracy for you.

    Disclose All Recent Payments

    Before submitting your petition, your bankruptcy attorney is likely to ask you about any recent payments you’ve made to creditors, including family members. The trustee will thoroughly review your payment history and may decide to recover substantial payments. Disclose all payments made to creditors within the past 90 days and disclose all payments made to family members within the past 12 months.

    Comply with Document Requests

    The trustee may request additional documentation after your lawyer has submitted the petition. It’s important to comply fully with the trustee’s requests. If you do not have access to a particular document, the trustee may be willing to accept a different document that contains the same information.

    It’s challenging to handle the bankruptcy process on your own. By working with a bankruptcy lawyer at Cutler & Associates, Ltd., you can rest assured that your petition will be filed accurately. Call (847) 505-0380 to reach one of our convenient locations throughout Chicago, including Schaumburg and Aurora.

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    How Bankruptcy Affects Student Loan Debt

    Last updated 10 days ago

    If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you may be behind on your mortgage payments, have an excessive burden of credit card debt, or have substantial student loans. Student loans were formerly dischargeable under a bankruptcy filing, until the bankruptcy code was changed in 1976. Subsequent modifications to the code further tightened these restrictions, making it difficult for graduates struggling with student loan debt to find relief. Although student loan debt is not dischargeable under most circumstances, your bankruptcy lawyer may be able to accomplish this for you.

    Claiming Undue Hardship

    Some graduates can discharge their student loan debt under the undue hardship exception. In other words, you’ll need to prove that repaying these debts would cause undue hardship. Your bankruptcy lawyer may recommend claiming undue hardship if your income is very low. Additionally, those with loans for a for-profit trade school may be more likely to be granted a discharge for student loan debt.

    Passing the Test

    When it comes to granting a student loan discharge, there are variances among the courts. Many courts rely on the Brunner test. To pass the Brunner test, you’ll need to fulfill three requirements. First, you’ll need to prove that you have made a good faith effort to pay your student loan debts. If the court believes that you took out your student loans without intending to repay them, you will not be granted a discharge. Second, you’ll need to prove that, given your current expenses and income, you cannot make ends meet and support your household if you must pay your student loan debts. And third, you need to prove that your current financial situation is likely to persist for the length of the student loan repayment period. Aside from the Brunner test, other courts may use different criteria to determine eligibility for discharge. Your bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand which criteria may be used for you.

    The bankruptcy lawyers at Cutler & Associates, Ltd. understand the many intricacies of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. To learn how filing for bankruptcy will affect your particular situation, schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys today. If you live in the Chicago area, you can reach our offices in Schaumburg or Aurora by calling (847) 505-0380 or visiting us online.

    What Happens to Your Tax Refund if You Declare Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

    Last updated 20 days ago

    When you file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the trustee may be able to take your tax refund and apply it to the debt that you owe. Some individuals filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy include their anticipated tax refund in their income information. In some cases, the repayment plan established by the bankruptcy court may specify that your tax refunds will be turned over to the trustee. Your bankruptcy attorney can help you review the repayment plan and explain anything that appears unclear. 

    Sometimes, a Chapter 13 trustee will review the repayment plan every year and the plan may be adjusted to include your tax refund, if it did not previously include it. Depending on which district you reside in, you may be able to keep unexpected tax refunds, provided that you are current on your court-ordered payments.

    At Cutler & Associates, Ltd., our bankruptcy lawyers will guide you through the process of filing for bankruptcy step-by-step and answer any questions you may have. Residents of the Aurora and Schaumburg areas can contact our law firm at (847) 505-0380 to set up a consultation.

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