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    A Brief Look at Bankruptcy Exemptions

    Last updated 7 months ago

    If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, exemptions determine what property you get to keep and what property you need to give to the trustee. In a Chapter 13 petition, having bankruptcy exemptions results in lower monthly payment plans. Bankruptcy petitions usually protect certain types of assets, such as motor vehicles and wedding rings. 

    In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee sells the debtor’s assets in order to pay back a portion of the owed debt. However, the bankruptcy trustee is unable to sell property or assets that are considered exempt. This means that bankruptcy exemptions allow debtors to protect certain assets during the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy results in the sale of non-exempt assets, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to keep all property and reorganize their debts. However, the amount owed to creditors depends on what property qualifies as a bankruptcy exemption. As a result, bankruptcy exemptions in Chapter 13 help reduce the amount owed to creditors in the payment plan. 

    Call (847) 505-0380 to schedule a free bankruptcy evaluation with Cutler & Associates, Ltd. Our bankruptcy attorneys have helped thousands in the Chicagoland area, including Aurora and Schaumburg. 

    How Far Will Debt Collectors Go to Collect Debt?

    Last updated 7 months ago

    A collection agency may be legally entitled to contact debtors, but only if it uses certain acceptable debt collection behaviors. For example, debt collectors are restricted to contacting debtors at certain hours of the day and are not allowed to use threats or offensive language. Unfortunately, complaints about abusive debt collection practices remain the leading consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission.   

    This ABC News report takes an inside look at offensive debt collection behaviors. In particular, the report shares the story a Bank of America customer who continued to receive harassing, offensive phone calls after he had settled his $81 owed debt. With the help of his attorneys, he was able to track down the responsible collection agent and hold him accountable. 

    By calling Cutler & Associates, Ltd. today, we can stop UCC 1 filings, asset sales, and wage garnishments. You can reach our Aurora office at (847) 505-0380. 

    Understanding the Role of the Case Trustee in a Chapter 7 Petition

    Last updated 7 months ago

    When someone files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, he or she must include schedules of assets and liabilities, a schedule of current income and expenditures, as well as a statement of his or her financial affairs. In addition, the debtor must provide his or her assigned bankruptcy trustee with a copy of the tax return or transcripts for the most recent tax year. As soon as the Chapter 7 petition is filed, the court will appoint an impartial bankruptcy trustee to oversee and administer the case.

    Reviewing bankruptcy petition

    Bankruptcy papers include information about debts, property and income. Not only do petitioners need to file this paperwork with the court, but also they need to provide the assigned bankruptcy trustee with their pay stubs, tax returns, and information about their assets. Once the trustee receives this information, he or she will review the petition to ensure that the information and calculations on the financial documents are correct.

    Examining the bankruptcy filer under oath

    About a month after the petition is filed, the debtor is required to attend a hearing in front of his or her assigned case trustee. This hearing is usually referred to as a 341(a) meeting of creditors, as the creditors are also free to attend and ask questions. The bankruptcy trustee conducts the hearing, asking any questions about the information contained in the bankruptcy documents. The petitioner is under oath when answering these questions.

    Liquidating non-exempt assets

    Chapter 7 bankruptcy does allow the debtor to keep a certain amount of property, but he or she must surrender non-exempt assets to the trustee. The bankruptcy trustee will then sell the nonexempt assets in order to pay back a portion of the owed debt.

    Cutler & Associates, Ltd. has more than 25 years of consumer bankruptcy experience in the Aurora area. Our bankruptcy attorneys are dedicated to helping clients resolve their debt issues and achieve a fresh financial start. For more information, give us a call at (847) 505-0380.

    Cutler & Associates Review - "Got it Done and Handled"

    Last updated 7 months ago

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    How to Locate an Approved Credit Counseling Agency

    Last updated 8 months ago

    The federal bankruptcy process requires all those filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 to attend two separate credit-counseling sessions. These are intended to reinforce or teach financial management skills that may help households avoid bankruptcy in the future.

    The Department of Justice certifies local clinics to provide pre-bankruptcy counseling and pre-discharge education. To find the list of approved centers, consumers must go to the Department of Justice’s website for the U.S. Trustee Program, and then select their state of residence to find in-person and online class options. Illinois residents have several hundred certificated classes from which to choose.

    A judge will not sign off on a bankruptcy until the debtor has completed both rounds of credit counseling. The law office of Cutler & Associates has decades of experience with Illinois bankruptcies, and often helps clients find effective counseling services to meet their needs. If you would like to see how our skilled team could solve your case, call our Schaumburg and Aurora offices at (847) 849-1834.

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