Illinois Bankruptcy FAQs

Q: Is bankruptcy the right choice?
A: There is no universal answer to this question, which is why The Bentz & Houlgin Law Firm believes in an individualized approach with each client. In some circumstances bankruptcy may be the only option while in others, a non-bankruptcy approach may be less expensive and viewed favorably by creditors. Contact a Bentz & Houlgin Law Firm Illinois bankruptcy attorney to schedule a free consultation to see whether bankruptcy is your best solution.

Q: Other than bankruptcy, what options exist?
A: Alternatives to filing for bankruptcy essentially include a combination of services such as working with creditors to reduce interest rates and payments, and pursuing some form of debt consolidation. Each individual case is different. Contact us today for a free consultation so that we can determine if bankruptcy is the best fit for your situation.

Q: Do I need an attorney to file for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Illinois?
A: Technically you are not required to hire an attorney in order to file for bankruptcy. However, changes regarding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filings brought on by the October 2005 Bankruptcy Code made the process undeniably more difficult for individuals to liquidate debts. Under the guidance of an experienced attorney you will undoubtedly obtain far better results. You will also be ridding yourself of the stress involved in taking on such a process without professional help.

Q: Do I need an attorney to file for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Illinois?
A: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filings are an involved process. This type of filing requires great attention to detail in drafting an acceptable plan, negotiating with creditors, and dealing with the Chapter 13 Trustee’s office. Furthermore, if you have filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy with the intent of maintaining your home or other valuable assets, it’s a very bad idea to risk these assets by attempting self-representation. You may initially feel that you’ve saved some money, but a simple mistake can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars down the road. It’s essential that you retain professional representation to ensure a successful Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filing result.

Q: How will bankruptcy affect my credit and for how long?
A: If you are truly a candidate for bankruptcy you will be less of a risk to creditors after filing than you were before. Bankruptcy will stay on your credit record for 10 years. The further in the past your bankruptcy becomes the less it will have an effect on your credit. Just two years after filing bankruptcy individuals may be eligible for mortgage loans on the
same terms as others with similar down payments and current financial standings.

Q: Can all of my debt be erased by bankruptcy?
A: Simply put no. Only certain unsecured debt such as credit card debt, medical debt, car repossessions, or home foreclosure judgments can be erased or discharged. There exists types of unsecured debt which cannot be discharged and in general secured debt is not dischargeable. This is why it’s so important for bankruptcy candidates to consult with a professional Illinois bankruptcy attorney and determine what is in their best interest.

Q: What debts are not eliminated (discharged) by bankruptcy?
A: In general, the majority of unsecured debt is erased (discharged) in a bankruptcy filing except for:
• Federal, state and local tax claims
• Customs duties
• Spousal support
• Child support
• Most student loans
• Fines and penalties imposed by government agencies
• Debts incurred due to false statements made with the intent to deceive
• Fraud committed in a fiduciary capacity, such as embezzlement or larceny
• Punitive damage claims
• Drunk driving obligations
• Secured debts such as mortgages are typically not discharged

We are here to Help. Contact us for a Free Debt Analysis

The Bentz & Houlgin Law Firm specializes in affordable Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filings. It costs you nothing to begin the bankruptcy process with a free consultation. Let us help get you started on the road to restoring your financial health by scheduling a free bankruptcy consultation.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney regarding your individual situation.