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Personal Bankruptcy

About Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is your right under the Constitution and the Bankruptcy Code. In America, an honest debtor is entitled to a fresh start. In bankruptcy you can settle your debts through a chapter 13 bankruptcy payment plan. In chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can get a complete discharge of debt without payments. In either case, an appointed trustee supervises the process. In chapter 13, the trustee collects monthly payments for distributes to your creditors. In chapter 7, the trustee determines if you have property that can be sold for payment to creditors. If, as usual, your assets are exempt, the trustee files a “no-asset report.” Your case is closed, you get your discharge from all debts and your creditors get nothing.

Lakelaw represents people and small business in bankruptcy in Illinois. We do so with “Care, Kindness, Courtesy, Respect, Professionalism and Dedication.” At Lakelaw, you are a unique person. So we treat you like a human being, not a cold legal file number.

En Lakelaw, hablamos español. Podemos hablares en su propio idioma.

Lakelaw’s founder David Leibowitz is Board Certified as a Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney.  He was Chair of the Consumer Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bankruptcy Institute for two years. He’s contributing author to the Bloomberg Bankruptcy Treatise. David Leibowitz is a one of America’s leading consumer bankruptcy attorneys. David Leibowitz is the bankruptcy lawyer in Chicago to whom big firms refer their consumer bankruptcy cases. Everyone at Lakelaw is dedicated to you, our clients.

Lakelaw’s highly skilled bankruptcy lawyers, guide you to financial freedom. Get rid of your debts. Stop nasty creditors from calling day and night. Keep most or all of your property. Get on the path to a secure future. We sue creditors who violate your rights. We’re here for you today and the long run. You can call us years after your case is over if you have any questions. Lakelaw will always be here to serve you.

Our fees are fair and competitive. We always set our fees to consider your own situation.

Types of Personal Bankruptcy Cases

You can file a personal bankruptcy case under Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Family farmers can even file a case under chapter 12.

About Chapter 7

Chapter 7 allows you to get rid of almost all of your debts in as little as 4-6 months. You get to keep all of your exempt property. You can file a chapter 7 bankruptcy case if you make less than the “median income” for people having a family the same size as yours. For a single person, that’s about $40,000. For a family of 4, that’s about $75,000. This number keeps changing, so ask us about it. You can also file a chapter 7 even if you make more than the median income if you pass the “means test”. We have to compare your income for the past six months using a formula considering how much you spend on things like your mortgage, car payments, taxes and insurance and also how much you are “allowed” to spend on things like food, medical care and other similar items. You can also be eligible to file for chapter 7 if most of your debts are other than “consumer debts”. For example if your debts are mostly business debts, or long-standing tax debts, you could file a chapter 7 case even if you have substantial income now.

About Chapter 13

Chapter 13 lets people with higher income file for bankruptcy and get rid of debt. Unlike chapter 7, you make monthly payments to a trustee under a plan in Chapter 13. The plan period is at least 3 years and as long as 5 years. You can keep your property in chapter 13, even if you’d lose it in chapter 7. You can also get rid of property settlement debts from a divorce that you can’t discharge in chapter 7. In chapter 13 you can catch up on back payments due under mortgage or on car loan. One of the best things about chapter 13 is you can get rid of a second mortgage on your house if the first mortgage is for more than the house is worth. This is “lien stripping”. There are debt limits for chapter 13. If you have more than about $380,000 in unsecured debt or about $1,150,000 in secured debt, you can’t file a chapter 13. In that case, chapter 11 reorganization might be a possibility for you.

About Chapter 11

Chapter 11 is usually for reorganizing businesses, big and small. But Chapter 11 is also used to help people. If you have debt greater than the debt limits allowed for chapter 13, we can help you under Chapter 11. Most consumer bankruptcy firms have no experience in Chapter 11. We do. David Leibowitz, is the co-chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Task Force on Individual Chapter 11 cases. These cases are hard but we at Lakelaw are up to the task.

Lakelaw Helps You File For Bankruptcy

It’s possible to file bankruptcy without a lawyer. But you could make costly mistakes. You could forget to list a creditor. Or forget to list a pending lawsuit. Or neglect to claim an exemption you are entitled to. You could have judgment liens against your home which we could avoid in bankruptcy and not even know it. Our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys will protect you from making these mistakes. Our fees are fair. You’ll pay us much less than you’d pay your creditors. We may even be able to sue your creditors and make money for you. If you have money trouble, you need to know your options. Stop the phone calls in the middle of the night and at your work. Get help right now. Be treated with dignity. You deserve no less. Our Waukegan bankruptcy lawyers can stop the debt collectors. We can help you get the relief you need and deserve. We claim exemptions so you can keep your property.   In chapter 13 cases, we can often help you to keep your house. If you’re the victim of a predatory loan or improper debt collection, we fight back for you.

Your Life After Bankruptcy

At Lakelaw, we are at your service for the long run. Our Milwaukee bankruptcy attorneys give you a jump-start toward your financial future. Our “Lakelaw Cares” program stays at your side long after your bankruptcy. Call on us to:

  • Correct errors on your credit report after bankruptcy
  • Sue creditors who try to collect from you after bankruptcy
  • Help get new credit after bankruptcy
  • Help with your budget and finances
  • Fight back against zombie debt