Bankruptc FAQs: Does my spouse have to file with me?

Frequently Asked Questions about Bankruptcy

I help people file for bankruptcy throughout southern Illinois to help eliminate their crushing debt and protect their assets.  For almost 25 years and in over five thousand bankruptcy filings, I answer many questions people have about the process. I thought I would share some of the more common questions here.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Bankruptcy

I help people file for bankruptcy throughout southern Illinois to help eliminate their crushing debt and protect their assets.  For almost 25 years and in over five thousand bankruptcy filings, I answer many questions people have about the process. I thought I would share some of the more common questions here.

“Does my spouse have to file bankruptcy with me?”

No.

BUT if you are still living together as a family they will have to be involved. You are required to show your family income. This means that your spouse will still have to provide the Court (through your attorney) proof of all you and your spouse’s income – from their workplace, child support, interest, dividends, rental income, business income, lawsuit settlements, etc. You have to show your spouse is not making $100,000.00 a month and can help with the bills. Whether they want to or not. No getting around that, I am afraid.

If you live in separate households, then you do NOT have to worry about your spouse’s income.

If you are still living together but have completely divided lifestyles, it may be possible to convince the court that the spouse’s income does NOT contribute to “your” household. I’ve done it once. But the real question is why on earth are the two of you still living together? The bankruptcy may help to convince one or both of you to move on… Seriously.

Now the question becomes, “Should your spouse file with you anyway?” Remember that if you file alone, your spouse will be responsible for all co-debts. As a household, you will still have to pay that credit card.

 

He or she may have to pay those medical bills, too. “But it was MY appendix!” True, but at least in Illinois a married couple living together are responsible for the other’s bills. At best, your spouse will still have to fight the collection company about it, costing time, money and aggravation.

 

You should discuss these options with your attorney.

 

***

About the author:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (probate, wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

Advertisements

Bankruptcy FAQs: Can I keep my car?

Frequently Asked Questions about Bankruptcy

I help people file for bankruptcy throughout southern Illinois to help eliminate their crushing debt and protect their assets.  For almost 25 years and in over five thousand bankruptcy filings, I answer many questions people have about the process. I thought I would share some of the more common questions here.

“Can I keep the vehicles that I own free and clear?”

That depends on the value.

Every state uses exemptions to determine how much value in a vehicle you are allowed to keep. In Illinois you are allowed $2,400.00 in ONE vehicle.

It does not matter if it is your only vehicle. “It’s the only car I got!” “It’s a 2014 Ferrari F12berlinetta and you owe nothing on it!”

I exaggerate to prove a point, of course.

And you can’t split the exemption up: if you have one car worth $1,500.00 and another worth $900.00 you cannot use the $2,400.00 exemption on both – only one of them. This means the $900.00 is not protected by Illinois’ vehicle exemption.

Don’t panic – there are other exemptions that might cover any excess equity.

Another option is the Chapter 13 consolidation: people file a Chapter 13 if they might lose something in a Chapter 7: if they are behind on the car or house and they want to prevent repossession or foreclosure and/or if there is too much equity in their property.

Your attorney will be happy to discuss these options with you.

***

About the author:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (probate, wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

FAQs: Is foreign debt discharged in bankruptcy?

Frequently Asked Questions about Bankruptcy

I help people file for bankruptcy throughout southern Illinois to help eliminate their crushing debt and protect their assets.  For almost 25 years and in over five thousand bankruptcy filings, I answer many questions people have about the process. I thought I would share some of the more common questions here.

“Is foreign debt discharged in bankruptcy?”

In today’s world traveling and living in different countries is not very difficult.  It is no surprise that people may owe debts in different countries as well since credit can be obtained easily.  What do you do when you owe debts in different countries and you need to file bankruptcy in Mount Vernon?

First of all, if you live in the United States, it would be difficult for a foreign creditor to enforce their debts against you.  Different states have different rules about whether or not a foreign creditor can collect or enforce a judgment of a foreign debt.  In order for a debt to be recognized and enforceable, the foreign creditor would need to “domesticate” their debts.  Different states have different rules regarding domestication of debt.  In some states a foreign creditor can enforce their debts against you if they meet the requirements of the Uniform Foreign Money Judgments Recognition Act (“UFMJRA”).  In addition to meeting the requirements of UFMJRA the foreign creditor must have had personal jurisdiction over you or subject matter jurisdiction over the matter.  Most states courts have a lot of discretion over whether to allow enforcement of these debts even if the foreign creditor met all the requirements.  Therefore, a lot of foreign creditors may not go through all these steps to try to enforce their judgment against you unless it is was worth their effort to do so.

Regardless of whether or not a foreign creditor domesticates their debt, all creditors are subject to the automatic stay that is in place when you file for bankruptcy in the United States with a bankruptcy attorney in Mount Vernon (or anywhere).  It does not matter if the debt is from the United States or from another country.  This means that if the foreign creditors try to collect from you or file a lawsuit against you after you have filed for bankruptcy protection they are subject to sanctions as applicable under the Bankruptcy Code.

This does not mean you are home free however.  Filing for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. only protects you from the collection of the debt while you are in the U.S.  As soon as you return to the foreign country the foreign creditors may still pursue the collection of the debt.  For example, if you lived in Canada and moved to the U.S. and filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S., the Canadian creditor cannot collect from you in the U.S., but if you return to Canada, the Canadian creditor can still pursue you for the Canadian debt unless you file for bankruptcy protection in Canada.

***

About the author:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (probate, wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

“Can I keep my car after filing bankruptcy even if I owe on it?”

Frequently Asked Questions about Bankruptcy

I help people file for bankruptcy throughout southern Illinois to help eliminate their crushing debt and protect their assets.  For almost 25 years and in over five thousand bankruptcy filings, I answer many questions people have about the process. I thought I would share some of the more common questions here.

“Can I keep my car after filing bankruptcy even if I owe on it?”

You bet, but there are a few “ifs” involved.

If you are current on your car, you will be allowed to keep it as long as you promise to keep making the payments on it. This is called Reaffirming on the debt. To be frank, if you are current the bank or the company you owe the car loan to will not care if you file bankruptcy as long as you are current with them. Honestly.

Even if you are a little behind on your car payment, if you can catch up and keep up with the payment quickly, you should be fine with reaffirming on the loan. It depends on the bank and your attorney should know how most banks react. The larger the bank, the more likely they will work with you. The smaller banks may be more demanding. Credit Unions are a creature unto themselves and can sometimes be as predictable as the weather …

The BANK will allow you to keep your car if you are current, the BANKRUPTCY COURT will allow you to keep the car depending on the equity in your car – the value minus the amount you owe.

If your car is worth $20,000.00 and you owe $19,000.00, you only have $1,000.00 in equity and that should be fine in most jurisdictions (be sure to ask your attorney about how much equity in a vehicle you are allowed).

If your car is worth $10,000.00 and you only owe $1,200.00, there may be an equity problem (because on paper you “own” a car with $8,800.00 – that may be over the value of what you are allowed to keep in a vehicle.

Check your payment status, do the math and double check with your attorney as to your vehicles.

***

About the author:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (probate, wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

 

 

 

Bankruptcy FAQs: Can I file a cheap bankruptcy?

Frequently Asked Questions about Bankruptcy

I help people file for bankruptcy throughout southern Illinois to help eliminate their crushing debt and protect their assets.  For almost 25 years and in over five thousand bankruptcy filings, I answer many questions people have about the process. I thought I would share some of the more common questions here.

“Can I File a cheap bankruptcy?”

Here are the costs of filing a bankruptcy:

The filing fee for a Chapter 7 Liquidation is $335.00.

The filing fee for a Chapter 13 Consolidation is $310.00.

You will have to take a Credit Counselling Class before you file and a Debt Management Class after you file. These can cost from $10.00 – $20.00 per class depending on who you use, whether you take the class through the internet or by telephone.

People on a fixed income or low income can sometimes waive or avoid these costs, but you should plan on having to pay them just in case.

The only thing that varies are the attorney’s fees. Most attorneys want to stay competitive, so fees in a specific district should not vary too much. Call around and ask what attorneys in your area charge.

Why do some attorneys charge more than others? They may have more overhead (attorneys have to pay their light bill and mortgages too!). Be sure to ask what the costs include: does the attorney charge more depending on your income? Do they charge a certain amount per bill? Do they charge per court filing or appearance?

It may be cheap at first, but the extras might cost extra and add up …

Please do your homework, shop around and ask questions! Don’t be lured into paying more than you need to!

***

About the author:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (probate, wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

Bankruptcy FAQs: Can someone refuse giving me credit?

Frequently Asked Questions about Bankruptcy

I help people file for bankruptcy throughout southern Illinois to help eliminate their crushing debt and protect their assets.  For almost 25 years and in over five thousand bankruptcy filings, I answer many questions people have about the process. I thought I would share some of the more common questions here.

“I paid off my loan and now they will not give me anymore credit, can they do that?”

You listed all of your debt in your bankruptcy filing. Some of those bills you wanted to keep paying, which is fine.

You wanted to stay in good standing with that loan company downtown and at first you did not want to even list it on your schedules, but you can’t leave off debt – you can’t tell the court you do NOT owe a debt when you do.

Remember that bankruptcy stops the creditors from collecting on the debt. It does NOT stop you from paying on the debt. You can keep paying the doctor or the loan company (as long as it is a small and reasonable amount).

Once that debt is paid off, though, whether the loan companies will still extend you credit is up to them. No one can force them to keep you as a customer. You may face this situation:

“OK, I’ve paid off my loan. May I have another advance>”

“No.”

“But I paid you off!”

“Yes, and thank you, but we aren’t going to give you any more credit.”

Loyalty should be a two-way street, but that is not always the case. If the local loan company doesn’t want you as a customer anymore, then don’t give them your business. And tell your friends not to, either. Seriously. Don’t make loyalty a one-way street.

***

About the author:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (probate, wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

Bankruptcy FAQs: Can I File a Medical Bankruptcy?

Frequently Asked Questions about Bankruptcy

I help people file for bankruptcy throughout southern Illinois to help eliminate their crushing debt and protect their assets.  For almost 25 years and in over five thousand bankruptcy filings, I answer many questions people have about the process. I thought I would share some of the more common questions here.

“Can I File a Medical Bankruptcy?”

This question and its variations boil down to “Can I just file on my medical bills?” Unfortunately, the answer is “No”.

You have to list all of your debt when you file bankruptcy – not just your medical bills but credit cards, the loan companies you owe, taxes, child support, student loans even the car loans and the home loans you WANT to keep.

Bankruptcy stops the creditors from collecting on the debt. It does NOT stop you from paying on the debt. You can keep paying the doctor or the loan company (as long as it is a small and reasonable amount).

A bankruptcy attorney can explain your options on how to stay in good standing with those debts you want to keep.

But there is no Medical Bankruptcy. You still have to list and tell the court all of the debts you owe.

***

About the author:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (probate, wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com