The Creditors’ Meeting: What To Expect
If you are an individual filing for bankruptcy, you will have to follow a certain process, regardless of what chapter of the Bankruptcy Code you are filing under. At some point, you will have to have a meeting of your creditors before you can obtain discharge (if you are under Chapter 7) or before your…

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Dealing With The Man: The IRS And Bankruptcy
When a debtor files for bankruptcy, the last thing they want to deal with is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). However, it has become increasingly common in recent years to file for Chapter 7 or 13 due (at least in part) to high tax bills. It is imperative going in that you be aware of…

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Divorcing and Bankrupt: What Order To File?
Divorce is a difficult matter. At the time, it feels impossible to disentangle your affairs from your spouse’s. It is important to make sure you and your spouse are on the same page in all respects, including financial. Some couples find it advantageous to file bankruptcy before getting divorce; others find it simpler to file…

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Cosigning for Loans: Cons Outweigh the Pros
In today’s America, more and more things that used to be available to the masses are becoming further out of reach. Cars, homes and sometimes university education are all requiring young people to take out loans. And sometimes, one’s credit is not good enough. Cosigners on a loan improve the odds of it being granted…

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Same-Sex Couples and Bankruptcy
In February, Attorney General Eric Holder issued a statement that instructed U.S. Justice Department employees across the country to provide all of the benefits held by heterosexual married couples to same-sex married couples. This includes death benefits, prison visitation rights, and the ability to jointly file for bankruptcy, even in states where their marriages are…

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Bankruptcy and the Automatic Stay
Recent Court Opinion On Creditor Obligations and Court Violations One of the benefits of filing for bankruptcy is that a debtor becomes entitled to the protection of bankruptcy’s automatic stay. The automatic stay takes effect upon the filing of a petition for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and prevents creditors from taking certain actions…

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Apologies in Bankruptcy Court: Part 2
This is Part 2 of a two-part article on Bankrupt Apologies, a recent study which shows that bankruptcy judges are influenced by apologies. For Part 1, click here. Robert Lawless, an author of the study, is also a co-director of the Illinois Program on Law, Behavior, and Social Science, which “seeks to broaden and deepen…

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Apologies in Bankruptcy Court: Part 1
A recent study by two law professors (Robert Lawless and Jennifer Robbennolt) at the University of Illinois College of Law suggests that bankruptcy judges are influenced by apologies. In the experiment, two groups of actual bankruptcy judges were given a fictional story about a family filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. One group received a version…

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Understanding the Automatic Stay
What is the automatic stay? The automatic stay is a court order that prevents creditors from taking collection actions against you. From the debtor’s perspective, it’s one of the best things about the bankruptcy system. You’ll experience immediate relief from the stress associated with those dreaded phone calls and letters. How long does the automatic…

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What is the Means Test?
What is the means test? The means test is a test used to determine whether an individual or married couple is eligible to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. Whether you pass the means test depends on how much disposable income you have. (Disposable income is money left over after your expenses are paid each…

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