Chapter 1How to have a Stress-Free Bankruptcy
Chapter 2What is Bankruptcy
Chapter 4What is the procedure?
Chapter 6What can Bankruptcy do for you?
Chapter 8Is Bankruptcy Bad?
Chapter 9What does Bankruptcy cost?
Chapter 10Can I file without my spouse?
Chapter 12Do I lose anything?
Chapter 13Does Bankruptcy "Ruin my Credit"
Chapter 14Can I keep bills off my bankruptcy
Chapter 16What about the Credit Union?
Chapter 18What about my car?
Chapter 19What about my House?
Chapter 20When do creditors stop bothering me?
Chapter 22Joint Accounts with Parents
Chapter 23When do I stop paying creditors?
Chapter 24Gas, Electric & Phone Bills
Chapter 26What Bankruptcy won't solve
Chapter 27Chapter 13 Debt repyament Plans
Chapter 28Will I be able to get credit again?
Chapter 29Bill Consolidation Loans
Chapter 30Bill Consolidation
Chapter 31Wage Assignments, Deductions and Levies
Chapter 32Student Loans
Chapter 33Can I get rid of Taxes
Chapter 34NSF Checks, Traffic & Parking Tickets
Chapter 35Surrendering Real Estate & Time Shares
Chapter 36Business Bankruptcy
Chapter 37Professional Persons
Chapter 38Do you ever "Not Get" a Discharge?
No. At Geraci Law, we have never "lost" a house. Or a pension. Or life insurance proceeds.
List all assets and have us analyze it before you file. We tell you in advance if you would lose anything, or have too many assets to do a Chapter 7, or how to protect assets in a Chapter 13. We run our own computer program to determine that.
You probably will lose things if you don't do a bankruptcy, since bankruptcy can stop all creditor action against you. You will keep your belongings, car, house, pension and tools. State law may govern what you can keep, however, and your bankruptcy attorney may need a list of your major assets.
In a bankruptcy, you can keep certain things free from creditors. You can keep an interest in a house, car, and in money or household goods. During your initial interview, your attorney will determine if you would lose anything.
Per person property you can keep, if you are in title to it:
Illinois: $15,000 in home equity or injury proceeds, $4000 in personal property
Indiana: $15,000 in home equity , NO injury proceeds, Indiana workers comp cases (Indiana injuries only) $8,000 in property, no cash
Wisconsin: $75,000 in home equity total; $12,000 in personal property, $5000 plus unused portion of $12,000 for vehicle, $5000 for deposit accounts.
All states: Pensions, IRA's, life insurance depending on who is beneficiary.
This is not a complete list, but it shows you can keep home, pension, vehicles and household goods in most cases. Your attorney must analyze this carefully.
Generally, you keep all your belongings, and get rid of your bills. No one comes to your house and takes anything. You keep your house, car, and clothing and furniture. No one does a bankruptcy to lose anything but their bills. If you have too much money in the bank, or your property is worth too much, or you have too much disposable income, we may advise you to pay your bills in installments under Chapter 13 in order to avoid losing anything.
You don't have to close your checking account, unless you owe your bank money. You generally do not lose pensions, although you need specific advice from your lawyer on that. E.S.O.P plans are different from pensions.
Of course, if you would like to get rid of a car that doesn't run, or one you owe too much money on, you are free to give it back to the creditor. That is up to you. If you keep a house or car you owe money on, you have to keep making the payments.
You can also voluntarily pay creditors, such as your relatives, or credit unions, even if they have no collateral.
In Illinois, all proceeds from life insurance depending on beneficiary, and workers compensation settlements are exempt, and your portion of an injury settlement up to $15000.00 can be kept free of creditors.
Each case is different, and that is another good reason why most attorneys want you to answer a lot of questions, and give them as much information as possible, so that they can advise you properly.
I can tell you from experience, though, that we do not file bankruptcy cases if you are going to "lose" anything. That is a big misconception about bankruptcy.