DuPage County Bankruptcy Lawyer

Glen Ellyn bankruptcy attorney debt discharge

Attorneys for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Wheaton, Winfield, Warrenville, and Carol Stream

Any family can experience overwhelming debt. The loss of a job, a disability, unexpected medical expenses, or a wide variety of other issues can lead to financial difficulties, and unpaid bills can pile up quickly. When a family is behind on their debt obligations, they may face constant calls from collection agencies, repossession of vehicles or other property, or home foreclosure, and resolving these issues and returning to financial solvency may seem impossible. Fortunately, bankruptcy can provide a way out of this situation. 

The bankruptcy attorneys of McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C. can help you understand your legal options for resolving your debt-related problems. We have over 65 years of combined legal experience, and we know how the bankruptcy laws apply to your situation. We will work with you to complete the bankruptcy process successfully, and we can also assist with creditor negotiations and loan modifications. With our help, you can get out of the hole you are in and make sure your family will have the financial resources you need.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

For many families, the easiest and most simple form of bankruptcy is Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is known as "liquidation bankruptcy." During this process, certain assets may be turned over to a bankruptcy trustee and sold in order to pay back your creditors as much as possible. However, in many cases, you will be able to wipe out much of your debt while retaining most or all of your property. At the end of the process, all applicable debts will be discharged, and you will no longer need to repay them. However, certain types of debts typically cannot be discharged, except under certain specific circumstances, such as student loans, tax debts, and child support obligations.

Filing for Chapter 7 does not mean that you will lose all of your assets or property. There are a variety of exemptions under Illinois law, and assets that are exempt will be protected from liquidation. These include home equity up to $15,000 per individual, up to $2,400 of equity in a vehicle, tools of one's trade worth up to $1,500, other personal property such as clothing and household items, life insurance benefits, disability or unemployment benefits, and a "wildcard" exemption for other assets worth up to $4,000.

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass a "means test" that looks at your income and your ability to repay debts. If your income is below the median income in Illinois, you will typically qualify, but if your income is above the median income, you may still qualify after the means test considers your expenses to determine your disposable income. If you do not qualify for Chapter 7, you may be able to pursue a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

This form of bankruptcy, known as a "reorganization bankruptcy," may be the best option for those who do not pass the means test for Chapter 7 or for those who want to avoid foreclosure of their home. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a repayment plan will be created in which you can make affordable payments and repay some or all of your debts over a period of three to five years. Once the repayment plan is successfully completed, any remaining debts included in the repayment plan will be discharged.

One benefit of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that it can help you become current on your mortgage payments. Any missed payments can be included in your repayment plan, and you will be able to keep your home as long as you will be able to continue making mortgage payments along with the payments in your repayment plan. In some cases, you may also be able to "strip off" a second mortgage and have this debt added to the amount that is covered under the repayment plan.

Contact Our Naperville Bankruptcy Attorneys

Dealing with crushing debt can be incredibly stressful, especially if you are worried about losing your home, your vehicle, or other property. Fortunately, you have legal options for getting out from under this debt. McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C. will examine your situation, help you understand your options, and provide the legal help you need throughout the bankruptcy process. Contact us today at 630-407-1200 to schedule a free consultation and learn more. We work with clients in Wheaton, Warrenville, Naperville, Winfield, Glendale Heights, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, and throughout all of DuPage, Kane, Will, Cook, and Kendall Counties.

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