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Chapter 7 may help young parents who are struggling with debt

Being young and a recent college graduate with young children to provide for can be an extremely challenging time of life. Too many Illinois residents know the strain of trying to pay off student loans, pay for childcare and meet their other financial obligations. Many times, there seems to be too little money at the end of the month. Chapter 7 bankruptcy may help individuals in this position.

An article was recently published that talked about the number of people who are struggling to cover their debts and care for their families. About a quarter of Americans are carrying student loans. The average amount owed is around $37,000, which comes out to a repayment plan of about $400 per month for the life of the loan repayment period. That is not a small chunk of change for most people. 

Consumer protection bill signed into law

At the end of July, the Governor signed a bill into law that will protect Illinois residents who are dealing with debt collection agencies. The consumer protection bill does not stop debt collectors from doing their jobs, but it does offer those in debt a bit of relief. Here is what Illinois residents need to know about it. 

Currently, debt collectors are allowed to charge Illinois residents an interest rate of 9% -- about the highest in the country. Under the new law, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2020, the interest rate will drop to 5%, which is more in line with other states. It is believed that this will save those in debt thousands over the course of their repayment periods. 

Chapter 13 or Chapter 7, which is right for me?

If your debt situation is out of control, there are some things you can do about it. You can start by reviewing your finances and creating a budget. You can try to work with your creditors to lower how much you owe or adjust payment terms so that they are more affordable for you. You can also look into filing for bankruptcy with the assistance of an Illinois-based bankruptcy law attorney if you feel that would best suit your needs. If you choose to go this route, which type of bankruptcy -- Chapter 13 or chapter 7 -- is right for you?

Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 each have their benefits. Both can result in you achieving debt relief; they just go about it in different ways. Chapter 7 can result in the complete discharge of any qualifying debts -- primarily consumer debts. Chapter 13, on the other hand, results in the creation of an affordable payment schedule -- so you still pay your creditors, just in a way that works with your current income level. With Chapter 7, you may have to give up certain assets; whereas, with Chapter 13, you will get to keep the majority of your property unless you choose to get rid of it. 

Debt is being called modern-day slavery

Spending more than one brings in is something many people in Illinois and elsewhere are doing now and have been doing for a while. Consumer debt is at an all-time high -- sitting at roughly $13.5 trillion. It is to the point where most people feel that they will never be able to pay back what they owe.

According to a recently published article, the average person between the ages of 18 and 34 has roughly $36,000 in debt. Approximately 50% of these individuals do not know how they will pay off their debts. Another 20% believe that they will take the debt with them to the grave.

The advantages and disadvantages of filing for bankruptcy

Choosing to file for bankruptcy can feel like an overwhelmingly large decision to make. On average, it tends to affect a person's finances and your credit score for seven to 10 years.

But, there are plenty of lasting advantages that come with this choice. Here are the pros and cons to consider. 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy: What people have to say about it

Illinois residents who are in debt know what it is like to constantly worry about their finances. It is no way to live, yet many people in this situation struggle to make the call that may end the stress and the financial worry. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not for everyone, but there are those who will and have benefited from it even though others told them that would not be the case. Several people recently shared their debt and bankruptcy stories. Here is a quick rundown of what they had to say.

The three individuals who shared their stories each stated, in their own words, that bankruptcy was not their first choice, but it the end it made the most sense for their situations, and it gave them each a clean slate -- something other debt-relief options could not provide. One woman said that the personal finance classes she took as part of the bankruptcy process has helped her budget and only use her credit cards for emergencies. Another woman said it saved her from having her wages garnished at a time in her life when money was already tight and she could not afford it. A man said it allowed him to walk away from his marriage without having to worry about being fully responsible for the shared marital debt.

Residential real estate transactions: Inclusions and exclusions

When selling a home, disclosing certain information about the home is required under Illinois law. Many people may think these disclosures only have to do with known issues with the house. The truth is, they can include so much more, such as inclusions and exclusions. Why does including these two things matter when completing residential real estate transactions?

When a potential buyer comes to look at a home, he or she will want to know what is staying with the house and what is going. If a seller wants to keep anything -- appliances, mirrors, lighting fixtures and such -- he or she needs to make that known on the disclosure document. The seller needs to do the same for anything he or she plans to leave behind.

File for Chapter 13, get your car back

Thousands of Illinois residents residing in or near Chicago have their cars being held in impound lots due to having unpaid tickets. Until a person pays his or her tickets, the city can refuse to release the vehicle from impound. However, a recent court ruling allows those individuals who have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy to collect their cars without paying the debt upfront or possibly at all.

Chapter 13 allows for ticket debt forgiveness. That is not new. The city of Chicago, though, found a way around this bankruptcy protection by claiming it had liens on each of the vehicles being held. This means that even after filing for bankruptcy, vehicle owners would not be allowed to collect their cars unless the unpaid tickets became debts that were to be paid off as part of their bankruptcy payment plans. This matter was taken to court, and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling against this practice.

Residential real estate transactions: Mistakes sellers often make

Selling a home is not for the faint of heart. It can be a difficult task that will try one's patience and possibly one's pocketbook. Those in Illinois and elsewhere who are on the seller's side of residential real estate transactions can help themselves achieve maximum value for their homes in a timely manner by avoiding some of these common home selling mistakes.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to sell their homes is letting their emotions run the show. It is easy to become attached to a home. When selling, though, it is necessary to turn off emotions and think about the whole thing as a business transaction.

Illinois Chapter 7: Consumer debt continues to rise

Debt, most people have it in some form or other. There are those Illinois residents who are comfortable taking on more debt and have the means to pay it back, and then there are those who take on the debt because they have no other option -- they have to survive somehow. Those in the latter position may help themselves and their financial positions by seeking some form of debt relief. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, for qualifying petitioners, can offer the assistance desired.

According to a recently published article, consumer debt in the United States, as of May 2019, is sitting around $4.1 trillion. May saw approximately a 5% rise in consumer debt compared to the previous month. Is this a good or bad thing?

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Lynch Law Offices, P.C.
1011 Warrenville Road
Suite 150
Lisle, IL 60532

Phone: 630-761-5274
Fax: 888-691-8337
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