Frequently Asked Questions
What are the first steps to filing bankruptcy?
If you are interested in hiring our firm, you will first want to schedule a free consultation. Please call 630-510-0000 to set up an appointment with one of our attorneys.
If you can, please bring the following documents:
1. All of your bills including any & all loan documents, collection letters, statements, etc.
2. Any court documents pertaining to any foreclosures or lawsuits filed against you.
3. Proof of income (paystubs) for you and your spouse for the last 6 months.
4. Copies of the last 4 years of your Tax Returns.
What if my creditors are suing me or have a judgment against me?
Once a Bankruptcy is filed, your creditors must stop all collection activities and proceedings against you, even if a judgment has already been entered against you.
How do I get bill collectors to stop calling me?
As soon as you retain us as your attorneys, you can give your creditors our information so we can deal with them directly. Once your Bankruptcy is filed with the court, it becomes illegal for your creditors and their collectors to call you. Learn more about the Automatic Stay here.
Do spouses have to file?
Not necessarily. If you are married but the debts are separate, your spouse does not need to file with you because they are not liable for your debts. They will, however, have their income use in the calculation of your income and expenses (as a household). If your spouse has co-signed on your debts then you may want to consider filing together.
What about my property—my house or my car?
If you file a chapter 7, you are allowed to keep your property. You must be up to date on your car/mortgage payments but most of the time it should not be a problem. The value of your property must not exceed Illinois exemptions but if it does, then you would likely file a chapter 13 in order pay back at least some of your unsecured debts (in order to keep assets).
My utilities are shut off. Will I be able to have them turned back on?
Yes. As soon as your Bankruptcy is filed, your utility companies such as your electric, gas and phone companies will receive a Notice of Automatic Stay. You can then make arrangements with them to have your service restored. Although they cannot take further action to collect the past due debt, they may require that you pay a deposit to have the service restored.
Will Bankruptcy discharge my student loans, parking tickets, government fines, etc?
No. Student loans, parking tickets and most governmental fines are not dischargeable in Bankruptcy. Some taxes may be dischargeable if certain conditions are met.
Will I be able to rent an apartment again or will I be able to buy a house in the future?
Yes. People who have filed for Bankruptcy are able to rent an apartment. As for buying a house, it will depend on your individual situation, whether you have a steady job, a down payment and have kept out of debt after your case has been discharged.
Will I be able to get credit after I have filed for bankruptcy?
Yes! Filing Bankruptcy is not a failure but rather a fresh start and will give greater control over your finances.
Credit Counseling Requirement
Prior to filing your case, you must complete accredit counseling briefing. You may do this in person, online or by phone. There are several agencies approved by the United States Trustees Office. Most charge about $50 for the counseling ($50 for a married couple if its a joint filing).
When you file for Bankruptcy, it will stay on your credit report for ten years.