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How to Maximize the Property Exemptions in a Consumer Bankruptcy

By Bentz Holguin Law Firm, LLC |

Yes, we admit this title sounds a bit dull. But for debtors with significant home equity or other large assets, maximizing the exemptions could be the difference between a fresh start, which the Bankruptcy Code is designed to achieve, and a total loss, which the Bankruptcy Code is designed to avoid. During bankruptcy, the… Read More »

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Why Should I File Chapter 13?

By Bentz Holguin Law Firm, LLC |

Most people file Chapter 13 bankruptcy if their debts are too large to pay all at once, and they need a payment plan. Chapter 13 payment plans are much more debtor friendly than the “payment plans” creditors offer. Chapter 13 offers income-based repayment plans that usually last five years. Usually, that’s more than enough… Read More »

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Bankruptcy and Tax Discharge: Basic Rules

By Bentz Holguin Law Firm, LLC |

Most people voluntarily pay all their taxes on or before the due date. But 15 percent of taxpayers either don’t pay in full or don’t pay at all. That percentage may seem small, but given that the American IRS bill is over $1 trillion a year, that’s a lot of money. And, the IRS… Read More »

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Chapter 13 and Chapter 7: What’s the Difference?

By Bentz Holguin Law Firm, LLC |

One of the biggest differences between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 is the statement they make to the court. People who file Cahper 13 basically state that they can pay all their debts, but they cannot pay them at once, and they need a payment plan. Chapter 7 files essentially state that they cannot… Read More »

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Debt Settlement or Bankruptcy: Which One is Best?

By Bentz Holguin Law Firm, LLC |

Usually, bankruptcy is hands-down more effective than debt settlement. Bankruptcy is a court-supervised process that’s guaranteed to provide relief to distressed debtors. The general bankruptcy process is outlined below. Debt settlement works on the simple principle that something is better than all of nothing. But during non-bankruptcy debt settlement, creditors usually decide how much… Read More »

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Bankruptcy, Home Ownership, and Lasting Protections

By Bentz Holguin Law Firm, LLC |

Many people file bankruptcy because they’re behind on mortgage payments and need the protection of the Automatic Stay. Regardless of the amount of delinquency, and even if the foreclosure sale is scheduled for later that day, Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code stops foreclosure in its tracks. The Automatic Stay is only part of… Read More »

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Maximizing Social Security and Other Asset Exemptions

By Bentz Holguin Law Firm, LLC |

For many families, the Social Security benefits exemption is the most important property exemption in an Illinois bankruptcy. About 40 percent of Americans rely exclusively on Social Security benefits for retirement income. These benefits, along with VA disability, workers’ compensation, and most other government benefits are exempt in bankruptcy. The trustee (person who manages… Read More »

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Bankruptcy Filings Increased in Q3 2023

By Bentz Holguin Law Firm, LLC |

The expected wave of pandemic-related bankruptcies may wash ashore after all. Consumer bankruptcy filings rose 13 percent in the third quarter of 2023. Business filings rose 29.9 percent, from 13,125 to 17,051, in the year ending Sept. 30, 2023. Non-business bankruptcy filings rose 12.4 percent to 416,607, compared with 370,685 in September 2022. This… Read More »

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Are Bankruptcies on the Rise in 2024?

By Bentz Holguin Law Firm, LLC |

The overall number of consumer bankruptcy filings increased in 2023, for the first time in a very long time. However, the number of over-65 bankruptcies (gray bankruptcies) has risen almost every year since 1991. The combination of a shrinking social services safety net and increasing medical bills has caught many older adults in a… Read More »

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Why Should I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

By Bentz Holguin Law Firm, LLC |

In a nutshell, control is the best reason to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or more specifically, regaining control. Divorce, job loss, medical bills, and other unpredictable financial storms cause most bankruptcy filings. During these storms, ships are tossed around wherever the wind and other weather takes them. Bankruptcy calms the storm and allows your… Read More »

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