Bankruptcy Blog

In this blog, I will try to focus on individual topics related to bankruptcy.  Feel free to leave a comment.  Just remember that my comments in this section are specific to Illinois, and do not constitute legal advice.  I am in no position to even give you legal advice until I have decided to represent you (see “Disclaimer” hotlink, below right).

Future Plans

Posted by John Haderlein on Oct 19, 2011 in Uncategorized | 117 comments

Doing a lot of bankruptcy and foreclosure defense law has kept me unbelievably busy over the past few years. I am glad I have the proper skill set and 23 years of practice experience to call on to help my clients who, for the first time in their lives, have lost homes and jobs. Still, it scares me as to what has caused all of this economic turmoil, where we are now heading as a nation, and whether something like this will ever happen again.

It’s Never Too Late to Start Over

Posted by John Haderlein on Apr 19, 2011 in Bankruptcy Law | 5 comments

People who have gone through divorce, death of a loved one, and job loss eventually learn that you can always go back and start again. With a bankruptcy, you can hit the “reset” switch on your finances, and start over. The worst thing to do is do nothing. Not to decide is to decide. Take control of your finances, or your creditors will be forced to do so. Why not be in control? Remember…it’s never too late to start over!

Know Your Rights

Posted by John Haderlein on Apr 17, 2011 in Bankruptcy Law | 2,030 comments

It is important to know your rights. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy law is governed by federal law. Additionally, Illinois state law defines certain exemptions that you can claim when filing for bankruptcy. One of the more amazing features of a bankruptcy filing is the “automatic stay”. You have the right to be left alone, to have some “breathing room” during the course of your bankruptcy. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is imposed. The automatic stay prevents creditors from contacting you during your bankruptcy, except as permitted by a federal bankruptcy judge. When you file for bankruptcy, all of your creditors are sent a bankruptcy notice. If this notice has been properly sent to each and every one of your creditors, your phone should stop ringing, collection letters should stop, court action (including wage garnishments and bank levies) should stop in most cases, and no one can approach you to collect a debt, unless granted permission by the bankruptcy judge. There are strict penalties for knowing violations of the automatic stay, and so, the more sophisticated creditors know better than to contact you without permission from the bankruptcy judge in your case. You will often not receive any paper or electronic invoices or statements, and at the bank level, you will likely lose online access and automatic deductions for pre-filing debts (this mean that you have to make your payments by phone or at your bank branch during the bankruptcy period). In my experience, the creditors who usually seek to modify the stay are mortgage lenders (if you are in foreclosure) and vehicle lenders (if you motor vehicle is in default, and you are facing a replevin, or “repo” action).