Xii Wills And Estates
The estate planning bar is a significant segment of the legal profession. These lawyers work with clients in developing a suitable estate plan. Attorneys practicing in this area assist in drafting will, trust agreements, powers of attorney, and related documents.
55. Estate Planning
These lawyers draft wills, powers of attorney, living wills and trusts.; It may be a simple will or can be complex trusts.
56. Probate Proceedings
There are attorneys that represent clients in probate proceedings. These include the probate of a will as well as challenges to wills and trusts.
57. Estate Litigation
Estate litigation lawyers focus on lawsuits dealing with estates.; For example, a son who is left nothing in a fathers will may hire an estate litigation lawyer to sue the estate.
Chapter : Reorganization For Municipalities
A Chapter 9 bankruptcy is available only to municipalities. Chapter 9 is a form of reorganization, not liquidation. Notable examples of municipal bankruptcies include that of Orange County, California and the bankruptcy of the city of Detroit, Michigan in 2013.
How Many Bankruptcy Courts Are There In The Us
Bankruptcy Courts. Each of the 94 federal judicial districts handles bankruptcy matters, and in almost all districts, bankruptcy cases are filed in the bankruptcy court.
A bankruptcy case normally begins when the debtor files a petition with the bankruptcy court. A petition may be filed by an individual, by spouses together, or by a corporation or other entity. All bankruptcy cases are handled in federal courts under rules outlined in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
It is the uniform federal law that governs all bankruptcy cases. The procedural aspects of the bankruptcy process are governed by the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and local rules of each bankruptcy court.
Recommended Reading: How Long After Filing Bankruptcy Can You Buy A Home
For Many Debtors Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Is A Better Option Than Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
By Cara O’Neill, Attorney
In many cases, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a better fit than Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For instance, Chapter 7 is quicker, many filers can keep all or most of their property, and filers don’t pay creditors through a three- to five-year Chapter 13 repayment plan. But not everyone qualifies to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcyand in some cases, Chapter 7 doesn’t provide the help the filer needs. Find out when Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be more advantageous than Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
If you’d like step-by-step guidance through the bankruptcy process, read What You Need to Know to File for Bankruptcy in 2021.
Chapter 20 Bankruptcy: Filing Another Bankruptcy Before The Time Limit Is Up
The time limits above refer to how long a debtor has to wait to discharge debt through another bankruptcy. If you aren’t looking for another debt discharge, but would like to arrange a plan to manage your remaining debts, filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy immediately after a Chapter 7 discharge might be an option for you.
Filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 in succession is informally called a “Chapter 20 bankruptcy.” The process of filing for Chapter 13 right after the Chapter 7 discharge process can be complicated, and many courts will not allow a double filing before the time limit is up. An attorney can explain the strategy behind double filing and how it may fit into your specific circumstances.
Which Type Of Bankruptcy Is Right For My Situation
Since the other types of bankruptcies are specifically geared toward certain individuals or businesses, most people only qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Heres a side-by-side comparison to show how theyre different:
The biggest difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy comes down to the persons assets and income level. For instance, if someone had a recent job loss or an unsteady income, they might fall into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. But if the means test says they make enough money to pay back their debts, they would fall into a Chapter 13 instead. Someone might also apply for Chapter 13 if avoiding home foreclosure is a top priority, or they could go for Chapter 7 if timing is an issuesince its significantly faster than Chapter 13.
But bankruptcy is a nerve-wracking experience, and choosing between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is like trying to pick the lesser of two evils. In both cases, privacy goes out the window. All your information literally gets laid out on a table for the court to look through. Then theres the fact that about half of Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases nationwide are dismissed because the debtor cant make the monthly payments.4
So, lets look at some ways you can avoid filing for bankruptcy altogether.
Chapters 11 12 And 1: Reorganization
Bankruptcy under Chapter 11, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13 is more complex reorganization and involves allowing the debtor to keep some or all of his or her property and to use future earnings to pay off creditors. Consumers usually file chapter 7 or chapter 13. Chapter 11 filings by individuals are allowed, but are rare. Chapter 12 is similar to Chapter 13 but is available only to “family farmers” and “family fisherman” in certain situations. Chapter 12 generally has more generous terms for debtors than a comparable Chapter 13 case would have available. As recently as mid-2004 Chapter 12 was scheduled to expire, but in late 2004 it was renewed and made permanent.
Don’t Miss: How Many Bankruptcies For Donald Trump
Chapter : For Foreign Creditors
A fairly recent addition to the federal Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 15 was adopted to enhance cooperation in international insolvencies. Such filings are rare, but they are useful to parties representing debtors, creditors, and assets involving more than one country seeking efficient and reasonable bankruptcy processes.
A Chapter 15 filing typically is not central to a bankruptcy involving a foreign individual or entity. Instead, it is considered ancillary, the main event unfolding in the foreigners home nation.
What Happens To The Property I Own That Is Subject To A Lien
In some cases, the Bankruptcy Court can set aside or reduce a lien on your property. Additionally, individuals who want to keep the property secured by a lien can enter into reaffirmation agreements with the secured creditors. Under a reaffirmation agreement, the debtor promises in writing to continue to pay the amount owed to the creditor despite the bankruptcy and in return, the creditor agrees to not seize the secured property so long as the debtor continues to make the necessary payments. All reaffirmation agreements must be filed with the bankruptcy court. If you default on your payments under a reaffirmation agreement, the creditor can hold you liable on any deficiency and repossess the secured property accordingly.
Also Check: Mark Cuban Bankruptcy
Do I Need A Lawyer To Represent Me If I File A Bankruptcy Case
You can represent yourself in a bankruptcy proceeding if you choose, but you do so at your own risk. It is crucial that bankruptcy cases be filed and handled correctly, and you must comply with all of the rules, which are highly technical. Bankruptcy courts in Illinois generally require that all bankruptcy materials be filed electronically and not through written papers, but if you are representing yourself, the courts will typically allow you to file your documents in paper form with the clerkâs office. In every bankruptcy case, each individual is required to prepare and submit to the court detailed forms concerning his or her property, debts, and financial affairs, which are difficult to complete without the help of an attorney. Additionally, options available to each individual, such as property claiming exemptions, filing jointly with a spouse, and what type of bankruptcy to file, probably cannot be properly assessed without the assistance of an experienced attorney.
This pamphlet is prepared and published by the Illinois State Bar Association as a public service. Every effort has been made to provide accurate information at the time of publication.
For the most current information, please consult your lawyer. If you need a lawyer and do not have one, call Illinois Lawyer Finder at 922-8757 or online www.IllinoisLawyerFinder.com
Chapter 1: For Family Farmers And Fishermen
Similar in design and intent to Chapter 13, Chapter 12 provides family farmers and family fishermen who meet certain criteria to propose a repayment plan lasting from three to five years.
However, anticipating the seasonal nature of many small farming and fishing operations, Chapter 12 allows more flexibility in structuring periodic payments.
Chapter 12 helps multigenerational families involved in the business in which the parents have guaranteed debt.
Family farmers or fishermen considering Chapter 12 should be aware of several changes that came about in 2019 regarding the sale of assets. Its a good idea to review these changes with an attorney or an accountant trained in bankruptcy law.
Also Check: How Many Bankruptcies Has Donald Trump Filed
Household Consumer Vs Corporate
And yet another dichotomy is what is referred to as household consumer vs. corporate lawyers.; Household consumer lawyers serve persons outside of the corporate sphere while corporate attorneys serve the business world.; Examples of household consumer lawyers include family lawyers, criminal defence lawyers and personal injury lawyers.
Specific Practice Areas
Types of lawyers can be further broken down into several classifications, within which are even more specific attorney practice areas.; These days, lawyers typically niche down into specific practice areas.; Its been a trend over the last 30 years.; The days of the generalist lawyer are coming to an end, except perhaps in small towns.
Specific Practice Areas
Bankruptcy Alternatives And Debt Relief
Medical bills, job loss, divorce, separation and consumer debt are the leading causes of personal bankruptcy. Unexpected expenses have lasting financial consequences. With the increasing cost of living, it is difficult to support a family without relying on high-interest loans and credit cards. Americans owe a recording-breaking amount to credit card companies,;banks;and lenders. Mounting debt can quickly become an uncomfortable burden. Thats when bankruptcy can help.
Bankruptcy;may be;a last;resort for severe financial problems, so its important to examine alternatives. Debt consolidation and debt settlement may offer similar advantages in a shorter amount of time. In fact, you might be required to undergo credit counseling before you file for bankruptcy. If your creditors are threatening to take your car or repossess your house, bankruptcy can protect you while you get back on track. The right option often depends on the type of debt you owe.
Don’t Miss: What Does Dave Ramsey Say About Bankruptcy
Alternatives To Chapter 7
Debtors should be aware that there are several alternatives to chapter 7 relief. For example, debtors who are engaged in business, including corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships, may prefer to remain in business and avoid liquidation. Such debtors should consider filing a petition under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Under chapter 11, the debtor may seek an adjustment of debts, either by reducing the debt or by extending the time for repayment, or may seek a more comprehensive reorganization. Sole proprietorships may also be eligible for relief under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.
In addition, individual debtors who have regular income may seek an adjustment of debts under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. A particular advantage of chapter 13 is that it provides individual debtors with an opportunity to save their homes from foreclosure by allowing them to catch up past due payments through a payment plan. Moreover, the court may dismiss a chapter 7 case filed by an individual whose debts are primarily consumer rather than business debts if the court finds that the granting of relief would be an abuse of chapter 7. 11 U.S.C. §;707.
Debtors should also be aware that out-of-court agreements with creditors or debt counseling services may provide an alternative to a bankruptcy filing.
Also Check: Bankruptcy Petition Preparer Fee
Which Bankruptcy Type Is The Right Fit For You
While several of the bankruptcy types are pretty evident whether you should work with them, when it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is a little more complicated. If you are not sure, be sure to get in contact with bankruptcy attorney Jerry Smith. He can help you figure out the best choice for you, as well as help you get through the bankruptcy process with the best result you can get.
You May Like: How Many Times Donald Trump Filed Bankruptcy
How Do I Apply For Bankruptcy
The unfortunate reality of bankruptcy is that it will cost some moneymore if you hire legal help, which you probably should . All filings have to go through U.S. bankruptcy courts, where the cost to file is $335 for Chapter 7 and $310 for Chapter 13. However, you can ask the court to either waive your fee or let you pay with monthly installments. Youll also have to take debtor education courses if you file on your own.
And thats just the beginning. Theres a list of documents youll need to take care of, as well as the specific repayment proposal you need to submit for Chapter 13. That proposal gets reviewed by a court-appointed trustee, who contacts your creditors before approving your submission. Overall, neither filing is an easy process to handle on your own, and even minor mistakes on your end could be a setback for your case.
So, whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, its typically a good idea to hire a lawyer to help you petition. A bankruptcy attorneys price depends on the nature and complexity of your filing, with Chapter 13 filings on the pricier end, but the price tag doesnt necessarily mean a lawyer is out of the question for you. Discuss payment plans with potential attorneys, check out local pro-bono lawyers and legal aid offices, or use an online tool like Upsolve to cover your bases when it comes to bankruptcy.
What Happens When I File A Chapter 13 Case
In a Chapter 13 case, you do not have to liquidate assets in order to pay your creditors; instead, you develop a plan to repay all or a portion of your debts over time, which allows you to keep most or all of your property. During the period the plan is in effect, you make your regular payments to the trustee assigned to your case who, in turn, distributes the money to your creditors. The applicable commitment period for payment under a Chapter 13 plan is three years for debtors whose family’s current monthly income is less than the state median for a family of the same size and five years if it is greater. Your Chapter 13 plan must pay your unsecured creditors at least as much as they would receive if your nonexempt assets were liquidated under Chapter 7. Also, your plan payments for unsecured debts must be equal to your disposable income . In other words, you cannot retain a cash reserve each month.
In order to be eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must have regular income and meet certain debt limitations for your unsecured and secured debts . Individuals, sole proprietorship businesses, or spouses can file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Just like a Chapter 7 case, filing a petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy with the bankruptcy court automatically stays most debt collection actions against you. You must file your repayment plan either with your petition or within 14 days after filing your case.
Don’t Miss: How Many Bankruptcies Has Donald Trump
In A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy An Individual May Keep Certain Kinds Of Property And His Or Her Remaining Property Will Be Sold To Pay Off His Or Her Debts
There are four types of bankruptcy: Chapter 13 is used for small businesses when a reorganization is the goal instead of liquidation. Chapter 7, 11, 12, and 13. 3 you file a repayment plan with the bankruptcy court detailing how you are going to repay your debts. The bankruptcy code contains three additional chapters of bankruptcy: Each chapter contains a different set of laws and rules. Nationally, there was one chapter 13 filing for every 405 households in 2016. If you previously filed a chapter 13 case and received a discharge and are looking to file a chapter 13 case again, you have to wait at least two years from the filing date of the first case before filing the second case. There are three different bankruptcy chapters under the bankruptcy code through which an individual can file, and they are called chapter 7, chapter 11, and chapter 13 bankruptcy. In title 11 of the united states code , there are four bankruptcy filings: Chapter 13 allows the proprietorship to stay in business and. There were 154,341 chapter 13 cases in 2020, accounting for 28% of the total bankruptcy load. You’re only a click away from debt relief
Below is an overview of the details of each of the different chapters of bankruptcy. He also entered a manhattan hotel and two casino holding. Any remaining amount is then waived. Trump has filed chapter 11 bankruptcy for his companies six times. There were 175,146 individual bankruptcies filed in the united states during the first quarter of 2020.
Employed Homeowners Facing Mortgage Delinquency Or Foreclosure Chapter 13
For homeowners who have fallen behind on mortgage payments, Chapter 13 offers a way to catch up or âcureâ past due mortgage payments while simultaneously eliminating some portion of dischargeable debt. Filers can save the home from foreclosure and get rid of a lot of credit card debt, medical debt, and possibly even second and third mortgages or HELOCs. Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not provide a way for homeowners to make up mortgage arrears, so itâs not a good choice for delinquent homeowners who want to keep a home.
Read Also: What Is Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions Llc