Each year since the bankruptcy laws were re-written in 2005, the bankruptcy process has become much more complicated. It takes an experienced bankruptcy attorney to successfully navigate you through the system. That’s why you need Pamela S. Wilcox who has a proven record of always doing what’s best for each client. She and Kim, her paralegal, are there to protect your rights.
Nobody wants to be in a difficult financial situation. Nobody intends for it to happen. Fortunately, there's help right around the corner with Pamela S. Wilcox in Galesburg. Contact us today and schedule your FREE consultation to get on the road to recovery. Very few lawyers in Central Illinois return all phone calls within 24 hours. Even fewer have over 30 years of experience in helping people with financial problems. Your financial situation might seem like the end of the work, but it’s about to get better.
Chapter 7 is designed for people having financial difficulty paying their monthly bills. As soon as the bankruptcy is filed, you immediately receive relief from collection actions of creditors: they cannot call, write, sue, or take any steps that could be considered an attempt to collect the debt. When the Chapter 7 case is over, you receive a discharge. The discharge continues the protection from creditors taking any steps to try to collect your unsecured debts.
People who file Chapter 7 can usually qualify if their average household gross monthly income for the last six months is below the state's Median Income. There is an Illinois exemption law which determines assets you can keep when you file bankruptcy. Most Chapter 7 debtors can usually exempt, or keep, most or all of their assets under Illinois law.
When you work with Pam to evaluate your situation, she will review your financial documents, including six months of pay stubs, four years of income tax returns, a completed questionnaire, six months of bank statements, and your bills.
Accurate advice cannot be provided until a case evaluation is completed, which is why a thorough evaluation is critical. Once the best bankruptcy option is determined and Pam Wilcox is on your side, your future will seem much brighter.
The Means Test
When the bankruptcy laws were rewritten in 2005, a “means test” review was added as the first step to determine whether you are eligible to file a Chapter 7 or must file a Chapter 13. The means test generally compares your household income to the State of Illinois’ current median income for a household of your size. If your household income is lower than the median you are not barred from filing a Chapter 7 based on the means test. If it is higher, further testing must be done to determine whether you may file a Chapter 7 or must file a Chapter 13 and make a plan payment on your debts.
Bankruptcy Facts for All Debtors
- You must complete pre-petition credit counseling in order to file the bankruptcy case and post-petition credit counseling in order to receive a discharge of debts.
- You will get a copy from us of every document we file with the court in your bankruptcy case.
- You must attend the 341 hearing, which is also called the “first meeting of creditors,” during which you are examined under oath by the trustee. If a joint bankruptcy is filed, BOTH of you must attend the hearing.
- Due to the automatic stay which happens when your case is filed until you get a discharge, all creditors, even those you want to keep paying, are STAYED from collecting their debts, so they cannot not send monthly statements even though you want to keep paying them and you are obligated to make the payments.
- You should keep the following for you records, for future credit information, and in case of any potential audit (please be advised that a fee is charged for providing another copy):
- All the original documents provided, the attorney fee contract, the notices provided, and the General Information sheet which explains how bankruptcy works after filing
- The notice of filing received from the court which provides case number, date filed, and hearing date and time
- The discharge notice received from the court which provides the date discharge of debts is entered
- All of the bankruptcy documents filed in your case (the petition, schedules and statement of affairs, etc.) which we prepared and you signed
- Any bankruptcy documents which are mailed from the bankruptcy court, and any letters or documents which we mailed after the case was filed
- Upon receipt of the discharge we recommend that you obtain a copy of your credit report to confirm the accurate reporting of the discharge of debts. It is your responsibility to make sure your credit report is accurate and to clear up any errors.
- Our representation of you ends upon receipt of the discharge or if the bankruptcy case is dismissed.