Do You Need to File Bankruptcy? 5 Signs to Consider

Whether you should file bankruptcy is a important question, but here are some of the warning signs that you should consider. First, remember that there are no minimum debt amounts required to file a case. There are maximum debt limits in Chapter 13 cases, but I don’t often find folks in those situations. Here are some of the warning signs … Read More

3 Questions to Ask if You’re Filing a Bankruptcy Case

There are 3 questions to ask if you’re thinking about filing a bankruptcy case. Preferential Payments and Transfers First, is your case going to be approved by the Court? As an attorney, I want to know if clients have engaged in any questionable practices in the recent past. Specifically, have they sold or transferred any assets to “insiders” (definition: family … Read More

Does My Spouse Need to File Bankruptcy With Me?

Does My Spouse Need to File Bankruptcy With Me? This is a frequent question, so here are the pros and cons. Please remember that my answer is written only for those people living in Pennsylvania. The short answer is no, your spouse does not necessarily need to file. If your spouse doesn’t want to file, then they won’t be required … Read More

Student Loans–Find Out What You’ve Got!

What Student Loans Do You Have? When I ask people what types of student loans they’ve got, many borrowers simply reply that their loans are with Sallie Mae. Okay, stop right there. That doesn’t tell me much, because Sallie Mae collects on both federal and private loans. So, let’s go deeper and really answer this question better. There are two … Read More

Got a Lot of Debt? Here are your Four Options

The Four Options for Getting Out of Debt When I meet with new bankruptcy clients for the first time, we review all of their options with respect to handling their debts. The reason they’ve contacted a bankruptcy lawyer is because they aren’t satisfied with their first option. So exactly what is that first option? Option Number One: Make Payment Arrangements … Read More

Before You Say “I Do”: How Your Future Spouse’s Credit Affects You

You might wonder why someone with virtually no debt and with good credit would contact a bankruptcy attorney. Ah ha, when that person is considering marrying someone who’s got credit problems. Thus, if you’re looking to get married to someone who’s dodging creditors, how is bankruptcy going to affect you? There’s good news and bad news to my answer. The … Read More

A Debt Calculator For Unsecured Debts

I subscribe to a lot of blogs relating to personal finance and bankruptcy law. And I’ve known about the for some time now. This website has a lot of information and advice for people with debt problems. But I didn’t know about their debt calculator, which I just learned about today, and which I find extremely nifty. Here is … Read More

How Bankruptcy Improved One Couple’s Credit Rating

A Recent Case Study I wanted to show a recent Chapter 7 case that I filed. This is a married couple with two young children. They owned a home, and were up-to-date with their mortgage. Unfortunately, they had taken out a home equity loan several years ago in an attempt to pay off credit card debt, but despite their best … Read More

My Views on Redeeming a Car Loan while in Chapter 7

Last week, I wrote about the bi-monthly cattle call of Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyers in Judge Bohm’s courtroom for “Reaffirmation Day”. One commenter from my blog post last week mentioned that I hadn’t talked about vehicle redemption as an alternative to reaffirmation. Simply put, redemption in a Chapter 7 case is a legal strategy to reduce the overall balance on your … Read More

3 Pros and 2 Cons for Reaffirming Loans in Bankruptcy Court

There’s a new scene up in the Bankruptcy Court in Pittsburgh recently. Judge Carlota Bohm is the judge assigned to the vast majority of Chapter 7 cases. She took the bench as a new judge about a year ago. Before she took the bench, judges rarely scheduled hearings when you wanted to sign a reaffirmation agreement. Now, we’ve got hearings, … Read More