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

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

Student Loan Repayment Tips from a Bankruptcy Lawyer

 Student Loan Repayment Tips I’m spending more and more time talking with prospective clients about their student loans. No, I’m not suggesting that they should file bankruptcy to wipe out their student loans.   It’s simply getting hard to avoid talking about student loans when I see such large balances and on such a widespread basis. I’m talking more than … 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

Cancellation (and Collection) of Debts at the Same Time?

It boggles my mind that banks and other creditors can still collect on debts that they have “cancelled” for tax purposes. You might not know about the “cancellation of debt”, but you can read here about what the IRS says about it. First, I need to explain what this whole concept in tax law actually is. Basically, let’s say that … 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

Does My Spouse Have to File Bankruptcy With Me?

No, Your Spouse is Not Required to File Bankruptcy With You This is a common question.  Often, we will have a prospective client who really wants to file bankruptcy and get a fresh start, but his or her spouse is adamant about not filing.   Don’t worry, the spouse is not required to file.   Of course, each case is different and … 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