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Bankruptcy Attorney Serving DuPage County & Kane County of Illinois
Derrick B. Hager, P.C. is a Consumer Bankruptcy law practice dedicated to representing individuals and families in need of financial restructuring through Chapters 7 and 13 under the Federal Bankruptcy Code. We do not represent creditors. Our mission is to help you and your family get to that place in life where you are free to prioritize your children, your significant other and saving for the future without the stress and hardship of overwhelming and relationship destroying debt.
We help people and families with consumer bankruptcy law in Aurora, Batavia, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Elgin, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, St. Charles, South Elgin, Warrenville, West Chicago, Wheaton, Winfield, and the surrounding towns, areas and counties.
This firm is a Federally designated Debt Relief Agency under the Bankruptcy Reform Act. We help people file for Bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
We can help you answer these questions:
Do I qualify?
Full Disclosure & Accurate Reporting
Items Needed For Your Consultation
Post Discharge Credit Restoration
Avoiding Bankruptcy In the Future
Your Personal Bank's Right to Set-Off
For “consumers,” e.g. people whose debt is primarily personal debt accumulated due to the purchase of consumer goods rather than business debt, there are two types of bankruptcy relief available: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be thought of as the “classic” or “traditional” form of bankruptcy where an individual or a married couple filing jointly, asks the federal bankruptcy court to issue a final court order permanently enjoining his/her/their creditors from attempting to collect the debt owed; forever. The “Order of Discharge” is the ultimate goal in both a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case; terminating lawsuits, wage garnishments, accruing interest, late fees and over limit fees. In just ninety days after filing a petition in bankruptcy, the net result is a Discharge of your unsecured debt, allowing you to move forward without the pressure and disruption of collection efforts, permitting you to save for the future and EARN A FRESH START.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually completed in 90 to 100 days. A series of documents collectively referred to as a “petition” that contain sworn statements and schedules of assets, income, expenses and debt is filed with the court. You are allowed to keep a generous but limited amount of your assets in order to facilitate your “fresh start.” In most cases, you can keep your home, your cars, your personal belongings, your retirement accounts, the clothes on your back and the food in your refrigerator. If the value of your assets exceed the statutory limit you may be required to surrender some of those assets to earn a discharge of your debt, or at your option, pay an equivalent value into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy Plan.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be thought of as a “customized” or “adjustment of debts for an individual with regular income” bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a “Plan” is proposed to pay money into a general pot over 36-60 months to be distributed by a managing “Trustee”. The Trustee is charged with the responsibility of distributing money from the general pot to priority creditors in full (past due income taxes, property taxes, past-due house payments, etc.) and the remainder, on a pro-rata basis, to one’s unsecured creditors. When all the payments have been made and all the money is distributed according to the Plan, the bankruptcy court issues a final court order permanently enjoining the unsecured creditors who received less than 100% of what they were owed from attempting to collect the difference.
While making payments into the Plan, the unsecured creditors are prohibited from charging interest, late fees and over limit fees. The payments they receive through the Trustee’s distribution are applied 100% toward principal.
In a very real and legal sense, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies are identical in their net result: a Discharge of your unsecured debt, allowing you to move forward without the pressure and disruption of collection efforts, permitting you to save for the future and EARN A FRESH START. The two chapters of bankruptcy available to consumers are identical because the net result is that each of your unsecured creditors end up being treated the same way in either instance.
On its face there appears to be two options available to consumers under bankruptcy: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. However, the choice you may end up making will depend on your particular set of circumstances and needs. For obvious reasons, the majority of people contemplating bankruptcy will logically choose the shortest or quickest path to a Discharge of Debt; Chapter 7.
While a thorough analysis of your financial status is necessary to come to any final conclusions about which Chapter will benefit you the most, here are some common reasons why you might choose a Chapter 13 payment Plan rather than the more immediate Discharge of Debt available under a Chapter 7:
Appearance of the Ability to Pay (§707(b)) Chapter 13
Even if you qualify to file under Chapter 7 you may choose (or be forced into) a Chapter 13 if, after balancing your take home pay against your actual, allowed living expenses, you have sufficient net disposable income to pay at least 25% of your unsecured debt over a 5 year Plan.
Over Median Chapter 13
On October 17, 2005 Congress enacted the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act which, among other things, implemented an income threshold and means test to create a presumption that people seeking relief under bankruptcy law were abusing their right to do so if they earn gross wages in excess of IRS and Census Bureau standards.
Prior Chapter 7 in Past 8 Years
If you received a discharge of your debt in a Chapter 7 case filed (not discharged) less than 8 years ago, you may not file another and must choose a Chapter 13 if you are seeking protection again (certain other restrictions also apply).
Over Exempt Asset Chapter 13
As mentioned above, you are allowed to keep a generous but limited amount of your assets in order to facilitate your “fresh start.” Sometimes the value of one’s assets exceeds those limits. If this happens, one of three options is available. First, you can choose not to file a case in bankruptcy at all. Try to sell or borrow against your assets and use the money to settle your other debt. Second (assuming you qualify) you can file a Chapter 7 case and surrender the over exempt assets to the Trustee for distribution to you unsecured creditors on a pro rata basis. Finally, if you would rather not surrender your over exempt assets, you can file a Chapter 13 payment Plan case and, treating your unsecured creditors the same way they would have been treated had you chosen to file a Chapter 7, pay into the Chapter 13 pot, the same amount that would have been paid for the creditors’ benefit – the over exempt asset amount – but over time, and in an amount your budget can afford.
“Save the Home” Chapter 13
One of the most useful types of Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is the ability to pay back past due house payments over enough time and at a monthly payment amount that your budget can afford and prevent the foreclosure and sale of your home.
Derrick B. Hager, P.C., Attorney at Law, is considered a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the federal Bankruptcy Code. This website is an advertisement for legal services. The information presented should not be construed to be legal advice and does not constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship. We invite you to contact us today for bankruptcy assistance and to learn more about our services during a free consultation.
Do You Need An Attorney To File For Bankruptcy?
WHY CHOOSE US?
Derrick B. Hager, P.C. is a Federal Practice law firm and employs every available and modern technique to address your legal needs. All records are electronically stored and accessible with the highest degree of security and protection of your personal information. Our office employs the “top-down” hierarchy of addressing your concerns which means you will talk to an attorney when you come in, an attorney will be the person answering your questions, an attorney will prepare your documents and an attorney will file your case. All phone calls will be returned within 24 hours (except for Sundays), all e-mails will be responded to within 24 hours (except for Sundays) and all written correspondences will be forwarded to your attention within 24 hours of their receipt.
Derrick B. Hager, P.C. is a Professional Law Corporation. All information shared with the firm, whether informally during an initial consultation or formally once an attorney-client relationship is established shall and will remain personal and confidential. We practice consumer bankruptcy law exclusively so, unlike many law firms seeking to establish a lifelong “relationship,” our firm does not want you as a “repeat customer.” Our services go beyond filing a bankruptcy case for you – we are here to help you reestablish your credit after the case has been filed and to advise you on future purchases and use of credit so you steer clear of the mountains and cliffs that lead to financial hardship. Derrick B. Hager, attorney at law is a member in good standing with the Illinois State Bar Association and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and the American Bankruptcy Institute.
In most areas of the law, “reliability” is a deciduous creature. In the world of consumer bankruptcy, not so much. Derrick B. Hager, P.C. has filed hundreds of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases and has never had a case dismissed or a Chapter 13 plan not confirmed because the firm did not do what it was supposed to do or had promised will be done. We do not just file your case for you – we monitor your case’s progress from beginning to end and we monitor your case indefinitely after it has concluded. If your creditors are behaving badly and not following the rules, we will go after them with unprecedented zeal. We have a proven track record of making creditors pay when their bad behavior causes you harm or damages. It’s your case but it’s our job to get your through it – reliably.
ATTORNEY DERRICK B. HAGER
Our Pledge Of Personal Attention To Our Clients
DERRICK B. HAGER
Dear Atty. Derrick, Thank you for your assistance; you are a blessing in my life, and thank you for your ongoing assistance. May you have a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Dear Derrick, Thank you for helping us with the bankruptcy process- we hope and plan to be in a better place financially very soon. We are working together more then ever before on our finances and how to make this all work- perhaps that is more important than any challenge out there. Have a productive week and remember when obstacles seem large- with God all things are possible.
Derrick, We hope business is good for you. We know the economy sucks right now and people are having financial difficulties- losing homes, etc. The economy is affecting ALL of us. People are in good hands with such a great guy and good lawyer. Thanks again.
Do You Need An Attorney To File For Bankruptcy?
How Do I Know If I Qualify For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Part 1: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
The Only INALIENABLE Way to Stop a Foreclosure
Second Mortgage or Home Equity Line of Credit
Get A Fresh Start
Keeping Your Assets When Filing For Bankruptcy
Part 2: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Discharging Taxes In Bankruptcy
Is the Clock Ticking on Your Financial Future?
245 West Roosevelt Rd., Building 15, Suite 119
West Chicago, IL 60185
**BEHIND THE BOWLING ALLEY
Tel: (630) 587-7490
Fax: (630) 587-7493
Attorney Derrick B. Hager, located in West Chicago, Illinois, offers bankruptcy solutions that can provide the debt relief you need. Mr. Hager puts his clients’ needs first and believes that it is never too late to get a fresh start.