Bankruptcy

Getting a Fresh Financial Start After Closing Down Your Small Business

Closing down a business can be messy. A bankruptcy filed to deal with the financial fallout of a business closure is often more complicated than a normal consumer bankruptcy case. But not necessarily.  In one respect at least, a business bankruptcy can actually be much easier than a consumer one.  If you’ve owned a small […]

The Goal of Bankruptcy: the Discharge of Your Debts

Most—but not all—debts are written off, or “discharged,” in a bankruptcy case. Is there a simple way to know what will and what will not be discharged?   There is nothing more basic than bankruptcy’s main purpose, getting a fresh financial start through the legal discharge of your debts. Both kinds of consumer bankruptcy can […]

“Automatic” Protection from Your Creditors

Many bankruptcy attorney ads say: “Stop garnishments.” “Stop foreclosures.” “Stop repossessions.” So bankruptcy stops all those bad things. But is it as good as it sounds? How does it really work?   There’s nothing more basic than getting immediate protection for you, your paycheck, your home, and your possessions. You get this protection the minute […]

What Stops a Creditor from Chasing You After Its Debt Has Been Written Off in Bankruptcy?

Even though it’s illegal for creditors to try to collect on a debt that’s been discharged (legally written off) in bankruptcy, once in a while they do try. What makes chasing a discharged debt illegal? And what penalties can get awarded to you if a creditor breaks the law?   In my blog a couple […]

Audit Shows Capital One Bank Illegally Filed $24.7 Million in Claims for Debts Previously Discharged in Bankruptcy

One can understand if a major U.S. credit card company forgets that one of its customers had earlier written off their debt in bankruptcy. But forgetting this very important fact for 15,500 of its customers?!?   It is bad enough that Capital One lost track that its old debts had been legally written off (“discharged”). […]

Quick Rules about Preserving Your Home through Bankruptcy

When does filing bankruptcy save your home?  When is “straight bankruptcy”—Chapter 7—the right tool, and when do you need Chapter 13?  If your most important goal is to preserve your home, here’s how each kind of bankruptcy helps (or doesn’t help) in circumstances which may apply to you. 1. If you’re current on your home […]

The Morality of the American Airlines Chapter 11 Reorganization

A corporation which files bankruptcy is considered to be proactively using a strategic business tool. But a human being who files bankruptcy is considered to be irresponsibly breaking promises to creditors.   Let’s see if this difference in attitude makes sense using the example of the bankruptcy filing of American Airlines in late November. Selecting […]

Anatomy of the American Airlines Bankruptcy

A corporation files a Chapter 11 business “reorganization” and tends to be seen as engaging in proactive strategic planning. A human being files a Chapter 13 consumer “adjustment of debts” and tends to be seen as an irresponsible failure. Let’s think about this from the perspective of American Airlines bankruptcy filing of last year, which […]

Keeping Everything You Own in Bankruptcy

You want to know: “Can I really keep everything I own if I file bankruptcy?” A two-part answer: 1) Yes, you can, usually, keep those possessions that are all yours (you don’t owe any money on them).  2) Yes, you can, usually, keep those particular possessions on which you are making payments to a creditor […]

The Very Rocky History of U.S. Bankruptcy Law

You think the present Congress can’t get anything done? It took more than a hundred years for Congress to pass the first permanent bankruptcy law.   Lots of people know that bankruptcy was important enough to our founders to be included in the U.S. Constitution. But that’s just the very beginning of the story: The […]

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