Dixon & Johnston LawOffice
Toll Free800-733-2440

Read our Blogs

Considerations for living on a bankruptcy budget

People who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will have to watch their spending throughout the course of the bankruptcy. This is because you will have to make payments to the bankruptcy court in an effort to pay off your debts. There won't be much money left once this is done, so you will need to determine what you can do to cut expenses.

One thing that you will have to do at the start of the case is to write out a budget. Know where your money is going so that you can determine where you need to cut expenses. There are some smaller things that might help you out here. You can eat out less or cut back on online shopping habits. Take steps to save on your electric bill and cancel cable. Stop going out so often until you are back on your feet after your case is closed.

Yes, some disability checks can be garnished

Suffering a disabling injury at work can start a chain of events that is difficult to overcome. It can be difficult for loved ones to deal with the change in your abilities, and this might lead to your marriage ending. This is an unfortunate occurrence that means you are going to have to do a lot of planning.

One of the most pressing issues is that you will have to determine how you can make ends meet with only your disability payments. This can be a challenge because you have to think about the divorce costs, as well as standard costs of living. Even in the best of circumstances, divorce can damage your financial stability, but it is often magnified if you are on disability.

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13: Which route makes the most sense?

If you find yourself drowning in a mountain of debt, you may want to seek remedies before your situation gets even worse. Creditors can file lawsuits that result in judgments to garnish your wages and place a lien on your property.

In Illinois, you may want to take a look at the two main categories of bankruptcy filings. Understanding the pros and cons of both may help you make the decision on which one works best for getting out from under your debt.

7 signs that bankruptcy might benefit you

Paying bills isn't anyone's favorite activity but it is a necessity of life. Some people are even more upset about having to do this each month. These are the people who have more bills than they have money. They are the ones who have high credit card balances, medical bills and other similar debts.

As scary as it might be for a person who is constantly hemorrhaging money on bills, now is the time to sit down with these bills and determine exactly what you owe. You might come to realize that, even without any fault of your own, you owe a lot of money. At this point, you might wonder if you should file bankruptcy.

Bill moving through legislature would overhaul disability payment

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program that individuals should be able to count on if they have worked hard and then suddenly aren't able to because of an injury or illness.

Unfortunately, this disability program is often thought of as a handout instead of as a program that you've paid into. Another issue is that getting approved for these benefits is often a challenging process that can drag on for prolonged periods.

Bankruptcy and the effects it has on your credit

Having to file bankruptcy will impact various areas of your life, including your credit score. If you are considering filing a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, you need to know how yours might be affected. All of these impacts could have a negative pull on your life for a while.

One point that you have probably heard is that the bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years if you file a Chapter 7 and up to 7 years if you file a Chapter 13. That is a valid statement, and how much it hurts you during that time depends on various factors.

Can legislation prevent loss of disability benefits?

This blog recently discussed the case of the man who was wrongfully identified as deceased and who is now fighting for his disability payments. Fortunately, the man's benefits were restored the day after a local news station reported about his issues. But the big question here is whether anything can be done to help prevent this type of traumatic event from happening in the future.

The chairwoman of the Illinois Senate Public Health Committee felt that it is shocking that they merely tried to use a mugshot to identify the man who was brought to the hospital. She wants to see that this doesn't happen in the future. Her answer is to introduce legislation that can help to address these types of cases so that this type of situation doesn't happen again.

Student loan debt and bankruptcy

Student loans are the second highest debt category for consumers. Only mortgages surpass this. However, student loans usually can't be discharged in bankruptcy. The reason for this is that a person has to pass the Brunner test if they are going to have the student loans forgiven through bankruptcy.

The Brunner test determines whether a borrower is unable to afford to pay the loans because of extenuating circumstances that are causing financial hardship and whether the circumstances are going to continue throughout the term of the loan. It also considers whether the buyer has made efforts in good faith to repay the loans. These conditions as interpreted by the courts are almost impossible to meet.

Man falsely reported as deceased, now fighting for his disability

People who receive disability payments often live on a tight budget. For these individuals, any disruption in payments can lead to significant financial struggles. There usually isn't room in the budget to save a lot, so being without an income means they might have to do without necessities. On top of that, Medicaid eligibility is usually tied to these payments, which means that if the disability payments cease, medical care coverage will also stop. This can leave them without the care they need to properly manage their health care.

One man in another state is currently fighting to get his disability payments after being falsely reported as being deceased. The situation happened when a man was found severely beaten on the street. There was a massive amount of facial swelling that rendered him unrecognizable. A witness at the scene told police a name for the person, but the last name was incorrect.

Signs you are heading into massive credit card debt

Debt has become a regular part of life for many Americans. It is for this reason lawmakers have begun to push for legislation to help people manage their finances more easily. Recently in Illinois, one senator called for a new law that would wipe out people's student loan debt if they file for bankruptcy. 

Under current law, bankruptcy can wipe out someone's credit card debt but not their student loans. It is vital for people to be aware of when their credit card debt has grown out of control so that they can begin with bankruptcy proceedings sooner rather than later. These are some of the signs you will see with your credit card accounts that it is time to do something proactive.