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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?”

Though he may wish it weren’t so, the reality is that one of the many things President Trump is known for is the comfort and frequency with which he avails himself of the country’s bankruptcy system. Having filed for corporate bankruptcy protection multiple times (though there’s some dispute, most experts peg the number at 6), Trump certainly knows his way around the Bankruptcy Code. Given his penchant for filing for bankruptcy protection, many have been surprised that one of increases in his recently proposed budget targets others who seek to do the same by increasing bankruptcy filing fees.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?”

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy you likely have a number of questions running through your head. Unfortunately, the process is often seen as opaque and this lack of clarity can scare people off who might really stand to benefit. In the interest of full disclosure, lets spend a few moments walking through some common questions about the limits of bankruptcy.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are my alternatives to bankruptcy?”

As anyone with student loans knows, educational debt can cause serious financial stress for even the thriftiest of individuals. With the average borrower in 2016 facing some $37,000 in student loans, it can be hard to know how best to tackle such a big pile of debt. Though payment plans and income-based loan forgiveness programs have been helpful, the reality is that many millions of people continue struggling with how to make ends meet and student loans represent a large part of that problem.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Will anyone find out about my bankruptcy?”

It’s a favorite of the media: coverage of financial difficulties for celebrities (and sometimes, semi-celebrities). We love watching them fly high and, so it seems, love watching when they come crashing back down to earth. One issue that is assured to get media attention is when a celeb (or quasi celeb) goes into bankruptcy or, even worse, gets accused of bankruptcy fraud. There are several recent examples, including a few of the “Real Housewives”, the rapper 50 Cent and most recently, Abby Lee Miller, star of the reality TV show “Dance Moms”.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I keep my car if I file bankruptcy?”

Everyone has heard that medical expenses are a major cause of bankruptcy filings, and it makes sense. A sudden medical emergency, especially for those without insurance, can be devastatingly expensive, sometimes costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Another major factor in bankruptcy is job loss. You lose your income, it isn’t a surprise that you lose your ability to keep up with your bills. But what about parking tickets? Surely parking tickets aren’t a contributor to bankruptcy filings. According to some experts in Chicago, they might be.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?”

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, chances are you’re in the midst of some serious financial difficulties. No one would consider going through such a process unless they were truly struggling to make ends meet. Those who are experiencing such financial problems likely have taken other steps to shore up their finances before ever getting to the stage of contemplating bankruptcy. That means they may already be receiving other financial assistance, in the form of housing vouchers, disability payments or food stamps. So what does filing bankruptcy do to these other sources of support?

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I get credit after filing personal bankruptcy?”

Most consumers never give much thought to the possibility that a store they shop at or a service they use could just up and disappear. We take for granted that established brands will always be around, when the reality is that companies come and go all the time. When a store is sold or changes names, consumers rarely suffer, as debts owed are almost always honored. The same isn’t true in the case of bankruptcy filings, which can leave consumers out money they mistakenly imagined was secure.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Are my 401k and IRA protected in bankruptcy?”

In a horrifying bit of news for residents of Michigan, critics say that a state agency may be responsible for forcing hundreds and maybe even thousands of people into unnecessary bankruptcies. Reports indicate that Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has filed a number of false claims alleging that individuals have been overpaid unemployment benefits. These claims then force otherwise financially stable individuals into bankruptcy, at which point the UIA extracts massive settlements in exchange for eliminating the debt.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are the pros and cons of bankruptcy?”

A recent article by Money Magazine walked through some of the most common myths associated with the bankruptcy process, exposing them as the fictions they really are. Though deciding to file bankruptcy can be difficult under the best of circumstances, it’s made unnecessarily harder due to commonly held misconceptions. These myths can intimidate and frighten people away from a process that might actually prove helpful, freeing them from mountains of burdensome debt. Now, let’s demystify some of these myths.

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Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are the pros and cons of bankruptcy?”

Though many people may not be aware of it, the debt collection industry has exploded in recent years. In the past five to 10 years, creditors have begun selling all their old debt to debt buying firms, usually for two or three cents on the dollar. These firms then use aggressive tactics to pry money from debtors, even in cases where the debts are expired and legal claims can no longer be made to recover the money. The industry has grown to more than $13 billion in size, representing many thousands of claims against many thousands of debtors.