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Lake County bankruptcy and foreclosure lawyerAt Newland & Newland, LLP, we regularly publish blogs that provide people with helpful information about financial issues that may affect them. Whether we are looking at how individuals or businesses can file for bankruptcy, the process of buying or selling residential real estate property, or the options for homeowners who are facing foreclosure, we want to let people know how they can address their legal concerns. We wanted to highlight some of the blogs that were most popular with our readers in 2020:

  1. What is Chapter 22 Bankruptcy? - While “Chapter 22” is not an official part of the bankruptcy code, it is an informal term that may be used to describe a situation where a company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a second time.

  2. How Do I Get Information About an Illinois Bankruptcy Case? - We offer information about how to access public bankruptcy records.

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Lake Forest IL foreclosure defense attorneyAfter nearly a year, the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to affect people across the United States. Even though vaccines are currently being administered, they are being rolled out slowly, and it will most likely be several more months before enough people can be vaccinated to allow a return to the activities that people enjoyed before the pandemic. Unfortunately, this means that those who have been struggling financially may continue to face difficulty and uncertainty for the time being. However, federal and state government organizations have offered a variety of different forms of relief, and programs may be available to help homeowners who have been affected by COVID-19 avoid foreclosure.

Foreclosure Moratorium Extended

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which went into effect in March of 2020, placed a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for single-family homes with mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). While this moratorium was initially intended to last through July 24, 2020, it has been extended several times as the pandemic has continued to affect people and families. Most recently, the FHA announced that the moratorium will extend through February 28, 2021. The moratorium applies to new foreclosure proceedings and any foreclosures which are already in process.

Options for Mortgage Forbearance and Bankruptcy

In addition to the moratorium on foreclosures, the FHA is allowing homeowners to request a forbearance from mortgage lenders. A forbearance will allow a homeowner to defer or reduce mortgage payments for up to six months, and it may be extended for an additional six months if needed. The Consolidated Appropriation Act (CAA), which was passed by the U.S. Congress on December 27, 2020, prohibited lenders from denying forbearances or foreclosure relief to lenders who had previously filed for bankruptcy or who are involved in bankruptcy proceedings.

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Waukegan foreclosure defense lawyerDebt is a major problem for many American families, especially during difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have lost your job, are facing large medical bills, or are struggling to make payments on the debts you owe, you may be concerned about the possibility of foreclosure on your home. Fortunately, bankruptcy may provide your family with some relief by allowing you to discharge or repay certain debts without losing your home.

Automatic Foreclosure Stay During Bankruptcy Proceedings

When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay will go into effect preventing creditors from attempting to collect on the debts you owe. This stay applies to mortgage lenders and foreclosure proceedings. If a bank has begun the process of foreclosing on your home, filing for bankruptcy can put a halt to these proceedings while you determine the best steps to take to regain financial security while keeping your home.

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Your Mortgage

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as a “liquidation bankruptcy,” since all non-exempt assets you own will be sold to make payments to your creditors, and any remaining debts will be discharged. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you delay a foreclosure, but if you discharge the amount owed on your mortgage, in many cases the lender can still eventually foreclose on your home. However, if you do not discharge your mortgage debt, and you remain current on your mortgage payments, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may allow you to discharge other debts and give you the financial means to stay in your home.

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Lake County bankruptcy lawyerAre you substantially behind on your bills and so far in debt that you are considering bankruptcy? Is a large portion of your debt money that you owe to the IRS in back taxes? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, you probably have a question of your own: Will bankruptcy help with my tax debt anyway?

Under the United States Bankruptcy code, not all debts can be discharged by filing for bankruptcy. Some debts, such as student loan obligations, will remain your responsibility even if your bankruptcy is successful in wiping out most of your other debt. Tax debt, in most cases, can be discharged, but very specific criteria apply.

Discharging Tax Debt in Chapter 7

For the purposes of this discussion, we will focus on Chapter 7 bankruptcy, sometimes called “straight bankruptcy.” Under Chapter 7, you, as the filer, agree to turn over your assets (with certain exceptions) to the bankruptcy trustee. The trustee will liquidate your assets and use the proceeds to pay off your debts. Remaining debts are discharged, presuming that they are eligible for discharge.

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