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Are Health Savings Accounts Exempt from Creditor Claims in Illinois and Elsewhere?

Congress created Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) in 2003. 26 U.S.C. § 223. In the past fifteen years, Illinois courts have not issued any published decisions indicating whether funds held in a debtor’s HSA are exempted from a debtor’s bankruptcy… Read More
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The Absolute Priority rule is alive and well for Chapter 11 cases

I.              Explanation of absolute priority rule Consumer debtors that do not qualify for protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, are left with filing unde… Read More
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Discharge of debts in Chapters 7 and 13; important differences you should know

Through a Chapter 13 payment plan, a debtor may discharge multiple types of debt that cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (a liquidation). Thus, if you qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and your debts would be nondischargeable in a Chap… Read More
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Bankruptcy Filings among Elderly Increased Exponentially over Last 25 Years

According to an article posted today in the New York Times (www.nytimes.com/by/tara-siegel-bernard) by Tara Segal Bernard, “[f]or a rapidly growing share of older Americans, traditional ideas about life in retirement are being upended by a di… Read More
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Law360 Satisfaction Survey finds that student loans are burdening lawyers too.

According to Forbes magazine, “student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category – behind only mortgage debt – and higher than both credit cards and auto loans and according to Make Lemonade, there are more than 44… Read More
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Merchant Cash Advances – A Trap for the Unwary

Small business owners should think carefully before taking out merchant cash advances, which is a form of financing that is heavily marketed. Small businesses, like any other business, need cash to run. It can be difficult, though, for some small bus… Read More
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Rising home values are nudging more Chicago-area homeowners to tap the equity in their homes via lines of credit.

There appears to be an increase in consumer debt that is reminiscent of the near-collapse of 2008-2010. A recent article in Crain’s Chicago Business (reprinted below), reports that consumers are using increases in home equity to secure further… Read More
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State law conversion claim allowed for improper disposition of attorney's fees

In Deborah K. Ebner, as Chapter 7 Trustee for the Bankruptcy Estate of Santilli Law Group, Ltd.Plaintiff, v. Alfred Vano, Case 17-00293, (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 06/15/18), Judge Cox of the Northern District of Illinois held that an attorney that improperly… Read More
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Serial bankruptcy filings initiated to delay creditor action can lead to criminal charges

In United States v. Williams, Case No. 17-2244 (7th Cir., June 6, 2018), the Seventh Circuit upheld jury trial verdict against Charlise Williams on five counts of bankruptcy fraud, resulting in 46 month prison sentence. Read More
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Student loans discharged even when Debtor was not required to make payments on loans

In Murphy v. United States, 15-11240-j7 (Bankr. D. N.M. June 1, 2018), the Bankruptcy Court in New Mexico held that a debtor who was not obligated to make payments on student loans because she qualified for a -0- payment under an Income Based Repaym… Read More
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