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Court rejects the "sufficiently rooted" test and holds bankruptcy estate does not include portion of bonus earned from prepetition employment

In In re Brown, Case No. 18-81242 (Bankr. C.D. Ill. May 9, 2019), Judge Perkins of the Central District of Illinois, concluded that property of the estate did not include that portion of a debtor’s annual bonus payable after the petition date… Read More
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The Small Business Reorganization Act

Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee reintroduced the Small Business Reorganization Act (SB 1091). SB 1091 is intended to streamline the process for small businesses (those with debts less than $2,566,050) that wish to use Chapter 11 to reorg… Read More
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Beware of Bankruptcy Petition Preparers

Every now and then, a debtor will appear in bankruptcy court on a case that is set to be dismissed. The nervous debtor will stand at the podium, and the judge will ask the debtor why he or she has not filed certain required papers within the ti… Read More
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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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