Crystal Lake (815) 788-9511


Personal Injury Exemption

Posted by Timothy Brown | Feb 05, 2024 | 0 Comments

Personal Injury Claims of the Debtor Under Illinois law, a debtor in bankruptcy is entitled to exempt $15,000.00 for a personal injury award or settlement.  This exemption applies to such claims, even if a personal injury lawsuit has not yet been initiated.  If the debtor becomes entitled to rec...

Can I keep my tax refund?

Posted by Timothy Brown | Feb 04, 2024 | 0 Comments

If you are considering filing for Bankruptcy, we will need to make sure that all of your assets will be protected.  If you file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Illinois, the Illinois statutory "exemptions" are used to determine the allowances available to protect your assets.  The Illinois "Wild Card...

Update to Expense Allowances for Means Testing

Posted by Timothy Brown | Jun 19, 2023 | 0 Comments

On April 24, 2023, new "means test" living expense guidelines were published.  The guidelines originate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey.  They are used to establish the reasonable expense amounts for various categories of individual and family living expenses, such...

Protection for Motor Vehicle in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Posted by Timothy Brown | Jun 14, 2023 | 0 Comments

The Illinois "Motor Vehicle" Exemption (735 ILCS 5/12-1001(b) provides certain protections to a Chapter 7 debtor that owns a vehicle.  The Motor Vehicle Exemption allows the Chapter 7 debtor to exempt from liquidation a vehicle, if owned outright, that does not exceed $2,400.00 in value.  If ther...

Median Income Standards

Posted by Timothy Brown | Mar 05, 2022 | 0 Comments

The U.S. Trustee Program periodically publishes revised median income standards .  These standards are based on statistical data that shows the median household income in the filer's location based on household size.  In effect, a change in these income standards can impact, among other things, w...

Debt Management

Posted by Timothy Brown | Feb 27, 2022 | 0 Comments

Debt Management (not to be confused with "Debt Settlement") is an option that enables the debtor to repay unsecured debt through a structured plan.  In most cases, arrangements are made with each creditor to allow for the repayment of each credit account over a period of 5-years.  Typically, the ...

Record Consumer Debt

Posted by Timothy Brown | Feb 26, 2022 | 0 Comments

Consumer debt has risen to 15.6 Trillion according to the Federal Reserve's New York District.  As a result of the pandemic, people have amassed significant debt.  The debt level is likely to continue increasing in the coming months as a result of the current inflation.  As a result of the rising...

Lien Stripping

Posted by Timothy Brown | Sep 06, 2015 | 0 Comments

If you have a second mortgage on your primary residence that is wholly unsecured, you are permitted, in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case, to remove or “strip” the lien. A second mortgage is “wholly unsecured” if, at the time of the filing of the Chapter 13 petition, the value of the residence is less...

Creditors' Right to Challenge Your Bankruptcy Case

Posted by Timothy Brown | Aug 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

Creditors can challenge the dischargeability of credit card purchases under certain circumstances. Under 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(2)(c),consumer debts owed to a single creditor and aggregating more than $500 for luxury goods or services incurred by an individual debtor on or within 90 days before the ord...

Improve Your Credit Score

Posted by Timothy Brown | Aug 12, 2015 | 0 Comments

Here are Some Tips for Improving Your Credit Score Look at your credit report to see how the creditors are reporting your credit activity. You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus, Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian. You can get your reports fo...

Beware of the Bank's "Right to Setoff."

Posted by Timothy Brown | Apr 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

A “Right to Setoff” is a legal right that allows debtors to reduce the amount owed to a creditor (financial institution) by offsetting against any amounts owed from the creditor to the debtor. If our bank serves you as a credit union and checkings account, you can take money from your checking...

How to Get a Free Credit Report

Posted by Timothy Brown | Oct 15, 2011 | 0 Comments

Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA), you are entitled to receive one free credit report per year. You can obtain your free credit report from the Annual Credit Report site, which is a website maintained by the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and Tr...

Automatic Stay Stops Creditors in Their Tracks

Posted by Timothy Brown | Oct 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

Under Section 362 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, creditors are prohibited from continuing any further collection action against a debtor who files for Bankruptcy relief. If a creditor is aware of the automatic stay, but continues to pursue collection of a debt, the creditor can be held in contempt ...

Recent U.S Supreme Court Decision

Posted by Timothy Brown | Oct 06, 2011 | 0 Comments

In the recent case of Ransom vs. FIA Card Services, N.A., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a consumer may not use the IRS "ownership expense" deduction for a vehicle when the consumer owns the vehicle but is not obligated, at the time of filing, to make any payments on the vehicle. In the 8-1 de...

Do's and Dont's Before Filing for Chapter 7

Posted by Timothy Brown | Oct 05, 2011 | 0 Comments

If you are planning to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you should follow the rules and guidelines detailed below: Do Not 1) Give any special preference to a particular creditor. The Bankruptcy law prohibits giving special preferences to a particular creditor at the expense of other creditors. A cr...

Welcome to our Crystal Lake Attorney Blog

Posted by Timothy Brown | Sep 09, 2011 | 0 Comments

Our lawyers are pleased to announce the launch of our Crystal Lake general practice blog. Here you will find information about and tips on how to file for bankruptcy, information on personal injury, criminal law, civil litigation and more as well how our firm can help you with your case. You ca...

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Law Office of Timothy Brown is committed assisting individuals in need of Debt Relief, Bankruptcy Litigation, Chapter 7, Chapter 13, Creditor Harassment Defense, Debt Collection Defense, and Foreclosure law issues in Illinois.

We will discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.