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Author Archives: Robert J. Semrad

Americans Taking on Significantly More Debt, Much Of It Student Loans

Americans are back on the credit card wagon in a big way – and that’s both good and bad news, according to a recent CNN Money article. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s just-released Household Debt and Credit Report shows U.S. consumers took on $241 billion in new debt this past quarter, the biggest… Read More »

Robo Signing Settlement Deters Loan Fraud

Last year Illinois, along with 48 other states, joined the U.S. Department of Justice in a $25 billion settlement agreement with five of the nation’s largest bank mortgage companies to remedy widespread “robo-signing” of documents for foreclosure and other fraudulent practices that banks used in servicing loans for homeowners. There are two main components of… Read More »

How Can I Protect Myself from Debt Relief Scams?

Debt is big business.  Companies and individuals use your debt as way for them to make money, but tend to leave you in further debt. Debt consolidation loans in Illinois, which compile all of your debt into one monthly payment, are often used in this manner.  These loans lure homeowners into using their houses as… Read More »

What are the Wage Garnishment Laws in Illinois?

Having wages garnished can be devastating. In this tough economy, many people are struggling to meet their basic living expenses and simply don’t have enough income left over to pay off their debts. Creditors typically use wage garnishment in Illinois as a final attempt to collect outstanding debts. During this process, you can no longer… Read More »

The Automatic Stay

One of the benefits of filing bankruptcy is protecting your property from creditors pursuing collection actions against you.  You can get automatic stay protection in Chicago as soon as you file your bankruptcy petition. An automatic stay begins to protect all the property you listed on your petition. How does the automatic stay work? The… Read More »

Do I Have Any Rights if My Car is Repossessed in Illinois?

For most people, having a car is a necessity, not a luxury.  We use our cars for work, to transport our children to school and to run other important errands. Without a car our already complicated lives become even less manageable.  If you fall behind on your car payments, your lender can repossesses its collateral,… Read More »

My Income is Over the Limit, Can I Still Qualify for Chapter 7?

If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and are wondering if your income is too high to qualify, you may be surprised to learn that most people who need Chapter 7 protection are allowed to file. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is most often relief sought for debtors. Under Chapter 7, you may eliminate most… Read More »

Is It Too Late to File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to Stop Foreclosure on My Home?

The foreclosure crisis across America is not over—at least not yet.  While the economy shows signs of increasing stability, the number of housing foreclosures is on the rise again. The nation experienced several months of decline after foreclosures peaked at 2.2 million in 2010. However, recent statistics show an 11 percent jump in May and… Read More »

Payday Loan Reforms: New Illinois Laws Encourage Fair Deals

Payday loans are short term loans – with terms ending in less than 120 days – that offer consumers quick cash to pay off bills.  Companies that make payday loans usually target people who are already in very difficult financial situations. Senior citizens and others with limited income, such as pensions or social security, and… Read More »

What Property Can I Keep If I File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is often called “liquidation bankruptcy” because the bankruptcy trustee can opt to liquidate, or sell off, your non-exempt assets to repay your debts.  Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is usually a good option for people who have mostly unsecured debt, such as medical bills, payday loans or credit card debt and for people who… Read More »