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A Bankruptcy Trustee Is Neither A Friend Nor An Enemy

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Declaring bankruptcy is frightening for many people. They feel like they are alone and swimming in debt.

This first thing to know about bankruptcy is that it can, and does, happen to others. You are not alone out there without any hope in sight and totally ruined credit. There are people who will help you through the process of bankruptcy, and you can definitely rebuild your credit by making all your payments on time. In other words, there is light at the end of the bankruptcy tunnel. If you work in partnership with your Iowa bankruptcy lawyer, you will have your rights protected and be well informed about the whole process.

One of the people designated to help you through your declared bankruptcy is the bankruptcy trustee. His or her job is to administer your affairs and make sure you get through your bankruptcy. In reality, the bankruptcy trustee will act on your behalf to make sure the process is a smooth one and that your rights, and the rights of the creditor, are protected.

While bankruptcy trustees are there to help you, they are neither your friend nor your enemy – they are the hub of the process to keep everything on an even and fair keel. For example, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee will hold and conduct the 341 meeting of creditors, review your petition and Chapter 13 plan and then distribute your monthly payments, according to that plan.

In the case of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, trustees liquidate the debtor’s non-exempt property and hand out the proceeds in accordance with the rules and regulations applicable for the federal bankruptcy code. They will also examine the bankruptcy petition and check for any inaccurate information, misrepresentation or fraud on the part of the debtor. In other words, the trustee, in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 situations, is the person who sees to it that you get an efficient, effective and fair resolution to your bankruptcy process.

If you have any questions about whether or not filing bankruptcy is the right route to take in your situation, make your first phone call to a qualified Iowa bankruptcy lawyer. They have the years of experience in this area that you will need to make an informed decision about your circumstances. They are not there to judge you. They are there to help you get through one of the toughest times in your life.

Kevin Ahrenholz is an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and Iowa bankruptcy attorney. To contact him, visit http://www.iowachapter7.com or call 1.877.888.1766.

Posted on Monday, June 27th, 2011 and filed under Bankruptcy | Comments Off on A Bankruptcy Trustee Is Neither A Friend Nor An Enemy .
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Bankruptcy Can Be Voluntary or Involuntary

Posted by: Admin User

When facing bankruptcy, most people would prefer doing it on their own. Involuntary bankruptcies are no fun.

It is not too surprising that bankruptcies tend to reflect the state of the economy. When the economy is in good shape, there are not many bankruptcies. When it is bad, bankruptcy figures start to soar. In 2009, close to 1.4 million bankruptcies were filed across the nation.

There are two kinds of bankruptcies, involuntary and voluntary. While it is true that involuntary bankruptcies are the exception rather than the rule, they do happen fairly often. An involuntary bankruptcy happens when a creditor legally and literally forces a debtor into bankruptcy. This can happen to anyone, at any time, at any age and in any social strata, including famous people. Bankruptcy is not fussy about who it hits.

Most bankruptcies are done voluntarily, and while still a blow to those who have to declare it, there is some saving of face in the fact that they did it on their own. Is there any good news in the bankruptcy statistics? According to some pundits, it is beginning to look like the economy has hit the absolute bottom and is now aiming to come back up for air. Evidently, the possibility of a turnaround is being fueled by court records, of all things. The records are suggesting that bankruptcy rates dropped by 8.9 percent in June 2010.

While that is indeed good news, there are still those struggling to keep their heads above water and decide which Chapter they want to file under. The long-term forecast though could mean that those just beginning to head down the road to bankruptcy may have a reprieve. When the economy is balanced, typically you have the opportunity to recover from your losses. It may take you a while to do that, but the chance would be there.

Still and all, if you do not have a chance to ride the wave of a more balanced economy, you would have a new opportunity to start all over again financially if you do declare bankruptcy. That is what bankruptcy laws are all about in the first place; offering protection to the honest individual to allow them to work their way out of a bad financial situation they had no control over. This is not to say that creditors don’t have protection, because they do, as does the debtor. In other words, it is about financial balance and equity.

Kevin Ahrenholz is an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and Iowa bankruptcy attorney. To contact him, visit http://www.iowachapter7.com or call 1.877.888.1766.

Posted on Monday, June 27th, 2011 and filed under Bankruptcy | Comments Off on Bankruptcy Can Be Voluntary or Involuntary .
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You Cannot Discharge Student Loans If You Declare Bankruptcy

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While there are a great number of things you may discharge when you go through a bankruptcy, a student loan is not one of them.

The bankruptcy process offers debtors in over their heads relief from a wide variety of debts – as long as they are unsecured debts. However, there are also several types of debts that will not be discharged as easily, and one of those debts is a student loan. No doubt there will be many loud groans over that bit of information, but the fact is the general rule of thumb is that student loans do not get discharged in a bankruptcy.

A lot of people think this is unfair, but if you consider the reasons for it, it actually makes sense. Look at it this way. If student loan debt could be discharged, how many institutions would be willing to lend students money to get an education? The answer to that would be not many, and with good reason. Why shell out bucks you will not get back if they declare bankruptcy.

It’s pretty easy for students to get money to get educated. Consider those people our future generation. If they were to get what money they needed to make something of their lives and then be able to discharge that later by declaring bankruptcy when they graduated, those who loaned the money would be paying the penalty; a penalty that would be passed on to the next students wanting to borrow money. In other words, it would be brutally unfair to lenders, and thus the federal government said student loans cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Having said that, as you probably know, most laws have limitations and exceptions, and yes, there is an exception when it comes to student loans, but it is a very limited one. There is a provision called the “undue hardship exception.” While there are probably many students thinking they would qualify for that, the truth is, it is very hard to prove. The student/debtor must show extreme reasons why they cannot repay the loan.

Extreme reasons may include the student not being able to live at even a minimal standard of living because of the student loan, that they are indeed making a good faith effort to pay on it and that the extreme circumstances will be in effect for the total period of the loan repayment. This process is conducted by way of an adversary hearing within a bankruptcy. A judge determines is an extreme hardship does exist, before a deciding if the student loan may be discharged.

Honestly, this is such a hard thing to prove that it’s likely best that you just assume you can’t discharge your student loan during a bankruptcy, because, in all reality, you likely can’t. If you don’t know what applies in your case, and you have a student loan, consult with a skilled Iowa bankruptcy lawyer. If you want to know how to proceed, what qualifies, what doesn’t and what Chapter to declare, your Iowa bankruptcy lawyer will be able to offer you the advice you need.

Kevin Ahrenholz is an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and Iowa bankruptcy attorney. To contact him, visit http://www.iowachapter7.com or call 1.877.888.1766.

Posted on Friday, June 17th, 2011 and filed under Bankruptcy | Comments Off on You Cannot Discharge Student Loans If You Declare Bankruptcy .
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Filing Bankruptcy Does Not Mean Losing All Of Your Stuff

Posted by: Admin User

A lot of people have this idea in their heads that if they file for bankruptcy, they lose all of their stuff. That is not true.

While filing for bankruptcy is not the easiest thing in the world for a variety of reasons, it also is not the end of the world, despite how it may feel. Yes, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration, not the least of which is a change in lifestyle, meaning taking a good hard look at how you spend money. A lot of people think that when they file for bankruptcy, they lose everything they have. Good news – that is not true.

Keep in mind that every bankruptcy case needs to be assessed on its own, which means every case is different and yet similar. This is only to say that in most cases, the debtor will not be coughing up all of their property and possessions. This is because the law does give a wide allowance in terms of property exemptions. This is good news because during and after the closing of your bankruptcy case, your exempted property is protected by law.

Here is something that most people do not know, or do not understand. Exempted property means you are allowed to keep your property and the equity in it. That bears repeating: you get to keep the property and the equity in it, meaning the difference between the value of your property exemption and what you still owe. This is definitely something you need to discuss with your Iowa bankruptcy lawyer to get a good handle on how it works to your advantage.

As with just about everything, there are other points you need to be aware of as you move forward through the bankruptcy process. For example, each state has the right to choose which exemption will apply to your case, meaning state or federal exemption. In some cases, and this too is something your Iowa bankruptcy lawyer will talk to you about, some states let you make a choice between which route to take.

Typically speaking, federal bankruptcy exemptions are better for you. However, that does not mean state exemptions should be ruled out. This is yet another reason why you need a skilled Iowa bankruptcy lawyer, to help you get through the maze of filing bankruptcy. To get a good grasp as to which type of property exemption would apply to you, you need to talk to a qualified bankruptcy lawyer. That way, you are on the right track.

Kevin Ahrenholz is an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and Iowa bankruptcy attorney. To contact him, visit http://www.iowachapter7.com or call 1.877.888.1766.

Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2011 and filed under Bankruptcy | Comments Off on Filing Bankruptcy Does Not Mean Losing All Of Your Stuff .
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There is Life After Filing for Bankruptcy says Iowa Bankruptcy Lawyer

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Bankruptcy may look like the end of the world to many. But fortunately, it is not.

“I hear a lot of stories in this line of work and one has always stood out in my mind; a woman who lost her house to foreclosure, and even though she declared bankruptcy, she of course, still had to pay $25,000 in student loans. She had quite the journey to get to solid footing once again, but she hung in there and made it. Her advice to others? There is life after bankruptcy and nothing to be ashamed of if life happens and you just can’t manage it. That’s good advice and something I tell my clients. You will get credit again, that is pretty much guaranteed,” said Kevin Ahrenholz, an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer.

Bankruptcy used to carry a horrid stigma and said to people that those who declared bankruptcy could not manage money and were perhaps also making up their hard luck story to get out of paying bills. The shadow of bankruptcy dogged them for many years and made getting credit very difficult. That is not the case today, when with a solid track record of consistently paying bills, people can get their credit back on track. “Yes, the information that they did go bankrupt is still in their file, but they can come back from that by paying things on time and sticking with their payment plan program,” Ahrenholz said.

Ultimately, the bankruptcy process protects both the creditor and the debtor and lets an honest, well-intentioned person work their way out of a bad financial situation. It just takes persistence and the desire to set things straight and own up to the responsibility of any debts incurred. Do some people take advantage of the system?

“Yes, it can happen and has happened, but with the changes to the bankruptcy laws relating to a means test, it happens less frequently than before. In any process, there are those who work within the system and those who would rather cheat the system. That’s life,” Ahrenholz said.

It is not always easy to work out of a lousy financial crunch and often, despite best intentions, the debtor gets overwhelmed and needs to start over. Filing bankruptcy is usually the answer, but there are some things that need to be done before filing.

“Know what chapter you think would suit your circumstances. If you aren’t sure, that’s what I am here for. Just ask me. This is a complicated process and frankly, I wouldn’t advise anyone to try and tackle it on their own, as they might miss something and be dismissed for doing something wrong. Don’t take the chance when help is just a phone call away,” Ahrenholz said.

Kevin Ahrenholz is an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and Iowa bankruptcy attorney. To contact him, visit http://www.iowachapter7.com or call 1.877.888.1766.

Posted on Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 and filed under News and Press | Comments Off on There is Life After Filing for Bankruptcy says Iowa Bankruptcy Lawyer .
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Remember That Secured and Unsecured Debts Are Two Different Things Says Iowa Bankruptcy Lawyer

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Not many people understand the differences between secured and unsecured debt, only knowing they owe too much to ever pay it all back.

“There is one very easy method to determine the differences between secured and unsecured debts, and that is if your creditor can take an item or property away from you, it is secured debt. For example, your home is secured with a loan and the lender can take it back it you don’t repay what you owe. As for unsecured debts, those do not involve property or products. Think medical bills or credit card debts,” said Kevin Ahrenholz, an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer.

What difference does the distinction make? Typically, the differences make a difference when someone is contemplating filing for bankruptcy. If it is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they are able to choose between keeping the property or product and paying out the debt. Should the debtor decide he or she cannot pay anything, the product or property may be given back as payment for the debt.

In a Chapter 13 situation, the debtor is allowed to keep the product or property, but they must have a plan to pay off the debt, usually within three to five years.

“In instances like this, it is often the case that the bankruptcy court will only let the creditor charge somewhere around the 10 percent interest rate. No doubt that is a lot lower than what you were paying. Keep in mind, if the value of the item in question is less than the value of the debt, the outstanding amount above that isn’t covered by the item is paid as an unsecured debt without interest,” Ahrenholz said.

“If you are facing bankruptcy, make your first point of contact my office. We have all the information you need, take the time to outline all of your options and will be happy to assist you with your filing, should you hire my services. The first consultation is free and we look forward to talking to you and answering your questions,” Ahrenholz said.

Kevin Ahrenholz is an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and Iowa bankruptcy attorney. To contact him, visit http://www.iowachapter7.com or call 1.877.888.1766.

Posted on Saturday, June 4th, 2011 and filed under News and Press | Comments Off on Remember That Secured and Unsecured Debts Are Two Different Things Says Iowa Bankruptcy Lawyer .
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There Are Other Options That May Work If You Are Facing Foreclosure

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Foreclosure may be looming in your future, but there are other options open for you to consider.

For those who do not understand what foreclosure means, it refers to a local government taking away your ownership to a piece of property. For example, let’s say you take out a loan to buy a house, as most Americans do, and during the course of signing the papers, you have given the lending institution a secured interest in your home. If you do not make your mortgage payments, or do not make them on time, the lender can, because they have a secured interest in your home, foreclose on it or auction it off.

Proceeds from the auction go back to the lending institution, but that is not the end of things. If the lender is not able to recover the remaining money you owe, you may have a deficiency judgment registered against you. Of course, if you find yourself in this kind of a situation, you definitely have way too much debt and may wish to consider filing for bankruptcy protection.

It does not matter how you got to where you are in terms of being about to lose your house. There are millions of people in similar circumstances, brought down and getting behind by a marriage gone bad, unemployment, medical bills or bad money management skills. In other words, life happens. It is far more common that you may think to find out that you have somehow overspent, even though you thought you had all your bases covered. You didn’t and you find foreclosure looming large any day now. Time to make some major decisions.

Foreclosure may sound like an easy and quickie solution to having too much debt. While it will solve “that” problem, the problem you will have for your credit history is pretty large and difficult to overcome. Foreclosure and a deficiency judgment can make you look like a very poor credit risk, even though you may have gotten in over your head unintentionally.

Good news. Foreclosure is not always inevitable, and you do have other options you may consider. First things first though, do you understand the ramifications of your situation? Meaning, is this a short term problem you may be able to recover from? Are the mortgage payments something you just can’t handle – period? If your financial difficulties are short term, you can fend off foreclosure by perhaps borrowing from a good friend or relative; taking the bull by the horns and talking to your lender in a forthright manner; refinancing your loan and yes, even selling your house.

The bottom line is, if you do not know what to do, do not know if you are at rock bottom and do not know what options are out there for you, then contact an experienced Ohio bankruptcy lawyer. If you want help, trusted advice and guidance through the bankruptcy process, your Ohio bankruptcy lawyer is able to take care of you.

Kevin Ahrenholz is an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and Iowa bankruptcy attorney. To contact him, visit http://www.iowachapter7.com or call 1.877.888.1766.

Posted on Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 and filed under News and Press | Comments Off on There Are Other Options That May Work If You Are Facing Foreclosure .
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