1.877.888.1766
 » 2012 » March

The Process of Adding Medical Bills After Filing Bankruptcy

Posted by: Admin User

Sometimes life happens, and after a debtor files bankruptcy they get injured and run up medical bills. Can they add those bills to their bankruptcy filing?

This is a good question, and the answer is that it would depend on what kind of bankruptcy is filed. There are two commonly filed bankruptcies, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually the quickest and easiest form of bankruptcy. A Chapter 13, also called the wage earners plan, lets a debtor with a regular paycheck create a repayment plan to get rid of part of or all of their debts during a three to five year period.

In the case of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if medical care was provided before the debtor filed, those debts are considered to be a part of the bankruptcy process. In that case, they would be discharged. On the other hand, if the medical care was rendered after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed, that debt is not a part of the proceeding. This means the debtor would have to pay the bill on their own.

No one can predict when they are going to be hurt and need to go to the hospital or need on-going medical care. Unexpected bills happen to everyone from time to time. This means you need to move forward with caution when filing. After you have filed a Chapter 7, you must wait eight years before filing another Chapter 7. If you are unable to or do not want to pay medical creditors, they have the option to pursue filing a lawsuit against you. If they are successful, they may be able to foreclose on your property, attach liens, garnish wages or seize assets.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your disposal income is a part of the process of bankruptcy, and it is used to make monthly payments in accordance with the repayment plan you submitted to the courts. In other words, it is an ongoing plan, and that means you may amend the schedule as you move forward to include medical debts. They are prioritized and added in to the order of payments. Any unpaid, unsecured debt, such as medical bills may be discharged.

Even though it is possible to add medical debt repayment to a Chapter 13, there are other consequences. The biggest one is the added expense you face to try and meet your debt repayment plan. If you are unable to pay, or miss payments, the plan may be dismissed. This would put you right back where you started from in the first place.

There are exceptions to be considered in either instance, and it is wise to contact a qualified Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and find out what options are open to you in your particular case.

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, March 28th, 2012 and filed under News and Press | Comments Off on The Process of Adding Medical Bills After Filing Bankruptcy .
Tags: , , ,

Credit Counseling is a Must When Filing for Bankruptcy Says Waterloo Bankruptcy Lawyer

Posted by: Admin User

Individuals considering whether or not to file bankruptcy must take credit counseling within six months prior to filing.

There are some limited exceptions to the mandate that potential bankruptcy filers take a credit counseling course within six months before filing, noted Waterloo bankruptcy lawyer Kevin Ahrenholz. Those exceptions need to be discussed as part of the process prior to filing. Additionally, approved bankruptcy credit counseling organizations are not the same in each state, and usually there is a small fee for pre-bankruptcy counseling. However, the fee may be waived based on the person’s ability to pay. A waiver request may be made before counseling begins.

Many individuals about to go into credit counseling ask how long the session lasts and whether or not they need to be present with a counselor to meet the Court’s requirements when filing for bankruptcy. The typical counseling session is approximately one hour to an hour and a half, noted Ahrenholz. It may be done in person, online or by phone. The session includes discussion of alternatives to filing, offers an evaluation of an individual’s financial situation, helps the person work out a budget plan and provides a certificate of completion.

The certificate of completion must be given to a bankruptcy attorney, as it is filed with the bankruptcy petition to show the court the credit counseling requirement has been completed. If a debt management plan was created during the credit counseling session, it too must be included for the court’s records.

There are many different types of documents that need to be filed when a debtor opts to file for bankruptcy, and part of the process of filing is determining which Chapter the debtor should file under. Chapter 7 is not for everyone and neither is Chapter 13. The Chapter a debtor files under, with the assistance of a Waterloo bankruptcy attorney is chosen based on the circumstances of the case at hand.

A debtor does not just walk into a bankruptcy attorney’s office and indicate they want to file bankruptcy, not without an extensive conversation with the attorney about alternatives, credit counseling, assets, whether or not they have a job with a regular income, the possibility of drafting a repayment plan or the knowledge about what happens when someone does declare bankruptcy.

While the decision to file bankruptcy is difficult for many, Ahrenholz noted, it is something that can happen to anyone. With the assistance of an experienced Waterloo bankruptcy attorney, a debtor has a brighter financial future in store for them when their bankruptcy is eventually discharged.

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, March 20th, 2012 and filed under News and Press | Comments Off on Credit Counseling is a Must When Filing for Bankruptcy Says Waterloo Bankruptcy Lawyer .
Tags: , , ,

Debt Reduction Companies May Be Helpful But Beware of the Terms

Posted by: Admin User

While debt reduction companies sound like a good idea, most of them are not.

There are a number of debt reduction companies in the marketplace that say they can negotiate you a lower interest rate, cut what you owe by at least 50 percent and not affect your credit rating. It does sound good. However, these agencies often do not deliver what they promise, and there is a difference between bankruptcy and debt reduction.

For those individuals who owe more than they can pay, finding help through a debt reduction company or declaring bankruptcy are two of the leading options available to them. However, it is wise to know the differences before you proceed. Bankruptcy is a legal option that lets debtors either eliminate all or most of their debts via filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Typically Chapter 7 clears all debts. Chapter 13 is a renegotiated debt with a more affordable payment.

Each state has different bankruptcy laws, and so it is wise to speak with an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer to understand what your options are in Iowa. During that discussion, you will find out if bankruptcy will help you with your particular circumstances. While declaring bankruptcy does provide financial relief, there are consequences. The biggest one is the reduction of your credit score that remains on your record for up to ten years.

If you are considering debt reduction, also referred to as consolidation, with a company that says it can help you, you will discover they help by combining all your payments into one payment a month, usually lower than what you currently pay. This sounds good. However, most of these types of companies do not have a debtor’s best interests at heart. Their main goal seems to be scaring the debtor into using their services by telling them how bad their credit report will be, which is a given, even if you declare bankruptcy. This is not news.

Most of these companies are able to come up with a lower monthly total, because it is spread out over a much longer period of time. This means you will pay quite a lot more to retire your debt. While this option might suit you, and you may not mind paying back more over a longer period of time, it is wise to consider both bankruptcy and debt reduction before making any final decisions. If you are not certain which route to take, consider speaking with a qualified Iowa bankruptcy lawyer.

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, March 12th, 2012 and filed under News and Press | Comments Off on Debt Reduction Companies May Be Helpful But Beware of the Terms .
Tags: , , ,

Filing for Chapter 7 Relief is not a Quick Fix Says Des Moines Bankruptcy Lawyer

Posted by: Admin User

Filing for Chapter 7 does take time. It should never be viewed as an easy way out of debt.

Des Moines bankruptcy lawyer Kevin Ahrenholz indicates that many debtors feel they are in a hopeless situation and have nowhere to turn. They think filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the answer to all their problems. However, filing Chapter 7 may create a problem for them that they need to consider before filing.

Declaring bankruptcy remains on a debtor’s credit report for ten years. This means their credit score, often referred to as a FICO score may drop by as much as 200 points. FICO stands for Fair, Isaac and Company, one of the first credit score companies, founded in 1956. A drop such as that may mean getting a loan or other forms of credit will be difficult, and in some instances, impossible. If there are other alternatives at a debtor’s disposal, it may be worth trying those first.

Ahrenholz discusses a variety of alternatives debtors may wish to try before filing for bankruptcy. One of them is creating a budget. Often a debtor finds a detailed budget focuses on unnecessary expenses. The time involved in tracking all expenses, no matter how small they may seem for at least two months, will give the debtor an idea of where they can cut back.

An in-depth analysis of the results of tracking expenses will clearly show if more money is being spent than made, thus alerting the debtor to areas they may eliminate or reduce spending. Also try to find additional ways to increase the monthly paycheck, and this may assist the debtor to get his debts under control, or at the very least, manageable. While the budget may be on paper, the changes made often translate well into real life spending.

Another strategy that Ahrenholz says his clients may attempt is negotiating with lenders. This is very effective for those who are facing a temporary setback, and have always paid their bills on time. If an individual has a good payment record, many creditors, once they understand the nature of the problem, will lower monthly payments or extend the payment time. It is worth trying, and may make a difference to an individual’s overall financial picture.

Debt consolidation helps a debtor avoid bankruptcy. However, this should be taken under careful consideration, as when this happens, all loans and credit card bills are combined into one debt. Often when this is done, the creditor wants the debtor to use their house or other assets as collateral. If the ultimate decision is to file bankruptcy later, debt consolidation may put a debtor’s ability to keep their house in question.

Bankruptcy, and whether or not to file, is something that should be discussed with an Des Moines bankruptcy attorney. Part of that conversation may include other bankruptcy alternatives if that is what the debtor wishes to pursue first.

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 Thursday, March 8th, 2012 and filed under News and Press | Comments Off on Filing for Chapter 7 Relief is not a Quick Fix Says Des Moines Bankruptcy Lawyer .
Tags: , , ,
©2010 - 2019 Iowa Bankruptcy Lawyer Kevin Ahrenholz
CONNECT WITH US