Bankruptcy | Iowa Bankruptcy Attorney - Part 3

Credit Concerns When Filing for Bankruptcy

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One of the biggest worries people have when they contemplate filing for bankruptcy is whether their credit rating will tank. It will, but you can recover.

It is virtually inevitable that your credit rating will be affected by filing for bankruptcy protection. But, you have to do what you need to do to face the overwhelming pile of unpaid debts that have driven you to the brink of bankruptcy. You cannot take the stress any longer. Bankruptcy will alleviate that stress and give you a fresh financial start. Just remember, there is more to bankruptcy than just paperwork, and for this reason you need to discuss your situation with an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer.

The biggest benefit people get from filing for bankruptcy is the automatic stay. This prohibits creditors from calling you and sending you letters. Understand, though, that some debts are discharged completely and some are put on hold temporarily. What type of bankruptcy you file also decides what you may pay back or not.

The first thing you will find out when you make an appointment with an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer is that your home will not be placed into foreclosure. Generally speaking, real and personal possessions are exempt from a bankruptcy. There are some exceptions, and you would need to speak to your lawyer about what they are.

Filing for bankruptcy protection does, in theory, halt all creditor harassment. But, not all creditors limit themselves to phone calls. This is when you discover there is a very fine line between being reminded you owe money and being harassed. Abuse calls at home and work are common and you only need to report them to your Iowa bankruptcy lawyer in order to get them to stop. Once your bankruptcy is filed, these annoying, harassing reminders are illegal.

Did you have property repossessed before you declared bankruptcy? You will be able to get repossessed property back so long as the creditor did not sell or auction it off. If you missed past payments, they can be rolled into a Chapter 13 plan. There are other things you need to know and the smartest move on your part is to deal with a competent Iowa bankruptcy lawyer who will guide you through the maze of declaring bankruptcy.

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

Posted on Monday, October 17th, 2011 and filed under Bankruptcy | Comments Off on Credit Concerns When Filing for Bankruptcy .
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Good news, you can still have a life after filing bankruptcy

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Despite the sinking feeling that your life is totally ruined by
declaring bankruptcy, there “is” life afterwards.

You have to expect certain consequences when you declare bankruptcy,
and one of them is a less than stellar credit rating. But, this is no
longer the kiss of death that it once was. Nowadays, it is what it is
and it happens to everyone, including stars, politicians and even

While most of us are not tycoons, we can indeed come back from the
crash and burn feeling engendered by bankruptcy. It just takes time,
perseverance and a plan that you stick to; a plan your Iowa bankruptcy
lawyer can help you draft. It’s very common for debtors to wonder if
they will ever get out of the black hole of debt. Yes, they can, and
with good planning, may re-establish their credit once again. Really,
bankruptcy is no longer a death sentence.

Be aware that there are federal laws in place that dictate how long
your bankruptcy stays on your credit file, and that it is the same for
all states. In other words, your credit report will show a bankruptcy
on your record for ten years. That may sound like a dismal scenario,
but consider this, if you buckle down and deliberately make a plan,
with the help of your Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and pay your bills, on
time, for at least 18 months, you can rebuild your credit rating once
again. It takes hard work, but the end results are renewed credit.

Getting even a part time job will also help your credit score. The
goal is to get steady work as soon as you can after declaring
bankruptcy and start rebuilding your credit history. You will need to
ask for your free credit report from the three main credit bureaus in
the US and check to ensure it is accurate. If not, get the mistakes

Another step to take is to ditch any extra credit cards you may have
and just keep one or two. This sends the clear signal that you are
going to be more cautious in your spending habits. If you can’t get a
regular credit card, then apply for a secure credit card. All these
things will help to rebuild your credit rating.

There are a number of other things you can do, and they include
getting loan, making regular deposits to a savings account, etc. Sound
like hard work? It is, but you didn’t go bankrupt over night, and thus
it will take some time to build up your credit rating once again.

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

Posted on Wednesday, October 12th, 2011 and filed under Bankruptcy | Comments Off on Good news, you can still have a life after filing bankruptcy .
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Honesty is the Best Policy when Filing Bankruptcy

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Do not lie your way through the bankruptcy process. If you get caught, you are in a messy situation.

Do not think that bankruptcy laws only exist to protect the debtor. They do, but they were also designed to protect the creditor. It is a two-way street and you need to remember that should you find yourself needing to declare bankruptcy. There is no doubt that it is a tough personal decision and the urge to lie to make things seem worse than they are might motivate some filers. Big mistake. Things like that always get discovered later.

Many people do not realize that bankruptcy is a legal proceeding, and as such it is under the wing of the U.S. Constitution and its bankruptcy laws. Those laws were written to protect creditors and debtors, and to allow an honest person or business a way to work out of a bad financial situation and to start all over again with no debts encumbering them. Why be honest when telling a little white lie might make you look better when you file? It’s called fraud, and it is illegal and subject to criminal prosecution. This is just what you do not need on top of your bankruptcy.

Some debtors lie because they are ashamed of the financial mess they find themselves in and feel people will think they are lazy or immoral. These days, declaring bankruptcy is something many people have been forced to do because of the poor economy. There is no shame in that. People can find themselves facing bankruptcy because of an unexpected divorce, a foreclosure, medical bills that are overwhelming, or health issues. In other words, life happens and part of life these days is the reality of bankruptcy as it is a tool to help you get out of a bad financial mess. It is just a fact of life and happily, there really is life after bankruptcy.

Keep in mind that you have two options when you have to or are forced to declare bankruptcy – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In its simplest form, Chapter 7 is the liquidation of your assets and is usually the fastest way to go bankrupt. In fact, Chapter 7 is typically called the no-asset route to bankruptcy largely because many Chapter 7 filers do not have any non-exempt property for a trustee to sell.

For Chapter 13, the wage earner’s plan, the debtor gets to create their own repayment plan based on their regular income. It usually is repaid over three to five years but no longer. There are some rules about state median incomes, and these need to be checked with a competent Iowa bankruptcy lawyer.

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

Posted on Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 and filed under Bankruptcy | Comments Off on Honesty is the Best Policy when Filing Bankruptcy .
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Old Bankruptcy Law Challenged by Ford Credit

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The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 forever changed the way courts handle repossessing a secured asset. Recently this new law was affirmed by the courts.

Creditors have to have some guaranteed protection to ensure if someone goes bankrupt on them, that they have recourse to collect some or all of their outstanding money. Things got easier for creditors after 2005, when the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) changed how courts handle repossession of secured assets.

Just recently, the Kansas Supreme Court upheld that law in Hall vs. Ford Credit Motor Credit Company Inc. No. 103370. In a nutshell, their finding indicated that a debtor “must” reaffirm their vehicle if they want to keep it, even if they were keeping current on all of their car payments.

Things didn’t used to be that way. At one time, when a debtor filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and owned a vehicle that was used to secure a loan, the bankruptcy code offered that debtor three options: give up the vehicle; redeem it by paying the loan; or, reaffirm the debt and stay liable to the creditor after the bankruptcy discharge.

And then, there was a fourth option – thanks to case precedent – that said that a debtor who was current on a secured debt at the time of filing a bankruptcy could keep the property without redeeming or reaffirming the debt. Now, the BAPCPA makes things crystal clear. There are consequences for not redeeming or reaffirming when the debtor is current on payments. Ending the automatic stay or removing the collateral from property now comes into play, and the creditor’s remedies are provided by state law.

Now, more about the story of Hall vs. Ford Credit Motor Credit Company Inc. No. 103370. Mr. Hall was from Kansas and had financed a Ford with a loan in 2006. He always kept his loan current, but filed for Chapter 7 in 2007, approximately nine months after buying the car. Hall’s bankruptcy tore away any liability he had for his car and he would not reaffirm.

After the automatic stay was lifted and he was discharged, Ford Credit initiated the repo process to reclaim the vehicle even though Hall was current on his loan. He chose to sue Ford Credit, so he could keep the car on the grounds that he was currently up-to-date on payments and “not” in default. Ford wasn’t happy with that turn of events and challenged his claim, indicating they were under the impression he wasn’t going to be paying for his vehicle or live up to any other clause in the original contract. Ford won in the lower courts and the plaintiff carried on to the Supreme Court of Kansas.

In essence, the court indicated that they affirmed the lower court’s decision, but issued a warning that they disagreed that the debtor’s Chapter 7 established that the prospect of getting money, performance or realization of the vehicle (collateral) was significantly impaired. They further stated that circumstances which existed when debtors filed for bankruptcy may indicate they “would” continue to perform under the installment contract. In other words, don’t judge a debtor by his bankruptcy.

In plain English, this decision indicated that Ford Credit had proved its initial case that it had evidence of a compelling nature that they had received significant impairment of the prospects of payment. Hall lost his battle, and Ford’s interpretation of Hall going bankrupt prevailed, meaning he’d likely not pay Ford what he owed them was acceptable, but not in “every” case.

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

Posted on Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 and filed under Bankruptcy | Comments Off on Old Bankruptcy Law Challenged by Ford Credit .
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Florida Couple Takes Foreclosure Action on a Bank Reports Ohio Bankruptcy Lawyer

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This is a great story with a nice little twist, where a bank gets back what it handed out, in spades.

“In this reported bankruptcy case a couple turned the tables on a bank, by foreclosing on them. Yes, you heard that right, the couple managed to foreclose on the bank,” said Kevin Ahrenholz, an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer.

It all started when the bank goofed up by even starting foreclosure proceedings on the couple’s home in the first place. In fact, the couple had never even had a mortgage loan on the property, because they had paid cash for it. However, the bank ignored that for some reason and proceeded to initiate foreclosure. “Fed up with arguing with people who were not listening, the couple hired a lawyer and proved to the court that they paid cash for their home. They were awarded legal fees for defending themselves,” Ahrenholz said.

The bank was not particularly enthusiastic about the judgment, and instead of owing up to their mistake and paying the couple’s legal fees, they dug in their heels and did nothing for over five months. The couple’s lawyer started to legally seize the bank’s assets. The lawyer, sheriff’s deputies and a batch of movers foreclosed on the bank. They did not just foreclose on paper either, desks were taken out of the bank and office equipment went along with any cash in the teller’s drawers.

“The bank manager lasted about an hour out on the street and coughed up a check for legal fees. If they had done that in the first instance, they would not have made such a big splash in the news. Aside from the irony of this case, it shows that creditor/debtor relationships should be two-way streets. In other words, credit relationships are between humans, and humans make mistakes. Acknowledge that mistake, rectify it and move on. “Don’t turn the situation into a vendetta and hide from the obvious,” Ahrenholz said.

The bottom line is that on many occasions, credit companies, banks, credit unions and even mortgage companies just do not take the time to properly check their paperwork. “As we can see in this case, not taking the time to check facts cost the bank money and dignity. All it would have taken was a few minutes of someone’s time to check facts. This whole thing could have been avoided. Unfortunately, common sense seems to have gone up in smoke these days,” Ahrenholz said.

Kevin Ahrenholz is an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and Iowa bankruptcy attorney. To contact him, visit http://www.iowachapter5.com or call 1.877.888.1766.

Posted on Sunday, August 7th, 2011 and filed under Bankruptcy | Comments Off on Florida Couple Takes Foreclosure Action on a Bank Reports Ohio Bankruptcy Lawyer .
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Chapter 7 And Chapter 13 Are The Two Most Common Bankruptcy Filings

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Did you know that federal bankruptcy laws are actually on your side if you need to declare bankruptcy?

If you are in a bit of a pickle and are carrying an overwhelming debt load, high medical bills, serious credit card debt and are getting dunning phone calls from bill collectors, it is time to call a bankruptcy lawyer for help. Federal bankruptcy laws are actually geared to help you out when you’re facing bankruptcy.

The most common bankruptcies filed are Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. Filing a Chapter 7 stops creditor phone calls and discharges some types of unsecured debt. Filing a Chapter 13 stops foreclosure, harassing collection actions and allows you to create a debt repayment place to pay off certain debts. This is not to say that it is easy to declare bankruptcy, because it is not. It is a distressing process and many people are embarrassed to admit they are going to file.

No worries. These days, no one looks at you sideways for declaring bankruptcy. It is what it is. The question you may be struggling with is what type of bankruptcy is the best for your situation? The law has made it harder for some debtors to get rid of their debts under Chapter 7, but some may still be able to do this if they have an income that is under the state’s median income level or they pass a means test. Just ask your Iowa bankruptcy lawyer what the rules are in the state.

If you want a quick and simple and relatively inexpensive way to declare bankruptcy, typically, Chapter 7 will do the trick. This process is there for married couples, partnerships, corporations and individuals. Truth be told, it is best for individuals with limited income and wages and don’t have many assets to protect from liquidation.

For Chapter 7, there is a court-appointed trustee assigned to your file to identify non-exempt assets, and liquidate them to pay your creditors. There are some instances in which you get to keep secured property, but only if you are able to negotiate new debt repayment terms.

Let us say you do not meet the criteria for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If that is the case, you might find Chapter 13 is a viable alternative. Under a Chapter 13 filing, you may keep your assets, avoid foreclosure on your house, stop creditor calls and repossessions and repay a portion of your debts with a restructured debt repayment plan within 3 to 5 years. A trustee is assigned under a Chapter 13 filing as well, who supervises the debt collection process and distribution of monthly payments.

It is important to know that not all of your debts are done away with under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings. Your Iowa bankruptcy lawyer will outline what you need to know. Debts you cannot discharge include maintenance for your spouse, child support, any debts owed to certain tax advantage retirement plans, debts acquired as a result of fraud or embezzlement, debts for malicious injury to another person or property, debts that are not laid out in a debt repayment plan, some types of taxes and personal debts for damages caused by a debtor who was DUI.

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

Posted on Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 and filed under Bankruptcy | Comments Off on Chapter 7 And Chapter 13 Are The Two Most Common Bankruptcy Filings .
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Call A Qualified Bankruptcy Lawyer When Finances Get Out Of Control

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Finances can get out of control for everyone; even the high rollers.

Even if you make money hand over fist, or made money with ease at one time, this isn’t to say that sometimes things happen and finances just get out of control. It happens; to everyone. Consider the story of a man who boasted that he was the world’s top, numero uno real estate agent. At one time, he supposedly had over $2.5 billion in sales over a six-year period. He declared bankruptcy. He was knee deep in the boom times of real estate and had everything a person could possibly want, and then the balloon popped.

The real estate mogul found himself over $50 million in debt and tried selling some of his assets, but only garnered roughly $2.4 million. It wasn’t much, but it was a start, and he thought maybe he could still make ends meet, until his wife filed for divorce. That was the end of his rope. The scenario happens to millions of Americans every day; the millions trying to get from point A to point B and survive.

Bankruptcy can and does happen to anyone. No one is immune when the conditions are right for financial collapse. Circumstances in a person’s life tend to dictate how things will go financially, and if someone is struggling with paying their bills and they lose their job, get ill and need extensive, expensive medical care or their spouse files for divorce, things can tank just about over night. It’s no one’s fault that these things happened; they just did, because that is life.

Another nugget of truth to take from this story is that the real estate market is still shaky, and there are hundreds of thousands of foreclosures making their way through the system, even as you read this article. What does the future look like? Who knows. What will happen, will happen. Those stuck in the middle of the morass can only ride it out and see what happens when the dust settles.

In 2010, foreclosures hit the 1.05 million mark. Twenty six percent of all the homes sold last year were foreclosures, and things are looking about the same for 2011. What’s scary is that nearly 2.9 million homeowners got foreclosure notices in 2010. There may be more in hot water this year, judging from the present state of the economy.

The fact is that the economy is bad and in tough times, things get rough. Riding it out is even tougher and many people may need to contemplate bankruptcy to see light at the end of the tunnel. For help figuring out what your options are, call an experience Iowa bankruptcy lawyer. Your finances could fall flat anytime, no matter who you are, what kind of education you have, whether or not you are making lots of money, or very little. Bankruptcy is the grand leveler of all who dare to stand in its way.

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

Posted on Friday, July 15th, 2011 and filed under Bankruptcy | Comments Off on Call A Qualified Bankruptcy Lawyer When Finances Get Out Of Control .
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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 https://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

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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 https://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 https://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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