As a Hickory Hills bankruptcy attorney, I have seen the long arm ability of the trustee come into play more than once. For example, if you give away or sell something for less than its fair market value, the trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case has the ability to undo that transaction. This is known as long arming the property back into the bankruptcy estate for distribution to creditors. If a person repays a family member or a friend within a certain number of days prior to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the Chapter 7 trustee can also undo that transaction and put that back into the bankruptcy estate for the distribution to creditors.
These and other mistakes are mistakes that people make because they do things prior to seeking counsel under the bankruptcy law. If you come see me, I will guarantee you that you will leave my office with a ton of information. You will know more about bankruptcy than you ever thought you would. You will know more about Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 and the different types of bankruptcy than you ever thought you would. It may be the first time that you actually sat down with the professional and went over your budget. It may be the first time you actually calculated what you make per month and what you spend per month. And maybe the first time that you actually realized what your house is worth versus what you owe on your house.
It is only after you meet with the professional bankruptcy lawyer that you will get the knowledge that you need to make an educated, informed decision on whether or not filing bankruptcy is the right thing to do for you. There are so many people that struggle year after year after year without filing for bankruptcy. They make minimum payments on their credit cards. They sacrifice and they struggle and may cause stress on themselves and they don’t realize that the advice is out there for them; they just have to ask for it.
Many people come to see me and they don’t make the decision to claim bankruptcy and that’s fine. Many people come to see me and they realize they at least have that option available to them should they not be able to function in society without filing bankruptcy. For example, someone might think everything is fine and that they can deal with it; just because the creditor is coming after them, it’s no big deal. However, several months later, if that creditor actually gets a judgment against the debtor, things could change very quickly. Wages can be garnished in the state of Illinois up to 15% of their net take-home pay. 15% coming out of your paycheck is a significant amount of money when you are struggling to get by.