Bankruptcy cases are prevalent in the major, U.S. cities. You can easily find an Indian Head Park bankruptcy lawyer close to home. Chicago, Illinois is no exception to that rule. If you reside within the State of Illinois for at least 91 days prior to filing for bankruptcy, then you will technically have an Illinois bankruptcy case. You may not have your case heard in Chicago; however, the property laws of the State of Illinois will govern what you can protect from creditors. Those property laws provide for specific exemptions of which creditors cannot attach. For home owners, the Illinois exemption is $15,000.00 per person. Thus, a married couple, filing jointly, can protect up to $30,000.00 worth of equity in their primary residence.
Even if you file bankruptcy yourself, you are still entitled to the exemptions provided for under Illinois law. Let’s examine some of those dollar amounts with respect to personal property. Illinois provides for a $4,000.00 catch-all exemptions which can be applied toward any personal property. Household goods are one such item where the catch-all exemption applies. Another personal property item is a vehicle. Illinois law allows for an exemption of $2,400.00 per one vehicle. A married couple filing jointly can stack the auto exemption to protect up to $4,800.00 of equity in a single vehicle. Other items such as normal apparel and workman’s compensation awards provided there is no third party claims are completely protectable.
Under the current court configuration, anyone who lives in Chicago will be deemed to have filed a Chicago bankruptcy. The Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court keeps statistics on where the case filings derive. They separate the filings in Chicago for statistical purposes from the overall case filings had in the Northern District of Illinois. The overwhelming majority of cases within the Northern District of Illinois are filed by Chicago debtors. Now other debtors who live outside of Chicago may actually appear in a Chicago court house. This is due to the court system configuration on 341 meetings and court appearances. In Chicago, it is impossible to predict which Trustee will be assigned to a case due to the volume of Chapter 7 Trustees.
If you are a creditor and receive a bankruptcy notice, you may want to file a proof of claim bankruptcy. By filing a proof of claim, you may be entitled to a distribution should the debtor reorganize under Chapter 13. The amount to be received and the time in which to receive payment depend upon a number of factors. One factor is the amount being paid each month by the debtor to the Trustee and the other is where the individual creditor falls in the payment hierarchy. Secured creditors are typically paid before unsecured creditors ever see a dime.