Bankruptcy

Home/Practice Areas/Bankruptcy

Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyers Providing Protection When Debts Overwhelm You

Helping Illinois business owners and residents understand the benefits of bankruptcy

When collectors won’t stop calling and the lawsuits start, it’s time to review your finances with an experienced debtor’s lawyer. Most people who get behind on their bills are honest, hard-working people who have experienced some misfortune. Many people who file for bankruptcy do so because they lost a job or needed surgery and the medical costs were just too much. Some people are going through a divorce and suddenly find that living alone is much more expensive than living together.

At Gainsberg Law, we understand how anxious and upsetting it can be to not be able to make your payments. Our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers review your finances and explain your options. There are two types of bankruptcies for the average individual. Chapter 7 is mainly for those who do not have many assets and who do not have secured debts. Debtors in Chapter 7 liquidate most of their debts. Chapter 13 is for debtors who want to save their assets, in particular – their home. We can help you determine which type is right for your situation. Bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of — it is specifically mentioned in the US Constitution as a form of financial relief. Bankruptcy is a way to get a fresh start.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy

To qualify for Chapter 7, debtors must pass a means test. The purpose of the test is to determine whether the debtor has enough money to pay off some of their bills. The test looks at the size of the debtor’s family and the average income for debtors from that family size in the geographical region where they live. Debtors whose income is below the median can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Debtors, with some exceptions, who have income above the median, must file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Most debtors pass the test.

In Chapter 7, the debtor lists of all his/her assets and debts, then attends a meeting before the trustee who verifies the debtor’s financial situation. The benefits of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are:

  • Automatic stay. As soon as the debtor files for Chapter 7, all collection actions and harassment must stop.
  • Debt liquidation. The debtor can generally eliminate the duty to pay most unsecured debts, such as credit cards and hospital bills. Some debts, such as school loans and child support, cannot be eliminated.
  • Personal exemptions. Federal and state exemption laws allow the debtor to protect some of his/her property from debtors as long as their value isn’t too high.
  • Reaffirmation agreement. Debtors can reaffirm some debts — especially if the debt is secured. A common example is an automobile. Many debtors finance their car by agreeing the finance company can repossess their car if they don’t pay the monthly payment. A reaffirmation allows the debtor the right to get rid of the other debts but keep the car, provided the car payments are made.

Chapter 7, from start to finish, takes about six months.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Chapter 13 is for people who do not pass the means test or who have secured assets. Secured assets means that the debtor gave some collateral to secure the monthly payments. The most common example is a mortgage.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor agrees to:

  • Pay the arrears on the secured debts by making monthly payments. The debtor agrees to pay the amount he/she is behind by spreading the arrears over a three- to five-year period.
  • Pay the current monthly, secured payments. The debtor who owns a home, for example, still pays the monthly payments during the three- to five-year period he/she is catching up on the arrears.
  • Pay a small portion of the unsecured debts. During the three- to five-year period, the debtor pays a small percentage of what’s due on the unsecured debts.

Like Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the filing of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy creates an automatic stay. The stay stops all credit activity.

Speak with a compassionate Chicago bankruptcy lawyer for answers and help

The Chicago bankruptcy lawyers at Gainsberg Law understand how upsetting it can be to deal with the daily stress of financial pressure. Sometimes we can help you avoid bankruptcy by renegotiating some of your debt. When you have to file bankruptcy, we guide you through the process. Most debtors who file bankruptcy do not go to a formal court hearing and many do not have to see their creditors — just a court-appointed trustee. Get that fresh start the law does provide you. Please call us at 312-313-1621 or complete our contact form to discuss your finances with an experienced attorney.

Free Case Evaluation

No-Obligation Case Review

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Chicago Injury Attorneys

Our Testimonials

M.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg represented me in a personal injury case after a vehicle struck a motorcycle that I was riding on. Neal made sure I understood my rights as an injured party, and that I was receiving the proper medical attention. He did a great job in negotiating a settlement with the insurance company and making sure all my medical bills were paid and that I was compensated for my injuries and loss time at work. I recommend Neal as a lawyer to anyone who unfortunately is injured in an accident."

M.S., Chicago, IL

2016-11-21T16:41:13+00:00

M.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg represented me in a personal injury case after a vehicle struck a motorcycle that I was riding on. Neal made sure I understood my rights as an injured party, and that I was receiving the proper medical attention. He did a great job in negotiating a settlement with the insurance company and making sure all my medical bills were paid and that I was compensated for my injuries and loss time at work. I recommend Neal as a lawyer to anyone who unfortunately is injured in an accident."

L.G., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg helped me obtain long-term disability benefits. The insurance company denied my claim and cutoff my benefits even though I was set for surgery and there was no way I could work. Neal collected my medical records and letters from my doctors and had my benefits reinstated. I have had no issues with the insurance company once I hired Neal."

L.G., Chicago, IL

2016-11-21T19:19:37+00:00

L.G., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg helped me obtain long-term disability benefits. The insurance company denied my claim and cutoff my benefits even though I was set for surgery and there was no way I could work. Neal collected my medical records and letters from my doctors and had my benefits reinstated. I have had no issues with the insurance company once I hired Neal."

K.R., Chicago, IL

"After my former lawyer refused to continue with my auto accident case, Neal Gainsberg took over the case, and he was able to obtain a settlement for the other driver’s policy limits. He was actively involved in my case, returned all my calls, and explained any issue that I had during the case. After I spoke with Neal, he was able to resolve any problems or issues. Neal provided exceptional representation against the insurance company for the other driver. Since Neal settled my case, I have recommended him to my family members and friends. If you have a legal issue, you should call Neal and hire him to be your attorney."

K.R., Chicago, IL

2016-11-21T19:21:53+00:00

K.R., Chicago, IL

"After my former lawyer refused to continue with my auto accident case, Neal Gainsberg took over the case, and he was able to obtain a settlement for the other driver’s policy limits. He was actively involved in my case, returned all my calls, and explained any issue that I had during the case. After I spoke with Neal, he was able to resolve any problems or issues. Neal provided exceptional representation against the insurance company for the other driver. Since Neal settled my case, I have recommended him to my family members and friends. If you have a legal issue, you should call Neal and hire him to be your attorney."

E.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg represented me in my Chapter 13 case. He knew all the details about bankruptcy and my case, explained everything to me in the beginning, made every issue easy to understand, and provided the help I needed during the five years of the plan. As a result of Neal’s legal assistance, I was able to make all my plan payments and get a fresh start. I highly recommend that anyone considering bankruptcy to give Neal a call."

E.S., Chicago, IL

2016-11-21T19:22:30+00:00

E.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg represented me in my Chapter 13 case. He knew all the details about bankruptcy and my case, explained everything to me in the beginning, made every issue easy to understand, and provided the help I needed during the five years of the plan. As a result of Neal’s legal assistance, I was able to make all my plan payments and get a fresh start. I highly recommend that anyone considering bankruptcy to give Neal a call."

J.T., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg was a great lawyer. He represented me at a small claims trial and obtained a great result. Neal was there for me and answered all my questions even though my case was not that large."

J.T., Chicago, IL

2016-11-21T19:21:23+00:00

J.T., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg was a great lawyer. He represented me at a small claims trial and obtained a great result. Neal was there for me and answered all my questions even though my case was not that large."

N.S., D.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg was our lawyer in a car accident case. We were both injured in addition to our 16 month old daughter. Even though the other driver ran the red light and we had witnesses of her illegal conduct, her insurance company at first denied our claim and said it was our fault. We hired Neal and he fought the insurance company hard. Without having to go to court, he was able to convince the insurance company that it was their driver’s fault. Neal got a great settlement for us and our child within three months of the accident. We were very happy with Neal, he kept us informed about everything, and eased our stress from the accident. If you want an excellent car accident attorney, you need to hire Neal!"

N.S., D.S., Chicago, IL

2016-11-21T19:33:43+00:00

N.S., D.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg was our lawyer in a car accident case. We were both injured in addition to our 16 month old daughter. Even though the other driver ran the red light and we had witnesses of her illegal conduct, her insurance company at first denied our claim and said it was our fault. We hired Neal and he fought the insurance company hard. Without having to go to court, he was able to convince the insurance company that it was their driver’s fault. Neal got a great settlement for us and our child within three months of the accident. We were very happy with Neal, he kept us informed about everything, and eased our stress from the accident. If you want an excellent car accident attorney, you need to hire Neal!"

J.O., Indiana

"Neal Gainsberg at first represented me in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case. He explained everything to me and developed a payment plan that I could afford. Whenever I had any questions, Neal responded quickly to any emails or phone calls. Unfortunately, I lost income during my plan, and Neal recommended that I convert the case to a Chapter 7 case. Despite my worries about my finances, Neal made everything easy for me, converted the case, and made sure that I received a fresh start. Neal was very knowledgeable about bankruptcy law, and I highly recommend him as a bankruptcy lawyer."

J.O., Indiana

2016-11-21T16:42:07+00:00

J.O., Indiana

"Neal Gainsberg at first represented me in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case. He explained everything to me and developed a payment plan that I could afford. Whenever I had any questions, Neal responded quickly to any emails or phone calls. Unfortunately, I lost income during my plan, and Neal recommended that I convert the case to a Chapter 7 case. Despite my worries about my finances, Neal made everything easy for me, converted the case, and made sure that I received a fresh start. Neal was very knowledgeable about bankruptcy law, and I highly recommend him as a bankruptcy lawyer."

V.S.G. and M.G., Richton Park, IL

"Neal is a great attorney. He helped us with several legal issues, including obtaining a large settlement for us following a car accident. He worked very hard on our case from the start, answered all our phone calls and questions, and kept us continually updated. Since then, we have used Neal for other civil matters. We have known Neal for over 13 years, and call him whenever we have a legal question. We know Neal will be there to help us."

V.S.G. and M.G., Richton Park, IL

2016-11-21T19:25:43+00:00

V.S.G. and M.G., Richton Park, IL

"Neal is a great attorney. He helped us with several legal issues, including obtaining a large settlement for us following a car accident. He worked very hard on our case from the start, answered all our phone calls and questions, and kept us continually updated. Since then, we have used Neal for other civil matters. We have known Neal for over 13 years, and call him whenever we have a legal question. We know Neal will be there to help us."

L.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg was an excellent attorney. He explained everything to me and made the process very easy. He was available to answer any questions and provided the help and representation that I needed. I would use Neal again if I had another legal issue. I urge anyone who is looking for a lawyer to call Neal."

L.S., Chicago, IL

2016-11-21T19:24:30+00:00

L.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg was an excellent attorney. He explained everything to me and made the process very easy. He was available to answer any questions and provided the help and representation that I needed. I would use Neal again if I had another legal issue. I urge anyone who is looking for a lawyer to call Neal."

R.P., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg is a smart and an aggressive lawyer. He did a great job on my case. He helped me with a money dispute with a former friend and obtained a judgment for me. Neal listened and paid attention to any question I had, answered my calls right away, and was there for me at every point during the case. He knew exactly what to do in court. If you are looking to get compensation, I highly recommend that you hire Neal."

R.P., Chicago, IL

2016-11-21T19:35:21+00:00

R.P., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg is a smart and an aggressive lawyer. He did a great job on my case. He helped me with a money dispute with a former friend and obtained a judgment for me. Neal listened and paid attention to any question I had, answered my calls right away, and was there for me at every point during the case. He knew exactly what to do in court. If you are looking to get compensation, I highly recommend that you hire Neal."

M.T.G., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg took my personal injury claim against large store after I fell on water and injured my knee and back. The store employees disputed that anything happened and the manager accused me and my son, who witnessed the fall, of making it up. Neal brought a lawsuit against the store, took several depositions of the store employees, and obtained a great settlement for me and my family. Neal fought hard on my case, and I was very pleased with the results."

M.T.G., Chicago, IL

2016-11-21T19:18:57+00:00

M.T.G., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg took my personal injury claim against large store after I fell on water and injured my knee and back. The store employees disputed that anything happened and the manager accused me and my son, who witnessed the fall, of making it up. Neal brought a lawsuit against the store, took several depositions of the store employees, and obtained a great settlement for me and my family. Neal fought hard on my case, and I was very pleased with the results."
Chicago BarIllinois BarYelpAvvoBBB
Text Us312-313-1621