Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer

At DebtPros, our bankruptcy attorneys are dedicated to helping you get the debt relief you deserve. Whether you are constantly being harassed by creditors, struggling to make ends meet, facing foreclosure, repossession, or a wage garnishment, filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the best option for you. Doing so offers you breathing room from your creditors and a fresh start – no more debt, no more creditors harassing you. As experienced bankruptcy lawyers in Chicago, we will extensively review your unique financial situation and advise you on which bankruptcy is right for you.

Unlike at larger law firms, we at DebtPros provide personalized legal representation; your case will never be handed off to a paralegal or staff member, and the same attorney you initially meet with will handle your case from start to finish. To us you are not just another case number but a person in need of help. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, call now for a free consultation.

Explore Bankruptcy with DebtPros

Bankruptcy, though a powerful tool, is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some may find relief in Chapter 7, designed to eliminate certain unsecured debts like credit cards and medical bills. Others may benefit from Chapter 13, which reorganizes your debt into manageable repayment plans.

At DebtPros, we are a close-knit team of dedicated bankruptcy attorneys led by John Wonais, a lifelong Chicago resident who knows and understands the city and its unique financial challenges. So, when you’re stuck under the weight of debts, facing harassing calls from creditors, and worrying about losing your home or car – we offer a lifeline.

In addition to having your back, we don’t shy away from a fight. Bankruptcy attorney John Wonais has proven this by taking a case against the City of Chicago to the Supreme Court of the United States. It’s this level of dedication and determination that we bring to every case we handle. Under John’s leadership, we have successfully helped clients escape the chains of:

  • Business debt
  • Credit card debt
  • Wage garnishments
  • Payday loans
  • Parking fines
  • Tax liabilities
  • Medical bills
  • Vehicle repossessions
  • And much more!

In addition to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, our bankruptcy lawyers also specialize in foreclosures, loan modifications, and debt restructuring and resolution in Chicago, IL.

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Do you find yourself grappling with a mountain of debt, feeling overwhelmed with no clear way out?  You are not alone – at an average of $41,900, the debt burden per taxpayer in Chicago holds the second highest position across the U.S. Fortunately, this is where Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as ‘liquidation bankruptcy,’ is designed to help individuals and businesses wipe out their unsecured debts. Unsecured debts include credit card bills, medical expenses, and personal loans, which don’t have any collateral tied to them.

To be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass the ‘means test.’ This test compares your income with the median income for a household of your size in Illinois. If your income is below the median, you may qualify for Chapter 7. If it’s above, other options like Chapter 13 bankruptcy might better fit you.

Filing for Chapter 7 offers several benefits:

  • It is generally quicker than other types of bankruptcy; you can complete the process in 4 to 6 months.
  • Once it is completed, most of your unsecured debts are discharged, i.e., you’re no longer obligated to pay them.
  • As soon as you file for Chapter 7, an automatic stay is put into effect, and creditors must immediately stop collection efforts, including harassing phone calls and wage garnishments.
  • It’s a chance to start over from scratch as you can reset your financial life and work toward a future free of debt.

What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Feeling swamped by debt but still have a regular income? You might be considering bankruptcy but worried about losing your assets, like your home or car. If so, Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be the answer you’re looking for.

Chapter 13, often called a ‘wage earner’s plan,’ is a form of bankruptcy designed for people with a steady income who can pay back some of their debts over time. Unlike Chapter 7, which wipes out your qualifying debts altogether, Chapter 13 allows you to create a payment plan to repay your debts (or a portion of them) over three to five years. To be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient income, after expenses, to pay your repayment plan.

Here are some of the benefits of filing for Chapter 13 in Chicago:

  • It allows you to keep valuable assets, like your car and property, while you make payments.
  • It lets you create a repayment plan that fits your budget; your monthly payments are based on your income, expenses, and types of debt.
  • If you stick to your repayment plan, creditors can’t start or continue foreclosure actions, repossessions, or wage garnishments.
  • At the end of your repayment period, many of your remaining debts will be discharged, giving you a fresh financial start.

Our Process

Our experienced bankruptcy attorney at DebtPros will follow a systematic approach to ensure your bankruptcy process is handled efficiently. While every case is unique, here is a step-by-step guide on how the process typically goes:

Free consultation: When you schedule your free consultation with us, think of it as a confidential conversation where we get to understand your financial situation. For instance, you might be a business owner struggling with cash flow issues due to the recent economic downturn or someone struggling to pay exorbitant medical bills. Regardless of your unique situation, our experienced bankruptcy attorneys will provide no-judgment insight into potential solutions.

Bankruptcy counseling: Before filing for bankruptcy, you need to complete a credit counseling course to learn valuable information about managing finances and the bankruptcy process. It's a legal requirement and must be completed with an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee in Illinois. We will handle your enrollment, so all you’d need to do is attend the classes, which are available online.

Filing the petition: Armed with the right information and strategy, we will prepare and file your bankruptcy petition. This is like applying for a new start. We handle all the paperwork on your behalf and submit it to the local bankruptcy court. We can also prepare the petition virtually so no need to ever come to the office in person. 

Automatic stay: The moment our Chicago bankruptcy attorney files your bankruptcy case, an 'automatic stay' comes into effect. This is like a shield stopping your creditors from making direct contact with you or staking a claim on your property. If you are being harassed by creditors or facing foreclosure, the automatic stay will provide immediate relief.

Meeting of creditors: About a month after filing, you will attend a virtual meeting of creditors (341 meeting). Your DebtPros attorney will accompany you every step of the way. It is where you, your DebtPros attorney, the trustee, and any creditors who want to attend will meet. You will answer questions about your financial situation and the bankruptcy forms – it's a transparent process ensuring all parties are on the same page.

Completion of a financial management course: Before your debts can be discharged, you must complete a financial management course. It helps you navigate your finances moving forward and is a prerequisite for debt discharge. These courses are available online, and DebtPros will make all the arrangements.

Debt discharge or reorganization plan approval: The final step varies based on the bankruptcy chapter filed. If it's Chapter 7, and all goes well, the court will issue a discharge order (not debt discharge)'debt discharge,' freeing you from unsecured debts. In Chapter 13, the court will confirm your 'repayment plan' – a structured payment schedule allowing you to clear your debts over 3–5 years. This allows you to retain your assets while paying off your debts at a pace you can manage.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy

Can I File Bankruptcy Again if I Previously Filed One?
If you previously filed a bankruptcy and received a discharge, you may be prohibited from filing a subsequent one. For instance, if you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and received a discharge, you cannot file another Chapter 7 bankruptcy 8 years from filing the previous one. However, you can file a subsequent Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but may not be eligible for a discharge.
Can I Get Credit Again?
Research shows you will be more likely to get credit after you have filed bankruptcy than if you do not file at all. This is because bankruptcy removes the debts you cannot afford to pay allowing you to be in a better position to take on more credit and pay off your obligations on time. Having less debt to pay makes you look more appealing to lenders.
How Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit?
In general, bankruptcy might slightly affect your credit score. Most of the time, it will not substantially impair your score and if you are filing for bankruptcy chances are you already have a low credit score. Typically, within six months to a year after filing, your credit score will start to increase. For quicker credit repair, it is best to get a secured credit card and make sure to pay the full amount owed each month.
How Will Bankruptcy Affect My Job?
It is against the law for an employer to fire or discriminate against an employee because the employee filed for bankruptcy. This includes being demoted, removed from any responsibilities, or receiving a reduced salary due to the bankruptcy filing. If an employer violates this law and discriminates or fires you, they will suffer the consequences of such action(s).
What is a Bankruptcy Discharge?
A bankruptcy discharge relieves you of personal liability on certain types of debt. This means, once your case is over and you receive a discharge, you no longer owe any creditors money for debt that was discharged. Discharge orders are permanent, and they prohibit creditors from taking any action to collect on discharged debts, including reporting a balance owed on your credit report.
What is Secured Versus Unsecured Debt?
Secured debt is debt that is tied to your property with the creditor possessing a “lien” on such property. Conversely, unsecured debt is not tied to any property. The most common examples of secured debt include mortgages and car loans, whereas the most common examples of unsecured debt include credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans.
Will I Be Able to Buy a Car or House if I File Bankruptcy?
After your meeting of creditors occurs (about a month after the case is filed), you can start looking for a new car if a lender is willing to lend to you. There are many car finance companies that lend to people right out of bankruptcy or after the meeting of creditors and will sometimes need court approval. The same goes for purchasing a house and finding a lender willing to give you a mortgage.

Choose DebtPros to Claim Your Financial Freedom

When you are in a financial bind, every moment counts. That's why we at DebtPros are committed to helping our clients find their way out of tough financial situations as quickly as possible. It might surprise you, but many of our clients are back on solid ground in just a day!

So, how do we do it? We have worked hard to streamline our process to cut through all the red tape and get your bankruptcy petition filed promptly. When we are on your case, your journey to financial recovery takes off at full speed. We will handle the following:

  • Helping you determine which bankruptcy is right for you
  • Gathering your tax returns and proof of income
  • Compiling all necessary documentation for filing
  • Preparing and filing your petition 
  • Providing representation at all court proceedings
  • Defending against any creditor objections

Our proven and resourceful attorneys with deep domain expertise in bankruptcy law will use the skills and connections they have cultivated over the years to move your case forward quickly while paying attention to every detail.

Call DebtPros today at (312) 883-5422 or contact us online to request a free consultation and start wiping your debt slate clean.


Meet John Wonais

Attorney John Peter Wonais is the founder of Wonais Law, LLC, D/B/A DebtPros. Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, John understands the unique challenges people face in Chicago and has a deep-rooted passion for protecting the...

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I am honored to provide such a financial relief feedback for this amazing blessing whose name is Atty. Wonais. There is so much I could share endlessly about his superb knowledge and service that he offered me as his...

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I was referred to them, and this has been the best decision I have ever made. I never been this confident in a person like I am with John. He heard my needs and wants, he made it possible to give me that. Excellent...

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This office and staff was amazing. I was referred to John from my best friend and as soon as I reached out he was very prompt on getting back to me and helping. From start to finish the process was amazing stress free...

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So one night I went online looking for advice on google and John came up and I called him on the weekend late evening and he happened to answered which was awesome. John helped me out with my situation he gave me amazing...


John took me on as a client with no problem. He was very understanding, passionate, helpful and available every step of the way. Trust me I am a very happy client, I definitely recommend John.

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John did a wonderful and seamless job with my case-he handled everything properly and was very timely in all of his communication. He is professional and reliable. I would highly recommend him to anyone who may have to...

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