Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer

At DebtPros, our bankruptcy attorneys are dedicated to helping you get the debt relief you deserve. Struggling with large amounts of debt can be overwhelming. However, filing for bankruptcy can offer you a fresh start. If you’re being harassed by creditors or facing foreclosure, repossession actions, or wage garnishments, contact a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer at DebtPros to regain control of your financial situation.

We have years of experience handling bankruptcy cases. We can assess your case and determine which chapter of bankruptcy is best suited for you: Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or any other applicable chapter.

Unlike other law firms, we provide personalized legal advice tailored to your needs. An attorney who initially evaluates your case will work closely with you throughout the entire case. Trust us to protect your finances and guide you through the complex bankruptcy process.

Explore Bankruptcy with DebtPros

Bankruptcy law helps regain financial stability, but filing a petition under it can be complex and confusing.

For example, you may find relief in Chapter 7 if you have unsecured debts, like credit card debt or medical bills. Others may benefit from Chapter 13, which reorganizes your debt into a more manageable repayment plan.

Our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys can guide you through the complexities of the process and help you make informed decisions about your financial future.

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy. It helps individuals and businesses wipe out their unsecured debt. It includes credit card balances, medical bills, personal loans, or any other debt not secured by collateral.

If you’re grappling with a mountain of debt, you are not alone. The average taxpayer in Chicago, IL, carries a debt burden of $41,900, ranking second highest in the U.S.

Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to eliminate these overwhelming unsecured debts and get a fresh start.

However, you must pass the means test to be eligible for it. 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 it. If it’s above, Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be a better option for you.

Filing for Chapter 7 offers several benefits:

  • The process is relatively short compared to other types of bankruptcy, typically taking only 4 to 6 months to complete.
  • It discharges most of your unsecured debts, and the law does not compel you to pay them.

What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often called a wage earner’s plan. If you have a stable income but are overwhelmed by debt and concerned about losing your assets, like your car or home, Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be a better choice.

It’s designed for people with a stable income who can repay their debts gradually over time. It 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 it, you must have enough income left after expenses to meet repayment plan obligations.

Chapter 13 offers several benefits:

  • It allows you to keep valuable assets that are at risk, like your car and property.
  • It creates a repayment plan based on your income and expenses, making it more manageable for you to repay your debts over time.
  • It protects you against the foreclosure or repossession of your assets as long as you make your scheduled payments.

By the end of the repayment plan, you’ll be in a stronger financial position as most of your debt will have been eliminated.

Our Process

Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys at DebtPros follow a systematic approach to ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your financial future. While every case is unique, here is a step-by-step guide on how the process typically goes:

Free Consultation

When you schedule a free consultation with our law firm, you can expect a confidential conversation where we learn about your financial situation and discuss your options for debt relief. We gather information about your income, expenses, debts, and assets.

After assessing your financial situation, our experienced bankruptcy attorney gives personalized advice on whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 is the best option for you.

Bankruptcy Counseling

Before filing for bankruptcy, you must take a credit counseling course. This course teaches crucial things about money management and the bankruptcy process. It's a legal requirement, and you must complete it with an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee in Illinois. We can take care of everything for you, including enrolling you in the classes, so all you have to do is attend the online classes.

Filing the Petition

Our skilled bankruptcy lawyers can handle all the paperwork, draft a petition, and submit it to the local bankruptcy court on your behalf. We will present your case effectively, so you can start a new chapter of your life, free from debt. We can also prepare this petition virtually, so you don't need to come to the office in person.

Automatic Stay

The moment our Chicago bankruptcy attorney files your bankruptcy case, an automatic stay comes into effect. It is like a shield that stops creditors from directly contacting you or staking a claim on your property. If creditors are harassing you or you're facing foreclosure, the automatic stay can provide immediate relief.

Meeting of Creditors

The meeting of creditors is also known as the 341 meeting. About a month after filing, you will attend a virtual meeting of creditors. In this meeting, you will meet the trustee and any creditors. You'll answer questions about your finances and the bankruptcy filing. To support you, your DebtPros attorney will also join this meeting and accompany you every step of the way.

Completion of a Financial Management Course

You must complete a financial management course to discharge your debt. It helps you navigate your finances moving forward and is a prerequisite for getting rid of your debt. These courses are available online, and DebtPros will make all the arrangements.

Debt Discharge or Reorganization Plan Approval

The final step depends on the type of bankruptcy you file for.

If you file for Chapter 7 and all goes well, the court will issue a discharge order. As a result, it will eliminate most of your unsecured debt. However, in some rare cases, there might be pending litigation objecting to discharge, which might impact the order.

If you file for Chapter 13, the court will approve your repayment plan if it meets the necessary criteria. As a result, you will get a chance to clear your debt over three to five years, allowing you to retain your assets while paying off your debts at a pace you can manage.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy

Can filing for bankruptcy stop a foreclosure?
Yes, it can. It might even give you up to five years to repay any mortgage arrears owed to the lender or mortgage company.
Can bankruptcy help me if I am behind on my house or car payments?
Yes, if you are behind on payments for things like your house, car, or student loans, bankruptcy can allow you to catch up. You can spread these payments over up to 60 monthly installments.
Our house is paid off, but our other debts are too much. My wages are being taken, and now we are being sued. Can I go bankrupt and still keep my house?
Yes, you can. Filing for bankruptcy can stop people who have won in court from taking your home, wages, or other things you own. It gives you the chance to sort out your money issues and keep your house.
Can bankruptcy stop the IRS or the Illinois Department of Revenue from collecting?
Yes. Bankruptcy stops all debt collection, including by the IRS and the Illinois Department of Revenue. Sometimes, Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can help eliminate interest, penalties, and old tax debt with IRS debt negotiation services.
I pledged my personal items to get a loan. Can I keep my stuff if I file for personal bankruptcy?
Yes, you can file bankruptcy on the loan, obtain debt relief, and still keep exempt property. However, this is only the case if you did not use the loan to buy the items you pledged.

If you have any other questions about the bankruptcy process in Chicago, feel free to get in touch with us.

Choose DebtPros to Claim Your Financial Freedom

We are a bankruptcy law firm led by John Wonais, a lifelong Chicago resident who knows and understands the city and its unique financial challenges.

We don't shy away from a fight. John Wonais, our lead attorney, proved this by taking a case against the City of Chicago to the United States Supreme Court.

With this level of dedication, we have helped many clients escape different types of debts.

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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