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Know the potential drawbacks of Chapter 13 bankruptcy

There are many people who believe they don't qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy because of their income or assets. However, as you learn more, you may soon come to find that you qualify to move forward.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is meant for people who are willing to repay some or all of their debt through a repayment plan. With a zero percent plan that stretches over the course of three to five years, you are given the opportunity to pay down your debt to start fresh in the future.

Illinois family law and factors for non-parent visitation

A common issue in dispute in Illinois family law is visitation of children for people who are not the parents. This delves into the delicate family law issues surrounding grandparents' rights, siblings' ability to visit and stepparents' rights, among others. The law has certain criteria when it decides if visitation should be granted to a non-parent. The guardian of the child and the prospective visitor must understand these laws if they are moving forward with a case to have visitation.

The court will consider what the child wants. This is contingent on the child's maturity level and the ability to make a reasonable case and independently express a preference regarding visitation. The child's mental and physical health are paramount with a custody dispute and it is the same with visitation. If the health will be benefitted from the visitation rights, there is a chance it will be granted; if not, it might be denied. The mental and physical health of the prospective visitor will be considered.

Estate planning and accounting for digital assets

Drafting estate planning documents in Illinois is something that everyone must consider. Numerous family disputes have erupted over the failure to take out these essential documents. However, for those who do take the time and follow the necessary steps to adequately plan, it is easy to forget certain aspects. While there are certain aspects such as a home, bank accounts and other assets that will come to the forefront, that does not mean other issues should be ignored. One such issue is digital assets.

Included in digital assets are online accounts. These might have photographs, videos, email accounts, social media and more. When a person dies, these could be left completely up in the air. The family members might not have access to them. For social media, that might not be a major problem, but for certain digital areas in which money and property - physical and intellectual - was involved, it is something that can cost the family.

What are some illegal tactics used in unfair debt collection?

Illinois residents who are having financial problems are frequently concerned not just about the debt itself, but the strategies that debt collectors might use to try and collect. Unscrupulous collections companies will frequently partake in unfair debt collection tactics and commit other acts that violate federal law. They are aware of what they are doing and how their behavior brushes up against or openly violates the consumer's rights, but do it anyway. Having legal protection is vital to making this stop.

Debt collectors are not allowed to harass debtors. Harassment can include threatening violence or harm if the debt is not paid; publishing the names of people who are not paying their debts; use abusive, profane or obscene language; or continually call as a means of annoyance. They cannot make false statements. The collectors are not allowed to lie when they are calling about a debt. This includes not being allowed to say they are legal professionals or represent the government if they do not, allege that the debtor has committed a crime, say they work for a credit reporting company, be inaccurate about how much is owed, claim they sent the debtor legal papers when they did not or say papers are not legal forms if they are.

Robocalls are irritating and might be illegal

Consumers shouldn't be bothered by robocalls and other automatic telemarketing phone calls. When these calls do occur, there is a chance that they are in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. This act provides consumers with specific protections against these annoying calls.

If you are getting a host of robocalls, you are probably getting frustrated. You may have already entered your phone number on the do-not-call list. You might have even started blocking the numbers from being able to contact you on your cellphone. Yet, they continue to call. You don't have to just sit back and deal with this annoying situation. Instead, you can take legal action.

Proposed law will help incarcerated parents with child support

A common problem in a dispute over child support in Illinois is if a supporting parent fails to make the payments on time and in full for any reason. Delinquent child support is a constant issue that can result in a litany of penalties including jail time. There is rampant disagreement as to whether putting a supporting parent in jail is an actual deterrent and does any good. Another issue is if the father is in jail for another reason, should the child support be ongoing even if he has no means of paying it while incarcerated?

For example, if the parent is incarcerated and cannot work, the question could be asked as to how this is helping the child. One state lawmaker has examined this matter and is trying to change the law. The issue stems from men who are incarcerated and forced to pay child support during that time. When they are finally released they have nothing left. The goal on the part of the lawmaker is to put child support on hold while they are in jail.

How does the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process work?

When an Illinois resident's financial challenges have reached the level at which he or she is considering filing for bankruptcy, the circumstances will dictate which chapter is the best one for them. When the decision is made that Chapter 7 bankruptcy fits the criteria, they will often have questions as to how the entire process works. Understanding this is imperative to having the case go according to plan.

With Chapter 7, the debtor files a petition with the bankruptcy court. It is necessary to file: the schedule of assets and liabilities; a schedule of current income and spending; a statement detailing the financial affairs; and a schedule of unexpired leases and executory contracts. The trustee in the case must receive a copy of the most recent tax returns while the case is in process. If the debts are primarily consumer-related, it is necessary to file a certificate that a credit counseling course was taken. Evidence of income from employers must be filed within 60 days before the filing. A record of interest the debtor might have in education or tuition accounts must be given to the trustee.

How is child support calculated in Illinois?

Sometimes the most basic family law issues in Illinois are the most confusing and complicated. Child support and the amount that is ordered to be paid is a situation that is frequently problematic for the supporting parent and the custodial parent. Understanding how child support is calculated is imperative. The amount that is to be paid is contingent on the net income of the noncustodial parent and the number of children he or she has.

There are basic percentages that are used. With one child, it is 20 percent of the noncustodial parent's net income. With two, it is 28 percent. With three, it is 32 percent. Four children will come to 40 percent. Five children will be 45 percent. And six or more children will be 50 percent. There are variables with every case. If the court finds that the amount that the guidelines suggest is inappropriate based on the child's best interests, it can be changed.

What are the advantages of Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Contrary to popular misconceptions, considering bankruptcy is not a personal failure, nor is it an attempt to avoid one's responsibility. Illinois residents might have accrued overwhelming debt for a variety of reasons and see no way out of their predicament. Fortunately, filing for bankruptcy is a viable alternative that is perfectly legal and has helped an endless array of people get on better financial footing and move forward with their lives. A prior post discussed who can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This post will center on Chapter 13's advantages.

Chapter 13 lets those who have a consistent income file and pay back their debts over time. It is often viewed as preferable to other forms of bankruptcy, such as Chapter 7, because it lets them salvage a home from being foreclosed upon. When filing for Chapter 13, the foreclosure proceeding can stop and, as time passes, delinquent mortgage payments can be rectified. Regardless, it is still required to make the mortgage payments as they come due and they must be paid on time.

What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) sets a standard for debt collectors. These standards also come with specific penalties for debt collectors who choose not to follow the guidelines set forth in the act.

If you are drowning in debt, the phone calls from debt collectors might be the bane of your existence. You don't have to live with having to field these calls all day and all night. You should learn about the protections and guidelines in the FDCPA so that you can invoke them and take action when necessary.

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