Bankruptcy Doesn't Need To Be Stressful
Scroll Down

Grayslake Real Estate And Bankruptcy Law Blog

The top 5 things to do after your bankruptcy

At the Law Office of Paul R. Idlas in Illinois, we help people like you file bankruptcy so as to get out from under overwhelming debt. But once your bankruptcy period ends, you may think the first thing you should do is reestablish your credit.

While important, getting a new credit card is not the first thing you should do in your post-bankruptcy life. Instead, you should do the following five things to establish and maintain your new financially responsible status.

Even with protective laws, payday loans can be a trap

You may have been tempted before to apply for a payday loan. After all, the ads promise quick, easy money without having to have good credit. However, as we at the Law Office of Paul R. Idlas know, payday loans often lure unsuspecting borrowers in like a spider catches a fly. You and other Illinois residents should understand what these potentially predatory loans entail.

The payday loan concept is a simple one. You walk into one of the welcoming locations or apply online, and in minutes you can have several hundred dollars deposited into your checking account, provided you agree to repay the loan on your next payday. However, there’s a catch. The loan must be repaid in full, and the interest rate is usually astronomical. Since many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of borrowing money from a payday lender every paycheck just to stay out of the red – and keep paying the outrageous fees.

What do you need to know about a short sale before you buy?

When a homeowner in Illinois cannot continue to make payments on the property, and the lender gives permission, he or she may sell the house for less than the amount owed to the mortgage company. In this case, you may be able to purchase the real estate for a very low price. 

However, it is a bad idea to assume that you are getting a good deal just because it appears that the house is selling for far less than fair market value. According to Bankrate, there are several common mistakes people make when they purchase a short sale house. Here is how to avoid them.

Making the most of the holidays during bankruptcy

The holidays can be a time of family and great joy. It can also be a time of great spending. For those in the process of a bankruptcy, this can pose an issue.

Whether you are currently undergoing a bankruptcy or contemplating it, having a plan may help to put your mind at ease. There are a few things you can do that may aid you in making the most of the holidays during the bankruptcy process.

What are you legally required to disclose when selling your home?

As someone who is currently in the process of placing your Illinois home on the market, you may be learning as you go and discovering something new at every turn. If you are like many home sellers who are navigating their way through today’s housing market, you may also have questions about what, exactly, the law requires that you disclose to potential buyers.

According to Forbes, failing to disclose something about your home when the law requires that you do so can come back to bite you in a big way, and it can lead to substantial financial and, potentially, even legal, hardship. Thus, it is critical that you recognize the types of matters and details you have to disclose when selling your home, and you must do so even if the disclosures might make it more difficult to find a buyer.

Will bankruptcy cover my student loans?

Like a vast number of Americans, you might have student loan debt that is crushing you. However, you may have heard that your student loans can’t be discharged through bankruptcy. Is this true, and if so, what can you and other Illinois residents do to relieve this financial burden?

As the U.S. Department of Education explains, you cannot get rid of your federal student loans through bankruptcy. This news can be very discouraging if you have significant student loan debt. However, before you despair, you may want to take note of the following points:

  • In rare cases, federal student loans may be forgiven for those who suffer a catastrophic injury or illness that leaves them unable to work due to a permanent disability.
  • You may gain some relief from your federal student loan debt if you worked as a teacher or in a public service government position for a certain period of time.
  • You may not be able to eliminate your student loan debt through bankruptcy, but a personal bankruptcy could free some of your resources to make your student loan payments easier to bear.

Is your homeowners’ association unreasonable?

As you may know, homeowners’ associations, or HOAs, exist to preserve the image and property value of the homes under the association’s jurisdiction. However, many Illinois homeowners resent their HOAs, saying the organizations exert excessive control, unreasonable demands and outrageous fines and penalties against homeowners.

As Realtor.com explains, HOAs can be useful if they keep your neighbor from letting weeds grow on his property and becoming an unsightly mess, or if they don’t allow outlandish decorations like a giant sports team flag tacked to the garage door or Christmas decorations on the lawn well past the holiday season. On the other hand, some HOA board members take things to the extreme by fining or filing lawsuits against residents or even kicking them out of condos for such trivial offenses as the following:

  • Having a dead lawn during a drought in which water restrictions are in place
  • Installing landscaping or yard decorations without getting approval from the board
  • Parking in one’s own driveway
  • Making improvements on a house or painting before gaining board approval
  • Having a pet that is slightly larger than the size restrictions imposed on pets
  • Imposing restrictions on landscaping or parking but exempting themselves from the same restrictions

Why gray bankruptcy is on the rise

At the Law Office of Paul R. Idlas in Illinois, we have noticed that more and more of the people who come to us for help in filing bankruptcy are senior citizens. Even the New York Times has reported on this new “gray bankruptcy” phenomenon, reporting that seniors like you now represent 12.2 percent of all bankruptcy filers whereas you represented only 2.1 percent in 1991.

Unfortunately, a number of factors have coalesced into a perfect storm that often prevents your senior years from being your golden years, including the following:

  • Longer waits for Social Security benefits
  • Skyrocketing medical costs
  • Medicare coverage gaps
  • Extensive debt
  • Little or no savings

How divorce and bankruptcy are related

Divorce is an extremely difficult life situation to face, with emotional as well as financial stresses. In fact, the financial impact of a divorce can sometimes be so severe that it leads to the necessity of filing for bankruptcy.

While not all divorces necessarily end up in bankruptcy filings, there is a significant number of people who do end up having to file for bankruptcy due to the financial hardship brought on post-divorce. Here is some more information about how divorce can sometimes lead to the need for a bankruptcy filing, and ways to mitigate the situation where possible:

How do Americans feel about their personal debt?

If you are an Illinois resident who believes your household has never fully recovered from the 2009 financial crash, you are not alone. Despite frequent news reports of an economic recovery, many people across the nation have failed to feel its effects. If you are one of them, your amount of debt likely has increased in the past decade while your salary or wages have not kept pace.

Surprisingly enough, however, the results of a recent survey reported by Discover.com, show that while 80 percent of Americans reported having at least one type of debt, the majority of them do not think that they have too much debt. The figures break down as follows:

  • Only 40 percent of survey responders believe they have too much debt, with 47 percent of these between the ages of 35-54.
  • Only 43 percent of responders making less than $25,000 annually believe they have too much debt; the figure decreases to 34 percent for those making more than $75,000 annually.
  • The percentages split almost evenly between those with a high school education or less and those with a college or higher degree; 39 percent of the former believe they have too much debt, and 38 percent of the latter express the same opinion about their own debt.
  • Of the people who believe they have too much debt, however, only 18 percent of them are happy about their personal financial situation.
Email Us For A Response

Tell us more About Your Legal Issue

* Bold labels are required.

Your initial attorney consultation is free of charge. I also offer payment plans to qualified clients.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Address

1099 North Corporate Circle
2nd Floor
Grayslake, IL 60030

Phone: 847-986-8862
Fax: 847-223-5583
Grayslake Law Office Map

Office Number

Review Us