Filing for Bankruptcy in Illinois


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If your creditors send you harassing letters or phone calls, and you are unable to afford monthly payments on your debt, it may be in your best interest to file for bankruptcy in Illinois. Filing for bankruptcy in Illinois has many benefits, including the protection of the automatic stay. However, consider contacting an experienced bankruptcy attorney before filing for bankruptcy in Illinois.

Automatic Stay
Immediately after you file your bankruptcy petition with the bankruptcy clerk, the automatic stay will go into effect. The automatic stay prevents creditors from contacting you directly. Instead, your creditors must communicate with you through your bankruptcy trustee or your Illinois bankruptcy attorney. The clerk will notify all the creditors named in your bankruptcy filing that you have filed for bankruptcy, and that they must recognize the protection of the automatic stay. In addition, violation of the automatic stay can result in serious consequences for a creditor. For example, if a creditor causes actual harm to you by violating the automatic stay, you may be entitled to damages to compensate you for the harm. However, the creditor must knowingly violate the automatic stay. In other words, if the creditor did not receive notice that you filed for bankruptcy, the creditor will not be liable for any resulting harm.

Meeting of the Creditors
About 6 weeks after you file for bankruptcy in Illinois, you will attend the meeting of the creditors, or the Section 341 meeting. The meeting of the creditors is held at the bankruptcy court, in your bankruptcy trustee’s hearing room. Generally, the meeting is informal, and lasts between 10 and 15 minutes. The meeting is an opportunity for the bankruptcy trustee to ask you questions about your bankruptcy petition and schedules, and your current financial situation. For example, the bankruptcy trustee may ask questions about your assets to try and determine whether additional assets exist that can be included as part of your bankruptcy estate. During the meeting you will be under oath, and must answer all questions truthfully and completely. In addition, your creditors will receive notice of the meeting and may ask you questions after the bankruptcy trustee has completed her questioning of you. However, few creditors rarely appear at the meeting.

Bankruptcy Discharge
Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Illinois will determine when you receive a bankruptcy discharge. For example, most Chapter 7 petitioners receive notice of the bankruptcy discharge about 3 to 4 months after they file for bankruptcy. However, if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Illinois, you will not receive a bankruptcy discharge until you complete your repayment plan. Most repayment plans last between 3 to 5 years. In addition, to receive a Chapter 13 discharge, you must make all payments in full and on time each month to the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee for the entire length of your Chapter 13 repayment plan.

Filing for bankruptcy in Illinois is a big decision. Therefore, contact an experienced Illinois bankruptcy attorney or visit the Illinois' bankruptcy court's website However, if you are considering filing for bankruptcy without the assistance of an attorney, visit for additional information regarding how to file for bankruptcy on your own.