The Complete Book on Bankruptcy

By respected consumer bankruptcy attorney

Peter Francis Geraci J.D.

Chapter 1
How to have a Stress-Free Bankruptcy

Chapter 2
What is Bankruptcy

Chapter 3
What causes people to need Banruptcy Relief

Chapter 4
What is the procedure?

Chapter 5
When you should consider Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 plans?

Chapter 6
What can Bankruptcy do for you?

Chapter 7
Common Misunderstandings about Bankruptcy

Chapter 8
Is Bankruptcy Bad?

Chapter 9
What does Bankruptcy cost?

Chapter 10
Can I file without my spouse?

Chapter 11
Does my Employer know if I file Bankruptcy?

Chapter 12
Do I lose anything?

Chapter 13
Does Bankruptcy "Ruin my Credit"

Chapter 14
Can I keep bills off my bankruptcy

Chapter 15
Bills or property in someone else's name or posession

Chapter 16
What about the Credit Union?

Chapter 17
Co-Signers

Chapter 18
What about my car?

Chapter 19
What about my House?

Chapter 20
When do creditors stop bothering me?

Chapter 21
What are Cross-collateralization Agreements?

Chapter 22
Joint Accounts with Parents

Chapter 23
When do I stop paying creditors?

Chapter 24
Gas, Electric & Phone Bills

Chapter 25
Bankruptcy & Divorce, Alimony & Child Support

Chapter 26
What Bankruptcy won't solve

Chapter 27
Chapter 13 Debt repyament Plans

Chapter 28
Will I be able to get credit again?

Chapter 29
Bill Consolidation Loans

Chapter 30
Bill Consolidation

Chapter 31
Wage Assignments, Deductions and Levies

Chapter 32
Student Loans

Chapter 33
Can I get rid of Taxes

Chapter 34
NSF Checks, Traffic & Parking Tickets

Chapter 35
Surrendering Real Estate & Time Shares

Chapter 36
Business Bankruptcy

Chapter 37
Professional Persons

Chapter 38
Do you ever "Not Get" a Discharge?

Chapter 39
About Geraci Law LLC and Peter Francis Geraci

Chapter 40
Who is the best Bankruptcy lawyer near me?

Chapter 41
What if I need a Bankruptcy lawyer near me?

CHAPTER #12 DO I LOSE ANYTHING?

No. At Geraci Law, we have never "lost" a house. Or a pension. Or life insurance proceeds.

List all assets and have us analyze it before you file. We tell you in advance if you would lose anything, or have too many assets to do a Chapter 7, or how to protect assets in a Chapter 13. We run our own computer program to determine that.

You probably will lose things if you don't do a bankruptcy, since bankruptcy can stop all creditor action against you. You will keep your belongings, car, house, pension and tools. State law may govern what you can keep, however, and your bankruptcy attorney may need a list of your major assets.

In a bankruptcy, you can keep certain things free from creditors. You can keep an interest in a house, car, and in money or household goods. During your initial interview, your attorney will determine if you would lose anything.

Per person property you can keep, if you are in title to it:

Illinois: $15,000 in home equity or injury proceeds, $4000 in personal property

Indiana: $15,000 in home equity , NO injury proceeds, Indiana workers comp cases (Indiana injuries only) $8,000 in property, no cash

Wisconsin: $75,000 in home equity total; $12,000 in personal property, $5000 plus unused portion of $12,000 for vehicle, $5000 for deposit accounts.

All states: Pensions, IRA's, life insurance depending on who is beneficiary.

This is not a complete list, but it shows you can keep home, pension, vehicles and household goods in most cases. Your attorney must analyze this carefully.

Generally, you keep all your belongings, and get rid of your bills. No one comes to your house and takes anything. You keep your house, car, and clothing and furniture. No one does a bankruptcy to lose anything but their bills. If you have too much money in the bank, or your property is worth too much, or you have too much disposable income, we may advise you to pay your bills in installments under Chapter 13 in order to avoid losing anything.

You don't have to close your checking account, unless you owe your bank money. You generally do not lose pensions, although you need specific advice from your lawyer on that. E.S.O.P plans are different from pensions.

Of course, if you would like to get rid of a car that doesn't run, or one you owe too much money on, you are free to give it back to the creditor. That is up to you. If you keep a house or car you owe money on, you have to keep making the payments.

You can also voluntarily pay creditors, such as your relatives, or credit unions, even if they have no collateral.

In Illinois, all proceeds from life insurance depending on beneficiary, and workers compensation settlements are exempt, and your portion of an injury settlement up to $15000.00 can be kept free of creditors.

Each case is different, and that is another good reason why most attorneys want you to answer a lot of questions, and give them as much information as possible, so that they can advise you properly.

I can tell you from experience, though, that we do not file bankruptcy cases if you are going to "lose" anything. That is a big misconception about bankruptcy.