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Indianapolis Bankruptcy and Inheritance

Indianapolis Bankruptcy and Inheritance: What You Need to Know

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The rules of bankruptcy and inheritances can protect you from losing an inheritance to creditors.  In Indiana, there is no special bankruptcy exemption that allows you to keep your inheritance when you file for bankruptcy. Therefore, it is very important in Indiana to understand clearly which inheritances can be come part of your bankruptcy estate.

Inheritances and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

There are special rules that apply to bankruptcy and inheritances in Indiana. When you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, any inheritance that you are already due to receive is part of the bankruptcy estate automatically. Therefore, if someone has already died and your bankruptcy case has been filed, you will be required to turn over the proceeds of your inheritance to the Bankruptcy Trustee to repay creditors. The special rule applies, however, where inheritances become due for up to six months after the bankruptcy case is filed. For this six month, 180 day period, the inheritance must still be turned over to the bankruptcy estate to help repay your debts.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Inheritances

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can even create a larger period of time where any inheritances could be forced to be paid to the Bankruptcy Trustee to repay creditors. This is because during the entire life of the Chapter 13 repayment plan, you will be required to turn over any inheritance received at that time to help repay some of your creditors. Therefore, if you are expecting to receive an inheritance during your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, it is very important to make plans accordingly. Perhaps a Chapter 7 case could be advisable if you are eligible to reduce this time period in which inheritances must be turned over to the Bankruptcy Trustee.

Conclusion:  Inheritances and Bankruptcy Require Guidance By An Attorney

If you are anticipating an inheritance sometime in the future, careful debt relief planning will be required to make sure that you can enjoy the maximum benefits possible. Bankruptcy can be a powerful tool in planning for debt relief even if you may receive an inheritance sometime in the future. If your plan includes bankruptcy, make sure to understand the ramifications of family member’s early passing.

~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John F. Bymaster on Inheritances and Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors: You Have No Reason For Anxiety

Indianapolis Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer Describes the Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors: You Have No Reason For Anxiety

Indianapolis bankruptcy definition in dictionary

Being a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer in Indianapolis, I have experienced the bankruptcy meeting of creditors possibly thousands of times. The Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors can cause anxiety for many people who have never experienced it before. This article will describe the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Meeting to show you that there’s no cause for anxiety.

The Bankruptcy is Only a Procedural Requirement Under Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code

Although you may have some anxiety about the Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors, keep in mind that it is only a very routine procedural requirement of the Bankruptcy Code. Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires the debtors in bankruptcy to be personally examined by the Bankruptcy Trustee through a series of simple questions. These questions are usually very routine and usually the Trustee does not anticipate for there to be any problems or assets in your case.

Your Creditors Will Most Likely Not Attend Your Bankruptcy Meeting

Although the Bankruptcy Meeting is many times referred to as the Meeting of Creditors, creditors very rarely attend these bankruptcy meetings. It is very unlikely that you will be examined by creditors in any way.

Keep in mind that the Bankruptcy Meeting is not a place for your creditors to object to the bankruptcy: it is only a place for your creditors to ask questions. Because there is usually no objection that creditors can bring to stop the discharge of their debt, creditors rarely find it necessary to attend the Bankruptcy Meeting.

Your Bankruptcy Meeting Will Go Smoothly Most Likely Because Your Attorney is Required to Present Documents to the Trustee Before the Meeting

When a Chapter 7 case goes as planned, documents will be sent to the Trustee ahead of time in order for review before the Trustee asks you any questions. Therefore, it is not very likely for there to be any surprises at the Bankruptcy Meeting. On occasion, additional documents or asset information may be needed after the Bankruptcy Meeting. However, such a request for additional documents is somewhat common and is no cause for alarm.

The Bankruptcy Meeting is Simple: You Sit Down and Answer Some Questions

Although it can be intimidating to come before a Bankruptcy Trustee, the reality is simply that you must sit down and answer some questions. Make sure to bring your driver’s license and Social Security card to the meeting and any other documents your attorney has requested. Also, be on time. After that, there is no reason for anxiety: just go to the Bankruptcy Meeting and answer the simple questions.

~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John F. Bymaster

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Who is This Bankruptcy Trustee?

Indianapolis Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Explains the Role of a Bankruptcy Trustee

Bankruptcy Trustee Gavel

Who is This Bankruptcy Trustee?

Many times I am asked, “Will I have to come up before a judge for my bankruptcy?” In response, I answer, “No, you will be required to be examined by the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case.” The next question follows, “What is a bankruptcy trustee?” Being a bankruptcy attorney in Indianapolis, I can explain very clearly the role of a bankruptcy trustee.

A Bankruptcy Trustee is Assigned Automatically in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13

When you file your bankruptcy case, a bankruptcy trustee will be automatically assigned to administer your bankruptcy. These trustees are pre-selected groups of attorneys and accountants who are familiar with creditor and bankruptcy law. You will meet with this trustee to answer some questions during your bankruptcy meeting of creditors.

The Role of a Chapter 7 Trustee

To put it simply, the role of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee is to examine the value of your property to see if there are any nonexempt assets that should be sold to repay a portion of your debts. If no such assets exist, the trustee will file a report to the court stating that no money will be available for your creditors. However, if the Chapter 7 Trustee determines that assets do exist that can be properly sold to pay back some of your creditors, the trustee will follow through to ensure that such proper repayments will be eventually made.

The Role of a Chapter 13 Trustee

The role of the Chapter 13 trustee is to review your petition and repayment plan to make sure that your Chapter 13 case will be successful. The Chapter 13 Trustee will also conduct a meeting of creditors, but this meeting is more geared towards working out the details of your repayment plan instead of looking for assets. After your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan is confirmed, the Chapter 13 Trustee will administer your plan and monitor it until completion.

Is the Bankruptcy Trustee on My Side or the Creditor’s Side?

Although arguably it can be asserted that the bankruptcy trustee represents the creditors, in reality the bankruptcy trustee is more of a facilitator of the bankruptcy system. The real goal of a bankruptcy trustee is to ensure that the requirements for the proper administration of all their bankruptcy case are met. Although Chapter 7 Trustees are motivated to find assets in their cases, proper administration of their cases under the bankruptcy code is the predominant agenda and duty of the bankruptcy trustee.

How to Address the Bankruptcy Trustee

The Bankruptcy Trustee assigned to your case should be addressed with respect in a way similar to how you would address a judge. The proper title in which you should address the trustee is either as “Mister Trustee” or “Madame Trustee.” When you answer your questions during the bankruptcy meeting, show similar dignity and respect to how you would address a judge.

Conclusion: The Role of the Bankruptcy Trustee is of the Highest Importance to the Bankruptcy System

Without a bankruptcy trustee being assigned to your case, our system of bankruptcy would have no examiner or facilitator in order to meet the requirements of the bankruptcy code. The bankruptcy trustee plays the most critical role in the bankruptcy system: the individual review and approval of each bankruptcy case. If you file bankruptcy, be sure to respect and cooperate with the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case: his or her role is absolutely vital for your successful completion of your bankruptcy.

~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John F. Bymaster

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Making Your Bankruptcy Consultation “Count”

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Free Bankruptcy Consultation – If you make your bankruptcy consultation “count” for the most possible, drastic improvements to your financial life could quickly follow. It is important when you prepare for a bankruptcy consultation to keep a few things in mind.

Documentation of Your Finances Must Be Brought to the Consultation

It is important to bring proper documentation of your finances to the consultation for bankruptcy. Bring information such as your recent paycheck stubs, any lawsuits and aggressive collection letters, and your most recent tax return. You should also be ready to supply additional documentation after the bankruptcy consultation. Most bankruptcy attorneys will also require to take a copy of your driver’s license end Social Security card for verification purposes.

Disclose Everything to Your Attorney

It is extremely important for you to be completely honest. You must disclose everything to your bankruptcy attorney. Also, be prepared to fill out paperwork before the consultation that helps disclose all this information. By giving the attorney full and complete disclosure, he can see an accurate picture of your financial situation. This accurate picture will help him give appropriate advice for your situation.

Prepare to Act Decisively and Quickly After Your Bankruptcy Consultation

A bankruptcy consultation will only be beneficial if you decide to act quickly on the advice of the attorney. Many times people considering bankruptcy will seek council but will not act quickly on the advice given. Do not wait to file bankruptcy until you are absolutely forced into filing by a garnishment of your wages or other unbearable collection. Respond to the advice of your bankruptcy attorney quickly in order to get your fresh start as soon as possible.

Conclusion: A Bankruptcy Consultation Can Drastically Change Your Financial Life

If you are willing to act quickly and decisively on the advice of your bankruptcy attorney, then your life can change very quickly for the better. Prepare yourself before the bankruptcy consultation to put the effort in necessary to quickly respond to your deteriorating financial situation: make your bankruptcy “count.”

~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John F. Bymaster


Bankruptcy and Seniors

Should Seniors Consider Filing Bankruptcy?

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Bankruptcy and Seniors is not uncommon.  Seniors (over the age of 65) file bankruptcy much more frequently than most people think. Bankruptcy can be a very powerful option for people of retirement age. Bankruptcy can be the tool that some seniors need for a rewarding retirement.

Bankruptcy and Seniors:  Seniors Commonly File Bankruptcy to Reduce Large Loads of Debt Before Retirement

Many people approaching retirement age have accumulated large amounts of debt that make retirement impossible. These same seniors may have abundant savings in 401(k)s or other retirement accounts, but do not want to deplete their only retirement savings to repay their debts. In order to make their budget possible, many seniors choose to file bankruptcy so that they will be able to live on their reduced retirement income.

Seniors Also File Bankruptcy After Retirement Because of Their Limited Budgets

The transition to fixed income can be difficult for many seniors who have made much higher levels of income in the past. This can cause spending levels that that do not match up to the senior’s new fixed income level. The senior will then incur large, unmanageable credit card or other debts that simply cannot be repaid at their new income level.

Seniors that find themselves saddled with large unsecured debts that they cannot repay may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. In order to stop aggressive collection, seniors many times turn to bankruptcy options in order to reestablish a budget that can be supported at their new fixed income level.

Seniors May Be “Judgment Proof” and May Not Need to File Bankruptcy

Seniors may be “judgment proof” which is basically a financial situation where creditors will never be able to collect on their debts. If you only receive Social Security income or other fixed incomes and do not own real estate, then there is a strong chance you could be judgment proof.

Although you may be a senior and judgment proof, some seniors still elect to file bankruptcy in order to eliminate collection efforts and to clean their credit. A judgment proof status can be very protective for those who really do not have money to pay back the creditors. However, this status does not prohibit your creditors from suing you or taking you to court which can be quite stressful and undesirable for many seniors.

Seniors Should Not Avoid Looking Into Bankruptcy Options

Seniors, perhaps more than anybody, should not avoid looking into bankruptcy options. Because many seniors are faced with fixed income, it may be very liberating for a senior to file bankruptcy in order to have a workable budget during their retirement. If you are a senior who is fighting an impossible debt load, you should contact a local bankruptcy attorney for a free consultation.

~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John F. Bymaster on Bankruptcy and Seniors