I have a recent personal injury pending law suit. I am thinking about bankruptcy in IL. Will they take my settlement .

Asked over 1 year ago - Mount Prospect, IL

Am 71. Cannot work with broken shoulder. Fell 3 months ago. Do have social security but not enough. Bills are too much with no added income. No savings. Have a home with no equity. Keeping home

Attorney answers (13)

  1. Michael Jeffrey Gunderson

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    Contributor Level 7

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    Answered . In Illinois you can "exempt" or "protect" certain personal property when filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. A personal Injury case can be protected up to $15,000.00. That means the Bankruptcy Trustee would have the ability to recover any settlement over and above $15,0000. You would keep the first $15,000 and the Bankruptcy Trustee would take anything over that amount. It's best to discuss likely settlement figures with your Personal Injury Attorney and put them in touch with your Bankruptcy Attorney before filing a case.

  2. Stephen Laurence Hoffman

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    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Consult with a bankruptcy lawyer and inform your lawyer handling your injury claim.

    Generally, this should be exempt. But contact a lawyer to confirm.

    Stephen L. Hoffman
    Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
    Chicago, IL
    773-944-9737
    Email: stephen@hofflawyer.com
    Website: www.hofflawyer.com
    Blog: www.hofflawyer.com/blog/

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client... more
  3. Timothy Leo Bowden

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . Usually there is an exemption of some monies in the personal injury case. You will need to have your bankruptcy attorney advise you what that exemption is.

    Tim

  4. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You need to check with an ILL bankruptcy attorney and your personal injury attorney. I am not a bankruptcy attorney, and only licensed in California, but I know that it usually is listed in the BK petition.

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more
  5. Larry Alan Apfelbaum

    Contributor Level 13

    12

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    Answered . just a word of caution. I read a case that said if you fail to list the PI case as part of the BK, you could lose the entire PI claim. Your PI and BK attorneys will know the rules.

    Good luck to you

    I am licensed to practice law only in Illinois. Any advice that I render is for general information purposes and... more
  6. Christian K. Lassen II

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    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . This was posted under the personal injury section, but you would want to use Avvo's "find a lawyer" tool to consult with a bankruptcy attorney.

  7. Burton A. Padove

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    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . It is,imply an asset, subject to exemptions. You need to have your injury lawyer coordinate things with your bankruptcy lawyer.

    Mr. Padove is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does... more
  8. Henry Repay

    Contributor Level 16

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If it is a personal injury case, $15,000.00 is exempt. You may also be able to apply part of your general personal property exemption ($4,000.00), but some may be needed for other assets. If the expected settlement is only slightly above the amount you can exempt and your other assets are limited and/or exempt, then the bankruptcy trustee may not find it worthwhile to take any funds. If it is a workers' compensation case, it has been the accepted understanding that the benefits are exempt in a bankruptcy case.

    The scope of this space does not afford an opportunity to assess the situation and advise you. I recommend you assemble for legal consultation: (1) your income information for October 2012 through the present, including wages and unemployment during that period; (2) all your bills (copies neatly assembled, back pages included); (3) last four years’ tax returns; (4) a credit report (use www.annualcreditreport.com to obtain free report if not requested in last year); and (5) other information that may apply, such as copies of lawsuits. Call at your earliest convenience to afford the most opportunity in which to be advised about your best course. You are not required to use an attorney in your area.

    I do not recommend filing bankruptcy on your own. There are too many complex issues. I have seen several posts on this site for debtors who filed on their own and are seeking counsel concerning complications. Most of them will have a hard time finding an attorney to get involved to unwind the mess without the attorney charging several times what would originally have been paid.

    The scope of this space does not afford an opportunity to adequately advise you. The response provided is intended... more
  9. George Costas Andriotis

    Contributor Level 20

    12

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    Answered . Consult a bankruptcy attorney to review your specific situation and advise you accordingly. Best of luck.

    Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at www.serviceandjustice.com.
  10. Robert Shannon Carpenter

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    12

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    Answered . You need to consult with your bankruptcy attorney. There is generally an exemption up to a certain dollar figure.

  11. Jason Todd Studinski

    Contributor Level 20

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Consult with a bankruptcy lawyer about this. It is important to coordinate your actions as between your personal injury case and a potential bankrutcy. I anticipate that bankruptcy counsel will tell you that your personal injury claims are an asset that would be dealt with in the event of bankruptcy. I hope this helps. Good luck.

  12. Marc Gregory Wagman

    Contributor Level 17

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In Illinois you can protect up to $15000 for a personal injury suit. Anything above that amount is subject to the trustee administering as an asset to pay creditors. With a personal injury suit out there it would be advisable to speak with your personal injury attorney first and then potentially a bankruptcy attorney to see what you best option is. If you filed a Chapter 7 and have a pending personal injury suit the trustee could settle or take over the suit and settle for less than you want too settle for.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The... more
  13. John Justin Hansen

    Contributor Level 7

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Personal injury settlements and awards are exempt to certain dollar maximums, depending on what parts of the settlement are for what specific damages.

    Rockford Personal Injury Attorney
    J. Hansen Law Firm
    320 Shaw Street
    Rockford, IL 61104
    Toll Free: (877) 205-6625
    Phone: (312) 878-6410
    Fax: (312) 878-6410
    Email: info@jhansenfirm.com
    Web: www.jhansenfirm.com
    Blog: jhansenlawfirm.wordpress.com
    Twitter: @JHansenLawFirm

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client... more

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