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Bankruptcy Attorneys at O'Flaherty Law

Our bankruptcy attorneys will help you start fresh through debt negotiation, Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Our debt resolution attorneys make the process efficient and expedient so you can move forward in your life.
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BankruptcyAttorney Kevin O'Flaherty

"Kevin was extremely professional, responsive and knowledgeable when I came to him for help. I would definitely recommend O'Flaherty Law!"

What we offer

Bankruptcy Services

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Debt Collection & Consolidation





Client Testimonials

Christi M.

Kevin's firm handled setting up my will and trust recently. They took something that seemed intimidating and made it easy to understand. I've also referred a couple clients to Kevin - he's trustworthy, approachable and very fairly priced.


"I've used Kevin and his firm's services since 2011. He gave undivided attention to my cases, advised me on different options and..."

Rachel B.

"Kevin was extremely professional, responsive and knowledgeable when I came to him for help. I would definitely recommend O'Flaherty Law!"

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Attorney Consultation

The purpose of a consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. We take your legal matters very seriously, which is why with each consultation, we strive to ensure you feel confident about the future of your case.

Attorneys experienced in many areas of law
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Putting your best interests first!
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Hours of Operation

9:00am - 6:00pm
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Expertise Best Child Support Lawyers in Chicago 201710 Best 2016 Client Satisfaction American Institute of Family Law AttorneysAvvo Clients' Choice 2016 DivorceRising Stars Kevin P. O'Flaherty SuperLawyers.com10 Best Law Firms 2018 Client Satisfaction American Institute of Family Legal Counsel Attorneys Estate Planning Law40 under forty

Not All Bankruptcy Attorneys Are The Same

Filing bankruptcy has long-term consequences. But it is also the only option available to many Americans in debt. Because interest rates increase on already vulnerable debtors, inaction quickens the downward spiral. The first step is recognizing when you can no longer dig yourself out of this hole, then you should seek help from a debt relief attorney. With its promise of debt forgiveness and starting anew, chapter 7 bankruptcy is preferable for most filers who fall below a certain income level and pass a “means test.” Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often more complex and requires that filers commit to a court-ordered “repayment plan” that is more affordable than their current one.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy shields businesses from personal liability. All bankruptcy types provide a respite from nagging creditors immediately after filing a petition with the bankruptcy court. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you decide which financial option is best for you. O’Flaherty Law in particular helps clients explore all available avenues and weighs them against the damage to your credit score. If you cannot afford an attorney, we can also refer you to free bankruptcy services for which you may be eligible.

Our Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Guide You Through the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process!

O’Flaherty Law is dedicated to helping chapter 7 and chapter 13 filers achieve a debt-free life. If you are not eligible for simple chapter 7 software tools or do not have the patience for legal aid societies, an affordable bankruptcy attorney can expedite the process and smoothly pave the way forward. The aim of chapter 7 is to exempt as much property as possible and sell the rest to satisfy creditors. Those who do not qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy will require the advice of an experienced chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer or debt relief attorney to reorganize assets and ease the necessary cramdown required to lower monthly payments to creditors.

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 chapter 13 bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is generally a faster way to discharge unsecured debts for individuals or businesses. Unsecured debts are those not backed by tangible collateral such as a car or house. After passing a means test that determines disposable income, most personal property can be “exempted” from sale under state and federal guidelines. Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidates the remaining possessions to satisfy creditors. Debts are discharged within months, allowing the debtor to start building “good” credit. However, the speed of a chapter 7 discharge comes with a 10-year blemish on your credit score and does not forgive certain loans. Consult a bankruptcy attorney before trying to file chapter 7 bankruptcy yourself.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is for those who have sufficient disposable income to commit to a three to five-year repayment plan. Like chapter 7, chapter 13 bankruptcy forgives unsecured debts like medical and credit card bills up to around $420,000 and secured car and home loans that total just over $1 million. But unlike chapter 7, chapter 13 allows filers to keep secured property by making much lower monthly payments approved by the court. Chapter 13 reduces the principal loan amount, removes unsecured liens on property, and only stays on your credit score for up to seven years. A knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer is essential to avoid major setbacks and help filers take full advantage of chapter 13 bankruptcy.

What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy chapter 11

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a vehicle for mostly corporations and partnerships to reorganize the business to settle debts over time. Unlike a “trustee” in chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies, the corporation itself serves as a “debtor in possession” responsible for accounting for assets while restructuring the company’s debt obligations.

In chapter 11 bankruptcy, businesses can obtain cheaper financing while in the bankruptcy process but must also propose a reorganization strategy that sets forth how much to pay each creditor. This plan must withstand the scrutiny of court-appointed creditor representatives who convene in a Section 341 meeting in which they can suggest alterations. Once finalized, creditors must abide by the chapter 11 reorganization plan, even if it means accepting a much lower amount than what was originally owed.

Is Bankruptcy Different From Debt Settlement or Debt Consolidation

Debt settlement debt consolidation bills

Bankruptcy differs from debt settlement or debt consolidation in that it is considered a “last resort.” If debtors have sufficient collateral or assets to leverage, debt settlement or consolidation is preferable because, unlike bankruptcy, having the ability to settle debts or consolidate loans means lessening the blow on your credit score. But bankruptcy may be best if you do not have enough cash on hand to offer creditors. Whereas debt consolidation reduces the total number of creditors owed, debt settlement reduces the total amount of debt owed.

As the name suggests, debt consolidation combines various debts into one with a single interest rate. Gone is the worry of prioritizing creditors depending on variable, high interest rates. Instead, financial institutions consolidate all debts into one monthly payment that is usually lower than what you owe individual creditors. The interest rate is also lower. Rather than paying each creditor, you pay the bank or party making the debt consolidation loan. A debt consolidation lawyer can help you negotiate the most advantageous terms.

Debt settlement, on the other hand, does not necessarily require a debt settlement attorney. If you drive a hard bargain, you can proactively contact creditors yourself to see if they will accept a lower amount than the original balance due. It may be in both parties’ interests to pay or receive something rather than nothing, which could happen in bankruptcy. If you do not have enough to make a lump sum payment or timely monthly installments, chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a better option. However, when searching for online debt settlement agencies, however, be careful of fraud.

The Bankruptcy Means Test

Measure income expenses in bankruptcy

The bankruptcy means test determines eligibility for filing chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your monthly income determines your financial means after subtracting essential expenses. Your disposable income must be low enough to qualify for chapter 7. Those with low, limited, or fixed income may qualify. After passing the means test, a chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can help you exempt most property under state and federal guidelines. Whatever is left of your fungible possessions will be sold to satisfy creditors. In several months, your debt will be discharged by a federal bankruptcy court. Creditors can no longer hound you for payment.

Bankruptcy Forms

Bankruptcy forms

Debtors must use official bankruptcy forms provided by the U.S. Courts website. All forms begin with the letter “B” and are followed by a number. Because the list of forms is pages long, you can check each form yourself or ask a bankruptcy attorney which forms are necessary for a person in your case. Although far from exhaustive, bankruptcy forms may include:

  • B 101 Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
  • B 106 Declaration About an Individual Debtor’s Schedules
  • B 122A-1 Chapter 7 Statement About Your Current Monthly Income
  • B 122A-2 Chapter 7 Means Test Calculations
  • B 309E1 Notice of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case (For Individuals or Joint Debtors)
  • B 309I Notice of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case
  • B 2300B Order Confirming Chapter 13 Plan

Generally, these forms require a filing fee, which can range from $310 for chapter 13 to $335 for chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 requires a $1,167 case filing fee and $571 administrative fee. Filers must complete all the forms necessary for each type of bankruptcy petition and file the petition correctly with the appropriate federal bankruptcy court.

Have any questions?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Buy a House After Bankruptcy?
How Do You Reduce Your Tax Debt?
How Much Debt do You Have to Have to File Bankruptcy?
How Much Does it Cost to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
What are the Negative Consequences of Filling for Bankruptcy?
What Happens if I Declare Bankruptcy?