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    Debunking Myths about Social Security Disability Benefits

    Last updated 2 days 21 hours ago

    Obtaining Social Security disability benefits can be a tricky process, which is why it’s always a good idea to hire an experienced Social Security disability attorney. Your attorney can help you separate the myths from the facts, such as the misconception that everyone is automatically denied the first time they file. Although first-time filers are indeed frequently denied, this isn’t automatic. Having an attorney on your side increases your chances of being approved the first time you file because your attorney can ensure that your paperwork is in order and all requirements are fulfilled.

    Another common myth is that individuals cannot work at all to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. In fact, you can earn a regular income and still qualify, as long as your income is below the threshold of “substantial gainful activity.” An attorney can advise you as to the current threshold.

    You can schedule a free consultation with a Social Security attorney at Dixon & Johnston, P.C. Illinois residents can contact our Belleville office at (618) 207-3770.

    Can You Lower Your Child Support Payments?

    Last updated 5 days ago

    Under Illinois law, either parent may petition the court to change the child support order. The non-custodial parent who is paying child support may petition for lower payments due to a job loss or the inability to work because of a disability. If the child turned 18 and is no longer in high school or no longer lives with the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent also has the basis for a petition.

    When you watch this video, you’ll hear more about modifying child support agreements. This expert explains why it’s a good idea to retain the services of an attorney who specializes in family law.

    The attorneys of Dixon & Johnston, P.C. have a wealth of experience in successfully modifying child support orders. Set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys by calling our Belleville office at (618) 207-3770.

    How Filing for Bankruptcy Can Help You Delay or Avoid Foreclosure

    Last updated 8 days ago

    If you’ve fallen behind on your mortgage payments and payments to other creditors, you may be wondering if bankruptcy is a good option for you. Every individual experiences a unique set of circumstances that leads them to consider bankruptcy. It’s best to consult a bankruptcy attorney to determine if it’s a good option for you. With the help of your attorney, bankruptcy may be able to help you delay or avoid foreclosure.

    Automatic Stay

    Your attorney can help you file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In either case, the court will issue an order for relief, which features an automatic stay. The automatic stay prohibits your creditors from attempting collection efforts. It also temporarily halts the foreclosure process. Even if a foreclosure sale is already scheduled, it will be postponed automatically until the bankruptcy proceedings are complete. This may take about three to four months. This can give you the time you need to straighten out your finances and save your home.

    Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

    If you filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with the help of your attorney, your mortgage debt will be cancelled. However, the foreclosure is not automatically cancelled. You can expect to live in your home while your bankruptcy is pending and perhaps for a time afterward. This gives you some time to arrange alternative housing. Under certain circumstances, you may still keep your home with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For example, you can keep your home if it has no equity or if you catch up on your mortgage payments.

    Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

    If your income allows you to keep up with your mortgage payments after filing for bankruptcy, then a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you avoid foreclosure altogether. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy will restructure your debt – including any late mortgage payments you have. You’ll need to make payments toward that debt as well as your current mortgage payments to avoid foreclosure.

    The bankruptcy attorneys of Dixon & Johnston, P.C. can help you significantly improve your chances of keeping your home and other possessions through the bankruptcy process. If you’re behind on your mortgage payments, don’t delay; contact one of our knowledgeable attorneys today. Call our Belleville office at (618) 207-3770 and ask us about our other areas of expertise, including Social Security law and disability claims.

    Can Your Lender Foreclose after You File for Bankruptcy?

    Last updated 11 days ago

    For many, facing foreclosure is the primary reason for consulting an attorney about filing for bankruptcy. One of the foremost concerns people have when they meet a bankruptcy attorney is whether they can keep their home, particularly if the foreclosure process has already begun. If this describes you, you already have an advantage because you’ve consulted an attorney who specializes in this area of law. Hiring a bankruptcy attorney significantly increases the likelihood that you’ll be able to keep your home.

    How Bankruptcy Affects Your Mortgage

    Your attorney can help you determine whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most types of debt are eliminated, including your credit card debt, medical bills, and outstanding mortgage payments. You may indeed lose your home in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy; however, the foreclosure process is delayed. Bear in mind that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not eliminate the lien on your home. During the period of time in which your bankruptcy is pending, you may be able to make arrangements with your lender to make current mortgage payments and keep your home. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debt is reorganized. You’ll make payments to your creditors, including your mortgage lender. Most people who file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy get to keep their homes. However, after your bankruptcy, your lender could still start foreclosure proceedings if you fall behind on mortgage payments.

    How a Lender Can Foreclose on Your Property

    If you are unable to keep your home, your lender can take back your home with a deed in lieu of foreclosure. In this case, you’ll sign over all of your interest. You’ll lose your home; however, your credit isn’t as adversely affected as it is with a foreclosure. If the lender goes ahead with the foreclosure, it may go through the court system or the home may be sold at a foreclosure auction.

    At Dixon & Johnston, P.C., we understand that foreclosure and bankruptcy can be confusing. Our attorneys will work closely with you to ensure you are thoroughly advised of your legal rights and options, and we’ll maintain ongoing communication with you throughout the process. Our attorneys in Southern Illinois specialize in bankruptcy law, Social Security law, and disability claims. Contact us at (618) 207-3770 for a case review.

    Understanding When Wage-Loss Payments Are Made

    Last updated 16 days ago

    Workers’ compensation provides coverage for medical expenses and lost wages if you suffer a work-related illness or injury. These benefit payments come from private insurance companies or the State Workers’ Insurance Fund, which is a state-run workers’ compensation insurance carrier. In order to qualify for wage-loss benefits, you need to be determined as totally disabled and unable to work or partially disabled, but receiving less than your pre-injury earnings. 

    In order to receive wage-loss benefits, you need to be disabled for more than seven calendar days, including weekends. Benefits for the time you lost from work are made payable on the eighth day of your injury. If you have been removed from the workforce for 14 days, you can receive retroactive payments for the first seven days. You should be able to receive your first compensation check within 21 days from your first work absence, as long as you reported your injury on time, missed more than seven days of work, and your insurance carrier approved your claim.

    For more information about collecting disability payments, contact Dixon & Johnston, P.C. at (618) 207-3770. We have two offices serving clients throughout Southern Illinois and the Metro East region of Illinois. 

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