Bankruptcy / Illinois / Rockford

Filing Bankruptcy in Rockford: 7 Things You Need to Know

Written by Ben Tejes
Updated May 25th, 2023

You are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Rockford. Bankruptcy is a common debt relief choice. 

In fact, many people in Illinois have received bankruptcy relief, and Rockford is no different. In fact, there were 24,175 bankruptcies filed in Illinois in the year ending June 30, 2021 (Source). With a population of 145609, I’d estimate a fair number of those were in Rockford.

The purpose of this article is to provide an extensive list of filing bankruptcy in Rockford including:

  1. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Rockford
  2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Rockford
  3. Rockford Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
  4. Finding a Reputable Bankruptcy Lawyer in Rockford
  5. Estimating Loss of Belonging (i.e.
  6. Getting Bankruptcy Help in Rockford
  7. Bankruptcy Alternatives and Conclusion

Without further ado, let’s get started with Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Rockford

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common consumer bankruptcy in the United States. People appreciate the simplicity of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the cost of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and the speed of debt relief. For example, in Rockford, you could get debt relief in about 120 days with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

One of the challenges of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Rockford is that you have to qualify. In order to qualify in Rockford, you often have to pass the Illinois bankruptcy means test. You can estimate that qualification below in Rockford. Let’s cover how you can qualify.

Chapter 7 Qualification

The first part of the means test is to understand your income in relation to the median income levels for Illinois. It considers the average family size and income.

To estimate your qualification, you can take the Rockford Chapter 7 qualification calculator below that is specific to Rockford.

Finally, the most recent Illinois median income levels is for cases filed on or after May 15, 2023, and can be found below.

# of PeopleAnnual Income

If your income exceeds the median, you can move on to the second part of the means test to estimate qualification. The second part of the means test is to understand your actual expenses. You can check out our guide covering trying to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy above the median.

For example, the average median rent amount in Rockford is $772, but let's say your rent is almost double that amount. Could you potentially still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of those additional expenses? What you are able to state as ab expense is limited, and you can refer to the current national standard for the maximum amounts, but you may want to speak with your attorney about this situation.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Rockford

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as a wage-earner bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a voluntary reorganization of debt.  In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the individual has debt that they can no longer manage and often own assets that exceed state and/or federal relief. Folks file Chapter 13 bankruptcy often when they do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  

Most individuals in Rockford will qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy as long as they are below the debt limits.

Compared to Chapter 7, there is no liquidation in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Although, the discharge won’t be until around 3 to 5 years. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 7 years.

Rockford Bankruptcy Attorney Fees

When looking for a bankruptcy attorney, we recommend that you look for these 5 attributes: Rate, Reliability, Referrals, Reviews, and Relevancy. You can check our guide to find a top bankruptcy attorney in Rockford.

The estimated Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer fee in Rockford is: $1075 - $2000.

The estimated Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer fee in Rockford is: $3500 - $3800. The Chapter 13 attorney fee is often set across the district, meaning that all Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in a district may charge around the same fee.

Rockford Bankruptcy Attorneys

One of the most important things to do is to find a reputable bankruptcy attorney in Rockford if you decide to hire one. This is legal advice related to finances that are going to affect your future. For example, making sure you are in the right bankruptcy chapter (Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13) could cost you thousands more and take you years longer.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer

As stated above, Rockford has a population of 145609. In many cases, individuals in larger cities such as Chicago or Aurora would like a bankruptcy lawyer close by. In smaller cities, I have found that individuals have questions about whether the bankruptcy will show up in the newspaper or whether friends will hear about it. This is a valid question.

Regardless, you can check the Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers in or near Rockford using the table below. You just need to input your zip code, and voila, you can choose which Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer you would like to speak to near or far away from Rockford in a free bankruptcy lawyer consultation

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Rockford may be a bit more intensive, so you may consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy that is closer to you. That said, with the internet and the pandemic, many of the meetings are now online and you can generally submit your documentation online as well.

Regardless, you can use the table below to find a Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer in or near Rockford. Also, the fees are just estimates, and may not be reflective of the actual cost of the attorney fees.

Zip code
sort_numguidhas_phoneFirmRatingReviewsRelevancyFree ConsultPayment PlansContactClick to Call

Bankruptcy Exemptions in Illinois

As you live in Rockford, you are often able to use the Illinois bankruptcy exemptions to help you keep your belongings.

One of the biggest questions people have is whether they are able to keep their homes in bankruptcy. This is where bankruptcy exemptions come into play. As Rockford has a home ownership % of 54.2% and an estimated estimated home value of $91653, you can understand that many people want to keep this asset. You can often keep your assets using bankruptcy exemptions.

Here are the Illinois bankruptcy exemptions. The exemptions are revised on different occasions, so you may wish to check the most current information on exemptions. Also, as a reference, Illinois is a place that does not allow you to use federal bankruptcy exemptions. You often have to choose which one to use, so a bankruptcy attorney can help you with that option.

Homestead Exemption

The homestead exemption is often broken down by age and whether you are married. 

  • Single and under 65: $15,000
  • Single is 65 or older: $15,000
  • Married and under 65: $30,000
  • Married is 65 or older: $30,000

Illinois specific homestead bankruptcy exemption text: “I.L.C.S. §§ 5/12-901; 5/12-906. Real or personal property including a farm, lot, & buildings, condo, co-op, or mobile home to $15,000; sale proceeds exempt for 1 year” (Source)

Automobile Exemption

The automobile bankruptcy exemption in Illinois is $2,400.

Tools of Trade Exemption

The tools of the trade bankruptcy exemption in Illinois is $1,500.

Wildcard Exemption

The wildcard bankruptcy exemption in Illinois is $4,000.

Personal Property Exemption

The personal property bankruptcy exemption in Illinois is $0.

Special Exemption Handling for Illinois

Below is specific special handling of bankruptcy exemptions in Illinois.

  • Personal: Necessary wearing apparel; bible and school books; family pictures; professionally prescribed health aids; a certificate of title to any watercraft over 12 feet in length; prepaid tuition trust fund; Illinois College Savings Pool accounts invested more than one year before filing if below federal gift tax limit, or two years before filing if above.

Bankruptcy Help in Rockford

Unemployment can cause both frustration and angst about options. The most recent statistic I found is that the Rockford unemployment rate is 10.7%. There may be resources available to help. In addition to the unemployment rate, Rockford has a disability rate of 15.5%. As such, if you are truly in need and don’t have income, there are resources that may be available that can help you.

Check out the legal aid and free resources that may be available in Rockford.

Legal Aid and Free Resources

Here are some legal aid resources that may be helpful to you in Rockford.

The bankruptcy court and district may have free resources that are available to you. I have included the information below. 

Lastly, Rockford also has a limited English rate of 3.2% and a poverty rate of 22.3%. If you have limited English, you may check out the court websites for Illinois for additional information on how you can be served. You can also see how filing bankruptcy without an attorney can work if you cannot afford a bankruptcy lawyer.

Courts and Districts in Illinois

Northern District

  • 219 South Dearborn Street
    Chicago, IL 60604
  • 327 South Church Street
    Rockford, IL 61101

Central District

  • 305 U.S. Courthouse
    100 N.E. Monroe Street
    Peoria, IL 61602
  • 218 U.S. Courthouse
    201 S. Vine Street
    Urbana, IL 61802
  • 151 U.S. Courthouse
    600 E. Monroe Street
    Springfield, IL 62701
  • U.S. District Court
    Rock Island Division
    131 E. 4th Street, Room 250
    Davenport, IA 52801

Southern District

  • 301 West Main Street
    Benton, IL 62812*
    (618) 439-7760
  • 750 Missouri Avenue
    East St. Louis, IL 62201
    (618) 482-9371

Debt Settlement in Rockford

One of the most common alternatives to bankruptcy is debt settlement. A debt settlement firm would negotiate for a lower amount due on your debt in the case of financial hardship. The goal would be to reduce your debt in half. In this case, you would have a lower monthly payment.

If you are looking at debt settlement in Rockford, you may want to consider a national debt settlement firm to a local one in Rockford. For example, most of your creditors are probably national banks instead of local Rockford banks. As such, you can potentially get lower fees by using a national firm. You should strongly consider the pros and cons and credit score impact before taking the plunge as Ascend only recommends 2 debt settlement firms nationwide that both offer free phone evaluations.


Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Rockford can provide debt relief. That said, you may want to consider the cost of bankruptcy in Rockford, the different bankruptcy chapters, reputable attorneys in Rockford and alternatives to help you make the most informed decision. 

You can also take our Chapter 7 vs Chapter calculator below to help you estimate the cost and qualification of Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Rockford.