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Legal Helpers Tip: There are many qualified and experienced Chicago bankruptcy lawyers, most of whom are experts in Northern District Court proceedings. They will help you keep as much of your real estate and personal property as allowed by either federal or Illinois state exemption rules. Your Chicago bankruptcy lawyers will also give you valuable advice about whether to file a Chapter 7 (liquidation) or Chapter 13 (wage earner plan) bankruptcy which will depend on your financial situation and level of regular income. Since the newest bankruptcy reforms, which took effect in October 2005, carry new debtor responsibilities, your Chicago bankruptcy lawyers will give you the information you need to make sure your bankruptcy benefits you.