IRS warns about a new tax refund scam

IRS said it has already received a number of fake tax returns that had accurate taxpayer names, addresses, Social Security numbers and even bank account information for the victims.

In an unusual twist,  bogus refunds were directed to the real taxpayers’ bank accounts. A criminal, posing as a debt collector, then contacted the taxpayers saying the refunds had been sent in error and the victims should forward the money to the crook.

Because these fake returns contained all of the taxpayer’s correct information, down to the right number of dependents, the IRS believes the scam started in tax-preparation offices. The agency assumes that the data was compromised because some preparers were taken in by phishing scams that then loaded malicious software onto their computer systems, making all the taxpayer information that was kept by these preparers vulnerable to theft.

Debt Settlement Scams Revealed

In a recent article, published by Nerd Wallet, “Debt settlement a bad alternative to bankruptcy” Liz Weston shares debt settlement horror stories.  Some of the problems with debt settlement are caused when the debt settlement company doesn’t reveal the full effects of failing to pay a bill or when a debt is discharged without the benefits of Federal laws.  For example, Liz Welton indicated consumers didn’t understand the below consequences of debt settlement:

  • One woman didn’t realize she would face a tax bill on the forgiven debt.
  • A man opted against bankruptcy in part because he erroneously thought he would lose personal possessions.
  • Another woman was shocked at how far her credit scores tumbled and how much interest she was charged when she applied for a car loan.”

Liz also clears up a common misconception about bankruptcy versus debt settlement.  Although debt settlement companies claim bankruptcy is harder on your credit score than settlement, the truth appears to be the opposite.

While a consumer can start rebuilding their credit months after the bankruptcy petition is filed, debt settlement can take years.  When a consumer enters into a debt settlement agreement, they aren’t paying their creditors and often a consumers credit score drops into the 500’s.  With delays in reaching a settlement and eliminating the debt, debt negotiation can keep your credit in the 500’s for years.

Make sure you research your options.  Meeting with Peter Francis Geraci Law Bankruptcy and Injury attorney is free.  We will layout all your options and work with you to help you get debt free.

Peter Francis Geraci Settles Pro Bono Case with Cook County

PFGlogorGeraci Law founder, Peter Francis Geraci, recently settled a civil rights case v. Cook County over jail conditions.  Mr. Geraci handled the matter pro bono on appointment by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Ruben Castillo.  Members of the trial bar of the District Court receive rotating appointments to represent pro se litigants.

Jenner and Block also represented the same plaintiff in several other cases and contributed to obtaining a global settlement of the plaintiff’s claims for abusive conditions and medical treatment at the Cook County jail.

Geraci Law regularly contributes time and resources to representing indigent litigations.  The firm contributes hundreds of unpaid hours a year in this regard.

 

Geraci, Arreola & Hernandez, L.L.C. are members of the Exclusive ISBA Mutual Club

 

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Geraci, Arreola & Hernandez, L.L.C. became members of the exclusive ISBA Mutual Club on June 1, 2017.  The ISBA Mutual Club provides quality legal service to low-income individuals who would otherwise not have access to certain types of legal aid.  The Illinois Bar Foundation helps thousands of individuals each year and will distribute approximately $750,000 in funding.  Geraci, Arreola and Hernandez’s contribution will support the Warren Lupel Lawyers Care Fund, which helps attorneys and their families.

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci is an advocate for providing legal assistance to individuals with low income.  Peter Francis Geraci’s firm, Geraci Law L.L.C., files pro bono cases for individuals who demonstrate a need for assistance, but are struggling financially.  In addition, Peter Francis Geraci is on a list of attorneys who accept pro bono cases in Illinois.

You can learn more about the Illinois Bar Foundation at their website, https://www.illinoisbarfoundation.org/.

Geraci Law L.L.C. Helps Client Discharge Student Loans

Geraci Law L.L.C. successfully discharged $23,306.90 in student loan debt.  Geraci Law filed a case against the lenders in Federal Court in October of 2016.  Geraci’ Law’s complaint alleged their client, an elderly woman, made a good-faith effort to repay the loan; making all of her arranged payment starting in March of 2016.  However, Geraci Law asserted their client’s student loan debt posed an undue hardship.

Student loans are usually not dischargeable and most people will be required to continue paying on them even after a bankruptcy.  One of the ways to get rid of student loans is to prove the loan poses and undue hardship to the debtor.  When determining if repaying student loans poses an undue hardship, the court adopted the “Brunner Test.”  The “Brunner Test” is a three-prong test to determine whether student loan debt can be discharged.  For student loans to cause an undue hardship you must prove:

  1. That the debtor cannot maintain, based on her current income and expenses, a “minimal” standard of living for herself and her dependents if forced to repay the loans;
  2. That additional circumstances exist indicating that this state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period of the loans, and
  3. That the debtor made good-faith efforts to repay the loans. Krieger, citing Brunner v. New York State Higher Educ. Servcs., 831 F.2d 395 (2nd Cir. 1987).

 

Geraci Law alleged our client met each prong of the test and as a result, her student loans should be discharged.  After months of work on the case, Geraci Law attorneys and the defense agreed to have the student loans discharged and the case came to an end.

Thanks to the terrific work by the Geraci Law L.L.C. trial team, our client has successfully discharged more than $20,000 in student loan debt.

Geraci Law Receives “Biggest Thank You Ever”

The Peter Francis Geraci Law Bankruptcy & Injury Offices love receiving a “thank you” after a successful case. Geraci Law is one of the most reviewed law firms in the country and has more than 4,000 5-star reviews.   You can see our reviews on AVVO, YELP, GOOGLE+ and the BBB websites.

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Geraci Law is widely known as a nice place to work.  All attorneys and staff subscribe to the firm’s mission statement, which may be summarized as, “Nice people doing nice things for nice people.”

Interested in contacting a lawyer for debt relief?  visit www.infotapes.com and enter your zip code to find your closest office.  Remember, Don’t pay the SAME and not get the NAME!

5 – Star Peter Francis Geraci Law Bankruptcy & Injury Attorney Posts

tarTAREK KHALIL WAS VERY HELPFUL AND PROFESSIONAL. I WOULD RECOMMEND GERACI LAW FIRM IF YOU EVER NEED TO GET OUT OF DEBT.

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When I came to Geraci Law, I was in a bad place… I’d lost my job, was in the process of losing my car, and had just moved back to Illinois. This firm gave me hope and proceeded to assist me in putting my life back in order. I will forever be grateful to this firm and the staff whose kindness and professionalism gave me my life back.

tarMy experience with Tarek Khalil was with one of the most reassuring and competent counselors I have had the pleasure of dealing with. His intelligence and prudent judgment helped me overcome my fear and apprehension. Thank you!

dalDale was extremely knowledgeable and kept me well informed of the entire process. His demeanor was always professional and empathetic even when he needed to advise me of information I did not necessarily want to hear. He always responded timely and kept me in the loop; patient despite by many questions and sometimes unwarranted opposition. I truly appreciated his efforts.

drawing4I just want to say that filing a chapter 13 was a difficult decision but when I meet with the staff at Geraci law they explained everything in simple terms. During this 4 1/2 year process I have contacted the office by phone and email and all questions were answered professional and promptly. Registering for Geraci law web site and national bankruptcy database made it easy to track my case and progress. I would recommend them to anyone looking for advice on bankruptcy and your options.