There is NO such thing as Judgment Proof!

Only someone who has discharged a debt in bankruptcy can be “judgment proof” as to that debt. 

Wait? What? Absolutely no such thing as judgment proof. Below is an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci. Read more articles by PFG @ https://www.infotapes.com/Articles

 “Judgment proof” THERE IS NO SUCH THING.  Only someone who has discharged a debt in bankruptcy can be “judgment proof” as to that debt. 

Otherwise, it is a fallacy perpetuated by the uninformed.

Even if someone has only SS and no property to be attached, a creditor may file a suit, entering a judgment, garnish, record liens, establishing citation proceedings, seeking to garnish them, etc  A debtor still has to appear in court and claim an exemption or appear at a citation so it does not turn into a rule to show cause or a body attachment.

Judgments remain for 10 years and can be renewed multiple times, and there is nothing preventing a creditor from collecting on a judgment with property acquired in the future. Often, debtors do not want to deal with all of this, and that is why they file bankruptcy. It is entirely false for someone to allege a debtor does not need to file bankruptcy because they are “judgment proof.”

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 30,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com

Attorney Sharon Hunt Celebrates 20 years with Geraci Law!

Congratulations to Attorney Sharon Hunt on celebrating 20 years with Geraci Law!

Attorney Sharon Hunt celebrated her 20th year with Geraci Law joining the 20 year club with several Geraci Law attorneys. With Geraci Law you get the experience and expertise of Geraci Law attorneys!

Congratulations to Attorney Sharon Hunt!

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 30,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com.

Utilities, Cable, Phone Bills and Bankruptcy

Worried about a shut off? Bankruptcy could help!

Utilities, Cable, Phone Bills and Bankruptcy. With summer heat raging across the country, if you are behind on your electric bill and worried about a shut off – bankruptcy CAN help. Attorney Peter Geraci answers your questions about utilities, cable bills and those pesky cell phone balances.

Bills are Usually Dischargeable

Bills for utilities such as gas, electric, water, sewer and phone are what we call unsecured debts, and they are dischargeable under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The only exception is fraud, such as where you hooked up the gas illegally.

When to List Utility Bills in Bankruptcy

In order to make it worthwhile to list a utility bill, calculate the average month utility bill, and multiply by three. So if your average electric bill is 140, three times is $420. So if you list a $420 past due electric bill in a chapter 7, you won’t have to pay it, but you’ll most likely have to put up a deposit of three times the average bill, or $420, and now you’re back to square one.

So the three times an average bill rule applies for gas and electric. And you’ll have to put up a deposit.

Avoiding Utility Shut-offs

Filing on gas and electric doesn’t make much sense unless you have run up a huge bill, and by now you have been shut off. What happens in cold states like Wisconsin, where they don’t shut off your winter gas until April, and then we get a rush of bankruptcies because it’s still cold enough to need gas and its off.

We also get a rush with people who have lived without gas all summer, and when it gets to be Halloween I need the gas back on. Those bills are usually several thousand, so putting up of $420 deposit isn’t too bad. Filing either Chapter 7 or 13 will require the utility to turn your electric or gas back on after you put up the deposit.

Water and Sewer Bills in Bankruptcy

Water and sewer bills are a little bit different. They usually aren’t very high, and in most cities, they are a lien on the real estate. So if you have a single-family home or multi-unit that you own, and you don’t pay the water and sewer bill, not only can they shut off the water, but there is a lien on the real estate. We don’t see too many water and sewer bills in bankruptcy but there treated pretty much the same as gas and electric.

Cable and Phone Bills in Bankruptcy

Cable and phone bills are a little different. Since so many people are disconnecting from cable TV, it’s not a real big issue if you’re three months behind on the $200 cable bill, and don’t particularly care for the service anyway. Otherwise they don’t have to give you credit again. Nobody has a land-line, so you’re talking about a cell phone bill, and those bills are never included in a bankruptcy because they cut you off after two months and now you have no cell phone service, which is something we rarely see.

In Summary

So in a nutshell, for gas or electric that is more than three months behind throw it in there, and as far as water and sewer pay it. Cable and telephone, either get a cell phone with a different carrier and a different cable service, or pay them to continue service.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 30,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com.

So How Does Bankruptcy Work?

There’s a ton of information about debt, financial resources and bankruptcy. The B word can be intimidating and maybe it’s time to answer the question – How does bankruptcy filing work?

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci answers this question and reviews what you can expect when filing for bankruptcy.

Organize Your Debt

1. How MUCH debt do you have? Is it around $10,000 or more in debt you can eliminate, like medical bills, lawsuits, credit cards, personal loans, repossessions? Make a list of all your debt and what it is for. You can find a form at Infotapes.com. Remember, some debts don’t appear on credit reports, so gather your bills, and even old debts can chase you for 5 or 10 years or more

2. What KIND of debt do you have? So if you have $10,000 or more in debt, is it the kind you can get rid of, or the kind you want to pay, like vehicles or credit unions, or is it just government student loans?

So, you can make a short list, using our form, you can get a free credit report to see what your creditors are reporting to credit bureaus.

Consult with a Law Firm

3. Get a free phone mini-consultation. You will need competent advice on whether Chapter 7 or 13 is right for the type and amount of debt, and also for your income level. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can pick your Chapter, because you don’t know as much as Geraci Law’s highly experience attorneys.

4. Start uploading your documents. If we decide that we can help you, we’ll give you access to the Geraci Law Client Corner, run an Experian soft-pull, get a Kelly Blue Book value on your vehicles, estimate your house value if you have one, and more. You can then upload necessary documents to our Geraci Law Client Corner client portal, such as pay stubs, bank statements, contracts, bills and tax returns.

Meet with a Bankruptcy Lawyer for Free

5. Get a virtual or in-office interview and get your options, costs, and retain us, little or no money down. Figure a payment plan, and you’ve got yourself a lawyer! We’ll refer you to take a 20 minute online finance course, which costs $25. Take the course before you file. You can take my credit counseling course online for free to see what it’s like.

Review and Sign your Bankruptcy Paperwork

6. We’ll then prepare a bankruptcy petition of about 50 pages for you to review, and assemble the necessary documents you have uploaded, and after you sign it, we’ll file it with the Court.

File your Bankruptcy in Court

7. After we file in court, we’ll post all your documents on your secure Geraci Law Client Corner portal, where you will get all your messages, instructions, documents, and even videos about your meeting of creditors and taking your second Debtor Education Course. The bankruptcy court requires you to take the second course to get a discharge. I teach it, and the Administrative office of the U.S. Trustee in bankruptcy certifies it. The court is one of the only courses actually taught by an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Attend your Meeting of the Creditors

8. We will go with you, either by Zoom or in-person, to a brief interview with a Court appointed bankruptcy Trustee to go over your petition and approve it. If you filed Chapter 13, your plan will be confirmed and you will make the necessary monthly payment. If you filed Chapter 7, we will handle any paperwork with vehicles or mortgages you want to keep, and you will get a discharge around 4 months from date of filing.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 30,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com.

Geraci Law in Michigan

Geraci Law L.L.C. is now taking cases in Michigan! We are handling cases out of Lansing, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids and Marquette. Michiganders get the same great service that clients come to expect from Geraci Law.

Geraci Law L.L.C. is now taking cases in Michigan! We are handling cases out of Lansing, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids and Marquette. Michiganders get the same great service that clients come to expect from Geraci Law.

You can schedule online at https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/OfficeLocator or call 800 CALL PFG to review your options by phone.

Attorney Jason Kara is a senior attorney for Geraci Law L.L.C. He has extensive knowledge of complicated bankruptcy issues.

Attorney Kara is responsible for reviewing over-median Chapter 7 bankruptcies. He is originally from Cleveland and moved to the Detroit area during high school.

Attorney Kara attended Law School at Michigan State University (Go Green!) where he graduated Magna Cume Laude. While attending law school, Attorney Kara served on the Journal of Business and Securities Law. He spends his free time with his wife and two small children. He enjoys just about any athletic activity and is active in his community.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 30,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com.

Will I Lose My Home if I File for Bankruptcy?

The housing market is booming – houses are selling non-stop. Your house is your asset! Geraci Law wants to protect your asset in a bankruptcy.  You want Geraci Law on your side.

The real estate market is booming but folks are struggling to pay down debt. Whether high minimum payments or job loss/income change – debt is a problem. So what do you do if you own real estate and need bankruptcy help? Some common questions we get:

Will I lose my home if I file for bankruptcy?

Can I keep my home if I file for bankruptcy?

I have equity in my home – what happens to it if I file for bankruptcy?

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci answers your questions about Bankruptcy and Homes.

The housing market is booming – houses are selling non-stop. Your house is your asset! Geraci Law wants to protect your asset in a bankruptcy.  You want Geraci Law on your side. You only meet with attorneys at Geraci Law – you are not meeting with a paralegal or a petition preparer.

Best news? Consultations are free with Geraci Law Attorneys. Geraci Law is currently taking cases in the great states of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 30,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com.

Reaffirmation Agreements and Mortgages – if the mortgage company fails to offer me one?

Reaffirmations on Mortgages in Chapter 7. You don’t need one, but if you can’t get one, here’s what to do!

Below is an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci regarding reaffirmation agreements. Reaffirmation agreements can be complicated, use below as a guide to answer questions like – What do I do if I want to refinance and did not reaffirm my debt? My bank is telling me to reopen my Chapter 7 case and my attorney is telling me no. And more!

Read more articles like this @ https://www.infotapes.com/Articles

Reaffirmation Agreements and Mortgages – if the mortgage company fails to offer me one? – by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci

Under Chapter 7, your mortgage lenders get notice of filing the day we file your case.  The court sends notice, and most lenders search daily for new bankruptcy filings. Your petition includes a “statement of intention” to reaffirm, redeem or surrender the property. The lender then

  1. ceases any collection activity if you are late,
  2. may want a letter from us stating you can talk to them direct
  3. may stop sending you statements, and cancel   auto pay and online access (you may have to mail payments 5 days before due)

If you are current and want to keep the property, and your lender acts goofy like this, it can be a pain!   It may be as simple as

  1. call your lender and say: “ I want to continue payments, and statements”
  2. ask them what they need so you can keep on paying and have online access
  3. tell them you want to “reaffirm” your personal liability (they already know this)

What does “reaffirmation” of my personal liability on a mortgage have to do with paying them?   A “reaffirmation” makes your personal liability survive discharge, so if you default, and they foreclose, and sell the property, and don’t get enough to cover the loan, they can come after you personally. A reaffirmation doesn’t affect the validity of your mortgage, or your ability to pay it.  And they charge you $800 or so for preparing one.

Does it matter if my lender doesn’t want a reaffirmation of my personal liability?   No. It shouldn’t. Your bankruptcy included a “statement of intent to reaffirm”.  If you checked yes, it doesn’t mean much except you are OK with your personal liability on the mortgage surviving discharge. 

Who decides if the lender wants to enter into a “reaffirmation”?   The lender decides. Not you or us.

Lenders always send your info to their attorneys, who prepare the “reaffirmation” and send it to us. (Unlike credit unions, mortgage companies don’t do their own paperwork, they won’t send anything to you, or to us. They have their attorneys do it. So all you can do is tell whatever mortgage servicer to start taking your payments, and if they feel like it, you are OK with signing a reaffirmation, if they will prepare it.   No lender will sign anything prepared by you or your lawyer. Lenders will NOT prepare a “reaffirmation” if

  1. you are behind in any payment, taxes or insurance
  2. you are in some kind of forbearance, loss mitigation
  3. they don’t want to (maybe they sold your loan, or lost the original paperwork)
  4. they don’t have a valid lien on your property, etc. etc. etc.

If my lender wants to prepare a ‘reaffirmation” when do I sign it?   Before Discharge. The lender’s attorney must get us their reaffirmation so you can sign it before Discharge, about 4 months after filing of a Chapter 7. You can ask us to delay discharge if no reaffirmation before Discharge.

 Do I need a reaffirmation agreement to keep my house?  No.  Your mortgage is not affected.  You don’t need a “reaffirmation” to stay current.

If the bank allows me to reaffirm my liability on the promissory note, why should I sign a reaffirmation?   Lenders may refuse to report your payments to a credit bureau, or make any number of bizarre excuses for aggravating you, and say “You didn’t sign a reaffirmation, call your lawyers and have them reopen the case and send us one,”   They are just trying to get rid of you.

  1. Write down the Name, Employee #, contact info of anyone who tells you such nonsense, they might be located in China or India.
  2. Ask to speak to a supervisor.  Ask them to put the nonsense in writing.  Contact us with the details so we can help.

 If your mortgage company stopped reporting to the credit bureaus, and won’t accept your request to start reporting,

  • Request a payment history from your current mortgage company. Send this payment history to the 3 credit bureaus showing timely payments after bankruptcy discharge to show there are no missed payments.
  • Send your mortgage company a letter in writing stating:
  • You want the mortgage company to report both the timely and missed mortgage payments to Transunion, Equifax and Experian.
  • You do not consider the payment history reporting to the credit bureau a violation of collections.

Let your lawyers at Geraci Law know EXACTLY what the problem is, (who what where and when, take notes) if you can’t solve it with your lender.  We are pretty good at figuring things out, and there is NO charge for helping straighten out a mortgage lender, we do it all the time!  Don’t take bad treatment from a mortgage lender or servicer personally, they do it all the time.  The hotline for the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 30,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com.

Geraci Law Ready to Help Folks in New Albany, IN!

Geraci Law is ready help folks in New Albany Indiana and Southern Indiana! See pictures from PFG’s trip to New Albany.

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci and Attorney Robert (Rob) Brynjelsen took a road trip to New Albany, Indiana. Geraci Law is now handling Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in New Albany, Indiana.

Fun facts about New Albany, Indiana!

  1. New Albany High School was the FIRST high school in Indiana.
  2. Edwin Hubble taught at New Albany High School from 1913-1914. For those who do not know – Hubble is the astronomer namesake of the Hubble Space Telescope.
  3. William Culbertson was once considered the wealthiest man in Indiana and built Culbertson Mansion. You can visit Culbertson’s now!
  4. Midwest Grain Products (formerly Seagram’s) is one of the world’s largest distilleries. Based out of Lawrenceburg Indiana (so just a few miles east of New Albany).

PFG and Rob enjoyed their trip to New Albany, some pictures:

Great sign to the entrance of Downtown New Albany with a history lesson!
Rob and PFG visit our New Albany office landlord – Geraci Law ready to help in New Albany!

Bankruptcy Filing Will Not Save a Going Business

Geraci Law lawyers have been practicing bankruptcy for a combined total of 500 years, some as many as 25 or more than 40 years. Our advice is: “if you are running a business that is failing, do not file bankruptcy. Close the business, file your tax returns, and come and see us in two years”.

Read new article from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci titled, “Bankruptcy Filing will not Save a Going Business.” Read more articles at https://www.infotapes.com/articles/news/75/bankruptcy-filing-will-not-save-a-going-business/

Full article is below.

Small business bankruptcy or self-employed bankruptcy is usually a bad idea

By Peter Francis Geraci

Why Self- employed and small businesses DO NOT QUALIFY for bankruptcy relief.

Bankruptcy, whether it’s Chapter 7, 11 (whether a regular chapter 11 or the new subchapter 5), 13, does not solve the common problem of lack of money. Most self-employed people were small businesses have your regular income, and often can’t even meet payroll or regular living expenses. Businesses are doomed to fail. Bankruptcy will not solve that problem.

Geraci Law lawyers have been practicing bankruptcy for a combined total of 500 years, some as many as 25 or more than 40 years. Our advice is: “if you are running a business that is failing, do not file bankruptcy. Close the business, file your tax returns, and come and see us in two years”.

There are many good reasons:

 if you have a corporation, or an LLC, and you’re not operating as a self-employed person, Corporation filing Chapter 7 results in the corporation getting by a bankruptcy trustee

corporations can’t file under Chapter 13. Corporations that file under Chapter 11 usually get converted to chapter 7 on that liquidated, the fees are very high, and it’s only for corporations that have positive cash flow, or can get new financing to continue operating. Its like trying to save the Titanic.

if you are a small business that is not incorporated or an LLC, it is usually a bad idea to file either chapter 7 or 13 total businesses been closed for at least two years

A small business that files Chapter 7 gets the business liquidated by a bankruptcy trustee. You can do that yourself, way cheaper. It is a much better idea to simply close it if you don’t want to operate it, pay all the taxes doing file all the necessary returns, wait two years and see if anybody is bothering you.

In order to reorganize your debt with Chapter 13, you have to have enough regular income in order to pay your regular business expenses, and then pay taxes on the profit, and then take home after taxes enough money to pay your regular living expenses, with at least $300 left over to devote to paying creditors. Very few self-employed businesses produce enough income to cover regular business expenses, let alone living expenses 

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing for individuals who are regularly employed is often a wonderful solution to the problem of too much data and not enough money. When a business is involved, the paperwork doubles or triples. You must answer questions under oath, about business financial affairs, and you’re not going to discharge payroll taxes if you haven’t paid them, or other employee obligations. In addition, a copy of your bankruptcy will go to the IRS, and you will be required to file your state local and federal tax returns before getting any bankruptcy relief.

We have seen many bad things happen to individuals who go to lawyers who are only too eager to take a couple files and can file a Chapter 7 or 11 for a business that is either still operating, or hasn’t been closed for more than two years. We’ve seen it turn into a real mess, and in some cases into federal indictments. We could go into a lot of examples, but if you are planning to file a business bankruptcy, we suggest that you don’t. Either tough it out, and hope that things get better, or close it and pay your taxes and file your returns. If you can’t pay the taxes, file returns anywhere, because you may be able to discharge income taxes if you file truthful returns come and see us in two or three years! Be very careful to pay your employee taxes and withholding because if you were supposed to turn over withheld funds to the government and you don’t, there is no statute of limitations about discharge.

There are a lot of small businesses that fail. Chances are good that 70% of small businesses will fail within three years. If that happens to your business, you should not file a bankruptcy immediately, if at all. You should

  1. wait until the businesses closes
  2. file all tax returns even if you can’t pay the taxes due
  3. keep your books and records because that is another requirement,
  4. return all property that is security for a loan, to those lender
  5. don’t do anything weird like transfer or hide assets, bankruptcy judges hate that

and then and only then come and see us about cleaning up the mess and getting a fresh start after the businesses closed. Be very careful if you don’t heed this advice and some attorney wants to file a bankruptcy when a business is still open, and you haven’t filed all tax returns. You could be paying a lot of money for nothing and even get into big trouble.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 30,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com.

Debtor’s Prison


Below is an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci, read this and more @ Bankruptcy and Debt Articles | Geraci Law (infotapes.com)

The reason there is a bankruptcy law in the United States is that most of the founding fathers came from England, where there was no bankruptcy law. In fact, many of the members of the Constitutional Convention had personal experience being thrown into debtors’ prison in England. Some avoided debtors’ prison by fleeing to America. Some of the colonies were friendly to people in debt, and some were not. But everyone in 1787 agreed that Congress should make uniform bankruptcy laws. So that is in Article I Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, our country’s governing law.

Check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshalsea for a description of the most horrible of the debtor’s prisons in London, if you don’t count the one that they dug out under the river Thames. Charles Dickens novel Little Dorritt is about a family who grew up in the debtor’s prison Marshalsea, where the father spent 20 years imprisoned for a debt no one could figure out how to pay. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Dorrit There was even some of that in America until 1833, according to https://www.winonapost.com/Article/ArticleID/49823/Swamp-Water-Jurisprudence-Debtors-prisons-havent-gone-away

But now, the creditors can only use the courts to determine if you are liable to pay them, and if you are, use the courts to give you notice before they take your property or bank account. And you don’t have to serve time in debtor’s prison, you can file a plan for debt relief under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. If you live in a state where Geraci Law practices, you can get help from us, just visit www.infotapes.com

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 30,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com.