If I am Married, Can I File Bankruptcy Alone?

Will my bankruptcy affect my spouse?

Below is an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci, you can read more articles at https://www.infotapes.com/Articles.

If I am married, can I file a bankruptcy without my husband or wife? 

There are a lot of different answers so don’t expect to call us and get the right answer without a virtual or in-person consultation (which is free) with an experienced Geraci Law attorney. You will have to provide some detailed info to get a reliable answer.

. Married people file jointly, or separately, or just one. You can file alone. Filing a “husband and wife” case saves you on fees and costs. But there are reasons NOT to file joint cases, and reasons you should file together.

Example #1:  “I have credit card debt I can’t pay and just got fired. My spouse makes $130,000 a year, but is not joint on my cards, but we have a joint checking account. I am on title to 2 properties with him but not on the mortgage. Can I file Chapter 7 and get a discharge

Answer: Probably not. Your household income is $130,000 even without you working. The Chapter 7 Trustee would object to discharge of your debt because the household income is sufficient to pay it. On top of it, you own ½ interest in real estate, and only a Chapter 13 debt repayment plan would enable you to discharge your debt and keep your property interest.

Result: When you are back to work, see us about a Chapter 13 debt repayment plan if your spouse and you can’t pay off your credit cards. 

Example #2: “I just got married and have a lot of debt from before my marriage. It’s a second marriage and we keep separate accounts and have no joint property.   My spouse makes $130,000 a year, and pays all the household expenses, since I only make $25,000 a year. Can I file Chapter 7?

Answer:  Yes. Since there are no joint debts, accounts, or property, you are not a member of a “household” that can pay the debt, unlike Example #1 above. Depending on where you live though there are different applications of the “household rule”. You may qualify for Chapter 7, and if not, for a low Chapter 13 payment.

What to do if you are worried about your debt?

A. Please don’t call and expect an opinion on the phone. Have the courtesy to yourself of getting a half hour of free consultation with an experienced Geraci Law attorney.

B. Before you call for an appointment, talk to your spouse. It’s not like you committed a crime, you just have some debt. Your spouse may want to pay it, or may want to pay for your bankruptcy. Bad idea to try to keep it a secret.

so, there are some considerations, it depends on the facts, and there are a lot of secrets:

If you want to file a joint case, both of you must attend your first consultation. You can’t send hubby in by himself. That way you both hear the same advice. . Then you won’t have to go back alone and answer your spouse’s questions. Sometimes we recommend that one spouse NOT file, or that one file Chapter 7, and the other file Chapter 13.

1.   If you want to file your own case separately, that is ok. But if you living in the same household, we do have to know the total household income, and if spouses are keeping separate income and expenses. But one can file without the other.

2.   Wisconsin is one of 8 community property states. You can’t get rid of community debt by filing alone. But if you file alone, your creditors can’t attach community property as long as your non-filing spouse does not file. The same with a residence in Illinois or Indiana held as tenants by the entirety. 

3.   Many people have debts that they had before the marriage. A spouse is not liable for the other spouse’s pre-marital debts.

4.   Domestic support obligations, attorney fees to the other spouse in most cases, and guardian ad litem fees, and property settlement obligations, are not dischargeable in Chapter 7. In Chapter 13, domestic support obligations must be paid, and you can pay arrears ahead of other creditors. Also, in Chapter 13, property settlement obligations that cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 may be discharged. So, you need an experienced attorney if you have marital debt issues.

5.   Your filing does not affect the other spouse’s obligation to pay debts they are liable on. In community property states, like Wisconsin, your bankruptcy leaves your spouse with any debt incurred during the marriage, unless the spouse also files. But then your creditors can reach the other spouse’s community property, although it might be exempt.

6.   If you ran up the bills during the marriage, even though your spouse did not sign for the debt, or even know about it, your creditors may be able to collect from your spouse. Many states have “family expense” laws that make one spouse responsible for the debts of another if the debts were incurred for family purposes. The theory is that each spouse owes a duty to immediate family members to support them. Food, clothing, rent, medical bills and household items can be the responsibility of the other spouse.

7.   Sometimes one spouse will send the other one in, because they don’t want to pay the other’s bills. Then, instead of sending money to bill collectors, you can send your money to your own family. It makes for a happier marriage.

8.   Sometimes you are involved in a “bust-out scheme”, where you and your spouse loaded up your cards on purpose, and now plan to get rid of the debt. That may raise objections by creditors and the U.S. Trustee, depending on the facts.

Therefore, while you may be able to file a case alone, you may have to take into consideration both your spouse’s income, even if you keep your income and expenses separately, and any liability your spouse may have for your debts. You can protect your spouse from this liability by a joint filing, or, you can pay the debts that your spouse is liable for in a Chapter 13. Then, while you make the Chapter 13 payment, no creditor can bother your spouse. The same theory applies to co-signed debts.

This is one area where an experienced Geraci Law attorney is worth their weight in gold!

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

Is Bankruptcy Bad?

No. Bankruptcy is GOOD! Bill collectors, however, have us hypnotized that we need “credit” and we have to pay til we die so we have “credit.”

So many people believe bankruptcy is bad – it’s really the opposite. It could be the fresh start so many of us need during this pandemic.

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci answers the question on everyone’s mind – Is Bankruptcy Bad?

Is Bankruptcy a Bad Thing?

No. Bankruptcy is GOOD! It’s in the Bible, and it’s been in the U.S. Constitution since 1787. Bill collectors, however, have us hypnotized that we need “credit” and we have to pay til we die so we have “credit.”

The real question is, “if I get debt discharged in bankruptcy,” can I get into debt again? Can I buy a house and car? Can I get another credit card and start fresh?

Can I Get Credit Again After Bankruptcy?

Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes! You CAN get into debt again, buy a house and car, get another credit card, and start fresh. Here’s why:

Bankruptcy means you list all your debts and ask the Court to discharge your obligations as much as possible. Both Chapter 7 elimination and Chapter 13 repayment end with you getting a Discharge.

As soon as you file, all collection actions must stop, with a few exceptions. Most people who file have bad credit, and a credit score in the 500’s. You cannot get credit when your credit is bad.

So, how does your credit get better by obtaining a Chapter 7 or 13 discharge?

  1. Your debt to income ratio improves: You have less debt.
  2. Your credit score improves, unless you’re unemployed, because now you have less debt.
  3. Creditors see that you can afford to repay them, whereas before your discharge everyone was after you. Find out why we call it “THANKRUPTCY.”
  4. Most car dealers will finance a brand new vehicle for you the day you file Chapter 7. Amazing, but TRUE. Go ask them. We get many people who are told by the car dealer to go file Chapter 7 and then come back to get financing.
  5. You can’t buy a house when you are subject to lawsuits. You can buy a house after bankruptcy discharge. With a bankruptcy Discharge, most creditors can’t sue you and attach a lien on the house, or grab your paycheck so you miss house payments. You are instantly way more reliable with a discharge of debt. Wait two years, save some money, and apply for your mortgage.

So, if you’re overloaded with debt, don’t be afraid of getting a fresh start. Bankruptcy is not bad, it’s GOOD. Read some of our over 30,000 5-star reviews for actual stories from real Geraci Law clients just like you.

Bankruptcy is a safety valve. Most of my clients have credit scores below 600. Go to Infotapes.com for access to a free credit report. Owing money you cannot pay is bad. Most people end up without money because of circumstances beyond their control. Bankruptcy adjusts the debt situation to 0 again. You start out even. You get a fresh start, while still keeping the necessities of life. But the prevailing attitude about bankruptcy is that is “bad.”

Bankruptcy is in the Constitution

Bankruptcy was so important to the Founding Fathers of the United States, that, when the U.S. Constitution was written in 1787, they directed Congress to make uniform bankruptcy laws. Article III, Section 8 of the United States Constitution states: “Congress shall make uniform laws relating to Bankruptcy.”

There was little disagreement between the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, when it came to having a bankruptcy law. Freedom from debt was important, and so was the ability to start fresh. Bankruptcy is more fundamental to the United States of America than freedom of the press and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Bankruptcy is in the Bible

The origin of bankruptcy can be found in ancient traditions, like the Bible, Deuteronomy 15.1: “In the 7th year, each creditor shall release his debtors. This shall be known as The Lord’s Release.” In the Old Testament, it was the policy that a debt could exist only 6 years, and should be relaxed or forgiven in the seventh year. The purpose was to prevent damage to society by allowing a debt to live forever. The lender was cautioned to lend only as much as the borrower could reasonably be expected to repay.

There are other Biblical references to debt, such as St. Paul’s admonition in Romans 13:8; “Strive to owe no debt, except that debt that binds us to love one another.” I have found nothing in any religion that states that owing money to another is “good.” In the Koran, there is a prohibition against lending money at interest. In most Moslem countries today, Moslems borrow at no interest from “banks of the faithful.”

Bankruptcy is not “Bad.” Bankruptcy is a fundamental right with origins deeply rooted in our history and heritages.

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.

How to Find the Best Bankruptcy Attorney for a Reasonable Fee

Why pay the same and not get the name?

Below is an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci. Read this and more at https://www.infotapes.com/Articles.

Here is an “unknown” attorney advertising for bankruptcy on Google Local Leads. Know that when choosing a lawyer, there are BIG differences!  Anyone with $10 can put up a Google Ad. This person looks nice, but is

a. a one person shop

b. less than 20 reviews and other ratings not good

c. claims to have 5 office locations  sure, how when you are 1 person?

d. Licensed for over 10 years but nothing to tell where, no CV on website. (sure sign of trouble)

e. lists a cell phone for an office phone

f. claims to answer every call in person! and text. must be very busy. or not.

g. apparently just blew into town? claims to have experience but no clue where

h. only speaks English 

f. LICENSE? one revoked, probably abandoned, just resigned another, only remaining license just “updated”. no mention of federal court admission which is required for bankruptcy law. Probably has a federal license, but kind of sloppy not to mention it.

So, you pick this ADVERTISEMENT? why? because you have an inferiority complex, you don’t know how to select an attorney, you think you are going to “get a cheap lawyer” for a 50 page federal bankruptcy filing to eliminate 40,000 in debt and get experienced advice?

Then you find out that ALL LAWYERS CHARGE ABOUT THE SAME, MOST EXACTLY THE SAME, for Chapter 13, and within a couple hundred of each other for Chapter 7, depending on the type of Chapter 7, and there are over 15 types!

Seems to me this attorney is one step away from bankruptcy, totally unknown, working out of a basement, instead of 100 attorneys and staff, 500 years of combined experience, 40,000 FIVE STAR REVIEWS, real offices, Client Corner portal, PFG Debtor Education, and more!

We don’t like to “sell against the competition” but they sure like to do it to us….paper does not refuse ink, and Google doesn’t refuse paid ads!

Be careful. Why? Rumor has it that that attorneys FIRED from law firms for making phony entries about client matters, or just plain incompetence, or hiding their past, end up as solo practitioners, legends in their own mind.

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.

Credit Score & Bankruptcy Misconceptions

Geraci Law is here to help. Sometimes it’s just admitting that you need help as the first step. We’re happy to talk to you about debt, credit scores and how to achieve your financial goals.

There’s a misconception of bankruptcy being the end all, be all to your financial future. In practicality it’s the opposite for most people. It’s simply relief and the opportunity to start again. The question you do not want to ask is, “will bankruptcy ruin my credit” but rather “can I pay off my debt in full?”

Bankruptcy is not the end of your future. The crazy thing is you will most likely get MORE offers after filing for bankruptcy than you do now. Creditors love you in debt. If you are making the minimum payments every month, your cash is gone forcing you to use the credit again. Another minimum payment paid, another tank of gas charged and the debt cycle continues.

What bankruptcy WILL do is eliminate your obligation to a debt balance. You have a fresh start – you are back to square one where the money you were paying out to interest (maybe late fees) is back in your pocket.

You can start a savings account!

You can rely on a budget to meet the household expenses!

You can save to buy a car for cash!

You could save to buy a house after bankruptcy!

You are no longer reliant on credit for simple survival. It’s absolute freedom from the debt cycle.

There’s a misconception of I NEED A CREDIT CARD. You don’t. If you do – there are several options like a secured credit card if you want to keep the plastic. Debit cards are wonderful tools to stick to a budget.

Check out these debt calculators. Almost all billing statements will show the total balance and your interest rate.

https://www.creditkarma.com/calculators/debtrepayment

https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/finance/debt-snowball-calculator

https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/credit-cards/credit-card-payoff-calculator.aspx

Geraci Law is here to help. Sometimes it’s just admitting that you need help as the first step. We’re happy to talk to you about debt, credit scores and how to achieve your financial goals. Check out an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci @ https://www.infotapes.com/articles/news/65/does-chapter-7-or-13-bankruptcy-ruin-my-credit/

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.

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.