Debt Settlement and Debt Consolidation vs. Bankruptcy

Is bankruptcy a better option for managing debt?

Is bankruptcy a better option for managing debt?

Debt settlement and debt consolidation rarely work in favor of consumers. There is no guarantee that they will work. So how does it work? Basically, debt settlement and consolidation companies have you pay them to settle your debts for you.

They have no special bargaining powers or authority to make your creditors settle. If a creditor does not want to settle, they can simply refuse, keep charging you late fees and interest, while you keep paying the settlement company to basically do nothing.

Bankruptcy gives you protection under the law. After your case is filed, the Federal Bankruptcy Court issues an Automatic Stay, which grants automatic and immediate protection from your creditors. From there on out, your debts are handled under court supervision and creditors cannot continue to charge late fees or interest.

Liz Weston from NerdWallet wrote a great article detailing why debt settlement and debt consolidation are BAD alternatives to bankruptcy, how they hurt you more in the long term.

The article is a few years old but still applies, check it out @ https://www.southbendtribune.com/story/business/2017/08/30/debt-settlement-a-bad-alternative-to-bankruptcy/46331397/

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 Much Does Bankruptcy Cost?

We will meet with you for free, run a free credit report, go over all your debts and budget, and give you advice on getting out of debt. We will file your case for low money down, and let you choose your payment schedule. We make getting debt free affordable and easy for you.

Check out below from Geraci Law’s web site @ https://www.infotapes.com/

Beware the lawyers that promise “$0/down to file Chapter 7”. It’s usually not completely true and you end up paying more overall in the end. It’s free to start with a Geraci Law attorney.

We will meet with you for free, run a free credit report, go over all your debts and budget, and give you advice on getting out of debt. We will file your case for low money down, and let you choose your payment schedule. We make getting debt free affordable and easy for you. If it weren’t true, we would not have over 30,000+ reviews from satisfied clients.

Additional resources:

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 Does Bankruptcy Filing Work?

Check out the Infotapes from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci. Watch below or @ https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/Infotapes

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 ClientCorner, 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 ClientCorner 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 ClientCorner 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.

Heating Gas Prices Triple!

Inflation hurting everyone!

Read, “Heating Gas Prices Triple” a press release from Geraci Law. You can read this and more at https://www.infotapes.com/Press.

In Northern Illinois, not to mention Indiana and, of course, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, etc., it’s cold outside right now! So, turn up your heat, but be prepared for a big natural gas bill (thankfully we have gas heat, not electric which is even more costly).

According to NICOR, the natural gas supplier, the price of a therm of natural gas in January 2021 was 29 cents vs. January 2022 is 61 cents per therm. DOUBLE

1)     Peoples Gas prices for October 2020 were 24 cents per therm and in October 2021, they are 72 cents per therm — a 198% increase. TRIPLE

2)     Nicor Gas prices for October 2020 were 28 cents per therm and in October 2021, they are 61 cents per therm — a 125% increase. MORE THAN DOUBLE

3)     North Shore Gas prices for October 2020 were 35 cents per therm and October 2021, they are 67 cents per therm — a 91% increase. JUST ABOUT DOUBLE

Geraci Law is increasing the budget expense for new Chapter 7 and 13 filings accordingly, so clients can meet their living expenses, and pay less to creditors under the “means test” that Democratic leaders (you know who) pushed through in 2005 to make debtors pay more to creditors. But with inflation, bankruptcy filings are designed to insure that debtors can pay their regular living expenses, before they pay creditors, or even discharge their debt so they can pay their gas bills. Thank your politicians for making it tough on everyone!

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.

Does Your Resolution Involve Debt?

No one wants to file for bankruptcy but life happens and that’s what the Fresh Start Button is for.

An article in The Washington Post titled, “Americans’ top five financial resolutions and how to make them stick” illustrates people’s WANT to budget and save. The author provides some good tips on how to make a budget and stick to it (the subheading – no you don’t need a budgeting app to control your spending is pretty good too).

This article does not account for large amounts of debt. Something in life happens where you are laid off, injured or just simply without the money to save. You use credit to survive and all of a sudden – you are stuck. Saving money becomes far more difficult when you are making minimum payments only to use your credit because your cash is gone.

THAT is where Geraci Law can help. No one wants to file for bankruptcy but life happens and that’s what the Fresh Start Button is for. So many clients are happy and relieved and are ABLE to:

  • Start a savings account. Think about it – if you are spending $600 per month on minimum payments, you eliminate the debt and you have THAT $600 extra per month. Put 1/2 away in a savings account and in a year – you are at $3,600 in emergency funds (put ALL into a savings account and you are at $7,200).
  • Invest – see the article. The author references a free course from the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).

You cannot start saving until you deal with the debt problem. Geraci Law attorneys are ready to talk to you and review all of your options. Read the article at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/01/04/new-years-advice-to-keep-financial-resolutions/

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 Do I Get Out of Debt?

The question is answered by Attorney Peter Francis non-bankruptcy credit counseling courses. You can watch this and more @ https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyInformationVideos

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.

Who your Lawyer is, DOES Make a Difference

An attorney representing creditors scrutinizes your Chapter 7 or 13 petition, looking for assets they can take, or money they can get you to pay creditors.

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

Geraci Law founder Peter Francis Geraci likes to say “Why pay the same and not get the name?” Even worse, why THINK you’re paying an attorney to protect you, but end up losing your home or other asset? 

Remember, creditors look at your bankruptcy petition, and so does the United States Trustee and their minions. An attorney representing creditors scrutinizes your Chapter 7 or 13 petition, looking for assets they can take, or money they can get you to pay creditors.

Geraci Law attorney Nathan E. Curtis recently defeated a Chapter 7 trustee in one case, and a Chapter 13 trustee in another. In Will County, Illinois, the Chapter 7 trustee wanted to take $12,000.00 the Geraci clients had claimed exempt as funds from the sale of their home, because Illinois law says the “homestead” exemption is only good for a year. Attorney Curtis pointed out to the Court that, since the Chapter 7 was filed within a year of receiving the sale proceeds, the Trustee could not claim it by holding the Chapter 7 case open and waiting a year to object. This saved the Debtors $12,000.00.

In the Chapter 13 case, Geraci Law attorney Nathan Curtis defeated the claim of the Chapter 13 trustee that life insurance proceeds of $50,000 were “disposable income” that had to be paid to creditors. Attorney Curtis pointed out that only “current monthly income”, not a one-time payment, much less a life insurance payment that is exempt from creditors, may be required to be used to pay creditors. The Bankruptcy Judge agreed, and Geraci Law saved the widow from having to use life insurance to pay creditors.

Who you choose for an attorney DOES make a difference! 

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.

Debt Collectors can text you, email you, and contact you on social media!

The federal agency Consumer Financial Protection Bureau doesn’t seem to be protect you much when they passed new rules that let debt collectors email you, text you, and message you on social media.

Read article below by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci and more @ https://www.infotapes.com/Articles

The federal agency Consumer Financial Protection Bureau doesn’t seem to be protect you much when they passed new rules that let debt collectors email you, text you, and message you on social media. They do have to identify themselves as debt collectors. On social media, they can send you a fried request. They have to give you the option to opt out of being contacted online. Any messages have to be private, not on you public or contacts page.

The good news is that you will be more aware of collection activities, so you can do something about your financial mess before you get sued or garnished. Of course, most people who have debt collectors contacting them don’t do much of anything if it is just one small debt. But if you have $10,000 or more in consumer debt, outside of student loans, and you are getting emails and texts, you can be sure that it just isn’t going away, and debts have at least a 5 year statute of limitation before the debt is to old to collect

Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy stop all collection efforts during the bankruptcy proceedings, and stop all collection permanently on debts you obtain a discharge for. The sooner you contact Geraci Law if you have over $10,000 in debt you can’t pay, the sooner you will be able to decide what to do.

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 Oak Park

You can schedule an appointment in person at the Geraci Law Oak Park office at 7015 W. North Ave, Oak Park IL 60302. 2 blocks east of Harlem. Buona Beef is on the corner, across from Starbucks. Or meet any of our Geraci Law attorneys virtually!

Geraci Law Oak Park team is ready to help you with your debt! Meet our Geraci Law Oak Park team.

You can schedule an appointment in person at the Geraci Law Oak Park office at 7015 W. North Ave, Oak Park IL 60302. 2 blocks east of Harlem. Buona Beef is on the corner, across from Starbucks. Or meet any of our Geraci Law attorneys virtually. Schedule an appointment online at https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/OfficeLocator

Attorney Frank Hernandez – 865 Reviews

Attorney Frank Hernandez started at Geraci Law over 20 years ago. He is fluent in Spanish and is learning to speak German and Italian. He is a father and is a former Officer in the United States Army. He is a supervising attorney and responsible for Geraci Law Berwyn and Oak Park offices.

Attorney Hernandez trains young attorneys and staff. He has extensive knowledge of bankruptcy law and works tirelessly to find the best solution for his clients. Attorney Hernandez is also a partner of Geraci, Arreola, & Hernandez. He has helped personal injury and malpractice clients obtain settlements in the millions of dollars.

He met a family of five living in a basement apartment. They did not have a vehicle and could barely afford rent. With the help of Geraci, Arreola & Hernandez, the family received a $7.7 million dollar settlement. They purchased a house and all the latest health aides and devices to make their disabled son comfortable.

Attorney Lizette Villegas – 811 Reviews

Attorney Lizette Villegas is a senior attorney at Geraci Law. She provides client consultations and then prepares and files petitions and plans. Attorney Villegas is a skilled petition preparer and is responsible for some of the firm’s most complicated cases.

She graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Latin American Studies from DePaul University and went on to earn her Juris Doctor from DePaul University. Attorney Villegas is fluent in Spanish and beloved by clients. Her client reviews describe her as, “professional,” “wonderful,” and “fast.” She will work to find the best solution for her clients.

Attorney Wylie Mok – 1,367 Reviews

Wylie is a Senior Attorney with Geraci Law and graduated with honors from UIC John Marshall Law School in 2007 and was an editor on The John Marshall Law Review. Prior to that, Wylie graduated from Boston College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Philosophy.

Wylie started at Geraci Law in 2008 and since then has helped thousands of people get out of debt. Wylie has interned for the Illinois State’s Attorney in the Juvenile Protection Division and the City of Chicago Department of Law Labor Division. Wylie is liked by his clients for his outgoing and easy to talk to personality and his meticulous attention to detail.

When not hard at work caring for his clients, Wylie loves to cook, play the piano and guitar, and take his nieces and nephews to the movies, roller coaster parks, or baseball games.

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.

Beverages & Budgeting

Beverages & Budgeting – grab a drink and let’s take a look at your monthly expenses, let’s see if Geraci Law can help!

Grab a cold one or a warm one and watch Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s video on budgeting. Weekends are a great time to sit down with the bills over a iced or warm beverage!

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.

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