Protect Assets before Filing for Bankruptcy

Before a Geraci law attorney files a case, we analyze the client’s assets, and whether those assets are “exempt” from creditors or not. Read more to see protection that could help you! Need to review your options? Call 800 CALL PFG for a free consult or set online @ https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/OfficeLocator

Below is an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci titled, “Protect Assets before Filing for Bankruptcy.” This focuses on rent prepayment as allowable in some states to protect otherwise exposed case from creditors. Read more articles by Attorney Geraci at https://www.infotapes.com/Articles

Before a Geraci law attorney files a bankruptcy for a client, we always analyze the client’s assets, and whether those assets are “exempt” from creditors or not. Each state has laws called exemption laws. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code also has exemption provisions. These exemptions state what property is “exempt” from attachment and liquidation by your creditors.

Exemption planning is perfectly permissible! One way to claim an exemption is to convert “non-exempt” property into “exempt” property. This should NOT be done to hide money from creditors, or without the advice of an attorney, but some “exemption planning” has been approved by both state courts and bankruptcy courts. “Homestead” exemptions are usually thought of as protecting real estate, but in some states, when filing an Illinois bankruptcy or an Indiana bankruptcy, personal property such as a trailer used for a residence, or prepaid rent, are permissible exemptions under those states “Homestead Exemptions”.

In some states, such as Florida, exemption planning is forbidden when it comes to personal property. :

Florida Statute 222.30  Fraudulent asset conversions.— (1) As used in this section, “conversion” means every mode, direct or indirect, absolute or conditional, of changing or disposing of an asset, such that the products or proceeds of the asset become immune or exempt by law from claims of creditors of the debtor and the products or proceeds of the asset remain property of the debtor. The definitions of chapter 726 apply to this section unless the application of a definition would be unreasonable.

(2) Any conversion by a debtor of an asset that results in the proceeds of the asset becoming exempt by law from the claims of a creditor of the debtor is a fraudulent asset conversion as to the creditor, whether the creditor’s claim to the asset arose before or after the conversion of the asset, if the debtor made the conversion with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud the creditor.

There has to be the requisite intent. “[A] debtor can convert non-exempt assets to exempt unless he is motivated to make such a conversion by an actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud his creditors.” In re Jennings, 522 F.3d 1333 (11th Cir. 2008)

But if you are lucky enough to own real estate, or a trailer, that is your primary residence in Florida, (your “homestead”) you CAN transfer cash or sell that $40,000 classic car that would be taken in a bankruptcy, and pay down your mortgage on your homestead property. FLA does not have a blanket prohibition against exemption planning.

1.      222.30 does not apply to the homestead in FL. See Havoco of Am. Ltd. v. Hill, 790 So.2d 1018 (Fla. 2001) and In re Chauncey, 454 F.3d 1292 (11th Cir. 2006)

 2.      There has to be the requisite intent. “[A] debtor can convert non-exempt assets to exempt unless he is motivated to make such a conversion by an actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud his creditors.” In re Jennings, 522 F.3d 1333 (11th Cir. 2008)

So, in Illinois and Indiana Geraci Law lawyers think about renters: Is there a homestead exemption for prepaid rent or security deposit?

Illinois     Yes – 735 ILCS 5/12 901

Indiana      Yes – IC 34-55-10-2(c)(1)

Wisconsin   No for homestead, but  Yes under wildcard

FL     No for homestead Florida Constitution Article 10 § 4 and Florida Statutes Annotated § 222.01 through § 222.05 but yes under wildcard

US    Yes, arguably because same language as Illinois and Indiana

Illinois: 735 ILCS 5/12 901: Every individual is entitled to an estate of homestead to the extent in value of $15,000 of his or her interest in a farm or lot of land and buildings thereon, a condominium, or personal property, owned or rightly possessed by lease or otherwise and occupied by him or her as a residence, or in a cooperative that owns property that the individual uses as a residence.

Indiana: IC 34-55-10-2(c)(1): Real estate or personal property constituting the personal or family residence of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor, or estates or rights in that real estate or personal property, of not more than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000). The exemption under this subdivision is individually available to joint debtors concerning property held by them as tenants by the entireties.

Florida: 222.05  Setting apart leasehold. Mobile home on leased land is exempt.

Federal: 11 U.S.C. (d) The following property may be exempted under subsection (b)(2) of this section:

(1) The debtor’s aggregate interest, not to exceed $15,000 [$20,200 effective 4-1-07. Adjusted every 3 years by section 104.] in value, in real property or personal property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence, in a cooperative that owns property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence, or in a burial plot for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.

 Wisconsin 990.01 (14)  Homestead exemption. “Exempt homestead” means the dwelling, including a building, condominium, mobile home, manufactured home, house trailer or cooperative or an unincorporated cooperative association, and so much of the land surrounding it as is reasonably necessary for its use as a home, but not less than 0.25 acre, if available, and not exceeding 40 acres, within the limitation as to value under s. 815.20, except as to liens attaching or rights of devisees or heirs of persons dying before the effective date of any increase of that limitation as to value.

ANALYSIS:

Illinois: By plain language, a debtor’s interest in a lease can be claimed as homestead as long as they are living there.

Indiana: Under IN law, a leasehold can be considered an interest in real property or an interest in personal property, but the exemption applies regardless. See In re Coffey, 339 B.R. 689 (Bankr. N.D. Ind 2006)

Federal: debtor’s interest in real or personal property used as a residence under homestead: also can be exempt under federal wildcard

Florida: Homestead is principal residence, must be real estate of something live in on land, like a trail that is owned, whether on land owned or leased. But exemption planning adding to homestead is allowed and can be exempted.

Wisconsin: Prepaid rent can’t be exempted under Homestead definition limited to “the dwelling” no language like Illinois and Wisconsin.

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.

Are You Ready For a Fresh Start in 2021?

Geraci Law can help you take back control of your finances. Filing for bankruptcy could give you a fresh start in 2021.

2020 is over (finally) and everyone is ready for a new and better year. But what are your options if you have debt you can’t afford to pay? Are you paying minimums only to use the credit again because your cash is gone?

Geraci Law can help you take back control of your finances. Filing for bankruptcy could give you a fresh start in 2021. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy could discharge or eliminate obligation to debt balances like credit cards, personal loans, medical bills, etc. You could keep things like your house and car – the only thing to lose is the debt!

Filing a bankruptcy could change your life for the better. It’s the elimination of the sleepless nights and worry about how and who is getting paid. Geraci Law is the firm to help you accomplish that goal. We’re here to help you figure it out.

It all starts with a phone call. Geraci Law attorneys are available by phone and offer same day meetings and case filings! You could improve your credit score, start saving money and put yourself in a better position in the future.

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.

Do You Live in a Bankruptcy Assistance Desert?

Below is an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci titled, “Do you live in a Bankruptcy Assistance Desert?” You can read more articles by Attorney Geraci at https://www.infotapes.com/Articles.

Below is an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci titled, “Do you live in a Bankruptcy Assistance Desert?” You can read more articles by Attorney Geraci at https://www.infotapes.com/Articles.

Do you live in a “Bankruptcy Legal Desert”? According to the American Bar Association’s 2020 Profile of the Legal Profession, you may. 40% of America’s counties have less than 1 lawyer per 1000 residents, and some have way less.

And it gets worse depending on what you need a lawyer for. An article in the Indiana Lawyer journal says “simply having lawyers in a county doesn’t guarantee they are available to the public”, because many work for governments or corporations.

Depending on what you need an attorney for, it may be a real problem. You may have to drive for an hour, or even longer, to the location of an attorney that is able to represent you in a specific matter.

Take bankruptcy, for instance. Outside of major cities, there are usually only 1 or 2 lawyers who practice consumer bankruptcy law. And often, they don’t do much of it, only a case here and there, and may do only Chapter 7 cases, not Chapter 13 repayment plans which are at least 1/3 of bankruptcy filings nationwide.

One reason is, once you get away from the “big city”, there aren’t a large number of bankruptcies, because the population is thinner. In sparsely populated areas, there may not be any lawyers for any particular kind of matter. The lawyers in those counties, therefore, don’t get the experience of an attorney who practices exclusively in bankruptcy court.

They may be excellent lawyers, but your options are very limited, both by the lack of lawyers, and the lack of lawyers who actually practice bankruptcy law. It used to be even worse for bankruptcy, because the bankruptcy courts are Federal courts, and usually only located in downtown office buildings in the largest cities, such as Orlando, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee.

Chapter 13 trustees for an entire region of millions of people may be 2 hours away from those living outside the downtown areas. Lawyers, as well as clients, had to waste an entire day traveling to court, standing around waiting for a hearing, and getting back to the office or home. But not any more!

What happened? COVID! Lawyers and courts discovered Zoom, and learned how to keep the courts running remotely, or “virtually”. Geraci Law was providing remote, or “virtual” bankruptcy services to its clients for years. Geraci Law bankruptcy clients enjoy the Geraci Law “Client Corner” client portal, and can set virtual or office appointments, message their attorney, sign and upload documents, and even attend bankruptcy hearings, remotely, on their cell phones!

This means that if you live in a rural area, or even in a big city, you don’t have to battle rush hour, find a sitter, take a day off work, or drive an hour to find a bankruptcy lawyer.

All you need is your cell phone or computer. Geraci Law is available to help you virtually! Use the Geraci Law Office Locator at www.infotapes.com to find a virtual or physical Geraci Law office near you. Get your basic information by going to www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com and using the Search tool. You’ll find the answers to the most often-asked bankruptcy questions, before you call to become a Geraci Law client, and get debt-free!

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.

Happy Thanksgiving from Geraci Law!

Have a VERY Happy Thanksgiving from All at Geraci Law. If you need us, call us at 800 CALL PFG (800.225.5734).

Have a VERY Happy Thanksgiving from All at Geraci Law. If you need us, call us at 800 CALL PFG (800.225.5734) We are open on Friday and Saturday for calls.

Great information at www.infotapes.com – you can learn about Geraci Law, bankruptcy, debt consolidation, and MORE!

New Infotapes are released – check them out at here!

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 Blitz? Call Geraci Law!

Being nervous is 100% normal. If you are putting essentials like groceries, gas on a credit card every month because you are spending your cash paying minimums – then it’s time to call us. Admitting that you need help is difficult. But most of our clients feel RELIEVED they did.

Football starts this week. We hope you have your fantasy football lineups set! If you are struggling with debt, it may be time for a Hail Mary pass. The GOOD news that could be a consultation with a Geraci Law attorney.

Being nervous is 100% normal. If you are putting essentials like groceries, gas on a credit card every month because you are spending your cash paying minimums – then it’s time to call us. Admitting that you need help is difficult. But most of our clients feel RELIEVED they did.

Check out this balance calculator – https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/managing-debt/minimum-payment-calculator.aspx

Put in what your TOTAL credit card balance is. For an example, $20,000 in credit card debt at 18% interest with a minimum payment of $500 per month will take 411 months to pay off the balances. That’s OVER 34 YEARS. If you stayed on this plan, you would pay $29,423.50 for the original balance of $20,000! I imagine you could put $9,000 of money you are giving away to creditors to much better use.

Make a change. Call Geraci Law for a free consultation. If we cannot help you, we’ll tell you alternative options. We’re ready to help change your life for the better.

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 South Bend, Indiana

Geraci Law is taking Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in South Bend Indiana!

Geraci Law is taking Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in South Bend Indiana! If you are struggling with debt, we offer a FREE consultation with our experienced team to review your options!

We also handle cases in Elkhart, Mishawaka, and surrounding areas. We’re ready to help with debt and cheer on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish! Did you know South Bend hosts the one of the largest Dyngus Day celebrations outside of Poland?

SAD

Attorney John Sadler 

Attorney John Sadler is a senior court attorney and supervising attorney at Geraci Law. Attorney Sadler is admitted to the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Indiana, and the Southern District of Indiana. He has bar admissions in Indiana and Illinois.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice & Sociology and Juris Doctor from Indiana University. In his spare time, he enjoys camping, cycling, and other outdoor activities. He is a board member of a small non-profit cycling organization focused on raising money through cycling events for cancer research.

LAC

Attorney Lacey Faul 

Attorney Lacey Faul is a Senior Attorney at Geraci Law and has been with the firm since November 2009. She graduated from Purdue University in 2006 (Boiler Up!) with a major in Management and minors in Marketing and Human Resources & Organizational Behavior. She received her J.D. from Indiana University – Indianapolis in 2009 and joined Geraci Law soon after. She is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association – Bankruptcy Section, Indiana Bar Association, and Illinois Bar Association. She is licensed in the Southern District of Indiana and the Northern District of Illinois and has filed over 1,700 cases to help her clients become debt free. She takes pride in helping to ease her clients’ fears and loves to hear how relieved they are when their case is complete. In her free time she loves to relax with her dogs and husband and hopes to one day start marking places off her travel bucket list again!

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.

Don’t Labor Over Debt!

Don’t labor over debt this weekend – take a few minutes and go to http://www.infotapes.com and see what Geraci Law can do for you.

Don’t Labor Over Debt!

Geraci Law wishes everyone a Happy (and Safe) Labor Day weekend! It’s the workers both essential and nonessential that keep us going. Sometimes, even the hardest working need help.

Geraci Law is here if your hours are short, if your furlough becomes a lay off or if you are just in over your head.
Our attorneys are ready to consult if bankruptcy is an option for you to eliminate or consolidate your debt.

This weekend, check out http://www.infotapes.com. You can read some of our 30,000 positive reviews from REAL clients or ready about bankruptcy and how it can change your life for the better.


Celebrate safely this weekend! We’re closed on Monday but you can schedule online @ (SITE) or give us a call 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

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.

Free Consult In Evergreen Park

Come over to our Geraci Law Evergreen Park office – we’re offering FREE attorney consultations!

Free Consult In Evergreen Park

Come meet us in Evergreen Park for a FREE consultation regarding your financial options. We’re located at 3560 W. 95th St. Evergreen park is 2 minutes West of Western, 4 blocks West of Kedzie, 4 blocks East of Pulaski. Easy Parking int our Lot next to the building.

You can meet with any of our experienced Geraci Law Staff:

MMAAttorney Mario Arreola 

Mario M. Arreola is a highly respected Chicago based injury and bankruptcy attorney. He is a graduate of Mt. Carmel High School, University of Illinois, and the John Marshall Law School. He was born in 1958 in the neighborhood of South Chicago on the Southeast Side. The son of immigrant parents and father to four children and grandfather to eight.

Attorney Arreola has worked with Geraci Law, for more than 25 years and helped more than 20,000 clients solve their financial problems. For most of these years he has been the cornerstone of Geraci Law on the South Side of Chicago. Many of his clients simply know him as “Mr. Mario.”

TARAttorney Tarek Khalil 

Attorney Tarek Khalil is a senior attorney at Geraci Law. He is beloved by his clients. Attorney Khalil is one of the well-reviewed attorneys at Geraci Law. His clients call him, “overall great person,” “pleasant,” and “personable.”

He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from University of Illinois at Chicago. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law. He is fluent in Arabic and is a board member for American Muslims for Palestine in Chicago.

Support Staff to Make the Process Hassle-Free!

Isaac Bell

IZK

 

 

 

 

Steven Serrato 

SER

 

 

 

 

 

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 25,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

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

Behind on Your Mortgage? Call PFG. 

The number of serious delinquencies is at a 10 YEAR HIGH – if you are behind on your mortgage, call Geraci Law.

Behind on Your Mortgage? Call PFG.

After the housing bubble burst in 2008, millions of Americans faced foreclosure on underwater properties. Over a decade later, homeowners are facing a new battle – job loss as a result of COVID-19.

Federal protections like the CARES Act halted foreclosure and eviction actions. But those protections ended on 7/31/2020. According to Black Knight – a mortgage/home data company, the number of SERIOUS delinquencies meaning a homeowner is at least 90 days behind is at a 10 year high.

The GOOD news, bankruptcy can help in most cases. If you are behind on your mortgage, filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy with Geraci Law can STOP the foreclosure. You are in a repayment plan to get current with your mortgage.

Chapter 13s are court supervised repayment plans. Once a chapter 13 case is filed, you are under bankruptcy protection from foreclosure or collection effort from your creditors. The BETTER news, Geraci Law can file a case in as little as ONE DAY to stop the foreclosure. We routinely file Chapter 13s for no money down.

If you got behind and you can afford your house – do not wait! Call Geraci Law for a free consultation to figure out a solution to keep your shelter in place.

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.

Helpful Links & Resources

Geraci Law updates our site constantly with useful tools about debt, budgeting and education.

Helpful Links & Resources

Geraci Law wants to be a resource to anyone in debt, learning how to budget or wanting to learn more about finances or bankruptcy. There’s a lot of information out there – go with the firm you know and trust.

Check out https://www.infotapes.com/Links for information. We are constantly updating with new links. If you have questions or need a listening ear, give us a call at 800 CALL PFG. It’s free!

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.