Are Unlisted Creditors Discharged in My Bankruptcy Case?

Read the article below or @ https://www.infotapes.com/Articles written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci.

That depends.  In the First Circuit and the Seventh Circuit, there are cases that talk about missing creditors that aren’t discharged unless the case is reopened to amend schedules to list an omitted creditor, but, at least in the 7th Circuit, that reasoning is rarely followed.

In Stark v. St. Mary’s Hospital, 717 F.2d 322 (7th 1983), the Seventh Circuit concluded that the decision of whether to discharge the debt of an omitted creditor is based on equity. The Stark court said the burden is on the debtor to show that law and equitable principles allow the reopening of the case to include the omitted creditor. Without such a showing by the debtor, the debt will not be discharged and the creditor will have a claim against the debtor, despite the previous order for discharge of debts.

This case has been criticized for suggesting that adding a creditor to a schedule has an effect on the dischargeability of the underlying debt. See In re Anderson, 72 B.R. 783 (Bankr. D. Minn. 1987).

The general rule in most jurisdictions is that a debt is either dischargeable or not based on the nature of the debt, and the nature of the status of the claims proceeding, and that reopening the case is unnecessary.

Even in the 7th Circuit, which is Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, if the creditor has actual notice of some kind, such as you called and told them, or if “no harm, no foul” because the case was a “no asset case” and they would have gotten nothing even if they were listed, or if the creditor is really to blame because they sold the debt to someone else and didn’t tell them, the case does not have to be reopened at all. At Geraci Law, the issue rarely comes up.

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 Unions & Bankruptcy

Read the article from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci about Credit Unions and the difference in bankruptcy. This is why hiring an experienced attorney – matters. If you would like a free consultation, Geraci Law is here for you.

Credit Unions are Different than Banks in Bankruptcy

If you owe money to a credit union, they usually have a clause in their borrowing contract that any collateral you have given them, such as the car title, or a second mortgage on your house, is collateral for any other loans such as personal loans. It is what’s known as a cross-collateralization clause.

What is Cross-Collateralization?

Let’s say that you made a credit union loan for $3,000 and it was a personal loan and you had no collateral. Then you financed a car using a credit union loan, and you have $25,000 on that loan.

Look at your credit union papers when you made that vehicle loan. You don’t owe $25,000 on that loan; you owe $28,000, because there is a clause in small print that says any loan you have with them, is collateralized by the vehicle.

The Debt Can Stay If You Cross-Collateralize

Let’s say that you have a second mortgage with your credit union, and you take out a car loan, but then the car is wrecked and the insurance would only pay $15,000 but you owe $20,000. So the insurance pays the credit union $15,000 but you still owe $5,000. Since the car is destroyed, it is no longer collateral for the car loan, but since there is a cross-collateralization clause, you will pay $5,000 if it is secured by the second mortgage on your house. Even if you pay off the second mortgage, you have to pay off that $5,000 on the car loan, plus interest until you pay it off.

Do Credit Unions Debt Shame You?

Credit unions claim that they keep their interest rates are low because they have less losses than other lenders. One way they have less losses is by scaring you, and posting the names of anyone who causes them a loss, by not paying back 100% of what they owe, either on the credit union website or on a bulletin board at the credit union, or both. That is called “credit shaming.” It is pretty nasty, but it’s a fact of life with credit unions.

What if Your Credit Union Vehicle is Over-Financed?

So, under Chapter 7, if you have a vehicle and you want to keep it, and it’s financed by a credit union, they will want the vehicle back unless you sign up on the vehicle loan and any other loans you have with them. Under Chapter 13, they are a secured creditor on cross-collateralized loans.

Complications from Credit Union Debts

So, the most common case involving credit unions is that if you want to keep the vehicle financed by them, or you have a second mortgage financed with them, no other loans, it’s pretty routine: In Chapter 7 you reaffirm, in Chapter 13 simply pay them according to the contract terms.

The complication comes in where you have multiple loans with them and that’s something we can discuss with you, but please, go get a copy of each credit union loan so we can read the paperwork and see if there is a cross-collateralization clause. You can also stop by the credit union, and ask them for a copy of the papers and ask them if the loans are crossed with each other. Then you’ll know and can make an intelligent decision. Geraci law can help you make that decision.

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.

In Person Appointments

Many of our physical locations offer same day or next day meetings with Geraci Law experienced attorneys.

In June 2020, Geraci Law opened the doors again to help clients meet us in person. Since Geraci Law stayed open ready to help meet you face to face (mask to mask).

Many law firms do not offer an in person meeting, many bankruptcy attorneys do not have a physical office – Geraci Law does. Many of our physical locations offer same day or next day meetings with Geraci Law experienced attorneys.

Geraci Law are friendly, fast and efficient, we’ll accommodate you with a virtual appointment or happy to see you at our local offices. Best part? You can schedule online or by phone. Check us out at https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/OfficeLocator

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 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.

Free Counseling Videos

Thinking about what to do about your debts? Afraid of the unknown?

Watch short videos with Bankruptcy Attorney Peter Francis Geraci about bankruptcy, credit, and debt.

Thinking about what to do about your debts? Afraid of the unknown?

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci produced credit counseling videos about bankruptcy, credit and debt, you can watch all for FREE at https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyInformationVideos

You will learn about:

  1. Medical Bills
  2. Personal Loans
  3. Payday Loans
  4. Suspended Driver’s License
  5. Can I keep a credit card?
  6. How does Chapter 7 bankruptcy work?
  7. How does Chapter 13 bankruptcy work?
  8. What does loan modification mean in bankruptcy?
  9. How do I keep my house and vehicles?
  10. What does bankruptcy do for my credit score?

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.

What About My Car in Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy can be used to get rid of bad car deals, or help you to pay for a vehicle you want to keep.  You can buy a car on credit after filing bankruptcy, so you may want to dump a gas guzzler or high payment vehicle and get a cheaper one.

Below is Chapter 18 about your vehicle. Read this chapter and more https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/

Bankruptcy can be used to get rid of bad car deals, or help you to pay for a vehicle you want to keep.  You can buy a car on credit after filing bankruptcy, so you may want to dump a gas guzzler or high payment vehicle and get a cheaper one.

If you are like most people, your car is financed.  The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that, in 1991, the average cost of owning a car that is financed is over $425.00 per month.  The cost of owning a car includes the monthly payment, the interest lost on the down payment or cash value of the trade-in, repairs and maintenance, depreciation (the amount the car goes down in value every month), license and taxes, as well as gasoline and oil.  I have seen more than a few people who are paying more for their car than for their rent.  If they were living in their cars, that would be a good idea!

Many people are suffering from “car fever” when they buy a car.  Dealers have relationships with finance companies that allow them to finance any kind of deal.  If you want to finance a car with a bank or a finance company that has no relationship with the dealer, the first thing a loan officer will do is look up the car in a book which lists the value of the car.  There are several services which provide such information.  Most finance companies or banks that have no continuing relationship with a car dealer will only loan you 70 to 80% of the average retail price for the same type of car listed in the book.  If you are paying more than the average retail price, you will be able to get a loan based on the average price similar cars are usually sold for, not on 75% of what you want to pay.

What does this mean to the average car buyer?  It means that if you are paying too much more than the usual price everyone else pays for similar cars, the “average retail price”, you will have to put more money down.  However, finance companies that have regular relationships or agreements with car dealers will lend you almost any amount, regardless of how much the car is really worth.  In other words, they will finance you for the price the dealer got you to pay, not what the car is really worth.

When that happens, often the car is worth less than you owe on it.  If the difference between what you owe, and what you could sell the car for, is very great, you may want to give the car back to the finance company.  Then, you won’t owe anything, and you can start fresh and get another car.

Can you get another car, if you have filed a bankruptcy?  This depends on you. If you are filing a bankruptcy, your credit is probably bad anyway right now.  After you discharge your debts, you won’t have any payments to make, so you probably will be able to afford reasonable car payments.  If you put some money down, many dealers will finance you again.  Or, you can buy a used car for cash. Or, for what you would spend on a car, you can take cabs.  The trick is to avoid getting into trouble on another car. 

If your car payments are reasonable, and you owe less than the car is worth, or about the same, and you are up to date in your payments, and the car is running good, you will probably want to keep your car even though you are getting rid of the rest of your bills.  This is absolutely no problem.  The finance company will be happy to agree, generally, that your debt will survive the bankruptcy.  This is done in writing, and is called a reaffirmation.

If you are behind in your payments, or don’t have car insurance, finance companies will seldom let you keep the car unless you cure those problems.  This is true even when you are not doing a bankruptcy.

Many people come in to do a bankruptcy after the finance company has repossessed the car because they didn’t make the payments, or didn’t keep it insured.  Sometimes I can get the car returned if they bring the payments up to date, and get insurance, but most of the time they are better off giving up the car.

In a situation where the car has already been repossessed, if you owe less than the car is worth, it might be worthwhile investigating filing a Chapter 13 debt repayment plan.  This is a repayment bankruptcy, and the payments can be restructured if your budget allows it.  Of course, Chapter 13 plans, in which you pay a payment to a court-appointed trustee who sends it to your creditors, are always more expensive than Chapter 7 bankruptcies.

If you have a car that you own, and it is not financed, you need to have me look at the exemptions allowed by law, to see if you could still file a bankruptcy and keep the car, free and clear of any claims of creditors.  In Illinois, if the car is your main asset, and you own it free and clear, and you are the only one on the title, we need to see if you can keep it without having to do a Chapter 13. This may not be a problem, however.  I do many Chapter 7 bankruptcies, especially for married people who own vehicles in joint tenancy, where they have cars and keep them free and clear in a bankruptcy.  It all depends on your individual situation, and a competent bankruptcy attorney can advise you about this.

Example: Ted wrecked his car without insurance. The accident was his fault, and the other driver is suing him. He still owes $6,000 on his car note, and now the car finance company wants to be paid. His brother Bill has a 1989 Camaro. When he bought it, he traded in another car that was not paid off, and his car note now includes money he owed on the old car, as well as what he owes on the new car. Bill’s car note is $457 per month. He is current, but wants to give the car back and get a “beater” so he can save some money.

Their friend Ralph is up to date in his car payments, has insurance, but has a lot of medical bills and credit cards. He wants to keep his car and get rid of the rest of his debt.

The Peter Francis Geraci Chapter 7 or 13 Solution: Ted files a bankruptcy and lists the other driver and their insurance company, as well as his own car finance company. Any debts to them will be discharged. He can save up some money, go buy another car, and no one can sue him for the accident, so he won’t lose his driver’s license.

His brother Bill surrenders his car, and doesn’t have to pay a nickel more. He now has no bills, and can save up to buy another car.

Ralph is getting rid of his hospital bills and his credit card debt, so now he can afford his car payment. It is up to date, and the car is insured, so he can keep his car even though he is getting rid of other debt.

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.

Debts from Divorce & Filing Bankruptcy

Nothing ruins a relationship like money problems. Here are some tips about how bankruptcy can help with divorce or child support.

Below is from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s Infotapes, watch this and more @ https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/Infotapes

What Happens if I am Divorced or Pay Child Support?

Nothing ruins a relationship like money problems. Here are some tips about how bankruptcy can help with divorce or child support.

File Before You Divorce

If you are not divorced, consider getting your debt under control so it is not a serious issue. We help a lot of couples quit fighting over money, by filing Chapter 7 or 13. You can also take my court approved 2 hour debtor education course at http://www.pfged.com, and it might help you understand and manage your debt.

If you are in the middle of a divorce, ask your divorce attorney to refer you to Geraci Law for either a single filing bankruptcy, or a joint filing. Often, one spouse wants to stick the other with the debts. If that spouse files bankruptcy, it often eliminates the issue, especially if the other spouse is not joint on them.

Debt in Divorce Decrees

Be very, very careful about agreeing to pay debt in a marital settlement agreement. You might end up eliminating your right to discharge debts you agree to pay in a divorce. That is a very bad idea, especially if you have to pay support. You are better off discharging debt so you can use that money to pay support.

Court Ordered Support

Some kinds of court-ordered support in a marital settlement agreement is dischargeable in bankruptcy, and some is not.

If you are not married, and you are ordered to pay support for children, that obligation is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. But in a Chapter 13, you can repay child support arrears, and get protection from having your drivers’ or professional license suspended for unpaid support.

Protecting Rights in Bankruptcy

Why are cases with divorces and domestic support obligations so complicated? The legislature wanted to protect children and spouses from the effect of a bankruptcy discharge. In Chapter 13, domestic support obligations must be paid, and you can pay arrears ahead of other creditors. You must also certify that you are current on your domestic support obligation before the court issues a discharge in your case.

Always Consult an Attorney First

You should seriously consider hiring an experienced Geraci Law bankruptcy attorney. Why? Because when you have a domestic support obligation, there are different requirements for chapter 13. 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.

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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