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

When Will Creditors Stop Bothering Me?

If you are having trouble with bill payments, you should get a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before you make more payments to creditors.

Check out Chapter 20 in Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s “Complete Book on Bankruptcy.” This chapter is below, read more @ https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/

CHAPTER #20 When Will Creditors Stop Bothering Me?

The minute the bankruptcy case is filed. In the meantime, don’t talk to them, leave them on the answering machine. If they call you at work, get their info, give them your home number, and say “My employer does not allow calls at work, please call me at home.” These are magic words under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that require them to stop calling you at work. You can tell them that!

After we have prepared a petition listing your debts and assets, and prepared answers to required questions about your personal actions in relation to money, the bankruptcy petition is filed with the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court. Of course, your attorney fee must be paid in full, unless you have made other arrangements. After you have paid your attorney, you pay the filing fee, or court cost. It is about $300.00 (When I started practicing bankruptcy law, in 1974, the court cost was only $30.00.) This must be paid in the form of a money order or cashier check payable to the Clerk of U.S. Bankruptcy Court, since the Clerk does not take personal checks.

After the Clerk has stamped a bankruptcy case number, or docket number, on the petition, notice can be sent out to all creditors that you are under the jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court. Then, Federal law requires that all collection action stop.

After you have made up your mind what to do, I generally advise you to stop paying all creditors except the ones which will survive a bankruptcy. If you are having trouble with bill payments, you should get a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before you make more payments to creditors.

You may be wasting your money right now by making minimum payments on bills that don’t go down after you make the payment, or you may be paying money to creditors that you will get rid of, instead of creditors that you must pay.

It is important to understand that thinking about filing bankruptcy, or even talking about it, is not the same as giving money to an attorney and actually having a docket number assigned by the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Even giving money to an attorney is not enough. The case actually has to be filed with the Clerk. It is then that the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code which protect you from creditor harassment, bill collectors, wage assignments and lawsuits come into effect.

Those provisions are briefly known as the “automatic stay” provisions. This protection is known as the automatic stay, because the Bankruptcy Code provides that all creditor action is automatically stopped, or stayed, when a petition is filed with the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. This “automatic stay” is truly automatic, and even if a creditor does not know a bankruptcy case has been filed, you are protected from their actions.

For instance, if money is taken out of our paycheck by a creditor after the date a bankruptcy petition has been filed, it must be put back as soon as you notify your payroll department that you were under the protection of the automatic stay provisions of the Bankruptcy Code at the time the money was deducted.

I routinely provide my clients with notices entitled “Automatic Stay”, which state the language of the Code. I mail them to the client when the case is filed, so that the client can notify payroll, if necessary, or tell the docket number to any bill collector who calls. Sometimes clients get these in the mail, and even though we have discussed it thoroughly, they call up and say, “What are all these papers? Do you mean I have to notify my creditors? What am I paying you for?

I then explain again that this is for your benefit, so that you quickly have something in your hand to give to anyone who wants proof that you have filed a bankruptcy petition. Creditors and payroll departments will immediately stop any action if they know definitely that a bankruptcy has been filed.

Problem: Keith has a wage assignment from a finance company, and all his creditor cards are behind and bill collectors are calling him constantly.

The Peter Francis Geraci Chapter 7 or 13 Solution: The filing of any bankruptcy petition stops all creditor action. When Keith’s bankruptcy case is filed, the wage assignment has to stop, and no one can even call him on the telephone.

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 Florida Team

Our team consists of senior attorneys ready to help you. Meet the Geraci Law Florida team and read what our Florida clients say about them. Best part is? The consultation with our amazing (I’m biased) team is FREE.

Geraci Law handles Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases across the state of Florida. Our team is ready to help you stop foreclosure, stop a repossession or assist in getting you the fresh start you need.

Our team consists of senior attorneys ready to help you. Meet the Geraci Law Florida team and read what our Florida clients say about them. Best part is? The consultation with our amazing (I’m biased) team is FREE.

Call to schedule or you can schedule online @ https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/OfficeLocator

Attorney Jonathan Parker

Attorney Jonathan Parker is a senior court attorney and supervisory attorney at Geraci Law. He is responsible for the majority of the firm’s litigation as well as counsel to Attorney Peter Francis Geraci.

He earned his JD Cum Laude from University of Wisconsin. He graduated with a degree in French and Philosophy from Northwestern University. He received Northwestern University Departmental Honors with distinction.

Attorney Parker’s professional experience includes providing client consultations, filing bankruptcy petitions, handling the firm’s litigation and legal research. He has won and appealed numerous cases for the benefit of his client.

He has extensive knowledge of the United States Bankruptcy Code and debt settlement. Attorney Parker will determine your best course of action to solve your financial problem. You should expect nothing but the best representation when Attorney Jonathan Parker is on your team.

Court Admissions

  • Illinois State Court
  • Wisconsin State Court
  • Florida State Court
  • Northern District of Illinois Federal Court
  • Central District of Illinois Federal Court
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Federal Court
  • Western District of Wisconsin Federal Court
  • Northern District of Indiana Federal Court
  • Southern District of Indiana Federal Court
  • Northern District of Florida Federal Court
  • Middle District of Florida Federal Court
  • Southern District of Florida Federal Court
  • 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • US Supreme Court

Reviews

Attorney Ashley Chike

Attorney Ashley Chike is a senior court attorney and supervising attorney at Geraci Law. She earned her JD/MBA from Loyola University Chicago and inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society by graduating in the top 10% of her class. 

Attorney Chike’s professional experience includes providing client consultations, drafting as and filing bankruptcy petitions/plans, representing clients in court, supervising cases, and conducting legal research.

Attorney Chike wrote a legal brief and argued in court defending a client’s right to keep her tax refund each year during her Chapter 13.  The Judge ruled in Attorney Chike’s favor and ruled against the Chapter 13 Trustee who was seeking to take the refund – now all Chapter 13 debtors can keep their tax refunds in their Chapter 13 if properly prorated.  

She has extensive experience evaluating client-specific financial debt and data to provide the best solution for the client. Clients can expect nothing less than excellence from her.  It is her mission to get the client the BEST result possible. 

Court Admissions

  • Illinois State Court
  • Wisconsin State Court
  • Florida State Court
  • Northern District of Illinois Federal Court
  • Central District of Illinois Federal Court
  • Southern District of Illinois Federal Court
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Federal Court
  • Western District of Wisconsin Federal Court
  • Northern District of Indiana Federal Court
  • Southern District of Indiana Federal Court
  • Northern District of Florida Federal Court
  • Middle District of Florida Federal Court
  • Southern District of Florida Federal Court
  • Colorado Federal Court

Reviews

Attorney John Sadler

Attorney John Sadler is a senior court attorney and supervising attorney at Geraci Law. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice & Sociology and JD 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. He has extensive knowledge of real estate and bankruptcy and supervises real estate issues in Indiana.

In 2017, Attorney Sadler successfully won an adversary proceeding for his client. His client’s car was totaled and the client received an insurance check. The creditor filed a suit alleging Attorney Sadler’s client intentionally did not fix the vehicle and the debt owed should not be eliminated in his Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

The creditor claimed the client had a responsibility to repair the totaled vehicle. Ultimately Attorney Sadler defended his client and got the adversary dismissed. He saved his client close to $10,000! 

Court Admissions

  • State of Indiana
  • State of Illinois
  • State of Florida
  • United States District Court, Northern Illinois
  • United States District Court, Central Illinois
  • United States District Court, Southern Illinois
  • United States District Court, Northern Indiana
  • United States District Court, Southern Indiana
  • United States District Court, Middle Florida
  • United States District Court, Southern Florida

Reviews

Attorney Rob Brynjelsen

Attorney Robert Brynjelsen started his career at Geraci Law in 2004. He is a supervising attorney licensed to practice in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Florida. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from University of Illinois and a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami.

Attorney Brynjelsen has advised on more than 10,000 consumer bankruptcy cases. Although based out of Illinois, he spends at minimum a few weeks a year visiting all of our offices to make sure the PFG Difference is maintained!

When he’s not advising Geraci Law clients and assisting attorneys, Attorney Brynjelsen enjoys playing golf and traveling, especially cruises.

Court Admissions

  • Illinois State Court
  • Florida State Court
  • Wisconsin State Court
  • Michigan State Court
  • Indiana State Court
  • Northern District of Illinois Federal Court
  • Central District of Illinois Federal Court
  • Middle District of Florida Federal Court
  • Southern District of Florida Federal Court
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Federal Court
  • Western District of Wisconsin Federal Court
  • Northern District of Indiana Federal Court
  • Southern District of Indiana Federal Court
  • Eastern District of Michigan Federal Court
  • Western District of Michigan Federal Court

Reviews

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

IRS Collection Help!

You should consider filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 if you are getting calls from private collection agencies. You may be able to stop collection action, pay the IRS ahead of other creditors, or even obtain a discharge if you filed a truthful return on taxes due more than 3 years after the April 15-18 due date for that year, and just can’t pay them.

Hot off the presses!

The IRS hired new collection agencies to chase money owed. Before you start paying the IRS, contact Geraci Law to review your Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 options. Read more Geraci Law press releases at https://www.infotapes.com/Press.

The Internal Revenue Service announced on Sept. 22, 2021, that it has awarded contracts to collect IRS Debts to three new private collection agencies:

  • CBE Group, Inc., Waterloo, IA
  • Coast Professional, Inc., Albion, NY
  • ConServe, Fairport, NY

According to IRS Publication 4518, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act signed by the President on December 4, 2015, requires the IRS to contract with private collection agencies to help collect certain federal tax debt. How do you know it is really someone authorized by the IRS? Not so easy. The IRS will send you a letter first, telling you who the agencies is. You will not get a phone call before you get an IRS letter.

You should consider filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 if you are getting calls from private collection agencies. You may be able to stop collection action, pay the IRS ahead of other creditors, or even obtain a discharge if you filed a truthful return on taxes due more than 3 years after the April 15-18 due date for that year, and just can’t pay them.

Geraci Law has much experience in either tax repayment, or tax discharge, so give us a call at 1-800-CALL-PFG.

Don’t answer any calls threatening you with arrest or garnishment. Private collection agencies cannot take any type of enforcement action against you to collect this debt (such as filing a notice of Federal Tax Lien or issuing a levy). Any collector claiming otherwise is a phony.

Should you give your bank account info to a collector? No. Send your payment directly to the IRS if you want to pay. The private collection agency can provide information on ways to pay or visit www. irs. gov/Payments for electronic payment options. Also see Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process, Ways to pay your taxes. Payment options include IRS Direct Pay to pay an individual tax bill directly from a checking or savings account at no cost. Also available are the following options: preauthorized Direct Debit, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), an electronic system to pay federal taxes via the Internet or by phone for free and paying by debit or credit card using an electronic payment service provider for a fee. 

Private collection agencies under contract with the IRS are required to conform to the rules, regulations, and provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Specific provisions of this

Act prohibit private collection agencies from threatening or intimidating taxpayers. If you do not wish to work with an IRS assigned private collection agency to settle your overdue tax account, you must submit this request in writing to the private collection agency. However, the IRS does have the legal authority to take these types of enforcement actions to collect an overdue account.

Don’t start sending payments unless you can pay the whole debt. The IRS is tricky, they will apply your payments to the newest tax debt, not the oldest. Any payment you make, or any payment plan, also stops the statute of limitations of 3 years for bankruptcy discharge on filed tax debt.

So, if you can’t pay your tax debt, expect collection agencies to bother you, don’t send payments to anyone other than the IRS, don’t start sending payments if you can’t pay the whole debt in a reasonable time, and think about calling Geraci Law. For more info, read the Complete Book on Bankruptcy https://bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/Book33.html

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

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

Will I be Able to Get Credit Again After Bankruptcy?

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci (PFG) answers the question everyone wants to know but is afraid to ask!

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s “The Complete Book on Bankruptcy” answers questions about complicated bankruptcy matters. Chapter 28 is titled:

 Will I Be Able to Get Credit Again After Bankruptcy?

Below is an excerpt from this chapter. You can read the entire book at https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/ A fresh start is sometimes all you need!

Why would anyone be happy about having to file a bankruptcy? The answer is, you’re not happy because you have to, but because you can. If there were no bankruptcy laws, you would have no way out of financial trouble.

The bankruptcy laws, and how they can help you, are not known to the general public. When a person finds out that they can get out of debt, and start fresh, without giving up any possessions, they are generally very happy. No one files a bankruptcy case unless they have to. If you have the money to pay your bills, pay them! If you don’t, read this book, contact a bankruptcy lawyer, get the proper advice, and have a happy bankruptcy! It is possible.

Why would you be happier if you kept your house, kept your vehicle, kept your pension, kept your household furnishings, and had no debt, and could save money each month for retirement? Why wouldn’t you?

Realize that if you have $20,000.00 in credit card debt at 18%, and just make the minimum payments at 2.5% of the balance, never using the card again, it will take you 37 years to pay it off. Go to our website, http://www.infotapes.com, and follow the links to msn.money.com, and bankrate.com. You will find useful financial calculators on those sites. Plug in your debt, and see that once you can pay only minimums, you have a life sentence of debt.

Why should you have a life sentence of debt? Be happy! Don’t worry! If you can only pay minimums, collectors are calling, you have to charge necessities, you may be better off filing Chapter 7 and getting a discharge of that debt. You might also file Chapter 13, which is a no-interest debt repayment. You could take that $500 a month and repay it in full without interest over less than 48 months.

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 Chapters

Did you know there are SIX chapters of bankruptcies?

Did you know there are SIX types of bankruptcies? Bankruptcy is one of the oldest laws. Geraci Law is a consumer bankruptcy law firm focusing on individuals needing help with personal debt.

Most common bankruptcy types (also mainly for consumers) are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Some resources to read about Chapter 7 and Chapter 13:

But what about the other 4 types of bankruptcies?

Chapter 9

This bankruptcy chapter is for cities, towns, counties, school districts – basically any municipality. The largest Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing was the City of Detroit in 2013. Filing a Chapter 9 bankruptcy protects municipalities from collectors and creditors while the city/school district/town/county creates a plan for their debt.

Chapter 11

You CAN file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy as an individual but so can a business. Similar to a Chapter 13, Chapter 11 is a reorganization of debt. In Chapter 11, an individual can keep operating the business and assets are not sold or auctioned to pay debt (unlike a Chapter 7).

Chapter 12

This is a very specific Chapter to family fisherman and family farmers struggling to pay debt. Like a Chapter 13, a repayment plan is spread out over the course of three to five years.

Chapter 15

This Chapter was added to the United States Bankruptcy Code back in 2005. Basically a debtor who has assets outside of the United States would file a Chapter 15 to cooperate with foreign courts.

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.

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.

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