Debt Settlement & Consolidation – What You May NOT Know 

Debt Settlement & Consolidation – What You May NOT Know 

You see the commercials. You get the ads in the mail. Debt Settlement or Consolidation. When something seems too good to be true, it often is. Many of these “programs” turn out to be scams or schemes.

Sometimes, there ARE cases where debt settlement makes sense. Geraci Law can help! You can meet with an attorney for FREE to determine your BEST plan of action.

What they don’t tell you about debt consolidation:

  • Anything settled CAN BE taxable income. If you settle a $10,000 bill for $1,000 – the difference or $9,000 can be considered taxable income. So at the end of the year, you may receive a 1099-C form from the creditor. Debt discharged in a bankruptcy is NOT taxable income.


  • Some creditors do NOT settle. Debt settlement or consolidation is NOT a guarantee. There is no law that forces creditors to accept a smaller payment. If you file for bankruptcy, you are using federal law to get financial help. There are laws in place to protect YOU. Geraci Law is here to help you get control over your finances.


  • Your credit still takes a hit. Some agencies will tell you to stop paying the debt and let it go into collections. Then they will work with the collection agencies for a settlement. This takes TIME. You will get collection calls and maybe even SUED by the time the agency attempts to settle. With Geraci Law, you can file in as little as ONE day to stop all collections. This means no phone calls, no lawsuits and no more debt.


  • No time frame. There’s no time frame for debt settlement or consolidation. At best, they can give you an estimate but it could go longer. A Chapter 13 debt repayment is structured into a three or five year repayment plan. You have a structured plan in place rather than an indefinite amount of time. Geraci Law will help you determine the fastest way to get control over your financial situation.


  • Creditors CAN still sue you. That’s right, there is no legal protection with debt settlement or consolidation programs. If a creditor refuses the settlement offer, they could file a lawsuit in attempt to get a judgment or garnish your wages. Bankruptcy STOPS the collections. Creditors violate Federal statutes if they file lawsuits against you or even continue to call you while under Federal Bankruptcy protection. You hire Geraci Law and we help you from the initial phone call until the end of your case.


Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at  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!


Geraci Law Evergreen Park

Geraci Law Evergreen Park – Remodeled!

Geraci Law Evergreen Park office located at 3560 W 95th Street at the corner of 95th and Central Park on the South Side of Chicago near Oak Lawn was recently remodeled!

We offer same and next day appointments. You can call 800 CALL PFG (800-225-5734) to set up a FREE consultation or you can click the link below to schedule online!


Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 20,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!


Retire Your Debt – Don’t Withdraw!

Retire From Your Debt With PFG 

Many young people (as many as 6 out of 10 ages 18-34 from a E-Trade study in 2018) are taking money from retirement accounts to pay debt! The money is there so you CAN retire. Instead of raiding the retirement account, think of bankruptcy with Geraci Law.

Geraci Law attorneys and staff are financial experts. We’re here to figure out a plan to help with your debt WITHOUT withdrawing loans from 401Ks or other retirement accounts. You get control of your financial situation without paying the HUGE penalties and tax consequences for the early withdrawal.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate your obligation to the debt. Geraci Law can help you protect assets (like a retirement account) and eliminate debt like credit cards, medical bills or personal loans. A Chapter 13 is a repayment plan to PAY the debt and make it affordable.

Make a hardship or 401K withdrawal your last resort. Do not take money from retirement unless you are RETIRING. Call Geraci Law first – our bankruptcy experts can help!

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 20,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!


Peter Francis Geraci & Geraci Law Support the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society

cropped-blog-header-140517.pngPeter Francis Geraci and Geraci Law L.L.C. donated to the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society.  The legal society provides legal services for individuals who qualify as low income.

Counties involved in the Indianapolis Legal Society include: Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan, and Shelby counties.

ILAS handles matters ranging from Bankruptcy, housing matters, debt and even matters concerning families.  According to the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society website, lot of their family work involves: adoption, paternity, visitation, guardianship, support, custody, and divorce.

Services are provided to individuals with income less than 125% of the federal poverty guideline.  You can see the guideline for 2015 by clicking this link.

An advocate for helping those in need, Attorney Peter Francis Geraci recently accepted a pro bono appointment in East Moline.   You can view the article here.  Mr. Geraci and his Wife, Holly Geraci, also support a number of local charities and have raised over $60,000 under their website


Illinois Judicial Council & Scholarship Awards Ceremony

160808 IL Jud Council

On July 29th, 2016 Peter Francis Geraci and his wife Holly Geraci attended the Illinois Judicial Council 34th Installation & Scholarship Awards Ceremony as Gold Sponsors.

The master of ceremonies was Rev. Mitchell L. Johnson. Reverend Johnson’s wife, Judge Sharon O. Johnson, is the 2016-2017 chair of the Judicial Council.  The theme of the event was Courts Connecting with Communities. Scholarships were given to 5 second year law students attending Chicago law schools.

The event was opened up with an invocation by Bishop A.B. Vines and a beautiful performance of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson. After an introduction by the Master of Ceremonies, Rev. Johnson, a dinner was served.

One scholarship was given to a current DePaul University College of Law student, two to John Marshall Law School students, and one each for 2L’s at University of Illinois and Northwestern.

IL Jud Council 2

Illinois State Moot Court 2nd place winners from Mother McCauley and Hillcrest high schools served as hosts at the Illinois Judicial Council Awards and Installation Dinner at the Palmer House on July 29th, 2016. Here they welcome attorney Peter Francis Geraci to the dinner.

Stay tuned for more news of the Chicago scene.

Geraci Law supports Bowen High School College-Bound Seniors

Bowen High School has over 50 seniors off to college in a few months who can use your help. Go to to contribute! Even $20 helps. Geraci Law contributed $2000 to the Bowen High School Senior fund set up by former Asst. Principal Nia Abdullah. And thanks to the Chicago Sun Times’ reporter Sue Ontiveros for the publicity!

Student Loan Interest Increases

I will blog often about student loan debt. Student loans are just a bill you must pay. Most people have education debt in some form or another. Federal and private student loans are not typically handled by a bankruptcy filing. However, other debts like financed cars, credit cards can hinder student loans from being paid.

Student loans are the next housing bubble. Most families simply cannot afford to send children to college without financial help. Other than working with the financer directly (there are some programs available) there is not a 3rd party program to consolidate loans to an affordable payment. Simply, you must pay the loans.

On July 1st, the interest rates on federal student loans will increase. Stafford loans for undergrads will rise from 3.86% to 4.66% and PLUS loans will increase from 6.41% to 7.21%. If you have a large balance in student loans and other debt, the increased payment could significantly affect your budget.

Bankruptcy will not help eliminate your student loans. But, you could eliminate the rest of your debt to make the loans affordable. When there is substantial other debt (i.e. credit cards, payday loans, etc), something has to give. Whatever is not paid, can go into collections and ultimately into a lawsuit.

Take the long weekend and make a budget. You can use a Geraci Law version by clicking here. If you have more going out then coming in, give us a call to see if bankruptcy can help!

Attorney Allman Discharges Over $34K of Student Loan Debt!

An Indiana man filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy with Peter Francis Geraci and Geraci Law Attorney John Allman because of overwhelming medical bills and student loans. After earning his GED, he became homeless and unemployed.

Because of diabetes retinopathy and the inability to afford necessary medical treatment, his vision started to deteriorate and he was diagnosed as legally blind at 31 years old. He started receiving Social Security Disability benefits as his only source of income. He has been unable to find work because of his disability and he met with Attorney John Allman at the Geraci Law Indianapolis location.

Attorney Allman listed American Education Services and Sallie Mae as creditors on the bankruptcy petition. Attorney Allman filed an adversary proceeding on his client’s behalf arguing the student loan debt should be dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of the undue hardship. The total amount owed in student loans was approximately $34,000.

Student loans are not generally dischargeable in a bankruptcy filing. Attorney John Allman was successfully able to argue that the student loans imposed an undue hardship. The Indiana man could not meet his basic living needs on his fixed income and could not work because of his disability.

Without the above and beyond work by Geraci Law staff and Attorney John Allman, the Indiana man would have been left with a fixed income of less than $950 per month and over $34,000 in debt.

Attorney Berning Wins Adversary!

A couple met with Wisconsin Geraci Law Attorney Brent Berning for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy consultation. The couple used a credit card to pay $24,000 in tax debt. Attorney Berning explained to the couple, the credit card company would likely file an adversary arguing the debt should not be discharged (or eliminated).

After filing, an adversary was filed. The credit card alleged the entire balance of the credit card is non-dischargeable. The adversary claimed the couple committed fraud and incurred the debt 90 days before filing. Attorney Berning met with the client and reviewed options.

Counsel for the credit card company refused settlement and refused to negotiate the balance. The credit card company wanted the balance in full plus interest. Clients strongly felt the credit card company were falsely accusing them of fraud and wanted to fight.

Ultimately the case came down to the facts. Attorney Berning presented evidence proving the couple did not commit fraud. After 14 years of timely payments, the debtor lost his job and was unable to make payments. There were no prior bankruptcies and the couple did not consult an attorney before paying the tax debt on a credit card.

Attorney Berning won the adversary. If the credit card company was not so greedy, the Wisconsin couple would have agreed to settle.

The Wisconsin couple made the right choice in hiring Geraci Law and Attorney Berning. With the experience of Attorney Berning, the couple was able to save $24,000 plus interest and get a fresh start!