How stupid is “debt settlement” from most non-attorney companies? Really stupid.

Phony debt settlement schemes make you poorer than you were before.

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


An article in the May 23, 2021 New York times points out how stupid most debt settlement operations are for those struggling with credit cards. On page 39 the story of a single mother and her son is told. The story claims that this single mother is spending 100 a month on credit cards that are not included in another $300 she pays to a private company, to “bundle $27,000 in debt from nine creditors”

The story says that she was paying $246 every other Wednesday, but dropped it to $100 when she lost her 2nd job waitressing. Then creditors “got pushy” and one is taking it to court, and she “just got handed papers from another creditor the other day and started crying”

This sad. Poor lady is getting terrible advice. First, she will never pay back $27,000 in debt at either $500 a month, or $200 a month, unless she gets lucky and pays out that $100 for the next 10 years or more, and never misses.

Each creditor is dividing $200 a month, minus the fees to this “Debt Relief” company, so they might be getting $20 each. Second, look what happened. 2 of the 9 creditors actually filed lawsuits. Some “Debt Relief” Third, she could have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for $200, and she would have been done with it all long again, and included the other debt she is paying $100 a month on.

It is plainly beyond her means to pay even $300 a month to creditors, given her precarious financial position. Not once does the New York Times mention bankruptcy relief, which is the obvious solution to her debt problems. The budget in the article doesn’t make any sense, either.

This is pretty typical of publications like the New York Times, who have some kind of weird agenda, telling stories that don’t help anyone understand how to deal with debt. Attorney Peter Francis Geraci of Geraci Law LLC sees examples of this all the time: well-meaning people getting fleeced by “debt relief” when they should be filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Geraci, Arreola & Hernandez

Whether you have had an injury at work, serious trauma or birth injury due to negligence, Geraci, Arreola & Hernandez is here to help.

Geraci, Arreola & Hernandez is the injury practice of Geraci Law.

Attorneys Peter Francis Geraci, Mario Arreola and Frank Hernandez founded Geraci, Arreola and Hernandez, LLC (GAH). With more than 80 years of combined experience in law, Geraci, Arreola and Hernandez are the lawyers you can trust.

In the last 5 years alone, clients of GAH have received more than 20 MILLION dollars, due to loss. Some cases are smaller than others are, but all clients are provided zealous representation. Whether you have had an injury at work, serious trauma or birth injury due to negligence, GAH is here to help.

Check out more information @ http://www.delaley.com/.

Call -888-335-2539 and ask for an injury specialist. We will put you in contact with an attorney immediately. We are only a phone call away!

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.

Geraci Law & COVID 19

Below is an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci about our firm’s COVID practices. We work extremely hard to protect staff and our clients. Read more PFG articles at https://www.infotapes.com/Articles.

Geraci Law has always advocated flu shots! Before COVID-19, we had a nurse come in to provide free flu shots to everyone who wanted them. By doing this, we reduced staff illness quite a bit. While there is no vaccination yet for COVID-19, we are taking all the precautions to keep our staff and client safe. Everything from sanitizer to rubber gloves, two desk shields, masks, sanitizing wipes, special packets for client so they have their own pen and mask when they come to the office, and the list goes on.

Geraci Law has over 100 attorneys and staff helping clients file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The secret to protecting them from COVID? High tech remote working capability and strict compliance with Centers for Disease Control recommendations. Let’s take “high tech” first!

How is Geraci Law “hi tech”?  Geraci Law is one of the few law firms in the country that writes its own computer software. We have programmers on staff that work full time exclusively for Geraci Law. We maintain our own servers. This capability allowed us to disperse our staff to remote working immediately when COVID-19 hit. Our staff is been working from home, or from one of our 30 physical locations, since March 17, 2020. We had been prepared for this, because we have been doing remote consultation since Desert Storm.

Hi tech involves video conferencing, virtual document signing, and of course the ability to communicate on the Internet. Geraci Law has an exclusive client portal called Client Corner. From the very first time a client contacts us, even before the consultation, they can upload their documents so that whether it’s a virtual or office consultation, our attorneys can give accurate advice based upon your documents, instead of guessing. You can upload your documents 24/7 , send messages to your Geraci Law attorneys, print copies of your documents for yourself, fill out documents, and sign and transmit them, all without leaving your easy chair. All you need is a cell phone. That helps you stay in your COVID-19bubble, and also save a ton of commuting time.

What about precautions?

The most important aspect of all of this is to limit the damage from COVID-19. At this point more than half of our consultations, remotely, so you we can get back to his close and normal life as possible, without risk of spreading infection. Geraci Law is proud of the way our staff and clients have modified their work and home lifestyles to help everyone get through this crisis.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 30,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

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

Does Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy Ruin My Credit?

Bad credit can’t be ruined by getting out of debt. Bankruptcy gets you out of debt. No debt = better “credit”.

Below is an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci explaining filing a bankruptcy could actually IMPROVE your credit score. Read more articles written by PFG at https://www.infotapes.com/Articles.

Most people filing bankruptcy have bad credit scores. Most are below 600. That is bad credit.

Bad credit can’t be ruined by getting out of debt. Bankruptcy gets you out of debt. No debt = better “credit”.

Studies have shown that your credit score goes up after bankruptcy discharge.  Take my 2 hour debtor education course if you want to improve your credit.  Go to http://www.pfged.com   

If you can get a house and a low interest rate on a vehicle, you probably don’t even need bankruptcy relief. 

But, if you can’t afford to pay your creditors, but you have a good credit score, you probably don’t have good credit, you have good debt!  Soon or later, the credit bureaus are going to notice you’ve maxed out on credit and your credit score is going to fall.  

Bankruptcy does not generally ruin your credit more than it is already. Many people say to me, “I’m current on all my cards. I have good credit.” Then I find out that they have been getting cash advances on one card and using that money to pay the other charge cards. That is borrowing money when you cannot repay it. If you do that, you may not have good credit.  

Credit is the ability to borrow money. Lenders look at several things about you if you want to borrow money. First, they look at your ability to repay it. If you have a lot of bills to pay now, you probably can’t afford to borrow more, because you won’t be able to repay it.

Second, the credit bureaus look at your history of repayment. If creditors reported you slow-pay, or have lawsuits, garnishments or repossessions, you already have ruined your credit history. Getting rid of your bills in a bankruptcy may improve your situation. You will have no bills to pay, or maybe just one or two. You will then be able to try to save a little money. Also, you can’t file another bankruptcy until six years have passed. Many lenders will allow you to re-establish credit, because now you have a better ability to repay.

The third main factor that a lender looks at is the security or collateral given for the loan. You may need more money down than in the past.

At Geraci Law, we want to make your life better.  So if we think you don’t need bankruptcy relief, we tell you.  Take our free 20-minute credit counseling course at Infotapes.com, or our 2 hour Debtor Education Course at pfged.com for more information. 

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.

Answers to Almost Every Question About Bankruptcy

Did you know Attorney Peter Francis Geraci wrote a book? It’s called the “The Complete Book on Bankruptcy.” His book answers almost any question you may have about bankruptcy.

Did you know Attorney Peter Francis Geraci wrote a book? It’s called the “The Complete Book on Bankruptcy.” His book answers almost any question you may have about bankruptcy.

The best part? The book is FREE and available online. You can click https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/ to read the entire book and learn about the differences of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

His book answers questions like:

What happens to my credit score if I file bankruptcy?

Will My Employer Find Out if I File Bankruptcy?

What can bankruptcy do for you?

When Will Creditors Stop Bothering Me?

Bankruptcy and Divorce, Alimony, & Child Support

Bill Consolidation Scams

Chapter 13 Debt Repayment Plans

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at http://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 since November 2016!

Can I Get Rid of a Vehicle By Filing Bankruptcy?

Sometimes you just don’t want a vehicle. It may be worth far less than you owe, or it may be a junk that costs too much to repair. So the question is, how do you get rid of it and get something else?

Article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci. Read more of his posts at https://www.infotapes.com/Articles!

Can I get rid of a vehicle by filing bankruptcy?

Sometimes you just don’t want a vehicle. It may be worth far less than you owe, or it may be a junk that costs too much to repair. So the question is, how do you get rid of it and get something else? You’re probably not going to just get rid of the vehicle and walk or take the bus. So there are a variety of situations, and you need good legal advice before you make a false move.

Title loans Do you have an old vehicle with a title loan? If you do, the title loan company has a lien on the title. They will want you to pay them before they release the title. If the vehicle doesn’t run, or has been in an accident, you can’t junk it unless you get the title. Title loan companies seldom will take a vehicle back, rarely even repossess vehicles, because they don’t loan you enough money to make it worthwhile. If you file a bankruptcy, we can provide that you surrender the vehicle, then file a procedure called a motion to exempt and redeem. The court values the vehicle, and all you have to do is pay the value of the vehicle to the title company in which they are required to give you the title. This works very well when you have a junker is only worth $100 salvage value.

Under water Second situation that is very common is that you have a vehicle where you have a loan on it, in the loan payoff is much more than the vehicle is worth, and you don’t want it. Let’s say you bought a used car, and it’s now worth $8000. But you have 40 payments of $350 left to pay, or $14,000, the payoff and that depending upon how long you’ve financed it for, might be as much is $11,000 or $12,000. So if you wanted to give the vehicle back to the finance company, they would sell it at auction, probably $4000, and soak you with the auction costs, if you credit for the $4000 sales price, and you’d end up owing 8000 on the repossessed vehicle. Chapter 7 filing can eliminate that $8000 deficiency.

So Chapter 7 works very well when you owe a lot more than the vehicle is worth. If you want the over financed vehicle in a chapter 7, sometimes, we can make a deal, and a reaffirmation. So you can either surrender a vehicle that’s over financed and eliminate the deficiency, or possibly we can negotiate a better deal in bankruptcy, but you have to be willing, under Chapter 7 to surrender it if they don’t give you a better deal. There is another option called 722 redemption, similar to the junker, but if the value of the vehicle is $8000, you have to come up with the full value of the vehicle, or finance it, and if you do not come up with the $8000 722 redemption, you probably be financing it at 30% interest which is a terrible deal and you’d be right back where you started.

Chapter 13 The third situation involves keeping the vehicle, and filing chapter 13 to pay what the vehicle is worth, if the vehicle is over two and half years old, and even if it’s not 2 ½ years old to pay it at the prime rate +2%. Now if that sounds complicated, it is. One problem that we are running into is people are financing vehicles for 72 or 84 months, and then coming in to file a chapter 13, which can only last 60 months. They may even have a 0% interest rate. So if you have a long way to pay on a vehicle, and you’ve already got 0% interest, chapter 13 doesn’t help you. Depending upon your income, it may be wise you can qualify for chapter 7, to get rid of this monster and get a reasonably priced vehicle with a low payment.

There’s a lot more to vehicles in bankruptcy. Geraci law lawyers have filed over 100,000 bankruptcy cases, many of which involve cars, both chapter 7 and chapter 13. If your only debt is a car, you should not be doing a bankruptcy. But if your problem is greater than just the car payment, let’s look at what filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 can do about your whole picture, and where the vehicle fits in.

That’s why you need an experienced Geraci law bankruptcy lawyer to figure all this stuff out.

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.

More NEW Infotapes Available!

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci recorded NEW Infotapes available to watch at http://peterfrancisgeraci.com/Infotapes.html! You can learn about debt and your bankruptcy options.

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci recorded NEW Infotapes available to watch at http://peterfrancisgeraci.com/Infotapes.html! You can learn about debt and your bankruptcy options. Geraci Law’s motto is helping clients change their lives for the better.

Plus – who does not love the Infotapes? Now you can see the Infotapes live with host PFG! New Infotapes cover topics including:

-Can You File Bankruptcy Without Your Spouse?

-How Does Bankruptcy Filing Work?

-What Problems Can Bankruptcy Solve?

-Homes & Bankruptcy

-Governmental Fines, Uninsured Accidents, or Driver License Suspensions in Bankruptcy

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.

Infotapes are Back!

Theeeeey’re BACK!! INFOTAPES®! What’s not to love? The man, the myth, and the mystery of….INFOTAPES® ! Are they real? Are they lost in the mists of time? When did INFOTAPES® first take America by storm? Where did they come from? Where did they go? Who cares, cuz….INFOTAPES® ARE BACK BABY BACK!

Read latest press release from Geraci Law! Attorney Peter Francis Geraci recorded new infotapes that can be viewed online. Read more updates and news from Geraci Law at https://www.infotapes.com/Press

CHICAGO, IL, 10/9/2020

Theeeeey’re BACK!! INFOTAPES®! What’s not to love? The man, the myth, and the mystery of….INFOTAPES® ! Are they real? Are they lost in the mists of time? When did INFOTAPES® first take America by storm? Where did they come from? Where did they go? Who cares, cuz….INFOTAPES® ARE BACK BABY BACK!

 Gimmee some right now at, you know, http://www.INFOTAPES®.com. Bankruptcy INFOTAPES®. Can I keep my car INFOTAPES®. Does my boss care if I file bankruptcy INFOTAPES®. Do I qualify for Chapter 13 INFOTAPES®. How much does bankruptcy cost INFOTAPES®. And sooooo much more! 

Visit http://www.peterfrancisgeraci.com/Infotapes.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.

New Debt Relief Videos featuring PFG!

A new feature on our web site features educational videos about debt from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci. You can see all for FREE at http://www.peterfrancisgeraci.com/infotapes.html

A new feature on our web site features educational videos about debt from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci. You can see all for FREE at http://www.peterfrancisgeraci.com/infotapes.html

You can watch vides to get answers to the following questions:

  1. When Should I File Bankruptcy?
  2. How Does Bankruptcy Filing Work?
  3. What is the Right Time to File Bankruptcy?
  4. What Problems Can Bankruptcy Solve?
  5. Can you File Without Your Spouse?
  6. Will you Lose Anything If you File Bankruptcy?
  7. What Happens if You’re Divorced and Need Bankruptcy?
  8. How to Find a Cheap Bankruptcy Attorney?
  9. Is Bankruptcy Bad?

PFG commercials could be considered legendary. If you want to watch Geraci Law commercials, you can find videos 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.