When Should I File For Bankruptcy?

Use Peter Francis Geraci checklist to determine if NOW is the best time to file!

When Should I File for Bankruptcy?

Below is a checklist from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s Bankruptcy Book. Use the checklist to review if now is the best time to file for bankruptcy.

Read more of The Complete Book on Bankruptcy by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com

  • Three or more apply to YOU, you should call us NOW.
  • Five or more apply to YOU, then you should have called us months ago.

_____My debt is over $10,000 not including a car or house.

_____My payments are over 25% of my take home pay.

_____I am frequently late on my payments.

_____I pay 20% interest on my debt.

_____I buy necessary items like food or clothing on credit.

_____I frequently get cash advances.

_____I am thinking about getting a loan to pay other loans.

_____ I have a lawsuit and over $10,000 in other debt I can eliminate.

_____Collection agencies are calling me.

_____I am “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

_____My balances are not going down even though I make payments.

_____I have been turned down for more credit.

_____Payments are more than 1 month behind on more than one bill.

_____My driver’s license is suspended because of an accident.

_____I am working but paying other debts so I can’t afford car insurance.

_____My mortgage or rent is always late, or is behind.

_____We are getting divorced and have too many bills to pay.

_____I have medical bills over $20,000 that are not insured.

_____There is a garnishment or wage assignment on my check.

_____I owe income taxes I can’t pay now.

_____My car is worth much less than I owe.

_____I have no savings.

Either way, Geraci Law offers a free consultation if bankruptcy solves your problem. Don’t wait until creditors file a lawsuit, don’t wait until your savings are spent and do not wait until a car is repossessed. BREAK THE CYCLE!

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 25,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com

Break the CYCLE of DEBT!

Let Geraci Law help you break the “CYCLE OF DEBT!”

Break the CYCLE of DEBT!

The “CYCLE OF DEBT” is overwhelming and burdensome. You get into a vicious circle of PAYING your minimum payments but then are forced to use credit for essentials like groceries, gas and others.

You continue to pay and then spend and then pay and then spend. Once you add in interest, a small bill turns into a very large snowball. Geraci Law can help you STOP the cycle! We can help credit counsel and create a budget for you after filing for bankruptcy. Sometimes it’s a simple as saying, “I need help.”

Not sure? Don’t know how much credit costs when you are only making minimum payments? Take a look at your credit card statement. You should see something like below.

CC Bill

In the example above, by making ONLY the minimum payments, it will take 15 years to pay off the debt! Look at the number next to the time, the $3,666.42 balance increases to $9,693. It’s nearly THREE TIMES the amount borrowed.

Filing for bankruptcy STOPS the cycle. You eliminate your debt and put yourself on better financial footing. Instead of using credit cards, you can use the cash you are spending on minimums. Instead of paying nearly $6,000 in interest, you could SAVE money.

You should never budget or financially plan based on the hope things will get better in the future. Break the cycle and consider bankruptcy. Geraci Law is here to help YOU deal with the present. We’re here to figure out a solution to your debt problem and assist you in getting back on track financially.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 25,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com

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 www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 25,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com

5 Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Myths

Geraci Law debunks 5 Chapter 13 bankruptcy myths.

5 Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Myths

  • MYTH I will never be able to buy a house.
  • FACT  For an FHA loan, you can purchase a home WHILE in a Chapter 13 as long as you made payments on time for 1 year and the loan is approved by the bankruptcy court. For a conventional loan generally it’s 2 years after Chapter 13 discharge.

 

  • MYTH I can’t buy a car while I’m in a Chapter 13.
  • FACT Not true. You can finance a car WHILE in a Chapter 13 with court approval. But you are better off going on Craig’s List and finding a cheap car and having no car payment.  Geraci Law works with our clients to figure out the best option to fit their budget. Sometimes it’s better to buy a car for cash, sometimes it’s better to lease – it depends on an individual situation. That is why Geraci Law should be the firm you file with.

 

  • MYTH A Chapter 7 is better – why would I pay my debt?
  • FACT It depends on your situation. You can still ELIMINATE debt with a Chapter 13. If you are paying less than 100% of what you owe, a bankruptcy discharge will eliminate what is NOT paid. If the court approves you to pay back 10% of your unsecured debt (credit cards and medical for example), once the case is discharged you will eliminate the other 90%! It gets better. A Chapter 13 can eliminate some debts that a Chapter 7 cannot. EVEN without paying it in full.

 

  • MYTH I will lose my tax refund.
  • FACT It depends on your situation. Are you over withholding? Are your refunds mostly credits? Geraci Law works to find a solution to your problem. Our team of attorneys review your taxes and work to PROTECT what you need.

 

  • MYTH What happens if I lose my job? Am I just out the money I paid in the bankruptcy?
  • FACT This is why you hire Geraci Law. If you lose your job, you call Geraci Law and we’ll figure out a better solution. Maybe converting to a Chapter 7 is a better option. Maybe modifying your payment plan with your new income and expenses is another option. Geraci Law’s team of attorneys is here to represent YOU.

 

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 25,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

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

What Do You Do Before You Sue?

Notice & Cure Provisions in Home Mortgages – instructions on what to do before you file a suit against your lender.

Notice and Cure Provisions in Home Mortgages – What do you do before you sue?

By Attorney Peter Francis Geraci, J.D.

It depends. Individuals may consider bringing claims against their mortgage lenders under federal statutes such as the Truth in Lending Act, or the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and state statutes such as the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

But, before you sue, what do you do? Read the mortgage! Many have provisions that have to be followed, or your lawsuit will be dismissed. Examples are “notice and cure”, and “mandatory arbitration”.

In Wortman v. Rushmore Loan Mgmt. Servs. LLC, No 19C2860,(N.D.Ill. Oct 16, 2019) plaintiff’s case against their mortgage service for sending them collection notices after bankruptcy discharge was dismissed. Why? Their personal obligation on the mortgage was discharged in Chapter 13, but only the personal obligation to pay the debt, not their obligation to comply with the terms of the mortgage.

In other words, a mortgage does not disappear because of a bankruptcy discharge. A mortgage servicer can send letters about filing a foreclosure suit to take the property back, and file a foreclosure suit.  All that a bankruptcy discharge does is eliminate the obligation of the discharged debtor to pay anything on the debt. It does not eliminate the other rights of a secured creditor, such as foreclosing on real estate, or repossessing a vehicle.

Not only do “liens”, or interests in property, survive discharge, but so do clauses in such lien documents and notes. That means that, if after discharge, a person wants to file a lawsuit against a creditor who still has a lien, they have to comply with those clauses.

What is a “notice and cure” provision? It says “a party who is in default is entitled to notice of the default, and a period of time to cure the default, before the other party may accelerate the contract and demand full payment, or foreclose or repossess”.

What is an “arbitration clause”? It says “if the borrower wants to make any claims against the lender it must do outside of court, in a proceeding involving appointed “arbitrators”.

Some cases hold that these clauses prohibit a lawsuit, unless the borrower first complies with them. Some cases hold that these clauses are not effective in a consumer protection lawsuit. In the Wortman case, the judge dismissed plaintiff’s case under FDCPA because the mortgage survived, and so did the “notice and cure” provision that required the borrower to give notice to the mortgage company before borrower filed suit.

So, what do you do before you sue? Read the document that established the relationship between you and who you want to sue. It may require you to arbitrate instead of go to court, or to give notice of your intent to sue. Those clauses may or may not prevent a suit, depending on what your claim is. But one thing is for sure: liens pass through bankruptcy, and so do the documents creating them, and so does the fine print in them. Bankruptcy only discharges the borrower’s obligation to make payments. If they don’t, the creditor can take action to get their property back.

This can work against mortgage lenders and car owners, but it can work in their favor also. After a discharge in either Chapter 7 or 13, a debtor can file a Chapter 13 to cure a mortgage default, even if the personal liability to pay has been discharged. The U.S. Supreme Court, Johnson v. Home State Bank, 501 U.S. 78 (1991) rule that, after discharge in bankruptcy, a debtor can file a Chapter 13 to cure a mortgage default, even if their personal liability on the mortgage was discharged.

This ability to file a Chapter 13 to cure mortgage default also works for people who are not on title to the property, but only have an inheritance interest. If mom dies without a will, an heir can file a Chapter 13 case to cure mortgage arrears, force the mortgage company to accept payments, and prevent foreclosure.

Geraci Law Reviews

Sample of Geraci Law Bankruptcy Firm over 25,000 reviews written by real clients.

Geraci Law Bankruptcy Reviews

Below are just a few of the 25,000+ Geraci Law reviews written by real clients.

“Thankruptcy!! Finished. I am glad I went with Geraci Law to help settle my debt – it was done without any surprises. Thankruptcy for sure!! Very good!” – Geraci Law, Evergreen Park, IL 

“Liz is the absolute best attorney, she makes things clear and is extremely patient considering I had many questions during this process. She even answered all my questions same day and helped me essentially get my life back after a bad car accident completely ruined my credit. I hope I never have to go through this process again but if I ever have to she’s definitely the one I’ll go see.” – Attorney Lizette Villegas, Northside Chicago, IL 

“Communication has been great as well as the simplicity of the process with Geraci. Fees are reasonable and the ease of the whole process has just been ridiculous (in a GOOD way)!” – Geraci Law, Schaumburg, IL 

“Felicia was very straight forward, compassionate and honest with me from the beginning. She explained everything so I would know what to expect through the entire process. She never came across as judgmental and was sensitive to my circumstances. I also worked with Abe when it came time to fill out all my paperwork and get everything ready to actually file my bankruptcy. He was great to work with, he answered all my questions and made sure I understood everything that was going to happen leading up to my 341 meeting. I would recommend Geraci Law and their great team of attorney’s to anyone looking to file bankruptcy.” – Attorney Felicia Petroff, Wauwatosa/Milwaukee, WI 

“Met with Rick and Ashley and they were amazing. I was dealing with financial issues and they were able to work with my family and I in resolving them. This is my second experience with this law firm and I recommend them fully. Go with them if you want real help!” – Attorneys Ashley Chike and Ricardo Gomez, Cottage Grove/Chatham/Chicago, IL 

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 25,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

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

Great Geraci Law Reviews!

Great Geraci Law Reviews!

From Geraci Law, Evergreen Park Location (South Side Chicago)  “The atmosphere is calming, DeJeana and Isaac at front desk very pleasant and knowledgeable. Mr. Mario has a very pleasant nature and smile very reassuring. Also Mr. Khalil always remembered by name, assured me things were going to be ok, always walked me to front door and wanted me not to worry but have a wonderful Christmas. And the chocolate cookies are the bomb! ”

From Geraci Law, Rockford Location “I came in after receiving a lawsuit and frozen accounts, attorney Jason worked hard and fast to help me correct this awful mistake and to help me plan for a better financial 2020. Life happens, please go and get the help you need, before it snowballs and becomes a bigger issue like I did. I was embarrassed and ashamed of my failing business and then when I was diagnosed with my illness I was crushed under my financial obligations and medical bills. Geraci law is quick and efficient and helped me with ease through this difficult time. 10/10 would recommend to anyone going through a rough patch like I was.”

From Geraci Law, Chicago Location “I have filed bankruptcy before with DebtStoppers and they made things kind of complicated for me. I had to file a chapter 13 because of parking tickets, I felt like the world was caving on me until I came to PFG associates. They made the entire process really easy and even when I fell behind a little bit they worked with me. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to come out of the hole. Thanks guys I appreciate it.”

From Geraci Law Racine, Wisconsin Location “ I had an awesome experience with Geraci Law in Racine. They were very patient with me and my crazy schedule. I met with Joe and Felicia and they were both very helpful and answered all my questions. I was referred to them by a friend, and I would definitely refer others to them as well!”