Bankruptcy often improves your credit score

If you think that all those collections, past due, late payment, and anything else you’ve stumbled on is good credit, you’re wrong! If you think that you’ll ever pay off a $10,000 repossession, better get 2 jobs.
If you think that your credit score is great now, don’t file bankruptcy, why should you? But if creditors are calling, lawsuits threatened, and you do file a bankruptcy, Chapter 7, what happens?
Your credit score improves after your discharge your debts!! how much? it can go from the 500’s to the 700’s. Why? You have no debt, except things like car and house you are current on! And you can start to save some money, build up emergency fund, open a bank account, and be a good credit risk.
Under Chapter 13, you can’t get more credit without court permission. But chapter 7 gives you a discharge of debt in 4 months. Geraci Law can then assist you in cleaning up your credit report, and improving your credit score. Ask us how.

Happy Bankruptcy Clients

We at Geraci Law strive to have “happy clients”. Why? Our clients are almost always under stress, and our mission is to take as much of that away for them as possible. Here is what one recent client took the time to say in a thank you card to me:
“I want to extend a warm thank you to you and all the lawyers at your firm. You have a wonderful group of lawyers and you have helped me get out of debt and start my life once again. I especially want to thank your lawyer at your Berwyn office because they personally helped with my case. I want to thank Frank Hernandez. He helped me understand the whole case, and always answered by questions. He is so generous he even shared his dinner with me once. I had never tried Italian Beef before then. I also want to thank Belfor. He always greeted me and welcomed me into the office. I have recommended your office to my friends, who also need help with their bills. Thank you Mr. Geraci for everything your firm has helped me with. The little things you do mean so very much. Thank you.

Unhealthy Credit Scores

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report analyzing the effect of medical bills on credit scores. Findings show unpaid medical bills carry the same weight as unpaid rent when calculating scores. Medical debt and credit scores

Many people do not realize they owe medical bills. After a hospital stay or doctor’s visit, it’s easy to assume insurance covers 100% of the cost. If unpaid, a bill can go to collections and start negatively affecting a credit score.

Debt is reported to credit bureaus in two ways – from the original creditor (i.e. doctor, hospital) or from a collection agency. Majority (close to 99.4% according to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) is reported by collection agencies.

Most medical bills are caused by expensive and unexpected procedures – i.e. emergency surgeries, hospital stays, and emergency room visits. Insurance may pay part but not the entire bill. You could easily find yourself owing thousands for an emergency room visit.

Bankruptcy is an option. If you have a tremendous amount of medical bills, filing a bankruptcy will alleviate the stress that comes with owing. I spoke with a man from Illinois who was diagnosed as a diabetic. He was uninsured and spent three days in the hospital. In the end, the bills amounted to over $80,000.  Without a bankruptcy option, he would spend the rest of his life trying to pay down a three day visit.

Retire the Debt

Retirement should mean enjoying golden years and relaxation. It shouldn’t mean stress and sleepless nights trying to figure out a way to juggle debt. When most people retire, most live off a pension or Social Security benefits. Trying to pay debt, prescriptions and other expenses is difficult when you have other expenses.

Last year, people receiving Social Security benefits received a cost of living increase. Around the same time, the cost of Medicare and Medicaid increased, many retirees lost income. Many need to pay for supplemental insurance adding another expense to a fixed budget.

Increases in living costs can be disastrous for a fixed income. Monthly fixed expenses easy to pay when you are working are budgeted for when you retire. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of a gallon of milk increased 50 to 60 cents per gallon since January 2014. A gallon of milk could be a luxury for someone on a fixed income!

If you are about to retire and have debt; consider bankruptcy so you can retire debt-free! By eliminating the minimum payments on your unsecured debt, you can readjust your budget to afford the rising costs of things like milk.

I am the 4th generation of lawyer in my family, going back to my great-great grandfather, Francis Albert Hoffmann, who was lieutenant governor of Illinois during the Civil War, a founder of the Republican Party and staunch abolitionist, my great-grandfather Francis A. Hoffmann, who was corporation counsel of Chicago in the 1880’s, and my grandfather Francis A. Hoffmann, who went to North Division High School in 1905 (now Lincoln Park High School), Knox College and Univ. of Michigan Law School.  My mother unfortunately was unable to go to law school, but my sister is an attorney, and so am I.  I am quite proud of my family, and my profession.  So it pains me when ignorant people make lawyer jokes, or take a line from Shakespeare like “Let’s kill all the lawyers” out of context and spout it with an ignorant laugh.   

This line is from (2 Henry VI, 4.2.59), Dick the Butcher to Jack Cade “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”  If we read the play, we see that Dick the Butcher and Jack Cade are low characters plotting the overthrow of the government for their own ends, and his “ragged multitude…rude and merciless… of want to “first kill all the lawyers” and educated persons so that they may destroy the kingdom.  Not exactly the kind of people that you would want to imitate, much less repeat their disgusting plot to murder anyone with education. So, read the play, respect the law, and stay out of jail.  (what happened to Dick the Butcher and Jack Cade anyway?)

 

 

Shakespeare on Lawyers

I am the 4th generation of lawyer in my family, going back to my great-great grandfather, Francis Albert Hoffmann, who was lieutenant governor of Illinois during the Civil War, a founder of the Republican Party and staunch abolitionist, my great-grandfather Francis A. Hoffmann, who was corporation counsel of Chicago in the 1880’s, and my grandfather Francis A. Hoffmann, who went to North Division High School in 1905 (now Lincoln Park High School), Knox College and Univ. of Michigan Law School.  My mother unfortunately was unable to go to law school, but my sister is an attorney, and so am I.  I am quite proud of my family, and my profession.  So it pains me when ignorant people make lawyer jokes, or take a line from Shakespeare like “Let’s kill all the lawyers” out of context and spout it with an ignorant laugh.   

This line is from (2 Henry VI, 4.2.59), Dick the Butcher to Jack Cade “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”  If we read the play, we see that Dick the Butcher and Jack Cade are low characters plotting the overthrow of the government for their own ends, and his “ragged multitude…rude and merciless… of want to “first kill all the lawyers” and educated persons so that they may destroy the kingdom.  Not exactly the kind of people that you would want to imitate, much less repeat their disgusting plot to murder anyone with education. So, read the play, respect the law, and stay out of jail.  (what happened to Dick the Butcher and Jack Cade anyway?)

 

 

Peter Francis Geraci explains Bankruptcy Discharge for Deceased Debtor

Many of our clients are elderly, and we file their Chapter 13s to protect their paid off home and repay creditors with lower interest and no late payments.  Occasionally, a husband or wife will pass away during the case.  In this case, the wife passed at the end of the case, after they completed the payments, but before completing the requirement of certifying that she had no outstanding Domestic Support Obligations.  You would think that it would “go without saying” that a 78 year old grandmother was not under any court order to pay support, but that is the law.  Since the wife was deceased, Geraci Law attorney Megan Hayes obtained an affidavit from the surviving spouse, and when the Clerk marked it a “non-conforming document”, the kindly bankruptcy judge issued an order on the Clerk to make it conform, and both the surviving spouse and the deceased debtor received their discharge.  I am very proud of all the 76+ Geraci Law attorneys, not to mention our fine paralegals, for this kind of service to our clients.  As Shakespeare put over 400 years ago in in Measure for Measure, which was all about lawyers, “Good counselors lack no clients”!

Birds do it, and you can too! Protect your nest, that is…

I live in downtown Chicago, and hawks eat most of the birds they can catch.   Doves nest on my balcony, under the privet bushes in my window box.  Doves, like swans and magpies, mate for life, and will come back to the same safe nest year after year.  Hawks can’t see them because of the bushes, and the color of the dove blends in with the soil!   You need to protect your home and family from the creditor hawk, too.   That means keeping your rent or mortgage current, and protecting yourself and your family from lawsuits, foreclosure, wage deductions, and recovering from illness, job loss and family problems.  That’s what we do at Geraci Law!  Take my free non-bankruptcy credit counseling course at  www.pfged.com, to find out how to protect your nest!

To find a safe place to nest, protection from hawks is essential

 

Vehicles and Bankruptcy

Financing a vehicle with bad or no credit usually means high interest and large car payments. If the car is repossessed, the financer will auction off the vehicle for pennies. You will be responsible for the difference and could be sued for a car you do not have anymore.

You can file a bankruptcy with Geraci Law to handle the debt. If your car was repossessed and has not been sold, we file a Chapter 13 to stop the auction. Otherwise, Geraci Law attorneys can file a Chapter 7 to eliminate your obligation to the deficiency.

After your bankruptcy is discharged, you can rebuild credit by financing a vehicle. A way to shop for a new vehicle is to try to get a preapproval letter. Using a preapproval forces you to use a budget – if the preapproval letter approves you for a $25,000 vehicle; you know your limits.

Most people need a vehicle to get around. If you just filed a bankruptcy or have a high interest car loan, you have options to find an affordable vehicle. Step one is handling the bad debt with Geraci Law and step two is creating an affordable plan.

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