Good things Geraci Law attorneys do for our clients

At Geraci Law, at the end of every month each one of our 80 or so attorneys reports on something exceptional they did for a client. This helps to reinforce part of our Peter Francis Geraci mission statement: “We are here to help others”. We post these on our website, every month so that potential clients can be assured they are receiving the highest level of professional services from each and every Geraci Law attorney.
One of our lawyer was reluctant to contribute; she said “I do good things for our clients every day, it’s nothing special”. I said, “then just give me the MOST special good thing you did in a month.” So now she is our top contributor!

Should I file a bankruptcy?

How much debt do I need to file a bankruptcy? It’s a common question. What seems like a small amount to one person can seem like millions to someone else. Generally speaking, the biggest qualification for a bankruptcy is debt you cannot pay. But how much is enough?

The best place to start is your credit report. You can pull a free credit report annually ( Many people are surprised when debt and judgments show up from years ago.

It’s a common misconception that unpaid debt will just disappear. It is not magic – debt doesn’t just go away. Your creditors may write off the balance but the debt is still owed. Creditors just consider you to be a bad customer but are not collecting.

If total debt is approximately $10,000 or more, consider a bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will eliminate any obligation to the balance and prevent creditors from calling you, suing you or trying to collect. If you have less debt but are behind on a car payment or a mortgage, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be an option. You can consolidate your bills into an interest free repayment plan and bring delinquent loan payments current.

If you are considering a bankruptcy, contact Geraci Law. We offer free phone and in-office bankruptcy consultations to figure out the best option for you. If we cannot help you, we’ll point you in the right direction.

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.