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

 

How to deal with vehicle loans in Chapter 13

Your politicians made changes to the bankruptcy laws years ago to protect car finance companies. They seem to think that making it hard for consumers will help their finance companies. Although the politicians must have gotten some big contributions from GM’s captive finance company, GMAC, it didn’t stop General Motors from filing bankruptcy, did it? No!! So even though your Senators and Congress people try to make it hard on us, you can still get help as a working person if you are overwhelmed with debt because of job loss, illness or whatever life brings. Car loans are now going 60 to even 84 months. Used car rates can be 21%. So if you have a high interest car loan, and the car is worth less than you owe on it, here’s the deal in Chapter 13 bankruptcy:
1. If your bought the vehicle more than 910 days (2.5 years ago), you can offer to pay the actual value at prime rate plus 2%.
2. If you bought the vehicle less than 910 days, you have to pay the remaining loan on it, no reduction in value, but can still pay less interest.
Either way, you get a better deal, and still get to handle your other debt, and pay your vehicle ahead of other debts, so the car gets paid off faster, while the other creditors wait. Have a co-signer? Only way to protect the co-signer is pay the loan as written, either inside your bankruptcy, or “outside”. Geraci Law restructured or discharged over $1.5 billion in debt last year. Visit us at http://www.elimadebt.com

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.