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.

Tips for a Successful Chapter 13

Below are tips for filing a successful Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 is a repayment plan for 3-5 years. The most important advice I can give is to find a great attorney to represent you for the next few years.

  • Stay in contact with your attorney! If your income or expenses change, call your attorney. A Chapter 13 success relies on timely payments to your bankruptcy trustee. If you are unable to make a payment, you have options! Not every attorney is the same. You want a live person on the phone not a voicemail. Geraci Law attorneys are available Monday-Saturday to handle your payment issues. We have a solution for almost every Chapter 13 problem.
  • If you are not on payroll control, you are responsible for making payments to the bankruptcy trustee every month. Some trustees offer online debit payments but most require certified funds mailed. If the payment comes from your payroll check, you do not have to remember to send in the payment or go to the bank once a month to pick up certified funds. Geraci Law will handle your payroll request if you choose this payment method. It’s hassle free!
  • Read your mail. It sounds simple but you will receive correspondence from the bankruptcy court from by mail. Some law firms will not call if there is a problem on your case and leave you to make sense of complicated information from the bankruptcy court. If you hire Geraci Law, we are representing you from the first meeting until discharge. Geraci Law clients are free to call with questions or concerns.
  • Creditors can file motions with the court and your bankruptcy attorney should attend on your behalf. Many motions only take 5-10 minutes but are important to your case. Geraci Law Attorneys are in court every time it is in session. For any motion, your Geraci Law attorney is available to represent you. Some attorneys handling a few cases per month will ask other attorneys to cover the meetings or not attend at all.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies are complicated. Geraci Law has expert attorneys in Chapter 13 bankruptcy issues. We can help your case be successful.

Congrats Grads!

Congratulations to all 2014 graduates! Many college grads, graduate in debt. Student loans or personal loans help students pay for college. After graduation, the loan debt comes due. Many grads struggle to find jobs and many jobs available barely cover living expenses let alone student loan payments.

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, college graduates under 40 with student loan debt have a median net worth of $8,700. This is low because most people with student loan debt have other debts like credit card and car loan payments.

The best gift to give a grad this year could be a bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate other debt like credit cards, personal loans, or medical bills. It will be much easier to pay the student loans if there is no other debt to worry about paying. A Chapter 13 plan can help consolidate debt in an interest-free repayment plan. A college grad can start a new job and file a Chapter 13 to make the debt payments affordable.

Geraci Law Attorneys have hundreds of hours of consumer bankruptcy law experience. If you just graduated, your financial situation is about to change. Peter Francis Geraci and Geraci Law can help you get control of your finances!