Minimum Wage Increased! For Seattle.

Earlier this week, the Seattle City Council approved the largest increase in minimum wage. The minimum wage in Seattle is $15 per hour (minimum wage in Illinois is only $8.25 per hour). The Seattle city council took a step toward balancing income inequality.

If other cities would follow the example, many people would not need to rely on credit as an income supplement. Instead, a person can budget to live within their means. When you are only making $330 per week (before taxes), using credit cards or payday loans as a crutch seems like an easy solution.

The problem is paying minimums means you are paying interest. The debt is not getting paid off and the balance might be increasing. So you are stuck in a bad cycle where you are current with the minimums but using credit because your income is going to paying the minimums.

Break the cycle and consider bankruptcy! You can file a bankruptcy and eliminate the debt allowing you to budget even with minimum wage earnings. So when your state or city increases the minimum wage, you have more income to save instead of paying toward high interest debt.

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, http://www.infotapes.com 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 (www.annualcreditreport.com). 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.

Peter Francis Geraci attends Dave Ramsey Bankruptcy Leadership Summit in Nashville

I went down to Nashville recently for an intensive course in effective leadership using Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership principles. Dave Ramsey has devoted his career to Debtor Education the way I have to practicing bankruptcy law. Dave has quite a company, and his methods of operation are almost identical to Geraci Law. In fact, except for the obvious Christian background of Dave’s company, the guiding principles of Geraci Law are almost identical to Dave’s: honesty, integrity, and helping others come first. We even like the same Bible passages! And remember, Bankruptcy is a biblical law, Old Testament: Deutoronomy 15: 15 “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. 2 And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release”.
Dave believes, as do I, that everything else follows if you do the right thing and help others. Dave Ramsey has a large meeting room where his 400 or so employees gather each week to share reports on the business operations.  Geraci Law only has about 130 staff, but the Geraci Law teams also meet weekly, in person or electronically, and each team leader shares their reports.  In that way, the organization is able to communicate and improve service to their clients.  It was quite a thrill to meet Dave Ramsey in person, and we had a great time and learned a lot, although I think my Debtor Education Course at http://www.pfged.com is better than Dave’s!!

(his is pretty good, though, and his new book is great!)  140522 Dave Ramsey Bankruptcy Leadership Summit photo

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.