Beware of Loan Sharks

Last week was Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Protests held nationwide demanding check advance and payday loan reform. A variety of picket signs displayed sayings from “Beware of PayDay Loan Predators to “Shark Week 2014 Stop Payday Loan Sharks.”

A check advance loan generally is a high interest short term loan. Many providers require bank account information or payroll information for the loan to be approved.

If the short term loan is not paid, interest rates ranging from 30% to as high as 400%. Interest accrues and collection calls start. Your payroll department can be called to start voluntary withdrawals. If you are not working, your bank will process payment withdrawals. More often than not, you are left a negative bank balance and high bank fees.

It is easy to fall into a cycle where you borrow a payday loan and in order to pay it, you take out another one. You’re stuck in a vicious circle feeling like there is no way out. The great news is in majority of cases, bankruptcy can discharge your payday loan debt.

Do not let your fear of bankruptcy be the reason not to go back in the water. Bankruptcy can eliminate not only the payday loan debt but other unsecured like credit cards and medical bills. If you are choosing between buying groceries and paying the payday loan, please call Peter Francis Geraci and Geraci Law.

How to Stop the Phone From Ringing

Over the last few weeks, newspapers printed articles regarding debt collection practices. One article gives advice as to how to ignore debt collectors. Advice ranged from pretending not to speak English to faking a family crisis. The reporters failed to give information how to actually STOP the calls.

Ignoring creditors can be a Band-Aid for a wound. You can delay the inevitable but ignoring is not a solution. If creditors cannot reach you, it’s possible to file a lawsuit and win a judgment against you.

Instead, you can file a bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 will STOP the phone calls. You can stop the phone from ringing and either eliminate or consolidate your debt.

Plainfield Attorneys Save Home!

An Illinois woman contacted Peter Francis Geraci and Geraci Law because her house was scheduled for sheriff sale in 5 days. She fell behind on the mortgage because she lost her job. Now, she’s back at work but her mortgage company refused to accept payment or modify the loan.

She met with Attorney Kristin Schindler at the Plainfield office. Attorney Schindler created a plan to file the case and reviewed the necessary documents. The following morning, she completed her credit counseling class and faxed documents to Geraci Law.

When the client was en route to the office, paralegal Mark Derose drafted the bankruptcy petition. Later that day, she met with Attorney Brent Ingram to finalize the case. The case was filed and the sale with stopped with days to spare.

Her mortgage company did not help her. She had no options. Now because of the great work of Geraci Law staff, she is able to live in her home and make an affordable payment to get current.

Keeping the Lights On

If you miss one month’s utility bill – you probably will not hear from the company. However, if you miss months and have a pile of past-due statements, you’re waiting for a shut off notice.

To stop a shut off, you need a significant percentage or the entire bill’s balance. If you do not have the balance, you’ll find yourself without electricity or gas. You could have lost your job, had a death in the family – the utility company does not care.

Instead, file a bankruptcy. Filing a bankruptcy will stop a utility shut off. You can keep the lights on and we can work out a payment plan for attorney fees. Peter Francis Geraci and Geraci Law Attorneys are here to help. If you are worried about a pending shut-off, call us.

Give Us a Call – We’ll Answer!

Recently, I tried to schedule an appointment with my doctor. Monday was attempt number one – I called on a break (because office only open from 9:00-3:00 – Monday thru Friday) to be put on hold for 15 minutes before anyone answered.

Attempt number two, voicemail kicked on stating staff was at lunch. It was 10:30 a.m. It was then I truly appreciated Peter Francis Geraci and Geraci Law L.L.C. I called the office 800 phone number – within 1 ring, my call was answered.

You can always reach someone. Attorneys and paralegals are available to handle any issue. It does not matter if it’s scheduling an appointment or a complicated bankruptcy issue. We are available from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. with hours on Saturday. The office is always open with evening and weekend hours by appointment.

When you consider bankruptcy, the attorney you file with is truly important. You do not want to talk to a voice mail. At Geraci Law, you only speak to a live person – an experienced live person with access to your file. Give us a call, my promise is you will not hear we are at lunch.

How Much is a Bankruptcy?

Everyone wants to know how much a bankruptcy costs. The simple answer is – we have no idea. Why would an experienced bankruptcy law firm with thousands of hours of experience not know?

Fees are based on your case and what is going on with your individual situation. Everyone has different circumstances. Geraci Law attorneys want to meet you to discuss what brought you to the point of bankruptcy. We determine fees by debt, income, and assets.

The best part of being a Geraci Law client is payment plans. Attorneys are able to mold a payment plan to fit your budget. We have filed cases from people with zero income to six-figure salaries. We file cases without fees being paid in full. We will figure out something for you to get out of debt. The great news is – it’s free to come in!

You meet with a Geraci Law attorney and get a free credit report. If we cannot help you, we can refer you to someone who can. There is no obligation and meeting with an experienced attorney can only help your family. Peter Francis Geraci and Geraci Law are here to help you! Just give us a call and we’ll find a time within your schedule to come in.

Let Financial Freedom Ring

Is your mailbox full of collection letters? When the phone rings, is it a collector calling? Are you losing sleep because of debt-stress? If the answer is yes, then bankruptcy may be an option for you. Many people fear a bankruptcy will ruin credit and their financial future. Reality is – bankruptcy is probably the best thing an indebted person can do.

If your debt is in collections, your credit score is already affected. Filing a bankruptcy will not make it worse. Instead, a discharge provides you with the opportunity to reestablish and rebuild. Sometimes the only thing you can say is, “I can’t pay you.”

It’s easy to fall into a cycle where you pay the minimum payment; use the credit card because income went to the minimum and the balance stays the same. If you opt to stop paying the minimums, the balance can quickly double with interest and late fees. You get trapped in a credit nightmare.

Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop the collections. You can start over and rebuild. If your financial goal is to purchase a house, a new vehicle or simple refinance, you can save money by eliminating the debt for a down payment.

Loan Modification, Sheriff Sale, Mortgage Nightmares

Many homeowners apply for loan modifications during difficult financial times. They call mortgage companies and are told to show a financial hardship (some “consultants” tell homeowners to STOP paying their mortgage). Majority of homeowners then spend countless hours faxing and mailing the same documents in hope their mortgage company receives the package.

In most cases, during “loan modification” review, homeowners are not paying the mortgage. A loan modification review can quickly end in a denial and a foreclosure. Some modification “reviews” can take years.

I spoke with a woman today who claimed her mortgage company told her loan was in underwriting. She ignored letters from her mortgage company because the “person on the phone” told her she was still under review. This morning she received a sheriff sale notice with a sale date of one week.

It took her almost 2 years to call a law firm. She was promised this and promised that and nothing came into fruition. She is scheduled to meet with Geraci Law where we will figure out a plan to save her home. If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, call Geraci Law. A Chapter 7 can eliminate all of your other debt so you can focus on the mortgage. If you are behind, a Chapter 13 is a great way to stop the foreclosure and give you a plan to get current.

If you have a sheriff sale, you have a time stamp. To stop the sale, the case must be filed before the auction. Call us sooner than later so we can keep you in your home!

$20 Lawsuit

A woman in Michigan sued Kohl’s department stores for harassment. She owes a $20 debt and claims collectors harassed her with calls and letters – all over $20. She was driven to the point of filing legal action against her financer. Collectors are just doing their job. Some are given a list of names and debts and are expected to call until payment is received.

Creditors will call from dawn until dusk and on weekends. If you are ignoring the phone and not opening mail because you are tired of saying, “I cannot pay you” – maybe it’s time for a different approach.

Bankruptcy will STOP the collectors. Once the case is filed and creditors are notified – collectors cannot contact you. Now, it’s not beneficial to file a bankruptcy against a $20 bill. But if you owe $10,000 or more in debt and the calls are causing sleepless nights and stress, bankruptcy can help!

You are probably thinking if I can’t pay the collectors – how can I pay an attorney? The answer is you meet with Geraci Law and together we can figure out a payment arrangement to fit your budget.

Solutions to problems are not found by burying your head in the sand. If you are worried about the constant phone calls and balancing act of robbing Peter to pay Paul – call Geraci Law. We specialize in your problem.

Geraci Law supports Bowen High School College-Bound Seniors

Bowen High School has over 50 seniors off to college in a few months who can use your help. Go to to contribute! Even $20 helps. Geraci Law contributed $2000 to the Bowen High School Senior fund set up by former Asst. Principal Nia Abdullah. And thanks to the Chicago Sun Times’ reporter Sue Ontiveros for the publicity!

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