How stupid is “debt settlement” from most non-attorney companies? Really stupid.

Phony debt settlement schemes make you poorer than you were before.

Read article below or more written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci at

An article in the May 23, 2021 New York times points out how stupid most debt settlement operations are for those struggling with credit cards. On page 39 the story of a single mother and her son is told. The story claims that this single mother is spending 100 a month on credit cards that are not included in another $300 she pays to a private company, to “bundle $27,000 in debt from nine creditors”

The story says that she was paying $246 every other Wednesday, but dropped it to $100 when she lost her 2nd job waitressing. Then creditors “got pushy” and one is taking it to court, and she “just got handed papers from another creditor the other day and started crying”

This sad. Poor lady is getting terrible advice. First, she will never pay back $27,000 in debt at either $500 a month, or $200 a month, unless she gets lucky and pays out that $100 for the next 10 years or more, and never misses.

Each creditor is dividing $200 a month, minus the fees to this “Debt Relief” company, so they might be getting $20 each. Second, look what happened. 2 of the 9 creditors actually filed lawsuits. Some “Debt Relief” Third, she could have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for $200, and she would have been done with it all long again, and included the other debt she is paying $100 a month on.

It is plainly beyond her means to pay even $300 a month to creditors, given her precarious financial position. Not once does the New York Times mention bankruptcy relief, which is the obvious solution to her debt problems. The budget in the article doesn’t make any sense, either.

This is pretty typical of publications like the New York Times, who have some kind of weird agenda, telling stories that don’t help anyone understand how to deal with debt. Attorney Peter Francis Geraci of Geraci Law LLC sees examples of this all the time: well-meaning people getting fleeced by “debt relief” when they should be filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Can I Get Rid of a Vehicle By Filing Bankruptcy?

Sometimes you just don’t want a vehicle. It may be worth far less than you owe, or it may be a junk that costs too much to repair. So the question is, how do you get rid of it and get something else?

Article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci. Read more of his posts at!

Can I get rid of a vehicle by filing bankruptcy?

Sometimes you just don’t want a vehicle. It may be worth far less than you owe, or it may be a junk that costs too much to repair. So the question is, how do you get rid of it and get something else? You’re probably not going to just get rid of the vehicle and walk or take the bus. So there are a variety of situations, and you need good legal advice before you make a false move.

Title loans Do you have an old vehicle with a title loan? If you do, the title loan company has a lien on the title. They will want you to pay them before they release the title. If the vehicle doesn’t run, or has been in an accident, you can’t junk it unless you get the title. Title loan companies seldom will take a vehicle back, rarely even repossess vehicles, because they don’t loan you enough money to make it worthwhile. If you file a bankruptcy, we can provide that you surrender the vehicle, then file a procedure called a motion to exempt and redeem. The court values the vehicle, and all you have to do is pay the value of the vehicle to the title company in which they are required to give you the title. This works very well when you have a junker is only worth $100 salvage value.

Under water Second situation that is very common is that you have a vehicle where you have a loan on it, in the loan payoff is much more than the vehicle is worth, and you don’t want it. Let’s say you bought a used car, and it’s now worth $8000. But you have 40 payments of $350 left to pay, or $14,000, the payoff and that depending upon how long you’ve financed it for, might be as much is $11,000 or $12,000. So if you wanted to give the vehicle back to the finance company, they would sell it at auction, probably $4000, and soak you with the auction costs, if you credit for the $4000 sales price, and you’d end up owing 8000 on the repossessed vehicle. Chapter 7 filing can eliminate that $8000 deficiency.

So Chapter 7 works very well when you owe a lot more than the vehicle is worth. If you want the over financed vehicle in a chapter 7, sometimes, we can make a deal, and a reaffirmation. So you can either surrender a vehicle that’s over financed and eliminate the deficiency, or possibly we can negotiate a better deal in bankruptcy, but you have to be willing, under Chapter 7 to surrender it if they don’t give you a better deal. There is another option called 722 redemption, similar to the junker, but if the value of the vehicle is $8000, you have to come up with the full value of the vehicle, or finance it, and if you do not come up with the $8000 722 redemption, you probably be financing it at 30% interest which is a terrible deal and you’d be right back where you started.

Chapter 13 The third situation involves keeping the vehicle, and filing chapter 13 to pay what the vehicle is worth, if the vehicle is over two and half years old, and even if it’s not 2 ½ years old to pay it at the prime rate +2%. Now if that sounds complicated, it is. One problem that we are running into is people are financing vehicles for 72 or 84 months, and then coming in to file a chapter 13, which can only last 60 months. They may even have a 0% interest rate. So if you have a long way to pay on a vehicle, and you’ve already got 0% interest, chapter 13 doesn’t help you. Depending upon your income, it may be wise you can qualify for chapter 7, to get rid of this monster and get a reasonably priced vehicle with a low payment.

There’s a lot more to vehicles in bankruptcy. Geraci law lawyers have filed over 100,000 bankruptcy cases, many of which involve cars, both chapter 7 and chapter 13. If your only debt is a car, you should not be doing a bankruptcy. But if your problem is greater than just the car payment, let’s look at what filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 can do about your whole picture, and where the vehicle fits in.

That’s why you need an experienced Geraci law bankruptcy lawyer to figure all this stuff out.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 30,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!