Bill Consolidation, Loan Modification, Credit Counseling, Debt Settlement Fraud Schemes

All these schemes play on your guilty, embarrassment and confusion. They can’t stop late fees, repossessions, lawsuits, foreclosures, license suspension, or anything else. So, beware of “bill consolidation, mortgage modifiers, debt settlement and credit counseling”.

From Chapter 3 of Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s, “The Complete Book on Bankruptcy” read more @ https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/

This is an easy one. Because most stuff other than bankruptcy is fraudulent. That means someone somewhere, on the internet, or maybe in Russia, or maybe your own bank, wants your money, and will say anything to get it.

1. “bill consolidation” is usually a fraud scheme There is no way to “consolidate” all your bills into one lower payment you can afford, pay your vehicles and mortgage and tax debt first, and stop every single creditor from bothering you, adding late charges, or suing you. No way. None. Nada. Except for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Oh, there’s that word again “bankruptcy.”

2. “Loan modification” Fraud schemes like “Legal Helpers Loan Modification” just stole people’s money and disappeared with millions. Banks usually string you along for months and lose your paperwork, making things worse. Then all they do is take your 30 year loan and turn it into a 40 year loan to “get” you a lower payment. Great, now you’ll die before you pay them off and they’ll get your house back after collection mostly interest payments.

3. “Credit Counseling” Possibly the worst fraud. Some of them pose as law firms. Some are “lawyers” who really should be in jail. Being a lawyer makes them try to take as much as the first year’s payments up front as fees”. They usually last a year before getting indicted and put out of business.

4. “Debt settlement” Definitely the worst. Run, do not walk, as fast as you can from these skunks. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution” and others stole $50 million or more and faded into the night. Their imitators are still around, and so are the lawyers involved. They only lost their law licenses for a couple years. Nice payday on your money!

All these schemes play on your guilty, embarrassment and confusion. They can’t stop late fees, repossessions, lawsuits, foreclosures, license suspension, or anything else. So, beware of “bill consolidation, mortgage modifiers, debt settlement and credit counseling”. We usually see folks who have paid $3,000 to $5,000 to bill consolidators, and have nothing to show to it, when they could have filed Chapter 7 or 13 and really solved their problems and gotten a true fresh start.

Bankruptcy is very predictable. Everything is in writing, and while there are a lot of stupid lawyers who do lose $3000 or $5000 of their client’s money in Chapter 7’s, and take Chapter 13 cases that fail quickly after they get paid, Geraci Law does not engage in shady practices. So why pay the same, and not get the name? Ask your friends and family, and even your boss at work. Chances are they’ll say, “talk to Geraci Law.”

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  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!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com

When Will Creditors Stop Bothering Me?

If you are having trouble with bill payments, you should get a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before you make more payments to creditors.

Check out Chapter 20 in Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s “Complete Book on Bankruptcy.” This chapter is below, read more @ https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/

CHAPTER #20 When Will Creditors Stop Bothering Me?

The minute the bankruptcy case is filed. In the meantime, don’t talk to them, leave them on the answering machine. If they call you at work, get their info, give them your home number, and say “My employer does not allow calls at work, please call me at home.” These are magic words under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that require them to stop calling you at work. You can tell them that!

After we have prepared a petition listing your debts and assets, and prepared answers to required questions about your personal actions in relation to money, the bankruptcy petition is filed with the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court. Of course, your attorney fee must be paid in full, unless you have made other arrangements. After you have paid your attorney, you pay the filing fee, or court cost. It is about $300.00 (When I started practicing bankruptcy law, in 1974, the court cost was only $30.00.) This must be paid in the form of a money order or cashier check payable to the Clerk of U.S. Bankruptcy Court, since the Clerk does not take personal checks.

After the Clerk has stamped a bankruptcy case number, or docket number, on the petition, notice can be sent out to all creditors that you are under the jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court. Then, Federal law requires that all collection action stop.

After you have made up your mind what to do, I generally advise you to stop paying all creditors except the ones which will survive a bankruptcy. If you are having trouble with bill payments, you should get a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before you make more payments to creditors.

You may be wasting your money right now by making minimum payments on bills that don’t go down after you make the payment, or you may be paying money to creditors that you will get rid of, instead of creditors that you must pay.

It is important to understand that thinking about filing bankruptcy, or even talking about it, is not the same as giving money to an attorney and actually having a docket number assigned by the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Even giving money to an attorney is not enough. The case actually has to be filed with the Clerk. It is then that the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code which protect you from creditor harassment, bill collectors, wage assignments and lawsuits come into effect.

Those provisions are briefly known as the “automatic stay” provisions. This protection is known as the automatic stay, because the Bankruptcy Code provides that all creditor action is automatically stopped, or stayed, when a petition is filed with the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. This “automatic stay” is truly automatic, and even if a creditor does not know a bankruptcy case has been filed, you are protected from their actions.

For instance, if money is taken out of our paycheck by a creditor after the date a bankruptcy petition has been filed, it must be put back as soon as you notify your payroll department that you were under the protection of the automatic stay provisions of the Bankruptcy Code at the time the money was deducted.

I routinely provide my clients with notices entitled “Automatic Stay”, which state the language of the Code. I mail them to the client when the case is filed, so that the client can notify payroll, if necessary, or tell the docket number to any bill collector who calls. Sometimes clients get these in the mail, and even though we have discussed it thoroughly, they call up and say, “What are all these papers? Do you mean I have to notify my creditors? What am I paying you for?

I then explain again that this is for your benefit, so that you quickly have something in your hand to give to anyone who wants proof that you have filed a bankruptcy petition. Creditors and payroll departments will immediately stop any action if they know definitely that a bankruptcy has been filed.

Problem: Keith has a wage assignment from a finance company, and all his creditor cards are behind and bill collectors are calling him constantly.

The Peter Francis Geraci Chapter 7 or 13 Solution: The filing of any bankruptcy petition stops all creditor action. When Keith’s bankruptcy case is filed, the wage assignment has to stop, and no one can even call him on the telephone.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  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!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com

What Does Bankruptcy Cost?

A lot less than paying debt that you can’t pay!

Check out Chapter 9 of Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s “Complete Book on Bankruptcy” at https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/

CHAPTER #9 What Does Bankruptcy Cost?

A lot less than paying debt that you can’t pay. Anyone can come up with $900 or $1000 to put down on a Chapter 7, and pay the rest over time. Anyone can come up with the court costs to file a Chapter 13, and pay the rest in with their Chapter 13 payment.

Every lawyer charges exactly the same for Chapter 13, so don’t bother shopping for fees for Chapter 13. Why? In almost every court, the court rules provide for a standard fee for all services. So, it’s not the fee that you use to pick out an attorney.

Same with Chapter 7. Some people think everyone with a law license is the same. That’s why the jails are full. Lots of people who don’t know how to pick a decent attorney. People who file bankruptcy often have no confidence in themselves or their family or their budgets, and panic! They think, “I have to pay a big fee all at once and I have no money”.

If you panic, you might call every lawyer who advertises bankruptcy and say “How much is a bankruptcy”? If you actually get an answer to that, here is who you might probably be are talking to:

A lawyer who got fired or could not work with anyone so he paid $500 for a website design. He rents a desk in an office center, and has no employees, works from his cell phone, returns his calls you leave on voice mail while he is driving from traffic court to a real estate closing to a bankruptcy court meeting, the only 3 cases he has this week. “I will do your case for $800 come on in” he says. You say “don’t you want to know anything about me or what is involved before you tell me $800?” He says, “no, come on in, bring your money”

You show up and sure enough, it’s either a rented desk in “Armstrong Office Suites”, or it smells funny and not very professional. He is late. So you wait, he shows up and says “sorry, I was in Court” and brings you into his office. The place is a mess. He actually has a fax machine on his desk.

“Did you bring the $800?” he says. “Don’t you want to know anything about me or what is involved before you tell me $800?” you say for the 2nd time. (Oh, you also had to wait a week before he could “fit you in”.)

Anyway, he then tells you that instead of $800, because you have a house and car, he meant $800 to file, plus the court cost, and there will be additional costs if “anything goes wrong”.

You say, “whaaat? What do you mean, if anything goes wrong?” He says, “don’t worry, usually nothing usually wrong”! So much for the “UNKNOWN ATTORNEY”. But, if he gets your $800, he at least has his rent for the month.

At Geraci Law, we get a lot of people who have been elsewhere and are unhappy. Read our reviews. Some people focus on the attorney’s fee in choosing an attorney. My office gets calls from about a hundred people a year who have had Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 cases goofed up because they tried to save $100 on attorney fees.

Sometimes, in fact, regularly, we tell people NOT to file bankruptcy. That is why we have never “lost” a house or had any real “trouble”. So, one cost of a bankruptcy might be getting bad advice or bad representation by your attorney. The attorney’s fee doesn’t matter, since you can’t save much from one attorney to another.

So, bankruptcy is pretty cheap. If you had $20,000 to pay your creditors, you’d probably give it to them. If you could settle all your debt for $5000, you would. So why try to beat up your lawyer before you have all the facts in front of, by calling around to unknown lawyers to get them to tell you something on the phone? No smart lawyer will give you any real advice on the phone, much less quote you a firm fee for something they know nothing about.

Always get a free in office consultation. If you really want the cheapest lawyer in town, then go to the one who tells you $500 on the phone, and pray that you will be happy! You get what you pay for. At Geraci Law, we work with almost everyone, but $500 was a fee in 1975, not 40 years later in 2015. Every year, one of the “cheap” bankruptcy lawyers gets indicted or closes up, so watch out who you think is giving you a “cheap price”. The so-called “largest bankruptcy firm in the world”, “Macey & Aleman Legal Helpers” closed up suddenly in 2013 and did not refund fees to clients, who then filed claims in its bankruptcy for the $1400 or whatever fee they lost when the place shut its doors.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  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!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com

Wage Assignments & Deductions and How You Can STOP Them!

Creditors can collect from you in several ways. A favorite way is to take money from your paycheck. Most states provide for both wage assignments and wage deduction orders. Internet loans are the WORST!

Did you know you can be sued for a credit card bill? A medical bill? A balance on a car that you voluntarily gave back? Creditors will file a LAWSUIT against you in attempt to collect the balance.

Below is Chapter 31 from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s “The Complete Book on Bankruptcy,” titled, “Wage Assignments & Deductions and How you Can Stop Them.” Read this and more @ https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/

CHAPTER #31 Wage Assignments & Deductions and How you Can Stop Them

Creditors can collect from you in several ways. A favorite way is to take money from your paycheck. Most states provide for both wage assignments and wage deduction orders. Internet loans are the WORST!

Wage assignments are voluntary authorizations many creditors make you sign when you make a loan. You are authorizing them to take an amount, up to 15% of your gross pay, if you don’t make your regular payments. Wage assignments last four weeks, and then must be renewed by the creditor. You get a warning before a demand is made on your employer.

Wage deductions are made after a judgment in court is entered against you, after a lawsuit. The creditor serves papers on your employer, who must then withhold 15% of your gross pay for about 10 weeks, and turn it over to the creditor.

Levies are used by governmental units. The IRS can take almost all of your paycheck. If you owe on a student loan, the state agency can take your income tax refund. If you work for the state, and owe on a state insured loan, they can take a large part of your paycheck.

A bankruptcy will stop all of these actions, even though most of the time, you have no defense to the collection efforts in the regular lawsuit in a state court. Bankruptcy also stops lawsuits. If the debt you are being sued for is one you cannot discharge in a bankruptcy, such as a recent student loan, you could pay it in a Chapter 13, or have your bankruptcy attorney make a deal to pay it after the bankruptcy gets rid of your other problems.

If the employer is holding money that was taken from your check, but it has not been turned over to the creditor, it may be possible to void the creditor’s right to get it, and have it turned over for your benefit. You should get a copy of the papers from your employer, and find out exactly how much has been taken and when it is due to be turned over.

If your only debt is one from a lawsuit, and you already have child support taken out, most states provide that no more than 15% of your gross can be subject to deduction. Therefore, if you are having 20% deducted for child support, no other deductions are permitted. Also, federal law provides that you cannot have a deduction if you make less than 30 times the minimum wage, so part time workers very often are immune from wage deductions.

If you are immune from wage deductions, the only thing a creditor can do is seize other property, such as bank accounts.

We get our first call from many clients when they receive a wage deduction summons or a wage assignment. This makes them realize that their problems are serious, and they then admit that they need help from a bankruptcy lawyer. If you are dumb enough to wait until you are sued, at least be smart enough to have some money saved to pay a bankruptcy attorney.

Problem: Chris has been sued, and now the creditor has a judgment, and issued papers that require the employer to take 15% of his paycheck to satisfy the judgment.

The Peter Francis Geraci Chapter 7 or 13 Solution: The filing of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 will stop any wage deduction the date the bankruptcy petition is filed. Chris got his mom to pay the attorney to do the bankruptcy, and he is giving her his tax refund when it comes back.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  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!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com

Will I be Able to Get Credit Again After Bankruptcy?

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci (PFG) answers the question everyone wants to know but is afraid to ask!

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s “The Complete Book on Bankruptcy” answers questions about complicated bankruptcy matters. Chapter 28 is titled:

 Will I Be Able to Get Credit Again After Bankruptcy?

Below is an excerpt from this chapter. You can read the entire book at https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/ A fresh start is sometimes all you need!

Why would anyone be happy about having to file a bankruptcy? The answer is, you’re not happy because you have to, but because you can. If there were no bankruptcy laws, you would have no way out of financial trouble.

The bankruptcy laws, and how they can help you, are not known to the general public. When a person finds out that they can get out of debt, and start fresh, without giving up any possessions, they are generally very happy. No one files a bankruptcy case unless they have to. If you have the money to pay your bills, pay them! If you don’t, read this book, contact a bankruptcy lawyer, get the proper advice, and have a happy bankruptcy! It is possible.

Why would you be happier if you kept your house, kept your vehicle, kept your pension, kept your household furnishings, and had no debt, and could save money each month for retirement? Why wouldn’t you?

Realize that if you have $20,000.00 in credit card debt at 18%, and just make the minimum payments at 2.5% of the balance, never using the card again, it will take you 37 years to pay it off. Go to our website, http://www.infotapes.com, and follow the links to msn.money.com, and bankrate.com. You will find useful financial calculators on those sites. Plug in your debt, and see that once you can pay only minimums, you have a life sentence of debt.

Why should you have a life sentence of debt? Be happy! Don’t worry! If you can only pay minimums, collectors are calling, you have to charge necessities, you may be better off filing Chapter 7 and getting a discharge of that debt. You might also file Chapter 13, which is a no-interest debt repayment. You could take that $500 a month and repay it in full without interest over less than 48 months.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  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!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com

Need help turning on the AC? Utility debt and bankruptcy!

It’s hot in Chicagoland and if you are worried about your electric bill and running the AC – check out Chapter 24 of Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s “Complete Book on Bankruptcy.” Utility bills can be discharged in a bankruptcy. Excerpt is below, check out the entire book @ https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/

CHAPTER #24 Gas, Cable, Electric, & Phone Bills

Gas, electric and telephone (utility bills) can be dealt with in a bankruptcy. If they are current, they should not be listed on a bankruptcy petition. If they are more than 3 months past due, they should be listed, because you can be protected from utility shutoffs, and continue getting utility service without paying the past due bills, in many cases. Most states have laws which say that public utilities cannot refuse to give you service after a bankruptcy, even if you had a bill with them that you are discharging.

For instance, if your electric bill is behind $600, and your regular monthly bill is $75.00, but your electric is shut off because you were so far behind, a bankruptcy will be of great help to you. I will list the electric company as a creditor, and provide you with documents that you must carry in person to the electric company. They will zero out your bill. You then can get service turned on, providing you make satisfactory deposit arrangements. Usually, the deposit would be 2 times an average bill, or 2 x $75.00. This may be payable in installments over several months.

So, you can see that, if you are severely behind in your utilities, and have enough other bills to warrant filing a bankruptcy, you can get your past due utility service up to date very quickly with very little money.

Cell phone carriers may shut off your service if you owe them money and file. The same with cable companies. Most will turn it back on when you provide them with the bankruptcy papers and catch up. Usually our clients only list those providers that are already shut off, so this is not a problem.

The only problem with clients whose utility bills are past due, is that it is a signal that the have problems that bankruptcy cannot solve. Not paying utility bills is like not paying your rent. Unless that is caused by a temporary disaster, you may need more income to live normally. If you don’t have enough income to pay necessities, you may find yourself back in the same situation again very soon after a bankruptcy. (see the Chapter on What Bankruptcy Won’t Solve)

Problem: Mrs. Wilson has 3 finance company loans, 4 credit cards, and a big hospital bill that was not covered by insurance. Her house payment is 2 months late, because she paid the other creditors instead of paying the house payment. Her gas bill is $600 behind, and her lights are off.

The Peter Francis Geraci Chapter 7 or 13 Solution: If she files a bankruptcy petition, her utilities can be “zeroed out”, and her outstanding balance reduced to nothing. She starts fresh with the utility companies, and will only have to put up a deposit in order to get service again. Of course, she will have to remain current in the future.

A Chapter 13 will pick up the past due mortgage payments and prevent collection by the other loans. Of course, there is no sense filing a Chapter 13 if she cannot meet her mortgage, utilities and Chapter 13 payment regularly in the future.

It may be better to file a Chapter 7 in such a case, and perhaps sell the house or live out the equity without making any more mortgage payments.

Answers to Almost Every Question About Bankruptcy

Did you know Attorney Peter Francis Geraci wrote a book? It’s called the “The Complete Book on Bankruptcy.” His book answers almost any question you may have about bankruptcy.

Did you know Attorney Peter Francis Geraci wrote a book? It’s called the “The Complete Book on Bankruptcy.” His book answers almost any question you may have about bankruptcy.

The best part? The book is FREE and available online. You can click https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/ to read the entire book and learn about the differences of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

His book answers questions like:

What happens to my credit score if I file bankruptcy?

Will My Employer Find Out if I File Bankruptcy?

What can bankruptcy do for you?

When Will Creditors Stop Bothering Me?

Bankruptcy and Divorce, Alimony, & Child Support

Bill Consolidation Scams

Chapter 13 Debt Repayment Plans

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

Chapter 10-What is the Real Price Difference Between Bankruptcy Lawyers?

An excerpt from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s “The Complete Book on Bankruptcy.” Learn more about misconceptions about bankruptcy!

You may be thinking about bankruptcy. You may have called a couple of law firms. Geraci Law can help you. Below is an excerpt from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s Complete Book on Bankruptcy about the REAL price difference between bankruptcy attorneys.

From Chapter 10 – What is the Real Price Difference Between Bankruptcy Lawyers?

I have found that there is very little difference in attorney’s fees. You can’t save more than a couple hundred dollars between lawyers’ fees for the same type of case. Some people like cheap doctors, and some people like cheap food. Some people pick attorneys by a $100 difference in price, not realizing that one deal your attorney makes can save or cost you thousands.

So, the cheapest lawyer in town is not necessarily the best. In other words, go for experience, not price, because there is not much difference in fees for consumer bankruptcies, but there is a big difference in the quality of the advice and service.

For instance, let’s say that 5 years later, a bill collector calls and says you left him off your petition, and he wants to be paid. Will you be able to call your attorney who did the Chapter 7, for advice, or will the telephone be disconnected? If it is Geraci Law, yes you can. 7 am to 7 pm and Saturdays until 1 PM. All your records are electronic. No voice mail either.

Usually, Chapter 7 fees can be paid in installments of as low as $100 a month. Chapter 13 Plans including attorney fees are as low as $95 biweekly. If you can’t afford $100 or $200 a month, you may have to ask friends or family to help you out.

In my opinion, anyone “shopping for fees” for a bankruptcy attorney, is not thinking clearly. If you can clear $10,000 in debt, tax free for $1500, it is a bargain. 10 payments of $150 or even $200 is a bargain.

Chapter 13 cases are even more of a bargain. In almost every state, the attorney fee is exactly the same. Most Chapter 13 cases get filed “no money down”, because it’s a repayment plan. Your attorney gets paid from your Chapter 13 payment, which takes care of attorney fees and all debt. Your Chapter 13 payment could be as low as $95 bi-weekly, or more depending on what debt you are paying back.

Geraci Law represents people on Social Security with low income, and people making over $100,000 a year. Anyone quoting the same fee for any case, on the phone, may be engaging in “bait and switch” tactics. But, if you are really were just looking for the cheapest lawyer in town, sadly for you, there are some poor lawyers at the bottom of their career that will work for free. You kind of get what you pay for.

Geraci Law is the largest filer of bankruptcies in Illinois Indiana and Wisconsin, and you will generally find that the largest law firms probably have the happiest clients, and about the same fees, when you get done, as the all-by-myself attorneys.

Lawyers that claim to be “cheap” can often end up costing you more! Beware of “cheap fee quotes on the phone”

In most Chapter 13 cases, you are saving a lot of money on interest, so the cost is less than paying the creditors at their contract rate of interest. However, Chapter 7 cases are usually cheaper than Chapter 13 cases in terms of total cost. Many “cheap” lawyers don’t know the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, so if you go there, you won’t know either.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  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!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com.

Chapter 36 – Business Bankruptcies

An excerpt from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s “The Complete Book on Bankruptcy.” Learn more about misconceptions about bankruptcy!

Chapter 36 – Business Bankruptcies

Stein Mart is the most recent business to file for bankruptcy since the start of the pandemic. You may wonder what is a business bankruptcy and what does it mean? You may be a business owner thinking about filing for bankruptcy. Below is an excerpt from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s Complete Book on Bankruptcy.

At Geraci Law, we don’t do bankruptcies for operating business. You may as well wind it up properly yourself. Pay your taxes, sell your inventory, and close up. Businesses don’t get a discharge anyway. Chapter 7 only liquidates a business. You can do that by yourself.

You may have heard of major corporations reorganizing under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Small businesses seldom reorganize, and 95% of the businesses with under $2 million in sales that go into Chapter 11 do not reorganize successfully and go under completely. In October, 2005, a simplified reorganization procedure for small businesses was enacted.

Businesses don’t usually file bankruptcy because only people get discharges. Business usually wind up their affairs, pay off what creditors they can, and disappear. Only if a real person has personal liability, or the business really wants to liquidate using bankruptcy, do small businesses file.

Many small businesses are incorporated. If the owner of the incorporated business did not sign personally, it is only the corporation that is obligated. In that case, certainly the owner does not need a bankruptcy attorney. But does the small corporation need bankruptcy relief? The answer generally is, no. Just struggle along. If your small incorporated business is still alive, do the best you can. Stay away from bankruptcy. Make sure you pay the employee withholding taxes, unemployment taxes, and sales tax. Those are items that an officer or shareholder of a corporation may be held personally liable for. Try to pull out of your problem by yourself, and if you cannot, fold the business yourself.

However, if your business is not incorporated, you may be personally liable for its debts. In that case, the same rules apply. I see no benefit to putting a going business into bankruptcy court. If you are going under, just go out of business. Many creditors tend to just drift away. After you are out of business, and find a regular job, if anyone sues you, you may want to file a Chapter 7. Bankruptcy rules will generally not help a failing small business to succeed.

If you have already closed your business, and remain liable on its bills, and have other bills such as charge card debt, we may be able to get you a fresh start. We represent a lot of people who have already closed their businesses, there are no assets left, and they need to get a fresh start.

If that is your business is closed up, and you are now doing something else, and you just want to eliminate personal liability on loans, or if you have a 1 person business, you may benefit greatly from the bankruptcy relief which is available. But, if your business is still going, don’t call me!

Problem: Jose had a hot dog stand, and his rent doubled, and he was evicted. He is now working as a cook making about $32,000.00 a year, but that is not enough to pay for all the bills he ran up trying to save his small business, and now the creditors are suing him.

The Peter Francis Geraci Chapter 7 or 13 Solution: Jose can file a Chapter 7, list both his business and personal debts, and get a fresh start.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  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!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com.

Chapter 9 – Is Bankruptcy Bad?

An excerpt from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s “The Complete Book on Bankruptcy.” Learn more about misconceptions about bankruptcy!

Chapter 9 – Is Bankruptcy Bad?

Below is an excerpt from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s Complete Book on Bankruptcy.

No. Owing money you can’t pay is bad. Money can be used for good or bad purposes. People end up without money because of circumstances beyond their control, or for other reasons. Bankruptcy merely adjusts the debt situation to 0 again. You start out even. You get a fresh start, while still keeping the necessities of life. But the prevailing attitude about bankruptcy is that is “bad.”

This is an interesting perception. The origin of bankruptcy can be found in ancient traditions, as found in the Bible, Deuteronomy 15.1: “In the 7th year, each creditor shall release his debtors. This shall be known as The Lord’s Release.” In the Old Testament, it was the policy that a debt could exist only 6 years, and should be relaxed or forgiven in the seventh year. The purpose was to prevent damage to society by allowing a debt to live forever. The lender was cautioned thereby to lend only as much as the borrower could reasonably be expected to repay.

There are other Biblical references to debt, such as St. Paul’s admonition in Romans 13:8; “Strive to owe no debt, except that debt that binds us to love one another.” I have found nothing in any religion that states that owing money to another is “good.” In the Koran, there is a prohibition against lending money at interest. In most Moslem countries today, Moslems borrow at no interest from “banks of the faithful.”

In modern times, lenders do not follow this idea. In an era where charge cards are sent out through the mail and applications are “pre-approved”, creditors lend money without regard to whether or not the borrower can pay it back. They cover their losses by charging huge rates of interest. I have seen contracts with interest rates as high as 53%. In olden days, this was known as usury. Technically, any lending of money at interest is known as usury. But, until modern times, it was the money lender, or usurer, that was bad, not the poor person who had to borrow.

Of course, capitalism could not exist without the practice of lending capital and charging interest. But bankruptcy laws provide a legitimate, legal, and moral safety valve for the excesses of the credit system. Now, you don’t have to join the French Foreign Legion, disappear to Australia, or blow your brains out, to escape from your creditors. Bankruptcy was so important to the Founding Fathers of the United States, that, when the U.S. Constitution was written in 1787, they directed Congress to make uniform bankruptcy laws. Article III, Section 8 of the United States Constitution states: “Congress shall make uniform laws relating to Bankruptcy.”

Bankruptcy is therefore more fundamental to the United States of America than the Bill of Rights, and such things such as freedom of the press, and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The United States Bankruptcy laws are part of the Federal Code. They were passed into law by the United States Congress, our elected Senators and Representatives. All bankruptcy in the United States is governed by federal law, and the procedures are as much a part of our society as lending money at interest.

After the American Revolution, when the first Continental Congress met in 1787, one of the topics debated was whether or not to have a uniform bankruptcy law. Many of the American settlers had to run from creditors in England. They had to leave the country to avoid being thrown into debtor’s prison. Each American colony had different laws relating to collection of debts. Some had provisions that a person could be jailed for debt, and some, like the colony of Georgia, were havens for debtors and had laws which prevented bad treatment of people who owed money

There was little disagreement between the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, when it came to having a bankruptcy law. Freedom from debt was important, and so was the ability to start fresh. Therefore, in the United States Constitution, Article III, Section 8, we find the provision, “Congress shall make uniform laws relating to bankruptcy.”

However, the banking lobby was so strong that each state kept their own bankruptcy laws until 1898, when the U.S. Bankruptcy Code was passed. It was modified greatly in 1978 to deal with the amazing amount of consumer credit, and is constantly being tinkered with by Congress to balance the interests of those who lend money, and those who borrow it.

Abraham Lincoln was a bankruptcy lawyer. In Springfield, Illinois, Old Abe filed about 1/2 the bankruptcies in Illinois in 1842. 1/2 of his legal work involved debt cases.

It is to the advantage of moneylenders, to use public relations techniques to convince the public that bankruptcy is bad, and to make it something that is bad or evil. I agree that you should not discharge your debts until it is absolutely necessary, but there is certainly nothing wrong or illegal about it. No one comes out to your house and takes your clothes. No one paints a big “B” on the sidewalk in front of your house. In fact, no one is interested.

If you find yourself with no savings, nothing left over after you pay your rent, mortgage, food and utilities, and still have bills to pay, you should consider taking advantage of the fresh start provisions of the bankruptcy law. Bankruptcy is like getting a fresh start. Your debts are forgiven, except those that you want to continue to pay, and you can start saving money and doing things the right way, instead of suffering because of the credit trap.

People come into my office and ask, “What will happen to me if I file a bankruptcy?” No one ever came in, when I used to be a general practice attorney, and said, “What will happen to me if I don’t have get convicted for running a red light?” They never said, “What will happen to me if I sell my house?” But people who are being chased by bill collectors sometimes feel that they should not be able to get relief and that they will be punished if they get a fresh start. They do not realize that a big part of bankruptcy laws is forgiveness.

Nothing will “happen” to you if you file a bankruptcy. You won’t suddenly become rich and famous, or popular, or beautiful or handsome, and, on the other hand, you won’t suddenly be miserable and an outcast. One out of every 22 Illinois families will file for some type of bankruptcy relief, on the average, and in some states, the average is higher.

So, if you have problems with bills, getting the proper advice from a bankruptcy attorney as to whether or not some type of bankruptcy relief would make your life better, should not be looked on as bad. You should think of it as provision in the Federal laws that was put there by Congress to help people get out of debt.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at www.infotapes.com.  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!

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