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 @

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.

Geraci Law is Back in the Loop!

Geraci Law is open and ready to meet you downtown in the Loop. Info from Cook County Health about using public transportation.

Geraci Law is Back in the Loop!

We are open at our headquarters downtown at 55 E Monroe Suite 3400. We require everyone to wash their hands upon entering our offices and staff and clients wear masks.

Get to us safely! Below is a how to travel safely in Chicago courtesy of Cook County Health. We can do same day or next day meetings. We also offer video meetings from the comfort of your own home.


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 25,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!


Thomas Jefferson – The President Who Needed Bankruptcy


Thomas Jefferson loved a lavish lifestyle. He was our 3rd President and author of the Declaration of Independence. He spent an enormous fortune constructing and furnishing his Monticello home. Jefferson served only the finest wines and a personal French chef prepared only the finest foods.

At the end of his life, Jefferson owed $100,000 in debt, about $1.6 million today! He was desperate for help. Without bankruptcy laws for relief, Jefferson attempted to create a “lottery” in which the winner would get title to monticelloJefferson’s lands (including Monticello). Ticket sales were disappointing and Jefferson died with his daughter Martha inheriting the debt.

Are you living beyond your means? If your budget is negative every month, you may be living like Jefferson. Geraci Law could help you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Without credit, you learn to live within a budget.

Jefferson did not have bankruptcy as a resolve to his financial problems. You do! Do not spend your golden years worrying about debt repayment. If you have debt, just dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation or log on to to make appointments online 24/7.Money-Hand



How to get a car you can afford after bankruptcy

If you have a vehicle payment that is too high, it may be that you “rolled over” the balance on a vehicle you traded in, paying that off with part of the new loan. That means you are “upside down” and owe more than the vehicle is worth. That means your payment may be more than you can afford. Geraci Law helps our clients by developing relationships with honest car dealers who can sell you a vehicle you can afford at a payment you can afford. Here is what Gino Amoroso of Motor World in Glen Ellyn, Illinois has to say about working with Geraci Law clients:

Hello Scott,  Just want to say thank you & keep you informed on how things are going. Currently this month we have sold eight customers referred by Geraci Law Firm: all were completely satisfied. The buying experience here at Motor World is the fast approval process and polite professional sales reps that create the ultimate buying experience. As an example today we did a complete brake job (pads & rotors) on a car we sold two months ago that was never promised to the customer: its the extra mile we go to keep our customers happy. As a result of our work ethics we are on target to hit a hundred sales this month, We enjoy a great working relationship with you and your organization Scott! That’s it.
Gino Amoroso 

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

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