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!

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

Free Attorney Consult in Indianapolis

Come meet with a Geraci Law Attorney in Indianapolis – it’s FREE!

Free Attorney Consult in Indianapolis

Come meet us in Indianapolis for a free consultation about your debt. We’re located at 7007 S US 31 – at the corner of Southport & U.S. 31 in the Shopping Center, directly next to Paradox Dental Center.

Don’t want to come into the office? No problem!  You can schedule a video meeting with a local attorney.

Read some of the Greenwood location reviews below!

“They were fantastic to work with from start to finish! Communication was great and there knowledge of bankruptcies was excellent! They were very professional and actually cared about my situation! I would definitely recommend them without hesitation! My attorney Chad was super nice and answered all my questions in a timely matter! I don’t think they could of done any better! I am very happy with everything!”

“They’re super nice and made the process SO much faster and easier. I’m so thankful for them. They answered all of my questions and they also don’t blow up your phone with messages thankfully. They also get back to you in a timely manner if they missed a call. It’s overall a great place.”

“I have to say I have so much respect and love for Patrick w. McNulty he was very kind and take the time to explain all my options i mean i was shocked at how good this man is I will definitely be back and 100 percent recommend !!!!!!!!!!”

“Anthony Shull is awesome. He was there every step of the way, and made the process so easy. I feel like can contact the off any moment of the day with questions. This has been the most stressful year of my life, and because of Anthony Shull and the Peter Geraci crew, I walked out of their office with the weight of debt off of my shoulders. Can’t thank you enough.”

“Highly recommend coming here if you need help. They treat you with dignity and respect all while answering any questions or concerns you have. Don’t put off getting help if you need it. They’re here for you and will put your mind at ease. Chad is awesome and very professional! Thank you for all of your help!”

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.

Have a GREAT & SAFE Weekend!

Have a great weekend – don’t let debt ruin your Saturdays, let Geraci Law help you come up with a financial plan!

Have a GREAT & SAFE Weekend!

Don’t let debt ruin your future Saturdays. Come up with a financial plan this weekend! Start with a budget – you can use Geraci Law’s FREE budget guide. 

If you have more debt than income, if you are using credit to pay for living expenses – it might be time for a new plan. Call us – we’re here to help.

Looking for more information?

Check out links below:

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.

Bad Credit = MORE Interest

Credit scores fall into 5 categories to determine interest rates. Consider Geraci Law to help with your credit score!

Bad Credit = MORE Interest

According to an article on CNBC (read here) – more than 1/3 Americans have a credit score that is considered “subprime.”  If you are one of these people, you may end up paying THOUSANDS more in interest than borrowers with better credit scores. Filing a bankruptcy can HELP improve your credit score!

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) puts Americans into five different categories.

Deep Subprime – any credit score below 580

Subprime – any credit score between 580-619

Near-prime – any credit score between 620-659

Prime – any credit score between 660-719

Super-prime – any credit score above 720

Where do you fall? Your credit score is not only determined by timely payments. Your debt to income ratio plays a role. Do you have more debt than income in a year? Are you behind on payments? Are you considering borrowing money from a 401K or family member to pay off debt? Before you make a huge decision, talk with a Geraci Law attorney (guess what – it’s FREE).

Even if you are paying your minimum payments, you may not realize how much you are paying in interest! According to the CFPB, a Deep Subprime borrower paid 21.50% interest versus a Super-Prime borrower paying 12.50%. That is a HUGE difference.

Filing a bankruptcy could change your life for the better. You may IMPROVE your financial future to qualify for the better rates on mortgages, car loans or even credit cards. Don’t know your credit score? Not sure of what debt is reporting? Geraci Law can help!

Want more information about credit scores and bankruptcy? Below are a couple of links to related topics!

FICO Creates New UltraFICO Scoring System

When Should I File For Bankruptcy?

Credit Concern? Call 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.

Geraci Law COVID-19 Practices

COVID-19 changed everyone’s lives. Geraci Law is open and happy to meet with you. Read about our practices to keep everyone safe!

COVID-19 has changed everyone’s daily routines. Geraci Law is open and we ARE meeting with clients in our offices. Due to COVID-19, we’ve changed our practices.

To keep everyone safe, we require all staff and clients to wash their hands when coming into our offices. There are no exceptions to this rule.

To help, we actually provide everyone with their own masks and gloves. The goal is safety for everyone. Geraci Law is here to help in any way we can. If your income is cut because of COVID-19, if the creditors are starting to call – bankruptcy might be an option.

We’re willing to work with you in any way we can for a free consult with our attorneys. If you are not comfortable coming into our offices, we are offering video or phone meetings. We send a link to your smart phone or computer and you open the video feed with the attorney.

FCH - mask

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.

Do I Kwalify?

Questions about debt? Too nervous to call? No problem – check out KwalifyMe to get the answers!

When you are struggling with debt, trying to find answers can be tough. If you are trying to figure out different options including bankruptcy, consolidation and OTHERS – you should check out www.kwalifyme.com. Filling out the information will answer:

Cost of bankruptcy
Cost of consolidation
Debt to income ratio

You can also get the following:

Median Income score
Creditor analysis
Bankruptcy bar calculator
Lawsuit search
Debt consolidation score
Experian “soft pull” report (doesn’t show up on  your credit)
Experian credit score
KBB vehicle value


If you have questions, you will get answers. It’s very cool and if you want to discuss your situation further, Geraci Law is available. It’s as easy as 800 CALL PFG.

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 since November 2016!

This Fourth – Be DEBT Free!

Happy Fourth of July from Geraci Law! If you want to be debt free – give us a call to review your options!

This Fourth – Be DEBT Free!

Let this be your year to be free of debt. We’re here for you. If you are thinking about debt or finances over the long weekend – check out our web site. There’s a tremendous amount of information and options.

Want to talk? We’re here at 800 CALL PFG.

Want to meet with an attorney? Schedule ONLINE https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/OfficeLocator

 

Have a Great Weekend!

Enjoy your weekend. If you want to talk about debt – we’re here for you.

Have a Great Weekend!

If you are thinking about finances this weekend, check out the budget we use. It’s a great idea to know where your money is going. Questions? Need help? We’re here at 800 CALL PFG.

Fill out your budget here

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

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

If Not Now, When?

Make the first step to improve your financial future. Simple as 800 CALL PFG!

Make this year be the year you become debt free. Geraci Law offers FREE consultations – we can meet with you via video at a local office.

If you have more than $5,000 of debt in any or all of these categories, Geraci Law can probably help you:

Lawsuits • Garnishments • Wage Deductions • Foreclosures • Sheriff Sales • Mortgage Behind • Tax Debt • Credit Cards • Medical Debt • Car payment behind • Repossessions • Parking Tickets • Suspended License • Gas or Electric Shutoffs • Bill Collector Calls • Payday Loans • Cash advance problems • Car payment behind • Chicago Parking Tickets

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

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

Don’t Be Embarrassed, Nervous or Afraid

An excerpt from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s “The Complete Book on Bankruptcy.”

Don’t Be Embarrassed, Nervous or Afraid

No one talks about money. They talk about everything else, but in America, money is a guilty secret. So the first thing you have to realize is that almost 1 million people a year file bankruptcy. That’s right. It’s real common.

Read more @ https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com

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

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