Can I File Bankruptcy if I Have Co-Signers?

Read Chapter 17 of Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s “Complete Book on Bankruptcy” below or at https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/Book17.html.

Yes. And you can either discharge your obligation to both the creditor and the co-signer, or pay the creditor to protect your co-signer.

Talk to your co-signer. Perhaps they already filed a bankruptcy with Geraci Law and you don’t have to worry! Perhaps they need to and you can come in with them. You may want to pay that loan to protect your co-signer. Or, your co-signer might say, “Go ahead and file Chapter 7 and I will pay this one off for you” or “I filed bankruptcy myself, so don’t worry, I already got rid of this debt.”

You can also file Chapter 13 and pay a co-signed debt to protect your co-signer. You can file Chapter 7 and still pay the co-signed debt to protect the co-signer. Or you can file either and let the co-signed decide what to do if the creditor goes after them on their guarantee.

Whenever a lender wants a co-signer, they don’t trust the person that wants the loan. Therefore, someone has to agree that if the person who is getting the money does not pay, that the co-signer will make the debt good, and take up the payments.

If you are the person who signed to pay if your friend or relative didn’t you may complain if you are called upon to pay the loan that your friend or relative got. In fact, it may push you over the financial edge.

Therefore, if you have a lot of bills, and now have a problem because of a co-signer, you will want to include that co-signed loan in your list of bills when you come in for your first interview.

If you co-signed, you probably did not want to pay the other person’s loan. In a Chapter 7, you will discharge your liability for the loan. In a Chapter 13, you can set up a special class for co-signer loans, and pay them or not pay them, as you wish.

If other people co-signed for you, you may want to protect them. In a Chapter 7, you will probably want to pay loans that other people co-signed for you on, so that you are protecting your co-signers. Just keep on paying those loans, despite your Chapter 7, if you want to protect your co-signers.

In a Chapter 13, if you want to protect your co-signers, you can set up a special class of creditors for co-signer loans, and propose to pay the co-signer loans ahead of other loans.

Example: Tim works at the Post Office and has 3 co-signers for his credit union loan. The credit union is taking $200 per paycheck out of his check, and Tim has a car payment of $329 per month, and a bunch of other bills, so he needs debt relief.

The Geraci Law Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy Solution: Tim files a Chapter 13 to pay his car and co-signer loan 100%, and can pay his other creditors after the car and co-signer loan are paid. He can also just get rid of all his debt in a Chapter 7, but continue paying the car loan and credit union loan. He will “reaffirm” the car loan, but will not sign a reaffirmation on the credit union loan. He will pay the regular payment on the credit union loan, re-authorizing his payroll deduction.

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.

Are Unlisted Creditors Discharged in My Bankruptcy Case?

Read the article below or @ https://www.infotapes.com/Articles written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci.

That depends.  In the First Circuit and the Seventh Circuit, there are cases that talk about missing creditors that aren’t discharged unless the case is reopened to amend schedules to list an omitted creditor, but, at least in the 7th Circuit, that reasoning is rarely followed.

In Stark v. St. Mary’s Hospital, 717 F.2d 322 (7th 1983), the Seventh Circuit concluded that the decision of whether to discharge the debt of an omitted creditor is based on equity. The Stark court said the burden is on the debtor to show that law and equitable principles allow the reopening of the case to include the omitted creditor. Without such a showing by the debtor, the debt will not be discharged and the creditor will have a claim against the debtor, despite the previous order for discharge of debts.

This case has been criticized for suggesting that adding a creditor to a schedule has an effect on the dischargeability of the underlying debt. See In re Anderson, 72 B.R. 783 (Bankr. D. Minn. 1987).

The general rule in most jurisdictions is that a debt is either dischargeable or not based on the nature of the debt, and the nature of the status of the claims proceeding, and that reopening the case is unnecessary.

Even in the 7th Circuit, which is Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, if the creditor has actual notice of some kind, such as you called and told them, or if “no harm, no foul” because the case was a “no asset case” and they would have gotten nothing even if they were listed, or if the creditor is really to blame because they sold the debt to someone else and didn’t tell them, the case does not have to be reopened at all. At Geraci Law, the issue rarely comes up.

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.

Medical Debt To Be Removed from Credit Reports

See article from CNET ” Medical Debt to Be Removed from Credit Reports This Summer – What to Know” @ https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/medical-debt-to-be-removed-from-credit-reports-this-summer-what-to-know/

This does not mean you do not owe the debt but rather the 3 major credit reporting agencies Experian, Equifax and Transunion will not report debt until ONE YEAR of going into collections and the plan is NOT report any balance under $500.

If you have unpaid debt, if you need help – the medical bills may not show up but creditors can still attempt to collect, call Geraci Law. We’re happy to 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.

Do I Qualify for Bankruptcy?

Check out https://www.kwalifyme.com/ to get answers to questions like:

  • Cost Of Bankruptcy
  •  Cost Of Consolidation
  •  Debt To Income Ratio
  •  Experian “soft pull” report (doesn’t show on credit!)
  •  Experian Credit Score
  •  KBB Vehicle Value
Get your free online:
  •  Median Income Score
  •  Creditor Analysis
  •  Bankruptcy Bar Calculator
  •  Lawsuit Finder
  •  Debt Consolidation Score

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.

Student Loan Debt

Read the article @ https://www.infotapes.com/articles/news/90/student-loan-forgiveness-for-the-permanently-disabled/

Student Loan Discharges for Disability – Fill out online https://disabilitydischarge.com/

You can show that you qualify for a TPD discharge by providing documentation from one of three sources:

  1. the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
  2. the Social Security Administration (SSA)
  3. a physician “unfit for any gainful employment’ like a catastrophic Worker’s Compensation or accident

For SSA (Social Security Disability) discharge and you have not received a notice their debts are dischargeable by the government, you can apply for the discharge by showing you are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. You can qualify for a TPD discharge by providing a copy of their SSA notice of award or Benefits Planning Query showing that the next scheduled disability review will be five to seven years or more from the date of your last SSA disability determination.

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.

Can Bankruptcy Stop Collection Agencies From Calling?

Check out this article (and more!) at https://www.infotapes.com/Articles. The answer is YES.

Yes. You can stop creditors from calling you without filing a bankruptcy.  Just say “Oh, I’m glad you called, where can I send payment in full?”  

If you can’t send payment in full, start sending partial payments, and they’ll stop calling. 

If paying the creditor who is calling, you isn’t in your budget, you can also say “Don’t call me, I can’t pay you, you can sue me but don’t call me.”  They may or may not file a lawsuit against you.

If Geraci Law files your Chapter 7, or Chapter 13 repayment plan, we provide you with your bankruptcy case #.  You then give it to anyone who calls you, and you won’t hear from them again.  Make sure you ask who is calling and who they represent, so you make sure they are listed on your bankruptcy petition. 

If you are planning on filing a bankruptcy with Geraci Law, Keep a pen and paper to take down information on who is calling you, if they are a collection agency or the actual creditor, and the account #, because you want to make sure you list them on your bankruptcy petition.  Unlisted creditors don’t get discharged, so listing all creditors you have is important. 

Or worse, someone has filed a lawsuit against you or your check is being garnished.  You should immediately call us to start your case.  A chapter 7 can eliminate your debt or a chapter 13 will consolidate your debt into a payment you can afford.  Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 stop collection and lawsuits.  

Is your mortgage or rent always late?  Other payments are behind a month or more?  All because you lost your income?  You probably qualify for bankruptcy protection and need a fresh start to get rid of debt and start over.  

What about savings?  Do you have any?  Are your balances not going down even though you make payments.  Are you being turned down for credit?  Many people file bankruptcy to help build savings.  Watch our video on credit scores.  You will learn that studies show bankruptcy will actually increase your credit score and that people who file bankruptcy are likely to have better future financial success.  Why?  Because they got rid of their debt and started over.  

Are you concerned you have assets and cannot file a bankruptcy?  Most people with assets can still file a bankruptcy to eliminate their debts.  Think you make too much money to get rid of your debt?  Chapter 13 gives you interest free repayments on your debt.  Better yet, if your creditor doesn’t file a claim in your case you will receive a discharge without repaying them.  

Let’s do a hypothetical: Bill and Sally have been married for 20 years. Bill recently lost his job in middle management, and is now working at half his former salary, driving a limousine. Sally had an operation, and since there was no insurance, owes $8,000 in unpaid medical bills. To supplement Bill’s income, they have been using credit cards to pay for groceries and other expenses because Sally needed 8 weeks to recover from her operation.  The balances on the credit cards are now $5000, because they used the cards to supplement their lost income.  Sally returned to work, but because of the medical bills and increased credit card balances, They can’t afford the credit card payments anymore.  They want to know, do I qualify for bankruptcy.  

Answer: Of course.  Bill and Sally were hit with some bad luck.  Bill lost his position in middle management and Sally’s operation forced her out of work for a month.  A bankruptcy, either chapter 7 or 13, would benefit Bill and Sally because it will get rid of all their unsecured debt and they will be able to start saving now that Sally is back to work.  

Does any of this sound familiar?  If it does, call right now to get your options.  

But let’s do one more.  Same situation with Bill and Sally, but this time Bill and Sally are 6 months behind on the house. Bill and Sally received foreclosure paperwork and now they need to save the house.  

Answer: Chapter 13 will stop the foreclosure and let Bill and Sally repay the past due amounts over time.  Better yet, the unsecured debts will be paid interest fee.  When the plan is complete Bill and Sally will likely have improved credit for making timely payment in their chapter 13, a MUCH BETTER budget, and no 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.

Consumer Debt is $15.6 TRILLION!

Check out the article posted at CNBC titled, “Consumer debt totals $15.6 trillion in 2021, a record-breaking increase,” @ Consumer Debt.

Check out the article posted at CNBC titled, “Consumer debt totals $15.6 trillion in 2021, a record-breaking increase,” @ Consumer Debt.

It’s mortgage debt, car debt and credit card debt. Take a look at your finances, are you struggling to pay OFF minimums? Break the cycle of paying the minimum payments only to use the credit again because your cash is gone.

Inflation is hitting everyone’s budget, interest rates on said minimum payments will most likely INCREASE later this year. Filing a bankruptcy can help YOU gain control back of your finances.

The best thing about Geraci Law – we will give you our best opinion. If bankruptcy makes sense, we’ll work WITH you to accomplish your goals. If bankruptcy is not your best option, we’ll help you come up with other options if we can. It’s as simple as a phone call.

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.

Debt Settlement and Debt Consolidation vs. Bankruptcy

Is bankruptcy a better option for managing debt?

Is bankruptcy a better option for managing debt?

Debt settlement and debt consolidation rarely work in favor of consumers. There is no guarantee that they will work. So how does it work? Basically, debt settlement and consolidation companies have you pay them to settle your debts for you.

They have no special bargaining powers or authority to make your creditors settle. If a creditor does not want to settle, they can simply refuse, keep charging you late fees and interest, while you keep paying the settlement company to basically do nothing.

Bankruptcy gives you protection under the law. After your case is filed, the Federal Bankruptcy Court issues an Automatic Stay, which grants automatic and immediate protection from your creditors. From there on out, your debts are handled under court supervision and creditors cannot continue to charge late fees or interest.

Liz Weston from NerdWallet wrote a great article detailing why debt settlement and debt consolidation are BAD alternatives to bankruptcy, how they hurt you more in the long term.

The article is a few years old but still applies, check it out @ https://www.southbendtribune.com/story/business/2017/08/30/debt-settlement-a-bad-alternative-to-bankruptcy/46331397/

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.

Does Your Resolution Involve Debt?

No one wants to file for bankruptcy but life happens and that’s what the Fresh Start Button is for.

An article in The Washington Post titled, “Americans’ top five financial resolutions and how to make them stick” illustrates people’s WANT to budget and save. The author provides some good tips on how to make a budget and stick to it (the subheading – no you don’t need a budgeting app to control your spending is pretty good too).

This article does not account for large amounts of debt. Something in life happens where you are laid off, injured or just simply without the money to save. You use credit to survive and all of a sudden – you are stuck. Saving money becomes far more difficult when you are making minimum payments only to use your credit because your cash is gone.

THAT is where Geraci Law can help. No one wants to file for bankruptcy but life happens and that’s what the Fresh Start Button is for. So many clients are happy and relieved and are ABLE to:

  • Start a savings account. Think about it – if you are spending $600 per month on minimum payments, you eliminate the debt and you have THAT $600 extra per month. Put 1/2 away in a savings account and in a year – you are at $3,600 in emergency funds (put ALL into a savings account and you are at $7,200).
  • Invest – see the article. The author references a free course from the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).

You cannot start saving until you deal with the debt problem. Geraci Law attorneys are ready to talk to you and review all of your options. Read the article at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/01/04/new-years-advice-to-keep-financial-resolutions/

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.

How Do I Get Out of Debt?

The question is answered by Attorney Peter Francis non-bankruptcy credit counseling courses. You can watch this and more @ https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyInformationVideos

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.

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