FAQs about Debt & COVID 19

Geraci Law answers questions about debt during COVID 19.

FAQs about Debt & COVID 19

Geraci Law wants to help you answer questions about debt and collections because of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.  Reviewing your financial situation with an experienced bankruptcy firm (like Geraci Law) is almost a GREAT idea if you are struggling financially.

Are the bankruptcy courts open?

Yes but there are are no in-person meetings. BUT, we are able to file Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions to get the automatic stay protection. The courts are still processing filed petitions. There is no delay in case filing. Oftentimes Geraci Law can file a case the same or next day.

Can bill collectors sue me when courts reopen?

ABSOLUTELY. Governor J.B. Pritzer suspended summons service so creditors cannot serve a garnishment or citation to discover assets. Most collection agencies and finance companies are put on hold during COVID-19. Once the order ends – collectors can start to sue, garnish, and collect. Filing a bankruptcy NOW stops the future collection.

Are Geraci Law offices open?

Yes and no. Yes Geraci Law is open and ready to help. No, the physical locations are not open to protect our staff and clients. We can meet with you via phone or video. It’s the same great service – just virtually. You can schedule online at https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/OfficeLocator. All you need is a smart phone!

Where can I find more information about finances during COVID-19?

Geraci Law wants to be a resource to everyone. A great place to look is at https://www.infotapes.com/Links this includes information about debt, education, job fairs and other important resources.

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

Geraci Law is Here to Help

Geraci Law thanks ALL essential workers for helping everyone. If you need help, Geraci Law is here for you.

Geraci Law is Here to Help

Geraci Law wants to thank all the medical workers, grocery workers, and everyone out there working to support the country during COVID-19. We understand it’s tough and we appreciate everything you are doing.

Despite many people losing jobs, losing hours, the collection efforts do not stop. Collection agencies are still calling although they probably should not be, there are still lawsuits being filed against people who are struggling. That’s where Geraci Law can help. Filing for bankruptcy can STOP the collection actions from the creditors.

Creditor lobby groups fought against a bill proposed in Congress to STOP collection agencies from reporting late or missed payments to the three credit bureaus. The bill did NOT pass. The CARES Act did pass. There are guidelines written out by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau urging banks to work with consumers. Read more at the New York Post here. An excerpt from the letter written by US Chamber of Commerce and other associations that represent banks and creditors said,

As you consider options to protect consumers from harm, please be aware that blanket suppression of all adverse information in credit reports could disrupt consumer access to credit in the future.

Sometimes we all need a little bit of help. As of now, the help is not coming from Congress and help is not guaranteed from your creditors and banks. Geraci Law is here for you. Bankruptcy could be the solution to your problem.

If you are struggling with payments, worried about your job, worried about catching coronavirus and missing work – we’re here for you. Geraci Law IS open and meeting via video. We make debt relief simple because no one needs extra stress right now.

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

Debt Worry? Call Geraci Law.

If you are worried – call Geraci Law. Our experts will help you create a plan that HELPS your budget and debt.

Debt Worry? Call Geraci Law.

Because of the market crash in 2008, interest rates on consumer debt like personal loans and credit cards were historically low. The result was consumers having MORE debt with less interest. When everyone was working full-time, the household budget was fine. The income was there to make the minimum payments plus some more on the debt. Geraci Law was there for consumers in 2008 and we’re still here to help.

Now with COVID-19 and employment uncertainty, a missed payment could snowball into a big debt problem. Even if work resumes tomorrow – what if the market isn’t there? What if there’s no job to return to? What if the virus stimulus package only covers ONE MONTH of payments but does not solve the debt problem. Geraci Law may have your solution.

Geraci Law is here to help consumers realign budgets. We help people just like you worried about minimum payments and just making it. Eliminating YOUR debt helps YOUR future instead of the banks.

You can take what you are spending in minimum payments and start a savings account. You can take the money you are putting towards debt settlement or debt management programs and put it toward a down payment on a home or retirement. Bankruptcy with Geraci Law helps you get back on financial track.

Stop wasting your hard-earned dollars on uncontrollable debt.

Think about your future.

Think about your job’s future.

If you are worried, call us. Geraci Law can help you figure out a plan that works for you.

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

Happy St. Patrick’s Day From Geraci Law!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Geraci Law! Do you need a change in luck? Give us a call – we’ll review your situation to see if we can save you some GREEN.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day From Geraci Law!

The luck of the Irish is not a given. BAD LUCK is one of the big motivators for debt and bankruptcy. No one wakes up in the morning and says, “I want to file for bankruptcy today.” Often times it’s months (or longer) of missed payments and occasionally just bad luck.

The good news is filing a bankruptcy could change a string of bad luck. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate debt and give you a fresh start. You can work to rebuild a credit history, payment history, and maybe with some good luck find the pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies with Geraci Law will consolidate your debt to RESTRUCTURE your finances. You make affordable payments to pay down the balances. At the end of your Chapter 13 repayment plan, you get some good luck when remaining balances/interest are discharged.

Change your financial path by calling Geraci Law. We’re here for you to help if you’ve been unlucky. We’ll try to help you save some green and figure out a solution to your problem.

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

Feeling Sick? Stay Home with a Financial Plan for Success!

Missed work? No savings ? Geraci Law could help.

Feeling Sick? Stay Home with a Financial Plan for Success!

When you live paycheck to paycheck, a missed shift or a sick day creates a budget explosion. The loss of income could mean a minimum payment is shortened or even a missed car payment. If this is your situation – you should call Geraci Law immediately.

Think about how much you are paying in just minimum payments. Are you paying off the balances or do you have a “Band-Aid” for a debt wound? Filing a Chapter 7 to eliminate your debt WILL help. Instead of cycling the credit use and debt, you can start a savings account. So if you have a sick day, you have a fall back plan that doesn’t include using the credit cards. Read more about stopping the debt cycle.

It’s not just missed time – it’s the medical bills. Even if you are insured, a trip to the hospital for flu-like systems could cost you copays. In addition, a trip to the hospital may not cover all the expenditures and testing.

Medical debt is DISCHARGEABLE with a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You may be better off waiting until all treatment is received before filing. But that’s why it’s important to call and speak with an experienced professional at 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 25,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

Read ALL ABOUT DEBT RELIEF at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com

Need a Car? File for Bankruptcy.

Need a car? Consider filing a bankruptcy FIRST with Geraci Law.

Need a Car? File for Bankruptcy.

Do you have bad credit and want a car loan? Good luck. Consider filing bankruptcy with Geraci Law BEFORE applying for a new car loan to deal with your other debt first – maybe including car repossession balances.

Some banks and dealerships prey on people with bad credit. You are pressured to buy something you cannot afford with a promise to “refinance later” or a trade in. If you return the car to the financer, you may find yourself with a lawsuit for the deficiency. If you STILL have the car, you might be paying for something that needs thousands in repair or that you are overpaying for.

So what to do? Bankruptcy with Geraci Law might be your best option. Think about your car loan. Think about your answers to the following questions.

–              Do I have a warranty on the car?

–              Is my interest rate over 20%?

–              Does the car pass emissions?

–              How much maintenance or work needs to be put into the car?

–              Is the car older than my kids?

–              Is my car loan more than 5 years?

You are probably OVERSPENDING on your car or your vehicle is NOT worth keeping when there are alternatives.

Car dealerships will promise you the world. They want to you to buy a car TODAY with the promise of refinancing after timely payments for a few months. Good luck.

That “refinance” the dealership is talking about—is likely NEVER to happen. Cars depreciate the moment you drive them off the lot. Most people do not build equity with timely payments– if your payment is high it’s most likely because your interest rate is high. Most timely payments are simply going to the interest on the loan NOT the principal.

If you turn the car in because you cannot afford it – you may owe a deficiency balance. The financer will sell the car and attempt to collect on the difference. You could be sued, garnished, have assets frozen – STOP these actions with a bankruptcy! Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 with Geraci Law can stop or prevent collections from your creditors.

After eliminating or consolidating your debt, you can apply for a car loan. You will be in a BETTER position to do so because you have NO other 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 25,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

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

When Should I File For Bankruptcy?

Use Peter Francis Geraci checklist to determine if NOW is the best time to file!

When Should I File for Bankruptcy?

Below is a checklist from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s Bankruptcy Book. Use the checklist to review if now is the best time to file for bankruptcy.

Read more of The Complete Book on Bankruptcy by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci at www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com

  • Three or more apply to YOU, you should call us NOW.
  • Five or more apply to YOU, then you should have called us months ago.

_____My debt is over $10,000 not including a car or house.

_____My payments are over 25% of my take home pay.

_____I am frequently late on my payments.

_____I pay 20% interest on my debt.

_____I buy necessary items like food or clothing on credit.

_____I frequently get cash advances.

_____I am thinking about getting a loan to pay other loans.

_____ I have a lawsuit and over $10,000 in other debt I can eliminate.

_____Collection agencies are calling me.

_____I am “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

_____My balances are not going down even though I make payments.

_____I have been turned down for more credit.

_____Payments are more than 1 month behind on more than one bill.

_____My driver’s license is suspended because of an accident.

_____I am working but paying other debts so I can’t afford car insurance.

_____My mortgage or rent is always late, or is behind.

_____We are getting divorced and have too many bills to pay.

_____I have medical bills over $20,000 that are not insured.

_____There is a garnishment or wage assignment on my check.

_____I owe income taxes I can’t pay now.

_____My car is worth much less than I owe.

_____I have no savings.

Either way, Geraci Law offers a free consultation if bankruptcy solves your problem. Don’t wait until creditors file a lawsuit, don’t wait until your savings are spent and do not wait until a car is repossessed. BREAK THE CYCLE!

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

Break the CYCLE of DEBT!

Let Geraci Law help you break the “CYCLE OF DEBT!”

Break the CYCLE of DEBT!

The “CYCLE OF DEBT” is overwhelming and burdensome. You get into a vicious circle of PAYING your minimum payments but then are forced to use credit for essentials like groceries, gas and others.

You continue to pay and then spend and then pay and then spend. Once you add in interest, a small bill turns into a very large snowball. Geraci Law can help you STOP the cycle! We can help credit counsel and create a budget for you after filing for bankruptcy. Sometimes it’s a simple as saying, “I need help.”

Not sure? Don’t know how much credit costs when you are only making minimum payments? Take a look at your credit card statement. You should see something like below.

CC Bill

In the example above, by making ONLY the minimum payments, it will take 15 years to pay off the debt! Look at the number next to the time, the $3,666.42 balance increases to $9,693. It’s nearly THREE TIMES the amount borrowed.

Filing for bankruptcy STOPS the cycle. You eliminate your debt and put yourself on better financial footing. Instead of using credit cards, you can use the cash you are spending on minimums. Instead of paying nearly $6,000 in interest, you could SAVE money.

You should never budget or financially plan based on the hope things will get better in the future. Break the cycle and consider bankruptcy. Geraci Law is here to help YOU deal with the present. We’re here to figure out a solution to your debt problem and assist you in getting back on track financially.

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

What Happens to My Credit?

Geraci Law answers 5 common questions about credit after filing for bankruptcy. What is “good” credit?

What Happens to My Credit?

Geraci Law answers 5 common questions about credit after filing for bankruptcy. What is “good” credit?

When can I apply for credit?

You can apply for credit after your case is discharged and closed.  But should you apply for credit? You do not want to find yourself in the same position you just discharged in bankruptcy. You are a credit risk immediately after filing for bankruptcy. Creditors KNOW you filed for bankruptcy and after bankruptcy you have limited bankruptcy relief options. These creditors prey on you because you are a credit risk so you WILL get loan offers.

Any credit preapproval you receive will usually come with high interest rates. It may be better to NOT use credit. SAVE money, make house/car payments ON TIME, stay away from the high-interest credit debt and personal loans.

When can I buy a house?

You can apply for a home loan after your case is discharged and closed. Some people are approved while they are IN a bankruptcy. FHA loans might be an option. For a conventional loan, usually its two years after a bankruptcy discharge. Geraci Law is here to help with the process. If you need your bankruptcy paperwork – YEARS down the road, you can log into your Geraci Law Client Corner account to print. You can also search Geraci Law in your app store on your phone to download our Geraci Law app.

What happens to my credit score after filing Chapter 7? Chapter 13?

In your post-bankruptcy life, you should focus on rebuilding financially. Start with a savings account and build an emergency fund. If you have a car payment or mortgage payment, continue to make those payments ON TIME to work to reestablish a payment history.

You will get credit offers in the mail – do your research! Look at the interest rates – if you are going to use the credit, then make sure you pay off what you borrow every month. Do not accept the first offer that comes your way. Review the small print, stay away from the predatory lenders.

When can I buy a car?

After the bankruptcy is discharged and closed you can buy a car. If you are in a Chapter 13 right now, you need court approval if you are looking to FINANCE a vehicle. Craig’s List is a great option to buy a car for cash. You’ll get advertisements from car lots in the mail after bankruptcy – make sure to review the terms. Avoid the high interest, older vehicles without a warranty.

How do I rebuild credit?

  • Pay all of your bills on time! Timely payments prevent late charges and helps you reestablish a payment history.
  • Make sure all of your creditors are reporting to the three major credit agencies (Experian, Transunion, Equifax).
  • Dispute incorrect items on your credit report. Don’t ignore your credit report! All agencies have options to dispute right on their web site, make sure to follow up.
  • Make a large down payment – making a large down payment on any kind of credit make lenders more likely to grant a loan. Your goal should be to put down 20% of the total cost.
  • A small secured credit card is a really great way to build credit with very little risk.

 

  • 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

Debt Settlement & Consolidation – What You May NOT Know 

Debt Settlement & Consolidation – What You May NOT Know 

You see the commercials. You get the ads in the mail. Debt Settlement or Consolidation. When something seems too good to be true, it often is. Many of these “programs” turn out to be scams or schemes.

Sometimes, there ARE cases where debt settlement makes sense. Geraci Law can help! You can meet with an attorney for FREE to determine your BEST plan of action.

What they don’t tell you about debt consolidation:

  • Anything settled CAN BE taxable income. If you settle a $10,000 bill for $1,000 – the difference or $9,000 can be considered taxable income. So at the end of the year, you may receive a 1099-C form from the creditor. Debt discharged in a bankruptcy is NOT taxable income.

 

  • Some creditors do NOT settle. Debt settlement or consolidation is NOT a guarantee. There is no law that forces creditors to accept a smaller payment. If you file for bankruptcy, you are using federal law to get financial help. There are laws in place to protect YOU. Geraci Law is here to help you get control over your finances.

 

  • Your credit still takes a hit. Some agencies will tell you to stop paying the debt and let it go into collections. Then they will work with the collection agencies for a settlement. This takes TIME. You will get collection calls and maybe even SUED by the time the agency attempts to settle. With Geraci Law, you can file in as little as ONE day to stop all collections. This means no phone calls, no lawsuits and no more debt.

 

  • No time frame. There’s no time frame for debt settlement or consolidation. At best, they can give you an estimate but it could go longer. A Chapter 13 debt repayment is structured into a three or five year repayment plan. You have a structured plan in place rather than an indefinite amount of time. Geraci Law will help you determine the fastest way to get control over your financial situation.

 

  • Creditors CAN still sue you. That’s right, there is no legal protection with debt settlement or consolidation programs. If a creditor refuses the settlement offer, they could file a lawsuit in attempt to get a judgment or garnish your wages. Bankruptcy STOPS the collections. Creditors violate Federal statutes if they file lawsuits against you or even continue to call you while under Federal Bankruptcy protection. You hire Geraci Law and we help you from the initial phone call until the end of your case.

 

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