How to Dispute False Item on Your Credit Report

It’s not mine, get it off my credit report! How long does bankruptcy stay on?

Article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci – read more like this @ https://www.infotapes.com/Articles

You can get a free credit report from one of the 3 major credit bureaus. Go to www.freeannualcreditreport.com If you see a debt listed that is not yours, you can contest it by filling out the form on each credit bureau’s dispute site.

Equifax https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-dispute/

Experian https://www.experian.com/disputes/main.html

Trans Union https://service.transunion.com/dss/login.page?dest=dispute

You can’t dispute things that are accurate. For instance, if you paid an account after it was late, the late account can show paid, but paid late. If you filed a bankruptcy, that fact that you filed stays on 10 years after your Chapter 7 filing date, and 7 years after your Chapter 13 filing date. If a debt that you received a bankruptcy discharge is listed, that is OK, as long as it shows that you owe nothing because of your bankruptcy discharge. Creditors know what a bankruptcy discharge means: you can’t file a Chapter 7 for another 8 years and have little or no debt except what you agreed to “reaffirm”, or survive discharge. So your credit score often goes up a lot after you get a bankruptcy discharge. Credit scores are bad because you have too much debt to pay, not because you got a discharge and now have no debt, and a fresh start, in most cases!

You can only contest things that are inaccurate. Here’s what Equifax says you can dispute:

• Personal information: Your name, addresses, Social Security number or date of birth.

• Account information you believe is inaccurate or incomplete: For example, if late payments are being reported on one of your accounts but you have always paid your balance on time and in full. 

• Mixed credit files: If someone else’s information is being reported on your credit file. This may happen if a father and son (Sr. and Jr.) have the same name, for instance.

• Duplicate reporting of an item: One example might be a debt listed twice.

• Information that may indicate fraud or identity theftThese would be credit accounts, including collection accounts, on your credit report that you don’t recognize.

Whether you’re contacting a lender or the credit bureaus, provide all the evidence and documents you can to support your dispute, such as an account statement verifying an account balance. Give details about why you believe the information in the credit report is inaccurate or incomplete.

What should I expect after filing a dispute?

If you file a dispute with the three nationwide credit bureaus, you can generally expect to receive the results of your dispute within 30 days. If the information is found to be inaccurate, your credit reports will be updated, generally within about 30 days.

If the result of the investigation finds that the information is accurate, it will remain on your credit reports. If you still believe the information is inaccurate or incomplete, and you have additional information that can help support your dispute, you can file your dispute again with the credit bureau. You also have the option to provide a brief statement on your credit reports summarizing your dispute, which can help explain your situation. Or you could contact the creditor to attempt to resolve the issue.

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 Open in Royal Oak, Michigan

Geraci Law helping the entire state of Michigan – see Attorney Jason Kara and Rob Brynjelsen’s visit to Royal Oak!

Geraci Law is handling Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases across the entire state of Michigan! We have an office right in downtown Royal Oak. You can meet with Attorney Jason Kara or Attorney Rob Brynjelsen.

You can call us at 800 CALL PFG for a free phone consult, schedule online @ https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/OfficeLocator

Attorney Jason Kara

Attorney Jason Kara is a senior attorney at Geraci Law. He has extensive knowledge of complicated bankruptcy issues. Attorney Kara is responsible for reviewing over-median Chapter 7 bankruptcies.

He is originally from Cleveland and moved to the Detroit area during high school. Attorney Kara attended Law School at Michigan State University where he graduated Magna Cume Laude.

While attending law school, Attorney Kara served on the Journal of Business and Securities Law. He spends his free time with his wife and two small children. He enjoys just about any athletic activity and is active in his community.

Attorney Rob Brynjelsen

Attorney Rob Brynjelsen is a senior and supervising attorney at Geraci Law. He is responsible for managing attorneys in Wisconsin, and Indiana. Attorney Brynjelsen is licensed to practice in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign and his Juris Doctor from University of Miami.

He has advised on more than 10,000 consumer bankruptcy cases. He spends at minimum a few weeks a year visiting all of our Indiana and Wisconsin locations ensuring the Geraci Law standard throughout the Midwest.

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

IRS Collection Help!

You should consider filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 if you are getting calls from private collection agencies. You may be able to stop collection action, pay the IRS ahead of other creditors, or even obtain a discharge if you filed a truthful return on taxes due more than 3 years after the April 15-18 due date for that year, and just can’t pay them.

Hot off the presses!

The IRS hired new collection agencies to chase money owed. Before you start paying the IRS, contact Geraci Law to review your Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 options. Read more Geraci Law press releases at https://www.infotapes.com/Press.

The Internal Revenue Service announced on Sept. 22, 2021, that it has awarded contracts to collect IRS Debts to three new private collection agencies:

  • CBE Group, Inc., Waterloo, IA
  • Coast Professional, Inc., Albion, NY
  • ConServe, Fairport, NY

According to IRS Publication 4518, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act signed by the President on December 4, 2015, requires the IRS to contract with private collection agencies to help collect certain federal tax debt. How do you know it is really someone authorized by the IRS? Not so easy. The IRS will send you a letter first, telling you who the agencies is. You will not get a phone call before you get an IRS letter.

You should consider filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 if you are getting calls from private collection agencies. You may be able to stop collection action, pay the IRS ahead of other creditors, or even obtain a discharge if you filed a truthful return on taxes due more than 3 years after the April 15-18 due date for that year, and just can’t pay them.

Geraci Law has much experience in either tax repayment, or tax discharge, so give us a call at 1-800-CALL-PFG.

Don’t answer any calls threatening you with arrest or garnishment. Private collection agencies cannot take any type of enforcement action against you to collect this debt (such as filing a notice of Federal Tax Lien or issuing a levy). Any collector claiming otherwise is a phony.

Should you give your bank account info to a collector? No. Send your payment directly to the IRS if you want to pay. The private collection agency can provide information on ways to pay or visit www. irs. gov/Payments for electronic payment options. Also see Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process, Ways to pay your taxes. Payment options include IRS Direct Pay to pay an individual tax bill directly from a checking or savings account at no cost. Also available are the following options: preauthorized Direct Debit, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), an electronic system to pay federal taxes via the Internet or by phone for free and paying by debit or credit card using an electronic payment service provider for a fee. 

Private collection agencies under contract with the IRS are required to conform to the rules, regulations, and provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Specific provisions of this

Act prohibit private collection agencies from threatening or intimidating taxpayers. If you do not wish to work with an IRS assigned private collection agency to settle your overdue tax account, you must submit this request in writing to the private collection agency. However, the IRS does have the legal authority to take these types of enforcement actions to collect an overdue account.

Don’t start sending payments unless you can pay the whole debt. The IRS is tricky, they will apply your payments to the newest tax debt, not the oldest. Any payment you make, or any payment plan, also stops the statute of limitations of 3 years for bankruptcy discharge on filed tax debt.

So, if you can’t pay your tax debt, expect collection agencies to bother you, don’t send payments to anyone other than the IRS, don’t start sending payments if you can’t pay the whole debt in a reasonable time, and think about calling Geraci Law. For more info, read the Complete Book on Bankruptcy https://bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/Book33.html

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

Should I file Bankruptcy Before I get Divorced, During the Divorce or After the Divorce?

When contemplating divorce, when should I file bankruptcy?

New article from Attorney Peter Francis Geraci titled, Should I file Bankruptcy Before I get Divorced, During the Divorce or After the Divorce? Read this article and more @ https://www.infotapes.com/Articles

There are a lot of “secrets” that you certainly don’t know about when to file in relation to a bankruptcy. And believe it or not, more than a few divorce attorneys commit malpractice by failing to refer their clients to Geraci Law. 

Example #1  “I am not working, I am separated and can’t pay my $60,000 in credit card debt that’s in my name only. I have been paying minimums of $1200 a month for 2 years until I lost my job making $75,000 a year. I think I will wait until after I get divorced to file a bankruptcy. My spouse and I own a condo with less than $15,000 equity, and she still makes $75,000 a year. 

What to do: File Chapter 7 now, especially if you have no joint debt. If you get back to work,  you make too much money. If you stay unemployed, but your spouse files for divorce, her attorney may want some provision that promises her you will pay that debt, a big error you don’t want.

Example #2  “I have $35,000 in credit card debt and want to file for divorce. My spouse has $25,000 in debt. We rent, and each make $50,000 a year, but I will have to pay support for the kids, and can’t do that and pay $800 a month on credit cards for the next 10 years. What should I do?

What to do: You are separated, so your household income is half of what it was, an ideal time to file Chapter 7. You should also talk to your spouse, who might want to eliminate her debt in a joint filing so it is not an issue in the divorce. Waiting could be very bad: I have seen divorce property settlement agreements obligating a spouse who is paying support to pay not only support, but to pay credit cards. Very bad. Get to Geraci Law right away. 

Sometimes we file separate Chapter 7 for each spouse, sometimes a joint Chapter 7, sometimes a 7 for just one, sometimes a Chapter 13 for one only, etc.  There are a lot of ins and outs. Sometimes both spouses file, and because the debt pressure is gone, they get back together and live happily ever after.

Geraci Law saves more marriages than a country preacher. And if we can’t, at least you aren’t fighting about debt during a divorce. It’s magic!

Again, don’t call and expect to get anything straight without a virtual or in-person consultation. You spent years getting into debt, spend an hour planning how to get out of it with an experienced Geraci Law attorney. 

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

Back to School Week

Back to School tips and photos from Geraci Law attorneys and staff!

We all know it is not the back to school we thought it would be, but it’s back to school time nonetheless! Here is some advice from Geraci Law staff. We hope everyone had a GREAT first week (or multiple weeks if you’ve been back for a while) and a Happy 3 Day Weekend!

Attorney Felicia Petroff Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a throwback school photo!

Attorney David Lugardo, Berwyn Illinois son on his first day of school!

Allyson Patterson, Indianapolis Indiana says, “August 23rd will be the first day of my last year of law school. I am looking forward to the school year and hope it goes by smoothly for me and for all the students!

Lane Smith, Chicago Illinois with a throwback school picture!

Attorney Rodney Geer, Merrillville/South Bend Indiana children on the traditional front porch picture!

Salvador Polanco, Westchester Illinois says, “The advice I wish I had taken when I was young and in school….talk to the quiet/loner kids. They’re usually the coolest.”

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

Attorney Sharon Hunt Celebrates 20 years with Geraci Law!

Congratulations to Attorney Sharon Hunt on celebrating 20 years with Geraci Law!

Attorney Sharon Hunt celebrated her 20th year with Geraci Law joining the 20 year club with several Geraci Law attorneys. With Geraci Law you get the experience and expertise of Geraci Law attorneys!

Congratulations to Attorney Sharon Hunt!

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.

So How Does Bankruptcy Work?

There’s a ton of information about debt, financial resources and bankruptcy. The B word can be intimidating and maybe it’s time to answer the question – How does bankruptcy filing work?

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci answers this question and reviews what you can expect when filing for bankruptcy.

Organize Your Debt

1. How MUCH debt do you have? Is it around $10,000 or more in debt you can eliminate, like medical bills, lawsuits, credit cards, personal loans, repossessions? Make a list of all your debt and what it is for. You can find a form at Infotapes.com. Remember, some debts don’t appear on credit reports, so gather your bills, and even old debts can chase you for 5 or 10 years or more

2. What KIND of debt do you have? So if you have $10,000 or more in debt, is it the kind you can get rid of, or the kind you want to pay, like vehicles or credit unions, or is it just government student loans?

So, you can make a short list, using our form, you can get a free credit report to see what your creditors are reporting to credit bureaus.

Consult with a Law Firm

3. Get a free phone mini-consultation. You will need competent advice on whether Chapter 7 or 13 is right for the type and amount of debt, and also for your income level. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can pick your Chapter, because you don’t know as much as Geraci Law’s highly experience attorneys.

4. Start uploading your documents. If we decide that we can help you, we’ll give you access to the Geraci Law Client Corner, run an Experian soft-pull, get a Kelly Blue Book value on your vehicles, estimate your house value if you have one, and more. You can then upload necessary documents to our Geraci Law Client Corner client portal, such as pay stubs, bank statements, contracts, bills and tax returns.

Meet with a Bankruptcy Lawyer for Free

5. Get a virtual or in-office interview and get your options, costs, and retain us, little or no money down. Figure a payment plan, and you’ve got yourself a lawyer! We’ll refer you to take a 20 minute online finance course, which costs $25. Take the course before you file. You can take my credit counseling course online for free to see what it’s like.

Review and Sign your Bankruptcy Paperwork

6. We’ll then prepare a bankruptcy petition of about 50 pages for you to review, and assemble the necessary documents you have uploaded, and after you sign it, we’ll file it with the Court.

File your Bankruptcy in Court

7. After we file in court, we’ll post all your documents on your secure Geraci Law Client Corner portal, where you will get all your messages, instructions, documents, and even videos about your meeting of creditors and taking your second Debtor Education Course. The bankruptcy court requires you to take the second course to get a discharge. I teach it, and the Administrative office of the U.S. Trustee in bankruptcy certifies it. The court is one of the only courses actually taught by an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Attend your Meeting of the Creditors

8. We will go with you, either by Zoom or in-person, to a brief interview with a Court appointed bankruptcy Trustee to go over your petition and approve it. If you filed Chapter 13, your plan will be confirmed and you will make the necessary monthly payment. If you filed Chapter 7, we will handle any paperwork with vehicles or mortgages you want to keep, and you will get a discharge around 4 months from date of filing.

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 to Find the Best Bankruptcy Attorney for a Reasonable Fee

Why pay the same and not get the name?

Below is an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci. Read this and more at https://www.infotapes.com/Articles.

Here is an “unknown” attorney advertising for bankruptcy on Google Local Leads. Know that when choosing a lawyer, there are BIG differences!  Anyone with $10 can put up a Google Ad. This person looks nice, but is

a. a one person shop

b. less than 20 reviews and other ratings not good

c. claims to have 5 office locations  sure, how when you are 1 person?

d. Licensed for over 10 years but nothing to tell where, no CV on website. (sure sign of trouble)

e. lists a cell phone for an office phone

f. claims to answer every call in person! and text. must be very busy. or not.

g. apparently just blew into town? claims to have experience but no clue where

h. only speaks English 

f. LICENSE? one revoked, probably abandoned, just resigned another, only remaining license just “updated”. no mention of federal court admission which is required for bankruptcy law. Probably has a federal license, but kind of sloppy not to mention it.

So, you pick this ADVERTISEMENT? why? because you have an inferiority complex, you don’t know how to select an attorney, you think you are going to “get a cheap lawyer” for a 50 page federal bankruptcy filing to eliminate 40,000 in debt and get experienced advice?

Then you find out that ALL LAWYERS CHARGE ABOUT THE SAME, MOST EXACTLY THE SAME, for Chapter 13, and within a couple hundred of each other for Chapter 7, depending on the type of Chapter 7, and there are over 15 types!

Seems to me this attorney is one step away from bankruptcy, totally unknown, working out of a basement, instead of 100 attorneys and staff, 500 years of combined experience, 40,000 FIVE STAR REVIEWS, real offices, Client Corner portal, PFG Debtor Education, and more!

We don’t like to “sell against the competition” but they sure like to do it to us….paper does not refuse ink, and Google doesn’t refuse paid ads!

Be careful. Why? Rumor has it that that attorneys FIRED from law firms for making phony entries about client matters, or just plain incompetence, or hiding their past, end up as solo practitioners, legends in their own mind.

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.

Credit Score & Bankruptcy Misconceptions

Geraci Law is here to help. Sometimes it’s just admitting that you need help as the first step. We’re happy to talk to you about debt, credit scores and how to achieve your financial goals.

There’s a misconception of bankruptcy being the end all, be all to your financial future. In practicality it’s the opposite for most people. It’s simply relief and the opportunity to start again. The question you do not want to ask is, “will bankruptcy ruin my credit” but rather “can I pay off my debt in full?”

Bankruptcy is not the end of your future. The crazy thing is you will most likely get MORE offers after filing for bankruptcy than you do now. Creditors love you in debt. If you are making the minimum payments every month, your cash is gone forcing you to use the credit again. Another minimum payment paid, another tank of gas charged and the debt cycle continues.

What bankruptcy WILL do is eliminate your obligation to a debt balance. You have a fresh start – you are back to square one where the money you were paying out to interest (maybe late fees) is back in your pocket.

You can start a savings account!

You can rely on a budget to meet the household expenses!

You can save to buy a car for cash!

You could save to buy a house after bankruptcy!

You are no longer reliant on credit for simple survival. It’s absolute freedom from the debt cycle.

There’s a misconception of I NEED A CREDIT CARD. You don’t. If you do – there are several options like a secured credit card if you want to keep the plastic. Debit cards are wonderful tools to stick to a budget.

Check out these debt calculators. Almost all billing statements will show the total balance and your interest rate.

https://www.creditkarma.com/calculators/debtrepayment

https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/finance/debt-snowball-calculator

https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/credit-cards/credit-card-payoff-calculator.aspx

Geraci Law is here to help. Sometimes it’s just admitting that you need help as the first step. We’re happy to talk to you about debt, credit scores and how to achieve your financial goals. Check out an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci @ https://www.infotapes.com/articles/news/65/does-chapter-7-or-13-bankruptcy-ruin-my-credit/

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 Ready to Help Folks in New Albany, IN!

Geraci Law is ready help folks in New Albany Indiana and Southern Indiana! See pictures from PFG’s trip to New Albany.

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci and Attorney Robert (Rob) Brynjelsen took a road trip to New Albany, Indiana. Geraci Law is now handling Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in New Albany, Indiana.

Fun facts about New Albany, Indiana!

  1. New Albany High School was the FIRST high school in Indiana.
  2. Edwin Hubble taught at New Albany High School from 1913-1914. For those who do not know – Hubble is the astronomer namesake of the Hubble Space Telescope.
  3. William Culbertson was once considered the wealthiest man in Indiana and built Culbertson Mansion. You can visit Culbertson’s now!
  4. Midwest Grain Products (formerly Seagram’s) is one of the world’s largest distilleries. Based out of Lawrenceburg Indiana (so just a few miles east of New Albany).

PFG and Rob enjoyed their trip to New Albany, some pictures:

Great sign to the entrance of Downtown New Albany with a history lesson!
Rob and PFG visit our New Albany office landlord – Geraci Law ready to help in New Albany!