At Geraci Law, at the end of every month each one of our 80 or so attorneys reports on something exceptional they did for a client. This helps to reinforce part of our Peter Francis Geraci mission statement: “We are here to help others”. We post these on our website, http://www.infotapes.com every month so that potential clients can be assured they are receiving the highest level of professional services from each and every Geraci Law attorney.
One of our lawyer was reluctant to contribute; she said “I do good things for our clients every day, it’s nothing special”. I said, “then just give me the MOST special good thing you did in a month.” So now she is our top contributor!
I went down to Nashville recently for an intensive course in effective leadership using Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership principles. Dave Ramsey has devoted his career to Debtor Education the way I have to practicing bankruptcy law. Dave has quite a company, and his methods of operation are almost identical to Geraci Law. In fact, except for the obvious Christian background of Dave’s company, the guiding principles of Geraci Law are almost identical to Dave’s: honesty, integrity, and helping others come first. We even like the same Bible passages! And remember, Bankruptcy is a biblical law, Old Testament: Deutoronomy 15: 15 “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. 2 And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release”.
Dave believes, as do I, that everything else follows if you do the right thing and help others. Dave Ramsey has a large meeting room where his 400 or so employees gather each week to share reports on the business operations. Geraci Law only has about 130 staff, but the Geraci Law teams also meet weekly, in person or electronically, and each team leader shares their reports. In that way, the organization is able to communicate and improve service to their clients. It was quite a thrill to meet Dave Ramsey in person, and we had a great time and learned a lot, although I think my Debtor Education Course at http://www.pfged.com is better than Dave’s!!
(his is pretty good, though, and his new book is great!)
We at Geraci Law strive to have “happy clients”. Why? Our clients are almost always under stress, and our mission is to take as much of that away for them as possible. Here is what one recent client took the time to say in a thank you card to me:
“I want to extend a warm thank you to you and all the lawyers at your firm. You have a wonderful group of lawyers and you have helped me get out of debt and start my life once again. I especially want to thank your lawyer at your Berwyn office because they personally helped with my case. I want to thank Frank Hernandez. He helped me understand the whole case, and always answered by questions. He is so generous he even shared his dinner with me once. I had never tried Italian Beef before then. I also want to thank Belfor. He always greeted me and welcomed me into the office. I have recommended your office to my friends, who also need help with their bills. Thank you Mr. Geraci for everything your firm has helped me with. The little things you do mean so very much. Thank you.
Many of our clients are elderly, and we file their Chapter 13s to protect their paid off home and repay creditors with lower interest and no late payments. Occasionally, a husband or wife will pass away during the case. In this case, the wife passed at the end of the case, after they completed the payments, but before completing the requirement of certifying that she had no outstanding Domestic Support Obligations. You would think that it would “go without saying” that a 78 year old grandmother was not under any court order to pay support, but that is the law. Since the wife was deceased, Geraci Law attorney Megan Hayes obtained an affidavit from the surviving spouse, and when the Clerk marked it a “non-conforming document”, the kindly bankruptcy judge issued an order on the Clerk to make it conform, and both the surviving spouse and the deceased debtor received their discharge. I am very proud of all the 76+ Geraci Law attorneys, not to mention our fine paralegals, for this kind of service to our clients. As Shakespeare put over 400 years ago in in Measure for Measure, which was all about lawyers, “Good counselors lack no clients”!
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 http://www.elimadebt.com