Some Reflections on the Law of Bankruptcy

Letter from 1775 proves bankruptcy is as AMERICAN AS APPLE PIE!

Check out the article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci titled, “Some Reflections on the Law Of Bankruptcy.” Read the article below or this article and more at https://www.infotapes.com/Articles.

A year before the Declaration of Independence, the ability to file a bankruptcy case and get a fresh start was prized in America. This letter published in Connecticut, which enacted a bankruptcy law before the American Revolution, written in 1775, proves that. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/evans/N05906.0001.001/1:2?rgn=div1;view=fulltext

Among the pearls of wisdom in the letter, which hold true today, there is a common theme: “such a law would be beneficial to the publick, and analogous to reason and our holy religion” In other words, the bankruptcy laws of the United States, allowed by the U.S. Constitution Article I Section 8 that Congress has enacted, are BENEFICIAL, REASONABLE, AND SIMILAR TO HOLY RELIGION!

The letter starts out:

I shall consider this Act in the

  • FIRST PLACE, As beneficial to the Publick,
  • SECONDLY, Serviceable in general to the Debtor.
  • THIRDLY, In general, no Disservice to the Creditor.
  • FOURTHLY, Agreeable to Reason, and the Genius of our holy Religion.

Other colonies, such as Virginia, were also enacting their own bankruptcy laws. When the U.S. Constitution was enacted in 1787, the power to make a nationwide bankruptcy law was given to Congress. That is why bankruptcy is a Federal statute today, available in every state and U.S. Territory.

The letter points out the evils of not having a fresh start, debtors’ prisons they had in England, advantages to business with a good bankruptcy law, and quotes the Bible, which favors and commands the forgiveness of debt in many places:

of thy Brethren, &c. thou shalt not harden thine Heart, nor shut thy Hand from thy poor Brother;

but thou shalt open thine Hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his Need, in that which he wanteth:

If thy Brother be waxen poor, &c. then thou shalt relieve him, &c. that he may live.

If, says JOB, I have seen any perish for Want of Cloathing, or any Poor without Covering; if his Loins have not blessed me, &c. then let mine Arm fall from my Shoulder-blade, and mine Arm be broken from the Bone.

Whoso hath this World’s Good, and seeth his Brother have Need, and shutteth up his Bowels of Compassion from him, how dwelleth the Love of God in him!

My little Children, let us not love in Word, neither in Tongue, but in Deed and in Truth.

When we turn over the Pages of the sacred Volume, wrote from the Mouth of our Divine Master, and there observe the sublime Sentiments of Benevolence, Compassion, Forbearance, Forgiveness of Injuries, and Enemies, &c. enforced by the most powerful Arguments drawn from Life and Death, and the same exhibited in Perfection in his own glorious Person.

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 35,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!

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

What You Get When You Choose Geraci Law!

Check us out @ https://www.infotapes.com/. Geraci Law has helped THOUSANDS get control of their finances. We’re not a corporate firm, we’re nice friendly people ready to help. Geraci Law cares about YOU and finding a solution to your financial problem. If we can’t help, we’ll try to come up with an alternative solution.

Here’s what else you get when you choose Geraci Law:

  • Free phone consultation to go over your debts with a bankruptcy counselor. Call to start now with a free consultation.
  • Free office or virtual consultation Weekdays and Saturdays.
  • Fast filing same day available.
  • No money down filing available for Chapter 13 plans.
  • Payment plans you can afford available to fit your case.
  • We handle our own trial and appellate work.
  • No hidden charges: some firms tack on $150 for what we do for free.
  • Established bankruptcy law firm with over 100 attorneys and staff.
  • We do both Chapter 7 and 13, some attorneys only do one Chapter.
  • We are in court all the time everywhere, it’s no trouble to help you out!
  • No phony debt settlement schemes: we work within the court system.
  • Geraci Law is the largest bankruptcy firm almost everywhere we are.
  • Personal attention, happy clients, and a fresh start for you.
  • Experience counts: we do so much bankruptcy we see everything.
  • Geraci Law LLC provides our lawyers and staff with Continuing Legal Education constantly so you get lawyers who are up to date legally!

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.

When Do I Stop Paying My Creditors?

Generally, you will stop paying all other creditors, such as charge cards, as soon as you make the decision to file a bankruptcy petition.

Read Chapter 23 of Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s, “Complete Book on Bankruptcy” below. For more, visit https://www.bankruptcybookbypeterfrancisgeraci.com/

Generally, you will stop paying all other creditors, such as charge cards, as soon as you make the decision to file a bankruptcy petition. Whether you are doing a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, there are some bills you will always want to pay. These are personal expenses, such as rent, food, school tuition and current utilities.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, generally the only bills other than regular living expenses that you will pay are for mortgages or cars that you want to keep, or for non-dischargeable debts such as government insured student loans or loans or grants from non-profit schools, first due less than 7 years ago. You may also want to pay collateralized loans, such as furniture and electronics purchases.

In a Chapter 13 debt repayment plan, you are proposing to pay your creditors by making one payment to the Chapter 13 trustee, who then divides it up between the creditors. Therefore, you pay no one individually, or “outside the plan,” because your Chapter 13 payment pays them. The only creditor that is generally paid “outside” the Chapter 13 Plan is a mortgage on real estate.

If I am representing you, I will advise you on which creditors to continue paying, and which not to. Generally, you never continue paying charge cards and similar debts, but this is a complicated area and is best left to your attorney to advise you.

Problem: Lou and Wendy can pay their car payment this month, but due to higher rent, can’t pay their credit cards, or the IRS taxes due for Lou’s side jobs from last year.

The Peter Francis Geraci Chapter 7 or 13 Solution: Perhaps they can file a Chapter 13, which may pay all their bills for the same amount as their car payment; the car will be paid for by the Chapter 13 payment, first, before other creditors. They can use the car payment money for their first Chapter 13 payment. Or, they may want to continue making their car payment, stop paying all the credit cards, and just pay down their IRS debt, doing a Chapter 7.

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.

Heating Gas Prices Triple!

Inflation hurting everyone!

Read, “Heating Gas Prices Triple” a press release from Geraci Law. You can read this and more at https://www.infotapes.com/Press.

In Northern Illinois, not to mention Indiana and, of course, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, etc., it’s cold outside right now! So, turn up your heat, but be prepared for a big natural gas bill (thankfully we have gas heat, not electric which is even more costly).

According to NICOR, the natural gas supplier, the price of a therm of natural gas in January 2021 was 29 cents vs. January 2022 is 61 cents per therm. DOUBLE

1)     Peoples Gas prices for October 2020 were 24 cents per therm and in October 2021, they are 72 cents per therm — a 198% increase. TRIPLE

2)     Nicor Gas prices for October 2020 were 28 cents per therm and in October 2021, they are 61 cents per therm — a 125% increase. MORE THAN DOUBLE

3)     North Shore Gas prices for October 2020 were 35 cents per therm and October 2021, they are 67 cents per therm — a 91% increase. JUST ABOUT DOUBLE

Geraci Law is increasing the budget expense for new Chapter 7 and 13 filings accordingly, so clients can meet their living expenses, and pay less to creditors under the “means test” that Democratic leaders (you know who) pushed through in 2005 to make debtors pay more to creditors. But with inflation, bankruptcy filings are designed to insure that debtors can pay their regular living expenses, before they pay creditors, or even discharge their debt so they can pay their gas bills. Thank your politicians for making it tough on everyone!

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 Collectors can text you, email you, and contact you on social media!

The federal agency Consumer Financial Protection Bureau doesn’t seem to be protect you much when they passed new rules that let debt collectors email you, text you, and message you on social media.

Read article below by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci and more @ https://www.infotapes.com/Articles

The federal agency Consumer Financial Protection Bureau doesn’t seem to be protect you much when they passed new rules that let debt collectors email you, text you, and message you on social media. They do have to identify themselves as debt collectors. On social media, they can send you a fried request. They have to give you the option to opt out of being contacted online. Any messages have to be private, not on you public or contacts page.

The good news is that you will be more aware of collection activities, so you can do something about your financial mess before you get sued or garnished. Of course, most people who have debt collectors contacting them don’t do much of anything if it is just one small debt. But if you have $10,000 or more in consumer debt, outside of student loans, and you are getting emails and texts, you can be sure that it just isn’t going away, and debts have at least a 5 year statute of limitation before the debt is to old to collect

Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy stop all collection efforts during the bankruptcy proceedings, and stop all collection permanently on debts you obtain a discharge for. The sooner you contact Geraci Law if you have over $10,000 in debt you can’t pay, the sooner you will be able to decide what to do.

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 Discharge of Debt Help My Credit?

Studies by Harvard and the Federal Reserve show that people who file bankruptcy and generally in a better position than those who remain in debt. 

Read this article by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci titled “Can Bankruptcy Discharge of Debt Help My Credit?” and more at https://www.infotapes.com/Articles

Studies by Harvard and the Federal Reserve show that people who file bankruptcy and generally in a better position than those who remain in debt.  The Federal Reserve said, 

“[people who file bankruptcy] experience a sharp boost in their credit score after bankruptcy, whereas credit scores recover at a much slower pace for individuals who remain [in debt]. 

The credit score of bankrupt individuals exceeds the credit score of insolvent individuals by 40-80 points. In addition, those who go bankrupt open new unsecured accounts post-bankruptcy at a higher rate (by around 15 percentage points) than those who don’t file bankruptcy, while the number of inquiries is very similar across the two groups.

This indicates a difference in access to credit, not demand for credit. [The Federal reserve] conclude[ed] from this evidence that the ability to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is associated with better access to credit, and while both insolvency and bankruptcy are forms of default, the debt discharge associated with bankruptcy leaves filers in a better financial position than individuals who become insolvent in similar circumstances.”

If you are contemplating bankruptcy, you have probably received charge cards in the mail, and bought things with no money down. After a bankruptcy, that easy credit will be harder to get. Most times, you can get a charge card by giving a $400 or more savings account with the issuing bank, so that if you do not pay the charge card, they can deduct from your bank account.

Many clients may be able to buy a home within a few years after filing a bankruptcy or even during a bankruptcy. How do I know? Every week an old client calls me and asks for proof that their bankruptcy got rid of their old bills, so they can give it to their mortgage company. Mortgage companies want to know that people buying houses don’t have creditors chasing them, because those creditors can put liens on the house. Also, if you have a lot of bills to pay, you probably can’t afford house payments. Filing bankruptcy may be the first step to buying a house.

Geraci Law makes it easy for you to apply for mortgages and credit.  We post your filed bankruptcy petition on your Client Corner so you can log in and get it when you need it.  We provide you with any help you need to show that you got 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

Thankruptcy

Read about Thankruptcy!

There’s a lot to be thankful for. Geraci Law is thankful to our clients and the ability to help people receive a fresh start. We have a phrase at Geraci Law called Thankruptcy! Our clients are so happy with their experience, they don’t say Bankruptcy they say – Thankruptcy!

Check out our Thankruptcy video below!

Homes & Bankruptcy

Will I lose my house if I file for bankruptcy?

What happens to my home if I file my bankruptcy? Do I lose my house if I file a Chapter 7? Questions asked by every homeowner looking to file for bankruptcy. The answer is the only thing you lose if you file for bankruptcy is the DEBT.

If you in a Covid 19 or C19 mortgage deferral, if you do not have the repayment in full – filing a Chapter 13 can HELP! Talk to an experienced Geraci Law attorney today about your options.

Attorney Peter Francis Geraci answers the question of Homes and Bankruptcy in InfoTapes segment. Watch below! If you want to review your debt relief options, we’re a phone call away or you can schedule online @ https://www.infotapes.com/Bankruptcy/OfficeLocator

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

The Hidden Health Costs of Being in Debt

Money worries can make you sick – really sick.

Below is an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci regarding the hidden costs of owing. If you are worried about medical, owing medical bills could make health conditions even worse! Read more articles by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci at https://www.infotapes.com/Press.

An article in the June 2021 Men’s Health magazine brings together a number of scientific studies concluding that money problems can kill you. The article quotes the director of the Jackson Heart study as saying that financial stress is a major cause of heart disease, and money issues can cause chronic 24/7 stress that can raise blood pressure, and cause heart disease.

The U.S. Financial Health Pulse: 2020 Trends report states: “As of August 2020, more than two-thirds of people in America (approximately 167 million people) were Financially Coping or Financially Vulnerable. These individuals are struggling to spend, save, borrow, or plan in ways that allow them to be resilient and seize opportunities over time.” https://finhealthnetwork.org/research/u-s-financial-health-pulse-2020-trends-report/  

Geraci Law founding member Peter Francis Geraci says that the overwhelming comments in over 30,000 five-star reviews from Geraci Law clients in the last 5 years is “stress relief”. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings eliminate the stress caused by failure to be able to meet financial obligations. Both types of consumer bankruptcy allow people to re-set their budgets and balance their income and expenses. Chapter 7 allows elimination of debt, while continuing to pay vehicles and mortgages. Chapter 13 allows consolidation of debt into a monthly or biweekly affordable payment. Both, according to Mr. Geraci, go a long way to relieving stress, which lowers blood pressure and helps overall health.

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

If I am Married, Can I File Bankruptcy Alone?

Will my bankruptcy affect my spouse?

Below is an article written by Attorney Peter Francis Geraci, you can read more articles at https://www.infotapes.com/Articles.

If I am married, can I file a bankruptcy without my husband or wife? 

There are a lot of different answers so don’t expect to call us and get the right answer without a virtual or in-person consultation (which is free) with an experienced Geraci Law attorney. You will have to provide some detailed info to get a reliable answer.

. Married people file jointly, or separately, or just one. You can file alone. Filing a “husband and wife” case saves you on fees and costs. But there are reasons NOT to file joint cases, and reasons you should file together.

Example #1:  “I have credit card debt I can’t pay and just got fired. My spouse makes $130,000 a year, but is not joint on my cards, but we have a joint checking account. I am on title to 2 properties with him but not on the mortgage. Can I file Chapter 7 and get a discharge

Answer: Probably not. Your household income is $130,000 even without you working. The Chapter 7 Trustee would object to discharge of your debt because the household income is sufficient to pay it. On top of it, you own ½ interest in real estate, and only a Chapter 13 debt repayment plan would enable you to discharge your debt and keep your property interest.

Result: When you are back to work, see us about a Chapter 13 debt repayment plan if your spouse and you can’t pay off your credit cards. 

Example #2: “I just got married and have a lot of debt from before my marriage. It’s a second marriage and we keep separate accounts and have no joint property.   My spouse makes $130,000 a year, and pays all the household expenses, since I only make $25,000 a year. Can I file Chapter 7?

Answer:  Yes. Since there are no joint debts, accounts, or property, you are not a member of a “household” that can pay the debt, unlike Example #1 above. Depending on where you live though there are different applications of the “household rule”. You may qualify for Chapter 7, and if not, for a low Chapter 13 payment.

What to do if you are worried about your debt?

A. Please don’t call and expect an opinion on the phone. Have the courtesy to yourself of getting a half hour of free consultation with an experienced Geraci Law attorney.

B. Before you call for an appointment, talk to your spouse. It’s not like you committed a crime, you just have some debt. Your spouse may want to pay it, or may want to pay for your bankruptcy. Bad idea to try to keep it a secret.

so, there are some considerations, it depends on the facts, and there are a lot of secrets:

If you want to file a joint case, both of you must attend your first consultation. You can’t send hubby in by himself. That way you both hear the same advice. . Then you won’t have to go back alone and answer your spouse’s questions. Sometimes we recommend that one spouse NOT file, or that one file Chapter 7, and the other file Chapter 13.

1.   If you want to file your own case separately, that is ok. But if you living in the same household, we do have to know the total household income, and if spouses are keeping separate income and expenses. But one can file without the other.

2.   Wisconsin is one of 8 community property states. You can’t get rid of community debt by filing alone. But if you file alone, your creditors can’t attach community property as long as your non-filing spouse does not file. The same with a residence in Illinois or Indiana held as tenants by the entirety. 

3.   Many people have debts that they had before the marriage. A spouse is not liable for the other spouse’s pre-marital debts.

4.   Domestic support obligations, attorney fees to the other spouse in most cases, and guardian ad litem fees, and property settlement obligations, are not dischargeable in Chapter 7. In Chapter 13, domestic support obligations must be paid, and you can pay arrears ahead of other creditors. Also, in Chapter 13, property settlement obligations that cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 may be discharged. So, you need an experienced attorney if you have marital debt issues.

5.   Your filing does not affect the other spouse’s obligation to pay debts they are liable on. In community property states, like Wisconsin, your bankruptcy leaves your spouse with any debt incurred during the marriage, unless the spouse also files. But then your creditors can reach the other spouse’s community property, although it might be exempt.

6.   If you ran up the bills during the marriage, even though your spouse did not sign for the debt, or even know about it, your creditors may be able to collect from your spouse. Many states have “family expense” laws that make one spouse responsible for the debts of another if the debts were incurred for family purposes. The theory is that each spouse owes a duty to immediate family members to support them. Food, clothing, rent, medical bills and household items can be the responsibility of the other spouse.

7.   Sometimes one spouse will send the other one in, because they don’t want to pay the other’s bills. Then, instead of sending money to bill collectors, you can send your money to your own family. It makes for a happier marriage.

8.   Sometimes you are involved in a “bust-out scheme”, where you and your spouse loaded up your cards on purpose, and now plan to get rid of the debt. That may raise objections by creditors and the U.S. Trustee, depending on the facts.

Therefore, while you may be able to file a case alone, you may have to take into consideration both your spouse’s income, even if you keep your income and expenses separately, and any liability your spouse may have for your debts. You can protect your spouse from this liability by a joint filing, or, you can pay the debts that your spouse is liable for in a Chapter 13. Then, while you make the Chapter 13 payment, no creditor can bother your spouse. The same theory applies to co-signed debts.

This is one area where an experienced Geraci Law attorney is worth their weight in gold!

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

%d bloggers like this: