Bankruptcy Continues to Best Form of Relief for Most People

I hope you are having a great Sunday. My name is David Ruben and I have been a bankruptcy lawyer in Maryland for almost 23 years. I love what I do. Tommorrow is one of those rare days that I do not have to appear in court, so I was thinking about what my day will bring. Aside from all of the written work that I have to do, I will probably (hopefully) field about 15-20 new phone inquiries about filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. What continues to amaze me about the phone calls is that many of the people have been thinking about calling a lawyer for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy for months, sometimes years, and have been reluctant to do so for fear of the unknown. People are actually afraid to call me and scared of what they might hear. Many people, after we have our consultation, say "wow, that was easy, I was expecting that to be much worse, I feel so relieved." Despite what you might think or what people might tell you, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are … [Read more...]

In Debt Today

The past few years have forced many residents of Baltimore and surrounding areas of Maryland to rely more heavily on debt to finance everyday needs and expenses. Many have seen their debt increase in the form of credit card debt, student loan debt or mortgage debt because all to often today, your house has lost value. In some cases, debt can be beneficial to the individual. Debt can help a student make it through school. Debt can also help a business get an idea off the ground. For example, the electric car company Tesla received a loan from the government, which it was able to fully repay in 2009. Tesla would never have been able to create the electric car without incurring that debt. Debt can be a necessary occurrence in these economic times. For example, it can be used to finance a car that will allow you to get to work or school. Debt can be a great tool to reach your goals. But sometimes your financial circumstances change through no fault of your own, causing these debts … [Read more...]

Why we think we are better than all other Maryland Consumer Bankruptcy Law Firms

Yes, that might sound like a strange question, and it also might sound like I am full of myself. Here is the answer. My dad always taught me that hard work pays off. For more than 20 years I have been working to establish the most efficient and affordable consumer bankruptcy firm in Maryland while at the same time achieving the same or better results than all other firms. There are three phases to your bankruptcy case. The first is your initial contact. I strive to provide quickest and most thorough response of any Maryland consumer bankruptcy lawyer. If you call me at midnight, I will call you back at 12:02. If you e-mail me during the day, I will call you back immediately. If you would like an appointment in the evening or on the weekend, I’ll do it. If you call during business hours, we have a whole host of people who can help answer all of your questions. Not within 24 hours. Not within 1 hour. Immediately. We know that it sometimes takes a lot to get up the nerve to call a … [Read more...]

When Should I Talk to A Bankruptcy Attorney?

Through my national bankruptcy connections I recently became friends with Quinton Pelley, one of the premier bankruptcy attorneys in the state of Texas. He was kind enough to share with me some great articles/blogs that he has written in the bankruptcy field for potential bankruptcy filers. I think that this one is excellent, so I am sharing it with you. If you are searching for a bankruptcy attorney to help you through this most difficult process, contact us today. No two debt situations are the same. However, since we have been helping people resolve their debt problems since 1991, we have noticed quite a few patterns. We know that you did not choose to be in this position. We also know that you were probably forced into your debt situation because of one or more of the following: Loss of job, reduction in income, death, divorce, someone got sick, ridiculously high interest rates, the bad economy, or some other similar life changing event. Life happens. Now you need to make the … [Read more...]

Getting Credit After Bankruptcy…..Is it really 10 years?

Clients are always concerned about their credit score. It is not unusual for the question “How will bankruptcy affect my credit score?” to be the first thing that comes out of someone’s mouth when they consider bankruptcy as an option. Although bankruptcy does have an effect on your credit, the effect may not be as bad as many would have you believe. Further, most people fail to compare the alternative effect that not filing bankruptcy will and already does have on their credit. There are a number of facts that will appear on your credit report. Any type of loan, any credit you have taken out, how you use it, whether you have paid it or are in default, are all things that will appear when someone looks up your credit report. Bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for up to 10 years. Any negative occurrences will appear for 7. If your credit is poor, as most people’s is when they consider filing for bankruptcy, bankruptcy may not hurt your credit as much as not filing … [Read more...]

Bankruptcy: What is it and how does it work?

As a Maryland bankruptcy lawyer, I have many clients that know very little about the bankruptcy process when they come in for a consultation. It is important that anyone considering filing for bankruptcy to have a basic understanding of the process before they make the decision to file. Everyone has a right to know what their options are and how these options can affect their future, especially when dealing with a bankruptcy. Types Of Bankruptcy There are two types of bankruptcy and each carry different qualification standards. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy produces a debt elimination at very little out of pocket cost to the debtor. However, a debtor must have a reportable income less than the median income level of their state of residence in order to qualify. This rule prevents abuse of the system by weeding out anyone who may be able to afford to repay their debts rather than have them eliminated. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows a debtor to develop a repayment … [Read more...]

Does My Spouse Have To File Bankruptcy With Me?

No, your spouse does not have to file bankruptcy with you. There is no law stating that both people in a marriage must file bankruptcy. A married person can file a single bankruptcy. If a married person does decide to file without their spouse, some information from the non-filing spouse would be needed. The non-filing spouse’s income would have to be listed in order to do the means test and any joint property owned would also need to be listed. If any of the debt is in both your names, then you would want to consider having your spouse file. Once the debtor files bankruptcy, the co-debtor becomes solely liable for the debt. For example, if you and your spouse have both your names on a credit card, your spouse will become responsible for the debt once you file bankruptcy. Depending on the amount of debt and your individual situation, you may consider both filing bankruptcy. It is not mandatory for a married couple to file bankruptcy jointly. Each couples individual … [Read more...]

Utility Bills and Bankruptcy

Two Rules for Utilities and Bankruptcy When people are current with their utility bills, utilities rarely become an issue in bankruptcy.  That is because Section 11 U.S.C. § 366(a), prohibits utility companies from discriminating against people based solely on bankruptcy filing. However, often being current is not the case and people seek to discharge their back utilities debts through bankruptcy. You can do that, but keep in mind there are two issues to consider.  First, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 366(c)(4), a utility company has a right of set-off against your deposit.  Meaning, the utility company can keep your deposit and apply it to your pre-petition debt. Second, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 366(b), the utility company may shut off your service on the 21st day following the filing of your bankruptcy petition if you are discharging a debt to the utility company and have not paid a post-petition deposit.  In other words, if you file a bankruptcy and plan on discharging a debt to a … [Read more...]

Have a Debt Free 2012!

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  If you are visiting our website during this time of the year, and you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you have taken the first step in the right direction to make you 2012 your best year ever.  Too many Marylanders have so much credit card debt and other other debt that they literally cannot go entire day without thinking about their financial woes.  Many, many years ago, our founding fathers realized that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness INCLUDES the ability to seek debt relief and a fresh start in difficult times.  That is why the right to file bankruptcy was inluded in the first draft of our United States Constitution.  It is your right, and if you don't use it, you are giving up one of the greatest benefits of living in this country. Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland allows you to eliminate credit card debt, medical bills, judgments, garnishments, repossessions and all other unsecured debts except student loans and most debts to the … [Read more...]

Third Most Chapter 7’s In Maryland Filed!

Usually I write about or I find important or interesting issues on Bankruptcy and post them on this blog for anyone who happens to drop by the website to see.  Today, however, my post is a little different.  Today it's about my bankruptcy firm, and yes, I am going to do a little bragging.  I have been practicing bankruptcy law in Maryland for almost 20 years.  In 2005, however, when the laws changed, I stopped doing it for a while.  My thought was that everyone and their mother (sometimes literally) had just filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland during that prior year and the amount of people in Maryland to help with bankruptcy's would be very few in the next few years.  So I changed my practice and concentrated more on Family Law.  But in 2009, shortly after the recession hit full swing, I realized that, with so many people out of work and out on disability and without health insurance, the need for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy's in Maryland would soon rise again.  So, in … [Read more...]