Do’s and Don’ts for Filing Bankruptcy

I enjoy looking around on the web and reading what other lawyers have to say.  Just today I came across a list of DO’s and DON’Ts for filing bankruptcy by Carmen Dellutri, a well-respected bankruptcy attorney in the state of Florida.  The interesting thing about bankruptcy law is that it is Federal law, which means, with certain variations, the rules and procedures in each state are pretty much the same.  Read on: THINGS THAT ARE OK TO DO IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT FILING BANKRUPTCY Do take the bankruptcy court seriously, and avoid making any financial decisions that may make your creditors suspect you of filing in bad faith. Do seek an attorney before you file any papers, and learn your rights and options under the United States bankruptcy code.  Call or e-mail us today and we will answer any questions that you may have. Do maintain timely payments on any collateralized loans that you wish to keep the collateral for. In other words, if you have a mortgage or car payment and … [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...]

Maryland Bankruptcy and Credit Card Debt

The Basics of Credit Card Debt and Bankruptcy In an economy where housing problems dominate the headlines, high interest credit cards still remain one of the largest issues consumers face in their fight for financial health. It should come as no surprise to learn then, that credit card debt is still one of the primary reasons consumers are forced to file for bankruptcy. When a credit card account has been delinquent for more than 180 days, banks will charge off what is owed as “bad debt” and sell the account to a debt collector who will call, harass and even sue if the past due balances are high enough. Mounting pressure from debt collectors pushes many consumers through the front door of a bankruptcy office because chapter 7 protection is widely perceived as the fastest and best way to get out from under unmanageable credit card debt. While it is true that filing for bankruptcy can help discharge credit card bills, there are some basics that every consumer needs to know before … [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...]

Keeping Your Car When Filing Bankruptcy

I saw this article on a related bankruptcy website and thought it was very good and wanted to share it with you. If you have any questions regarding this issue or are looking into filing bankruptcy, please call us for a free consultation. You Can Keep a Car in Bankruptcy, But Under What Terms? In our current tenuous economic climate, more and more normal, honest, hardworking people are turning to bankruptcy for relief from overwhelming debt. In fact, most people who file for bankruptcy are perfectly responsible citizens who have lost homes, lost law suits, incurred unexpected medical bills or other large, unforeseen expenses. One of the most commonly held beliefs about the bankruptcy process is that by filing, you will automatically lose your car. This is simply not true. If you want to keep a car you are still paying for, you will have to give up some of the very benefit your bankruptcy discharge gives you. Reaffirmation Agreements To keep a car on which you are still … [Read more...]

Tax Refund and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

As 2011 draws to an end, many people will be thinking about filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland in 2012.  One very common question, almost always asked at the beginning of the year, is:   IF I FILE CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY IN MARYLAND, WILL I STLIL BE ABLE TO KEEP MY TAX REFUND?   The answer is.............yes, in just about every case, you will be able to keep your tax refund.  When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland, you are permitted to keep roughly $12,000 worth of "liquid" assets.  That does not include your house.  That includes, for most people personal belongings such as household goods and furnishings, automobiles that are fully paid off, money in savings and checking accounts, and certain other assets.  One asset that people often forget is there tax refund.  A tax refund, or an expected tax refund, is nothing more than money in a savings account held by the government that will be given to you after you file your taxes and show that you have overpaid your taxes, which … [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...]

I Need To File Bankruptcy and I live in Maryland…..What Do I Do?

Sort of like parenting, money management is one of those things that were never taught in school.  We were taught to read, write and do some math problems that we will never have to use in real life, but we were never taught how to pay our bills and manage our finances, especially in difficult times.   And our parents (at least mine didn't) brought us over to the kitchen table and said "hey son, let's go over my checkbook together and see how we can improve our finances. Unless you are actually in the business of helping people file for bankruptcy, there is no reason for you to have any idea what bankruptcy is all about.  Fortunately, the internet has provided everyone a tool to research and read about bankruptcy, and at least give them a starting point to determine if it is the right thing to do, and if so, how to go about filing bankruptcy. If you are reading this article, you have already taken the first step.   When people call me to discuss bankruptcy, they have alot of … [Read more...]

Filing Bankruptcy to Prevent Foreclosure

If you’re facing foreclosure, and you can’t seem to strike a deal with your lender, filing bankruptcy may be able to help. If you fall behind on your mortgage payments, your lender may take steps to foreclose on the property – meaning it may take back your home and sell the property at a public auction. The foreclosure process doesn’t happen overnight. In Colorado, a foreclosure typically starts after you fall behind on your payments for at least two months, and often three or four. This window of opportunity (commonly the reason behind a “strategic default”) will provide some time for you try alternate methods, such as loan forbearance, a short sale, or a deed in lieu of foreclosure. If you’ve already tried these options, filing bankruptcy may provide another option to avoid or stall foreclosure. Here are some examples of how filing for bankruptcy can help you – The Automatic Stay Delays Foreclosure When you file either a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court … [Read more...]