A Credit Card Company Has Filed a Lawsuit Against Me, What Do I Do?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions by people who are considering bankruptcy.  At the Maryland Bankruptcy Center we eliminate more credit card debt than nearly every other law firm in the state of Maryland.  Here is how it works. If you have an outstanding balance on a credit card, you will initially get phone calls from the credit card company.  Usually they will lie to you and tell you that if you don’t pay your wages will be garnished or your property will be taken immediately.  Not true. Usually, credit card companies in Maryland wait about 6 months to a year before they actually file a lawsuit against you.  And even then, the only way that they can garnish your wages or attack your bank account is to obtain a judgment against you, wait for the appeal period to expire, and then file more papers with the court.  In EVERY case, it takes the credit card company at least 120 days AFTER they file a lawsuit against you to be able to garnish your wages or attack your bank … [Read more...]

What is a Meeting of Creditors?

The meeting of creditors is provided pursuant to this Section 341 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The meeting is often referred to as the 341 meeting of creditors or your bankruptcy court date. At the meeting of creditors, you along with your attorney are going to be present in front of either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 trustee. The purpose of the meeting is to administer any assets in a Chapter 7 that are administrable and in a Chapter 13, to verify that you are putting all of your disposable income towards your Chapter 13 repayment plan. At your meeting of creditors, you are going to be sworn in. You’re going to have to show identification and proof of your Social Security card. Once you are sworn in, you are going to be asked a series of questions based on the information provided in your documents. For example, the trustee is going to ask if you signed the documents under all penalties and perjury, if you listed all of your assets and all of your liabilities and … [Read more...]

Can Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Help Me?

I saw this article online and thought it was excellent, please read if interested in learning about or filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, I couldn't have said it any better myself. Can Chapter 7 bankruptcy help? When most people think of filing for bankruptcy, they think of chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often referred to as “straight bankruptcy,” is a much faster process than its slower cousin chapter 13 bankruptcy. Depending on income, chapter 13 bankruptcy lasts between 3 to 5 years, whereas a typical chapter 7 case is open and shut within 4 months. Within that short time frame, chapter 7 transforms the debtor’s financial life from a cluttered mess, to a clean slate. Here are 5 important ways that chapter 7 bankruptcy can help if you find yourself in financial distress. 1. Eliminate unsecured debt. This is the most obvious way that chapter 7 bankruptcy helps consumers. Filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy wipes out high interest credit card debt and medical bills. … [Read more...]

Why Filing Bankruptcy is Better Than Debt Credit Counseling

I saw this article today and had to pass it along.  It is very true and I couldn't have said it better myself. Is Credit Counseling a Step in the Right Direction? Credit counseling most often involves consolidating outstanding debts as much as possible and then developing a negotiated repayment plan for a reduced payment over time to all of your creditors. Credit counseling is often a first step taken by those who have significant debt due to varying unforeseen circumstances. Each Creditor Will Have Different Requirements Each creditor has a different idea of what should be in the repayment plan and therefore will have different requirements. The catch is that a repayment plan must be approved by all the creditors, which takes time. What you may not know is that credit counselor staff is often working for the major credit card companies, in their best interests not yours. This is because the credit consolidation agencies get a cut of all the funds they recover that are owned to the … [Read more...]

Record Year for Bankruptcy’s So Far

Bankruptcy filings in June declined for both individuals and businesses. Still, bankruptcies so far this year are 9 percent ahead of last year's monthly average, according to data compiled from court records by Automated Access to Court Electronic Records. If the pace continues for the next six months, 2010 will have the most bankruptcies since 2005 when Congress made bankruptcy less available for individuals. Through June, there were about 795,000 bankruptcies of all types in the U.S. The 133,800 filings in June were the second fewest this year at a daily rate. There were over 7,100 commercial filings in June, an 11 percent decline on a daily basis from the average in 2009. Chapter 11 filings were 7 percent fewer than the 2009 monthly average, according to the report from AACER, a service of Oklahoma City-based Jupiter ESources LLC. Nevada, Georgia and Tennessee continue leading the nation in per capital bankruptcies. The states where filings are growing fastest are … [Read more...]

Fixing Credit Report Errors

Why is it that credit reporting companies have so much control over our lives?  One false report on your credit report could cost you the ability to buy a house, car or to even obtain a credit card.  Is that fair?  No way.  Is there anything you can do about it?  Yes, there is.  It's not easy, and, frankly, it's a pain in the neck.  However, you can fix mistakes on your credit report if you need to, and here's how. The first thing you need to do is order a copy of your credit report. The three major national credit bureaus are: Equifax, PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241; (800) 685-1111. Experian, (formerly TRW), PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013; (888) 397-3742. Trans Union, PO Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022; (800) 916-8800. When ordering a copy by mail, make state your name, current address, addresses where you have lived for the last five years, your social security number, date of birth and a include copy of your driver’s license. You are entitled to a free copy of your … [Read more...]

Bankruptcy Statistics

News Flash! November 8, 2010 —Bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts for fiscal year 2010, the 12-month period ending September 30, totaled 1,596,355, up 13.8 percent over total FY 2009 bankruptcy filings of 1,402,816, according to statistics released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. While non-business bankruptcy filings continued to rise in FY 2010, business filings dropped slightly for the first time since 2006. The bankruptcies reported today are for October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010. Business and Non-Business Filings Non-business filings totaled 1,538,033, up 14.4 percent from the 1,344,095 non-business bankruptcy filings in September 2009. This is the highest number of non-business filings for a fiscal year since FY 2005, immediately prior to the implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in October 2006. Business filings totaled 58,322, down 0.7 percent from the 58,721 business filings in the 12-month … [Read more...]

Credit After Bankruptcy

I came across this article today on the internet and thought it was very interesting.  Often times potential or actual bankruptcy client's ask me what affect bankruptcy will have on their credit.  My answer is always the same.  That is, it will stay on your credit report for 7 to 10 years and if you already have bad credit, your credit score will likely improve.  Most client's don't believe me, and frankly I don't blame them.  How can filing bankruptcy actually IMPROVE your credit?  Well, read this article below and you will have a good idea. CREDIT AFTER BANKRUPTCY Recently, an associate professor of law at the University of Iowa, Katherine Porter wrote that "credit solicitations of recent bankruptcy debtors is rampant." She studied data collected by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project and found that nearly every debtor receives credit offers shortly after bankruptcy. Most offers are for credit cards, however, some are for mortgages and car loans. It is interesting because this … [Read more...]

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Statistics

November 08, 2010 October Filings Hold Steady   2007          2008         2009         %         2010        % Jan 55,200 70,300 89,000 27% 102,600 15% Feb 58,800 79,500 102,000 28% 117,800 15% March 73,100 90,400 131,000 45% 159,200 22% April 67,800 93,200 128,700 38% 146,200 14% May 69,900 89,700 120,400 34% 133,500 11% June 67,300 89,900 124,800 39% 133,850 7% July  69,100 96,400 130,500 35% 134,600 3% Aug 77,100 94,300 120,000 27% 135,600 13% Sept 67,500 96,200 125,500 30% 134,000 7% Oct 81,200 108,900 130,200 20% 129,700 0% Nov 74,200 91,400 115,500 26%     Dec 65,900 95,900 117,000 22%       827,100 1,096,100 1,434,600 31% 1,327,050   Thanks to the Bankruptcy Internet Project Call us today at (410) 766-4044 or (301) 587-8900 for a free consultation regarding Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Maryland.  We … [Read more...]

bankruptcy statistics for october, 2010

National Bankruptcy Research Center October 2010 Bankruptcy Filings Report The raw numbers suggest that bankruptcy filings in October rose slightly from the previous month (to 132,000 from 130,000). But that trivial increase suggests a substantial break in the upward trend of bankruptcy filings we have observed since passage of the bankruptcy reform statute in 2005. Thus, as a seasonal matter, October filings typically are the highest filings of the year, about ten percent higher than September filings, so on a seasonally adjusted basis, filings in October were actually seven percent lower than filings in September. More notably, filings in October of this year were three percent lower than filings last October: that represents the first year-on-year decrease in bankruptcy filings since 2006. Year-to-date filings for 2010 are still ten percent higher than last year’s, but for once the rate of filings has fallen. Nationwide, filings this year to date amount to about 5600 filings … [Read more...]