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...]

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...]

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...]

Can Bankruptcy Help?

At the Maryland Bankruptcy Center, we tell at least 1 person per day that they are NOT eligible to file bankruptcy or that bankruptcy is not a good idea. On the other hand, we tell most people who call that filing bankruptcy in Maryland is the right choice. Why is that? Chances are, if you are researching bankruptcy, you have found yourself in a very difficult financial situation and you are desperate for help. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are your last resort, but unfortunately in this economy, it is the only resort for hundreds of thousands of Marylanders each year. Consider the article below, and if you have any questions at all, feel free to call us anytime. Filing For Bankruptcy is a Major Decision. Necessary For Some, Unnecessary For Others… You don’t just throw a bankruptcy in your shopping cart and head for the check out, it’s a major life decision that should not be entered into lightly. In some cases, bankruptcy can really help. Some families who are avoiding 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...]

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...]

Is Filing for Bankruptcy in Maryland a Good Decision?

Deciding whether or not to file for bankruptcy in Maryland may be a tough decision to make. In order to make an informed decision it helps to know how filing for bankruptcy will affect you now and in the future. Here is a list of some Maryland bankruptcy basics: Maryland Bankruptcy Positives: Filing for bankruptcy may make it possible to: 1. Eliminate the legal obligation to pay most, if not all, debts. 2. Stop foreclosure on a home and allow for the debtor an opportunity to cure a default. 3. Prevent repossession of a vehicle or other personal property. 4. Stop wage garnishment, harassment from debt collectors, and other similar activities. 5. Prevent utilities from being turned off, or restore those that already have been. 6. Lower some types of monthly payments, such as car loans. 7. Challenge the claims of certain creditors who have violated federal or state consumer protection laws, or who have engaged in fraudulent or other unlawful conduct. Maryland … [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...]

Ten Things To Do BEFORE FILING BANKRUPTCY

Bankruptcy is very often a time-sensitive process and pre-bankruptcy planning can be critical in protecting assets. Chapter 7, in particular, the trustee’s responsibility is to “look back” at the actions the debtor has taken to insure that there hasn’t been a fraudulent conveyance of assets, a non-allowed preference payment to creditors or other actions that might leave assets exposed. It’s critical, if you are considering bankruptcy, to consider taking the following steps to insure a successful filing: 1. Consult with an attorney. The bankruptcy laws have become so complex that consumers should not attempt to file by themselves. It’s a very risky process to try to do on your own. Since 2005, there is a complicated “Means Test” required, government-approved credit counseling, as well as other changes which made the filing of Bankruptcy much more complicated. Even if you eventually file pro-se (representing yourself) consult an attorney and ask questions about whether bankruptcy … [Read more...]

Chapter 7 Maryland Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Maryland Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy may provide some relief to a borrower under financial stress and overwhelmed with debt. Typically, there are two types of bankruptcy available to a debtor, Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The requirements and benefits offered by the two types of bankruptcy differ greatly. A Maryland bankruptcy attorneycan explain the differences between the two chapters in detail and help ensure a successful bankruptcy filing. It is highly recommended that a debtor consult a bankruptcy lawyer for help determining which bankruptcy chapter is best suited for their situation. An incorrect or incomplete bankruptcy petition can create long-lasting consequences for the debtor. Chapter 13 is considered a restructuring bankruptcy because the debtor continues to make payments to their creditors according to a court approved payment plan. The payment plan outlines how the income the borrower receives will be used to pay off the debts owed. Once the payment plan is confirmed by the … [Read more...]