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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Untrue Bankruptcy Rumors

Today I saw this information posted on a really good bankruptcy blog from a North Carolina attorney. She really seems to know her stuff. I would like to share her article with you, it addresses bad information that people have heard regarding personal bankruptcy and the changes in the law that occurred back in 2005. Many people were so scared by the change in the law that they won't even consider bankruptcy, or they think there is no way that they can do it now. Please read below, it's very interesting. Here are some of the rumors that have been heard: "You can't file bankruptcy anymore." NO. Bankruptcy is still available! Some people will be not able to file Chapter 7, but many people will still qualify. The requirements will be more burdensome for both Chapters 7 and 13, but you may still find protection in the bankruptcy laws. Do not assume that it won't help ... talk to an attorney and find out if it will help you. "You don't "QUALIFY" for bankruptcy if you make … [Read more...]

Bankruptcy Statistics

The Number of Bankruptcies are Falling The number of national consumer bankruptcies have fallen 6% in the first quarter of 2011.  There were 340,012 consumer bankruptcy filings from January 2011 to March 2011, which was down from 363,215 last January 2010 to March 2010.  This is according to the American Bankruptcy Institute using data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center. There were 144, 657 filings in March 2011, up 41% from February’s total filings of 102,686, but down from March 2010 when there were 149,268 filings.  The total number of filings in 2010 was the highest since 2005, when there was a rush to file before BAPCPA went into effect that October.  Even consumer credit outstanding has fallen the last two years according to data from the Federal Reserve. “Though bankruptcy filings are still elevated, consumers continue to take steps to reduce debt levels and shore up their finances,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “As a result, we now expect … [Read more...]

Do You Need a “Good” Reason to File Bankruptcy?

Many people with financial problems don't even consider bankruptcy because they envision themselves having to go in front of a Judge in a Courtroom and explain exactly why and how they find themselves in a bad financial situation.   Well, I am here to tell you, and anyone who has every filed bankruptcy before will tell you, that is not the case.  The bottom line is this.  If you meet certain criteria, a Judge or a Court has no basis to ask you why you are filing bankruptcy, so just don't worry about it.    So what are the criteria that I need in order to successfully file bankruptcy?  Good question.  It's really a very simple question with a very simple answer.  The answer is this.  If you have debt that you are not able to pay, and you don't have alot of property that you could sell to pay it off, and you don't make a ton of money........you qualify.  It's really that simple.   Chapter 7 Bankruptcy was designed many years ago in order to help people get back on their feet they are … [Read more...]

The Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process

I want to give you all an idea of the bankruptcy process. I'll try to keep this simple and cover only the "normal" case and not cases involving objections from creditors and other complications. Once you've chosen an attorney, provided all the documentation requested and paid the required fees, it's time to file your case. If you are in a Chapter 7 case, then the procedure is the case gets filed with the Clerk's office in your jurisdiction. Upon the filing, an automatic stay goes into effect. This stay immediately stops your creditors from doing any collection proceedings, including court-ordered garnishments, license suspensions, phone calls, billings, etc... About 4-6 weeks after your case is filed, you will have to attend a "meeting of creditors" or "Section 341" meeting. This is a hearing that debtors are required to attend. Typically, if you've hired a full-service bankruptcy law firm such as ours, an attorney will be at your hearing with you. An interim trustee appointed by the … [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...]

Thankful for Bankruptcy Laws

Hey folks.  I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish anyone who might be reading this blog a Happy Thanksgiving.   In two days it will be Black Friday, yes, the most popular day to run up credit cards of the year.    I will actully be working in my office on Black Friday meeting new client's and preparing bankruptcy petitions for people in need of debt relief.   Due to the recession, high rates of unemployment, skyrocketing interest rates on credit cards and declining property value, my guess is that filing rates for personal Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies will increase more than ever before (except when the law changed in 2005).   So what are we thankful for?  We are thankful that we can still go out on Black Friday and buy our children Christmas presents knowing that if necessary, if things continue to go downhill, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is always available to every person in the United States.  Some may complain, I think it's a good thing.  Personal, or consumer … [Read more...]