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...]

Will Bankruptcy Stop a Wage Garnishment?

Yes, filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will automatically stop a wage garnishment. If it is a dishcargeable debt (credit card, repossession, medical bill, etc.), then it will be stopped for good. If it is a non-dishchargeable debt (most taxes, student loans, MVA debts), it will be stopped while the bankruptcy is pending (usually about 4 months for a Chapter 7), but then start up again after the bankruptcy is discharged. You can file bankruptcy before or during a garnishment. In other words, just because it has already started, that doesn't mean you cannot stop it. It stops as soon as you file your bankruptcy. In some cases, depending on how much money has already been taken from you and over what period of time, you can get your money back from the creditor after the bankruptcy is filed. If you are looking for a Maryland Bankruptcy law firm to help you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, call us. We are bankruptcy attorneys with a great deal of … [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...]

How Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit?

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Credit Card Bankruptcy

Credit Card Bankruptcy It’s no secret that the United States economy has been driven by consumer credit card spending. Credit card companies have spent billions of dollars each year aimed at convincing us to buy on credit. More than a billion credit card offers are mailed out each year in the United States each year. Solicitations often begin at the age of 18, when credit card company representatives swarmed colleges campuses and convinced financial inexperienced college students to overextend themselves and get into credit card debt. Credit card companies then continue to extend credit so that when students graduate and begin earning money all of their excess disposable income goes toward credit card minimum payments. In late 2009, many of the credit card companies increased many credit card interest rates to 29% or more, causing minimum payments to double or even triple. For people who had low balances, this was not a big issue. They had the option of not using their cards so … [Read more...]