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...]

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...]

Filing Bankruptcy is Good For Your Health!

I recently came across this article and wanted to share it with you on my website. As a bankruptcy lawyer practicing bankruptcy in Maryland for more than 20 years and handling over 2000 Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases, I can tell you first hand that filing bankruptcy will improve your health. The relief I see when people first come into my office and learn their rights is amazing, it's like a giant burden lifted off the client's shoulder immediately. Sometimes just knowing your rights is all that you need, at least you know that you can be helped. Call us today for a free consultation so that we can not only improve your financial situation, but improve your health As we say: FILE TODAY...........SMILE TOMORROW! HERE IS THE TEXT OF THE ARTICLE If you find yourself deep in debt and are desperately trying to avoid bankruptcy, it might be time for a paradigm shift. Not only does bankruptcy provide relief from debt, it provides relief from chronic stress that can lead to … [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]