The Complete Book on Bankruptcy

By respected consumer bankruptcy attorney

Peter Francis Geraci J.D.

Chapter 1
How to have a Stress-Free Bankruptcy

Chapter 2
What is Bankruptcy

Chapter 3
What causes people to need Banruptcy Relief

Chapter 4
What is the procedure?

Chapter 5
When you should consider Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 plans?

Chapter 6
What can Bankruptcy do for you?

Chapter 7
Common Misunderstandings about Bankruptcy

Chapter 8
Is Bankruptcy Bad?

Chapter 9
What does Bankruptcy cost?

Chapter 10
Can I file without my spouse?

Chapter 11
Does my Employer know if I file Bankruptcy?

Chapter 12
Do I lose anything?

Chapter 13
Does Bankruptcy "Ruin my Credit"

Chapter 14
Can I keep bills off my bankruptcy

Chapter 15
Bills or property in somone else's name or posession

Chapter 16
What about the Credit Union?

Chapter 17
Co-Signors

Chapter 18
What about my car?

Chapter 19
What about my House?

Chapter 20
When do creditors stop bothering me?

Chapter 21
What are Cross-collateralization Agreements?

Chapter 22
Joint Accounts with Parents

Chapter 23
When do I stop paying creditors?

Chapter 24
Gas, Electric & Phone Bills

Chapter 25
Bankruptcy & Divorce, Alimony & Child Support

Chapter 26
What Bankruptcy won't solve

Chapter 27
Chapter 13 Debt repyament Plans

Chapter 28
Will I be able to get credit again?

Chapter 29
Bill Consolidation Loans

Chapter 30
Bill Consolidation

Chapter 31
Wage Assignments, Deductions and Levies

Chapter 32
Student Loans

Chapter 33
Can I get rid of Taxes

Chapter 34
NSF Checks, Traffic & Parking Tickets

Chapter 35
Surrendering Real Estate & Time Shares

Chapter 36
Business Bankruptcy

Chapter 37
Professional Persons

Chapter 38
Do you ever "Not Get" a Discharge?

Chapter 39
About Geraci Law LLC and Peter Francis Geraci

Chapter 40
Who is the best Bankruptcy lawyer near me?

Chapter 41
What if I need a Bankruptcy lawyer near me?

CHAPTER #20 WHEN DO CREDITORS STOP BOTHERING ME?

The minute the bankruptcy case is filed. In the meantime, don't talk to them, leave them on the answering machine. If they call you at work, get their info, give them your home number, and say "My employer does not allow calls at work, please call me at home." These are magic words under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that require them to stop calling you at work. You can tell them that!

After we have prepared a petition listing your debts and assets, and prepared answers to required questions about your personal actions in relation to money, the bankruptcy petition is filed with the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court. Of course, your attorney fee must be paid in full, unless you have made other arrangements. After you have paid your attorney, you pay the filing fee, or court cost. It is about $300.00 (When I started practicing bankruptcy law, in 1974, the court cost was only $30.00.) This must be paid in the form of a money order or cashier check payable to the Clerk of U.S. Bankruptcy Court, since the Clerk does not take personal checks.

After the Clerk has stamped a bankruptcy case number, or docket number, on the petition, notice can be sent out to all creditors that you are under the jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court. Then, Federal law requires that all collection action stop.

After you have made up your mind what to do, I generally advise you to stop paying all creditors except the ones which will survive a bankruptcy. If you are having trouble with bill payments, you should get a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before you make more payments to creditors.

You may be wasting your money right now by making minimum payments on bills that don't go down after you make the payment, or you may be paying money to creditors that you will get rid of, instead of creditors that you must pay.

It is important to understand that thinking about filing bankruptcy, or even talking about it, is not the same as giving money to an attorney and actually having a docket number assigned by the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Even giving money to an attorney is not enough. The case actually has to be filed with the Clerk. It is then that the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code which protect you from creditor harassment, bill collectors, wage assignments and lawsuits come into effect.

Those provisions are briefly known as the "automatic stay" provisions. This protection is known as the automatic stay, because the Bankruptcy Code provides that all creditor action is automatically stopped, or stayed, when a petition is filed with the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. This "automatic stay" is truly automatic, and even if a creditor does not know a bankruptcy case has been filed, you are protected from their actions.

For instance, if money is taken out of our paycheck by a creditor after the date a bankruptcy petition has been filed, it must be put back as soon as you notify your payroll department that you were under the protection of the automatic stay provisions of the Bankruptcy Code at the time the money was deducted.

I routinely provide my clients with notices entitled "Automatic Stay", which state the language of the Code. I mail them to the client when the case is filed, so that the client can notify payroll, if necessary, or tell the docket number to any bill collector who calls. Sometimes clients get these in the mail, and even though we have discussed it thoroughly, they call up and say, "What are all these papers? Do you mean I have to notify my creditors? What am I paying you for?

I then explain again that this is for your benefit, so that you quickly have something in your hand to give to anyone who wants proof that you have filed a bankruptcy petition. Creditors and payroll departments will immediately stop any action if they know definitely that a bankruptcy has been filed.

Problem: Keith has a wage assignment from a finance company, and all his creditor cards are behind and bill collectors are calling him constantly.

The Peter Francis Geraci Chapter 7 or 13 Solution: The filing of any bankruptcy petition stops all creditor action. When Keith's bankruptcy case is filed, the wage assignment has to stop, and no one can even call him on the telephone.