The Complete Book on Bankruptcy by


Chapter 1
How to have a Stress-Free Bankruptcy

Chapter 2
What is Bankruptcy?

Chapter 3
What causes people to need Bankruptcy 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 someone else's name or possession

Chapter 16
What about the Credit Union?

Chapter 17

Chapter 18
What about my car?

Chapter 19
What about my House?

Chapter 20
When do creditors stop bothering me?

Chapter 21
Cross-collateralization agreements?

Chapter 22
Joint Accounts with parents

Chapter 23
When do I stop paying my creditors?

Chapter 24
Gas, Electric and Phone Bills

Chapter 25
Bankruptcy & Divorce, Alimony & Child Support

Chapter 26
What Bankruptcy won't solve

Chapter 27
Chapter 13 Debt Repayment 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 & 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 and Attorney Peter Francis Geraci, J.D.

Chapter 40
What Are Bankruptcy Infotapes?



When you open any kind of account at a bank or savings institution, or credit union, they will have you sign an agreement which gives them a right to take money out of any account you have, if you don't pay them on a loan as scheduled.

This means that if a bank repossesses a car and sells it for less than the remaining loan balance, they can take the money in your accounts at that bank without any warning.  If you are a joint owner of an account with a relative, they can offset their loss on your debt by taking money from your joint account with your relative.

In a bankruptcy situation, regardless of whether or not you are filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, or whether or not you are paying back a loan or getting rid of it, I recommend that you cease using that account, and move any deposits to another bank before filing your case.  This prevents trouble, because the bank that has the loan no longer has any deposits of yours to take an offset from.

When your paycheck is directly deposited, you should change the deposit instructions with your payroll deposit.  If you have a checking account, simply let the checks you have written go through, but do not put any more money in the account, and file your bankruptcy after your checks have cleared and the balance is as close to 0 as you can get it.  You can start using your new checking account without fear of offsets, because you have no loans at the new bank.  

Remember that cross-collateralization agreements extend to accounts on which you are a joint tenant.  If your mother put you as a joint tenant on her account for convenience, the bank may offset your default against that joint account, even though it is your mother's money and she had nothing to do with your loan, because that money is half yours by law.  (See the Chapter on "Joint Accounts with Parents.)

Problem: John has a savings deduction of $75 per payday going to a credit union he owes $2000 on a personal loan. He also has a checking account with the credit union. In his bankruptcy, he will be discharging his obligation on the loan. But, he signed a cross-collateralization and security agreement when he made the loan.

The Peter Francis Geraci Chapter 7 or 13 Solution: John has already given the credit union a secured interest in his savings, so he will lose what savings he has in an offset, but he certainly doesn't want the credit union to get his current paycheck. John opens a checking account at a bank near his house, changes his direct deposit instructions at payroll, and also instructs his payroll department in writing to stop automatically deducting $75.00 per payday for the credit union. He takes care of this before filing his bankruptcy.



© 2015 Peter Francis Geraci