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 someone else's name or posession

Chapter 16
What about the Credit Union?

Chapter 17
Co-Signers

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 #2 WHAT IS BANKRUPTCY

Bankruptcy is FORGIVENESS OF DEBT. Bankruptcy has its origins in the Old Testament of the Bible. Matthew 6:12 says: Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Deuteronomy says: at the end of the 7th year, thou shalt make a release, and it is called the Lord's release. That's why you can file Chapter 7, at the end of every 7th year. Bankruptcy is a good law, it's in your Bible. At Geraci Law, we would never do anything that offended the Bible.

Abraham Lincoln was our 16th president. Do you know that he was also a bankruptcy lawyer? In 1842 Lincoln filed more bankruptcies than anyone in town. Half his legal career involved lawsuits about debt. Bankruptcy law is as old as America. My great-great-grandfather, Francis A. Hoffmann, was a lawyer in Chicago just starting out in the 1840's, and knew Abraham Lincoln. Francis A. Hoffmann because the lieutenant governor of Illinois during the civil war. He was one of the founders of the Republican Party. I am the 4th generation of Illinois lawyer in my family. Anyone that looks down on bankruptcy law does not know their Bible, and does not know the U.S. Constitution.

Many of our founding fathers were concerned with freedom from debt, as well as other freedoms. They put BANKRUPTCY in the U.S. Constitution, Article III, Section 8.

So it is your right, in American, to use the Bankruptcy law as the Bible intended. Even if you don't care about the Bible or the U.S. Constitution, it does happen to be the law. Plenty of corporations file bankruptcy every day. Sports teams, movie stars, airlines, and ordinary people, about 1 Million times a year. President Obama practically told Chrysler and GM to file bankruptcy and reorganize.

The word "bankruptcy" is often misused. It has the common meaning of something wrong or immoral. That is not true. Bankruptcy is a very moral law that puts you on an even footing with people who have gotten you into debt by lending you money at interest. It does not give you any unfair advantage. No one plans to get into debt so that they can do a bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is simply a safety valve, so that people who cannot pay their debt without hardship have a way out.

If there were no bankruptcy laws, you would have to live with your debt forever. In most countries, that is what happens. The custom in Ethiopia is to chain the creditor and the borrower together, and let them work it out. I guess the idea is that they got each other into it, and it is up to them to get each other out of the situation! A client from Chile came into my office, and told me that in Chile, if you owe someone money, the rich person you owe simply gets the police or the military to come to your house and rob you of everything, or perhaps murder you. In the United States, it does not work like that. We have the best laws in the world.

Bankruptcy gets rid of bills. It is like a divorce from your credit cards. It is that simple. You can either discharge your debt immediately under Chapter 7 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code, or you can reorganize your debt, and pay it in lower installments over as long as 60 months, under Chapter 13 of the Code. These two "Chapters" are the ones that refer to individuals. Other "Chapters" are for corporations, farmers and railroads. Since I only represent individuals, the other Chapters are not dealt with in this book.

Bankruptcy is not the end. It is the beginning. A "Discharge" is issued after a judge has examined your situation. This means that all debts, which are not "exceptions" from discharge, are gone. Who pays them? No one. When most creditors lend money, they figure their rate of interest high enough so that any losses from bankruptcy are covered. By the way, only part of creditors' losses are for bankruptcy. The big lenders lose far more to fraud, to theft, and to people who never have enough integrity to deal with the situation honestly, and just disappear or hide from the creditors.

Bankruptcy is not the end. It is the beginning. A "Discharge" is issued after a judge has examined your situation. This means that all debts, which are not "exceptions" from discharge, are gone. Who pays them? No one. When most creditors lend money, they figure their rate of interest high enough so that any losses from bankruptcy are covered. By the way, only part of creditors' losses are for bankruptcy. The big lenders lose far more to fraud, to theft, and to people who never have enough integrity to deal with the situation honestly, and just disappear or hide from the creditors.

So, contrary to what you might have been told by your bartender, or by someone who knows nothing about it, bankruptcy is an honest law for honest people, passed by the United States Congress to give honest people a way out of debt.