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

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 #10 What does bankruptcy cost?

Chapter 13. You can hire Geraci Law with NO money down to prepare your Chapter 13 and file in as little as 1 day. You just pay the $310 Court Cost to file.

Attorney Fees are set by court rule. Geraci Law gets paid out of your Chapter 13 payment, the same as an inexperienced lawyer. So why pay the same and not get the name?. Fees are included in your Chapter 13 debt repayment plan. They are between $3500 and $4500 depending on where you live. Does that sound like a lot? Yes if you have to pay it up front. No, if you don’t. And you don’t.

Because Geraci Law likes to pay creditors as little as you can in a Chapter 13, we can often save you $3500 that you don’t pay creditors, by doing things like making sure you don’t have to turn over your income tax refund every year. By making sure your case succeeds. Did you know that Geraci Law has the highest rate of success based on the number of cases filed? Much higher. So if you start a Chapter 13 with Geraci Law, not only are ALL Geraci Law Chapter 13’s approved by the Court (as long as you make the payments), but they have a much higher chance of success.

Inexperienced lawyers who file Chapter 13’s often don’t even show up in court, they hire “coverage attorneys” for $50 to attend. OMG. You’ve never met them, they don’t know anything about your case, this is not good.

Chapter 7. You can hire Geraci Law “no money down” and make payments until your documents are ready to file in Court. If you qualify, you can file in Court when you have paid as little as $900 to $1200.

After filing, we usually advance your court cost of $335, and ask you to repay us, as well as pay for the next 4 months of work until your case is discharged. Usually that is $200 to $300 a month. Then you are done.

What most “no-name” attorneys do to compete is either file your case with $1800 after filing, or tell you that the whole fee is only $1200 or $1500, and then pay $50 to send a “stand-in” or “coverage counsel” to court with you. Geraci Law thinks that is a bad practice, but if that is what you want, you can save a couple hundred.

Another trick is to come up with extra costs for no reason, or even worse, the “no money down” lawyer may sell your contract to a loan company! Then you start getting bill collectors calling you! If you can’t afford $900 to file, you may be tempted to go to a “no money down” Chapter 7 lawyer and pay the same as you would pay at Geraci Law. Or even worse, you may be tempted to “go low” and find a solo practitioner who will give you a super-low price like $800 plus $335 before filing. That is a fee from 1985. Many times this is a symptom of a lawyer who is “on the way out”, but there is someone for everyone.

Anyone can come up with $900 or $1000 to put down on a Chapter 7, and pay the rest over time. Anyone can come up with $335 to file a Chapter 13, and pay the rest in with their Chapter 13 payment.

Every lawyer charges exactly the same for Chapter 13, so don't bother shopping for fees for Chapter 13. Why? In almost every court, the court rules provide for a standard fee for all services. So, it's not the fee that you use to pick out an attorney.

Same with Chapter 7. Some people think everyone with a law license is the same. That's why the jails are full. Lots of people who don't know how to pick a decent attorney. People who file bankruptcy often have no confidence in themselves or their family or their budgets, and panic! They think, "I have to pay a big fee all at once and I have no money".

If you panic, you might call every lawyer who advertises bankruptcy and say "How much is a bankruptcy"? If you actually get an answer to that, here is who you might probably be are talking to:

A lawyer who got fired or could not work with anyone so he paid $500 for a website design. He rents a desk in an office center, and has no employees, works from his cell phone, returns his calls you leave on voice mail while he is driving from traffic court to a real estate closing to a bankruptcy court meeting, the only 3 cases he has this week. "I will do your case for $800 come on in" he says. You say "don't you want to know anything about me or what is involved before you tell me $800?" He says, "no, come on in, bring your money"

You show up and sure enough, it's either a rented desk in "Armstrong Office Suites", or it smells funny and not very professional. He is late. So you wait, he shows up and says "sorry, I was in Court" and brings you into his office. The place is a mess. He actually has a fax machine on his desk.

"Did you bring the $800?" he says. "Don't you want to know anything about me or what is involved before you tell me $800?" you say for the 2nd time. (Oh, you also had to wait a week before he could "fit you in".)

Anyway, he then tells you that instead of $800, because you have a house and car, he meant $800 to file, plus the $335 court cost, and there will be additional costs if "anything goes wrong."

You say, "whaaat? What do you mean, if anything goes wrong?" He says, "don't worry, usually nothing usually wrong"! So much for the "UNKNOWN ATTORNEY". But, if he gets your $800, he at least has his rent for the month.

I have found that there is very little difference in attorney's fees. You can't save more than a couple hundred dollars between lawyers' fees for the same type of case. Some people like cheap doctors, and some people like cheap food. Some people pick attorneys by a $100 difference in price, not realizing that one deal your attorney makes can save or cost you thousands.

So, the cheapest lawyer in town is not necessarily the best. In other words, go for experience, not price, because there is not much difference in fees for consumer bankruptcies, but there is a big difference in the quality of the advice and service.

For instance, let's say that 5 years later, a bill collector calls and says you left him off your petition, and he wants to be paid. Will you be able to call your attorney who did the Chapter 7, for advice, or will the telephone be disconnected? If it is Geraci Law, yes you can. All your records are electronic. No voice mail either. Before you hire an attorney, see how they answer the phone.

In my opinion, anyone "shopping for fees" for a bankruptcy attorney, is not thinking clearly. If you can clear $10,000 in debt, tax free for $1500, it is a bargain. 10 payments of $150 or even $200 is a bargain.

Chapter 13 cases are even more of a bargain. In almost every state, the attorney fee is exactly the same. Most Chapter 13 cases get filed "no money down", because it's a repayment plan. Your attorney gets paid from your Chapter 13 payment, which takes care of attorney fees and all debt. Your Chapter 13 payment could be as low as $120 bi-weekly, or more depending on what debt you are paying back.

Geraci Law represents people on Social Security with low income, and people making over $100,000 a year. Anyone quoting the same fee for any case, on the phone, may be engaging in "bait and switch" tactics. But, if you are really were just looking for the cheapest lawyer in town, sadly for you, there are some poor lawyers at the bottom of their career that will work for free. You kind of get what you pay for.

Geraci Law is the largest filer of bankruptcies in the 3 state area of Illinois Indiana and Wisconsin, and judging by our 20,000 reviews in the last 3 years, we probably have the happiest clients, and about the same fees, when you get done, as the “all-by-myself” attorneys.

Lawyers that claim to be "cheap" can often end up costing you more! Beware of "cheap fee quotes on the phone"

In most Chapter 13 cases, you are saving a lot of money on interest, so the cost is less than paying the creditors at their contract rate of interest. However, Chapter 7 cases are usually cheaper than Chapter 13 cases in terms of total cost. Many "cheap" lawyers don't know the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, so if you go there, you won't know either.

At Geraci Law, we get a lot of people who have been elsewhere and are unhappy. Read our reviews. Some people focus on the attorney's fee in choosing an attorney. My office gets calls from about a hundred people a year who have had Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 cases goofed up because they tried to save $100 on attorney fees.

Sometimes, in fact, regularly, we tell people NOT to file bankruptcy. That is why we have never "lost" a house or had any real "trouble". So, one cost of a bankruptcy might be getting bad advice or bad representation by your attorney. The attorney's fee doesn't matter, since you can't save much from one attorney to another.

So, bankruptcy is pretty cheap. If you had $20,000 to pay your creditors, you'd probably give it to them. If you could settle all your debt for $5000, you would. So why try to beat up your lawyer before you have all the facts in front of, by calling around to unknown lawyers to get them to tell you something on the phone? No smart lawyer will give you any real advice on the phone, much less quote you a firm fee for something they know nothing about.

Always get a free in office consultation. If you really want the cheapest lawyer in town, then go to the one who tells you $500 on the phone, and pray that you will be happy! You get what you pay for. At Geraci Law, we work with almost everyone, but $500 was a fee in 1975, not 40 years later in 2015. Every year, one of the "cheap" bankruptcy lawyers gets indicted or closes up, so watch out who you think is giving you a "cheap price". The so-called "largest bankruptcy firm in the world", "Macey & Aleman Legal Helpers" closed up suddenly in 2013 and did not refund fees to clients, who then filed claims in its bankruptcy for the $1400 or whatever fee they lost when the place shut its doors.