Many individuals struggling with debt often do not explore the option of seeking financial relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code out of fear of losing a job or discriminatory treatment by an employer.
We compiled this practical blog to answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about bankruptcy.
Should I file for bankruptcy?
The daily challenges of operating a business in a competitive marketplace as a sole proprietor can become overwhelming. If you are a sole proprietor with more debt than you can comfortably handle, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy might offer you the debt relief needed to put things back in order.
The Bankruptcy Court of the Northern District of Illinois released an important message this week regarding a new telephone scam. The new scam, called “Caller ID Spoofing”, involves a scammer using an attorney’s phone number to call her or his clients asking for additional payments for creditors and directing the client to call a toll-free number to make the payments. Because this scam will list an attorney’s legitimate office number on caller ID, it may be difficult or impossible for a client to not be victimized. It is imperative that clients receive information about the scam, understand the payment process for creditors in bankruptcies. It also is necessary for attorneys to notify their clients about the spoofing scam. If you believe you have been victimized by Caller ID Spoofing, you should file a complaint with the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center www.ic3.gov.
Verify your debt before paying any collection agency: There are many scam artists trying to collect non existent debts. They phone, they text, they email, and they use regular mail. Before you send money to a collection agency there a few simple steps you should take to obtain additional information about the debt to ensure that you are not being scammed.
If you are contacted by phone:
If they are unwilling to do these things, the legitimacy of the caller is in serious doubt.
If you are contacted by mail, email or text: make sure the letter indicates the amount of the debt, name of the original creditor, and information on how you can dispute the bill and/or request additional information. If these elements are missing or they are unwilling to provide the information, then the legitimacy of the collector is in doubt.
Remember that you are always entitled to receive information about the original creditor and amount owed after requesting that information in writing from the collection agency. That is an easy way to identify imposters.
For more information on debt collection and consumer protections see:
Legal advertisement. The content of this blog is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. McKenna Storer is not liable for any actions taken on the information provided and is not liable for any errors or omissions. McKenna Storer is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code.
If you currently are employed but struggling to make payments on your bills, then you have two options. The first is a debt consolidation program. Debt consolidation works best for total debt that is less than $5,000 and it is important to find a reputable, nonprofit credit counseling agency for assistance. If your debt exceeds $5,000 then a Chapter 13 repayment plan may be a great option for you.
Unlike debt consolidation programs, a Chapter 13 gives you the protection of the bankruptcy laws that requires all creditors to stop contacting you, stops any pending lawsuits, lowers interest rates on credit card debt and may even lower interest rates on car loans. The bankruptcy laws may even allow you to dispose of a second or third mortgage if your home is over financed. Debt consolidation programs cannot offer these benefits and your creditors may still contact you, and even file a lawsuit against while you are making regular payments under the program. Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will make monthly payments to a trustee who will pay your creditors for you. Consult an experienced Chapter 13 attorney to decide what options are best for you.
This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. McKenna Storer is not liable for any actions taken on the information provided and is not liable for any errors or omissions.