Geraci Law Attorney David Lulkin Reports: A garnishment continued over a month post-filing, despite our informing payroll and client informing payroll multiple times. I contacted ADP Garnishment Services directly, stopped the garnishment and initiated refund.
Geraci Law Attorney Andrew Golanowski Reports: Our clients got into a car accident and their insurance company mistakenly mailed a check for the overage to the Trustee. I caught the mistake before the Trustee had distributed the funds and had the money sent back to our clients.
Geraci Law Attorney Mariusz Zatorski Reports: A Chapter 7 client came in to the office nervous because he received a Motion to Lift Automatic Stay by his mortgage company. He was afraid that he is losing his house and that he has to go to court. I explained the Motion to him and told him that he does not have to appear. However, if he truly wants to keep his house, he has to cure his mortgage arrears and make ongoing monthly payments. The client said he will be able to cure all the arrears in two weeks. He thanked me for my time and explanation and walked out the office a much calmer and happier man.
Geraci Law Attorney David Kosk Reports: A client was worried that he would get hit with a wage assignment for a payday loan after filing. His payroll department was slow and out of state, so he worried that sending a fax. Budget is very tight because of two children with developmental issues. I called his payroll department twice and spoke to a supervisor to guarantee the wage assignment will not start.
Geraci Law Attorney Kathryn Mackenzie Reports: A client bought a new debit card to make payments going forward, but she could not figure out how to activate it. I called the number on the card and activated the card for him. The client was really happy that we were able to help him out.
Geraci Law Attorney John Sadler Reports: A client came to her consultation with her husband. She had moved here from Korea years ago. Where she is from, not paying your debts is socially taboo, and she was very emotional about filing bankruptcy. Her debts were leading to a lot of stress on her marriage, and she finally realized that even though she did not want to file bankruptcy, it was something that she had to do. I picked up on this right away, and talked her through the process, about life in Korea vs life here, and helped her realize that she should not be ashamed of what she was doing. By the time we wrapped up, she was so excited to file this case, she could hardly wait – they were uploading NTF docs to client corner the very next day!
Geraci Law Attorney Kyle Dallmann Reports: I worked out a repayment agreement for clients who fell behind on mortgage while in their Chapter 13.
Geraci Law Attorney Jason Kara Reports: A Chapter 7 client owned a house worth approximately $150,000. The client told me there was only one mortgage with balance of $90,000. If these numbers were accurate, there would be exposed equity in his house. He had purchased his home in 2011 for $140,000 with a 30 year mortgage note, and I knew there was no way he could have paid his mortgage down by $50,000 in just five years. I went to county recorder website and found there was a loan mod last year and HUD paid $40,000 down on mortgage and in exchange HUD now has a $40,000 mortgage due in 2044. The client was unaware of this. At first glance there was equity in the property, but some common sense and detective work showed otherwise.
Geraci Law Attorney Lavita Ball Reports: A Chapter 13 client was stressed out from financial cost of the bankruptcy, child support, and spousal support during pending divorce. His doctor threatened to put him on medical leave if he didn't figure out a way to reduce the stress. He came to see me to see what I could do to help. I offered to convert his case to a Chapter 7, and filed the conversion on the spot. The client gave me a hug and has said numerous times he can’t thank us enough for just listening, caring and helping. He is a US Steel Union rep who refers his members to us, and just offered to pay estranged wife’s attorney fees!
Geraci Law Attorney Ann Kramer Reports: A client received a phone call from a pay day lender after case filing. She got nervous and gave them her debit card number. After she hung up with them, she emailed me and told me about it. I called the pay day lender and got them to stop the deduction from coming out of her account immediately.
Geraci Law Attorney Chad Garrapy Reports: A client always comes to the office with her elderly friend who drives client to all of her appointments. Both walk with a cane so I helped each out to the car. I commented on the fact they had matching floral patterns on their canes and client told me she knew a guy who could get me the same pattern if I ever needed walking assistance!
Geraci Law Attorney Steven Camp Reports: A client came in to sign his petition without any documents and before he had taken his Credit Counseling. I got him on the phone with Hananwill so he could take the Credit Counseling immediately, while I navigated his email inbox to print all his required paystubs and drafted an affidavit for his tax returns so that he could file immediately.
Geraci Law Attorney Nathan Curtis Reports: A client used a substandard tax preparer because she wanted to file before the deadline and this was the only place she could find. She expected to get a tax refund. I told her if that is the case, there is NO penalty for filing late, and she would be better off filing late and making sure it is done right rather than trying to get it filed fast. She thanked me for going outside the scope of her bankruptcy and giving her good advice.
Geraci Law Attorney Christine Kuhlman Reports: An elderly client on a fixed income was concerned about $3,000 in tollway violations. He wanted to file Chapter 7, but was worried he would not be able to afford a payment plan for the tollway violations that he could not discharge in the Chapter 7. So, we called the tollway together in the office and it turned out that since he was an I pass holder, the actual amount he had to pay to clear up his violations was only $269. He paid part of it over the phone, and plans to pay the other part in one week. He said I made his day and was very grateful for my help.
Geraci Law Attorney Alex Wilson Reports: Our client's daughter co signed with her parents on a car loan. The car was being paid by the daughter and not the parents, who filed for bankruptcy. The credit reporting agency is reporting on the daughter's credit report that she filed bankruptcy and that the car was included in the bankruptcy. She didn't want the negative impact of having this vehicle listed in bankruptcy effecting her credit report and score. I explained the steps she needed to take to clear this mark from her credit report so that it wouldn't impact her.
Geraci Law Attorney Wylie Mok Reports: Debtor has never had a checking account because he doesn't trust banks, but is always scared to carry cash around. I helped him look up a few pre paid cards that he could purchase at Walgreen's and then I helped him set up the account. Now he doesn't have hide his money at home and doesn't have to worry about carrying cash on him.
Geraci Law Attorney Paul Jensen Reports: I filed a case for a client same day as her car was booted to keep the city from towing her vehicle.
Geraci Law Attorney Felicia Petroff Reports: A client brought a friend to her court date for moral support. The friend was supposed to bring her phone to call their ride to pick them up after the hearing, but she forgot it. I told them not a problem, they can use my phone to call their ride. This client is a big hugger (she hugged two of us when she signed her petition), so she thanked me and gave me another hug on her way out.
Geraci Law Attorney Jennifer Asbury Reports: Client has had a rough couple of months. Among other things, she was unexpectedly laid off from her job after eight years on the job. We made the bankruptcy process as smooth as possible for her, and that included making sure that her reaffirmation agreement got filed timely. Unfortunately, her mortgage company managed to sign for and then lose her signed reaffirmation agreement. So I got her into the office to sign it again and sent it directly to the creditor. The reaffirmation was filed just a couple of days later. She was very grateful that it was not more of a hassle.
Geraci Law Attorney Daniel Fasman Reports: Before her court date, I called a client to remind her that she needed to bring her Social Security card or a W-2. She couldn't find her Social Security card, but remembered to bring a W-2 and trustee held the meeting. The client was extremely thankful that our office prepared her for her court date.
Geraci Law Attorney Scott Greenwood Reports: After filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy I successfully negotiated vehicle loan interest rate down from 24.9% to 17.9%, saving the client hundreds of dollars over the life of a loan.
Geraci Law Attorney Brent Berning Reports: I helped a client pull information from the Wisconsin DMV so he would know how to reinstate his license and pay off a small ticket that he had. He is now eligible to reinstate his license after years of suspension!
Geraci Law Attorney Megan Hayes Reports: My client forgot to bring his Social Security card to his court date. Because our office provides me with a laptop in court, I was able to open his file and show the Trustee our color scanned image of his Social Security card. The Trustee agreed to hold the meeting and my client was so thankful that he didn't have to come back another day!
Geraci Law Attorney Cecil Scruggs Reports: Our client came in worried because his son's high school was refusing to provide his transcript to his college university, and without that transcript the college would not allow him to start the spring semester. We filed the case in a day, and although the high school initially refused to release the transcript, after multiple calls from our office, they did eventually release the transcript which allowed the client's son to start his spring semester on time.
Geraci Law Attorney Morgan Decker Reports: Client came in after getting himself in over his head with motorcycle and car loans after his Chapter 7. His credit was improved and he thought he deserved a Harley and other "toys." He felt very ashamed and guilty about needing help for a second time, but I took the time to listen to his story and let him know people make mistakes and need some help even if they make bad decisions. He was very glad he came back to us to help him consolidate his debts. We filed his case within a week so he can get some relief and sleep easy knowing he finally had it all under control.
Geraci Law Attorney Joseph Blaha Reports: I helped her on the sidewalk where there was some fresh snow. She is going to have her sister call us too because she felt very good about our initial meeting, and said, "I can finally sleep at night."
Geraci Law Attorney Joseph D'Onofrio Reports: The client had a court date at 9 am the next day and needed to file his case quickly. He came in at 5 pm and I had his case filed within the hour.
Geraci Law Attorney Bridget Spears Reports: A client was extremely nervous at his first meeting of creditors. I sat down and talked with him about non bankruptcy topics (weather, Christmas, Colts, etc.) to put him at ease. Then I had the client sit in the back so he could watch a few meetings. By the time the Trustee called the client’s name, he was at ease and answered the questions like a pro.
Geraci Law Attorney Kathryn Mackenzie Reports: Our clients' vehicle was repossessed before filing and was being held in Milwaukee. On the same day I filed their case, the repo agency sent the vehicle to their auction in Chicago. I contacted the creditor, repo agency, and auction site, who not only released the vehicle the same day, but said they would ship the vehicle back to the clients' house so they would not have to travel out of state to retrieve it.
Geraci Law Attorney Scott Greenwood Reports: A "reaffirmation agreement" in a Chapter 7 allows the client to take on liability for a debt after the bankruptcy is over. Taking on liability for a debt is generally not a good idea unless the upsides outweigh the down. One upside to signing a reaffirmation agreement is that most creditors require them if they are to continue reporting payments as being made to the credit reporting agencies. This helps a client rebuild credit after bankruptcy. In this case I spoke directly with the creditor and he ultimately agreed to continue reporting payments and said he would not require a reaffirmation agreement to do so. This is significant because the client now has all the benefits of having signed the document without the added liability that comes with it.
Geraci Law Attorney Adam Suchy Reports: A client came to our office in a taxi because her car wouldn't start in the cold. When her appointment was over I gave her a ride home so she didn't have to pay for another ride.
Geraci Law Attorney Mark Levine Reports: A client dropped by the office without an appointment. She asked me to explain things to her husband, who was waiting outside in the car because he is very ill and wheelchair-bound. It was 10 degrees outside, so I bundled up and spent five minutes standing in the parking lot patiently answering his questions.
Geraci Law Attorney Kristin Schindler Reports: Our clients have been paying a debt consolidation company for almost 5 years and they are still in over their heads. The monthly payments caused them to get in debt again because they couldn't afford it. I drafted a letter cancelling the service and requested a refund of any fees.
Geraci Law Attorney Brent Berning Reports: I tracked down money that was garnished from a client’s wages after he filed. I got the client a refund of $300 and he was super grateful.
Geraci Law Attorney Jonathan Parker Reports: A prospective client with only $3,000 in debt came in for a consultation because he got a letter from a different bankruptcy law firm stating he had been sued for $2,000. He had done a chapter 7 with us in 1991 so he called us right away. Since he only has $3,000 in debt, he does not need – and should not – file a bankruptcy. I called the creditor’s attorney and both settled the lawsuit and got a payment plan for him that he can afford.
Geraci Law Attorney Timothy Stanton Reports: A client showed up to her court date with her infant child. The Trustee's policy is that they do not allow children. I spoke to the hearing officer because the child was asleep and the hearing officer agreed to hold the meeting quickly. The meeting was held, our client did not have to reschedule her meeting, and her child slept through the whole thing.
Geraci Law Attorney Sharon Hunt Reports: Clients were frustrated with their auto loan company because they would not negotiate the interest rate on their car, which was over 20%. I advised clients to get a replacement vehicle at better terms, then to tell the finance company to come get their lame, over-financed car.
Geraci Law Attorney Dale Riley Reports: A client came in to drop off a payment for her Trustee. She was very anxious because she'd fallen behind on her payments and was worried about her case completing properly. I took the time to explain why her case would be fine and how the reason that she hired us is so that we can do her worrying for her. She wanted to talk about what initially got her into debt: Bills at the vet for her pets. We spent a few minutes talking about her favorite dog breeds and how she initially became interested in animals. Once she left she wasn't worried about her case anymore and thanked me for taking the time to take her mind off her worries.
Geraci Law Attorney Marc Affolter Reports: Older single female came in to see me for help with her debt. She told me she has been struggling with the credit cards for the past year but her daughter kept telling her not to file, so she kept trying to keep up with the payments. She is on a fixed income and even said that so much of her SSI check is going to her credit cards that she can't afford to eat properly, and she has lost over 50 pounds in the last few months! After I told her how wrong her daughter was and how easily we can help her take care of her debt, she started crying tears of joy. As we were walking out she said she feels like I just gave her the best news that she's ever gotten in her ENTIRE LIFE, and she's 79 years old! Just another day in the office!
Geraci Law Attorney Kristin Beilke Reports: Our Chapter 13 clients are nearing the end of their 36 month plan. The trustee filed a motion to dismiss for default because the clients thought they had made all their payments. After reviewing the file, I discovered our clients were right! The trustee had miscalculated. I filed a motion to correct the calculation, the clients have met the plan base and the case will soon discharge! We know to not blindly trust the trustee or her math, and make sure clients do not pay in more than what they are required to pay.