Joseph Blaha Reports: A client came into the office distraught about a lawsuit. He was not sure how to handle the situation and had a lot on his mind. He had already talked to one lawyer about filing a Chapter 7, but he did not seem to get all of his questions answered. I let him speak for as long as he needed and let him ask all of his questions before we even looked at the paperwork. He wanted to know that he was not just a number on a file in some stranger's office. He was happy he chose us and we have a plan to file the case the same week of consultation.
David Lulkin Reports: The bankruptcy court was running three hours behind schedule. One of our clients was a disabled veteran who skipped his meds to drive to 341. I convinced the Trustee to hold his meeting early, letting him skip in line by over 2.5 hours so he could go home and take his meds.
Mariusz Zatorski Reports: A client was having a hard time taking his Credit Counseling because he is hearing-impaired and computer illiterate, so I helped him take the course on one of the computers in our office.
Laura Caputo Reports: I helped a client put a stop payment on an automatic withdrawal that a creditor was scheduled to deduct from her checking account. If we had not stopped the payment, she would have had to live off of $60 for the next two weeks until she received her next Social Security check.
Christine Kuhlman Reports: I helped an elderly client complete her loan modification packet for her mortgage company. I helped her complete missing information on her application, ensured all her requested documentation was in order, and that all signatures were completed. I then faxed it to her mortgage company on her behalf.
Tarek Khalil Reports: In discussing her expenses, I found out that a client does not have Medicaid insurance, and pays for medication out of pocket. I printed out an application for her to apply for Medicaid.
Shera Bucchianeri Reports: I printed out blank 1040’s and showed a client how to prepare his tax returns for the past six years. His tax preparer wanted to charge him $150 per year. I added all of his tax debt to the Chapter 13 plan.
Alexander George Reports: A client hadn't filed her 2014 taxes yet, but had her W-2’s with her. I printed off forms and walked her through the returns so we could get her case filed. The client was so thankful for my help, she said if I wasn't married already she would "snag you up."
Jordan Staleos Reports: An elderly client dropped her glasses in the parking lot, and the lens popped out onto the pavement. I went out and crawled around on the ground under cars until I found the lens! Client was able to see again and sign her paperwork.
Nicholas Tepeli Reports: Client came in with her young son. He was wearing a superman outfit. The office discussed super heroes with the young man, providing entertainment and distraction while his mom went through her consultation. When they first came in, he clearly wasn't pleased to be here versus at home having fun, but by the time the consultation was over he exclaimed, "But mommy, I'm not done coloring!" Attorneys Hernandez, Tepeli and Villegas are always willing to go above and beyond for our clients.
Nicholas Tepeli Reports: The 63rd St. office ordered a pizza for lunch to celebrate the 4th of July long weekend. Our patriotic feast arrived while we still had clients in the office. Rather than horde the pizza for ourselves, Attorneys Hernandez, Villegas and Tepeli had a mini pizza party with all in the office!
Ryan Fojo Reports: I emailed a client her Automatic Stay while talking on the phone. I stayed on the phone with her to make sure she got the email and offered any additional help. She thanked me and appreciated that I confirmed receipt of the email.
Robert Crowley Reports: While updating client contact info, a client mentioned she had lost her cell phone inside her house. I offered to call her cell from another phone, and as soon as I did so she heard it ringing under the couch.
Steven Camp Reports: Client brought her five-year-old and three-month-old daughters to her court date. Unfortunately, her Trustee does not allow children at his office. Attorney Steven Camp stepped up and was the rare dual attorney babysitter, offering finance counseling and children's fun. The client's meeting went smoothly, her children learned about leveraged buyouts, and Attorney Camp learned how many numbers was 52.
Tarek Khalil Reports: I helped a client file his 2014 tax returns in the office so we would have the documents we need to file his case.
Lisa Haley Reports: A client was nervous that she may have missed some hospital bills she incurred before filing a Chapter 7. I provided several Mendiola letters for her to give to any hospitals she forgot to include in her bankruptcy, and she was very thankful for this.
Kristin Beilke Reports: Our clients totaled their car in an accident while they were in a Chapter 13, and submitted a proposal to finance a new vehicle. However, a week before the motion was set, they found a new vehicle at slightly higher terms, which would normally require a brand new motion with another 14 days of notice. I presented the terms to the judge orally in court and argued the difference was de minimis. He agreed and granted the motion at the higher terms, getting the clients a better deal more quickly!
Briana Czajka Reports: Husband and Wife filed a joint Chapter 13. Three years into the case, the husband passed away from a massive heart attack. The wife could not afford to fund a Chapter 13 plan on her Social Security, so I filed a motion for hardship discharge. The motion for hardship discharge was granted, and the wife will not have to deal with the debts any longer.
John Sadler Reports: A client came in to review and sign her petition early one Saturday morning. Her creditors had been driving her mad with the constant calling and harassment. We were able to quickly review and update her petition and file it on the spot. She left the office with Automatic Stay in hand, in hand, and was looking forward to her weekend ahead of her without the worry and stress of creditor harassment.
Joseph D'Onofrio Reports: A client has bad knees, so I helped her out of her chair. I also helped her set a plan to get out from under a soon-to-be-repossessed cosigned car.
Kathryn Mackenzie Reports: One of our elderly clients was extremely nervous about trying to find the courthouse in Milwaukee. She hadn’t been to downtown Milwaukee in years, and didn't recognize any big landmarks around the courthouse. I printed out directions from her apartment to the courthouse using only city streets (she hates driving on the freeway), circled the handicapped parking spots and pointed out the handicapped accessible entrance. Now she feels comfortable getting to her hearing, and is going to drive by it later this week as a practice run.
Mariusz Zatorski Reports: Cl came to the office because she needed help taking her Debtor’s Education Course. She does not have a computer at home, and her local library wanted to charge her for using one of their computers, which she could not afford. I set her up at one of our computer stations to take her Debtor’s Education Course at www.PFGED.com. Cl was very appreciative.
Bridget Spears Reports: In the 52nd month of a 54-month Chapter 13 plan, the Trustee filed a Motion to Dismiss because our clients had failed to turn over a tax refund. I filed a Motion to Modify Plan to end the case since the creditors had already been paid their allotted amount. By turning over past years’ refunds, our clients had paid this amount well before their plan was scheduled to end. The court granted the Motion, and now Trustee has to now issue Discharge Order instead of Dismissal Order.
Rodney Geer Reports: One of our clients is a former drug addict trying to get his life back together. He was able to get his dad to help him come up with some money to file a case so he can get started. Paid our fee in full and with the help of Attorney John Sadler, we did a one-stop bankruptcy and his case is ready to be filed.
Alex Wilson Reports: A client had misplaced his tax return, so I went on the IRS’s website and requested copies of his returns be mailed directly to him.
Charles Kinzer Reports: A client fell behind on her mortgage payments before the court confirmed her Chapter 13 plan. Her mortgage company filed an objection because of the default and requested $800 in additional fees. However, because the plan had not been confirmed, there was no default under the plan. Further, although the client was behind, she had made sufficient payments to constitute adequate protection. As such, the motion to modify stay was actually baseless. Our client cured the default, and I got Judge Doyle to deny the mortgage company’s fees.
Sharon Hunt Reports: I wrote a letter to a client’s employer explaining why his court date was rescheduled through no fault of his own, and to make reasonable accommodation for him to appear at his next court date.
David Lulkin Reports: A client showed up four hours late for her court date. I sprinted over to 219 S Dearborn from our downtown office, and got the meeting done.
Ashley Chike Reports: A client needed to keep her tax refunds while in her Chapter 13. After reviewing the lower claims filed in her case, I convinced the court to remove the requirement to turn over tax refunds. Now the client gets to keep her tax refunds automatically each year!
Amanda Lester Reports: A client called in wanting to discuss his fears after filing his bankruptcy. His main concern was he didn't want to put himself in the same situation he was in before. I discussed the importance of taking the Debtor Education Course, and explained it offers a lot of valuable information that will help with the "what to do after bankruptcy". Client is on a low fixed income and struggles to take care of his disabled daughter. I talked about he could apply for Supplemental Security Income to help care of her. He felt much better after we discussed everything.
Thomas Barbour Reports: A client came straight to our office one morning after working the night shift. I set her up on an office computer to take her Credit Counseling, but she could barely keep her eyes open and I could tell she was struggling to get through the course. I took her into my office so we could go through the class together. She thanked me because she was running on no sleep.
Daniel Fasman Reports: During the consultation the client's son became hungry and started asking mom for food. The client was worried she will have to cut her consultation short since they came straight from the hospital and didn't have time to eat. Attorney Hernandez offered the client his sandwich while I found a protein bar and a banana for the hungry son who eagerly devoured food. They were both thankful and excited to get bankruptcy relief and satisfy their hunger at the same time.
Jason Kara Reports: A client had set up automatic payments with his creditors. The payments were to come out a few hours after his initial consultation, and he was on his way to work. We went on the office computer and he cancelled the automatic payments, saving him approximately $400 instantly!
Jason Shimotake Reports: The Debtor wanted to file but was concerned about her car, which was getting on in years. She wanted something more reliable so that she could care for her grandson better. I suggested that instead of rushing into a plan, go try to find something now. The current car had just a little equity and may give her the advantage to get herself in something more reliable before filing a case. Our firm always looks out for the client instead of just rushing into a case without taking into account the client's lifestyle.
Scott Greenwood Reports: I negotiated a lower interest rate for a vehicle payment with Springleaf Financial, down from 25% to 5%, saving the client a significant amount of money on her car payment once the Chapter 7 bankruptcy was filed.
Lisa Ellmaurer Reports: Our client has learning disability and was having a hard time completing an Order for Financial Disclosure for a state court matter that was due back to the creditor's attorney several days ago. I helped her review the form and made sure she filled it out correctly, even though the state court matter is separate from the bankruptcy and the debt from the suit will be included in her bankruptcy when we file her case in two weeks. Told her even better news once you send this back to the creditor's attorney, they'll learn that they cannot garnish you since you receive food stamps from the state. Client was relieved to have the form filled out, and happy to hear that she couldn't be garnished before her bankruptcy case is filed.
Jason Kara Reports: A creditor showed up at our client’s mandatory court date. Sensing that she was uneasy by the creditor appearing and again seeing the creditor in the hallway, I offered to walk the client out of the building and to her car. She accepted the offer.
Mariusz Zatorski Reports: Our client purchased a 2013 Chevy Malibu 2 months ago for almost $35,000 at 26% interest. I looked it up and discovered the market value is just over $14,000. Explained this to client and mentioned that we work with Motor World and they might be able to give her a much better deal after she received her discharge. Called Motor World at her next appointment and was told that they will get her a car for no money down, a significantly lower interest rate, a lower monthly payment and an overall cheaper car. At her request, they took our client’s contact information and will call her with financing details.
Michael Holsen Reports: A vehicle creditor continued to report late payments despite confirmation of our clients' Chapter 13 Plan. I found a decision by the same Judge in their case explaining exactly why this is illegal, and issued a demand letter to the creditor to remove the inaccurate credit information within 60 days or we will file a motion for sanctions.
Frank Hernandez Reports: A mother of two came into my office. It was obvious the children were giving her a hard time, and she wanted to leave after ten minutes out of frustration. I coordinated with the other attorneys present: Tarek Khalil entertained the children with coloring books and crayons, Lizette Villegas spoke with them and calmed them down, and I gave them peanut butter bars. The mother and her children left the office fully satisfied.
Christopher Hoffman Reports: I helped an elderly client carry her bags and documents out of the office and to her car.
Chad Garrapy Reports: Our client was really upset when he first came into office. His father raised him to believe that not paying your bills was an embarrassment and made you less of a man. I was able to sit and talk with him and show him that filing with relieve all the stress in his life. On the way out, he started sobbing and said he now knows he's doing the right thing, and cannot wait to be debt free.
Lizette Villegas Reports: A mother came in with 2 children. They were giving her a hard time, and she wanted to leave after 10 minutes in frustration. Attorney Tarek immediately notified Attorney Villegas, who promptly coordinated with Attorney Frank Hernandez. Attorney Tarek entertained the children with coloring books and crayons. Attorney Villegas spoke to them and calmed them down, while Attorney Hernandez gave them peanut butter bars. By the end of the consultation, mom and the children were fully satisfied.
Christopher Holoyda Reports: I negotiated with Amerinational Community (Habitat For Humanity's financing company) so that our client’s escrow surplus could be applied to her regular mortgage payments, allowing her to afford her Chapter 13 payment and regular expenses while her hours increase to full time.
Abraham Pinon Reports: Our client admitted that when he first came to Geraci Law he was depressed and not in a good frame of mind. He told Attorney Abraham Pinon that after speaking to him and hearing his view on his life struggles that he had a lot to be grateful for. He knows that the bankruptcy will give him a new lease on his financial life and that really makes him happy. Attorney Pinon told him that this is why he loves working at Geraci Law: we make a real, positive impact on every single client's life.
Brent Berning Reports: I helped our client fill out an application to mail off for state tax returns so she wouldn't have to go all the way to the Department of Revenue. This way, we'll have them in time for our next appointment together in one week.
Ann Kramer Reports: Our clients brought their 3- and 5-year-old boys with them for their first appointment. Before they left, I offered them each one of the doughnuts that Attorney Pinon’s client brought in for us. The clients really appreciated it; I told them the boys deserved it for being so good during the appointment.
Lacey Stier Reports: Our client’s 2-year-old became increasingly antsy during appointment. I happened to have some stickers in my bag from my nephew so I gave them to her. The little girl was thrilled and left happy with stickers all down her arms and legs.
Dale Riley Reports: Our client wanted to understand the mortgage company's proof of claim for her arrears. She had a previous Chapter 13 that paid a significant portion of her arrears and wanted to review the funds dollar for dollar, both from before the old case, during it and now how those funds have been applied in the new case. Forwarded several documents to the client so she could review with me and spent time walking her through the numbers so she understood where the mortgage company's numbers came from.
Zachary Price Reports: Our clients needed a late appointment because both worked, but they showed up to their appointment with all documents ready for filing. I went through the consultation and also reviewed their petition with them. I stayed late, over an hour past closing time to file their complex case. This will save their home and vehicle, as well as taking care of their tax debts.
Anthony Shull Reports: A client came into the office right before a big storm hit. I noticed that her windows were down before calling her back for her initial consultation. She ran out to close them right before it started to pour. After the consultation, I walked out with her and held her things while she opened her umbrella.
Kristin Schindler Reports: A client is concerned about a wage assignment she signed prior to hiring us. She fears it will prevent her from paying our fees to file her case. I provided her with a letter revoking the wage assignment that she can bring to her payroll. She was so relieved, she can file her case much sooner now that her creditors aren't taking money from her paycheck.
Wylie Mok Reports: A client walked into our Cicero Avenue office on the same day that the City of Chicago impounded his Audi due to parking tickets his sons incurred while driving the vehicle. The client said the Audi was his dream car and he had purchased the vehicle from a doctor who barely drove it earlier in the year. He paid the filing fee on the spot, took the credit counseling while I drafted his petition, and I filed his case in a few hours. The Debtor had his vehicle back the next day.
Jennifer Asbury Reports: A client came in to sign some paperwork for her Chapter 7 case. She was worried because the dealership where she had just picked out a car to purchase told her that the financing couldn't be finalized until she provided them with "Schedules." She had no idea what they meant, but I knew they were asking for amended Schedules I and J and a vehicle proposal sheet; I also knew that those items were only required for Chapter 13 cases. Therefore I called the dealership and explained to the salesperson that our client did not need Trustee approval. The client gave me a big hug as she left, saying I had been a huge help.
Paul Jensen Reports: I filed a Chapter 13 case on the same day our client came in for his first appointment so he could go to traffic court the next day to show the judge he was taking care of his Chicago parking tickets, and prevent a driver’s license suspension.
Mario Arreola Reports: This client went to a different bankruptcy lawyer and their advice was that they each file 13's, because had filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy too recently. But this young man with a young family needs relief NOW. He needs us to make Chapter 7 work, and we will. If, moving forward, his wife can't afford her car her no discharge bar is up next year. She can then file her own nice compromise Chapter 13. This hard-working father is paying child support for his daughter; therefore, even though their household income is high, he owes child support and priority taxes. And he works for the railroad company; thus greater pension deductions are allowed under the bankruptcy code. These inquiries were not made by they other firm, thus they only saw a household of 3, not 4 as I discovered. Chapter 7 is great for the client and his family, he receives immediate relief in a Chapter 7, not a drawn out 5 year Chapter 13 payment plan that the other lawyers advised.
Kyle Dallmann Reports: Client unfortunately fell behind on Trustee payments and had his case dismissed. Even though it was past the legal time period allowable we were able to convince the Judge and the Trustee to vacate the dismissal and get his case reinstated.
Andrew Nelson Reports: This client came in very worried because her credit union is suing her. I told her we can help her, drafted her petition & set up credit counseling while her daughter went to get coffee. She paid us enough to file, had her sign her petition & set her up on payments for the balance. Client was very relieved we were able to help her out so quickly. And then she had a nice hot cup of coffee waiting for her at the end.
Mark Levine Reports: Our client is considering vacating her current apartment & downsizing to something smaller and more affordable now that her boyfriend has left. She is at a loss as to where she should look, or how to find a decent place, and says her boyfriend did all that for them last time around so she's new at this sort of thing. I gave her some ideas and typed up a little roster for her of some of the sites she can use to find a nice safe place to live. I also showed her how she can check the crime statistics for whichever area she is interested in (she's a single woman so safety is a prime concern) and how to compare rent prices effectively. She was very appreciative that I would take the time to help her on something not directly related to our representation of her and says she will send us anyone she knows & will post a 5-star review for us on Google+ and Yelp.
Andrew Golanowski Reports: We were having trouble getting a reaffirmation agreement for a client’s vehicle. I contacted the attorney that typically represents the creditor in Wisconsin, received the reaffirmation that same day, and got our clients into the office to sign it. Discharge was scheduled to be entered in one week, so it was important to get it done quickly!
Jon Clasing Reports: Our client is a nice older woman who has difficulty walking and getting in and out of her chair. I made a point to see her as soon as she came into the office. After our meeting was complete, I secured her chair so it would not slide out from under her. I also helped her to get up out of her seat. As I walked her out the door, she thanked me and said I was a gentleman.
Adam Suchy Reports: A client came back to see us a month after getting a discharge in the Chapter 7 she filed with Geraci Law. She needed our help because her bank never approved a loan modification on her mortgage, and her house was scheduled to be sold at a Sheriff’s Sale in three days! She came back the next day with all the documents required for filing a Chapter 13. I filed her case less than a day later, preventing the sale and giving her five years to catch up on her mortgage.
Jason Nielson Reports: Our client’s vehicle was wrongly booted for pre filing parking tickets. I immediately called the City of Chicago with the client’s spouse on phone. The city had not received notice. Chicago’s representative coded the client’s driver's license for both our client and his non-filing spouse and the plate number. The boot was removed by 10PM.
Morgan Decker Reports: Attorney Morgan Decker had a consultation with her client, pulled his credit report and set up a plan to file. He was trying to rent a new house, needed over 500 credit score but everything the leasing office pulled came up under 500. The leasing company was pulling the report from Equifax and refused to pull any scores/reports from other credit bureaus. Had no place to stay and came in to see if we could provide a letter about the score we pulled when he was in the office with Morgan. Printed a letter and picture of the report Geraci Law pulled and it worked! His application went through and now he will have a place to stay! Was living with friends and even stayed in his car once so he was very glad to have a place to call his own now!
Timothy Stanton Reports: Client called because she received notice of a parking ticket dated before the filing of her case that had not been coded by the city as being part of her bankruptcy. I called the city and had them update their records to reflect that the parking ticket was being handled in her bankruptcy and to stop future notices for pre filing parking tickets.
Nathan Curtis Reports: Not a client yet but I instructed her to go get a better job and go back to court for increased child support; she did both and is now in much better shape financially than she was and now it is feasible for her to file.
Cecil Scruggs Reports: This client came in a little flustered and disappointed because she had forgot her paystubs and had lost her W2's so she hadn't been able to file her taxes which were the last two items we needed to finalize her case. I helped her create an online access to her employer so we could print out her paystubs. Then I helped her gain access to the IRS so that she could get another copy of her W2's and would be able to file her taxes. Client was very pleased we were able to solve both her problems and would be able to file her case.
David Lugardo Reports: Upon arrival, client was not sure she parked in a legal parking space. I walked with her down the block and found the curb where she had parked was, in fact painted yellow, but badly faded. Client wanted to leave the car there, but I told her she'd better move up. As she pulled out to move up a few spaces, Berwyn parking enforcement pulled into her space and began patrolling the block. We had a good laugh and she thanked me repeatedly.
Salvador Gutierrez Reports: Our client decided to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. He recently purchased a car and we are going to include the vehicle in his case. He owes Heritage Acceptance $10K for the vehicle. I quoted him a plan payment of $615 a month. He advised me that he did not understand why he has to pay $615 a month because his wife pays $680 a month in her Debt Stoppers plan. The client advised me that she owes almost three times as much on her car than him. I advised him that there could be multiple reasons why her plan payment is only $680 but there is only one way to find out. I asked her for her name and I pulled her Debt Stoppers plan. I discover that she has a 2008 Audi Q7 and owes $28,402 and Debt Stoppers proposed to pay Illiana Financial (the lienholder) $100 a month. I asked Mr. Wells if his wife was under the assumption that at the end of her plan she would receive the title to her vehicle. He told me yes. I explained that his Debt Stoppers plan was not actually going to pay this debt off through the case and she won’t get the title! I printed her plan and provided him a copy. He thanked multiple times and told me "I will see you next Monday and I will bring my wife with me".
Christopher Dyer Reports: This client came in right as the office was closing on a Friday evening to finalize his bankruptcy petition. As he needed to get his case filed as soon as possible, I stayed late and made sure it was ready to go that evening and his case was ready to be filed bright and early the next morning.
Felicia Petroff Reports: Our client was in an accident with her car, and it was deemed a total loss by insurance. The insurance company paid off the balance on the car to Chase, but Chase sent the overage to the trustee instead of sending it to our client so she could use it for a new car purchase. Our client was nearly in tears because she was so frustrated over the process of getting the funds back from the trustee. I called the trustee herself while she was in the office and asked if there was any way to expedite the return of the funds. Trustee was sympathetic, and said though her refund disbursement had been done the day before, she would be in the office the next day and could sign a refund check and get it sent out right away as long as we filed a plan to tell her to refund it to the client first. I filed the plan that night and the trustee sent the money back to the client the next day. I also submitted the car purchase approval request at the same time I filed the amended plan, and got client purchase approval the next day as well. She was ecstatic that she would be able to stop begging family and friends for rides!
Alex Wilson Reports: This client is going through a divorce and can't locate his tax returns. Went online for him to IRS.gov and requested copies be mailed to him directly.
Charles Kinzer Reports: Our client had an egregious 36% interest car loan with Springleaf. I told Springleaf we wouldn't even consider it on those terms, and after negotiation, they agreed to drop it to 12%, shaving four months off of the car note!
Lisa Haley Reports: 21 days have expired since this client’s vehicle was impounded and he must call for an extension to prevent the car being destroyed. Because his work hours are the same as Street and Sanitation, he asked if I could call in the morning on his behalf. I confirmed there would be another 30 days until the pound would sell or crush his vehicle and gave client a great peace of mind.
Christopher Holoyda Reports: I drafted our client’s plan and petition at their first appointment in order to get her lights back on as soon as possible.
Christopher Holoyda Reports: I stayed late to prepare a client’s case for filing so she can get back her repossessed vehicle as soon as possible.