Free Consultation

Call us right now. Or let us Call You!

(317) 769-2244
Fields marked with an * are required

Free Bankruptcy Consultation

Making Your Bankruptcy Consultation “Count”

Photo of pay record, bank statements, and lawsuits

Free Bankruptcy Consultation – If you make your bankruptcy consultation “count” for the most possible, drastic improvements to your financial life could quickly follow. It is important when you prepare for a bankruptcy consultation to keep a few things in mind.

Documentation of Your Finances Must Be Brought to the Consultation

It is important to bring proper documentation of your finances to the consultation for bankruptcy. Bring information such as your recent paycheck stubs, any lawsuits and aggressive collection letters, and your most recent tax return. You should also be ready to supply additional documentation after the bankruptcy consultation. Most bankruptcy attorneys will also require to take a copy of your driver’s license end Social Security card for verification purposes.

Disclose Everything to Your Attorney

It is extremely important for you to be completely honest. You must disclose everything to your bankruptcy attorney. Also, be prepared to fill out paperwork before the consultation that helps disclose all this information. By giving the attorney full and complete disclosure, he can see an accurate picture of your financial situation. This accurate picture will help him give appropriate advice for your situation.

Prepare to Act Decisively and Quickly After Your Bankruptcy Consultation

A bankruptcy consultation will only be beneficial if you decide to act quickly on the advice of the attorney. Many times people considering bankruptcy will seek council but will not act quickly on the advice given. Do not wait to file bankruptcy until you are absolutely forced into filing by a garnishment of your wages or other unbearable collection. Respond to the advice of your bankruptcy attorney quickly in order to get your fresh start as soon as possible.

Conclusion: A Bankruptcy Consultation Can Drastically Change Your Financial Life

If you are willing to act quickly and decisively on the advice of your bankruptcy attorney, then your life can change very quickly for the better. Prepare yourself before the bankruptcy consultation to put the effort in necessary to quickly respond to your deteriorating financial situation: make your bankruptcy “count.”

~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John F. Bymaster

 

Bankruptcy and Seniors

Should Seniors Consider Filing Bankruptcy?

Image of Elderly Couple stressed out about finances

Bankruptcy and Seniors is not uncommon.  Seniors (over the age of 65) file bankruptcy much more frequently than most people think. Bankruptcy can be a very powerful option for people of retirement age. Bankruptcy can be the tool that some seniors need for a rewarding retirement.

Bankruptcy and Seniors:  Seniors Commonly File Bankruptcy to Reduce Large Loads of Debt Before Retirement

Many people approaching retirement age have accumulated large amounts of debt that make retirement impossible. These same seniors may have abundant savings in 401(k)s or other retirement accounts, but do not want to deplete their only retirement savings to repay their debts. In order to make their budget possible, many seniors choose to file bankruptcy so that they will be able to live on their reduced retirement income.

Seniors Also File Bankruptcy After Retirement Because of Their Limited Budgets

The transition to fixed income can be difficult for many seniors who have made much higher levels of income in the past. This can cause spending levels that that do not match up to the senior’s new fixed income level. The senior will then incur large, unmanageable credit card or other debts that simply cannot be repaid at their new income level.

Seniors that find themselves saddled with large unsecured debts that they cannot repay may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. In order to stop aggressive collection, seniors many times turn to bankruptcy options in order to reestablish a budget that can be supported at their new fixed income level.

Seniors May Be “Judgment Proof” and May Not Need to File Bankruptcy

Seniors may be “judgment proof” which is basically a financial situation where creditors will never be able to collect on their debts. If you only receive Social Security income or other fixed incomes and do not own real estate, then there is a strong chance you could be judgment proof.

Although you may be a senior and judgment proof, some seniors still elect to file bankruptcy in order to eliminate collection efforts and to clean their credit. A judgment proof status can be very protective for those who really do not have money to pay back the creditors. However, this status does not prohibit your creditors from suing you or taking you to court which can be quite stressful and undesirable for many seniors.

Seniors Should Not Avoid Looking Into Bankruptcy Options

Seniors, perhaps more than anybody, should not avoid looking into bankruptcy options. Because many seniors are faced with fixed income, it may be very liberating for a senior to file bankruptcy in order to have a workable budget during their retirement. If you are a senior who is fighting an impossible debt load, you should contact a local bankruptcy attorney for a free consultation.

~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John F. Bymaster on Bankruptcy and Seniors

DEBT SETTLEMENT

The “DO’s” and “DON’T’s” of Debt Settlement

Couple stressed out and holding up a help sign

When it comes to debt settlement, there are universal “DO’s” and “DON’Ts” that apply to almost any debt situation. Debt settlement can be a powerful tool for recovering financially if you have the resources to make debt settlement offers. However, if you settle your debts without knowing these few important things, your settlement efforts may create unforeseen problems.

DOCUMENT YOUR DEBT SETTLEMENT

Arguably, the most important “Do” of Debt settlement is to document your settlement agreement. If you pay the creditor a lump sum to settle without documentation, it is possible that the creditors or a collection company could improperly attempt to collect on the rest of the debt in the future. Make sure to fully document the settlement as much as possible through a signed document by the creditor or some form of actual signed release. At a minimum, be sure to have a clear written expression of the settlement agreement. In addition, it is good to write on the bottom of the check and back of the check that the tendered payment is for full settlement and satisfaction of the debt. Such documentation paper trail could protect you in the future if your creditor mistakenly attempts to collect on the same debt in the future.

UNDERSTAND THE TAX CONSEQUENCES

When settling certain forms of debt, you can be liable for income tax on the forgiven portion of the debt. When counting the total cost of settlement for your debt, it is very important to factor in the possibility that taxes may be owed on the forgiven portion. If you do not factor this in to your settlement plans, your financial situation may become worse: you could acquire large, difficult to settle tax debt that cannot be discharged very easily in bankruptcy.

DO NOT EXHAUST YOUR ASSETS OR 401K’s: Know When It’s Better to File Bankruptcy

A huge “DON’T” when settling your debts is to exhaust all your resources. You do not want to exhaust all your resources and then still have debts that are unsettled. It can be dangerous to deplete large portions of your 401(k) or other savings when you settle your debts. If you cannot settle your debts in entirety with money to spare, it may be advisable to seek out bankruptcy options. If it is impossible to feasibly settle all your debts without depleting your 401(k), bankruptcy could be a much safer option for your financial future.

Seek professional advice

Professional advice of an attorney or other financial professional is usually affordable or free. It is very important to make a sound plan for settling your debts and a local attorney may be able to greatly assist you in the process. A local attorney may charge only $500-$2000 for settling your debts. It may be worth the extra money you pay in order to have less personal work and the peace of mind that your debts are within the hands of a professional. Remember, a local, trustworthy attorney or professional is generally a safer “bet” than a larger company or out-of-state operation.

DEBT SETTLEMENT CAN WORK BUT BE SURE TO CHECK OUT ALL THE OPTIONS

Remember, debt settlement can be a powerful solution to seemingly impossible situations. Remember that debt settlement is only the best option for certain situations where assets or cash is sufficiently available to make solid settlement offers. It is important to make sure that all options are considered before commencing attempts to settle your debts.

~John F. Bymaster, Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney

You Included My House and Car in the Bankruptcy?

Houseandcars

What Do You Mean? You Included My House and Car in the Bankruptcy?  Our clients frequently request that we do not include their house or car in their Indianapolis Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You can usually keep your house and cars when you file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Indianapolis. However, the bankruptcy system requires that everything that you own or anybody that you owe money to be included and listed your Indianapolis bankruptcy filing.

Why You Must Include Your House and Cars in Your Indianapolis Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

You must include your house and cars in your Indianapolis bankruptcy because the court must have an accurate picture of everything that you own. The Indianapolis Bankruptcy Court must be able to determine whether you have any non-exempt assets. Although almost all of our clients are able to keep their house and cars as long as they keep making the payments, the court must have full access to your financial information.

Including Your House or Car in Your Indianapolis Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Does Not Mean That You Will Lose Your House or Car During the Bankruptcy

Our office has “included” our clients house and cars in hundreds of Indianapolis Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings. In these cases are clients were able to keep their house and cars if they were able to continue making the payments. Therefore, perhaps a redefining of times is all that is in order. Instead of “not including your house and cars,” perhaps including the house and cars with the intent to retain them is a more accurate picture of the bankruptcy process.

Conclusion: You Must Disclose All of Your Property and Debts When You File Bankruptcy

Just because you must disclose all of your property and debts when you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Indianapolis, it does not necessarily mean that you will lose any of your property. In almost all of our cases, the Bankruptcy Trustee will allow our clients to keep their property because it is protected by Indiana’s bankruptcy exemptions.

Living Paycheck to Paycheck: Credit Cards are to Blame

Affordable bk

Living Paycheck to Paycheck: Credit Cards are to Blame.

Credit cards are one of the leading causes of why people in America are living paycheck to paycheck. Credit cards have greatly contributed over the last 30 years toward the mentality that leads to living paycheck to paycheck.

Credit cards: Spending Money Before You Receive It

Living paycheck to paycheck has always been a problem for people who have strapped budget due to their limited income potential. However, credit cards have greatly intensified this problem: it gives the ability for people to spend their money before they earned it. The very premise of a credit card is that anything can be purchased at any time without restriction. There is no loan approval process or any other hurdle toward spending instantly according to your desires.

Spending Money Before You Earn it Leads to a False Impression of Financial Realities

Because the premise of absolute financial freedom is planted in the mind by credit card usage, this generates a false financial reality. Families that could otherwise have very balanced budgets and sizable savings, are falsely led to believe that they can operate with large unnecessary monthly expenditures and absolutely no financial education or understanding. They have always been able to have anything they want and are preprogrammed to make large monthly payments on what ever they purchase. These payments are made into infinity with no plan for anything otherwise.

Credit Cards Destroy Normal Warning Signals: “We Are Fine Because We Are Doing What Everyone Else is Doing”

Normally this would send off huge danger signals such as you are wasting substantial portions of your income or are in imminent danger of losing everything you own because you have no equity in it.

However, because credit card usage destroys your true concept of financial reality, these signals are ignored or muted. To receive solace, the monthly payer looks around at his neighbors and sees that he has been doing similar things. In the monthly payer’s mind, there is no other financial alternative.

The Financial Alternative to Living Paycheck to Paycheck is Obvious: Dump the “Credit Card Mentality”

The financial alternative to the “credit card mentality” is extremely obvious: become financially savvy and live within your means. Just because you are able to live in a slightly elevated status because you over-leverage your life with credit cards and mortgage loans, does not mean that you have to instantly default to that very poor and self-destructive mentality.
File bankruptcy, acquire financial knowledge, and live according to reality instead of monthly-payment financial insanity.

Nothing is impossible: You can learn how to live on 30% of your income instead of 130% of your income. How much better would it be to live the same life-style on 30% of your income than 130%?

If you have solid income at this point of your life, take advantage of the time you have left. The alternative is to pay $100,000’s of “rent” to your credit card, mortgage, and other debt payments only to be left with nothing at the end of your working life.

Credit Card and mortgage companies want you to continue with some form of financial fantasy – as long as they can take your money. If you can bear to admit you’ve been taken and drop the credit company’s financial fantasy, you can finally break out of the system that has enslaved so many into the paycheck to paycheck trap.

If you need any help on rebuilding your financial status, give our office a call: we are here to help.

 

~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John F. Bymaster on Living Paycheck to Paycheck: Credit Cards are to Blame.