Monthly Archives: October 2013

Bankruptcy Reaffirmation Agreement

What is a bankruptcy reaffirmation agreement?

Reaffirmation Agreement

A reaffirmation agreement is an agreement between a debtor in a bankruptcy case and a creditor of that debtor. A reaffirmation agreement has the affect of binding the debtor to the reaffirmed obligations even after the entry of a bankruptcy discharge.  The bankruptcy information sheet offers an explanation for a reaffirmation agreement.  If a debtor does not enter into a reaffirmation agreement and the underlying debt is discharged in that debtor’s bankruptcy case, the creditor will have no recourse to the debtor personally if she later defaults on her obligation.  In the case of an automobile, a lender will still have its lien and be entitled to exercise its legal right to repossess the car but it will not have a right to demand further payments from the debtor.

Should I Sign a Reaffirmation Agreement?

Debtors often ask, should I sign a reaffirmation agreement?  The answer is, it depends.

In the case of a vehicle where the debtor is current on payments prior to the filing of a chapter 7 case, it often makes sense to simply retain the vehicle and continue to pay.  In other cases, the secured creditor may offer more favorable terms to entice the debtor into reaffirming the obligation.  A reduction in interest or principal might be sufficient incentive to enter into a reaffirmation agreement.

Will the Bankruptcy Court Approve a Reaffirmation Agreement?

Courts are required to review reaffirmation agreements when the presumption of undue hardship arises.  Despite the presence of the presumption of undue hardship, a bankruptcy court might still enter the reaffirmation order if a debtor can demonstrate good cause to enter the order.  For example, if a debtor has a good deal of equity in the collateral, if friends or family have committed to making contributions to the debtor for the payments, if the creditor has offered more favorable terms or if the remaining payments are few, a court might enter a order approving a reaffirmation agreement notwithstanding the presence of the presumption of undue hardship.

Debtors considering whether to reaffirm an obligation should consider the matter carefully after a thorough discussion of the matter with a Pittsburgh Bankruptcy Lawyer.

(412) 925-8194

We are a debt relief agency.  We help people file for relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Do I need a bankruptcy lawyer?

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Pittsburgh consumers considering bankruptcy often wonder whether they can save money by filing a bankruptcy case without a lawyer.  While people can represent themselves in any legal proceeding, it’s almost always false economy to “save money” by filing your bankruptcy case without an attorney.  If your financial affairs are very simple and you are a detail-oriented person with excellent records, a do-it-yourself kit could work.

 

Even small mistakes can have big consequences in a bankruptcy case.  Fail to take either of the required debt counseling courses within the timeframes required by the United States Bankruptcy Code and your case could be dismissed or you could be denied a bankruptcy discharge.  If you fail to properly notify your creditors of your bankruptcy case, you could find that debts you believed would be discharged, survive your bankruptcy case.  If you’re attempting to save your house from foreclosure or are self employed, the process takes on new layers of complexity such that many practicing bankruptcy lawyers will refer you to another lawyer to handle the matter.

 

If you’re considering filing a bankruptcy case, talk to an experienced Pittsburgh bankruptcy attorney.  With a free consultation and no obligation, there’s no reason not to get professional advice.

 

-Robleto Law, PLLC

(412) 925-8194

239 Fourth Ave. #1619

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Credit Card Debt and Bankruptcy

 

Pittsburgh bankruptcy attorneys have witnessed shocking stories of credit card debt.  Many people are still paying finance charges on the tacos they bought a decade ago.  Others find themselves struggling to pay the minimum payments on their accounts from month to month and never see their balances decrease.  Often, people with significant credit card debt find it difficult to accomplish important financial goals.  They are unable to adequately prepare for retirement.  Many are never able to purchase their own homes.

 

But there is good news!  Under the United States Bankruptcy Code, most individual consumers can have their credit card debt discharged.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides a means through which consumers can fully and fairly report their assets and liabilities, income and expenses, which a bankruptcy trustee will review.  Debtors must also comply with the debtor education requirements and attend a meeting of creditors under section 341 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

 

In Pittsburgh, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania has adopted local rules and forms.  An experienced Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer can guide you through the process.  Reach out to a lawyer today for a free initial consultation.

 

(412) 925-8194

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy process in Pittsburgh for most individuals is simple.  It begins with a discussion with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.  After that meeting, you will provide certain documents and information to your lawyer to assist in the drafting of your bankruptcy schedules, statement of financial affairs and related documents.  You must carefully those documents to ensure that they are complete and accurate and, when you are satisfied that they are, you will sign them.  Prior to filing, you must take a brief credit counseling course with an approved provider and obtain a certificate of credit counseling.

 

After your case is filed, you must attend a first meeting of creditors.  At that meeting, a Chapter 7 Trustee will ask you a series of questions regarding your schedules and financial matters.  Additionally, creditors may appear and ask you questions.  In many cases, no creditors appear.  Within 60 days from the first date set for the meeting of creditors, you must take a second, debtor education course.  If no issues arise, that will be your last order of business and you will await your discharge and you will get your fresh start without ever setting foot inside a Bankruptcy Court.