A study was released today by Columbia University, the University of Chicago, and Washington University in St. Louis has suggested that there will be 200,000 to one million debtors who will be unable to afford bankruptcy services this years.

This means that up to one million people could be trapped under oppressive debt because they cannot afford to file for bankruptcy.

I know what you are thinking, why is a bankruptcy attorney pointing out high fees?

Because if you are reading this you cannot afford to not file for bankruptcy.  Many of my client will look at me like I am out of my mind when I tell them my fees or I will hear an audible sigh when I state my fees on the phone.

But let’s put this in perspective:

The average person calling me right now is behind on the mortgage by at least one to two months, has a car loan with a shameful (shame on the lender) interest rate, and about $15,000 in credit cards with equally shameful interest rates.  More often than not the driver behind their calling me is something extreme, such as foreclosure, a pending garnishment, or their bank account was drained by a creditor.

Taking no action here could result in more wage garnishments, more levies on bank accounts, foreclosure, and a whole host of other much more expensive than the $1500.00 national average that it costs to file bankruptcy.

In addition, when it is all over there will be no credit card debt and there is a decent shot at negotiating a better rate on the car, and working out something to bring you current on your mortgage.

Suddenly that national average on attorney’s fees of $1,500.00 is looking like a steal right?  That is what I thought.  On top of all of this most attorneys are not going to ask you to come up with all of that fee the first time you meet with them.  For the most part each attorney has their own way of helping you, myself included.

Interested in how we can help you get out of oppressive debt?  Give us a call and we will talk about how we can help at 732-302-9600 or fill out our online consultation form and we will call you.

I know that we all saw the story this morning.  A woman in Illinois was jailed for failing to pay a $280.00 hospital bill that she was told she didn’t owe.

Distressing right?

The most distressing part of this article to me was the number of states that were allowing creditors to use the court system to jail people that weren’t paying them based upon technicalities, such as failing to respond to a summons or failing to answer an information subpoena, all while allowing additional surcharges of up to 40% to the debt for their trouble.

That bothers me.  It bothers me because I hate to see consumers abused for being unable to pay and creditors taking advantage of a system that is tilted in their favor because they can afford to use it properly.

It is important that you know your rights when you receive a summons from a creditor.  You have a right to contact an attorney and discuss this matter and the attorney you should contact is a personal bankruptcy attorney.  A bankruptcy attorney can guide you on how to best approach the very scary scenario of having been served a lawsuit that says “YOU MUST RESPOND” across the top.  A bankruptcy attorney can advise you on whether your state will jail you or not for your debt, New Jersey technically will not but the police can force you to fill out a subpoena if you fail to do so and are picked up on another infraction. A personal bankruptcy attorney can also advise you as to whether it is a good idea to fight the lawsuit or if due to additional financial obligations you should simply file personal bankruptcy.

The most important parts of getting in touch with a bankruptcy attorney is that it puts you back on even footing with the creditors suing you and you are taking a pro-active approach to resolving your financial problems as a whole.

If you have been served with a lawsuit by a creditor give our New Jersey Bankruptcy Attorneys a call at 732-302-9600 and we will do all we can to help you.

It was announced today that United State’s student loan debt is over a trillion dollars.

This is staggering.

Worse news for consumers of student loans is that if you default you are in real trouble.  Student loan debt is virtually non-dischargable and  the collection practices are coming under scrutiny as “something that would make a mafia collector blush”.  These are companies that can charge extortion level collection fees and government lenders can garnish and levy upon funds that no other creditor out there can.

Basically, you have to pay these loans unless Congress takes a very drastic position and actually adopts one of the many student loan forgiveness programs that have been presented to it over the years.   So you ask why is a personal bankruptcy attorney telling you that you can’t be helped…well that is because you can.

I may not be able to rid you of your student loans but I can help you with one of the side effects of the student loan problem.  The San Francisco Chronicle cited “Taking Time To Pay Off Consumer Debts” as one of the troublesome side effects of high student loan debt.  Consumers are carrying higher balances and paying higher interest rates on credit cards because they have to pay the student loans first.  We can solve that problem.

In a personal bankruptcy case we can discharge credit card debt, personal loans, and lines of credit you may have accumulated in college so that you can afford to pay your student loans.  I know that this may not feel like much comfort when you are strapped for cash thanks to your student loans but believe me it can help.

Have more questions about how we can help you with your financial issues?  Call us at 732-302-9600 or fill out 5 minute online consultation and we will call you.

I bet you have seen this ad in the newspaper or the sign on the side of a road.  I would also bet that your immediate reaction was something to the effect of “How is that possible?”

Short answer: It isn’t.

A member of our staff took a picture of one of these signs with her cell phone today.  Like a curious citizen, we immediately googled the phone number, found out who it was,  pulled their case record from the bankruptcy court’s website, and discovered that this attorney is doing many things but filing bankruptcy cases for $299.00 is not one of them.

This kind of advertising and signage is how attorneys develop bad reputations.  It  is particularly frustrating to those of us who try to conduct honest, up front relationships with our clients.  This looks like a “a bait and switch” as the flat fee for a bankruptcy case  is the same as the old Chapter 7 filing fee!

The most important advice I can give you as a bankruptcy attorney is that a bankruptcy attorney should prepare your bankruptcy case.

Mr. Truesdale and I can’t prepare your taxes or file your bankruptcy case for $299.00, but we can help you file personal bankruptcy correctly and for a reasonable fee.  Our primary area of practice is bankruptcy.  We don’t make you do your own worksheet, we do that with you. You will be asked to provide us with documentation but if you struggle with finding something you can call us and we will help you as much as we can. You hired us to assist you in preparing a bankruptcy filing and that is exactly what we will do with you.

Call us at 732-302-9600 so we can do the heavy lifting for you and get your financial life on track.

Simple answer: YES!

Our philosophy in filing a personal bankruptcy case is to disclose everything and hide nothing in our bankruptcy filings.  Most of the time oversharing is in your best interests and undersharing will just get you in trouble.

For example, if you owe money to your grandmother and you plan on paying her back you MUST still list her as a creditor.  I use the word “must” because it is not optional.  You may not omit any creditor, no matter how much you like them.  That being said you can pay anybody you like back following your case, be that American Express or grandma.  It is in your best interests to sit down and have a candid chat with her, let her know you are filing and that you plan on paying her back when your case is over.  This way you avoid a problem with the bankruptcy trustee and the FBI.

Not sure if you have to disclose your asssets, check out our list of items that must be listed in your bankruptcy case and the consequences of failing to list these items.

Have more questions?  Give us a call for a free consultation at 732-302-9600 or fill out our easy 5 minute online consultation form and our New Jersey bankruptcy attorneys will call you!

Bankruptcy clients are incredibly concerned about their tax returns around this time of year.  Many personal bankruptcy clients depend upon tax refunds to get caught up on overdue power bills or other bills that have fallen by the wayside as they deal with their other financial issues.

The good news is, unlike in debt settlement, declaring personal bankruptcy will not result in forgiven debt becoming income and higher tax bills.

If you have already settled some debts before filing personal bankruptcy there is a form your accountant can complete to show that you are insolvent, evidenced by a personal bankruptcy.   Your accountant or one of our attorneys can assist you in preparing this form for filing with the IRS.

For more information check out our guide to taxes and your bankruptcy.

Interested in how filing personal bankruptcy can save you from the debt settlement tax trap?  Call our office and set up a free consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys at 732-302-9600.

There are many people out there thinking about bankruptcy that hesitate to file personal bankruptcy because they have no idea how it works or what will happen.

Declaring personal bankruptcy becomes a nightmare scenario when you don’t know what to expect.  Perhaps you saw a person on a reality television show file a personal bankruptcy and lose everything or heard a nightmare story about a friend of a friend that lost their home or their car.

These fears can be calmed when you hire an experienced New Jersey bankruptcy attorney to handle your personal bankruptcy case and address any fears or qualms you have about the process going forward.

The bankruptcy lawyers at Bruce C.  Truesdale PC provide a timeline of events to our clients at the first contact so that you get off the phone feeling good about your decision to contact a lawyer and seek information on how to declare bankruptcy.

So take the first step and decide to contact our firm so that we can help.  You can call at 732-302-9600 or complete our five minute consultation and we will be happy to contact you right away and answer any questions you may have.