A typical Chapter 7

Elaine is a hard-working and resourceful person who has struggled to keep pace with her financial obligations. She has worked two jobs, sometimes three during the holidays, and has always been on time paying her rent and car payments. But along came some unexpected expenses that all hit at the same time, and they put her in a tight spot.

First, her older model car needed some major repair work for it to be able to pass inspection. Then, Elaine went to the eye doctor only to find her prescription changed dramatically and she would need stronger glasses. A tooth broke, requiring some very expensive dental work. Since she had no dental or vision insurance, Elaine had no choice but to use her credit cards to stay afloat.

It didn’t take long for rising interest rates and minimum monthly payments on the credit cards to become overwhelming. Elaine’s telephone began to ring constantly as creditors began demanding payment. Elaine had managed, out of necessity, to charge more than she could afford to pay.

Elaine had several options. She could try to work with her creditors and attempt to work out a repayment arrangement, but she had already attempted that with no success. Her second alternative was to seek help from a consumer credit counseling company service, but they payments weren’t saving her enough money to get by. She was confused and concerned.

Elaine had seen and heard the advertisements on TV, radio, and the internet and had even been contacted in the mail and by phone, but she didn’t know who she could trust. She had heard and read about others who had sent thousands of dollars to some of these companies but were very disappointed with the results. Besides, she was so overextended that just making the minimum payments strained her budget to the breaking point.

Elaine heard from one of her friends that Steidl and Steinberg had a free consultation.  She met with one of the attorneys at Steidl and Steinberg who prepared an assessment of her income and expenses. It became obvious that there was no money remaining at the end of the month to make a payment to the court for a Chapter 13 Plan. Thus, a Chapter 7, or straight bankruptcy, became her only feasible alternative.

The purpose of Chapter 7, as is true with all bankruptcies, is to give honest debtors a fresh start. By filing a Chapter 7, Elaine would be allowed to retain possession of her car as long as she continued to make the payments. In fact, Elaine would be able to keep everything she owned. She would continue paying her rent and utilities, but the unsecured debts, such as the charge cards and personal loans, would be wiped out.

There really was only one viable option for Elaine’s present and future. Steidl and Steinberg recommended, and she filed, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy. While it is something she wishes she did not have to do, she is thankful every day that she had the skilled attorneys and staff at Steidl and Steinberg to help guide her through this. She was also pleasantly surprised to find the process was much easier she would have thought, and she wonders now why it took her so long to make her initial decision to call Steidl and Steinberg.

Elaine was concerned about her future credit, but the damage had already been done by her missed and late payments. But she was pleasantly surprised when the bankruptcy was over that she was able to replace her car with a new, modest, car at a payment she could afford. Once the bankruptcy is over, there are ways for many people to get credit. The Law Offices of Steidl and Steinberg want to encourage good credit practices and does not wish to see any of its clients get into trouble again, but there are still instances when credit is going to be needed in the future. Ask Steidl and Steinberg about ways to rebuild your credit. And don’t fall for those that tell you they have secret ways to make your credit better; there are no secret ways.