Feb 16

Student Loan Debts in Centennial and Aurora: Ways to Cut Down and Eliminate Your Student Loans

Here are some ideas you can implement to help pay down and eliminate student loan debts.

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Students loan debt is a big problem for many in Centennial and Aurora. The problem stems from the fact that you are taking on a large amount of debt before you have any real income. Then, once you get a job and start earning money, it feels like you are just trying to play catch-up, never really getting ahead. Often, people come to me wondering if bankruptcy can help solve their students loan debt problems. I truly wish they could. It is only under very specific circumstances that a judge would ever discharge student loan debts. (Click here to read about the Brunner test and how Colorado Bankruptcy Courts determine if someone is eligible to discharge their student loans.)

Student Loan Debts: Strategies to Pay Down and Eliminate your Student Loan Debt in Aurora

While filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may not wipe away your student loans, there are many options that may be able to help you pay them down in Aurora and across Colorado:

Employer Assistance Programs –

Many employers see the value in offering student loan assistance to their employees. It is a benefit for both the employer and employee, as employees are likely to remain at jobs with better benefits. Ask your employer if they offer this type of assistance. If not, and they have no interest in the idea, maybe look for an employer who does. You may be surprised how many companies are already addressing these needs.

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs –

While most people know about the public service loan forgiveness program, often they think it only applies to law enforcement. It actually has a much larger scope and anyone working within a qualifying organization is eligible. Each state also offers some loan forgiveness programs that you may qualify for. Click here to see the current Colorado loan forgiveness programs.

Dealing with the Rest of Your Debt –

If student loans are not the only debt you are carrying, which often it is not, bankruptcy may be a valid option for you. With a bankruptcy discharge, you can wipe out your other debt, leaving you with more of your income to pay down your student loan debts. While bankruptcy won’t wipe out all your debt in this situation, it can give you some relief and allow you to reallocate funds and offer some important debt relief.

If you are looking for debt relief, contact the best bankruptcy attorney Barry Arrington at 303-205-1950 to schedule your free consultation today and begin your journey toward financial freedom.

Feb 13

Parker Bankruptcy Lawyer | A Poor Credit Score Affects Your Car Insurance Rates in Colorado

Did you know that insurance companies charge higher car insurance premium rates for those with poor credit scores? Read more about it here.

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Those who are dealing with overwhelming debt know that a poor credit score can affect many aspects of your life. But, did you know that your credit score counts for your car insurance? It may seem ridiculous and quite frankly, unrelated, but it’s true. In Parker, Aurora, and Centennial, you may be paying higher vehicle insurance rates because you have a low or poor credit score.

Poor Credit and Car Insurance: Factors Used with the Credit Based Insurance Scores

Credit based insurance scores are based on one thing: your credit score. It does not take any other information into account, like age, gender, income, employment or any other personal information. Now, your credit-based insurance score is not the only factor involved. The credit-based insurance score is used along with your driving history and previous claims to determine your premium.  Insurance companies believe using this information is the most appropriate way to determine the likelihood that you will file an insurance claim in the future.

The Science Behind Credit-Based Insurance Scores

While obviously not always true, there have been actual scientific studies that found people with lower credit scores pose a greater risk to insurers. They often have higher claims payouts and take on more car insurance losses. Basically, they correlate a lower credit score with a higher risk. And when it comes to insurance, a higher risk means a higher premium.

What Factors Affect Your Credit Score in Aurora?

There are many different factors that come into play when determining your credit score. Some positive factors include:

  • Open credit lines in good standing
  • No history of making late payments
  • No accounts in past-due status
  • Established credit history

Some factors that affect your credit score negatively are:

  • Accounts sent to collections
  • High amount of debt
  • Short credit history
  • History of making late payments

Poor Credit Score? Expert Centennial Bankruptcy Attorney Barry Arrington May Be Able to Help!

Often, when people have a very low credit score due to overwhelming debt coupled with an inability to make any significant payments, filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 may be a good option. Your credit score will not be ruined by filing for bankruptcy. Actually, with smart money management after a bankruptcy discharge, your credit score can improve significantly in a relatively short amount of time.

If you are struggling with a low credit score and serious debt, call experienced bankruptcy lawyer Barry Arrington at 303-205-7870 to see if bankruptcy may be an option for you. Make the call to begin your journey toward financial freedom.

Feb 09

Littleton Bankruptcy Lawyer | How Often Can I File for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? 

Wondering if you are eligible to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy after having previously filed? Read the rules regarding time and when to re-file.

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While there is no limit to how often you can file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Littleton, Centennial or Aurora, there is a limit on how often you can get a bankruptcy discharge.  If you re-file for bankruptcy before the amount of time determined by the statute has passed, you will not get a bankruptcy discharge and you will still have to deal with your debt.  

Time Limitation for Bankruptcy Discharges: When Can I Re-File for Bankruptcy? 

The time limits related to bankruptcy cases vary depending on the type of bankruptcy you are filing and the type of bankruptcy case you previously filed: 

  • Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again– You can get a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge every eight years. The eight-year time frame starts from the date your first or previous case was filed.  
  • Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy again– You can get another Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge after 2 years from the date you received your last discharge.   
  • Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge–  If your previous bankruptcy case was a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, then you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after six years. 
  • Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge– If your previous bankruptcy case was a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after four years.   

My Bankruptcy Discharge was Denied and Dismissed: When Can I File Again? 

Your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition can be denied for any of the following reasons: 

  • Attempt to defraud usually by moving, hiding, or giving away assets 
  • Hiding or destroying financial information 
  • Lying on your petition or sworn financial statement 
  • Not complying with a court order 
  • Not completing the required instructional courses 

If your bankruptcy case was dismissed, you may be able to refile as soon as 180 after the dismissal. This usually depends on the reason the case was dismissed. It’s best any time you are considering filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy again to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in the Denver, Aurora, and Centennial area to make sure you are filing at the right time and getting the best possible chance for a successful discharge.  

If you are considering filing bankruptcy again, contact the best bankruptcy attorney Barry Arrington at 303-205-7870 for a free initial consultation to begin your journey toward a better financial future.  

Feb 06

Important Terms in a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy According to an Aurora Bankruptcy Attorney

Here is an important list of common bankruptcy terms and their meanings to help you in your journey toward financial freedom.

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As an experienced Aurora and Centennial bankruptcy attorney, I often see the confusion on people’s faces when certain legal bankruptcy terms are used. Here is a list of some common words associated with bankruptcy to help you better understand the process.

Glossary of Common Littleton Bankruptcy Terms

Adversary Proceeding

A lawsuit brought about by a creditor or debtor during a bankruptcy case.

Assets

All the property you own.

Automatic Stay

The procedure where a creditor must stop attempting to collect on a debt when the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed.

Bankruptcy Petition

The document you file which begins the bankruptcy process and opens the case with the bankruptcy court.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The type of bankruptcy where debt is wiped out with no re-payment plan.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The type of bankruptcy where a payment plan is required for a 3-5-year period and then the rest of the debt is wiped out.

Consumer Debt

Debt resulting from personal, family, or household purchases.

Creditor

The person or business to which you owe money.

Debtor –

The person who owes money for debts.

Discharge

The elimination of debt through the bankruptcy case.

Dischargeable Debts

The type of debts that are eliminated through bankruptcy.

Exempt –

Property that is not able to be liquidated or sold to pay off creditors. This property is able to be kept after a bankruptcy discharge.

Joint Petition

Filing one bankruptcy petition as a husband and wife together, instead of individually.

Liquidation

Selling a debtor’s property to pay towards creditors.

Means Test

Test designed to determine if a debtor makes more or less than the medium income. It helps determine which type of bankruptcy is most appropriate.

Meeting of Creditors (341 Meeting)

Meeting where the bankruptcy trustee questions the debtor regarding the validity of the bankruptcy petition. Creditors can attend the meeting, but rarely do.

Non-Dischargeable Debts

A debt that cannot be wiped out through bankruptcy.

Reaffirmation Agreement

A new agreement or contract where you forgo your bankruptcy protection for one particular debt and take on the debt again. The lender agrees not to repossess the property as long as you make regular payments.   

Secured Debt

Debt backed by collateral where the creditor has the right to pursue the collateral if you default.

Trustee

A person assigned to review the debtor’s schedules and represent the interest of the creditors in a bankruptcy case.

Unsecured Debt

Debt with no collateral as backing.

If you are ready to file for bankruptcy, contact the best bankruptcy attorney Barry Arrington at 303-205-7870 for a free consultation to begin your journey toward financial freedom.

Feb 02

Centennial Bankruptcy Attorney | Bankruptcy Exemptions: Property Protected in a Bankruptcy

One of the most common fears people in Centennial, Aurora, or Littleton have when they are dealing with overwhelming debt is if they will lose their belongings when filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is a bankruptcy misconception that you will lose everything and have to start all over if you file for bankruptcy. In fact, there are many different things that are protected through bankruptcy proceedings.  Let’s look at the list of things you will definitely be able to hold onto through bankruptcy.

What Property is Protected through Aurora Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Here is a list of the property and amounts associated with each that are protected when filing for bankruptcy in Aurora and Denver:

  • Income – Your wages of up to 30 times the state minimum hourly wage or 75% of your disposable income each week (whichever is greater) is protected.
  • Personal Property – Up to $2,000 in clothing, pictures and books, health aids, personal injury recoveries, and compensation for damaged property, $3,000 in household items, $2,500 in jewelry, $600 in food and fuel, and $50,000 in livestock and tools is exempt.
  • Child Support and Alimony – If kept separate from other assets, 100% is exempt and protected.
  • Burial Property – One cemetery and burial plot (including mausoleum spaces) for the debtor and one space for each dependent are protected.
  • Victim’s Compensation – Any fund received as part of victim’s compensation is 100% exempt.
  • Homestead or Housing – Up to $75,000 of home equity is protected. Read more about the Homestead Exemption here.
  • Retirement Benefits – Retirement benefits for firefighters, public employees, and police officers are protected.
  • Tax-Exempt Retirement Accounts – Any retirement accounts that are tax exempt are protected.
  • Insurance Benefits – 100% of group life insurance proceeds are exempt. Value of life insurance payouts are exempt up to $100,000. Up to $4,000/month is protected under sickness and accident insurance benefits.
  • Vehicles – Up to $7,500 in motor vehicles (more for elderly or disabled).
  • Tools Related to Profession– If tools are a part of your primary occupation, $30,000 of those tools needed for your trade are exempt, $10,000 for a secondary occupation and up to $3,000 for a professional library.
  • Unemployment – If it’s kept separate from other income and funds, 100% is protected.
  • Worker’s Compensation – 100% exempt (however, there are a few exceptions you would want to speak to your experienced bankruptcy attorney about).
  • Veteran Benefits – 100% exempt

If the only thing holding you back from filing for bankruptcy is your fear of losing your personal property, contact attorney Barry Arrington at 303-205-7870 to discuss your specific situation and see how bankruptcy can benefit you.

Jan 30

Littleton Bankruptcy Attorney |I’m Facing Eviction in Aurora: Will Bankruptcy Help?

Are your facing possible eviction and wondering if filing for bankruptcy can help? Click here to find out.

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Often, procedures like wage garnishment and evictions are what make a person start to seriously consider filing for bankruptcy. Getting an eviction notice is a panic ensuing event. When you are served an eviction notice, you are left with just days to come up with a plan. Sometimes people will call in this state of panic, asking if bankruptcy is a solution to their problem. It can be if your financial situation has gotten to the point where your debt is overwhelming and you are unable to make even minimum payments on vital bills.

The Eviction Process in Centennial, Colorado: How Much Time Do I Have?

The legal procedures for eviction in Centennial, Aurora, and Littleton, are as follows:

  1. You will receive a written Notice to Vacate from your landlord which must state why you are being evicted. It will give you 3 days to leave the premises.
  2. If you do not move out within the 3 day timeframe, the landlord will file a civil complaint requesting the court order your eviction.
  3. The court will set a hearing date between 5 and 10 days from the date the paperwork is filed and you will be served a copy of the summons and complaint.
  4. At the hearing, if the court finds in favor of the landlord, you will be ordered to vacate within 48 hours. Law enforcement can forcibly remove you from the apartment or home.

Bankruptcy and Eviction: What Role Does Bankruptcy Play in an Eviction Case?

Let me make this clear, filing bankruptcy simply to stall the eviction process is fraud. You cannot file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy just because you don’t want to be kicked out. Now, if you have other viable reasons for filing bankruptcy, then it can help. Once you file your bankruptcy petition, an automatic stay is entered, meaning your creditors and landlords cannot take any action while the bankruptcy is pending. Any collections or attempts to evict must stop, by law. This is only, of course, if the judge has not already ordered your eviction. An automatic stay will not help in that event. Within 30 days of filing your bankruptcy petition, you are required to notify the court if you intend to reaffirm your lease, meaning you will owe the back rent and future rent or vacate your residence. The bankruptcy will protect you from having to pay back rent if you choose to vacate.

If you are facing a possible eviction, contact expert debt relief and bankruptcy lawyer Barry Arrington at 303-205-7870 to begin your journey toward financial freedom.

Jan 26

Centennial Bankruptcy Lawyer | Ready for Bankruptcy? Questions to Ask Yourself  

Give yourself this quiz and honestly answer these questions to see if you may be ready to file for bankruptcy.

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Often, when people call to schedule their free consultation, they tell me they aren’t sure if they are at a financial point where bankruptcy is the right next step.  Many think that they must hit a serious rock bottom in order to take the next step to filing for bankruptcy, like getting evicted or having your wages garnished. While these are significant financial troubles that make people want to take the next step in filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Aurora or Centennial, it is possible to get the financial help you need before it gets that bad. Honestly answer the following questions to see if you are at a point where you need some legal financial debt solutions, like bankruptcy. 

Should I File for Bankruptcy: Questions to Ask Yourself Before Calling an Aurora Bankruptcy Attorney

  • Do you have credit card accounts overdue more than 30 days?
  • Are your wages being garnished?
  • Are you only making minimum payments on your credit cards?
  • Do you have more than one mortgage on your house?
  • Do you get calls from bill collectors at home and at work?
  • Have you taken a loan from a payday loan or vehicle title loan center?
  • Do you regularly bounce checks to pay utilities or buy food?
  • Have you maxed out one or more of your credit cards?
  • Have you taken a loan or done a balance transfer to pay a credit card?
  • Are you worried about foreclosure?
  • Has your car been repossessed or your home foreclosed on, leaving you with a balance due?
  • Has a credit card company cancelled your card due to non-payment?
  • Have you borrowed money from friends and family to pay bills?
  • Do you have to choose which bills to pay each month because you can’t pay them all?
  • Do you avoid answering your phone for fear that it is a creditor or bill collector calling?
  • Do you live paycheck to paycheck with no savings or financial stability for an emergency situation?
  • Do your finances stress you out and cause you to lose sleep at night?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be at a point where bankruptcy is the best option for you. 

If you are ready to have a professional look at your finances and advise you about your debt relief options, call the best bankruptcy attorney Barry Arrington at 303-205-7870 to schedule your free consultation and begin your journey toward financial freedom. 

Jan 23

Aurora Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Myth | False Information Surrounding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

There are quite a few myths and misconceptions surrounding Chapter 7 bankruptcy that prevents people from moving forward in the process. Read the truth here.

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For many, bankruptcy is almost a bad word. Many people see it as a shameful or embarrassing thing and that is usually because they have the wrong ideas about bankruptcy. Many people have bought into Chapter 7 bankruptcy myths that are floating around, making bankruptcy a scarier process than it actually is. Let’s look at some of those bankruptcy myths and alleviate some of the fears you may be feeling when considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Myth: Filing Bankruptcy in Centennial Can Ruin My Credit Score Entirely

Many people worry about their credit score when considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Centennial, and rightly so. In our world today, credit scores are important. However, I hear questions like, ‘Won’t my credit score go down to zero after I file bankruptcy?’ and ‘Doesn’t it take years to repair my credit score after filing bankruptcy?’ Both these ideas are terrifying to prospective clients, and also completely untrue. The fact is, filing bankruptcy does not reduce your credit score. Your credit score will actually stay at the same level as it was before you filed bankruptcy. Once your debt is discharged through bankruptcy, your income to debt ratio will improve, which increases your credit score. Most of our clients see a credit score increase of 50 points or more within the first year after filing their bankruptcy.

Myth: Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Will Keep Me from Ever Getting a Loan, Lease, or Mortgage in the Future

Because your credit score will increase due to your debt to income ratio improving, credit cards and auto lines are usually available right away after a bankruptcy discharge. Lenders see your debt to income ratio as a prediction of your ability to repay. As far as getting a lease for an apartment or home, landlords are more likely to rent to you after your bankruptcy discharge than before. They usually do not want to be included in a bankruptcy filing. You can also look for smaller companies or individual landowners instead of companies, which gives you a better chance of getting the lease. For mortgages, the FHA requires a person wait 2 years after their discharge to get a new home loan, but if you already have a mortgage, you will likely be able to keep your home when filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If you are considering filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, contact the best bankruptcy attorney Barry Arrington at 303-205-7870 for a free initial consultation to begin your journey toward financial freedom.

Jan 19

341 Hearing in an Aurora Bankruptcy | A Centennial Bankruptcy Attorney Explains a 341 Hearing 

Read more about what questions will be asked and what to expect at a 341 Hearing - Meeting of the Creditors in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

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When filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there is a required hearing called the 341 Meeting of Creditors. There are two purposes for this meeting:  

1. The debtor swears under oath that the petition filed is true and complete. 

2. The creditors can question the debtor.  

While it is not common for a creditor to actually attend a 341 Hearing, the debtor is required to appear. 

What to expect at a 341 Hearing: Who Leads the Hearing and What Questions Will Be Asked? 

The bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case will oversee the 341 Hearing and ask the questions. The trustee will begin by asking the debtor to verify their name and address for the record. Then, they will ask some questions to verify the information provided by the debtor and the petition.  These are the types of questions you might hear: 

  • Have you reviewed the bankruptcy petition and statements you have before you?  
  • Is this a complete and accurate list of your assets and debts? 
  • Are there any changes that need to be made or that you would like to make? 
  • Who is your employer and what is their address? 
  • Have you transferred property worth more than $1,000 in the 2 years before you filed your petition? 
  • Have you sold any real estate in the 4 years before you filed your petition? 

What If More Information Is Needed: How Is It Addressed in a 341 Hearing? 

Sometimes, trustees will ask for more paperwork than what was initially filed. Your experienced Centennial and Aurora bankruptcy attorney can work with the trustee to resolve this issue. They can come to an agreement for the debtor to get the additional needed information to the trustee by a certain deadline. If everyone agrees, then the debtor, trustee, and attorney will sign a stipulation outlining what is needed and when it should be received.  

If you are considering filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, call the best bankruptcy attorney Barry Arrington at 303-205-7870 today for a free initial consultation to begin your journey towards financial freedom.   

Jan 16

Centennial Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Vs. Debt Consolidation: Expert Advice from an Aurora Bankruptcy Attorney 

Because a Centennial or Aurora Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a repayment plan, I am often asked if it is a better idea just to go through a debt consolidation. My advice is always to go with the bankruptcy, and I will explain why it is the better choice through this blog. 

Uncertainty with Debt Consolidation: Go for the Sure Thing – Denver Chapter 13 Bankruptcy 

When a bankruptcy court judge orders a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the creditors involved are required to accept the ordered payment plan. There are no more negotiations involved: what the courts says, goes. For debt consolidation, you must negotiate directly with each creditor – and they do not have to negotiate lower payments or any debt forgiveness. Since the negotiations are voluntary, the creditor can change their mind at any time, and changing the agreement back to the former arrangement – which was causing financial problems to begin with. There are also certain companies that will never allow payments under debt consolidation.  

No Limit on Debt Consolidation Payments: Specific Payment Time-frames with Chapter 13 Bankruptcy 

Even if a company chooses to negotiate a debt consolidation payment, there is no limit on the amount of time a person will have to make the consolidated debt payments. In actuality, you could be making these payments for decades trying to pay down the debts. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will only be required to make payments for a very specific amount of time. As long as you meet all the payments and complete the plan as required, the remainder of your debt will be discharged. Basically, with bankruptcy you can pay back a portion and then the slate is wiped clean, or you can continue to make payments indefinitely with debt consolidation. Doesn’t sound like a difficult choice to me.  

Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Littleton: A Less Expensive Choice that Debt Consolidation 

While the fees involved with hiring an experienced Littleton and Denver bankruptcy attorney and filing fees owed to the court may seem high, debt consolidation is usually far more expensive. Debt consolidation companies include high interest and penalties with your monthly payment. The payment plan ordered by the court in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the final amount you will have to pay – no added interest or penalties to weigh you down.  

If you are in debt and would like more information about how a Chapter 13 bankruptcy would benefit you, contact expert bankruptcy attorney Barry Arrington at 303-205-7870 to begin your journey towards financial freedom.