Low Fees - Payment Plans - Evening & Weekend Appointments
Help With-Credit Cards-Bank Loans-Foreclosure-Taxes-Student Loans
Free Telephone Consultation 410-484-4900 24/7
Excellance In Legal Service - Serving The Entire State Of Maryland
We have earned the trust of thousands of satisfied clients and have gained experience in thousands of successful Bankruptcy cases since 1973.   We will properly prepare all required documents for you, promptly file them with the court, appear in court with you at your hearing and keep you fully informed throughout your case.   There is no substitute for trust and experience.   You can use the law firm that has helped thousands of Maryland consumers since 1973
" Your representation was outstanding in recovering thousands of dollars I paid out in a debt consolidation scam, properly representing me in a bankruptcy and getting all my debts eliminated at a low fee and less than one half of what I paid to them. What was most important to me was your integrity and clear answers to my questions." ~~D.G.
" I was suprised to learn how the debt settlment company I saw on television took advantage of me. Thank you for getting my money back from them, properly filing my bankruptcy and saving my house. I recommend your services. " ~~H.M.
I was very impressed with your dedication to my case, answering all of my questions throughout the case, obtaining my discharge without delay and getting back the money taken in the wage attachment. If anyone needs to file bankruptcy you are the lawyer they need to call. ~~K.B.
" Many thanks for a job well done in getting my tax debts and other claims eliminated and being available to answer all of my questions throughout my case." ~~B.W.
" I appreciate your meeting with me on the weekends so I did not have to lose time from work."~~N.T.
" Thanks for taking over my chapter 13 case which enabled me to save my house. " ~~ W.S.
" Thanks for your straight forward answers, working with me with a payment plan and saving my house."~~D.J.
Representing Debtors To Totally Eliminate Debts, Or To Reorganize Debts In Order To Protect Property And To Obtain A Fresh Financial Start
Prompt, experienced and effective representation for all financial issues including, foreclosure, repossession, wage attachments, student loans, federal and state tax matters. In addition to bankruptcy, we provide effective representation for tax problems with the IRS, tax audits, tax liens, tax wage attachments, IRS offers in compromise, IRS installment plan arrangements, and IRS audits.
Our debt relief agency will fully prepare all bankruptcy documents, both before and after your case is filed, go to court with you, and defend you against contested matters from the trustee, your creditors and their attorneys. Call Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer Jack Hyatt at 410-484-4900.
We work with you with a workable payment plan and a low fee we invite you to compare. Call, you will see for yourself.
Each case is different and presents different opportunities and challenges.
*If you have been a victim of a "credit counseling program", "debt management program" or home "rescue scam", we can help to get your money back, damages or both.   We have recovered thousands of dollars for payments made to programs that have misrepresented their status and their ability to provide an effective solution.   If you are in a debt "credit counseling" or "debt management program", you may wish to determine:
1. Exactly what portion your payments is being applied to principal.
*If you are behind in mortgage payments and your mortgage has been accelerated it is possible you can make payments and the mortgage company may not have any obligation to reinstate your mortgage, or return your late payments.
*As any decision can be made within hours, or at the most, a few days.   If you are hearing terms such as "mitigation department", "reinstatement department", "loss mitigation", you should be suspicious.
*Each day you that you are in default, and each day your case is delayed, will generate additional fees and expenses which benefit the mortgage company that you will have to pay which will make it more difficult to attempt to save your home.   Depending upon your facts, we know exactly what to do to force a prompt decision and to determine your very best option to prevent the sale of your home.
*Many people are lead to file Chapter 13 but are not properly informed of the many fees and costs that are imposed during the course of the plan which causes some people to be in a far worse position after filing than prior to the time the case was filed.   If you are in, or have been in a Chapter 13, that resulted in failure, we have effective options for you.
"There is No Substitute For Experience."
JACK I. HYATT
Myth 1: Everyone will know you have filed for bankruptcy.
Many of the payment plans are unrealistic and unworkable. The payment plans also ruin credit. My clients wonder why a non-profit organization would advise them to attempt such an unrealistic program. Learn the facts before you accept a creditor counselor's assumption that bankruptcy is not a good option. Call Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer Jack Hyatt at 410-484-4900.
1. Consumer Credit Counseling works for your creditors, not for you. A former Assistant Attorney General for the state of Texas had this to say about Consumer Credit Counseling Services: "I think that consumer credit counseling service is intrinsically deceptive. They're funded or incorporated by the very people they are truly representing? not the consumer/debtor but the creditors trying to collect the money.
I think they're a con; they pitch themselves as serving the consumer's best interest but they don't. Their promotions practices are deceptive and the consumers are being grossly misled. If they were lawyers, they'd get disbarred! Representing one-party and acting for the other? Come on! Think about it! If lawyers won't get involved in an enterprise like Consumer Credit Counseling, you know it must be bad."
2. Consumer Credit Counseling is paid by the credit industry to "help" you pay creditors. Your creditor counselor is being paid by the credit card companies. Interestingly enough, this is not a well kept secret. Information from the National Foundation for Credit Counselors reveals that up to 15 percent of each payment collected is paid to the Consumer Credit Counseling Services office.
Although they describe this payment as a contribution from the creditor, in reality, it is a commission. The National Foundation for Credit Counselors materials state: "The majority of our funding comes from voluntary contributions from creditors who participate in our Debt Management Plans." Can you expect to get impartial advice about filing bankruptcy from a collection agency?
3. Consumer Credit Counseling's nonprofit status does not mean they are not making money at your expense. Consumer Credit Counseling Services makes a point of describing themselves as a nonprofit organization. Most consumers probably don't realize that nonprofit businesses operate to make a profit. Rather than distributing earnings to stockholders as dividends, the profits are paid out to the employees and officers as salary or bonuses. They make money, and a lot of it! For example, Consumer Credit Counseling Services in the Greater Dallas area reportedly collected $103 million dollars in one year alone.
Most hospitals are nonprofit organizations also. A company's nonprofit status has nothing to do with whether or not they are motivated to make money. As reported in the Washington Post, of the Office of the Corporation Counsel said: "Consumers should not let down their guard just because a credit-counseling agency calls itself nonprofit. It is easy to set up a nonprofit counseling agency and use the counselors to sell the services of a related for-profit company."
4. Consumer Credit Counseling often cannot reduce interest charges on credit accounts. Many people are convinced that the organization also has the ability to have finance charges reduced or waived. Information from a Consumer Credit Counseling Service web site makes it clear that they cannot always do this. In fact, the majority of creditors will not waive finance charges.
5. Consumer Credit Counseling will ruin your credit. What about your credit? The credit industry wants you to know that filing a bankruptcy can adversely affect your credit. The fact is, participating in their program can be just as bad, or even worse, than filing bankruptcy. An important overlooked fact is that you would not file a bankruptcy or participate in a Consumer Credit Counseling Services program unless you already had serious credit problems. Anyone who participates in a repayment plan through CCCS will have that fact reported on their credit.
You can expect all of your credit accounts to be closed, and you can expect to have a very difficult time opening any new accounts. The result is pretty much the same as a bankruptcy, except a bankruptcy doesn't cost as much or last as long. Joining one of the CCCS repayment programs often results in lower credit scores than if you filed a bankruptcy. Here is what David Butler, in his article The Complete Guide to Understanding Credit Ratings & Credit Reports, says this about Consumer Credit Counseling: "If you ever want to get a mortgage again in the next 7 years, avoid turning your debts over to Consumer Credit Counseling Services or any other debt management service. There used to be a time when this program really made sense, and it still ought to - but now most lenders won't touch you until the Consumer Credit Counseling Services is off of your credit report. You're almost better off doing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, if you want to start getting credit reestablished anytime in the next 7 years."
6. Your credit rating is most likely BETTER 2 years after filing bankruptcy than 3 years after entering a payment plan with Consumer Credit Counseling Services. The reason is simple. Immediately after a bankruptcy filing, which typically only takes a few months, you can start rebuilding your credit. When you are in a repayment plan with Consumer Credit Counseling Services you won't be able to do much of anything to reestablish your credit until the typical four to five year payment plan is completed.
Even worse, the derogatory information that Consumer Credit Counseling Services will cause to your credit report will haunt you for seven years after you complete the Consumer Credit Counseling Services program. Consumer Credit Counseling Services likes to call filing bankruptcy the "10 year mistake." Maybe Consumer Credit Counseling Services should call their own program the "twelve year mistake."
7. Consumer Credit Counseling's stated goal is to help your creditors. The National Foundation for Credit Counselors, the organization that most Consumer Credit Counseling Services locations belong to makes their mission clear. Their literature states: "NFCC is committed to developing, promoting and maintaining successful relationships with creditors.
At NFCC we work with creditors - one by one - to develop policies to make your customer plans successful. Our nonprofit network of more than 1,300 locations returns close to $5 billion to creditors every year. NFCC member agencies help your customers avoid bankruptcy." The bottom line is simple. The more you pay ? the more Consumer Credit Counseling Services makes. Whose side do you think they are on?
You are entitled to be treated with courtesy and consideration at all times by your lawyer and the other lawyers and personnel in your lawyers office. Call Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer Jack Hyatt at 410-484-4900.
You are entitled to an attorney capable of handling your legal matter competently and diligently, in accordance with the highest standards of the profession.
You are entitled to your lawyer's independent professional judgment and undivided loyalty uncompromised by conflicts of interest.
You are entitled to be charged a reasonable fee and to have your lawyer explain at the outset how the fee will be computed and the manner and frequency of billing.
You are entitled to have your questions and concerns addressed in a prompt manner and to have your telephone called returned promptly.
You are entitled to be kept informed as to the status of your matter.
You are entitled to have your legitimate objectives respected by your attorney, including whether or not to settle your matter.
You have the right to privacy in your dealings with your lawyer and to have your secrets and confidences preserved to the extent permitted by law.
You may not be refused representation on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability. Call Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer Jack Hyatt at 410-484-4900.
Is there a reason to be embarrassed?   Because over a million people a year have filed for the past seven years, the process has changed so that there is no embarrassment.
Will I be able to get new credit?   Some of our clients get cars a week after the case is closed and houses within a year.
Will Bankruptcy will destroy my life?   It actually gives you a fresh start to a better life.
Will I lose control of my life?   It gives back control over your life by ending the harassment, calls and payments you can't afford.
Is Bankruptcy expensive?.   We offer low fees, payment plans in most cases and have evening and weekend appointments. Will I lose everything?   In most bankruptcies, you keep all of your property.
Is a Bankruptcy published in a nespaper?   Very few people, if any, will know about your case.
What will my future be like?   In most cases, when you go through the bankruptcy process, it gives you a brighter future.
Will I lose my bank accounts?   Bankruptcy will protect monies in your bank account.
What if my employer finds out?   In a chapter 7, your employer will most likely not find out and even if so, you cannot lose your job.
What will I do if I have to start over?   The fear should be: What would you do if you didn't have a chance to start over?
What if I don't qualify for bankruptcy?   If we take your case, you will be given bankruptcy protection. We have qualified thousands of people for bankruptcy since 1973.
I don't understand anything about bankruptcy?   At your first appointment, we will fully explain all of your options.
When will the harassing phone calls, garnishments, suits, letters stop?   They all stop once the bankruptcy case is filed.
Will Bankruptcy will hurt my credit?   Most people's credit is already bad or will be bad soon by the time they call a bankruptcy attorney. The bankruptcy gives you a fresh start.
Some kinds of claims against an individual debtor survive the discharge without the creditor having to do anything to protect the claim. Examples are child support, student loans, criminal restitution and judgments arising from drunk driving.
Other kinds of claims survive the bankruptcy only if the creditor takes action in the short time allowed.
Table of debts dischargeable and non dischargeable in Chapter 7
A creditor whose claim against the debtor was incurred by fraud, dishonesty or other forms of intentional "bad acts" or which is a non support claims which arose in a divorce may contest the discharge of his claim in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy by filing a timely nondischargeability suit and proving, to the satisfaction of the court, that the elements for non dischargeability are met. These adversary proceedings must be filed within 60 days of the first meeting of creditors or the claim is discharged.
If you hold a pre bankruptcy judgment for fraud against the debtor, that judgment may be conclusive in an action for non dischargeability in the bankruptcy court. You still need to file the non dischargeability action; you may not have to prove anything more than the existence of your judgment.
Debts arising in divorce:
When a divorce or separation agreement or judgment creates a debt in favor of the former spouse, those non support obligations to the former spouse may be excluded from the Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge. 11 U.S.C. 523(a)15.
The creditor spouse doesn't have to prove fraud or dishonesty; he or she must prove that discharge of the debt creates a greater hardship on the creditor spouse than excluding the debt from discharge would create for the debtor spouse.
These non support, marital debts are non dischargeable only if the creditor/spouse files an adversary proceeding within 60 days of the first meeting of creditors. (The rule for support debts is different: they are non dischargeable without action on the part of the benefited party).
More on family issues in bankruptcy
Should I file a non dischargeability action?
Before spending time, money and emotional energy in contesting the discharge of your claim in the debtor's bankruptcy, you need to ask yourself some hard, real - world questions about why you might contest dischargeability. Consider:
What is the likelihood that the debtor will have assets or income in the future from which your claim could be paid, if you were successful in excepting the debt from discharge?
If the debtor is older, low skill or discredited in his field of endeavor, or subject to other substantial non dischargeable claims such as taxes, the chances of recovering money after the bankruptcy to pay your non dischargeable claim are questionable.
What are the costs of litigating the nondischargeability action?
How do those estimated costs compare to the size of the debt you want to collect? What is the risk that you won't prevail?
Did the dishonest or malicious act create the debt or did it occur after you extended credit?
Generally, to prevail, you must show that but for the dishonest act, the debt would not have arisen. Lies about intent to repay the debt, made after the debt was incurred, usually won't support a non dischargeability action,
Remember too that corporations don't get a discharge of their debts in bankruptcy; the assets of the debtor corporation are simply liquidated to pay creditors. So, the concept of "nondischargeability" is meaningless in a corporate bankruptcy case.
The presumptions in non dischargeability actions generally favor the discharge of the debt except perhaps in the case of debts arising from divorce. Consider the costs vs. benefits before spending substantial time and energy contesting the discharge of a particular debt.
Do I need to file an adversary proceeding to protect my claim? Yes, if you claim that the debt arose by reason of the debtor's fraud or other dishonesty.
Some debts are not dischargeable by their very nature such as child support or spousal support. If you are owed support, you don't have to do anything to prevent the discharge of the debt.
If your claim is a non support claim arising in the divorce, you must file an adversary proceeding to preserve your claim. 11 U.S. C. 523(a)(15).
Non dischargeability and claims in the bankruptcy estate.
If there will be a distribution in the case, whether your claim is non dischargeable or not, you must file a claim to share in the distribution. Get the proof of claim form and file it with the court within the time set in the notice
The Bankruptcy Code permits a trustee (or a debtor in possession) to recover from creditors payments made shortly before the bankruptcy filing where the payment gave the creditor more than other, similarly situated, creditors would get through the bankruptcy process.
The policy behind the statute is to diminish the advantages that a creditor might get by litigation or by aggressive collection actions that force the debtor into bankruptcy. That is accomplished by making payments received in the 90 days before the filing recoverable in bankruptcy.
It is neither wrong of the debtor to make a preferential payment nor wrong of a creditor to accept it . The preference statutes are simply an attempt to achieve equity between creditors. Creditors are almost always better off attempting to get payment of their claims from their debtors and dealing with any efforts to recover the money when, and if, such attempts are made in bankruptcy.
Is it a preference?
Bankruptcy Code §547 defines a preference as
Payment on an antecedent (as opposed to current) debt;
Made while the debtor was insolvent;
To a non insider creditor, within 90 days of the filing of the bankruptcy;
That allows the creditor to receive more on its claim than it would have, had the payment not been made and the claim paid through the bankruptcy proceeding.
Note that payments to a fully secured creditor aren't preferences because the creditor didn't get more than he would have in bankruptcy, where the creditor would get the value of the collateral.
A non obvious preference may occur when the creditor converts an unsecured debt to a secured debt by recording a financing statement long after the transaction with which it was associated; by obtaining a writ of attachment; or by recording a judgment lien.
Creditors are best served by the prompt perfection of such liens to lessen the possibility that the advantage obtained by getting the lien is lost in a preference recovery action in a subsequent bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy code also permits the recovery of payments on old claims owed to insiders, such as relatives, corporate officers or directors, or related entities. For insiders, the trustee can look back to payments made within a year of the bankruptcy filing. This provision attempts to prevent the debtor from paying relatives and business decision makers at the expense of the trade creditors.
In an insider preference action, there is no presumption that the debtor was insolvent when the payment was made and thus the proof of these kinds of actions is sometimes more complex for the trustee.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The Main Objective
Court Hearing in Your Bankruptcy Case (called the Meeting of Creditors)
Your Credit Record
Cost to file Chapter 7
THE MAIN OBJECTIVE
To get a Discharge from the Court on all of your "dischargeable debts". A discharge means you do not owe a debt. Not all debts are legally dischargeable. For example, income taxes that are less than three years old are nondischargeable. Likewise, child support, student loans, and spousal support are nondischargeable. Certain other debts are nondischargeable.
Some creditors have a right to repossess assets unless they are paid. Auto loans are usually secured by the pledge of your car title as collateral to secure the car loan. Mortgages against real estate are secured by a lien against real estate. Household goods can also be secured against a loan. Secured creditors can repossess cars, household goods, and foreclose on home mortgages if regular payments are not made on these loans. There are three choices to make as to secured debts in a bankruptcy case:
1. Surrender the collateral (the car or house) to the creditor; or
2. Reaffirm the debt with the creditor to keep the collateral (explained below); or
3. Redeem the collateral from the creditor (explained below).
If you have a secured debt, you are required to state, in writing, as a part of your bankruptcy petition whether you intend to surrender, reaffirm or redeem the collateral pledged to secure the loan. This "Statement of Intent" is sent to each creditor and your stated intent should be performed within roughly 45 days.
If you intend to reaffirm on the debt, that means you intend to keep the collateral and keep making regular monthly payments of principal and interest until the debt is paid in full. Reaffirmation agreements are voluntary and they require the creditor's agreement to allow you to reaffirm the debt and keep the collateral. This does not always happen. Some creditors refuse to agree to reaffirmation. In that case, you must surrender the collateral to the creditor. It is important that you understand that you will likely lose the collateral if the creditor refuses to agree to the reaffirmation agreement.
The bankruptcy laws allow a debtor to keep collateral by paying the creditor the fair market value of the collateral pledged to secure a debt. This is very rare since it requires the debtor to pay a lump sum of money to the creditor equal to the fair market value. You can sometimes borrow the lump sum from a new lender. If you can't borrow the lump sum, then you may not be able to redeem the vehicle. We can help you in redeeming vehicles by referring you to a lender.
COURT HEARING IN YOUR BANKRUPTCY CASE (called the Meeting of Creditors)
In each bankruptcy case, the law requires a Court appointed "Trustee" to question each debtor about his or her financial affairs. You must attend a Court hearing for this and bring a picture ID with your social security number to your hearing. You must also bring to your hearing the following documents: tax returns for the last two years, your car titles, pay stubs, retirement account statements and bank statements for the month in which your bankruptcy is filed, any life insurance policies you have and loan closing statements for loans taken within the last three years. Other documents may also be required by the Trustee.
THE TRUSTEE A Trustee is a local attorney who is appointed by the United States Trustee (an arm of the United States Dept. of Justice) to administer your bankruptcy case. The Trustee has certain powers, as a matter of law, to order your full and complete cooperation in your bankruptcy case. There are numerous powers available to a Trustee. It is important that you follow all instructions given to you to successfully complete your bankruptcy case.
Your right to a discharge in bankruptcy can be contested (challenged) by the Trustee in your case, by the United States Trustee, by any one of your creditors and by the Bankruptcy Court Judge. Very few bankruptcy cases are contested.
The most important requirement in bankruptcy is that you make a full and complete disclosure of all debts and assets you have. Concealing assets and lying to the Bankruptcy Court is a federal crime. Always tell the truth to your attorney and to the Trustee and the Court. Bankruptcy fraud cannot be tolerated.
The Trustee in your bankruptcy case has the power to take your tax refund and distribute it to your creditors. If the Trustee asks for your tax return and tax refund, you must cooperate in full. Failure to do so can cause the Trustee to contest your right to have your bankruptcy debts discharged.
YOUR CREDIT RECORD
Bankruptcy is allowed by law to be reported on your credit report for ten years from the date you filed your bankruptcy case.
This rule prescribes the procedure to be followed when a party requests the court to determine dischargeability of a debt pursuant to § 523 of the Code.
Although a complaint that comes within § 523(c) must ordinarily be filed before determining whether the debtor will be discharged, the court need not determine the issues presented by the complaint filed under this rule until the question of discharge has been determined under Rule 4004. A complaint filed under this rule initiates an adversary proceeding as provided in Rule 7003.
Subdivision (b) does not contain a time limit for filing a complaint to determine the dischargeability of a type of debt listed as nondischargeable under § 523(a)(1), (3), (5), (7), (8), or (9). Jurisdiction over this issue on these debts is held concurrently by the bankruptcy court and any appropriate nonbankruptcy forum.
Subdivision (c) differs from subdivision (b) by imposing a deadline for filing complaints to determine the issue of dischargeability of debts set out in § 523(a)(2), (4) or (6) of the Code. The bankruptcy court has exclusive jurisdiction to determine dischargeability of these debts. If a complaint is not timely filed, the debt is discharged. See § 523(c).
Subdivision (e). The complaint required by this subdivision should be filed in the court in which the case is pending pursuant to Rule 5005.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1991 Amendment
Subdivision (a) is amended to delete the words “with the court” as unnecessary. See Rules 5005 (a) and 9001 (3). Subdivision (c) is amended to apply in chapter 12 cases the same time period that applies in chapter 7 and 11 cases for filing a complaint under § 523(c) of the Code to determine dischargeability of certain debts. Under § 1228(a) of the Code, a chapter 12 discharge does not discharge the debts specified in § 523(a) of the Code.
Committee Notes on Rules—1999 Amendment
Subdivision (c) is amended to clarify that the deadline for filing a complaint to determine the dischargeability of a debt under § 523(c) of the Code is 60 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors, whether or not the meeting is held on that date. The time for filing the complaint is not affected by any delay in the commencement or conclusion of the meeting of creditors. This amendment does not affect the right of any party in interest to file a motion for an extension of time to file a complaint to determine the dischargeability of a debt in accordance with this rule.
The substitution of the word “filed” for “made” in the final sentences of subdivisions (c) and (d) is intended to avoid confusion regarding the time when a motion is “made” for the purpose of applying these rules. See, e.g., In re Coggin, 30 F.3d 1443 (11th Cir. 1994). As amended, these subdivisions require that a motion for an extension of time be filed before the time has expired.