Creditors are not permitted to call individuals who are represented by legal counsel. Once you have retained Geranios Law, PLLC to represent you, creditors are required to communicate with us, not you. Harassing phone calls must cease when you tell your creditors you have retained an attorney. If they do not stop, we will contact them to stop the calls. 

Once you file your bankruptcy petition, the court will issue an automatic stay, putting an immediate halt to all debt collection efforts, including lawsuits and garnishments.

You should seek legal advice immediately. A bankruptcy will stop a lawsuit and prevent the creditor from getting a judgment against you. If the creditor gets a judgment, collection efforts must stop when the bankruptcy is filed. Until the bankruptcy is filed, however, the creditor may be able to garnish your wages or levy your bank accounts. A judgment also creates a lien on any real estate you own. It may or may not be possible to eliminate the lien in bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy code, in most cases, does allow you to retain certain secured property (i.e. vehicles, homestead, and other real property). You are required to list all debts, even those you wish to continue to pay. Also, all unsecured debts (i.e. credit cards, personal loans, etc.) must be included in the bankruptcy and are subject to discharge. There may be special exceptions to this requirement, but by and large, you will not be permitted to pick and choose between unsecured debts. In most cases, if you have a secured debt like a car loan or home loan, you can ask the court to allow you to keep the item, and continue to pay for it. 

Geranios Law accepts major credit cards, checks and cash. Additionally, in most cases, I will accept payments for my fee. This kind of an arrangement will vary based upon the specific situation.

It is my policy to keep my clients fully apprised of the status of their case. I am also always available by email or telephone to answer questions. 

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires you to pay a monthly payment to the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee. A common misunderstanding about Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that you must repay all of your debt. You are not required to pay back all of your debt. The bankruptcy laws control the amount you must repay, but you may still discharge or eliminate all or at least portions of your outstanding debt. Your monthly payment is calculated based upon your monthly income and expenses. However, your future goals regarding secured property (i.e. vehicles, homestead, and other real property) may also have an effect on how your monthly payment is calculated. 

If you have fallen behind in payments or are experiencing a financial hardship with your home or any other secured properties, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may offer you the opportunity save, or keep these properties. 

“I’ll never ever get credit again.” 

In fact, you’ll be offered new credit (on not very good terms) just as soon as you get a bankruptcy discharge, if not before. People in bankruptcy can get car loans. The situation improves year by year.

“I incurred these debts and I should pay them.” 

Repayment is certainly the better approach if it is truly an option, but ask yourself, 1) is it possible to repay on the present terms; and 2) at what risk to your future and that of your family? Most people who struggle to repay debt go without health care or health insurance; emergency savings; or anything set aside for retirement. They gamble their future health and security to repay debt that is frequently far in excess of what they can realistically pay.

“I’m ashamed.”

Most people who file bankruptcy have suffered job loss; divorce; or ill health. A much smaller group got there via poor choices or over optimism about their ability to bounce back from adversity, or a combination. The bankruptcy system doesn’t condition relief on an assessment of whether you “merit” a discharge. No one sits in judgment about how you got in debt. Generally the only people at bankruptcy hearings are others who are in the same boat (and their lawyers).

The system treats honest debtors with respect.
While it may be emotionally difficult to admit you are financially stuck, the result of filing a bankruptcy is both psychologically and financially liberating. Remaining in hopeless debt saps energy and efficiency.

Call (406) 541-3565 or email me: or through the contact form at

This is a universal question that does not have a universal answer. Certainly filing a bankruptcy has an initial affect your credit score. However, the type of bankruptcy, whether Chapter 7, 11 or 13, will affect an individual’s credit differently. If you are in need of a bankruptcy, the initial affect to your credit score should not necessarily guide you in your decision on whether or not to file. 

Often, those in need of a fresh start who choose not to file for bankruptcy will have a harder time rehabilitating their credit in the future. Those who are unable to pay their debt today, and choose to file bankruptcy, are ultimately afforded the opportunity in the future to obtain credit cards, purchase vehicles, and qualify for mortgage loans. While these things may not happen overnight, you may be surprised as to the actual positive effects your bankruptcy will have on your life. 

Bankruptcies remain on your credit report for ten years after discharge. During that
time, your credit score will be negatively impacted by the bankruptcy. However, that does not mean that you cannot obtain credit. In fact, there are steps you can take immediately after -or even during – a bankruptcy to begin rebuilding credit and obtaining loans.

A guardian is a court-appointed adult who takes care of a person who is unable to take care of him- or herself. The person the guardian takes care of is often called a “ward.”

When a court appoints a guardian to take care of an adult, it is usually because the ward has physical or mental disabilities that limit the person’s ability for self-care. Courts also appoint guardians for children whose parents can no longer care for them. Often a court-appointed guardian is a relative, spouse, or friend. But a guardian can also be a lawyer, a professional guardian, a private organization, or state-run agency. The court makes a decision based on what is best for the ward.

A court appointed conservator manages only the ward’s finances, while a guardian manages all of the decisions in the ward’s life, i.e., living arrangements, health care, etc.

  • Sometimes, an illness, injury, or disability can make it difficult or impossible for someone to make decisions about his or her health care, money, living situation, or other personal matters. Examples may include:
    • Someone who is in a coma.
    • Someone who is mentally challenged.
    • Someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
    • Someone who has had a stroke.
    • Someone who has suffered a brain injury.
  • If a court finds that a person cannot make any or all of his or her important life decisions, that person is incapacitated.
  • To decide whether someone is incapacitated, the court holds a hearing and looks at all the facts. It will find that a person is incapacitated if it believes the facts show the person cannot:
    • understand the facts about his or her financial, health care, or living situation well enough to make decisions about any or all of those matters, or
    • clearly communicate his or her wishes about any or all of those matters.
  • If the court decides to appoint a guardian or conservator for an incapacitated person, the incapacitated person is called the ward.