While most of these FAQs are general to bankruptcy across the country, some of the answers will be specific to Colorado bankruptcy laws and to particular situations. You should always consult with a local bankruptcy attorney on any specific questions.
In 2005, Congress made sweeping changes to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, primarily in connection with consumer bankruptcy. In general, the new law makes consumer bankruptcy more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Still, Chapter 7 relief is still available for 90 to 95% of the consumers who need it. Those who are not eligible for Chapter 7 may be able to find relief by way of a Chapter 13 payment plan bankruptcy, paying back in most cases a small fraction of what is actually owed.
Many people run into financial problems from time to time. Sometimes, the situation is temporary and can be resolved before it gets out of control. But if you are hit with an expense that was never anticipated, such as a large, uninsured medical bill, you may find it impossible to work it into your monthly budget. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will be able to provide you with the guidance you need.
In some cases, what appears to be a small problem may be a symptom of a larger problem. For instance, you may be making your monthly payments on time, but find it necessary to borrow money (for instance, by taking cash advances on credit cards) to meet your living expenses. If this pattern continues over a period of time, at some point, the debt will build up to the point where you cannot borrow enough money fast enough to stay current on your payments.
Like a snowball rolling downhill, when debts are not paid on time, extra interest and penalties can build up to a crushing weight. This can lead to collection letters, harassing telephone calls, and even lawsuits, judgments and wage garnishments. If you feel that your debt problem is heading in this direction, you should review the situation with an attorney experienced in bankruptcy law, to help you decide whether bankruptcy would be appropriate for you.
In some instances, bankruptcy may not solve the problem, or it may involve potential risks and expenses which would make it inappropriate. A good bankruptcy attorney will take the time to understand the facts of your particular situation, and will give you advice tailored to meet your specific needs.
Debtor collectors are notorious for their harassing tactics they sometimes use to collect a debt here in Colorado . In many instances, these collectors overstep their legal right to collect a debt that we can sue them over. Under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a collection agency may not act in the following ways in Colorado :
Third-party communications. The collection agency cannot contact third parties other than the debtor’s attorney or a credit bureau for any reason other than to locate the debtor. Collection agents who contact third parties must state their names, and may only add that they are confirming or correcting information about the debtor. They cannot give the collection agency’s name unless asked directly. They cannot state that they are calling about a debt. Collection agents may not contact a third party repeatedly unless they believe an earlier response was wrong or incomplete and that the third party has revised information. Further, collection agents cannot communicate with third parties by postcard or by correspondence that uses words or symbols that betray their collection motive.
Attorney-represented debtor. A collection agency cannot contact the debtor directly if counsel represents him or her unless the debtor gives the collection agency specific permission to do so. Once you retain Weselis & Suhoparek LLC to represent you through a bankruptcy, we will provide you with template letters to mail to your creditors in order to stop the harassment. From that point forward, they are not permitted to contact you anymore and all communication must go though our downtown Denver, Colorado office.
Debtor communications. Collection agents may not contact debtors before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., or at another inconvenient time or place. Collection agents also may not contact a debtor at work if he or she knows that the employer bans receipt of collection calls while on the job.
Harassment or abuse. Agents cannot threaten or use violence against the debtor or another person. They cannot use obscene or profane language. They cannot publish a debtor’s name on a blacklist or other public posting. Agents cannot call repeatedly or contact the debtor without identifying themselves as bill collectors.
False or misleading statements. Agents may not lie about the debt, their identity, the amount owed, or the consequences for the debtor. They cannot send documents that resemble legal filings or court papers. Agents cannot offer incentives to disclose information.
Unfair practices. Agents may not engage in unfair or shocking methods to collect, including adding interest or fees to the debt, soliciting post-dated checks by threatening criminal prosecution, calling the debtor collect, or threatening to seize property to which the agency has no right.
If any of these actions occurred, then you may be able to sue your creditors and receive damages for their violation of federal law. In many cases, we can roll your lawsuit into your bankruptcy and possibly provide you with money damages to help you get your fresh start. In other cases, you can go after your creditors without even filing for bankruptcy in federal court. If any of these violations occurred, then please give the Colorado attorneys at Weselis & Suchoparek LLC a call so we can discuss all of your options. We are just as eager as you to stop this abuse in the State of Colorado. You have to follow the law and so should they.
Just call the Colorado bankruptcy attorneys of Weselis & Suchoparek LLC at (303) 296-3230 to set up an free initial consultation meeting. We are open 8AM-5PM every weekday and conveniently located in downtown Denver, Colorado. At that point we will briefly discuss your options and have you fill out one of our firm’s very short Colorado bankruptcy questionnaires. This bankruptcy questionnaire will allow us to give you a call to discuss your situation in more detail and we will send you a retainer agreement. This will allow you to make an informed decision about all of your options. Once you are ready to begin, you can call us to schedule your attorney pre-filing meeting. The meeting takes approximately one hour. At the meeting, we will offer our suggestions and advice, and give you our bankruptcy “tool-kit” to use in gathering the information necessary to prepare your bankruptcy.
This is an injunction that goes into effect automatically upon the filing of a bankruptcy case in Colorado. It strictly prohibits the commencement or continuation of any acts to collect on a debt that arose prior to filing the bankruptcy. Think of the automatic stay as a court ordered time out against your creditors. This includes enforcement of judgments, creating or perfecting liens, and many other actions under Colorado Law. (It does not apply to collecting alimony maintenance and support). If any creditor violates this Colorado Bankruptcy Court Ordered, they could be held in contempt and then your creditors could be liable to pay you sanctions.
Generally, the automatic stay goes into effect immediately upon filing your case with the bankruptcy Court located in Denver and against acts taken towards you personally until you receive your bankruptcy discharge. Stays against actions towards property you own may last longer or shorter depending on what happens to that property during your case. For cases filed on or after October 17, 2005, there are several limits to the length of the automatic stay: 1. If you had a prior bankruptcy case dismissed under any chapter within one year prior to the filing of your present case, the automatic stay will terminate 30 days after your new case is filed, unless you obtain a bankruptcy court order extending it, for cause and a showing of good faith as to why the prior case was dismissed. 2. If you had more than one prior bankruptcy case dismissed under any chapter within one year prior to the filing of your present case, the automatic stay does not go into effect at all unless and until the court orders it into effect, after a noticed hearing. There are other new limitations on the automatic stay that Weselis & Suchoparek LLC can advise you.
No. It is almost never too late to file bankruptcy. Assuming that it is a dischargeable debt (meaning one that is not incurred through fraud, or a domestic support obligation, or one of the others Congress has excluded from discharge), you can still get rid of the debt even if a creditor has filed a lawsuit against you and received a judgment. You can even get rid of the debt if they have a lien against your property (although the lien will remain against the property unless you are able to remove it during the bankruptcy proceeding–see below). We routinely remove liens that are placed on our clients’ property.
Your case is filed in the District where you have resided or have your domicile (or for a business, its principal place of business) for the greater part of the 180 day period prior to the date your case is filed. Although we are located only a few blocks from the Denver Bankruptcy Court, all paperwork is electronically filed. It does not matter if you are in Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Trinidad, Durango, Fort Collins, or right across the street from the Denver Bankruptcy Court, we can file your case from our office. This is how we service all of Colorado at an extremely affordable rate.
Many people refer to getting rid of their debts in bankruptcy as “bankrupting” the debt. They often ask “can I bankrupt this debt?” They also ask can I “go bankruptcy?” That is incorrect terminology. The legal term for this is “discharge”. What happens in bankruptcy (assuming you are successful) is that your legal obligation to pay on your debt will be discharged. Debts are never technically eliminated. They still exist after a bankruptcy, but you no longer have the legal obligation to pay on the ones that are discharged (or, bankrupted if you prefer).
Exemptions are protected allowances for the value in certain assets. For example, a homestead exemption protects the equity you have in your home, up to a certain value. All States have different exemption laws which protect the value in certain assets. In most circumstances, you will be able to keep all of your property since Colorado has some of the best exemptions in the country. However, you need a qualified Colorado bankruptcy attorney to discover any possible problems prior to filing your bankruptcy case. We cannot tell you how many times we see a person in court loose a house, car or motorcycle because they either did not have an attorney or used a bankruptcy filing service and did not have any attorney representation. Hiring an attorney is a small price to pay in order to insure that you will not have any unexpected surprises.