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Best Bankruptcy Attorneys in Erie

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Foster Law Offices, LLC logo
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Foster Law Offices, LLC

5614 Peach Street, Erie, PA 16509
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Foster Law Offices, LLC. in Erie provides legal services in various bankruptcy cases. It assists clients with chapter 7, chapter 11, and chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions as well as credit rehabilitation and loss mitigation. Its team of paralegals and bankruptcy attorneys provides consultation services to individuals and small businesses. The firm holds more than 60 years of combined experience and offers assistance to clients who are undergoing credit harassment, lawsuits, wage garnishments, and repossessions of property. It also provides services in bankruptcy evaluation, debt negotiation, and fair debt collection.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.9 / 5 (64)
Avvo
3.7 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
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Graml Law Office logo
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Graml Law Office

714 Sassafras Street, Erie, PA 16501
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Graml Law Office is a law firm and debt relief agency that helps residents of Erie and nearby areas to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. With its help, clients can free themselves from having to pay for most debts, including credit card balances, medical bills, and court judgments. The law firm can also help clients fundamentally reorganize payment plans. The first consultation is free.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.8 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton, LLP logo
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MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton, LLP

100 State Street, Suite 700, Erie, PA 16507
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  • Debt Settlement

Business Description

MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton, LLP is a full-service law firm that has been serving clients in the Erie metro area for over a century. Established in 1897, the company represents business entities like corporate debtors, unsecured creditors, lenders, purchasers, and trustees in bankruptcy and creditors' rights litigations. These include bankruptcy filings under all chapters (7, 11, 12, and 13), cash collateral disputes, relief from stay motions, bankruptcy mediation, and conveyance disputes. The company's Bankruptcy & Creditor's Rights Practice Group also provides legal counseling to clients regarding restructuring, reorganization, and financial recovery. Other prominent practice areas include labor and employment, contracts, tax, and environmental law. The company also caters to personal legal issues involving real estate, probate, and family law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.3
Google
4.5 / 5 (182)
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (57)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Melaragno, Placidi & Parini logo
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Melaragno, Placidi & Parini

502 West 7th Street, Erie, PA 16502
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Melaragno, Placidi & Parini are criminal defense, personal injury, and bankruptcy lawyers that serve Erie and other areas of Northwestern Pennsylvania. The attorneys in the firm have more than 80 years of combined experience in handling chapter 7, chapter 13, and chapter 11 bankruptcies. John Melaragno, in particular, has served as a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee for the Western District Court. The attorneys at the firm have been delivering their services as a team since 2001.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (9)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Seelinger Law logo
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Seelinger Law

5148 Peach Street, Erie, PA 16509
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Seelinger Law exclusively practices bankruptcy law in Erie. Rebeka Seelinger offers personalized assistance in bankruptcy petitions and has earned various recognitions for her work as an attorney in the community. Meanwhile, Richard Bedford has been focusing on consumer bankruptcy since 1977 and has served as a trustee in numerous chapters 7 and 13 cases. He has shared his knowledge in the area of bankruptcy as a speaker in engagements for different bar associations.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (64)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (21)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (6)

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Thompson Law Group, P.C. logo
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Thompson Law Group, P.C.

1001 State Street Suite 1400, Erie, PA 16501
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  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Business Description

Thompson Law Group, P. C., is a law firm that serves the residents of Pennsylvania from numerous locations around the state, including one in Erie. Its bankruptcy lawyers help clients choose among a number of personal and business bankruptcy solutions. The firm also handles personal injury claims and mortgage loan modification. The firm is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers and has been offering its services for more than 10 years.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Consumers utilizing Expertise.com are free to communicate and contract with any lawyer they choose. Expertise.com is not involved in the confidential attorney-client relationship. Featured lawyers pay a reasonable advertising cost to market their legal services with Expertise.com and must meet similar selection criteria as other lawyers. All cases are different. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does a bankruptcy attorney do?

Bankruptcy attorneys help clients understand whether they qualify for bankruptcy and what their best options are. They also prepare and file petitions, answer questions during the proceedings, and educate clients about potential best steps for a positive bankruptcy outcome. Bankruptcy attorneys might also file motions or paperwork if creditors dispute the bankruptcy, or to stop creditors from taking collections actions forbidden by the bankruptcy.

What happens when you file bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a formal process that individuals, married couples, or businesses can enact when they are no longer able to pay creditors. In a bankruptcy proceeding, filers are allowed to reduce debt to more manageable levels to best pay off money owed.

Once the bankruptcy process is initiated, debt collectors can no longer seek repayments outside of the arrangements detailed in the bankruptcy settlement. Some forms of bankruptcy result in the liquidation of assets to pay back debts, while others allow filers to retain most of their possessions and investments. Many types of unsecured debt can be managed with bankruptcy filings, but not all.

Can you file bankruptcy on student loans?

Under most circumstances, student loans aren't dischargeable and aren't included in bankruptcy proceedings. In rare cases, it may be possible to eliminate student loans through bankruptcy, but only if the courts determine that continuing to pay the loans would impose an undue hardship. Meeting the criteria for undue hardship is challenging, and most bankruptcy filers don't qualify.

What is bankruptcy fraud?

Bankruptcy fraud is a blanket term that refers to any kind of dishonest bankruptcy proceeding, which can include:

  • Hiding assets by transferring them to another person or entity
  • Intentionally omitting assets when reporting to the court
  • Destroying or withholding required documents
  • Knowingly making false statements to bankruptcy trustees or creditors

How long is bankruptcy on public record?

How long bankruptcy stays on public record depends on the kind of bankruptcy filing in question. Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains on the record for 10 years as there isn't necessarily a repayment component. Chapter 13 bankruptcy remains on the record for seven years as some obligations are repaid following filing based on the terms of a discharge settlement.

Does bankruptcy clear tax debt?

Bankruptcy can clear tax debt, depending on the circumstances. Taxes are dischargeable under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, not Chapter 13, and only if the tax debt is:

  • Federal income tax debt related to current properly filed tax returns
  • Honestly incurred with no fraud or evasion
  • At least three years old
  • Assessed at least 240 days before bankruptcy filings

Existing liens are not eliminated with bankruptcy.


Can they take my car in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

In many cases, it's possible to keep a vehicle following Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Chapter 7 Motor Vehicle Exemption allows filers who own their vehicles outright or who are up to date with payments to keep their cars. However, those behind on making car payments are required to arrange a repayment plan. Otherwise, the vehicle may be repossessed as a part of the proceedings.

How bad is it to file bankruptcy twice?

Although possible, due to the damaging nature of bankruptcy, filing bankruptcy more than once isn't recommended. Filing multiple times puts a serious burden on one's credit report, making it harder to get a loan, buy a house, buy a car, or even open credit cards.

Note that filing for bankruptcy isn't something that can be done at a filer's leisure. There are time limits following bankruptcy cases that dictate when it's permissible to file again. For example, after Chapter 7 bankruptcy, filers must wait at least eight years before filing Chapter 7 again or four years before filing Chapter 13.

Can anyone file bankruptcy?

Anyone can file bankruptcy, but there are limitations regarding which form of bankruptcy is permissible. Qualifying for Chapter 7 requires a means test that evaluates income, debt levels, and income left over each month after paying basic obligations. Income over the median set by the court and monthly income that allows meaningful payments toward unsecured debt can disqualify filers from Chapter 7, which is generally the preferred form of bankruptcy due to the possibility of a full discharge. Anyone can file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but the terms are less favorable. In most cases, some debts must be repaid following a successful filing. Chapter 13 is also more likely to result in asset forfeiture.

How will bankruptcy affect my credit score?

Bankruptcies are noted on credit reports. How much a bankruptcy might drop a person's credit score depends on how high the score was to begin with, but generally speaking, the hit can be as much as 100 to 200 points. Often scores are already dropping because people filing for bankruptcy may have already missed payments on debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcies are listed on credit reports for seven years from the filing date, while Chapter 7 bankruptcies are listed for 10 years from the filing date. This is because Chapter 13 bankruptcies require at least partial payment of debts owed.

What are the benefits of filing for bankruptcy?

Filing a bankruptcy petition causes an automatic stay. This legally stops creditors from taking further action to collect debt, including garnishing wages or foreclosing on property. Going through a bankruptcy successfully means that debts included in the bankruptcy are discharged and don't have to be paid back, except as provided in a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Bankruptcy can help someone recover from financial duress so they can make better decisions and improve financial situations in the future. Disadvantages can include temporary lower credit scores and limitations on spending and financing.

What's the difference between debt settlement and bankruptcy?

Debt settlement occurs when people negotiate with individual creditors. The creditor agrees to take a payment that's lower than what someone owes and call the debt “paid in full.” Bankruptcy is a legal process that causes debts to be dismissed after someone proves they don't currently have the means to pay their debts as owed. Typically, someone can't enter into bankruptcy and also settle some debts, because the court would see that as favoring one creditor over another.

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