Denver Bankruptcy Attorneys - Law Office of Andrew McKenna

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    303-730-8819
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    Contact us today at 303-730-8819, or use our CONTACT PAGE to request your free Telephone Consultation with Andrew F. McKenna, The Bankruptcy Attorney.

  • FAQ

    Colorado Bankruptcy Information

    How much does it cost?

    All information regarding fees is general in nature. An exact fee cannot be quoted until the complexity of your matter has been assessed by an attorney.

    The initial telephone consultation is FREE. Read more information on the initial bankruptcy consultation here.

    The fee you are quoted is the entire amount you will have to pay out-of-pocket to complete your case. We are not like other attorneys who charge piece by piece and if there are any problems in your matter they come back and ask you for more money. We strive to treat you as we would like to be treated. One set payment that you make to use before your case is filed. We will then do all of the work and complete the entire matter you have hired us to handle without requesting more money from you.

    It is important to note that in certain circumstances we also receive attorney fees from your Creditors if we file a lawsuit on your behalf to protect your right or the Court through the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy repayment plan. However, this does not change your payment to the Court in a Chapter 13 or require any further out-of-pocket money from you.

    All other matters, including bankruptcy litigation, and bankruptcy amendment or repair of a past filed bankruptcy case, are also quoted as a flat fee.

    What happens at my initial consultation?

    The initial consultation is a highly informative analysis of your financial situation. This analysis takes into account whether bankruptcy is even the best option for you and the alternatives to bankruptcy, such as representation under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), that may be available.  During the consultation, the attorney will review your assets, debts, income, and expenses to help you determine options that are available to help create financial stability.

    Why choose the Law Office of Andrew McKenna for your bankruptcy?

    There are people who charge less, and there are people who charge much more than we do. Our fees reflect our commitment to quality, detail, and the attention we will pay to you and your legal issues. We answer our phones, return calls, and take the time to help people. The Law Office of Andrew McKenna is certain that you will find our services to be second to none, and we encourage you to visit other firms and attorneys before making your decision, as we are confident you will choose our personalized services.

    What about my credit?

    If you have high debt, your credit has already been affected. For most of our clients, discharging high debt improves their credit. Most of our clients receive many offers of credit as soon as they are discharged. Banks know you cannot file a Chapter 7 for another 8 years, and with little or no debt you become a good credit risk. But we encourage you to avoid using credit and live on a cash basis. We encourage clients to borrow only for major purchases like home and car. Living on a CASH BASIS will set you free!

    Can I keep one credit card off my bankruptcy for future use?

    You are required under the Bankruptcy Laws to disclose all assets and all debt.  So, you do have to list all your bills. As a practical matter, the credit card companies subscribe to services that notify them of all bankruptcy filings, even if they are not listed on the petition. Once they discover you have filed bankruptcy, they will close your account, often after you have made another payment. You are much better off to just use a debit card for future reservations, Internet purchases, etc.

    Should I consider credit counseling?

    If you have the ability to pay off your debt, but need some more time, or if you do not want to consider bankruptcy at this time, contact our office for additional options. If you are not willing or are not a good candidate for bankruptcy, we perform debt negotiaion and will help you negotiate with your credit card companies. You should be very wary of distant online firms that claim to pay your bills if you send them a monthly payment. Many of these firms are less than reputable. Many will hold your money and ignore your creditors. Creditors can still sue you and garnish your wages and the online firm can and will do nothing about it unless they have lawyers on hand in your state to defend you (and they will generally charge you extra for that). If you’re going to need a lawyer anyway, why not contact a good one from the beginning and ignore the online firms that promise to “settle your credit card debt”?

    How long does it take?

    Our staff will prepare the necessary court documents from the information you provide to us by filling out our questionnaire. You will then simply sign the documents after which we will file the documents with the bankruptcy court. Once we file your case, your hearing will be 20 to 40 days later and, in a Chapter 7, you will be discharged about 8 to 9 weeks after that and you are done. In Chapter 13, the first payment is due to the plan trustee 30 days after filing the Chapter 13 plan. The plan generally lasts 3 to  5 years.

    What happens at the hearing?

    There is no judge or courtroom .   A trustee swears you in and asks if your petition is correct, if you listed all your assets and debts, and several other questions. A typical hearing lasts about 10 minutes. Creditors normally do not show up. Hearings are held at 1999 Broadway, Suite 830, Denver, Colorado.

    What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?

    Chapter 7 provides for a complete discharge of your dischargeable debt. Under Chapter 13, you pay back part of your debt over 3 to 5 years. With Chapter 13, you can repay past due home or car loans over time. But beware; many clients delay the inevitable by filing a Chapter 13, making some payments and then failing and having to file a Chapter 7 anyway.

    What debt is discharged, what debt is not?

    Discharged:  Credit card bills, medical debts, reposessions, judgments, collections, back rent, utilities, miscellaneous consumer debts, and certain taxes.

    Not Discharged: Student loans, child and spousal support, certain taxes, and criminal fines and penalties.

    Will someone come to my home and take my property?

    We have never had a client visited at home. If you have nonexempt property, we can do legal pre-bankruptcy planning to protect it or negotiate a favorable buy back from the trustee. Most clients do not lose any property.

    Will my doctor continue to treat me if I discharge his bill?

    Our clients seem to have no difficulty continuing with normal care after filing bankruptcy.

    What do I get to keep?

    Normally, you keep everything. Under Colorado law, you can keep your home, car(s), furniture, appliances, and employer sponsored retirement accounts, as long as they are protected under Colorado exemption law. We will discuss this with you at your consultation. In addition, you are exempt for 1 car per person, but normally high loan balances or low market value solves the problem of excess vehicles. If not, we have other means to help you legally keep your vehicles. Most cases are “No Asset” cases, meaning the trustee does not take any property from the client. Some planning is needed late in the year to make sure you keep your tax refund.

    Can I be “Turned Down” for bankruptcy?

    Not unless there is something extraordinary about your case — like having another Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the last 8 years.

    Are judgments discharged?

    Yes, most judgments are discharged in bankruptcy. Filing your case also stops wage garnishment, eviction, foreclosure, and repossession.

    What about wage garnishment?

    Wage garnishments must stop, even if you file your bankruptcy the day before payday. We are experienced in recovering these funds for you. Please provide us with the name and facsimile number of your payroll clerk so we can take care of this for you.

    Will my name be published in the newspaper?

    No.

    What are the most common issues that arise on bankruptcy cases?

    If you cannot pay your house or car payment, the creditor can foreclose, although your bankruptcy will slow them down. You would have to file a Chapter 13 case in order to delay repayment. But beware, many Chapter 13 cases fail, leaving the debtor in worse shape than before.

    90 Days Before Filing

    If you have large charges or cash advances prior to filing, or have taken out new large loans, the creditor can object to discharge of this debt. We can help you deal with this issue.

    Tax Return

    You keep Earned Income Tax Credit. Timing can be important late in the year to make sure you keep tax refunds. If you have a particularly large return, you should discuss this with your attorney before filing. We are experienced in protecting these funds.

    High Income

    If your income is significantly higher than your expenses, you may not be eligible for a Chapter 7 and may need to consider Chapter 13. This normally is not a problem for our clients. Of course, job loss can make almost anyone eligible for a Chapter 7.

    Preference Payments

    If you have recently made a large payment to family or a single creditor, the trustee may be able to recover that money and distribute it evenly to all of your creditors. You should consult with your attorney before making preference payments.

    How do I get started?

    Contact us by email or call us at 303-730-8819. We will be happy to set an appointment.

    What is the process?

    We work with you to draft your petition. Once your petition has been created, signed, and payment sufficient to file the bankruptcy has been made, then your case is filed. Your hearing is about 4 weeks later. You are discharged about 8 to 9 weeks later, and your case is done.

    How can I get a copy of my Credit Report?

    The quickest way is at www.annualcreditreport.com. This is a free service. Beware: Not all creditors report, and credit reports are not necessarily accurate.  However, we pull your credit reports for you so this is not necessary if you retain our office.

    What else should I do right away if I am going to file bankruptcy?

    • Do not accumulate any more debt.
    • Do not use credit cards or write any checks you may not be able to cover.
    • Stop paying credit card and other bills you will discharge.
    • Do not give away any property.
    • Do not make preference payments to family members or others.
    • Do not make any major financial moves without consulting with your attorney.
    • Start collecting all your past due bills.
    • If you owe more than your car is worth, start considering some of the alternatives:
    • Many dealers are willing to lend to you even before you are discharged from bankruptcy.
    • It is okay for family to loan money to you for a car purchase, after you file bankruptcy.
    • You can purchase an inexpensive “old reliable” to drive temporarily.
    • You can borrow a car from family to drive temporarily.
    • We can file a motion with the court to get you a discount on your current car and a new loan.
    • Do start thinking about your financial objectives after bankruptcy. A good start is to set aside a portion of what you have been paying toward credit cards as a savings fund.

    But I feel “Guilty” about filing bankruptcy.

    This is the most common misunderstanding about bankruptcy. Courts view bankruptcy as the “responsible approach” if you can no longer pay your debt. Many people continue to acquire debt they know they will never repay. It is much better to recognize that you cannot repay your debt, “draw a line in the sand,” and agree to be responsible for all future debt. Further, you must consider the future. High debt could keep you from affording a home for your family, and funding your children’s college tuition. If you cannot fund your retirement, you could become dependent on welfare. This is why courts want you to utilize your rights under bankruptcy law if you need to. We encourage you to use this as a real fresh start, adjust your spending, and take control of your financial future. You can be financially happy after your bankruptcy if you are determined to do so. We look forward to helping you get a fresh start.

    How can I rebuild my credit after bankruptcy?

    In the past, it was difficult to gain credit after filing bankruptcy. That has changed. After bankruptcy, you should make every home, car, and other installment payment on time. You have to use credit to build credit. Just be very careful as you build your credit, as many people will try to lend to you immediately after bankruptcy.

    Buying a Home: It is possible to purchase a home right after bankruptcy, although the interest rates tend to be higher.   Of course, if your debt is high now, you are either completely ineligible to buy a home or would pay high interest anyway. We recommend that you spend two years after your bankruptcy saving at least a 5% down payment, and maintaining consistent employment with significant income exceeding expenses. So, you should avoid taking on other debt prior to buying your home.

    Buying a Car: Most dealers are happy to put you in a car as soon as you have your discharge (your discharge comes about 3 months after your date of filing), if you are otherwise eligible. Some will even do this the day after you file your case. It is important to shop around for the best deals and rates.

    Credit Cards: Although you can get secured credit cards right away, we would encourage you to use a debit card on your bank checking account instead. Debit cards can be used for reservations and Internet purchases, just like credit cards. We believe that credit cards are overrated, and you are much better off making day-to-day purchases with money you already have, than paying 20% or more interest on credit card debt.

    Student Loans: Guaranteed student loans should not be affected by bankruptcy. Private loans may be affected, but chances are you would not be eligible for those anyway if you already have high debt. We have represented many college students who have gone on to borrow and continue normally with their studies after discharging their debt.

    ALLEVIATE THE PRESSURE AND ANXIETY CREATED BY DEBT.

    We have two convenient Denver area locations: Our north metro office in Northglenn, and our South metro office near Colorado & I-25. Our attorneys proudly represent clients throughout Central, Southern, and Northern Colorado, including the communities of Denver, Lakewood, Littleton, Thornton, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Greeley, and Ft. Collins.

  • ANDREW McKENNA’s CREDENTIALS

    20 Years of Experience
    NACBA Member
    Only represents consumers
    BBB Accredited, A+ Rating

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    North Metro Denver Office – 11154 Huron
    St. Northglenn, CO 80234

    South Metro Denver Office – 3801
    E. Florida, Suite 400, Denver, CO 80222

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