As we all know, Denver’s population has exploded in recent years. Many people arrive here seeking a better life, but often have debts from the past that they do not want to follow them to their new home.

Bankruptcy law is a Federal law meaning it is available in any state. A few rules do apply to newcomers, though.

First, you must file in the state where you reside for the majority of the 180 days before filing. In essence, this means you must live in Colorado for 90 days. Many folks new to town will hire us IMMEDIATELY upon arrival so we can prepare the case and then file when the 90 days is up.

The second issue is exemptions. This means the property you can protect which does change from state to state. If you have not lived in Colorado for two years before filing you must use the exemptions from the state you lived in before coming here, or, possibly, the Federal exemptions apply in certain circumstances.

The rules as to which exemptions apply and what they protect can be quite complicated, but can be explained clearly by a competent bankruptcy attorney.

Give me, Peter Milwid, a call at 303-831-0733 if you are new to town, need help, and would like me to explain this to you in detail.

Towards the end of the year we have observed that collection action increases as collection agencies and banks work to meet year-end collection quotas. This is especially hard on folks with families who are trying to get by and enjoy the holidays but who are getting increased calls and pressure from creditors.

Hiring a Denver based bankruptcy attorney who you can refer all calls to helps a lot because the collectors are less likely to bother you, or sue you, when they know a bankruptcy is on its way. Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer now, even if you are not filing for a month or so will stop almost all activities and allow you a breath of fresh air for the holidays before filing after the first of the year.

The biggest planning issue in year-end cases is tax refunds. If you file before you receive your refund, you may lose it to the bankruptcy trustee. While some refunds are exempt, refunds from wage withholding are not and have to paid out to creditors by the trustee.

Folks struggling with money problems cannot afford to lose their refunds so the proper planning would be to start the case with your attorney before tax season, but actually file after receiving the refund and spending it on ordinary expenses for the family before filing. You cannot spend it on debts or give it to family members, so this MUST be done in consultation with your attorney.

Please give me, Peter Milwid, a call at 303-831-0733 to discuss your situation and come up with a plan that will allow you to enjoy the year-end knowing you will be debt free in 2017.

Now that the school year is in full swing, thoughts of the fall and winter and the parade of holidays coming up are on many people’s minds.

But this is often the most stressful time of the year, and debt problems can turn what should be something to look forward to into a nightmare. Phone calls, lawsuits, garnishments, and harassment makes things impossible to plan decent holiday time with the family.

Think about doing a Denver chapter 7 bankruptcy NOW and give yourself the benefit of a discharge of your debts before year end.

One major issue to consider in late year filings are TAX REFUNDS which you may receive early next year. If your refund is substantial, you may lose your refund to the bankruptcy estate if you file before the refund is received and spent on ordinary living expenses for you and your family. However, earned income credit and additional child tax credits are benefits that are exempt and protected under state law.

These considerations of if and when to file should be made only with the advice of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Please call me, Peter Milwid, at 303-831-0733 to talk about this if you are considering filing and want to know what to do.

For many families, this is the most hectic AND EXPENSIVE time of the year—back to school. Changing schedules, books, supplies and clothes, all produce both excitement AND incredible STRESS!

The money part of this stress is HUGE. When people are struggling to make ends meet, the extra expenses associated with the start of school can make things impossible.

We have found that Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a very helpful tool in dealing with the economic demands of the back to school season.

It’s simple. If you are overwhelmed with debt, elimination of this debt results in more disposable income from work to pay monthly expenses AND handle the increased expenses of school.

It is like going on a diet. Less calories means weight loss. Elimination of monthly debt payments means more money in your pocket to pay your bills.

If you would like to discuss how bankruptcy may help you now, call me, Peter Milwid, at 303-831-0733.

If you own your vehicles free and clear, you can protect and keep up to two vehicles with a total value of $7500, or $12,500 if you are over 60 or older or disabled. The Colorado exemption laws protect these valuable assets to allow you a fresh start with reasonable transportation. These numbers would be doubled for a couple filing together, and these values are generally determined by the wholesale, not retail, value.

If you owe money on your car and have equity in it, this equity is protected up to the above stated amounts. This is not very common because people usually owe what the car is worth or more than the car is worth.

If you owe money on your car, you can either give it back to the creditor and owe them nothing, or continue paying on it and keep it ONLY if you are current with the payments and have full coverage insurance.

A confusing area of keeping the car is the idea of REAFFIRMATION AGREEMENTS. Generally, car companies want you to sign a new agreement in the bankruptcy agreeing to pay for the car no matter what happens in the future. To be enforceable, this agreement must be approved by the Court.

These reaffirmation agreements are very bad in my opinion because if you later lost your job and couldn’t afford it, or if the car engine blew up, you would be responsible for the debt DESPITE the bankruptcy discharge. If you did not sign a reaffirmation and hard times hit, you can return the car later and owe the creditor nothing.

The Bankruptcy Reform At of 2005 requires reaffirmation agreements if you want to keep the car, but, in practice, most car lenders will allow you to keep the car and make payments even without the reaffirmation agreement. Also, payments made on a car without a reaffirmation agreement will not be reported to the credit agencies and will not help in rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy.

This area of law can be a little complicated and you should consult an attorney for a complete explanation. Call me, Peter Milwid, at 303-831-0733 if you have any questions.

I am writing this on the Fourth of July, a great holiday celebrating our country’s independence, and see the language of independence and freedom as words we use every day in our law practice—bankruptcy results in freedom from debt and a new life of independence from the pain and burden of financial troubles.

So, just as our forefathers sought to rid themselves of the political and tax burdens of being dominated by England, the modern debt world has created an impossible burden many Americans suffer under that can be overthrown by the filing of a chapter 7 bankruptcy.

So, to all who read this blog, I hope you had a safe and relaxing Fourth of July, and if you are now feeling overwhelmed and depressed by debt problems, remember, this can be fixed, and you can be liberated to move forward in life with a fresh start independent of banks and debt collectors and free to build a future with less pressure and fear.

The busiest season for filing bankruptcy is spring and fall. Tax season and bankruptcy go hand-in-hand because many people use tax refunds to pay their attorney fees. Fall is busy because people want to take care of things before the holidays.

But summer is actually an excellent time to file chapter 7 bankruptcy and get rid of crushing and out of control debt. I have learned this after many years of feedback from clients.

There is a tendency in summer to let things slide. Kids are out of school, fishing and bar-b-ques beckon, and the heat makes people want to kick back and enjoy some of our beautiful Colorado weather.

But, in fact, it is hard to relax with serious money problems hanging over your head. Clients have expressed to me that they are off with family or planning a vacation, and are overwhelmed by anxiety because they are afraid of what awaits them from creditors when they return.

For this reason, many people want to begin their summer with a fresh start and start the bankruptcy process right away. A clear mind is a relaxed mind and taking a proactive step to solve your financial problems allows real relaxation to occur.

Also, summer goes by quickly and many clients want to take care of things before school starts again when time is short and money is shorter with the expenses that arise when the kids go back to school.

So, if you may need a chapter 7 bankruptcy to clear yourself of overwhelming debt, give me, Peter Milwid, a call at Mile High Bankruptcy (303-831-0733) so I can explain how to solve your problems and achieve some real peace of mind before the Fourth of July

Most people these days go looking for a denver bankruptcy lawyer on the internet, or get a referral from a friend. At Mile High Bankruptcy we estimate that well over half our clients come from referrals from people we have helped in the past.

But a lot of folks don’t have someone to ask so they look on line where there is a confusing soup of ads and prices that make the decision process just as confusing and overwhelming as the debts themselves!

For them, a couple of tips:

1. Call someone experienced. There are many people holding themselves out as experts who do not understand the rather complicated procedures of processing a case smoothly and efficiently for a client. The principles of bankruptcy are straightforward. The technical aspects are not and can only be done well by someone with years of practice under their belt.

2. Go in for a free consultation. Every case is different and only an analysis of your situation by a bankruptcy expert will provide you with the information you need to make the right decision.

At Mile High Bankruptcy, we offer a free consultation with me, Peter Milwid, both on the phone and in the office. You pay no money until you are satisfied that you want me as your lawyer and everything has been explained clearly. We have been helping people file successful bankruptcies since 1987, and can cut right to the heart of the matter in a short but productive phone call. Our fees can always be paid in payments to make things possible with $100 down as a retainer to get us on board and to stop phone calls right away.

So if you need help, give me a call today at 303-831-0733 to find out how to get control of your finances and a relief from your debts. AS one client put it recently, “It’s nice to be able to breathe again!”

It is no surprise how our state and city have grown incredibly in the past few years. Colorado’s population has grown by 101,000 people in the last year and Denver’s growth has been 18,582, and there is no end in sight.

This has driven prices up for just about everything, especially rents and housing costs. For anyone other than the rich, these factors have been punishing and hard—everything costs more, but people do not have more money.

This has hit low and moderate income families the hardest. Rents have increased 33% in the last four years, and home prices last year went up 12%.

What is a family to do when more of their income is needed just to keep a roof over their head? Where does the extra money come from to buy groceries and pay bills?

One affirmative strategy that is more and more necessary is to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Denver. By eliminating credit card payments and medical bills, or perhaps replacing an over priced car with one less expensive, a family or individual can free up more disposable income from their pay checks to handle the increased cost of housing.

For example, if someone is paying $1000 a month for rent and $450 for credit cards, and the landlord raises the rent to $1450 (a real case example from our office), only a bankruptcy can fix the problem by eliminating the credit card debt to afford the rent increase.

No one wants to file bankruptcy, but in this world of ever increasing costs, it is often a necessary tool to keep things even and enjoy an affordable life.

Give me a call at Mile High Bankruptcy to see how we can help! 303-831-0733.

Judge Sidney Brooks retired this year after 28 years of distinguished service as Judge and Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Colorado.

In addition to being a fine judge, Judge Brooks is also a scholar on international law and has travelled throughout the world, especially to Russia and China, to help other countries develop their legal systems and learn about American bankruptcy law.

I first met Judge Brooks on a legal study tour to China which he led before he was a judge. In fact, it was that trip that in many ways led to my career in bankruptcy as there were three bankruptcy lawyers on the trip who I met from Denver who inspired me to migrate with my family from Glenwood Springs where I was practicing water law to a whole new career shift to bankruptcy here in Denver, Colorado.

Congratulations, Judge Brooks, on a fine and illustrious career, and I hope you enjoy your retirement, although I know you will keep very busy!

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