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03 Jul 2012

Wildfires May Compel Colorado Springs Residents to Contemplate Bankruptcy

As Colorado Springs residents continue to grapple with a massive, fast-moving wildfire that has already killed at least two people, destroyed more than 350 homes and damaged dozens more, many may have just been pushed over the edge to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

It's no surprise that many were already suffering financially prior to this. Now, many have lost everything.

Our Colorado Springs bankruptcy lawyers know that despite the stringent guidelines imposed by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, special provisions were set forth to protect those who had suffered a major natural disaster, such as flooding, a hurricane, or tornado - or a fire.


Specifically, these provisions were created in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Part of it deals specifically with bankruptcy fraud, which the courts do take very seriously. Usually, if you don't have sufficient or proper paperwork, your case might be closed, your debts deemed non-dischargeable or you might even be prosecuted. But these new provisions allow that if you're important documents or other paperwork was destroyed as a result of a natural disaster, you can't be prosecuted or penalized for that.

In that same vein, the normal deadlines and meetings that you may have been otherwise compelled to meet become more flexible. One example might be that a debtor might not be able to leave their location due to flooding. So in turn, if they do not attend their credit counseling meetings as a result, they can't be penalized for that.

Plus, while the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was designed to make it more difficult to file for bankruptcy (in an effort to drive down fraud), the natural disaster provisions actually make it easier for you to file if you've been affected by an act of nature. In part, that involves waiving lost property through the means test, waiving your credit counseling requirements and, as we mentioned earlier, not punishing you for not having the proper documentation that may have been lost in the disaster.

Those whose homes may have been damaged or destroyed by this blaze may feel financially ruined and hopeless. We can help.

Stephen H. Swift

Managing Attorney
Law Office of Stephen H. Swift, P.C.

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    "Everyone I talked with or met with was knowledgeable, professional and helpful. I rate this law firm a 10 on every count. This was my second bankruptcy, and I used your office the first time. Everything was very professional and everyone was very helpful and pleasant to interact with.

    Matthew Hansen was nice, knowledgeable and professional. Alicia was very pleasant, friendly. Cris was very nice and helpful."

    -Karin, Colorado Springs, CO



     

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    "From the first time that I entered the office, I was treated with the utmost respect. It was like I had been knowing all of the employees for years!! Every person that I came in contact with was extremely courteous!!!

    I rate my overall experience a 12!! And I wouldn't change a thing on the website.

    Cris is absolutely wonderul!! While Alicia was extremely courteous and humorous!!!

    Stephen (Swift) was extremely professional and courteous. One of the nicest gentlemen that I have Had the pleasure of working with. I can't thank him enough."

        

    – Pete, Colorado Springs, CO  

    • Alamosa
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    "I was referred by a client. I rate Swift Law a 10 on the quality of legal expertise I received, on my phone calls being returned promptly, on the staff being friendly and helpful, and my overall experience. Cris was very helpful and informative, and Alicia was very thorough.

    Matthew Hansen was wonderful." - JoAnn, Colorado Springs, CO



     

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    "Everyone was professional, friendly and caring of the situation I was in.

    Cris is the best. Very friendly, caring and informative to my questions. Made me feel at ease.

    Alicia was friendly. Only talked with her one time on phone when Ward was not available.

    Ward was very friendly and made me feel very comfortable. Very good at his job.

    Mr. Swift was very efficient, professional and friendly. Right off he makes you feel like he is on your side in a difficult situation. Gets the job done.

    Thank you to ALL - for your professionalism, caring and integrity during the process of my bankruptcy. "

     - Anonymous, Colorado Springs, CO




     

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    "I rate this plance a 10. Very friendly & professional.

    Just want to thank all the staff for making this process so easy & fast for me. You guys are the "BEST".

    Both Cris and Alicia were very friendly & helpful. And Stephen was very professional & knowledgeable."

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    "My attorney (Matthew Hansen) is a very kind person.  I felt very confident in his skills. He is very knowledgeable and efficient.  He didn't make me feel embarrassed to be filing for bankruptcy.  Thank you Matthew!  Laura was very friendly, and everyone I interacted with was very nice and helpful as well.  " 
      –  Sherry M., Colorado Springs, CO



     

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