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Client Testimonials

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  • "Valerie went way above & beyond to be helpful and make sure everything was clear.  She's a real spitfire!  Steve & Patti were very professional. Thank you for completing my bankruptcy!  I know it wasn't an easy one." 
             – Ken H., Woodland Park, CO 12.28.13

  • “Patti was so sweet and helpful. And that Valerie...as soon as she heard about my garnishment, she got things moving quickly.  She's quite a go-getter!  My attorney, Mr. Stratman made this process seem very simple, and he was very helpful. ” 
                   – Karie & Glen,  Colorado Springs, CO  05/17/14

  • "I love you Patti!  You mad the process doable for me. And Steve, you were fantastic!  You worked with me and educated me when no one else did.  I enjoyed your leve of professionalism " 
         – JoAnn S.,Highlands Ranch, CO   05.18.14

  • " I love Valerie! She's so friendly with a great attitude...and very helpful.  It was so nice to have someone like Mr. Swift that was so experienced in all areas. " 
            – Jessica W.,  Colorado Springs , CO   05.12.14

  • "Stephen Swift is a wonderful and awesome man.  I will remember him in the future! :)  Both Patti & Valerie are wonderful ladies to talk to.  I rate this place a 10.  I would recommend them to anyone else I knew who was in my situation. "  – Connie L, Colorado Springs  6.26.14

  • "What can I say about Mr. Swift? He is the greatest.  A fighter for the client! Cris was a "jack of all trades"...an excellent listener, and she answers questions promptly.  Patti & Valerie were both very friendly and knowlegeable. I rate my experience with this firm a 10!" 
          – Coleen S,  Colorado Springs  4.29.15

  • "Everyone was very knowledgeable, organized and friendly!  We learned a lot from Mr. Swift.  Our case went very smooth, and it was filed quickly.  We appreciate that!" 
       – Francisco & Rebecca, Colorado Springs 03.19.15

  • "Everyone I came into contact with at Swift Law Firm was friendly and professional.  They also went above & beyond inbeing helpful!"  – Christopher, Colorado Springs  03.23.15

  • " Mr. Swift, not only did you work to get us a home during our bankruptcy, you also got our bankruptcy from 5 years to under 3 years.  Amazing! Thank you for looking at our case.  We are so grateful!   " 
                –Nicole W.,  Canon City, Colorado  09.14.14

  • " Great service!  Staff is extremely helpful & attentive!  I highly recommend Swift Law Firm to anyone needing bankruptcy service/advice. Patti & Cris were always professional and courteous and a pleasure to talk to.  Mr. Swift is an excellent attorney.  He is very knowledgeable about bankruptcy law and how it pertains to each individual. Great to work with.  Thank you Patti, Cris & Steve!  "    –Tonya  H.,  Colorado Springs, CO   09.08.14

  • " Your law firm is the best, and I can't thank you enough for being willing to go above and beyond to help me with my financial situation! Patti is always so nice, and Mr. Swift is AWESOME!  " 
          –Denise L. , Colorado Springs, CO  07.24.14

  • " Dearest Mr. Swift & staff, I just wanted to say thank you very much.  You all have been wonderful!  Bless you for doing your jobs with honesty and integrity.  Hard qualities to find these days! Especially in attorneys.  You are the best!  I will keep in touch, just to pester you.  Ha Ha  –Yolanda S.,  La Veta, Colorado  11.01.14

  • " Very nice people to work with! I would recommend them to anyone I know that was in my situation. Mr. Swift is very friendly, and he made us feel very comfortable.  Thank you! "  –Brenda H., Colorado Springs, CO 12.03.14

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    “I would rate my overall experience at the firm as a ten!  Patti was very nice & helpful, and Valerie was very knowledgeable!  They    gave me multiple options for my situation and helpful email reminders.  My attorney, Jon Stratman was very kind and gave me helpful guidance throughout the process.”   – anonymous




  • "Anyone looking for a highly respected bankruptcy lawyer, I definitely recommend Stephen H. Swift Law Firm. Everyone there is so friendly and so helpful. They make it easy to pay for your bankruptcy and are pretty affordable. My reason for highly recommending them is because they go above and beyond for you. They are very sympathetic with the situation you are in. They always have your back. Especially one person in-particular on her day off, will call and handle any creditor that is harassing you. My bankruptcy has been filed and discharged for almost a little over a year now and I will get a phone call every once in a while and I just call them and they take care of it at no cost to me. Valerie, Patty and Stephen I am and always will be grateful for you. Thank you again for all you've done. I love Stephen H. Swift Law Firm.  " 
         – Kathy Garcia., Burlington, CO   09.10.15

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31 Aug 2015

What Must Be Done Before Filing for Bankruptcy Featured

So many people call a bankruptcy lawyer expecting to file for bankruptcy next week, when in reality there is a process that must be followed. For example, you must receive credit and budget counseling from an approved credit counseling service within the 180 days prior to filing a petition. The credit counseling agency will review other options with you to help you avoid bankruptcy, which should be viewed as a last resort. Some of these agencies will provide counseling via telephone or online, but most people find it more helpful to meet in person. If and when you decide to file for bankruptcy, your forms must include the certificate from this agency indicating you received credit and budget counseling.


How to choose a credit counseling agency

When the time comes to choose a credit counselor, you may find it difficult to distinguish one from another. Many agencies are legitimate but there are others that are rip-offs. Just because they say they are "approved" for bankruptcy counseling doesn't guarantee a good reputation. Remember, even the best agencies won't be able to help you much if you are in serious financial trouble.

Many of the approved credit counseling agencies will also offer debt management plans, also known as DMPs. A DMP allows you to repay some or all of your debts by consolidating them with the agency. The counseling agency then distributes the money to your creditors. Be careful if you choose an agency that offers this service, as some will try to enroll you in a DMP even when it doesn't make sense. In many cases, bankruptcy might be the best solution for you, and if you sign up for a plan that you cannot afford you will end up in bankruptcy anyway.

When should you meet with an attorney?

For most individuals, it is a good idea to meet with an attorney prior to hiring a credit counselor. Some law firms will have a specific counselor that they recommend. A bankruptcy lawyer can also give you legal advice about whether bankruptcy is the answer for you, as well as many other suggestions.

Which property can I keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Another one of the most common bankruptcy-related questions is concerning property. Everyone wants to know what property they will be able to keep, but it all depends on the type of bankruptcy you choose. For example, in a Chapter 7 case you can keep all the property that is "exempt" from creditors' claims. However, in a Colorado bankruptcy lawyer will tell you there are some exemptions in this state.

Here are the Chapter 7 exemptions in Colorado:

  • $5,000 in equity in your car or $10,000 equity if you elderly or disabled
  • $60,000 in equity in your home, or $90,000 if you are elderly or disabled
  • $3,000 for household goods
  • $20,000 for things you need for your job (tools, books, etc.)
  • Except for the home, the amounts are doubled when a married couple files together.

It is important to remember that the value of the property is not based on what you paid for it, but rather what it's worth now. This will be especially helpful in determining the value of furniture and cars.

What about Chapter 13?

In a Chapter 13 case, you can keep all of your property if your plan meets the requirements of the bankruptcy law. In most cases you will have to pay the mortgages or liens as you would if you didn't file bankruptcy.
In most cases you will not lose your home or car during your bankruptcy case as long as your equity in the property is fully exempt. Even if your property is not fully exempt, you will be able to keep it if you pay its non-exempt value to creditors in Chapter 13.

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Stephen H. Swift

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

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