Michael J. Graml

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Erie Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Firm

Michael J. Graml

714 Sassafras St
Erie, PA 16501

Phone: 814-459-8288
Fax: 814-453-5502

Counties Served:

Erie, PAWarren, PA
Forest, PAMercer, PA
Venango, PACrawford, PA
Elk, PA

Areas of Practice:






Erie Bankruptcy Attorney

Michael J. Graml

714 Sassafras St
Erie, PA 16501





Many people in Pennsylvania struggle to pay their bills. They may lose hope that they'll ever be able to cover their debt. One option they may turn to is bankruptcy.

There's no magic formula for deciding when bankruptcy is the right choice. It's an option you might consider if you:

  • Are paying only minimum amounts on your bills
  • Can't budget yourself out of debt within five years
  • Are getting notices that your mortgage or loans are being foreclosed
  • Have had a severe financial setback, such as losing your job or a major client, a divorce or a costly illness

Bankruptcy does not get rid of all debts. You're still responsible for:

  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Most recent back taxes
  • Most student loans
  • Recent large purchases of more than $550 for luxury goods bought within 90 days of filing
  • Fines or penalties of government agencies
  • Fraudulent debts
  • Cash advances of $825 within 70 days of filing

As a Pennsylvania consumer, you can file for bankruptcy in Pennsylvania under either:

  • Chapter 7 (Straight Bankruptcy) to wipe out all debts except those listed and get an immediate fresh start or
  • Chapter 13 (Wage Earner Bankruptcy) to set up a repayment plan to pay back your debts over several years' time.

Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act

On April 20, 2005, the President signed into law the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which limits individual access to US bankruptcy courts. Some of the changes, which were effective October 17, 2005, included:

  • New bans on Chapter 7
  • Increased Chapter 13 payments
  • New presumptions against debtors with increased penalties
  • The reduction of judicial discretion to balance competing interests

What Can I Keep?

"Exempt" property is property that you are allowed to keep. What property is exempt in your particular case will be determined upon a review of your property interests in relation to the exemptions available under applicable federal and state laws. The items and amounts in this section may change in the future. Updated information can be found in the state code.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

9/28/12 12:59

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Creditors are subject to state law provisions incorporated into bankruptcy cases. If a bankruptcy court lifts the automatic stay and permits a specific creditor to seize and liquidate property subject to a lien, creditors must obey all state law limitations on collection practices. For more information, see legal assistance for debtors. Also, all statutory provisions depend on conformity with the prohibition against fraudulent conversions creating exempt property.