Law Office of David M. Serafin offers bankruptcy and tax representation in Summit County, Colorado

September 21, 2012

By: David M. Serafin

Although our main office is located in the Cherry Creek area of Denver, the Law Office of David M. Serafin has a second office in Breckenridge, Colorado, where we serve the “high country” residents of Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne.  We also have individual and small business bankruptcy clients based nearby in Vail, Avon, Edwards, Fairplay and Leadville, Colorado.  Just like with most areas of Colorado, bankruptcy filings in Summit County are prevalent, at least in proportion to the population.  Whether you are struggling to keep a house or mountain condo upside down in equity out of foreclosure, intend to surrender your home and eliminate the deficiency, or protect your personal assets or small business from being seized by creditors, we have helped countless numbers of Summit County residents wipe away debt and stop creditor harassment and collection (such as garnishments and bank levies) in both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy.

In particular, because the state and local governments have a smaller presence in more rural and mountainous areas than in Denver, a high percentage of our bankruptcy clients in Summit County own their own small business.  Examples of individual clients in Summit County who have successfully retained the Law Office of David M. Serafin to file bankruptcy are realtors, general and sub-contractors, home builders, carpenters, plumbers, painters, restaurant owners and those employed by the ski resorts.  Most of these clients are looking for a fresh start with their finances yet want to keep their businesses intact.  Many are also allowed an additional property exemption to keep personally owned business “tools of trade” in bankruptcy in order to keep the business running. 

Having earned a Master’s Degree in Taxation from the University of Denver, attorney David M. Serafin is uniquely qualified over the overwhelming majority of bankruptcy attorneys in Colorado to help Summit County small business owners simultaneously discharge consumer, business and tax debt, and protect assets.  We will analyze all personal and business tax returns, and your company’s Profit/Loss Statement and Balance Sheet, to let you know your rights in regards to creditors and the bankruptcy trustee.  For higher income filers or those with higher amounts of non-dischargeable tax debt, we will structure the most advantageous re-payment plan in chapter 13 to personal and business creditors, including the IRS and Colorado Department of Revenue. 
 
Many, if not most, individual bankruptcy clients who own a small business in Summit County have personally guaranteed business debt, such as a SBA loan, line of credit, investment/rental property mortgage or long term lease.  Other self-employed clients will owe both income and employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service and State of Colorado which can either be discharged in bankruptcy or, if not discharged, at least paid back over 60 months without additionally accruing penalties and interest.  Having a bankruptcy and tax lawyer such as David M. Serafin on your side will help ensure the most effective protection of your personal and business assets in chapter 7 or chapter 13 from all creditors regardless of their Priority given in the Bankruptcy Code, including the IRS.

An issue unique to Summit County, Colorado residents intending to file bankruptcy is the precipitous collapse of real estate prices (even despite a recent modest recovery).  The weakened real estate market has caused a chain reaction in the amount and quality of jobs in construction and home building especially for more upscale mountain residences.  Such domino effect in Summit County land values might force the homeowner to surrender the house and file bankruptcy while the general contractor also walks away from the project and likewise files bankruptcy to get rid of the debt owed to banks and other lenders.  Also, many owners of existing homes in Summit County now owe more on their homes than the fair market value (i.e. are upside down and have negative equity).  The Law Office of David M. Serafin frequently represents these homeowners in chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to eliminate part or all of any additional mortgage debt and, for those with a second mortgage, we can often strip off a second mortgage while allowing for the retention of the house and continuing first mortgage payments.

Please note that all Summit County bankruptcy filers will be required to attend a Section 341 Meeting of Creditors in Denver before a chapter 7 or chapter 13 trustee.  This is a fairly easy hearing for most and you’ll likely be present for less than one hour (all 341 hearings are on a Tuesday morning for chapter 13 cases whereas these hearings are randomly spread throughout the entire week if you filed for chapter 7).  In comparison, Eagle County residents filing for bankruptcy who live in Vail, Avon or Edwards are required to travel to Grand Junction for this 341 hearing.

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