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    Great Review on AVVO - "made me feel confident"

    Last updated 7 months ago

    • on Avvo
    • lawyer stuart swanson is very knowlegeable and friendly. 
      he made me feel confident and safe during the situation I went through. a moment in which a I was very sad and vulnerable


    Is It Possible to Negotiate Your Medical Bills?

    Last updated 7 months ago

    According to the American Medical Association, health insurers improperly processed one in five medical claims during 2010. At the same time, claim denial rates varied from 0.7 to 4.5 percent among health insurers. As thousands of Americans struggle to pay for their medical bills, many remain unaware that they can potentially negotiate treatment cost with their hospital or doctor. 

    Doctors often have to hire attorneys or collection agencies to get patients to pay their medical bills at the completion of treatment. If a patient pays with a credit card, the doctor is subjected to costly processing fees. As a result, patients can effectively negotiate a better deal by offering to pay for treatment upfront with cash. At the same time, patients can also negotiate better rates by shopping around and comparing hospital costs. In order to effectively compare rates, patients need to get the current procedural terminology, which is the billing code identifying the treatment procedure. This will make it easier to get comparative quotes from various doctors.

    With seven convenient locations in the Chicagoland area, Cutler & Associates, Ltd. has provided quality bankruptcy representation to thousands of residents. For more information, give us a call at (847) 868-2265.

    How to Talk to Debt Collectors

    Last updated 7 months ago

    If you’ve already received calls demanding payment for owed debt, there are ways to handle the situation without hiding or disconnecting your phone. In fact, it can be helpful to actually communicate with your debt collectors, forcing them to identify themselves and provide full disclosure of the circumstances surrounding your debt. Establishing communication with your debt collector can also help you protect against abusive debt practices.

    Create a plan
    Before you borrow any amount of money, you should create a quick budget. If you’re investing in a more expensive financial choice like buying a house or car, you should make an extremely detailed budget, so that you are fully aware of what you can afford. Your lenders may try to convince you that you can afford a larger loan amount, but if you have a written, detailed budget you can help stay within your financial means.

    Do your research
    If you have fallen behind on your debt payments, you should look up the Fair Debt Collections Act and the statute of limitations on revolving debt in your state. The Fair Debt Collection Act contains 15 laws to protect against unfair debt collection practices, specifically detailing what kind of behavior is considered unacceptable. You can also request a debt verification letter, which requests that your collection company verify that it legally owns your debt obligation.

    Avoid conceding what you owe
    Your creditor will try to get you to agree to a repayment plan. Before accepting a payment plan, be careful about saying yes when they ask you questions about your debt, as they may be trying to reopen debt past the statute of limitations. They may also try to upset you so that you say something on tape that can be used against you in future court proceedings.

    Your first words to an unfamiliar debt collector should be asking for a debt verification letter. If you call Cutler & Associates, Ltd. our bankruptcy attorneys can stop collection calls, UCC 1 filings, and wage garnishments today. You can reach our Aurora and Schaumburg location by dialing (847) 868-2265.

    A Look at the Most Common Causes of Debt in the United States

    Last updated 7 months ago

    Even though some people do end up with considerable debt because of poor money management, it’s not the only cause of debt problems. Sometimes, unexpected events outside of someone’s control make it difficult for him or her to pay for monthly expenses. Here’s a look at some of the common causes of debt that aren’t related to excessive spending or poor money managing.

    Reduced Income
    Sometimes, income reduction makes it almost impossible for a family to pay for each of their monthly obligations, including, rent, food, and utilities. Other times, people continue paying the same expenses, without planning to adjust for this new income level. The trouble with underemployment is that many people view it as temporary, so they don’t start limiting their expenses to match their current income levels.

    More than half of marriages still end in divorce, but divorce is still an unexpected, stressful event to go through. Not only do couples filing for divorce have to pay expensive legal fees and court fees, but also they have to separate their incomes into two households. Filing for divorce also takes a huge financial toll on couples that used their combined earnings to qualify for a house mortgage or to take out a car loan.

    Medical Expenses
    Many doctors accept credit cards for payment and people increasingly rely on credit cards when they have no other option to pay for treatment. Sadly, the cost of medical bills can be so high that people are unable to pay off their balances, even when they have insurance coverage. For this reason, it’s important that every patient checks his or her medical bills carefully, looking for any mistakes. If a patient is still unable to pay for these bills, then he or she should look into negotiating a payment plan.

    Cutler & Associates, Ltd. has more than 25 years of experience in consumer bankruptcy law. Our Aurora bankruptcy attorneys offer free bankruptcy evaluations to help educate clients on their debt resolution options. To schedule a meeting at one of our seven convenient locations, call (847) 868-2265.


    Why Filing Bankruptcy Does Not Mean You Are Financially Irresponsible

    Last updated 7 months ago

    There is a common misconception that people who file for bankruptcy don’t understand how to manage their money. People assume that someone who declares bankruptcy is guilty of excessive credit card use, expensive purchases, and living outside of his or her means. While credit card debt does account for a number of bankruptcy petitions, there are many other reasons why people file for bankruptcy.

    Sudden job loss, divorce, or medical illness can all create a substantial financial burden to the average American family. Divorce is particularly expensive because it requires each person to pay legal fees and incur the cost of running two separate households. In addition, the high cost of medical care makes it difficult for anyone to cover fees associated with unexpected illness or injury. For some people, financial problems are brought on by an inability to find steady employment. According to U.S. News and World Report, 5.2 million Americans had been unemployed for at least six months as of April 2012.  

    If divorce or unexpected job loss has left you with financial problems, filing for bankruptcy may be your best solution. Call (847) 868-2265 to speak with an Aurora bankruptcy attorney at Cutler & Associates, Ltd. 

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