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Questions Answered by W. J. Winterstein Jr.
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My parents have been married 40 years. They want to transfer property from only my dad's name to both. What do they do?

He has real estate as well as our house in his name only, and my mom wants her name put on the property as well. How can they go about switching ownership legally from just him to both of them, so that her name can also be on the deed?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Easy to transfer title ownership.

Your father can sign a deed from himself to both his wife and him, and probably as joint tenants, with right of survivorship so that when one dies, the other owns the entire property automatically. He then records the deed. There will be a fee for that by...
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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Alabama on
Q: How long after a Chapter 7 filed is it determined to be an asset/no asset case?

We are currently in a Chapter 7 in the state of AL we have lived her 1.5 years, and moved from CA, and other than providing the required information, our attorney barely communicates with us. I have sent her several emails with questions, and no response. We are in a very small town, and our law... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 27, 2023

In my PA district, around Philadelphia, the trustees send out a "no-asset" notice shortly after the 241/first meeting of creditors is completed. IOW, that's about a month or two after the case is filed.

Non-responsiveness of counsel, at least in the bankruptcy field, is not...
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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Georgia on
Q: I'm n bankruptcy do I have to still keep my attorney bn bankruptcy for years. The entire time
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 26, 2023

From your question, I have to assume that you are in a Chapter 13 proceeding, and that your plan, by now, has been confirmed. Implicit in your question is whether you may be liable for additional attorneys fees.

Until recently, in most cases, a debtor's attorney was "stuck"...
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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Mississippi on
Q: if my chapter 13 case was dismissed today how long before my car is reposses
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 23, 2023

The time for appeal of a bankruptcy court order, to the US District Court, is ten days.

Most creditors will wait to take action for that time to appeal to expire before taking any action such as a repo of collateral that was part of the bankruptcy estate.

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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Kentucky on
Q: We have $50,000 in debt that we may file Chp7 on, but we don’t want to file on a tractor we bought last year.

We would like to continue to make payments on it and keep it because we need it for our property. The home & 1 acre is in my name because I lived here before my husband and I married. We use the tractor for property maintenance and feeding our cows. (We have 2 that are being raised for our meat... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 17, 2023

When you file a bankruptcy petition, the accompanying Schedules ask for ALL your assets (the Section 541 definition of "estate" is quite broad) and ALL your debts/claims against you. You sign those Schedules under penalty of perjury (it's a felony, and the penalty is steep).... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Business Formation, Business Law and Contracts for Arizona on
Q: Two small business entanglement debt and liability question.

My employer (E) has two small businesses (A and B) both 100% owned by E. Business A owes business B a significant amount of money for services accumulated throughout the years. However, E wants to protect the assets of A from any happenings relating to B. If B goes bankrupt will the creditors of B... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 16, 2023

A trustee in bankruptcy "steps into the shoes of the debtor". Consequently, a bankruptcy trustee is entitled to pursue and collect/liquidate any obligations to the debtor.

That's in a Chapter 7 case, where a trustee is automatically appointed.

In a Ch. 11, the debtor...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My brothers and I are owners of our family home with my oldest brother having 5/8 and the others 1/8.

My oldest brother is having serious health problems that could possibly be fatal. He has incurred some medical debt due to having no health insurance. If he signs over his 5/8 share of the property to the rest of us, can we avoid paying his medical bills with the estate if he should pass away?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 11, 2023

PA has a "fraudulent transfer" statute, to defeat the give-away of assets by a debtor or soon-to-be debtor intending to make himself "judgment proof". The reach-back period to recapture transfers of property for insufficient consideration is four years.

You don't...
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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hello I am currently on unemployment and I am failing to make ends meet at my debt is piling up, is chapter 7 an option?

My car payment is behind and they are talking about repossession i also have defaulted on my credit cards and other debt, I am seeking legal advice on what to do.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 9, 2023

To be eligible for a Ch. 7 (liquidation, although you keep exempt property), you must have earned something less than the "median income" for your region (you can google it, as it fluctuates). If you have been below the "median" for the last six months, you are eligible for Ch.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Foreclosure for Kansas on
Q: Can I file bankruptcy to stop a foreclosure if I am the spouse. The judgement from the bank is in both our names.

The mortgage is only in my husband s name

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 6, 2023

If you are named on the deed, you have a legal interest in the home that the bankruptcy stay will protect.

Even if you are not named on the deed, the fact that you live in the house (assuming you do), then you have at least a possessory interest in the home that is also protected by the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Texas on
Q: Can the federal bankruptcy homestead cap be doubled for a joint bankruptcy? I haven’t met the 1215 day rule.

I’ve lived in Texas for two years and own my home outright. Value is about 270k. I’m married. I believe the federal cap is around 180k. Can that be doubled in a joint bankruptcy.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 5, 2023

The current federal homestead exemption is approx. $25,000. Yes, it can be doubled with a joint filing.

Sam Houston was a notorious debtor, and he and his friends set up a debtor-friendly place. The TX state exemptions for homestead are far more generous (I used to practice in Oklahoma...
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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Florida on
Q: Is Publix stock exempt in chapter 7 bankruptcy? I've never purchased any but receive some every year from the company.

All eligible employees get them free of charge, however, I cannot touch them unless my employment with Publix ends for any reason. Then the funds are available immediately, without age limit ( do not have to wait until retirement age to access the funds). I also have some Publix stocks in my... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 5, 2023

For as long as I've been practicing, Florida has been known as a debtor's haven, one of the most generous, along with Texas, to those who owe money to others.

While you don't mention the form of your expected bankruptcy case, the definition of what's includable in your...
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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Illinois on
Q: Hi I filed a chapter 13 a number of years ago . The case was dismissed. Can I get rid of a car that was part of the case

The car was not reported on my credit report. I need to junk it.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 5, 2023

When a Chapter 13 case is dismissed, under the Bankruptcy Code, everything returns to the way it was, as if the case had never been filed.

If any creditor held a lien against your auto, and you have not fully repaid the lien, then it still exists and remains enforceable.

You can...
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1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I filed chapter 7 four years ago and included my mortgage. I continue to pay. Can a new lien be placed on my house?

Technically, I could walk from this mortgage as I am legally free from paying it but I plan to finish it. Can another creditor I'm having trouble with and was not included in the original chapter 7 bankruptcy place a lien against me on this home I have no legal obligation to pay? If yes, what... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 5, 2023

Justice Clarence Thomas, in the Dewsnup opinion, wrote for the majority that in a Chapter 7 case, a validly perfected mortgage lien against property cannot be "stripped down", i.e., is not affected by the bankruptcy filing (the opinion strangely held that section 106 of the bankruptcy... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Estate Planning for California on
Q: Is there a trust that can protect my asset (house) from bankruptcy?

I have our house in a revocable trust and need to transfer (or amend) to protect the assets from litigation/bankruptcy.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Jan 4, 2023

The definition of a bankruptcy "estate", 11 USC Section 541,including all interests of a debtor, is quite broad, and includes property held in a revocable trust, as well as many other business forms. There are also "reach-back" provisions in the Bankruptcy Code, as well as... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Collections for Wisconsin on
Q: Why would i have a bankruptcy on my record if ive never filed for one as im only part way through my 20's...

Just trying to fix my credit and understand things to be able to take the next steps to fix these things.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Dec 31, 2022

About fifteen years ago, one of the lawyers in my regional US Trustee's office told me the latest thing used by unscrupulous debtors was to use a social security number that was maybe one digit off/erroneous. The reason was to fool the system so that the bankruptcy would be noted on someone... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Consumer Law, Tax Law and Arbitration / Mediation Law for Maine on
Q: Q: File bankruptcy or hire a debt company like freedomdebtrelief (d0t) com? Unemployed, 61yrs w/~54k in cc debt.

Unemployment runs out before I can collect social. I have no 401k or savings, I can't pay the minimums and don't know even know which debt companies are reputable? Does using a debt company prevent me from applying another recourse later?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Dec 19, 2022

I've had several clients tell me that they've tried "debt relief" companies, but none were happy with the results (if any).

The going rate for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, for attorneys fees plus court costs, is about $2,000, for a simple, straightforward case....
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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Texas on
Q: How do I access business bankruptcy asset liquidations/sales in Texas Southern District (Austin)?

Looking to get access to assets that are being sold as part of Chapter 7/11/13 proceedings in Austin TX

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Dec 14, 2022

While, as the first answer instructs, contacting the bankruptcy trustee is a good idea (trustees looking to sell estate assets always want to maximize sale prices, and that comes from drawing in more prospective purchasers), your question seems to suggest that there are multiple cases/trustees in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law and Bankruptcy for Ohio on
Q: Can a civil defendent whose case is stayed by bankruptcy, file a counterclaim in the same, and ask for damages? In Ohio.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Dec 6, 2022

You don't identify which party is the debtor in bankruptcy.

The automatic stay is triggered by the filing of a bankruptcy case, and prohibits any action against the debtor or property of the debtor's bankruptcy estate (which is very broadly defined).

If the proposed...
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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan on
Q: Trustee objected to exemptions due to me exceeding limits. Should I amend my schedule C? It is for chapter 7

I have 44,000 in equity for my home, I am still paying mortgage, completed reaffirmation agreement that lender sent. The allowed exemption was 27,900. I have the same issue with my car, I do not own, however there is 7,000.00 in equity, the trustee states I only can exempt 1475.00. I am up to date... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Nov 29, 2022

I agree with the first answer by Ms. Lipan, as far as it goes. You need the guidance of experienced Michigan bankruptcy counsel.

More specifically, with respect to your home property, it is usually acceptable to deduct ten (10%) percent from gross value as "costs of sale", and...
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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Missouri on
Q: Hey! I was wondering if I needed to include past food stamps I received in my bankruptcy even if I no longer receive?
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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W. J. Winterstein Jr.
answered on Nov 27, 2022

In a word, yes. For both Schedule I and the "means test" reflected in Official form B-122, your annualized income from all sources includes food stamps (note that the means test reaches back six months from the date of filing of the bankruptcy).

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