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Questions Answered by W. J. Winterstein Jr.
2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: Question about automatic stay protection and filing in the last year

I filed for Chapter 13 last year, but did not complete the petition. It was dismissed more than 365 days ago. But the filing was in 2018. If I file again, will the automatic stay apply? The last petition was dismissed in May 2018 and we would be filing again November 2019. I am planning to... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Nov 15, 2019

An automatic stay will kick in when you file a second bankruptcy, but will only last 30 days from the date you file the new petition. Within that thirty days, you can file a motion to extend the stay for the duration of your case, which of course you should do. That motion must identify the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: How do I find my bankruptcy record? Is it available on line?

I am trying to find the list of items that were discharged by the bankruptcy.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Oct 31, 2019

Use pacer.com. You can sign up for free, then go to Bankruptcydata.com, click on "free resources", and find the court district where you filed. Once at your districts electronic filing site, use your Bankruptcy Case No., or your social security number, to search under "Query", or find your docket... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have to file for bankruptcy. Where do I start?

My husband passed away 4 months ago. I have high credit card debt and not enough income to make payments.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Oct 15, 2019

If you choose to file for bankruptcy relief without a lawyer, here are the forms you will need to fill out and file-

https://www.uscourts.gov/forms/bankruptcy-forms.

You must first decide whether to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case. There are income limitations for Ch. 7...
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2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hello,Our home is to be sold at Sheriff sale on 12/13/2019. Both our names are on the note and the deed.

I moved out 3 years ago and my ex still lives in the house. I refuse to sign any type of Short, Quick sale, agreements, remodafcation mortgage papers etc, before the 12/13/2019 deadline. does she have any type of recourse to go ahead and sign said papers on my behalf without my knowledge?... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Aug 28, 2019

To answer your very specific question-

No, you cannot be coerced by a foreclosure court or probably any other judge to sign off on any of the types of consensual agreements that you list. Probably the more important question is about what you hope to accomplish by your refusals....
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1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Pennsylvania on
Q: Home is in foreclosure and just received a refund check for cancelled home owners insurance policy. Can I cash this?

Sheriff sale to be held in October, but lender is entering into a short sale agreement in the next 3 weeks.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jul 31, 2019

Risk of loss follows title to the real estate. You do not say whether the foreclosure sale has been held, or whether the sheriff's deed has been issued to the successful bidder. Nor do you say who caused the cancellation of the home owners insurance. But, "can" you cash the refund check? Yes.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Pennsylvania on
Q: Pennsylvania how long after sheriff sale does original owner have to move possessions

Foreclosure at sheriff sale but deed isn't acknowledge at recorder of deeds

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jul 11, 2019

Normally, it takes about 3 days for the Sheriff to deliver the deed and the Registrar to record it. The timing of when current occupants need to leave is largely up to the buyer at the sheriff's sale. He/she can file an ejectment action when he becomes record owner. Those ejectment actions... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am being sued in regards to my mother's former home which had a reverse mortgage.

My mother passed away Dec. 2018. She had a reverse mortgage on her home. According to her will, I am ineligible to purchase her home, that option was only given to one of my brothers. What, if any is my legal responsibility, and what can I do to remove myself from the lawsuit?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jul 5, 2019

Inasmuch as it appears that there is no remaining equity in the property, and the property is in foreclosure so that the entire remaining balance of the debt is now due and payable, you can extract yourself from the foreclosure suit (assuming you did not sign any note or guaranty of the mortgage... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: I get extreme anxiety. I may need to file bankruptcy though. Is there any help for someone in my case?

I get extreme anxiety. It gets so bad that i get sick. I may need to file bankruptcy though. Is there any help for someone in my case where-for the majority of the conversations can be done via email?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jun 13, 2019

There would need to be at least one initial face-to-face meeting, just lawyer and client (this is my personal requirement, not a requirement of law). The remainder of our communications can be by email if you can scan documents and send to me, and then if you can p;rint and sign documents.... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: If a debt is included in chapter 13 bankruptcy, can it be sold to a collection agency
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on May 5, 2019

Yes, and it happens frequently. There are companies out there whose business is to handle/service accounts of others that are deemed "bad", or "uncollectible", etc. Transfers of claims are specifically authorized by the Bankruptcy Code, and also occur in Chapter 7, 11 and 12 cases.

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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: I filed chapter 13 in 2012. it was converted to chapter 7 in 2014. I have financial issues again and am exploring option

My expenses exceed income. I am looking at both chapter 13 and chapter 7 options. Did the clock start when i filed for the chapter 13 in 2012 or the conversion date to chapter 7 in 2014? At what time am I able to consider chap 13 or 7? My minimum payments are current but only because I am taking... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Apr 18, 2019

Interesting question.

Section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code provides--

(a)  The court shall grant the debtor a discharge, unless--

(8)  the debtor has been granted a discharge under this section, under section 1141 of this title, or under section 14, 371, or 476 of the...
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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: i loaned a friend? $5,000 so he could bye a vehicle. he filed for bankruptsy and now says he no longer owes me

the money and there is no way for me to get my money back from him. is this true?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Apr 12, 2019

Unless you took a security interest in the debtor's real or personal property at the time you advanced the money, and "perfected" your lien by filing in the designated places (Registrar of deeds in county where real property is located, or Sec. of State of PA and/or county for UCC-1 filings), then... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Pennsylvania on
Q: What can I do to stop foreclosure on my house involving a scam?

We got behind on our mortgage and received mail saying we could apply for a loan modification. This process started last August 2018 and the company had us pulling paperwork, pay stubs, etc, even had us mail cashier checks for $1900 4 different times, the last contact with them was the beginning of... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Apr 4, 2019

Depending upon the remaining amount of your mortgage arrearages (missed payments plus late charges and accrued interest), yes, there are alternative ways to stop, or suspend, the "pre closure process".

I assume you have received a letter notice of intent to foreclose, but you don't specify...
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3 Answers | Asked in Collections and Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: I lost a Civil Law suit with about 141k awarded to the other person. Can they come after my 401K to collect?
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Mar 20, 2019

If your 401k is a "qualifying plan" (i.e., meets the requirements of Section 401(k) of the Tax Code), then your 401k plans should be exempt from execution.

Your judgment creditor may nonetheless attempt to levy on your 401(k) account, and you will need to file written objections to that...
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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: I need to file bankruptcy but I sold my house 6 months ago, how long do I need to wait til file
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Feb 7, 2019

If you've sold your house for a "fair price", that is, for fair market value, in an arm's length transaction, then the sale of your house should have no impact on your decision about, or timing of, a bankruptcy filing.

You need to evaluate your current asset values and debts, and the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have been renting a property for 9 years. And not it is in foreclosure.

In August I received a letter to pay my rent to a trustee. I have been doing that with the intent to purchase my house at the Allegheny Courthouse this February. Now my landlord served me papers saying that he filed Chapter 11 and that if I attempt to buy his house that he would sue me. He also... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jan 25, 2019

To answer your questions, I'd need to see what has been filed by your landlord in his Chapter 11 case, including what orders have been entered authorizing him to utilize his lenders' cash collateral (the rent you pay would most probably be part of that cash collateral). In addition, we'd need to... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: Question about filing bankruptcy. I filed Chapter 13 in Nov 2012 for old IRS debt. Converted to Chapter 7 Nov 2014.

Discharged Feb 2015. I am considering filing Chapter 7 again. Is my waiting period based upon the original filing date of 2012 or the conversion date in 2014? At what point would I be eligible to file?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jan 15, 2019

The clock starts to run from the date your Order of Discharge was entered.

You cannot get another discharge for 8 years from that date.

The spacing, until recently, was six years between discharges, and it became common to file a "chapter 20" bankruptcy, meaning first, a Chapter 7,...
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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Social Security for Pennsylvania on
Q: I’m disabled & was thinking of claiming bankruptcy, but I’m not sure if it will effect my SSI. How will it effect me?
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jan 11, 2019

There are different "chapters", or forms, of bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7, the simplest form, your income is only used to determine your eligibility to file under that chapter. If your income is below the "median income" for the state of PA, you'd have no income issues.

In a Chapter 13...
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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: How difficult is it to file bankruptcy for student loans? I have heard they do not count as a part of debt "forgiveness

I am seriously considering filing bankruptcy because my student loan payments are crippling and I cannot afford to pay them. I would be homeless and couldn't afford childcare or pretty much any other necessity. I have heard that filing for bankruptcy doesn't include student loans, but it never... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jan 8, 2019

To discharge, or reduce, any student loan debt, you must show "extreme hardship", and that bar is very high.

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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: I got sued for something I never did. Discover sued me for 12k. Court preceding took place without my knowledge.

I was never given a notice and I am not aware of the 12k they are suing me for. I never took out that money or used it. What do I do?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Nov 30, 2018

Basic due process requires that in any litigation, the defendant must be served/provided (with proof of service) with the Complaint and Summons, whether in PA state or federal courts.

You should investigate, or have someone investigate, the validity of service of process in the Discover...
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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have a common law spouse - can a hospital come after her for a judgement on my unpaid medical bills?
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Nov 23, 2018

You present several issues with these few statements.

Most states, including PA, recognize "common law marriages", the basic element of which is that you and she presented as man and wife to another human. E.g., it might suffice if, though unmarried, you had presented as man and wife to...
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