Questions Answered by W. J. Winterstein Jr.

Q: If a debt is included in chapter 13 bankruptcy, can it be sold to a collection agency

4 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on May 5, 2019
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
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.

Q: I filed chapter 13 in 2012. it was converted to chapter 7 in 2014. I have financial issues again and am exploring option

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Apr 18, 2019
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
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 Bankruptcy Act, in a case commenced within 8 years before the date of the filing of the petition;

(9)  the debtor has been granted a discharge under section 1228 or 1328 of this title, or under...

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

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Apr 12, 2019
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
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 your loan is most probably subject to discharge in the bankruptcy.

There are exceptions to discharge, listed in Section 523 of the bankruptcy code, e.g., if the debtor procured the loan by...

Q: What can I do to stop foreclosure on my house involving a scam?

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Apr 4, 2019
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
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 the date of the letter, or whether you were given thirty days to cure the default. The letter should specify the amount of the default.

Most mortgage lenders have "help" departments, and...

Q: I lost a Civil Law suit with about 141k awarded to the other person. Can they come after my 401K to collect?

3 Answers | Asked in Collections and Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Mar 20, 2019
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
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 execution, claiming the exemption, with the Sheriff to whom the writ of execution issued. Don't delay in the filing of objections, as I believe you have only ten days to do so.

Have you...

Q: I need to file bankruptcy but I sold my house 6 months ago, how long do I need to wait til file

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Feb 7, 2019
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
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 payment terms of those debts, to determine whether to file for bankruptcy relief, and which chapter of bankruptcy under which to file, and when to file.

I strongly recommend that you consult with an...

Q: I have been renting a property for 9 years. And not it is in foreclosure.

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jan 25, 2019
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
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 know what kind of "trustee" sent you the August letter, and by what authority that trustee is acting.

I have to assume that your intent to purchase your residence next month at the Courthouse...

Q: Question about filing bankruptcy. I filed Chapter 13 in Nov 2012 for old IRS debt. Converted to Chapter 7 Nov 2014.

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jan 15, 2019
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
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, and then a year or so later, file a Chapter 13 with a 5-year plan (the discharge in a Ch. 13 case is granted at the end of the plan term). Using the same tactic, you'd have to wait for about three...

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?

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Social Security for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jan 11, 2019
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
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 bankruptcy, your income is used to fund a Plan, commonly called a "wage earners' plan", which provides for payment over a period of time up to five years of debts you must pay ("priority" claims and...

Q: How difficult is it to file bankruptcy for student loans? I have heard they do not count as a part of debt "forgiveness

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jan 8, 2019
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
To discharge, or reduce, any student loan debt, you must show "extreme hardship", and that bar is very high.

Q: I got sued for something I never did. Discover sued me for 12k. Court preceding took place without my knowledge.

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Nov 30, 2018
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
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 case; if it's defective, you should move to vacate any judgment by default that may have been entered.

You should also focus on the apparent identity theft underlying the "something you never...

Q: I have a common law spouse - can a hospital come after her for a judgement on my unpaid medical bills?

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Nov 23, 2018
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
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 get a room. Of course, for a pursuing creditor to tag your now wife for subsequently incurred medical bills, the creditors) would have to first learn of that time you put yourselves out there as a...

Q: My father filed bankruptcy about 7 years ago. He had a home and a step grandson’s name was on the deed. Dad died 3.5

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Sep 18, 2018
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
When a person dies intestate, his property owned at the time of death passes to his legal heirs, i.e., those heirs defined by the intestacy statute in the state of the decedent's domicile. In almost all states, the children of the deceased, and wife, are the designated heirs. A grandchild is not normally named as a direct heir in the statutes. Assuming MD's intestacy statute provides that the children (and wife, if he is married and she survives him) of a decedent automatically become owners...

Q: Co-buyers rights after a repossession and auction of said vehicle

2 Answers | Asked in Small Claims, Bankruptcy, Contracts and Civil Rights for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Sep 15, 2018
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
The optimum time to seek legal advice is before a contemplated deal, like transfer of an asset, is done, not after.

With your payments toward the vehicle, and your "co-buyer's" lack of payments, you were legally entitled to claim the lion's share of the equity in the vehicle. Obviously, there is none of that.

At this point, depending upon what your conveyancing (transfer) agreements say (they should have been reduced to writing), you may have a right to demand payment of your...

Q: How can I find out if my bankruptcy went thru lawyer filed paperwork to court but wont return about court date.

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Sep 4, 2018
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
You can also go to the Bankruptcy Court Clerk's office and ask to examine your court file, which are public records. If you don't know your Bankruptcy Case No., your social security number will give you access.

Alternatively, you can search online through pacer.gov (joining is free and easy, and gives you access to all court records with either a social security number or the bankruptcy case number.

The first hearing in every consumer bankruptcy case is the "341 hearing", or...

Q: I am unable to sell my old house and it is about to go into foreclosure.

2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Aug 17, 2018
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
In the vast majority of foreclosure cases, the question is not whether the Mortgagee noteholder will when, but when. You say the property is "my old house", but that your wife now owns it. You do not, however, say when that transfer of title occurred, nor what money or other value exchanged hands at the time of the transfer. Nor do you say whether you remain personally liable on the Mortgage Note. If the Mortgage holder has not removed you from the Note, your credit rating will suffer as a...

Q: On the deed with my husband but not the mortgage. Can I sell my ownership to my husband before the foreclosure process?

2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 5, 2018
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
The simple answer is- Yes. You can sell your interest in the property to whoever is willing to pay you for it. You are best advised to give a Quit Claim deed (no warranties) of your interest to your buyer.

Q: Name is on the deed not the mortgage. No note signed . Do I lose the house if foreclosure?

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 5, 2018
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
The mortgage lender can foreclose on the "whole house", inasmuch as adding you to the title after the Mortgage was recorded makes your ownership interest subject to the Mortgage lien. It the Mortgage holder forecloses, even if you never signed the Mortgage or Note, and the property is sold at a foreclosure sale, your ownership interest will be extinguished.

There are several work-out options available to home owners facing foreclosure, and you should immediately investigate your...

Q: I had a chapter 7 discharge and am turning in my Vehicle I’m still making payments on. How long do I have to turn it in

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jun 5, 2018
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
Pursuant to Bankruptcy Code Section 521, you must file a Statement of Intent in your bankruptcy case within 30 days of filing your bankruptcy petition. In the Statement, you must state whether you will (1) redeem the vehicle by paying off the vehicle loan, or reaffirming the debt with the creditor by a written reaffirmation agreement, or (2) surrendering the car to the creditor. Pursuant to Section 521(a)(2) of the Code, you must perform your stated intent within 30 days following your 341...

Q: Friend in Pa. owns home outright but credit card debt $45,000. Can she file bankruptcy and keep her home

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jun 4, 2018
W. J. Winterstein Jr.'s answer
The answer to your question is yes, but the issue is which Chapter (7 or 13), would be most appropriate for her; the eligibility for each bankruptcy chapter differs.

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