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Questions Answered by W. J. Winterstein Jr.
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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1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
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

3.5 years ago. No will. I was POA. The above person, J... has been living there and paying mortgage. I have no problem with that and bank said it could continue that way. Now J.. wants to refinance and the bank says that me and my brothers have to do a quit claim deed to relinquish our rights. What... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Sep 18, 2018

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... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Small Claims, Bankruptcy, Contracts and Civil Rights for Pennsylvania on
Q: Co-buyers rights after a repossession and auction of said vehicle

I had a vehicle. While it was in my possession I made payments. When the vehicle was obtained by the buyer he stopped payments and would not return the car to me (co-buyer). I made many attempts to get the car back. I made a couple attempts to get the buyer to refinance. I was in constant... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Sep 15, 2018

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,...
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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: How can I find out if my bankruptcy went thru lawyer filed paperwork to court but wont return about court date.

I submitted all paperwork bank statements paystubs. He completed court paperwork had me sign was supposed to set court date

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Sep 4, 2018

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...
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2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am unable to sell my old house and it is about to go into foreclosure.

I was unable to sell my old house because we owe more than it is worth. I decided to rent it out to avoid foreclosure despite having a clause in the mortgage saying we cannot rent it. Two years later we are in the process of evicting the tenant because he is always late with payments and is now... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Aug 17, 2018

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... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: On the deed with my husband but not the mortgage. Can I sell my ownership to my husband before the foreclosure process?

My husband added me to the deed after he bought the house. We are way behind with the payments. If the house is foreclosed I am going to lose ownership too . I am in the process of separation with my husband and I live in another state. I don't want to lose the money I spent for years on the... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jul 5, 2018

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.

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1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Pennsylvania on
Q: Name is on the deed not the mortgage. No note signed . Do I lose the house if foreclosure?

My husband bought the house before our marriage. My name is not on the mortgage and I have never signed any permissive note. My husband added my name to the deed because i am paying the mortgage for years( he is jobless for years). The house is at risk for foreclosure because I can't make the... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jul 5, 2018

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... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
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

I’m still current on payments but owe no liability per my lawyer I can keep it as long as I pay. Is there a limit to how long I have to turn it in

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jun 5, 2018

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... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: Friend in Pa. owns home outright but credit card debt $45,000. Can she file bankruptcy and keep her home

Her home is worth about $150,000.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jun 4, 2018

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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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am currently in Chapter 13 and i had judgement liens and my attorney filed motion to avoid liens and they were awarded

in my favor. How do I get them released at the local courthouse where they were filed. No one seems to know including my attorney. My bankruptcy is almost over so I want to make sure everything done correctly.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on May 15, 2018

When I draft a proposed Plan, anticipating the voiding of a judgment lien, I include language requiring the judgement creditor to file a Release of Lien, providing further that if the creditor fails to do so, a certified copy of the Bankruptcy Court Order avoiding the lien will serve as an... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: How can i locate documentation from my personal bankruptcy? it was in 2012.

It was filed in Doyelstown Pa.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Apr 20, 2018

You can access all bankruptcy court dockets and documents filed in any case (if you know the federal district and the case number) by opening an account at https://www.pacer.gov/. You don't need to be a lawyer to use a pacer account to access documents filed with the court, but you do need... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure and Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: Long story short: parents upside down on bills; likely to lose their house to foreclosure. No where to go. No money.

My parents are 80. My mother has Alzheimer's. Obviously I don't want them to be homeless. There is no family money and their lending agency (Bank of America). Can they declare bankruptcy and keep their home?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Apr 2, 2018

A chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding is designed to enable debtors to keep their houses. There are debt maximum limits, however, and a Chapter 13 debtor must be receiving "periodic income" with which to fund a plan. Social security payments qualify as periodic income, if sufficient in amount to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is a prospective employer allowed to ask about whether you've filed for bankruptcy in an employment application?
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Mar 30, 2018

I had this issue recently with an engineer, for whom I had filed a Ch. 13, and while his case was pending, he was recruited by another company for more money than he was making in his current job. The new company seemed to love him, after interviews; but just before making him an offer, they asked... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: After you file for bankruptcy can you change your mind and cancel your case?
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Mar 2, 2018

Yes, but within limits. If you file a Chapter 13 case, depending on the circumstances, the court could convert your case to a Ch. 7 case instead of dismissing it. But that's unusual. If you file a Ch. 7 case, you have an absolute right to convert to a Ch. 13, and if you want to dismiss your Ch.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Does a seller have to disclose a foreclosure prior to signing an agreement of sale?
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Mar 1, 2018

The seller's obligation is to deliver clear title to the property at the settlement/closing of the purchase. In other words, the existing mortgage lien must be released, and the only way the mortgage holder will release is to receive full payment (or some other negotiated amount). I strongly... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: i had my bank account frozen by a lawyer firm over a debt what do i do next
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Feb 26, 2018

You don't where you reside, or where your bank is. The answer will vary depending upon your location (i.e., which state). In PA, a garnishment by a creditor can only be issued to your bank if the creditor first takes a judgment against you. You would know that a lawsuit has begun, because the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Pennsylvania on
Q: I was served notice of law suit for my mothers foreclosure. I am on the deed but not the note.

I live on Pennsylvania and the property is in New Mexico. I don't know what my liability is in this situation.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Feb 26, 2018

To provide a reliable response, I'd need to examine the Note, Mortgage, and Notice and foreclosure Complaint, but short of that, if you have not signed the Note or otherwise committed to the foreclosing Lender to become liable thereon, you should have no personal liability for the Mortgage... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Consumer Law and Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Could I lose my home due to credit card debt? Is it a good idea to go through a debt settlement company?

I owe about $12000 in credit card debt. I've Been Making My Payments On time but with the high interest it's making it harder to keep up. I was considering using a debt settlement company such as national debt relief our freedom debt relief company but was concerned that during the process while... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Feb 1, 2018

I've never heard of anyone who was happy with the outcome when using so-called "debt settlement" companies, but I have heard several horror stories.

If you are the sole owner of your home, then any creditor who sues you and procures a judgment against you can file that judgment as a lien,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do bankruptcy trustees work for the government?
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jan 31, 2018

There are different kinds of "trustees" in the bankruptcy world. First, there is the U.S. Trustee, one of which is appointed in each federal court district, and that trustee performs several of the "administrative" functions formerly done by the bankruptcy judges. Among those is the assignment of... Read more »

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