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Questions Answered by W. J. Winterstein Jr.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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,...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on

Q: Do bankruptcy trustees work for the government?

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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Pennsylvania on

Q: Bank sent foreclosure papers claiming we havent paid in 5 months. We have and we have bank statements proving we did.

We paid every month except December (hard times with sons medical issues) and have our bank statements as proof. Though they are claiming we haven't paid since August. Where should we go from here? Contact the bank lawyers with our proof of payments or get our own lawyer?

W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jan 25, 2018

For the most part, lawyers only do what their clients direct them to do. In your case, it appears that the mortgage holder, or designated servicer of the mortgage loan, has decided to foreclose. And yet, once a party has "lawyered up" about a matter, you are bound to direct communications to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on

Q: Are there income requirements for filing Chapter 13?

W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jan 12, 2018

To be eligible to file a Chapter 13 case, the debtor must have a "periodic income", but the amount is not specified. No maximum amount of income is imposed, but the amount of your income will determine the number of years your Ch. 13 Plan must run.

There are income limits for eligibility...
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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on

Q: My wife and I are sole shareholders of an S-Corp. I am the only employee.

Business has declined over time due to technology to the point of not generating enough income. There is over $38.000

in business debt. Should we close the business and declare bankruptcy and are we responsible for any of the debt individually?

W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Jan 11, 2018

If the business prospects are for continuing losses, then yes, cease its operations. If you have "observed the corporate formalities", e.g., kept corporate minutes book with at least annual meetings of directors and shareholders, and entered minutes of those meetings, and otherwise kept the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on

Q: Am I obliged to use proceeds to pay a court judgement over credit card debt, in Pennsylvania?

Good morning,

I, as an individual, received a judgment against me, personally, and I do not have means to pay (but I haven't yet filed for bankruptcy). At the same time, I'm about to receive a small settlement for an action I originated, also as an individual.

Is there a law of... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Dec 19, 2017

On the facts provided, you have no enforceable legal obligation to pay over "settlement proceeds" to any one or more of your creditors. A judgment creditor could issue/serve a writ of garnishment upon anyone holding money or property for you, and if that is done, the one who holds property payable... Read more »

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