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Questions Answered by Trent Harris
3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan on
Q: What is the approximate cost to file bankruptcy?

Im not certain which chapter I would need to file. Im divorced & have no assets. I have less than $20,000 debt, such as judgements from credit cards and a previous landlord, medical & miscellaneous debt. I’m also making small payments on federal student loan debt and am in good standing where... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Dec 10, 2019

You have a couple costs that go into filing bankruptcy. First the court filing fee ($335) - but this can be waived if your household income from all sources is less than 150% of the federal poverty level. Second, the credit counseling course fees - these generally run in the range of $15 to $25 per... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Collections and Small Claims for Michigan on
Q: On April 2, 2012, when I was on disability, I had a auto loan & returned a vehicle, 'cause I couldn't afford it no more.

On April 27, 2012, they sold the vehicle. About 1 year later on my credit report it showed that the company had put it as a charge off and it was at a zero balance. On April 27, 2019, it dropped off my credit report and it was not longer listed. Now, today, December 9, 2019, I received a summons... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Dec 9, 2019

It could be legal, but maybe not because it sounds like the debt may be past the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in Michigan for a suit to collect a debt based on a written contract is 6 years. The limitations period begins to run when the debt goes into default, not later when... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: I live in Michigan and my girlfriend has been living with me and we have decided to break up.

A couple of months ago she bought new appliances for the kitchen. Does she have any legal right to those appliances? There is no lease agreement and she doesn't pay rent.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Dec 9, 2019

Generally speaking, appliances are personal property, and as such, they belong to the person who bought them. An exception to this rule might be if the appliance was permanently affixed or installed. For example, was the appliance physically fastened to the studs, floor, etc., and perhaps... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Michigan on
Q: I recieved a summons to file a written answer to the court for a credit card in collections. spoke with collection co.

They said they can't give legal advise, but don't send a letter because we then will have to go to court. is that true should I still send a letter even though we've already set up a payment program

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Dec 5, 2019

They're darn right they can't give you legal advice. By not filing an answer, they want you to default so they can have a judgment against you with no conditions. If you have payment arrangements made, those should be put in a consent judgment at the minimum, so you have an installment payment... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: How long does a judge have to charge you my boyfriend is being held on a probate matter he is being held and not charged

He is being held in contempt the judge is not charging him just letting him sit how long can they hold him without charging him and proceeded fairly

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Dec 2, 2019

There are two kinds of contempt, civil and criminal contempt. Civil contempt is imprisonment that lasts until someone does something, or stops doing something, that they have the power to do and have been instructed to do by the court. There really isn't a time limit on that - it's as long as it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: If my father's widow didn't open up his estate for probate and denies there's a will, what recourse do I have as an heir

If in fact we can't find the will, is the surviving spouse entitled to all the deceased spouses assets even if there are surviving children?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Dec 2, 2019

An interested person, such as a child or other family member of your father, can file an application or a petition with the probate court to open an estate and be appointed personal representative ("PR") of your father's estate. However your father's widow would have first priority to be appointed... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan on
Q: frbp 2004 coming up for my chpt 7. i have a vehicle behind on payments. dont have full amount. will i loose the vehicle

i filed aug 2019. bank wants full amoint behind before they will reaffirm. bank closed account as soon as bankruptcy filed. I offered them paymemts but they wouldn't accept? what to expect? what do i need to do to keep vehicle?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Nov 24, 2019

Well, your other version of this question on Avvo said you are converting your Ch7 to a Ch13. Kurt O'Keefe gave you a very good answer on Avvo about looking into redemption.

I would add to what he said that if you are converting to Ch13, you need to put forth a proposal in your Chapter 13...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Michigan on
Q: Where can I obtain a quick deed to redo paperwork for my house
Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Nov 12, 2019

My advice would be for you to contact a real estate attorney in your area. Deeds are legal documents which, if not drafted correctly, can result in problems in the chain of title and can affect your ability to get financing for your property, or your ability to sell or convey the property later.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Can I rent out a house going through probate court in Michigan

My uncle passed away and I plan on buying the house once it is finished going through probate. Is it legal for me to live in it and pay rent until I officially buy the house after probate it done

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Nov 7, 2019

The plan you propose could be done. But you should enter a written lease with the personal representative of the estate so you can live there. During probate, you could attempt to obtain a mortgage loan so you can buy the house from your uncle's estate, or you could enter a land contract to buy.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Juvenile Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Im 18 and on probation in Michigan and I’m dating a 16 year old girl. Is this illegal?
Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Nov 5, 2019

It depends on what you are on probation for. If you were convicted of a sex offense, contact with minors might violate a condition of your parole. If you were convicted of something other than a sex offense, then mere "dating" is generally not illegal. But a physical relationship could be, if... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: I was looking for clarification on how a last will and testament works and what an executor can actually do and not do.

My father recently passed in August. He had a total of 5 children including myself. He left one of my sisters as his executor. I have received a copy of his will but I do not really understand it. It seems very broad just states everything he has is to be equally divided between the 5 of us. Well I... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Nov 4, 2019

Generally, the executor has discretion to determine shares if the method of dividing the property isn't specified in the will. If you have concerns that your father's property is not being handled properly or fairly, you could file a petition for supervised administration with the probate court.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: My mom has a will but no assets other than cash in a joint account with me as the other account holder.

Her will dictates equal division of any assets. May I simply give cash to each of my siblings after paying any remaining bills?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Nov 3, 2019

Yes! But understand that by doing that, you would actually be gifting your siblings money that belongs to you, at least legally. Assets that pass by operation of law or by contract (such as under a Joint bank account) pass outside the will - they are not assets of the probate estate. You would not... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Consumer Law and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: Who do I talk to about a realastate agency suing me, for properties they never fixed, while I lived there?

All Pro, the company I rented from for 7 years, never fixed anything that would break down. I moved from their in August, waiting and thinking I'd get some of my deposite back. Now that the home needs painting and carpet, they want me to pay for it, after I've already replaced many things like... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Oct 10, 2019

You would want to talk to a civil litigation attorney who is experienced in landlord tenant and collection defense. Or, you might consider filing bankruptcy, since it might be cheaper than defending the suit.

As to the merits of your case, you would probably need to have good proof that the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Michigan on
Q: Married woman resident of Missouri try to check in local motel against Missouri law?

Married couple with three kids resident could not check in because of prostitution law

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Oct 7, 2019

This discussion board is for consumer law in the state of Michigan, under Michigan law. Your question is about Missouri, and should be answered by someone who is licensed as an attorney in Missouri for Missouri law. I recommend you re-post your question to a discussion board for Missouri law.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: What Paper work is needed in Michigan to claim funds in an account under intestacy?

My son passed away, there is no will and no estate other than this one account valued at $4000. He was not married and has no kids. I would like to close out the account that does not have any beneficiaries listed on and transfer the money to me to cover funeral costs.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Oct 7, 2019

The SCAO form "Affidavit of Decedent's Successor for Delivery of Certain Assets" may be what you're looking for.

As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on information you get from internet...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: is there a time limit between TOD and the passing of the owner?

If the TOD was signed seven days prior to the account owner passing, would there be reason for dispute?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 26, 2019

If you mean "can a Transfer On Death designation (TOD) on a bank account or brokerage account expire due to the passage of time after it is signed?", then

the answer is no.

As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to consult with a qualified estate planning attorney in your...
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4 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: Live in Genesee count Michigan father in-law just passed away. Family business to be divided in half but have several

Texts over a 8 month period that shows it is not how the deceased person wanted it. Also have several witnesses to state the same. How hard to fight this?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 21, 2019

Actually, Ms. Whitehurst is not quite correct. A recent Michigan Court of Appeals case holds that an electronic record recorded on a person's cell phone can qualify as a person's will. See In re: Estate of Duane Francis Horton, II, decided 7/17/2018. So if a person had authored a series of texts... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: My Mother Died in May 9th and my Step-father Died in September 14th before finishing/starting her estate.

Now step-dad's biological child(one of the two he has) is saying us step-kids get nothing because 100% of moms estate goes to spouse(step-dad) and now we are not entitled to his estate as step-children. Is this true? It seems like my moms estate should be settled first which we are heirs of, then... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 19, 2019

That isn't necessarily correct. It would depend on how much your mother's estate was worth.

The surviving spouse gets either the first $100,000.00, or the first $150,000.00, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, depending on whether your mother and step-dad had biological...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: My husband passed away and he was the conservator on my sons settlement. My son is now 18 how does he get his money
Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 18, 2019

Your son could try contacting the banks, brokerage companies, etc where his accounts were held. To find out, he could look through your deceased husband's records, and could also examine the probate court conservatorship file. Perhaps the locations of the accounts were identified on one of the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My father passed but did not have a will. I am an only child and he was not married, just a longtime girlfriend.

Aside from the institutions he had active accounts with, I do not know of any other resources I need to be aware of. How can I find out who else I need to speak with?

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Sep 18, 2019

You can go through his papers and personal effects, if you have access to them, in order to try to identify other assets he may have had. You could also find out if he had a power of attorney, or some other person who was helping him with his bills, etc. Depending on the value of all the assets,... Read more »

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