Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Questions & Answers

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

2 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: PA-What's the Tax Penalty % for "Early W/Draw" of a Pension Plan? Also with "E W/D" can the IRS claim $ owed 4 yrs prior

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Tax Law, Collections and Gov & Administrative Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jan 30, 2019
Timothy Denison's answer
The penalty varies from plan to plan. You can check with the plan administrator to determine exact amount. It is unlikely that the IRS is even aware of the pension plan, do very doubtful that they will be able to seize money.

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: Could you please provide information on joining current class action lawsuit against Ocwen Loan Svc'g for Pennsylvania

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Family Law, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
No idea. I'd google it and see if you can locate the information about the particular lawsuit you're interested in. I tried but, not knowing why you believe you may be eligible to apply to join one of the several lawsuits out there, my ability to come up with any sort of suggestion was too limited.

Q: I am planning to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. My case is simple because I don't have a anything of value.

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Dec 6, 2018
Brad Jonathan Sadek's answer
Yes, in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, otherwise known as a "fresh start bankruptcy" our firm charges a flat rate fee. The flat rate is dependent on your specific situation. Our office offers a payment plan for legal fees prior to filing for all clients.

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: Filling chapter 7 to discharge 70K debts as an international student. Please advice?

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Oct 25, 2018
Timothy Denison's answer
You really need a competent bankruptcy lawyer to help you file. Filing should not affect your immigration status.

Q: Divorce is taking 4 years+, hold up is my wife's bankruptcy lawyer taking long on agreement, can i do anything to speed

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Divorce for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Oct 16, 2018
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
This question is, on the surface, rather odd because, unless she has obtained an order from the bankruptcy court allowing her divorce case to proceed, it cannot because the bankruptcy, as a federal action, overrides all state court actions relating to her assets. If you don't have an attorney, you'd better consult with an experienced family law attorney about your situation.

Q: How do I find out if I qualify for legal aid or pro bone for bankruptcy? I live in Armstrong county Pennsylvania.

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Oct 7, 2018
Timothy Denison's answer
Check with your local legal aid office or bar association to see if you qualify or if they keep a list.

Q: Are proceeds from a lawsuit okay to deposit if debt was included in a bankruptcy six years ago that was discharged

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Oct 7, 2018
Timothy Denison's answer
Technically, it belongs to the estate but practically it’s only $271 and you probably have exemptions to protect it if the did claim it and it’s 6 years old, so probably ok to just deposit.

Q: how do I find out if someone filed bankruptcy?

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Consumer Law and Contracts for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Sep 28, 2018
Timothy Denison's answer
You can open a PACER account at PACER.gov and view filings.

Q: Are there any pro bono lawyers for woman needing a bankruptcy lawyer?? Or divorce lawyer

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Divorce for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Sep 24, 2018
Timothy Denison's answer
Check with your state and local bar associations. They maintain pro bono and reduced fee attorneys who may be able to help you.

Q: In the process of a divorceHouse isnt sellingHe is filing for bankruptcyWhat is my best options?

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Divorce for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Sep 24, 2018
Timothy Denison's answer
1) Wait for House to sell.

2). Deed in lieu of foreclosure back to bank

3). His bankruptcy will stay proceedings for a bit and maybe the trustee can sell in and you will get your share, if any, after sale and payment of mortgage.

4) if YOU have no equity either, maybe you should also file bankruptcy and walk away. Consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney bc much more info is needed to properly answer these questions.

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
Cary B. Hall's answer
Call the bankruptcy clerk. Since you're in Lansdale, I'm presuming that you filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (in Philly). That number is (215) 408-2800. Call them tomorrow and see what you can find out.

Best of luck to you.

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