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Kenneth E Lenz
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Kenneth Lenz’s Answers

117 total


  • What happens if i sell my house, with the 2nd mortgage charged off ?

    original 2nd mortgage co. new century purchased in 2006

    Kenneth’s Answer

    A mortgage is a recorded encumbrance on real property, shown on the Land Records in CT. It is only released (or released or satisfied) if a mortgage release document is recorded in proper form, or if a court of record makes a finding that the mortgage is invalid or discharged. In a property where there were two mortgages recorded, a buyer does not obtain clear title on a conveyance unless both mortgage releases are recorded. If a lender charges off a second mortgage it is merely taking the debt off its books as a performing asset. The underlying mortgage note is still legally enforceable, and the mortgage deed remains on the Land Records..
    So if you go to sell your property with both mortgages not being discharged, you will have to obtain both discharges in order to give the buyer clear marketable title. The charge-off does you no good. You may be able to obtain a mortgage release from the second mortgage lender for less than full payment, for instance in a short sale, but that is a matter of an agreement with both lenders in which you are going to have to represent that no funds are being paid to you from the sale. A real estate agent or attorney who is experienced in short-sales can assist you in obtaining bank approvals for a short sale, but it is likely to delay the sale..

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  • Deed i lieu of short sale

    My wife is both the excutor and benificary of my brother inlaws estate . His only assets are a car and some personnel property . He also has a conodo that is worth about two hundred thousand or less . There to mortgaes totaling two hundred sixty ...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    There's no easy answer here. The deed in lieu of foreclosure s an accepted way of resolving mortgage debts in a property that is upside down short of foreclosure, but the difficulty here is there are multiple mortgages. The first mortgagee will not want to accept title unless the junior mortgage-holder will agree to a short pay release. Further, the deed in lieu of foreclosure is a process in which the mortgage lender will want you to expose the condo to sale for at least three-four months before accepting a deed in lieu. Your wife is going to need a probate attorney and a real estate agent experienced in short-sales, and may well need a foreclosure attorney before this is done.

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  • Can I reopen a Ch 7 BK which was discharged in 2009 to resolve a lien issue in 2015?

    I hired an attorney to file a Chapter 7 BK in 2008 and it was discharged in 2009. I understood my second mortgage was to be included but have recently found it was not and a lien is held by a collection company. Do I have any recourse in resolvi...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    Don't seek to reopen the Chapter 7 because it won't help your present situation, and it does not sound to me that your lawyer did anything wrong. An option is to file a Chapter 13 now instead so you can strip off the second mortgage lien if (big if) it is entirely under secured. That means the second mortgage can only be stripped off if there is no equity to support it after subtracting the first mortgage balance from the fair market value. You'll have to pay something over 36 to 60 months under a plan, which could be a lot of money if your disposable income is high.

    Outside of bankruptcy certain mortgage lenders and servicers are reducing mortgage principal balances, even the entire mortgage balance, in order to fulfill the damage terms of Dept. of Justice or various State Attorney Generals lawsuit settlements against them. It depends on who the lender is.

    A third possible option is to go through a Home Affordable Refinance, in which the second mortgage is reduced so the new mortgage are no more than 115% of fair market value, and you'll get financial incentives if you keep current for a few years.

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  • We filed chapter 13 bankrupcy we put the Harley Davidson on it but they never took it we still have it but no title what to do

    Discharged and will be 10 years in November 2015

    Kenneth’s Answer

    If your goal is to have get title to the motorcycle from HD so you have something you can sell or trade in, then an option for you is to file a new bankruptcy (it may be a Chapter 7 if you are eligible) and propose to redeem on the vehicle, which means you may get title to the vehicle by paying its present fair market value in a lump sum. Valuation of the cycle is key. Obviously you would not want to file a bankruptcy if the bike lien is your only issue, but you may have accumulated other debts in the years since your first filing. Short of that you can just keep using the bike until it turns to rust, because HD isn't going to turn over the title until it has to, and my experience is it won't settle outside of bankruptcy.

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  • I am on SSI disability and I received what the creditor called a "Pre-Legal Notification" on a credit card debtlast paid 1/2012.

    I just got married and my wife and I have a pre-nup that states what is hers is hers an what is mine is mine. What should I do? I cannot pay the old debt.

    Kenneth’s Answer

    You may be sued by this creditor and, if you do not defend the suit, a default judgment will enter. What is important for you to understand is how judgment debts are collected. Social Security income is exempt from garnishment, but funds once deposited in a bank may be "comingled" with non-exempt funds. Most states have minimum deposit amounts that are exempt from judgment creditors, but if you have a joint bank account with your new wife, the creditor may garnish it. The same is true of jointly-owned real estate and vehicles. It's important that you get legal counseling in how to keep your assets protected from legal process. By the way, your prenup has no effect on your creditors--they are not parties to the agreement. Contact a consumer lawyer in your area through Avvo.com for a consultation.

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  • What is the average cost to hire a lawyer to file bankruptcy for credit card debt? I own nothing and I have no assets

    I'm a single mom and only bring home about 290.00 per week

    Kenneth’s Answer

    Bankruptcy attorneys' fees vary widely geographically. In some states it is as low as $750, while in others $1000 is the bottom. In some states, the trustees only require payroll information, while in other states the trustees routinely require tax returns, bank records, vehicle valuations, divorce documents and other documentation for each debtor, thus increasing the attorney's time and fees for the client. In Conn. you can expect the average cost will be around $1500 as a flat attorney's fee if you have a simple case. Some bankruptcy firms advertise an attorney fee of $995 for a simple bankruptcy, but clients find they are quoted a higher fee because their case isn't simple (kind of a "bait and switch" if you ask me).
    Still other attorneys will offer reduced fees for debtors who have low income (I do). If your income puts you at or below the poverty level, you may qualify for a court-appointed "pro-bono" or free lawyer. Call the Bankruptcy Court clerk for a pro-bono application if you think you qualify.

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  • My retired mother has filed for chapter 7 but planned to keep her house. Now she can no longer make her mortgage payments.

    She has very little equity in her home ($10-$15k) but she is not underwater. Should she try to include the mortgage in the bankruptcy or should she just she let it go in forelcosure?

    Kenneth’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    In Conn. your mom can exempt her equity and keep the house if she pays the mortgage, or just let it go into foreclosure. She needed to list all her creditors in her schedules. I recommend she not sign a reaffirmation agreement on the mortgage, and that she get legal assistance when she is served with a foreclosure complaint, so she can maximize her "free" time in the home.

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  • If i buy a car in one state and live in another, where to i file charges/claim in regards to collecting money for a repair.

    this was an on line purchase from a used car dealer, the vehicle will not pass inspection and needs repair. they will not agree to pay for the repair but did originally agree i would not have to drive this vehicle back to them for repair if needed...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    Since the used car dealer advertised interstate, there is jurisdiction to sue it in your home state, although it may be difficult to collect against the dealer other than in its home state. If the dealer's state is not too far you would be more likely to collect with a judgment where the dealer operates. Unless the amount involved is quite large, you might be better off trying non-legal alternatives instead, such as filing an eBay dispute (assuming it was eBay), or complaining to the Better Business Bureau, or the Consumer Protection Department.

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  • I own a home and have been unemployed for a few years. If I declare bankrupt will I lose my home.

    I have been unemployed for a few years and now am struggling to make payments on my mortgage and If I declare bankrupt will I lose my home? I have been trying for a modification for 2 years and still no luck.

    Kenneth’s Answer

    If you file for bankruptcy protection you are entitled to exempt property, including your homestead, up to certain financial limits. In Connecticut, you may elect under federal statutes to exempt the equit in your homestead up to $21,625 (or double that if the home is titled to you and your spouse). You may also elect to exempt under CT Gen. Statutes, Sec. 52-352b (r) up to $75,000 per exemptioner (i.e. double if jointly owned with another). After two years of attempting to modify your mortgage you are unlikely to receive favorable consideration. You should consult with a skilled and experienced bankruptcy attorney before making a decision to file. My associates and I would be glad to help you, and we offer free initial consultations. See my article Preventing foreclosure in CT in my firm's Learning Center for more initial information: http://www.lenzlawfirm.com/learning_center/article/preventing_connecticut_home_foreclosure

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  • We were in default on a credit card and the CT court set a judgement of a weekly payment of $35 a week.

    We made all payments on time from June 2012 and then on Sept 29 our funds in the bank were frozen. Not only did we incur fees from checks that were in process but this firm also processed a check through the frozen account and we incurred anothe...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    I know this seems unfair, but it is legal, as your timely payments of the weekly payment order only prevented the creditor from obtaining a wage withholding order, not a bank execution order, which is what you described. It's a very common misconception, not only of judgment debtors, but also some attorneys who are not familiar with civil collection procedures. Also, all the NSF and other fees your bank levied will not be recovered by you, unless your banker feels like it.
    If you timely filed a claim of the $1000 exemption you may get a court hearing that is likely to result in lifting the bank execution of up to $1000 in the account at the time it was frozen. As you describe it, the judge apparently was unwilling to act "on the papers", so a hearing will be necessary. If the judge grants the claim of exemption, be aware that the creditor may serve the bank execution again at a later date or on another bank account, assuming there is one. In other words, the creditor is not going away until its debt is fully paid, plus interest at the judgment rate of 8%.

    Filing a bankruptcy (even now) would result in the immediate entry of a stay of all creditor actions, and after 90 days a discharge of the entire judgment debt as well as many other debts you might have. You may be also able to recover any money that was garnished within 90 days of filing. It's probably worth getting a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney, most of whom provide free initial consultations.

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