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Craig Dennison Robins
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Craig Robins’s Answers

278 total


  • Can you convert a Chapter 13 to a 7?

    My spouse and I filed for Chapter 13 in November of 09. Our marriage has been ripped apart and we are now divorcing. However, together we pass the means test but apart we fail it. Can our case be converted?

    Craig’s Answer

    Yes; you should be able to convert your Chapter 7 case to one under Chapter 13.

    In some jurisdictions, simply filing a notice of conversion is all you need to do. In other jurisdictions, you may need to bring a motion. You should check with your attorney about what is necessary.

    You will also have to pay an additional filing fee of about $25.

    For more information about Chapter 13 bankruptcy, please see the link below.
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  • I filed chapter 7, mortgage holder relief from auto stay granted and allows them to an in rem judgment? what is that?

    Motion for relief from the automatic stay was granted, allows movant to proceed with replevin of its security interest and allows movant to obtain an in rem judgment against the property, I do not have a discharge letter since it has only been 6...

    Craig’s Answer

    Now that the mortgagee has lifted the stay after having brought a motion for relief from stay, you are wondering how much time you will be able to remain in your home.

    The amount of time has nothing to do with you receiving your order of discharge. Instead, it has to do with how quickly the mortgagee moves forward in proceeding with the Florida state court foreclosure action.

    Since Florida is a judicial foreclosure state, the mortgagee must go through each step of the foreclosure process. It is not clear form your inquiry how much they have already done. However, it is likely that you should have at least several months, which would be well after the time you receive your discharge in bankruptcy.

    For more information about Motions for Relief from Stay and what that means, please see this link:
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  • Can I sell my car at fair market value before filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

    I recently gave a down payment for a bankruptcy lawyer's services. I still owe a balance. He told me that he would file my case as soon as he received my final payment. I am on disability and having a tough time financially. I could not afford to ...

    Craig’s Answer

    I believe the direction your attorney gave you by letter is that you should avoid making a "fraudulent transfer" of your assets.

    A fraudulent transfer is when someone, prior to filing for bankruptcy, gives away a valuable asset or sells it for substantially less than what it is worth.

    There is nothing wrong selling a vehicle for fair market value, even to a relative. However, trustees scrutinize sales to relatives much more closely. Therefore, you should be prepared to demonstrate that you sold the car for fair market value. You will also want to keep a good paper trail of how you spent the money.

    You attorney was concerned about clients who give away assets to relatives without getting "reasonable equivalent value" in return.

    You can show what the car was worth by clipping recent ads for similar cars listed for sale in a local newspaper or by going to an established web site like Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) and print out their valuation.

    To read more about selling or transferring assets prior to filing for bankruptcy, please see the article below:

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  • Is there any way I could get my money back?

    My orthodontist recently filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy on a short notice and I paid by credit card for the treatment in full ($3500). He refered me to another orthodontist, who is going to charge me again to finish the treatment. However, this n...

    Craig’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You are very fortunate because you paid by credit card. You should immediately contact your credit card company and dispute the charge. You should be able to reverse some or all of it because you paid for services that you did not recieve.

    If the dentist filed for bankruptcy and listed you as a creditor, you should have received an official "notice of commencement" from the bankruptcy court.

    The bankruptcy court appoints a Chapter 7 trustee to review his case and examine him. If he did have some kind of buy-sell arrangement with another dentist, the trustee will certainly investigate that.

    For more information about bankruptcy, please see the hundreds of articles on my bankruptcy blog by clicking this link:
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  • Home forclosure, bankruptcy

    If a lawyer forcloses on his home, or goes into bankruptcy, will he lose his license to practice law?

    Craig’s Answer

    I think your question is, "CAN LAWYERS FILE FOR PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY?"

    and

    "WHAT HAPPENS IF A LAWYER DOES NOT PAY HIS MORTGAGE AND THE BANK BRINGS A FORECLOSURE SUIT AGAINST HIM?"

    The short answer is that lawyers a people also and sometimes they have debt problems, too. A lawyer will not lose his license to practice is he files for bankruptcy in good faith.

    I represent many lawyers in personal bankruptcy proceedings each year and all of their cases have gone very smoothly.

    Here's some info about lawyers considering filing for bankruptcy. Click the link:
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  • Withdraw vs Chapter 7?

    I consulted an attorney who helped me to file chapter 13, the attorney was not clear on some of the details, my intention and understanding of the reason for chapter 13 is to request the Judge to allow you more time to come up with a solution to p...

    Craig’s Answer

    Generally, you have an absolute right to withdraw your Chapter 13 case as long as good faith is involved. Even though you "parted ways" with your Chapter 13 attorney, he should nevertheless advise you as to how to withdraw your case, which is usually relatively simple.

    Good luck!

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  • Chapter 7, If I move before discharged, but after meeting with trustee, can I cash out my 401?

    I want to move to be closer to my elderly parent, can I cash out my 401? Will the courts be able to take any portion of it if I do?

    Craig’s Answer

    401-K retirement funds are exempt assets. If you take money out of your 401-K fund AFTER filing for bankruptcy, then you should be OK.

    However, the preferred course of action is to make sure that the trustee is not pursuing any of your assets. Since you didn't indicate that the trustee had any issues with your case, it is probably safe to do so.

    If you do move, and your bankruptcy case is still open, you are required to notifiy the court and the trustee of your new address.

    Good luck!

    For more info about bankruptcy, please feel free to see the hundreds of articles on my bankruptcy blog:
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  • Should i file an answer?

    I got my foreclosure summons letter from the bank. I dont live in the property and im not interested either. I have my primary residence where i live right now. I tried to rent the foreclosure property ,it didnt work,,i tried the short sale ,and ...

    Craig’s Answer

    Since you do not live in the property and do not care about it, and also since you didn't mention that you have any defenses to the mortgage, you probably have nothing to gain by answering the foreclosure summons and complaint.

    However, if you did live in the property, you would almost definitey want to answer as doing so can only extend the time that you have to stay in the home.

    Good luck!

    You may be interested in the following article. Click the blue link to see it:

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  • Do i have to go to court before my wages are garnish

    I owe a credit card which I had ask if I can make payments I was told no. Now a law office called my job and said they were going to garnish my checks.

    Craig’s Answer

    A creditor can only garnish your wages if they first sue you and then get a judgment against you. Some collection will violate the law and tell you that they are about to garnish your wages when they have no legal right to do so.

    I urge you read the article -- "My Credit Card Company Sued Me. What Should I Do?" -- to ascertain what your rights and options are if a creditor actually sues you. Click the blue link below.

    Good luck!
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  • After I get a permanent HAMP modification, will a chapter 7 later throw me out of the program?

    I would think it wouldn't, as I would be trying to reaffirm a "Permanent Mod"; However, someone at the bank said that would cancel the permanent mod. Doesn't seem to make sense. Please advise if you are familiar with HAMP Loan Modification

    Craig’s Answer

    It appears that judges and trustees across the country are struggling to reach adequate solutions to balance bankruptcy statutory requirements with debtors who are seeking to obtain HAMP relief, and that right now, there is absolutely no uniformity whatsoever.

    Last week a wrote a series of articles for my bankruptcy blog about HAMP and Bankruptcy.

    One of them is: "Seeking HAMP (Homes Affordable Mortgage Program) in Bankruptcy — Eight Things to Know" The link is below.

    Hopefully this article will give you some additional info.

    Good luck!
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